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Africa Tech News Tidbits: Week of March 25th

Magatte Wade, founder of Tiossan Copyright Forbes

Magatte Wade, founder of Tiossan
Copyright Forbes

Here we are back again. Another round of African Tech news you might have missed over the past couple of weeks:

  • Forbes has an interview with Magatte Wade, a young senegalese woman who successfully started and ran a $30M business, Adina World Beverages before starting anew with a new venture, Tiossan.
  • If you ever had to deal with customer service in Africa (most probably the lack thereof), you will be excited to know that Airtel just opened the first Customer Service Academy in Africa which “will work towards equipping the Airtel customer service personnel from all 17 countries of operation, with the requisite skill set required to deliver customer service of exceptional quality.”.
  • Two good reads over at Afrinnovator: “The Road Ahead: Blueprint for Building Africa’s Tech Ecosystem” which gives a detailed analysis of the steps that need to happen to build a robust and thriving African tech ecosystem, and “Tech Startup Funding in Kenya – the Other Side of the Coin”, which exposes the side story from an investor point of view about funding startups in Kenya.
  • Over at Techloy, the editor is starting multi-part series about tech multinationals African operations and why Google is ahead of the bunch. Good analysis and the first part is an overview of the players involved.
  • In relation to the above news, Africa as a tech investment destination has been in the news lately with articles in GQ, Wired, Ars Technica all pointing to the emergence of the continent as the last “tech” frontier and a “lucrative” investment opportunity. There is a growing talk of tech colonialism and I can’t fault some Africans for being cynical, especially as you will understand from the Ars Technica article, “the instant African startups relax their insistence on guiding their own futures, someone else will step in to do it for them”. Given the story of the continent, it is important at this stage of the our story to remain firmly in control of our own destinies, and especially now that the world is a global stage and we have the means to maintain that control, it would be foolish to stand by and watch our tech resources get pillaged as easily and methodically as the mineral and other industrial kind of resources do get on a daily basis.