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AI Expo Africa 2019 Starts to Announce Line-Up for Africa’s Largest B2B Trade Focused AI Conference and Expo For Business, Investors & Entrepreneurs

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Cape Town 8th July 2019 –Now in its second year, AI Media Africa Co-founder Dr Nick Bradshaw recently talked to Cape Talk Radio host KienoKammies about AI Expo Africa 2019, the largest B2B focused AI & Data Science community and trade event in the region,that builds upon the phenomenal success of the inaugural 2018 event that was supported by 732 delegates, 275 companies, 69 speakers and 43 sponsors.

Bradshaw explains, “Last week was a super busy week of Radio and TV interviews for us, which coincided with the launch of the SA Governments own 4IRSA initiative which is great news for our region. It’s heartening to hear that President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, sees the Fourth industrial revolution as a catalyst for growth.  This is exactly why we created AI Expo Africa.  This year’s event is happening on 3rd-5th September at the Century City Conference Centre, Cape Town.  We will be welcoming new vendors, start-ups and community members who see the value of a trade focused event that brings buyers and suppliers together under one roof.  It’s all part of our wider vision to create an AI Powered Future for Africa and more locally to make the Western Cape a technology hub for AI innovation and entrepreneurism in South Africa”.

Bradshaw concluded, “We have had over 150 speaking submissions this year, up from the 115 of last year, which shows interest in this event format is growing.  Our own community membership sits at 2700+ membersand has doubled in size in just 6 months.  In response, we have enhanced the programme with a range of new features for sponsors and delegates alike, to make this the biggest and most immersive learning experience for CxOs, Enterprises, investors and start-ups. We have speakers and support from large organisations such as IBM, SAP, PWC, Microsoft, Deloitte, Hitachi Vantara, Persistent Systems, Telkom and CHPC, through to SMBs such Lightblue, Future Fragment, Ocular Technologies, OLSPS, Ecosystem AI, Exacaster, Genii AI, Cortex Logic, Granadilla Insurance, Offerzen, Conversica and Instadeep.  We also welcome new International community members such as the ITU, French Embassy and Business France as well as African community thought leadersfrom Data Science Nigeria and South Africa’s Fliptin– it’s going to be a great event”.

AI Expo Africa 2019 includes the following key elements aimed at showcasing the real-world business opportunities of AI in Africa;

  • VIP Opening & Awards Event withregional product launches &announcements
  • 36x vendor Expo Hall showcasing African AI innovation plus Demo Zone
  • Main show September 4th – 5th September 2019 with evening networking reception
  • Dedicated AI Innovation Cafe showcasing 17 AI start-ups
  • 4x Track speaking programme with 67 talks, keynotes & panels
  • 4x Executive workshops aimed at CxO decision makers & business analysts
  • 4x Skills workshops aimed at young engineers, students & entrepreneurs
  • AI Art Challenge – Africa’s first AI generated music & art competition hosted by Zindi 
  • Innovation Wall – Showcasing10 African academic R&D posters applicable to industry
  • TV Media Hub with dedicated interview suite streaming live from the show
  • The show edition of Synapse Magazine – Africa’s first AI & Data Science Magazine
  • Plus we have expert panel discussions covering ethics, privacy, AI4Good, education, women in AI, adoption models and investment
  • Our chosen charity is again Starting Chance South Africa – Teaching kids and women from disadvantaged communities about ICT in a safe learning environment.

Also Read Lillian Barnard: Tech Enthusiast And First Female Managing Director, Microsoft South Africa

AI Expo Africa Co-founder Roy Bannister concluded, “Our event is one of the highlights of South African Innovation Month and we have stuck to the winning formula of our 2018 format but added a couple of new features that showcase the best of African AI innovation and creativity in the field of AI and Data Science. Feedback from our 2018 show indicated delegates wanted a more hands on experience to better understand the new and emerging technologies that are evolving at a rate that is hard to comprehend.  The 4IR is characterised by phenomenal rates of innovation, one being that use cases not possible even 12 months ago, arepossible today.  This means that new concepts are often hard to communicate as they are so new.  Our new demo zone, AI art & music challenge, executive workshops and innovation wall are all about making the learning experience more rewarding, tangible and stimulating for delegates, we hope you can join us”.

Tickets are still on sale and readers of this article can access a 20% discount off a full delegate pass by using the discount code CAPETALK when you buy online at Quicket

About AI Expo Africa 2019

Curated by AI Media Africa, AI Expo Africa 2019 is focusing on real world applications & trends driving the Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Data Science Economy in Africa.  AI Expo Africa is the largest Business focused AI Community conference and expo on the continent.  With 700+ delegates, 60+ speaker programme, 40+ exhibitor Expo Hall, allied to the unique Innovation Cafe showcasing the latest AI start-ups in the region, we deliver a truly integrated event experience.  Our speaking programme and workshops are aimed at CxOs, analysts and investors with the primary goal of educating business leaders about AI & Data Science applications solving Enterprise challenges TODAY as well as generating real business and learning opportunities for sponsors, speakers, buyers, suppliers & innovators alike.  We also have FREE student / young engineer workshops to foster grass roots job creation & skills development opportunities.  If you would like to join the event as a delegate or would like take up one of the exhibition, Innovation Cafe or speaking opportunities simply visit www.aiexpoafrica.com

Learn more about AI Media Africa here www.aimediagroup.co.za

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Blockchain-based Innovations Embraced and Celebrated at Crypto Fest in South Africa

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CryptoFest 2019, a one-day event recently held in Cape Town by Bitcoin Events (Pty) Ltd which also runs the popular Blockchain Africa Conference,was a non-traditional exhibition style event. The theme was “Immersive, Interactive, Innovative” and in true fashion, the event unfolded as such.

The ground-breaking festival was engaging, thought-provoking and provided quality content on three stages to a diverse audience which included blockchain industry veterans, new entrants and attendees who were simply interested in learning more about the burgeoning blockchain and crypto sector.

The laid-back atmosphere at the vibrant Shimmy Beach Club in Cape Town where Crypto Fest took place, with it’s picturesque backdrop of the ocean, created the perfect festival setting. Attendees were well-catered for and drinks flowed along with the stimulating conversations around the sometime controversial subjects of cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech.

It was a well-balanced mix of business and networking. There was plenty of meaningful discussion and debate on how best to accelerate global adoption of cryptocurrencies. The Bitcoin Events team’s vision to bring cryptocurrencies to life through immersive activities and a showcase of real-world applications to bring awareness was fully realised at this stunning event.

The festival presented engagement opportunities through lively crypto debates, including a Bitcoin vs Gold debate which was moderated by podcaster Grey Jabesi, a Director of Marketing and Communications at the United Africa Blockchain Association. The speakers at the event were lively and the line-up included some captivating appearances by the likes of Rocelo Lopes,CEO of Stratum and representatives from Huobi, SA Crypto, and BitGive Foundation among many others.

Sponsors of the successful event included AltCoin Trader, Luno IG, Okex, and Sun Exchange. “There was a lot of interaction and activity – crypto debates and educational dialogue around blockchain and cryptocurrencies,” said Richard de Sousa of AltCoin Trader. “The event was the first and a great success, we hope to be part of the next,” he added.

Other exciting elements to the festival format included the crypto games, giveawaysand fun competitions which were part of the event. Attendees could utilize augmented reality games that rely on geolocation to manipulate physical reality with tech-discoverable crypto. People could get airdrops of Ripple tokens courtesy of Xago and Bitcoin airdropped at the event by Bitdropgo. Working with Heath Muchena of Proudly Associated, a company that advises international blockchain companies developing technologies which have use cases focused on emerging economy development, particularly in Africa, Bitdropgo was able to bring some live gaming elements to the event.

Also Read Lillian Barnard: Tech Enthusiast And First Female Managing Director, Microsoft South Africa

“We see Africa as a growth market with massive potential for adoption of products and solutions that integrate both blockchain and AR technologies. Our unique interactive marketing model is an ideal fit for consumers on the continent who are largely mobile-centric, and businesses that are willing to explore new innovations and embrace new technologies more readily,” said Jonathan Eagleton, CEO of Bitdropgo. Attendees of Bitcoin Events hosted Crypto Fest could also download wallets such as the Centbee app and receive free Bitcoin.

The festival ended with an after party which was a highlight all on its own. Entrepreneurs, crypto-enthusiasts, educators and learners alike mingled and connected. What was most fascinating about the general sentiment around CryptoFest was the fact that much of the dialogue that could be heard around the event was around the potential that blockchain hasin playing a major role in the technological and economic transformation needed to make Africa a force to be reckoned with on the global stage.

 

 

 

 

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May the 4th Industrial Revolution Leave No Child Behind (Pt. 2)

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Currently, the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) is merely a buzz word that has not been put into context. Judging by the recent establishment of the Presidential 4IR commission and various government initiatives to engage with foreign investment, the public and private sector, it is quite obvious that the future of South Africa’s socio-economic landscape will be highly influenced by this wave. Therefore, if we intend on driving socio-economic development through industrialisation, we need to take on a more inclusive, accessible and relatable communication approach.

We ought to think carefully about how we should be informing and educating the public about (a) What the 4th Industrial Revolution phenomenon really means (b) how does it impact the country’s economy and market because ultimately, this has ripple effect on (c) the skills required and will define future jobs and market opportunities.

If we don’t, we run the risk of leaving people behind and having a public majority that is not prepared to embrace the winds of change.

I therefore propose that as we begin to embrace the wave of 4IR which is characterised by merging the physical, digital and biological. The following solutions should be considered:

Unpacking 4IR through mass-communication platforms

As a point of departure, we must ask ourselves, how are we using our mass-communication platforms to unpack the 4IR? In my view, there needs to be more of a concerted effort to synergise government policy (National Development Plan) and the South African public broadcaster. What policy puts emphasis on should somehow find expression through a mass-communication platform like the SABC. The objective? To increase public understanding, drive public engagement and influence public discourse.

Of course, the role of the South African public broadcaster in this regard would not be to turn into a propaganda machine but, to start a conversation that will assist in increasing public understanding so that the general public is made aware of the developments happening around them and how they affect their lives. During the 90s and early 00s, SABC programming was extremely entertaining but educational and informative. I think of TV programmes like Soul City which weaved health and social issues into real-life stories. Sponsored by the Department of Health, BP, UNAIDS and the Department of Land Affairs, they discussed issues on HIV/Aids, housing and land, depression and youth sexuality to name a few.

More investment in entertaining and educational programmes that contextualise 4IR are some of the key initiatives that should also be considered that will ultimately contribute towards public understanding.

The importance of supporting black science organisations

While organisations like SAASTA and the CSIR have played an instrumental role in taking science, technology and innovation to communities through outreach programmes and exhibitions, they cannot reach all black South African communities. While initiatives like SciFest Africa and the National Science Week are equally important, they take place once a year and we all know, knowledge is more meaningful when it is shared and taught consistently.

Therefore, in addition to what already exists, the growth of more impact-driven black science awareness organisations should be encouraged and those that already exist, should continue to be supported.

Over the past two years, I have seen a growing number of black scientists and engineers mobilizing themselves to either create or join organisations that ensure black communities are educated and are prepared for the 4IR wave. This level of community mobilisation for science awareness is important in order to maximise reach, address challenges unique to the community of interest and monitor impact.

Also Read Lillian Barnard: Tech Enthusiast And First Female Managing Director, Microsoft South Africa

Establishment of science, innovation and languages centre

Finally, as part of consistent learning, community-based science, innovation and languages centres should also form part of science awareness. Organisations like Inspire Foundation Group (IFG) Africa have done an excellent job by establishing such centres which provide Maths and Science learner’s access to academic assistance, career guidance and have designed fun programmes which encourage critical thinking, science communication and innovation.

Similarly, the US Embassy through its Mae Jemison centre based in Mamelodi, have taken on the same approach, thus making science learning accessible. When you plant centres of this nature in communities, you do not only make science and technology facilities accessible but, you inspire outside of the classroom, application based learning.

When we are more intentional about how we communicate information as a country, we indirectly give our people the opportunity to mobilise and educate themselves so that they make informed decisions. When we fail to do this, we disempower the majority, leaving them in limbo. I pray that in the wake of 4IR, the latter will not be the fate of the South African child.

 

Credit: Chumisa Ndlazi (Marketing and Communications Professional)

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Carbon, AppZone Partner Open Banking Nigeria, to extend the Frontiers of Innovation

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Chijioke Dozie, OneFi co-founder and CEO. Pic: GuardianNG

LAGOS, NIGERIA. 3 September 2019: To achieve improved customer-centric digital services increased consumer control of data and unprecedented levels of innovation, Carbon, Nigeria’s largest alternate digital lender and AppZone, foremost home-grown software solutions provider have collaborated with Open Banking Nigeria, towards the attainment of non-partisan and non-financial Application Programming Interface (API) standards for financial services in Nigeria.

This revelation was made recently as the two top financial technology (fintech) players respectively announced their collaboration with non-profit Open Banking Nigeria.

Carbon, formerly PayLater, and AppZone join other industry players like Paystack, Flutterwave, Interswitch, Ernest & Young, Fidelity Bank, Global Accelerex, TeamApt, PwC, and Sterling Bank who have partnered with Open Banking Nigeria.

The collaboration would, among others, further advance ongoing efforts by various notable financial industry stakeholders in Nigeria for the maximisation of the rapid increase in digital and mobile payments, with the ultimate objective of the meeting the ever-dynamic yearnings of consumers for flexibility and convenience.

Carbon and AppZone would actively participate in diverse phases of the development of common API standards for Nigeria, testing the APIs for certification, and stimulating the adoption of Open Banking standards across the country.

“At Carbon, we know that data is more important than oil. We also understand that open banking presents a tremendous opportunity to unlock financial access for millions of consumers and has the potential of transforming the financial services landscape, not only for banks and fintechs but for everyone across the ecosystem,” said Chijioke Dozie, the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of  OneFi, the parent company of Carbon.

“It follows our innovative leanings as a brand committed to providing credit to the financially under-served and excluded individuals around Africa. We believe that, with Open Banking, we would be able to extend consumer credit to the 40 million unique bank customers across the nation.”

Speaking on the partnership with Open Banking Nigeria, Obi Emetarom, Chief Executive Officer, AppZone said: “We find open banking critical to the future, especially as we support over 300 financial institutions on BankOne, our banking-as-a-service platform.”

Also Read Black Space App CEO, April Jefferson on entrepreneurship and connecting black travelers to their culture

“Our partnership with Open Banking Nigeria also comes as a result of our understanding that in our fast-rising digital world, the use of standard APIs is crucial to empower verified third party players to securely leverage technology. Moreso, the adoption of standardised APIs is known to cut cost, reduce connectivity complications and improve turnaround time.”

This fintech-Open Banking Nigeria collaboration, according to Ope Adeoye of Open Banking Nigeria, would “enable further innovation in our financial services industry where the lack of common API standards currently constitutes a barrier to innovation, especially in the areas of digital payments expansion and financial inclusion.”

Appzone is a proudly Nigerian firm that provides software solutions for the financial services industry. Supporting and accelerating growth in the adoption of banking services across the continent, AppZone expands the scope and competitiveness of financial institutions by delivering disruptive innovation on agile technology using best practices.

Launched when lending with no collateral or documentation or to non-salary earners was inconceivable, Carbon raised the bar and pioneered a new phase of consumer lending in Nigeria, becoming the country’s first digital lender. The firm has continued to transform lending services in Nigeria and across Africa.

Open Banking Nigeria partners with stakeholders across Nigeria’s financial services industry to define an open and non-partisan set of APIs for financial services in Nigeria. 

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