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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

Logistics

Digitalization in logistics – A user’s experience

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Geraldine Mamburu, Founder & MD PDQ Logistics (Source: Geraldine Mamburu)

In some cultures, children are sometimes named after events that would have taken place close to or during their birth.  Jokes around naming children Quarantine Buthelezi, Social-distance Moyo, or Pandemic Ndlovu, were circulating in 2020 and made for a good laugh, however, one couple in India took this a little too seriously and named their twin boy and girl, Corona and Covid.

Looking back, I do not recall ever coming across a proposal to name children after any of the variations around the word digital, after all, every second Point of View that was being released was around digitalization and digital transformation. It got me thinking, and realised that a lot of these terminologies are thrown about in the corporate space, but what does this actually mean to the end-user? How does the user interact, make use of, and appreciate digitalization?

Being in the logistics space has found me interacting with a lot more digital platforms over and above e-commerce, social media, and the all-so-dreaded-virtual-meeting platforms. My favourite most convenient app (which is currently the best thing ever since sliced bread in my books) has got to be Truck Fuel Net (TFN). TFN offers a cloud-based, real-time software management solution that helps me manage all my on-road refuelling and driver spend needs. Given that the bulk of operational costs in road freight is fuel, one must have their finger on the pulse and be on the constant lookout for the best price, over and above monitoring driver efficiency. The TFN Management system helps me decide, where, when, and how much the driver can refuel.

Sidebar – I’ve been driving a Ford Kuga 1.6 AWD for a few years (NB: No fire starter jokes allowed) and for such a small engine, that car can chow fuel – I’m talking 11 – 12km/100! I never used to fill up because it was painful watching all that money go down the drain. When I filled up the truck for the first-time round, let’s just say I needed to sit down because I felt a little dizzy.

Every day, we transport goods worth millions of Rands. It goes without saying that the safety and security of the driver, the goods we carry, as well as the trucks themselves, is of paramount importance. TFN’s solutions enable us to run a cashless operation. In the road freight sector, cargo, equipment, and increasingly drivers, are all targets for criminals and if we can take one incentive out of the equation, the better off we are.

Whilst on cashless operations, I would like to give SANRAL a standing ovation. Now, now, before your eyes roll all the way to the back of your head, let me just say that we might have qualms as “Gautengers” about how they went about the e-toll saga, but their app is such a lifesaver! With an e-tag fitted on the vehicle, I can manage my account quickly and securely. The app works in real-time, allowing me to be kept informed of my spend on vehicles. And lo and behold when I do forget to top up (because …you know …admin), I immediately get a notification the moment my funds are depleted, allowing me to top up immediately whilst the truck is still on route, contributing to a seamless operation. Well done SANRAL. Sometimes the government does get it right …sometimes.

The South African logistics sector contributes about 12% towards the GDP, according to Stellenbosch University and the World Bank. Of that percentage, approximately ¾ is attributed to road freight alone. With such modestly generous figures, it’s encouraging to see various organisations come up with digitally inspired solutions to cater to this industry.

This brings me to my most used platforms, Car Track and Tracker. I can only assume that before the advancement in technology, one must have had to have a great deal of faith, composure, and trust. Not to say that we no longer require these skills, but the ability to log onto these apps and be able to get real-time updates on the exact location of a customer’s goods in transit certainly prevents a blood vessel or two from popping (in the event that you cannot reach the driver.) As for Google Maps, it goes without saying, that this is the backbone of my interaction with these tracking platforms.

There are a bunch of other digital platforms such as Linebooker that I am still to explore as the business continues to grow. However, it’s been interesting to know that before we start thinking self-driven trucks (think of that one scene from Terminator, were the machine is operating the truck…but I digress) and other seemingly complex technological advancements aimed at this industry, there are still digital channels that make the day to day operations in logistics that much easier.

What other digital platforms are you using or have you heard off that have made a world of a difference in the logistics space?

Article by: Geraldine Mamburu, Founder & MD PDQ Logistics

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Technology

Three African-American Female Engineers Who Changed Our World

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Image source: Pexels

The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) produce innovation that drives us forward as a species. Despite the fact that women and people of color have often been at the forefront of new discoveries, their representation within the STEM fields is historically low.

As culture progresses in understanding toward the value of a diverse workforce, those seeking out the future leaders of STEM are reaching out to underrepresented populations – specifically, women and people of color. One such outreach is ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day’, a global campaign established by the National Society of Professional Engineers.

The event, which takes place this February 25, is run by teachers, volunteers, and STEM professionals, and includes engaging engineering-based learning activities that encourage young women to develop problem solving skills and indulge their interest in science and engineering.

The road to their future success was paved by the intrepid women who came before them, including these three remarkable African-American female engineers:

  • Kimberly Bryant: Seeking to create an inclusive technology learning space for young women of color, Ms. Bryant created the not-for-profit coding camp Black Girls Code. As of late 2019, the organization has 15 chapters, and Ms. Bryant has been recognized as a White House Champion of Change for Tech Inclusion as well as one of 2013’s 25 Most Influential African Americans in Technology.
  • Dr. Patricia Bath: An early pioneer of laser surgery for cataract treatment, Dr. Bath was the first female member of the Jules Stein Eye Institute, the first female African-American surgeon at UCLA Medical Center, and the first female leader of a postgraduate ophthalmology training program.
  • Alice Parker: A housewife from New Jersey, Mrs. Parker developed and filed a patent for a gas-powered central heating system inspired by cold coastal winters. Her filing came before both the Women’s Liberation Movement and the Civil Rights Movement, a remarkable achievement for an African-American woman during her time.

More stories of African-American female engineers and  female leadership in engineering can be seen here:

To discover more about Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, visit NSPE online.

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Press Release

North Ladder Secures $5 Million Series A Financing Round To Accelerate Global Expansion

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North Ladder Team (Source: Siddharth Sudhakar)

North Ladder (previously called BuyBack Bazaar), a UAE based secured trading platform for pre-owned luxury assets and electronics, today announced a $5 million Series A funding round led by regional venture capital firm BECO Capital. The new investment will help the company scale up its technology platform, enhance customer experience and pursue further geographic expansion.

The homegrown start-up also revealed that it will begin operating under the new brand name North Ladder effective immediately, representing the company’s strategy of charting new markets and supporting individuals across the globe in their endeavour to elevate their financial situation. The disruptive and innovative technology platform is the first of its kind, providing access to verified buyers of second-hand goods and instant cash. North Ladder currently enables users to sell electronics such as phones, laptops, tablets, and smart watches, as well as luxury assets including watches and cars, with a unique option of buying it back within a few months.

The Series A financing builds on an exceptional year for North Ladder which saw rapid growth of its clients, network of buyers and corporate partnerships. To date, the platform has witnessed over 15,000 transactions in the UAE, with over 85 different nationalities served while earning an impressive 4.9/5 customer satisfaction rating. In 2021, the start-up is looking to establish its presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States, with a focus on scaling the platform significantly in the next 18 to 24 months.

“North Ladder has demonstrated tremendous success with its unique model of helping customers access immediate funds against their assets. The provision of a seamless and trusted digital platform for the sale of pre-owned goods has immense socially transformative potential at a global scale. We are excited about partnering with them to take their services to the next level,” said Dany Farha, CEO & Managing Partner, BECO Capital.

The company recently appointed Sandeep Shetty, former Managing Director of the core ride hailing business at Careem, as Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of North Ladder. Prior to Careem he also led the digital transformation program at Emirates NBD and has held leadership positions at McKinsey & Company and GE Capital across India, the United States and the Middle East. Sandeep joins the leadership team of co-founders Pishu Ganglani and Ricky Husaini who together bring years of prior global start-up, financial services, technology and operations experience.

“Our exciting partnership with the region’s leading investor BECO Capital gives us the opportunity to scale operations in the UAE and expand to other strategic markets, with the mission of meaningfully impacting people across all strata of society,” said Sandeep Shetty of North Ladder. “Our global auction brings professional buyers from around the world to compete and provide local customers with the best prices and no hidden surprises.”

Since its launch in 2018, North Ladder has been recognized as one of the “Top 5 innovative start-ups in the MENA region” by PayPal backed accelerator, Village Capital and awarded as an Innovator by Entrepreneur Middle East.

 

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