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Top 20 Francophone African Startups Enter World Bank Group Tech Acceleration Program

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L’Afrique Excelle’s start-ups specialize in tech solutions for the African market designed to expand reach and access to services

BAMAKO, Mali, March 12, 2019/ — Twenty of the most promising Francophone African tech start-ups will participate in the L’Afrique Excelle (Afrique-Excelle.com) residency in Mali, a full-week bootcamp set to kick off the Francophone edition of the World Bank Group’sXL Africa (www.XL-Africa.com), tech start-up accelerator. From March 24 to 30, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to network and learn from leading industry experts, increase their regional visibility and network with potential corporate partners and investors.

L’Afrique Excelle is the francophone adaptation of the popular XL Africa program which seeks to foster a stronger connection between entrepreneurs in Anglophone and Francophone Africa while providing support to those from less developed digital ecosystems, particularly in fragile countries such as the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Togo and Mali. The launch of L’Afrique Excelle coincides with several new ecosystem initiatives from the public and private sectors, including the French Development Agency’s Digital Africa (http://bit.ly/2NYh4oH) initiative, the recently established Africa-focused investment funds extending their reach beyond Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa in addition to the upcoming Francophone Africa Investor Summit (FAIS) (www.FrancophoneAfricaInvestorSummit.com), a regional West Africa event designed to convene early-stage investors, large companies, and business-supporting organizations.

L’Afrique Excelle’s start-ups specialize in tech solutions for the African market designed to expand reach and access to services. These include fintech, transportation, healthcare, cleantech, data analytics and enterprise software. Companies in the program have their products or services currently available in one or more Francophone African markets, have strong revenues, and are well-positioned for growth and cross-border expansion. During the Mali Residency, this cohort will benefit from training, individual consultations and peer-to-peer learning, The Residency will conclude with a venture showcase at the Francophone Africa Investor Summit. A select 10 companies will advance to the France Residency in May 2019, where they will receive intensive training and mentoring at thecamp (TheCamp.fr) withSophia Business Angels (SophiaBusinessAngels.com), coaching by experts at Deloitte‘s (http://bit.ly/2TyEZ43) and Google‘s (http://bit.ly/2T0p2yJ) offices, and get exposure to investors at the upcoming AfroBytes (www.AfroBytes.com) and VivaTech(VivaTechnology.com) conferences to be held in Paris on May 15-18, 2019. With participation from Africa’s leading investment groups,L’Afrique Excelle will help these start-ups attract early stage capital between US$250,000 and US$5 million.

“Similar to the XL Africa program, L’Afrique Excelle has attracted a number of growth-oriented digital start-ups from Francophone Africa. Many of them have already raised seed funding, totaling over $11 million, and are active in several African markets. This is a strong signal regarding the competitiveness of Francophone African start-ups and their contribution to Africa’s digital economies,” said Sebastian Molineus, Director of the Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation Global Practice at the World Bank Group (www.WorldBank.org).

The selection process for L’Afrique Excelle is led by an external investor committee. Over 30 VC funds and investment groups have come on board as official program partners, with the fund managers vetting the companies, reviewing their applications and conducting interviews. The selection was completed by a panel of industry experts from prominent Africa-focused funds including Proparco(www.Proparco.fr/fr), Orange Digital Ventures (DigitalVentures.orange.com), GSMA (http://bit.ly/2ES39MK), Brightmore Capital(BrightmoreCapital.com), BlackPearl (www.BlackPearlCap.com/BPC/), Partech (PartechPartners.com), AHL Venture Partners(www.AHLVenturePartners.com), GreenTec Capital (GreenTec-Capital.com), Outlierz Ventures (www.Outlierz.co), Accion(www.Accion.org), First Growth Fund, Compass VC (http://bit.ly/2HdMSVY) and Oikocredit (www.Oikocredit.coop).

L’Afrique Excelle is an opportunity to highlight the work of companies from the francophone world and give them a well-deserved and much needed exposure,” lauded Sofien V. Sidhoum, Partner at GreenTec Capital. “I enjoyed discussing with the founders I have been introduced to and found their respective models to be of great interest and responding to clear and present needs. I look forward to the next steps and especially the VivaTech part where start-ups will have a powerful stage to showcase their endeavors. I am already convinced that this kind of program should be run on a yearly basis.”

“Supporting a new generation of African entrepreneurs in building innovative business models to solve the continent’s challenges is at the core of our mission” said Babacar Seck, investment officer at Proparco. “Our participation in L’Afrique Excelle enables us to meet with exceptional entrepreneurs who dedicate their efforts to solving significant challenges on the continent.”

The selected start-ups participating in the event are:

StarNews Mobile (StarnewsMobile.com) (Media / Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast)Lifi Led (www.Lifi-Led.ci) (Cleantech / Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, CAR, Liberia, Madagascar)
GiftedMom (GiftedMom.co) (Healthtech / Cameroon, Ivory Coast)AmA (Fintech / Senegal)
Paps (Paps.sn) (Logistics/ Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast)LONO (www.LONOci.com) (Cleantech / Ivory Coast)
Tripafrique (www.TripAfrique.com) (Transport / Ivory Coast)Sudpay (Sudpay.com) (Fintech / Senegal, Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo, Guinea)
Firefly Media (FireflyMedia.tv) (Adtech, Transport / Senegal)Exportunity GBC2 (www.Exportunity.company) (Fintech, Import/Export / Mauritius, Benin, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Togo)
Solaris Offgrid (www.SolarisOffgrid.com) (Fintech, SaaS, Solar / Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Cameroon, Rwanda)SmartOne (www.SmartOne-Group.com) (Big Data / Madagascar, Mauritius)
Optimetriks (Optimetriks.com) (Retail Technology / Mali, Senegal, Niger, Ghana, Kenya)CityTaps (www.CityTaps.org) (Water & Sanitation / Niger, Senegal)
MaTontine (Matontine.com/en/) (Fintech / Senegal, Ivory Coast)Diool (www.Diool.com) (Fintech / Cameroon)
LAfricaMobile (LAfricaMobile.com) (Connectivity, SaaS, API / Senegal, Niger, Mali, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Burkina Faso)OniriQ (OniriQ.com) (Cleantech, Offgrid Energy / Senegal)
Ouicarry (www.Ouicarry.com) (Logistics/ Senegal, Benin, Mali, TogoEyone (www.Eyone.net) (Healthtech / Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger)

L’Afrique Excelle is powered by the World Bank Group and the Tubaniso Agribusiness and Innovation Center (TAIC) (http://bit.ly/2u0Jx41) with financial assistance from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) (www.AICS.gov.it/language/en/) and implemented by VC4A (https://vc4a.com), Suguba (https://www.Suguba.org) and Sahel’Innov(https://www.SahelInnov.org).

For more information on the program and the selected start-ups, visit www.Afrique-Excelle.com.

To attend the Francophone Africa Investor Summit, visit www.FrancophoneAfricaInvestorSummit.com.

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CRITAC: A Must Know Scientific Research Center In Africa Founded By This Young African Ghanaian Scientist, Dr. Kester Quist Aphetsi

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The Center for Research, Information, Technology and Advanced Computing (CRITAC) founded by the Young African Ghanaian Scientist, Dr. Kester Quist Aphetsi. RANK 1st as Clarivate Analytics Ghana for its good scientific research.

Over the years, CRITAC has been providing webinars, workshops, seminars and tech-news. We feature distinguished speakers from professional bodies, academia and industry on our programs.

Their research laboratories are led by top research scientists, industrial experts and research students with research laboratories in different domains necessary for the execution of the projects we undertake.

Reports and works from CRITACare published on reputable publishers such as ACM, IEEE, Springer, Elsevier, Taylors and Francis, Emerald etc with indexing at Thompson Reuters and Scopus. Access our current research works and reports

Engaging CRITAC means engaging some of the best minds with the expertise of providing timely solutions to problems leveraging on innovation and ingenuity in delivering results

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Our Research and Development programs are revolutionary breakthroughs in areas such as cyber security, big data, artificial intelligence, embedded systems, networked systems and software, and the application of such technologies to diverse fields in business, science, engineering, education, government, etc. All you need to Know.

Amongst the countless Scientific Research Conference organised by CRITAC is the recent ended 2019 ICSIoT Conference at the Ghana Technology University that gathers students, professionals, Researchers, Scientists, Security Organisations, Military Personnel’s, Police and the likes.

http://critacghana.com/critac/

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Egypt hosts ‘Seamless North Africa 2019’ to discuss latest trends in Financial Technology

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CAIRO – June 2019: For the second consecutive year, Central Bank of Egypt will host on the 17th and 18th June 2019, the FinTech Conference “Seamless North Africa 2019”, under the auspices of H.E the Prime Minister, Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, and with the participation of the most renowned international and local experts in the field of financial technology, e-payments and e-commerce.

The conference is held in collaboration with the Council of Arab Economic Unity and the League of Arab States, and is co-organized by the Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI).

Partakers will represent influencing and well recognized entities, institutions, banks and international companies, that cover multiple sectors of banking, finance and e-commerce, aiming to discuss and evaluate the role played by new technologies and strategies to cater for improved services to citizens and consumers across the Arab world.

Ms. Lobna Helal, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, affirmed that “hosting the conference for the second year in a row reflects the tremendous success achieved by SEAMLESS 2018 in its first edition, emphasizing that “The Central Bank of Egypt’s hosting of the Conference stems from the premise of its pioneering role to communicate with society and address the challenges facing the expansion of innovative financial products and services. The role played by the Central Bank is no longer limited to the regulatory and organizational aspects, but has extended to support and incentivize the society to be less cash dependent and to sustain the transition towards financial inclusion, Under the umbrella of the National Payments Council, which is privileged with the chairmanship of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. ”

Eng. Ayman Hussein, Sub-Governor of the Central Bank for the Payment Systems and Information Technology Sector, has stated that “The conference has attained escalating importance derived from the leading role played by FinTech in providing, efficient, effective and affordable financial and banking services to meet the diverse timely and logistical needs of customers, thus creating an enabling environment and improving accessibility to the general public, appointing financial technology as a key pillar of financial inclusion and a fundamental supporter of economic growth, accordingly, achieving benefits on the individual and state levels”.

The conference will discuss the challenges that face Egypt’s emerging FinTech eco-system, in the areas of microfinance, microcredit, cross-border payments, remittances, data analysis, artificial intelligence for retail banking, cybersecurity and the SME credit score.

He also mentioned that the conference supports innovation in FinTech, whereas it will feature a pitch off competition for Fintech startups, whereas candidates will compete for a grant of USD 50,000 in cash awarded by an international sponsoring company. Competitors will present their new business model or innovative Fintech solution in front of a panel, composed of leading Egyptian and international experts.

Dr. Rasha Negm, General manager Fintech & innovation has added that “The conference will incorporate several panel discussions, interviews, presentations and workshops revolving around the latest trends and innovations in financial technology. An exhibition of more than 50 leading technology and innovative solution providers will be held on the sidelines of the conference, which avails an opportunity to learn about the latest innovations in the Fintech field”.

– EGYPT TODAY

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IBM expands its Quantum Computing Program to Africa with Wits University

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DURBAN – IBM has launched the expansion of its quantum computing efforts to Africa in a new collaboration with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University) in South Africa.

Wits University is the first African partner on the IBM Q Network and will be the gateway for academics across South Africa and to the 15 universities who are part of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA).

“This is the latest outcome of the joint partnership between IBM Research and Wits, which started in 2016 when IBM opened its second lab in Africa in Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Johannesburg. To expand the IBM Q Network to include Wits will drive innovation in frontier-technologies and benefit African-based researchers, academics and students who now have access to decades of quantum computing capabilities at the click of a button,” said Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, Wits Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Postgraduate Affairs.

Quantum computing promises to be able to solve certain problems – such as chemical simulations and types of optimization – that will forever be beyond the practical reach of classical machines. IBM first made quantum computers available to the public in May 2016 through its IBM Q Experience quantum cloud service and has doubled the power of its quantum computers annually since 2017.

IBM established the IBM Q Network™, a community of Fortune 500 companies, startups, academic institutions and research labs working with IBM to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications for business and science.

Researchers at Wits will investigate the use of quantum computing and machine learning in the fields of cosmology and molecular biology with a specific focus on HIV drug discovery. The teams will also jointly study quantum teleportation, a field pioneered by IBM Fellow Charles Bennett.

“For Africa to remain competitive for the coming decades we must get the next generation of students quantum ready,” said Dr. Solomon Assefa, Vice President, Emerging Market Solutions and Director, IBM Research – Africa.

As part of the partnership between IBM and Wits, scholars from sixteen ARUA universities will have the opportunity to apply for access to IBM Q’s most-advanced quantum computing systems and software for teaching quantum information science and exploring early applications.

To gain access to the IBM Q quantum cloud service, ARUA scholars will be required to submit quality research proposals to a scientific committee of Wits and IBM experts for approval.

“Having access to IBM Q is pivotal for Wits University’s cross-disciplinary research program and allows our researchers in quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and in the broad natural sciences, including in laser technology, quantum optics and molecular design, to leverage the next level of discovery research. It’s envisioned that the first results from this collaboration will be forthcoming in the next two years,” said Vilakazi.

IBM’s recently unveiled IBM Q System One, is the world’s first integrated universal approximate quantum computing system designed for scientific and commercial use.

Also Read TeamApt Secures Switching License From CBN To Power Payment Infrastructure Solution, AptPay

IBM’s most advanced universal quantum computing systems available through the IBM Q Experience platform. More than 10 million experiments have run on the IBM Q Experience and users have published over 160 third-party research papers. Also, developers can work with  Qiskit, a full-stack, open-source quantum software development kit, to create and run quantum computing programs.

To further increase skills development, IBM Q is hosting an invite-only Qiskit Camp in South Africa this December for 200 quantum researchers and computer scientists where they will learn in an immersive environment and receive hands-on training.

The agreement with Wits was signed in April 2019.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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