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South Korea ready to partner with Africa on technology

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“A win-win proposition” – Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank

SEOUL, Republic of Korea, February 7, 2019/ — In partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB.org), Korea is ready to step up technology transfers to Africa, officials said in Seoul today.

Speaking at a meeting on potential technology partnerships between Korea and Africa, representatives of Busan Metropolitan City, Busan Techno Park, and Korea’s Green Technology Center said there was huge potential for cooperation and immense opportunities for job-creating bankable projects.

The range of business options include agriculture, green growth, smart urban transportation management, and numerous business opportunities.

President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina says, “the Future is going to be an exponentially different future,” and that the Bank intends to “explore the creation of a strategic partnership with Korea that could lead to the creation of a Korea-Africa research and training Drone Center, that could help pave the way for Africa’s 4th Industrial Revolution.”

According to Hyung-Ju Kim, Director, Global Strategy Division, Green Technology Center, “Korean expertise can provide a practical and pragmatic solution to a wide range of Africa’s most pressing technology needs: The African Development Bank could play a major role here: if we bring technology to the table, the Bank can identify and facilitate bankable projects that can boost technology cooperation between Africa and Korea.”

With funding from the Korea-Africa Cooperation (KOAFEC) fund, the African Development Bank, in cooperation with Busan Metropolitan City, and the Busan Techno Park, has launched, a pilot project in Tunisia using drone technology to develop agriculture, including data collection and analysis, monitoring irrigated perimeters, aquifers, the effects of climate change, land degradation, biodiversity, filling and siltation of dams, and overall agricultural production.

Korea and the African Development Bank intend to extend the program to other countries and regions in Tunisia and Africa, and explore the massive market potential of industrial zones in other sectors.

Adesina says, “We are determined to expand the use of drones in agriculture in Africa. What we do in Africa today, will determine global food security tomorrow.”

For the President of the African Development Bank, it is important that the technological partnership with Korea translates into capacity building on the ground, through training, so that Africa can industrialize, build or assemble drones.

Busan City’s dominance as a Smart City on the cutting of artificial intelligence is thanks in part to political vision, one of the largest research and development expenditures in the world, and a team of 12,000 researchers and scientists.

Speaking afterwards to the African diplomatic corps in Seoul, Adesina identified three main obstacles to private sector development —access to finance, energy and stability. The Bank has invested $1 billion in AfreximBank, including $ 650 million in trade finance lines of credit and $ 350 million in trade insurance. The Bank has also invested $ 630 million in First Rand Bank and AbSA in South Africa to support expanded access to trade finance for 20 countries.

This financing effort includes small and medium-sized enterprises, which represent more than 80% of businesses in Africa. In this respect, he cited the Asian example, where large companies relied on value chains dominated by SMEs including suppliers and subcontractors. The Bank’s strategy is to develop large companies while connecting them to SMEs for increased value creation.

“Without electricity it is impossible to industrialize Africa,” Adesina said. The Bank has made access to electricity a top priority. Its ‘Desert to Power’ initiative will develop an estimated 10,000 MW in the Sahel region, making it the largest solar project in the world.

Adesina, the head of Africa’s leading development finance institution, says, the Bank’s 2018 Africa Investment Forum in South Africa, “secured investment commitments worth $ 38.7 billion in less than 72 hours, which provides a strong indication of global interest in Africa’s emerging markets.”

Experts say in order for the African Development Bank to continue supporting the continent’s development, a general capital increase is necessary. According to Adesina, an $11 billion increase in paid-in capital for example would significantly change the lives of millions of people, including 105 million who would have access to electricity; 137 million who would benefit from access to improved agricultural technologies; 22 million who would benefit from investments in private sector projects; 151 million with access to improved transportation services; and 110 million who would be provided with access to improved water and sanitation services.

The dean of the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank, Abdelmajid Mellouki, estimates that a general capital increase would enable the Bank to provide African countries with funding at significantly lower costs.

Adesina is on a three-day visit to Korea which includes several official visits, and to receive the SunHaK Peace Prize awards for which he and co-laureate, Waris Dirie a well-known activist against female genital mutilation, are the 2019 nominees. This is the first time the SunHak Peace Prize has been awarded to the African continent.

Adesina is expected to deliver a keynote address at the World Peace Summit of Global Leaders on February 9.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Technology

Facebook, Africa Check expands its local language coverage as part of its Third-Party Fact-Checking Programme

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Facebook’s fact-checking programme relies on feedback from the Facebook community, as one of many signals Facebook uses to raise potentially false stories to fact-checkers for review

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 14, 2019 – Facebook, today with Africa Check announced that it has added new local language support for several African languages as part of its Third-Party Fact-Checking programme – which helps to assess the accuracy of news on Facebook and aims to reduce the spread of misinformation.

Launched in 2018 across five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Cameroon, Facebook has partnered with Africa Check, Africa’s first independent fact-checking organisation, to expand its local language coverage across:

  • Nigeria, in Yoruba and Igbo, adding to Hausa which was already supported
  • Swahili in Kenya
  • Wolof in Senegal
  • AfrikaansZuluSetswanaSothoNorthern Sotho and Southern Ndebele in South Africa

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

Kojo Boakye, Facebook Head of Public Policy, Africa, said: “We continue to make significant investments in our efforts to fight the spread of false news on our platform, whilst building supportive, safe, informed and inclusive communities. Our third-party fact-checking programme is just one of many ways we are doing this, and with the expansion of local language coverage, this will help in further improving the quality of information people see on Facebook. We know there is still more to do, and we’re committed to this.”

Commenting, Noko Makgato, executive director of Africa Check, said “We’re thrilled to be expanding the arsenal of the languages we cover in our work on Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme. In countries as linguistically diverse as Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Senegal, fact-checking in local languages is vital. Not only does it let us fact-check more content on Facebook, it also means we’ll be reaching more people across Africa with verified, credible information.”

About Third-Party Fact-Checking
Facebook’s fact-checking programme relies on feedback from the Facebook community, as one of many signals Facebook uses to raise potentially false stories to fact-checkers for review. Local articles will be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos. If one of Facebook’s fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution.

Credit APO Group/ Facebook.

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Technology

Oui Capital partners with IBM

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Oui Capital has partnered with IBM on the Startup with IBM program, to tap into the power of IBM Cloud to pace growth and build stronger portfolio businesses.

Through this partnership, Oui Capital will provide $120,000 in cloud credits and secure access to IBM tools to integrate solutions with leading-edge technologies and help deliver more value to portfolio companies. The Cloud credits allow access to over 130 industry leading services like AI, Watson, IoT, blockchain, advanced data analytics, developer tools, educational resources and technical support to aid building leading-edge solutions.

“Our goal for this partnership is to clear the technological hurdle for more diverse entrepreneurs. We strongly believe that innovation has no country of origin, which is why we are happy to support Oui Capital’s mission to empower companies in the African Continent” said Felix Ekwueme, Offering Leader at IBM, responsible for this partnership.

Also Read Cycles, Nigeria’s No.1 Bike-Sharing Platform Achieving The United Nations SDG Goal 11 – Damilola Soladoye

“IBM has operated in Africa since 1920 and has had a direct presence since 1939 in 24 Countries. We remain committed to being a part of Africa’s technological fabric, business and community”.

This partnership also allows affiliated startups to showcase their solutions on IBM Marketplace and to lBM’s customer network globally.

Oui Capital is an impact focused early stage VC fund investing in promising technology startups in Sub-saharan Africa. Apply here

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The growth of digital wallet is a global trend | Korapay

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Over the years, the FinTech industry has seen consistent innovations that not only make it fit for present-day users but also makes it a lot easier to access traditional services that once required a bank visit. This FinTech Era has brought to consumers real-time 24/7 access to financial services via mobile banking, digital wallets and virtual cards. As the fintech industry grows, some of these services — mobile banking, digital wallets — have branched out.

In this article, we will be looking at digital wallets, what it means and it’s growth globally. Along with that, how the growth of digital payments is synchronous with digital wallets and incentives that make digital wallets lucrative.

Also Read Cycles, Nigeria’s No.1 Bike-Sharing Platform Achieving The United Nations SDG Goal 11 – Damilola Soladoye

First, what are digital wallets? According to Investopedia, — A digital wallet is a system that securely stores users’ payment information and passwords for numerous payment methods and websites. Common examples include Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and PayPal. These platforms are being used to a great extent across the world. The growth of digital wallets is not segmented to a part of the world, no! It is a global trend. Millions of mobile users make a transaction every day with their smartphones. In the United States alone, 57 percent of users (which amounts to 60 million people) have used a mobile wallet at least once & as of 2016, PayPal has 600 000 users in Sub-Saharan Africa.

A key reason behind the rampant growth of digital wallets across the world is the ability to have one platform that makes all your transactions easier and faster as you don’t need to input your details every single time. Because of the quick transaction facility that digital wallets allow, it has been able to become one of the most used elements of the FinTech Industry. The rise in digital transactions is then another trigger issue which has resulted in the growth of digital wallets. Capgemini’s World Payments Report 2018 reveals that within 2015– 2016 the volumes of non-cash transactions have touched 482.6 billion and are expected to develop by 12.7% by 2021. Digital payments as an industry are anticipated to grow at a yearly rate of 18% between 2018–2023.

Of course, there are difficulties in the adoption of digital wallets. Most grown-up customers have not fully adopted digital payment practices, and changing from a traditional purse to a digital one will take some time. A lot of consumers have still not seen the need to change their payment behaviors, although most people would be inclined to switch if the new payment method would shorten the checkout procedure and if offered incentives as research has shown that discounts, rewards, and coupons could get customers to switch their payment type over to mobile wallets.

 

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Steve Onwuka | Community Manager at Korapay: a cross border remittance platform focused on reducing the cost of money transfer and increasing its speed into and within Africa. Korapay allows individuals in the United States to send money within minutes to the bank account of anyone in Nigeria.

 

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