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PPP Projects

What is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP)?

A public-private partnership is a partnership between the government and a privately owned business. PPP’s can be used to finance, build and manage projects like building a hospital, new roads, bridges, etc. A partnership like this is useful for the development of large projects which requires a lot of funding and highly skilled workers.1 It is a good method for the government to make use of PPP in order to gain good quality infrastructure services to clients. PPP can supply efficient and sustainable services to the public, for example, transport and energy solutions as well as healthcare and education possibilities.2

Starting a PPP Project

PPP contracts are usually long-term contract spanning over 15 to 25 years or even more. During this time, technology, politics, etc. change which means the contract has to be adjustable to certain situations. These changes should not at any time affect the stability and sustainability of the project too much. At the same time, it is very important that the private partner deliver the service they offered in order to guarantee the public party a good result. All of this requires time and developing skills.

Other Existing PPP’s in the Health Sector

PPP’s are often used to improve the development of the health sector all over the world. Whether it is the construction of hospitals, developing medical resources, financing, etc.

The Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital was the first South African hospital that was developed through a PPP. The hospital is based in Durban, KwaZulu Natal in South Africa and is big enough to offer medical services to the whole province. The hospital is fully equipped with computerised technology which enables a fast and modern diagnosis in diverse departments of the hospital.6

A PPP for medical waste management was also developed in Lesotho, a small country inside South Africa. Due to the high demand for healthcare services, the government started working on developing the healthcare sector in the country. One of the goals was to improve medical waste management. This is when a PPP was developed in order to test the management of medical waste in different districts of Lesotho where around 300 000 citizens live. A coalition between two companies – Ditau Health Solutions, a South African company and Matsete Investments, a company based in Lesotho- won the tender for this PPP. A pilot round for the waste management service was started.7

A mobile health service was developed in Namibia through a PPP. This service is especially helpful in rural areas where people do not have access to medical care. The medical services available are found in bigger cities or towns far away and with the poor road conditions or even no transport option, it is not always possible for people from rural areas to travel to doctors or hospitals for medical care. Mister Sister the mobile health service with support from the government, therefore has a big impact on the health service in these areas.8 It is basically a hospital or clinic on wheels which is easily accessible in areas where usually no health care is available. In this Youtube video, you can read more about Mister Sister Mobile Health Service: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enE6En-cYbU

Financing PPP 

In order for a PPP to be implemented, of course, bankable funds are needed. After all, the responsibility of a PPP is to provide funds for the development of a project.

Contributions to funding could be done through shareholder funds and share capital. This could include project participants, local investors, the local government, other interested governments, institutional investors and mutual organisations. 9

In some cases, the government might provide direct support for a PPP project through subsidiaries or equity investments.10 The type of finding can be very useful when the PPP project does not achieve enough bankable funds. In cases like these, developing countries are more in need of government support when it comes to PPP.

PPP in Developing Countries

PPP’s have been used for many years now to support developing countries to develop and improve their different sectors, for example, health, infrastructure, as well as their economic growth and this method, is still increasing today. 12 But the success of these projects do differ from those in developed countries. 13

Due to a lack of capital market discipline, developing countries need clear regulations. These regulations often lead to certain challenges since a large group of the clients are not financially stable and not as up to date to project management regulations, the service rates are also low and a lot of decisions and information on the project is not shared as it should be. This can all be due to limited resources, political situations, difficulty in attracting and keeping skilled staff. 14

In order for PPP projects to be sustainable, financial support from the government is very important in the public service sector, since the financially unstable group of the population is depended on this sector which will continue to be so in the future wand could have a big impact on the long-term success of the PPP. At the same time, loyal political engagement plays a big role in the development of the PPP and whether all regulation policies and finances are carried out effectively. 15

Sectors included in PPP

Sectors in which PPP development is found are mostly the ones with insufficient investment capital. Usually, PPP’s are used for the development of infrastructure, for example, building bridges, roads, power supply, etc. where investments are needed. Sometimes social infrastructure like the health and education sectors also make use of PPP’s but this is not as common as the other sectors. Manufacturing development which could be beneficial in the private sector, are mostly the main focus for PPP projects. 16

Difficulties creating PPP cooperations

Developing a PPP project requires a big group of individuals and a lot of time and money. A PPP project could take years to be completed and it is really expensive. Half of the PPP projects that are proposed are never implemented and cease to develop as planned. 17

How does PPP partnership work in countries with corruption? 

If a PPP is not planned thoroughly, it could create possibilities for corruption. In order to prevent this, different approaches and measurements need to be taken. Decreasing PPP corruption could be done by encouraging honesty and clear communication during the different stages of the project.

To prevent PPP corruption, the following measurements are taken worldwide:

Decision stage

During this stage, it is important to ensure that all costs or investments made for this project are socially and economically confirmed in order to provide the best end result. It could be helpful to rely on a second opinion through public consultations for example in order to have their view on a proposal.

Tendering stage

In many countries, rules have been made in order to avoid corruption in the tendering stage. These rules have been implemented to require competitive tendering to obtain public services via PPP, competent advertising of tender calls and enough time to prepare the proposals. Another method is to make use of auditing which could be helpful to ensure that the most valuable company will win the project.

Contract execution stage

In this stage, different rules have also been implemented to avoid corruption. In order to prevent bribes, the use of standardised contracts is required. Incentives not to make false claims are also offered to public officials which enables them to take the money rather than be corrupted. 18

PPP in Dialysis

Here are some examples of already existing PPP’s in the dialysis field.

Ethiopia

Patients from third world countries who suffer from chronic kidney disease and acute kidney injury especially have to deal with many health issues due to the lack of treatment in these areas. For this reason, a PPP was established in Ayder Comprehensive University Hospital based in Mekelle, Tigray, Ethiopia. In this hospital, there was no renal replacement therapy available for patients. Not until a senior physician decided to make it a priority to assist patients with kidney disease. The goal of this PPP was to enable a service that included the infrastructure, personnel and sharing of maintenance costs. After a few attempts, the hospital administration and the local university proposed a model of the PPP. A company named Mahal Medical Center PLC who was already providing haemodialysis services in a private hospital in Addis Ababa was chosen as a partner for the PPP. In 2013 Ayder Comprehensive University Hospital, the local University and Mahal Medical Center PLC started the haemodialysis service at the Ayder Comprehensive University Hospital. This dialysis staffs many trained individuals which include 11 dialysis nurses, a general practitioner, a doctor as well as support staff. They have 5 dialysis machines which offer daily sessions twice a day. This project has resulted in 101 patients receiving haemodialysis treatment.3

South Africa

In South Africa, the department of health is responsible for public health services. And although there is a high number of natural deaths caused by kidney disease in the Limpopo province 4, there used to be minimum access to dialysis treatment by the public health sector in this part of the country. The main obstacle was the financial costs to enable such medical services to people without medical aid. After a meeting arranged by the National Department of Health in 2015, different methods were considered to make dialysis treatment accessible for all. One strategy was to start a PPP project at the Pietersburg hospital. This was realised and the dialysis unit was developed. It is the first and only renal dialysis unit in the public health sector in Limpopo, and the only PPP dialysis unit in South Africa.5

India

In 2013 a PPP dialysis project was started in Dehli in order to provide high-quality haemodialysis treatment to patients in need. This PPP project enables haemodialysis treatment in the following 3 hospitals in Dehli: Lok Nayak Hospital, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital and Dr. Hedgewar Arogya Sansthan. 6

Sources:

https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/Public-private-partnership-PPP

https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/publicprivatepartnerships/overview

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/public-private-partnerships.asp

https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/how-do-you-build-effective-public-private-partnerships

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344118359_A_public-private_partnership_for_dialysis_provision_in_Ethiopia_a_model_for_high-cost_care_in_low-resource_settings

http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/P03093/P030932016.pdf

http://www.scielo.org.za/pdf/samj/v109n8/11.pdf

http://www.energytoolbox.org/library/ppp_in_infrastructure/presentations/The_South_Africa_PPP_Program.pdf

https://library.pppknowledgelab.org/documents/1998/download

https://ppiaf.org/documents/3177/download

https://ppp.worldbank.org/public-private-partnership/financing/sources

www.gpoba.org 

https://ppp.worldbank.org/public-private-partnership/financing/government-support-subsidies

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877705814009916

http://health.delhigovt.nic.in/wps/wcm/connect/doit_health/Health/Home/Directorate+General+of+Health+Services/PPP+Dialysis+Project

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/24111613_Public-Private_Sector_Partnerships_in_Developing_Countries_Prospects_and_Drawbacks PDF to be found here: file:///C:/Users/EC%20Admin/Downloads/Public-Private_Sector_Partnerships_in_Developing_C.pdf

https://www.oecd.org/dac/evaluation/IOBstudy378publicprivatepartnershipsindevelopingcountries.pdf

https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/how-do-you-build-effective-public-private-partnerships

On the endogenously determined degree of corruption in regulatory hiearchies, see Tirole (1992), Kofman and Lawaree (1996), Auriol (2006), Lambert-Mogilianski (1998) and Martimort and Straub ´ (2009).

https://art.torvergata.it/retrieve/handle/2108/90927/183738/IOSSAMARTIMORTCorruptioninPPP11Dec11.pdf

Startup Ecosystem Explained

The term “startup ecosystem” and many other startup terms are used more often in the last few years as the startup scene grows more and more. But many people do not really know the real meaning of all these terms used by entrepreneurs. We decided to discuss the term “startup ecosystem” in this blog for those who wish to freshen up their startup lingo.

A startup ecosystem is established by a group formed by entrepreneurs, startups and different organisations in their diverse stages of growth. Together they form a system to create new startups. In order to start a new startup, a supportive environment and community are needed. A startup ecosystem works together to support their community members and offer their resources to one another in order for each one to grow their business or idea.

What forms a startup ecosystem?

There are different elements that are put together in order to form a community called a startup ecosystem. This includes ideas, research, creativity, entrepreneurs, startups at different stages, business angels, investors, business consultants, marketing experts, coworking spaces, incubators and accelerators, mentors, social media experts, and many more. These community members work together and support one another where it is needed to create new startups and to turn ideas into real businesses.

Your startup ecosystem community

In order to build a successful startup ecosystem, a combination of the above-mentioned points is a good start. One should have access to ideas, talent, capital and customers. Combining these factors would give any entrepreneur a good kickstart into starting a startup ecosystem. Of course, certain individuals with needed skill sets would be needed as well in order to share knowledge among one another. These are entrepreneurs, business angels, investors, business consultants, government, etc.1 Good leadership skills are a big asset when building a startup ecosystem. This individual must be able to encourage community members to chase their goals for success.

The best location for a startup ecosystem

A startup ecosystem should be based in a location with enough activity, a wide variety of industries and expertise in order to be effective. This would preferably be in a bigger city instead of in a small town. Different cities offer different types of industries. It is important to choose a city that supports your specific ecosystem field but at the same time, your ecosystem should be open to collaborating with other cities. The most successful startup ecosystems strengthen and support one another over borders and continents.

Startup ecosystem: sharing your road to success  

Success stories should be shared with local communities. It is good for local people to see the difference the startup ecosystem makes to the community as well. Once success stories are shared, this will draw the attention of investors and other talents which could be helpful sources for the ecosystem in the future. Ecosystems are built over decades, so it takes a lot of time to build a successful startup ecosystem. Patience is needed and it should not be forced. The ecosystem community should work together as a team for it to be successful.

Collaboration with a community with the same goals is the key to building a successful startup ecosystem. It is not a one-man-show.

Worldwide ecosystem maps

Briterbridges is a company dedicated to collecting, curating, and visualising data on business across underserved markets, with a specific focus on Africa. They released a #EcosystemMaps series which illustrates maps of different startup ecosystems in the tech scene focussed on the African continent and south of Asia. Here you can view the ecosystem maps: https://briterbridges.com/ecosystem-maps

Keywords: Startup Ecosystem, Startups, Community

Sources:

https://hubbublabs.com/the-insider/startup-ecosystem/

https://www.startupcommons.org/what-is-startup-ecosystem.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgedeeb/2019/04/04/how-to-build-a-startup-ecosystem/?sh=3ab153366130

Solar Energy without Deforestation

Finding environmentally friendly alternatives to produce energy nowadays is growing on a big scale. All over the world, wind turbines and solar farms are developing with the goal to create an environmentally friendly energy production. But the problem is that often the environment has to be adapted in order for these type of solutions to be built. For example, big amounts of land to build solar or wind turbine farms. Whether it is environmentally friendly or not depends on the state of the piece of land before creating a solar or wind turbine farm. It can only be environmentally friendly if trees are not cut down in order to create space. In this article, we will discuss the increase in solar energy all over the world without cutting down trees and harming the natural environment in order to make space for solar farms.
Solar panels in forest

Solar Farms in Natural Environments

Solar energy farms are being developed all over the world in different kinds of location and ecosystems, from forests to deserts. The way these plants or farms impacts the environment depends on the location. In order to prevent shading, trees are cut off and the vegetation is mowed which limits vegetation height to one meter and below. This, of course, has a big impact on the animal and plant life which makes it a major hurdle to get a permit for the development of solar farms. Luckily, in some cases, there are possibilities for animals to still enter the location in order to hunt for food, have shelter, etc.

Deforestation for Solar Energy

Up until now, millions of trees have been cut off worldwide in order to make space for solar farms. In South Korea over 2 million trees over the past few years. These solar energy farms have damaged over 4,407 hectares of forest. Even if the government motivate people to make use of renewable energy, this should not be done by replacing and destroying the worlds main natural source of energy.1

In the USA close to Minneapolis, hundreds of mature trees were cut off and replaced with thousands of solar panels. And there is also a plan for a 13.8-megawatt solar farm in other parts of the country which would lead to 30,000 trees being cut off. 2 These are only some of many more cases where trees are being removed for solar energy worldwide.

Other Major Causes of Deforestation

There are other aspects worldwide which also contribute to deforestation, much more than solar farms. In Latin America, grazing cattle are destroying up to 2.71 million hectares of tropical forest each year. The reason for this is soybean fields which are often found in newly deforested land which draws the cattle to these areas. In Southeastern Asia the processing of palm oil also has a big impact on deforestation in these areas – 270,000 hectares in three leading countries to be exact- many of these areas also include the carbon-rich soils known as peatlands. One of the biggest aspects of deforestation is wood production. This adds up to approximately 380,000 hectares of deforestation yearly.

Apart from these points mentioned above, there are many other factors which also have a big effect on deforestation. For example, coffee, rubber, cocoa, and sugar. 3

Why choose Solar Energy?

Solar energy is a clean source and reduces many costs, for example, thousands of electricity bills. When using solar energy, no greenhouse emissions are released into the atmosphere. Unlike natural trees, solar panels do not die out after many years. It could be upgraded and fixed at any point. For the manufacturing of solar panels, there are not a lot of carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere which also adds to a benefit of clean energy production. There also are very low costs when operating solar panels and no fuel is required in order for a solar panel to function, only the sunlight is needed.

solar panels om roof

Solution for Deforestation

When cutting down trees for whichever reason, planting new trees should be done in order to replace the older trees. Instead of creating solar farms in natural environments where there are trees and natural ecosystems, one should rather create solar farms in open locations where there are no trees close by. This could safe both trees as well as the costs paid for these trees to be removed.
planting new trees

Helpful tools for startups

Starting your own business is a lot of work and could be a stressful situation for many. There are a lot of things to keep in mind and to consider when organising things for your business, having your marketing field on point, coordinating meetings and internal administration, etc.

Fortunately, today’s technology enables people to use different tools and programs to support them with all these above-mentioned points. Below is a list of some helpful tools and websites to make use of when starting your startup:

The Cuttles

This website allows entrepreneurs to build and expand their business idea. They offer innovative digital tools and content which enables finding investors and customers easier. At the same time, the Cuttles assist entrepreneurs to create a business idea and product which will catch the eye of the target groups it should in order to enable the business success it is meant to. Their Startup Academy service offers “building courses” to assist entrepreneurs with writing their business plan, pitch their business idea and getting seed capital. The Cuttles is the place to go to when you have a realistic business idea or even still looking for ideas. Visit The Cuttles now to get started.

Atlassian

Atlassian offers tools like Jira and Confluence which supports teams to work together in an online space where they can keep track of documents, tasks, products, meetings, etc. Atlassian’s tools can help a team work faster and achieve better results regardless of the size of the company and team.

Visit Atlassian to get your team organised today.

Slack

Teams can keep their conversations organised with Slack which is a new and smart alternative to emails. Whether there’s a new team member joining or a colleague leaving the team, Slack keeps all conversations saved in order for everyone to track old information and conversations to complete tasks. By adding different channels to your workspace, Slack supports collaboration on a global level. Try Slack out now.

QuickBooks

This is an accounting software package for different-sized businesses offering bookkeeping applications. QuickBooks allows access and manages companies books from a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone at any time of the day. It enables more than one person to access the account which means colleagues or accountants can work with the same data online. Invoices and quotes can be created and saved as templates to make the job easier and faster for future use. Make your business finances uncomplicated by using QuickBooks.

HostGator

What better way to present your business than having your own personalised website? Hostgator is one of the biggest website hosting platforms and is a perfect first step to launch your business website. HostGator offers many tools and a big variety of themes, and pre-built sections to assist people to create their own custom pages and publish a website fast and without hassle. If you are ready to go online with your business, then visit the HostGator website.

Typeform

A web-based platform that allows you to create your own forms and surveys to collect more data from your target group and clients. This is a great way to find out whether your business idea or product draws enough attention and what you can improve in your business. Typeform can be used for free and you can upgrade to have more features at a small price.

Prezi

Create a presentation different from the usual presentations you have known over the years. A presentation should impress the crowd and leave them with a visual idea and understanding. Prezi does exactly that. Prezi allows you to impress your target group with a message in a brilliant visual presentation. Prezi

Canva

This platform enables you to design your own graphics, social media posts, presentations, posters, flyers, etc. Canva is a good tool to use for advertising on social media platforms as well as print outs. There are many templates to choose from and you can get creative yourself by creating your own visual content. Canva can be used for free or you can upgrade as a pro member at a small price.

Unsplash

A picture says a thousand words. Unsplash is the perfect website to find the best stock photography for your business under the Unsplash license. You can import these pictures to your website or even to Canva and create the ideal social media posts to advertise your business. Unsplash is a must-have.

Our page on Afri-Eu has more tools which could be helpful when starting a business: https://afri-eu.com/helpful-tools-to-start-your-business/

Edtech: developing education in Africa

Education technology, also known as edtech, is a field of technology used to enhance education in different parts of the world. This type of education is still at early ages but has already proved a positive result due to the unique learning pace and support of each individual learner.

According to Worldremit, edtech is changing the learning experience in many countries through mobile learning, cloud computing and gamification. Not only does edtech offer education in a digital form, but also creates business opportunities for those designing such technology tools. For example, edtech startups.

The uprise of edtech in Africa

Once technology started to develop more in Africa, many made use of radio and television as a learning method for students as well as training methods to teachers. This lasted until the computer arrived. Internationally many schools started using computers for students as a source of educating them through educational software.

Due to a lack of textbooks and other educational materials in schools over Africa, the tech educating method was used. The most significant progress occurred in South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda.1

As technology develops, the easier it gets to have access to different types of technology and edtech opportunities all over the world and especially in African countries. Mobile technology has particularly increased in Africa due to the big increase in mobile owners. This also leads to many using their mobile phones for educational reasons which is called “M-Learning”.

Edtech obstacles in Africa

Even though edtech provides African countries with many positive outcomes, there are unfortunately some obstacles to overcome first. Due to the lack of electricity and therefore a lack of internet access many people have to deal with in African countries, they cannot always make use of edtech. Around 800 million people all over Africa do not have access to the internet.2 Fortunately there has been a development in improving internet access in Africa. If the usage of mobile phones increases more, the internet usage in Africa’s could make up 12% of internet users all over the world by the end of 2020.3

Apart from the internet issue, there are still many people who also cannot afford the technology resources needed for this type of education in many parts of Africa.

The power of edtech

For those people who do have access to international educational resources, this allows everyone to learn much more than they would have in their local school. Through edtech, the learning management services offer an online space for students to access a wide variety of lesson materials. They have a much broader choice of lessons as well as access to other languages to increase their language skills. Due to this, international doors might open to students all over Africa and brings global opportunities for national economies.

It would be a big advantage and opportunity for African countries and its people if the edtech sector could be accessed by everyone in the near future and not just to those who can afford electricity and internet access.

Sources:

  1. https://www.worldremit.com/en/stories/story/2019/11/14/edtech-africa?ds_kid=39700021837675058&gclsrc=aw.ds&ds_rl=1262317&ds_rl=1262371&ds_rl=1262317&gclid=Cj0KCQjwg8n5BRCdARIsALxKb97AJ1RsFBPZbiLI38O7-c2cD_0tmsMSso5xcZFkb5vaeQ4_ptnaM0YaAtvFEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
  2. https://www.borgenmagazine.com/technology-is-improving-education-in-africa/ 

Fintech: Creating new opportunities in Africa

Financial technology (Fintech) is a term which describes the form of technology used to operate and offer services in the financial sector. This form of technology supports businesses, business owners, buyers, etc. to control their financial practices easier and faster by using their private computers or smartphones.

Fintech development is increasing fast, especially in Africa and this development holds many benefits for the African continent. The interesting thing about Africa and its countries is that it is currently growing richer in different sectors while other counties are rather standing still without any significant growth. For this reason, foreign investors are seeing the opportunity and benefits to invest in African fintech startups. These startups now have the opportunity to create outcomes for certain issues the locals have been struggling with when it comes to financial technology.

Fintech startups spreading its wings all over the African continent

In the past few years, fintech startups are the one sector which received the most investments in comparison to other sectors. The reason for this is that fintech does not interfere with the current traditional financial services offered in African countries.1 But instead, fintech startup services and solutions like online money transfer and payments are adding to the financial service lack in many parts of the African continent. The fintech opportunities are enabling the younger generation in Africa to participate in local and global economies.2

Mobile Africa

In order for the fintech market to grow and make sense, it, of course, makes sense that the people and users are technologically mobile. This is no problem in Africa at the moment. Is has been proven, that over the last 10 years the mobile usage in Africa has grown a lot. Two-thirds of all households across sub-Saharan Africa own a cellphone.3 Because of this, digital financial services are increasing in Africa which adds to financial development all over the continent.

Fintech opportunities for Africans

Today the fintech opportunities are growing for Africans to make use of. It enables people to do money transfers and payments from their digital wallet without them even having a bank account at local banks. An example is a startup in Kenya called “M-Pesa”. This is a mobile service which enables people to transfer money inside the borders of Kenya by just sending an SMS. 4 Due to the infrastructure and long distances in Kenya, many people living in rural areas do not have the opportunity to always travel to the bigger cities in order to transfer money. M-Pesa enables these people to now transfer money in a faster and safer way. But because this is only possible inside Kenya, the need for similar services across borders is high.

“Flutterwave” is one example of such a service. A Nigerian based startup which released a service called “Moneywave” that enables people to transfer money to any country in Africa into any bank account or digital wallet. This is a much faster and safer alternative. Due to the increase in cellphone usage as well as internet access all over the continent, this type of service will grow more and develop its opportunities over the years to come.

Fintech challenges in Africa

Although the fintech market is currently growing a lot in Africa, there are still a few challenges these startups have to face. Because there are so many countries in Africa, it is hard to cater to each specific country according to their regulations.5 The regulation should be good and innovative. And at this point, the fintech market could be growing at a too fast pace for African countries to keep up with regulations. At the same time, the current regulations in Africa are poor and not as active as they are in other countries outside Africa. For this reason, the interest in this type of startups is also low. People feel safer to work for bigger companies instead of starting a startup.6

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fintech.asp

https://www.brinknews.com/fintech-in-sub-saharan-africa-a-potential-game-changer/

https://qz.com/africa/1751701/everything-you-need-to-know-about-african-fintech/

https://fintechcircle.com/insights/african-fintech-opportunity/

https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/resources/hottest-african-payments-startups-fintech/

https://www.brinknews.com/fintech-in-sub-saharan-africa-a-potential-game-changer/

https://disrupt-africa.com/2017/08/5-challenges-african-fintech-startups-must-overcome/

Afri-Eu Platform, the virtual bridge we’ve all been waiting for

Imagine a world where you can connect two very talented continents with one another to exchange knowledge and resources? Afri-Eu, the social and information network for tech entrepreneurs is here for exactly this reason. Europe has so many resources and knowledge to offer and Africa has so many ideas and motivation. The Afri-Eu platform offers a virtual bridge for African and European tech entrepreneurs, tech start-ups, well-established tech companies, business angels, investors, consultants, etc. to connect and network.

Supporting tech enterprises from the idea to business success

The Afri-Eu platform offers many services which support a diversity of tech enterprises to transform their business idea into a successful business. It enables the tech groups to present themselves and their business ideas or already established businesses. People can exchange and share news, personal blog posts, interesting articles, etc. The social network also has a marketplace which allows members to buy and sell services for example consultation. The e-learning feature offers learning opportunities through online training material.

Benefits for Europeans

Afri-Eu brings benefits to all members. For Europeans, there are possibilities to find information, resources and partners in Africa, offering a space to develop and expand markets as well as generating ideas. Apart from these benefits, it also provides new investment opportunities for European investors.

Benefits for Africans

For the tech entrepreneurs from Africa who joins the social network platform, there are possibilities in finding information, investment partners, possible financing resources and also the opportunity in finding specific contacts for developing a business. Getting in touch with diverse people, it also gives perspective specifically in the startup and tech scene in Africa. Last but not least, Afri-Eu provides training and education possibilities for entrepreneurs.

Afri-Eu Goals

Powered by Fürst Solutions GmbH, the Afri-Eu platform idea developed through the love and passion for Africa and its people. We at Fürst Solutions are using our connections to Africa and our knowledge and know-how in Europe to build this virtual bridge called Afri-Eu. The goal is to create business opportunities, connections and improve both peoples lives and the environment. Our main focus is health tech, green tech, edutech and fintech. And with these sectors, we would want a better and brighter future for Africans with the help of Europeans.

Become a part of our community! If you feel like this is right up your alley, then join us now. Afri-Eu.com

Keywords: Afri-Eu, social network platform, Europeans, Africans, connection, virtual bridge

Community Standing Together for Change

I have to share some good news about the community I live in, a small seaside town, in Cape Town, South Africa.

I stay in a community where our streets are filled with homeless people, staying on the street with only a mere blanket and perhaps a piece of cardboard keeping them warm. They are going from one garbage can to the next in hope of finding food. These waste foods salvaged from these garbage cans can be infected (especially now during COVID-19) and they certainly won’t be getting the needed nutrition from these bits of food found in other people’s trash. As a community and after years of talking, the community came together and held their first meeting to discuss the proposed sites for a Shelter for Gordon’s Bay and Strand. A number of proposed Ervens were suggested from both Strand and ourselves and the Sub Council-Manager will now revert back to us this week for a follow-up meeting after holding a discussion with COCT property department.

The next meeting will be held with Mayco members who are the decision-makers and with Mayor Dan Plato announcing this week that R30 million had been made available for shelters, this is our time to get what we have been asking for for years, like the one shelter in the Helderberg house or service those on the street. Once this has been decided more details will follow as to where this will be.

The other good news is that the proposal for a community vegetable garden that was submitted last year and accepted in September has been given a budget for two vegetable gardens in Ward 100.
The one site which is in Broadlands Park and then there are three sites that have been proposed for Gordon’s Bay and we should within the next two weeks know which site will be allocated.
As it will be a community garden run by the community, if there are residents who are interested in being part of this exciting project please give your details and we will be in touch as soon as we are ready to get going which should be within the next two weeks when we know what ground we have and planning can take place, and if there are any members that would like to share some ideas for building up and maintaining a healthy vegetable garden from scratch, please share as our community will need all the support and help we can get in order to have a sustainable vegetable garden.

The thought process has always been to run a similar operation to that in Somerset West which is very successful, but that decision will take place once we have established a committee from the community.

Have a great day, keep safe, wear a mask, sanitise and wash your hands!
A little bit of shared hope from Gordon’s Bay, South Africa.

Best
Larené Lues

Health Tech unfolding in Africa

As technology develops day by day, so does health technology (health-tech). The goal of health tech is to make use of technology to offer health care to patients faster in a cheaper and accessible way and at the same time increasing the development of medicinal products. This type of health care is usually located outside the usual medical facilities likes hospitals or clinics by making use of technology and services like cloud computing, internet services and social mobility.[1]

In the last 5 years funding for the health tech market has grown extremely, allowing US$11.7 billion to flow into health tech businesses from over 30,000 investors.[2]

 

The urgent necessity for health tech development in Africa

Due to the lack of healthcare workers and infrastructure in many parts of Africa, the continent experiences around 24% of the worldwide disease burden. Many people have to travel for hours in very poor health conditions in order to get medical treatment. This leads to many costs and takes up lots of time. For this reason, there is an urgent need for health technology all over Africa. Which could help resolve some of the hurdles people struggle with daily in order to receive medical care.

 

How does health tech work?

Health tech enables both the healthcare worker and the patient to stay in their locations and connect online (telehealth) in order to give and receive medical advice. In some cases, robotic-assisted surgery is also possible. With telehealth, a patient can explain their symptoms and the healthcare worker could diagnose the condition, prescribe medication and give further instructions to the patient. The whole process is uncomplicated and saves both time and money as well as giving new insights into medicines and treatments, or improve the overall quality of care provided.[3]

 

Development of health tech worldwide

In order to resolve the problem between the lack of infrastructure and services and the need of the patients, health tech startups are popping up all over the globe and especially in Africa. According to Briter Bridges and Partech data, around $19 million of roughly $1 billion tech investment had gone into the health tech sector in Africa in 2017 alone. [4] As technology develops so does it transform the health sector all over Africa which will continue for the next years to come. At the same time, it offers an opportunity for entrepreneurs to build up their health tech startups in these regions. These startups help solve health challenges linked with poor healthcare access.

 

“According to the High Tech Health released by Disrupt Africa, there are currently 180 actively operating health-tech focussed startups across the African continent.”[5] These startups have grown by over 50% in the past 3 years with support from many investors. It is especially noticeable that half of these fundings from investors have been received during the COVID-19 pandemic 2020.[6] Although the COVID-19 pandemic has had a very hard and difficult impact on the African continent and the rest of the world, it is also a good time for the health tech sector receiving so much support. This leads to a growth in opportunities in this sector.

 

The future of health tech

Due to the digital age and growth in mobile usage and internet access all over Africa, the possibility that people accept the advanced development of health technology is quite high. Which means people would rather make use of this technology method than declining it. This could lead to the rather fast growth of health tech care all over the continent. Health tech offers big opportunities for people in Africa. From medicine distribution to using advanced technology to get access to medicine and healthcare.

In a previous blog, we discussed the usage of technology to improve medical care in Africa and how different technology methods are used to improve healthcare in Africa. Retrievable: Click here 

Keywords: health tech, Africa, healthcare, advanced technology

Sources:

  1. https://pitchbook.com/blog/what-is-healthtech
  2. https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/resources/what-is-health-tech-innovation/
  3. https://builtin.com/healthcare-technology
  4. https://vcnews.africa/healthtech-in-africa/
  5. https://www.itnewsafrica.com/2020/06/healthtech-startups-in-africa-reach-all-time-high/
  6. https://www.itnewsafrica.com/2020/06/healthtech-startups-in-africa-reach-all-time-high/

    More Sources:

https://briterbridges.com/innovation-maps Health-Tech companies in Africa – Q1 2020

https://folks.pillpack.com/the-future-of-health-care-tech-in-africa/

Afri-EU green tech Blog

Development of Green Tech Markets in Africa

Green technology or “green tech” is a technology that is less harmful to the environment when it comes to production. This means that it uses alternative resources to produce energy, etc. With this type of production comes many developments such as less waste, fewer energy costs, effective energy sources, fewer carbon emissions and toxic gasses in the environment, better water quality, more recycling which means a healthier environment. This market especially draws the attention of small and startup companies. Therefore, many investors are interested in investing in these types of markets, to contribute and make an impact in improving climate change.

What many do not know is that the green-tech market has been around since the early 19th century when producers have been trying to decrease waste production in the environment. This was only acknowledged as a “green technology” market in the last 20 years which has been developing fast all over the world since then.

Improving the Economy in Africa

In this article, we would like to focus on green technology in Africa. In 2018 the renewable energy industry has spent $2.8 billion on renewables projects in sub-Saharan Africa.[1] The African population is growing fast, the economies are developing and expanding. For this to continue growing, this development will need to be investing in more energy resources.

The African continent has access to many renewable resources like sun, wind, water, and more. Which gives it the potential and the ability to use these renewable resources to produce most of its future growth with renewable energy. Due to this, there is an increase in the green tech market development all over Africa, and many investors, bankers, project managers, etc see an opportunity to invest in the African energy markets.

The future of Electricity Access in Africa

According to a report by the International Energy Agency, renewable energy will make up almost half of sub-Saharan Africa’s power generation growth by 2040.[2] The economy in this part of Africa has been growing a lot in the last 20 years, but unfortunately due to the lack of electricity in these regions, the economic growth is also being slowed down. “The 48 Sub-Saharan countries have a combined installed generation base of only 68 GW, according to the African Development Bank Group. This is roughly equal to the generation capacity of Spain, a country whose population is less than 5% that of Sub-Saharan Africa.”[3]

Benefits of Green Tech in Africa

The more the green tech markets spread all over Africa, the more job opportunities will be created, energy costs will decrease and cities will grow more. Because green tech markets are rather suburbanized and do not require large infrastructure, it enables cities to continue growing. The green tech market can adapt to this growth easily. These types of green tech markets include solar panels, energy-saving devices, and small-scale wind and hydro energy technologies.[4]

Personal family costs in Africa can also decrease due to green tech solutions and systems. Most families in suburban African countries spend their money on food, water, energy, and transport. This means they experience a first-hand change in costs rising when it comes to electricity, oil, water, etc. Once these resources turn green, these costs will not be as high.

Keywords: Green Tech, Green Technology Market, Renewable Resources, Africa

Sources:

[1] https://greentechlead.com/renewable-energy/renewable-energy-spending-trends-in-sub-saharan-africa-35850

[2] https://ourworld.unu.edu/en/renewable-energy-in-africa-is-set-to-surge-by-2040-iea-says

[3] https://greentechnologyafrica.com/resources/

[4] https://theconversation.com/how-african-cities-can-harness-green-technologies-for-growth-and-jobs-107722

More Sources:

https://www.plunkettresearch.com/industries/green-technology-greentech-cleantech-market-research/

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/green_tech.asp

https://www.irena.org/africa

https://theconversation.com/how-african-cities-can-harness-green-technologies-for-growth-and-jobs-107722