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Innovators & Pioneers IV

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Bloomberg. Akon, the star rapper and renewable-energy entrepreneur, is considering an initial public offering of his Chinese-funded solar business in Africa to fuel an intercontinental expansion.

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“That’s definitely a conversation we’ve had with the financial team on how to structure as we move forward,” Akon said in a telephone interview. “We’ve been moving at a really rapid pace.” In just three years, the Akon Lighting Africa initiative has completed 203,200 small-scale solar projects including the installation of miniature grids and street lighting across 17 African countries.

The financial engine and IPO candidate behind the venture, Solektra International LLC, is owned by its three co-founders, including Akon. Pilot projects in Brazil are already underway with expansion plans for China and India, according to the singer, who said his “dream” is to eventually build a solar farm in the U.S. Back in 2004, when Akon released his debut album Trouble, the off-grid solar industry didn’t exist. World's largest aircraft completes successful test flight. It's a plane, it's a blimp … it's the world's largest aircraft.

World's largest aircraft completes successful test flight

A massive airship dubbed the Airlander 10 recently completed a successful test flight, bringing the helium-filled behemoth one step closer to commercial use. Though it looks like a massive blimp, the Airlander 10 combines technology from airplanes, helicopters and airships. It is designed to stay aloft at altitudes of up to 20,000 feet (6,100 meters) for up to five days when manned, according to Hybrid Air Vehicles, the company that built the aircraft. And at a mammoth 302 feet (92 m) long, it is the largest aircraft currently flying.

[In Photos: Building the World’s Largest Airship (Airlander 10)] Error loading player: No playable sources found On May 10, the Airlander 10 flew for a total of 180 minutes to test the aircraft's handling, improved landing technology and more, according to Hybrid Air Vehicles. This latest flight had two main objectives, beyond safely completing a takeoff, flight and landing. South Africa tests Mastercard's next-generation biometric card. Ecobank mobile app will make banking cheaper, accessible -Ecobank officials - Journal du Cameroun. Published on 10.05.2017 à 16h08 by Journal du Cameroun Share According to them, the state of the art mobile application is fast and accessible and gives better transaction incentive to the users, thereby making banking activities simpler.

Ecobank mobile app will make banking cheaper, accessible -Ecobank officials - Journal du Cameroun

African scientists are starting to benefit from big data analysis — Quartz. By increasing the volume of data that researchers can analyze and work with at any given time, data-intensive technology allows them to make bigger strides in less time in their chosen disciplines.

African scientists are starting to benefit from big data analysis — Quartz

Data scientists assist this process by providing the skills to help researchers and managers first analyze large volumes of data and then use that analysis to make effective decisions. Big data is already making a big difference in fields ranging from banking and social media to healthcare and astronomy. Data-intensive research, or big data technology, has come to Africa by way of the stars: the establishment of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) pointed to the need for the continent to be able to analyze the extremely high volumes of data to be generated by the network of telescope dishes that will ultimately be placed across remote regions of southern Africa.

Why IDiA? The SKA is a multinational project involving researchers and data scientists around the world. The power of big data. An Old Satellite Dish Found on Google Maps Is Becoming West Africa's First Radio Telescope. Ethiopia aims to become Africa's biggest manufacturing hub. Africa space programs. Wema Bank to launch first fully digitalised operations in Africa - Wema Bank, one of Nigeria’s oldest banks, says it will launch the first fully digitalised banking service in Africa in the first half of 2017.

Wema Bank to launch first fully digitalised operations in Africa -

A statement by the bank in Lagos on Tuesday quoted Segun Oloketuyi, the bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, as announcing this while presenting the bank’s audited 2016 financial results. Oloketuyi said the launch of the new service was intended to enhance the bank’s business model, improve efficiency and reduce costs. According to him, the launch, which will change the banking landscape, will offer simple, convenient and reliable banking experience to members of the public. Oloketuyi said that the bank remained committed to leading and defining how the use of technology could shape the banking landscape in Nigeria and indeed Africa. He said that although 2016 was a challenging year given the spate of economic headwinds, the bank recorded double-digit growth in gross earnings. Bertin Nahum, le franco-béninois crée des robots d’assistance à la chirurgie - AFRICA RENDEZ VOUS - L'Afrique, par des Africains.

Les Africains révolutionnent le monde des innovations et de la technologie.

Bertin Nahum, le franco-béninois crée des robots d’assistance à la chirurgie - AFRICA RENDEZ VOUS - L'Afrique, par des Africains

Bertin Nahum, franco-béninois est arrivé à créer le dispositif “Rosa”, des robots d’assistance à la chirurgie. L’homme fait beaucoup parler de lui. Déjà en 2012, la revue scientifique canadienne “Discovery Series” l’a classé au rang de 4ème entrepreneur le plus révolutionnaire au monde derrière Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg et James Cameron. il est arrivé à mettre sur pieds, une solution robotique innovante entièrement dédiée au système nerveux central (cerveau et rachis). « Nous étions initialement spécialisés dans la chirurgie du genou, avec le développement d’un robot d’assistance pour ce type d’actes.

Dangote buys Africa's largest crane. Aliko Dangote at a summit in Nigeria in 2015.

Dangote buys Africa's largest crane

(Image source :Lipservicecomm/Commons) Dangote purchased the 1250 ton crane, which was assembled in Nigeria, from XCMG Construction Machinery Co, and was announced by Barbaric on 25 March. In an interview with Leadership, Assistant President and General Manager of XCMG Construction Machinery Co, Hanson Liu, announced that they were conducting business across the continent. Le Maroc leader africain des capacités et du savoir. The millennials cashing in on Africa's internet addiction. In 2014, when Beyoncé was spotted wearing a skirt and jacket from South African brand Kisua, it sold out in days.

The millennials cashing in on Africa's internet addiction

The musician's stylist had come across the brand online. "The internet is a great leveler," says Kisua's Ghanaian founder Samuel Mensah. "The speed with which you can access markets and can generate awareness about your brand is unprecedented in the history of fashion. " The e-commerce platform sells its own clothes and collaborates with other designers to create collections for its label. It was born out of Mensah's travels around the continent as an economist. When overseas, friends would create wish lists for him. "It always intrigued me why the [African] fashion was so inaccessible. E-commerce seemed the logical solution.

Egyptian Researchers Turn Shrimp Shells into Biodegradable Plastic. By Nadine Awadalla Cairo — Researchers at Egypt's Nile University are developing a way to turn dried shrimp shells that would otherwise be thrown away into thin films of biodegradable plastic they hope will be used to make eco-friendly grocery bags and packaging.

Egyptian Researchers Turn Shrimp Shells into Biodegradable Plastic

Six months into their two-year project, the research team has managed to create a thin, clear prototype using chitosan, a material found in the shells of many crustaceans. "If commercialised, this could really help us decrease our waste... and it could help us improve our food exports because the plastic has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties," Irene Samy, a professor overseeing the project, told Reuters. The researchers buy unwanted shrimp shells from restaurants, supermarkets and local fishermen at cheap prices.

Using shrimp shells is more sustainable because it could replace synthetic materials used in plastics and cut the amount of biowaste produced by the Egyptian food industry, Samy said. Réseau ferroviaire: l’Algérien Issad Rebrab veut mettre l’Afrique sur rails. Un train qui traversera le Tchad, le Congo et l’Algérie/ Tous les détails sur le méga-projet de Rebrab. Twelve African countries doing field tests for genetically modified crops - BusinessGhana News. Africa has been reluctant in the past to adopt genetically modified food technology for crop production, but that is changing, says Steven E.

Twelve African countries doing field tests for genetically modified crops - BusinessGhana News

Cerier, a freelance international economist writing for the Genetic Literacy Project. Recent developments suggest that many African countries are prepared to overcome domestic and international opposition to GM technology, embracing it as a way of boosting their agriculture sector. Just four African countries — Burkina Faso, Egypt, Sudan and South Africa – allow the cultivation of GMO crops, specifically, Bt cotton. In Africa, only South Africa grows GM food, allowing the cultivation of GM corn and soya beans. GM opponents have urged African countries not to commercialise GM crops, saying it will put their agricultural sector in the hands of large multinational agribusinesses, hurt biodiversity, hurt small farmers and expose people to the potential health hazards of consuming GM food. A Revolutionary Genetic Experiment Is Planned for a West African Village.

ANA, Burkina Faso — This small village of mud-brick homes in West Africa might seem the least likely place for an experiment at the frontier of biology. Yet scientists here are engaged in what could be the most promising, and perhaps one of the most frightening, biological experiments of our time. They are preparing for the possible release of swarms of mosquitoes that, until now, have been locked away in a research lab behind double metal doors and guarded 24/7. The goal: to nearly eradicate the population of one species of mosquito, and with it, the heavy burden of malaria across Africa. The sorghum plant that could tackle blindness. Up to half a million children around the world are going blind every year due to a lack of Vitamin A in their diets.

According to the World Health Organization, Vitamin A deficiency, — which afflicts 250 million children worldwide — is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children and increases the risk of disease and death from severe infections. It is a public health problem in more than half the world’s nations, especially in Africa and Southeast Asia, affecting young children and pregnant women in low-income countries the hardest. In Kenya, scientists are tackling this problem by developing biofortified sorghum, a staple crop that has been genetically modified to contain higher levels of Vitamin A.

Project to introduce drought-resistant maize continues in Africa. A long-term project to introduce and develop genetically modified drought-resistant maize to Africa has been billed a success by one of it drivers, the biotechnology giant Monsanto. The Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project, up and running since 2008, was created with “a goal to enhance food security in sub-Saharan Africa,” according to the company. Under the project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Howard G. 11 African Countries Doing Field Tests For Genetically Modified Crops.

Genetically modified seeds have boosted yields for South Africa’s maize farmers. Photo: Madelene Cronjé/M&G Africa has been reluctant in the past to adopt genetically modified food technology for crop production, but that’s changing, says Steven E. Cerier, a freelance international economist writing for the Genetic Literacy Project. Recent developments suggest that many African countries are prepared to overcome domestic and international opposition to GM technology, embracing it as a way of boosting their agriculture sector.

Just four African countries — Burkina Faso, Egypt, Sudan and South Africa –allow the cultivation of GMO crops, specifically, Bt cotton. GM opponents have urged African countries not to commercialize GM crops, saying it will put their agricultural sector in the hands of large multinational agri-businesses, hurt biodiversity, hurt small farmers and expose people to the potential health hazards of consuming GM food. How Kenya's SupaBRCK Aims To Solve Africa's Internet Problems. Lake Chad and Lake Victoria have been devasted by drought over past decades, space technology and drones can help — Quartz. Nigerian and Chadian officials are seeking $50 billion for a major water diversion project to replenish Lake Chad. This is nearly twice the annual GDP of Uganda.

But it’s understandable, the lake has shrunk by nearly 90% between 1963 and today. The plan involves diverting water from the Oubangi River in Central Africa to replenish the lake. It is estimated that the feasibility study alone would cost nearly $15 million. The proposed project would also provide irrigation, energy, and transportation infrastructure aimed at stimulating economic development. Satellites Images are Helping Researchers Predict Agricultural Productivity in Africa. Why it matters to you Researchers are using new satellite technology to eliminate food insecurity, one small farm at a time. Small satellites tens of thousands of miles above Earth may help farmers in sub-Saharan Africa escape poverty and food insecurity.

Using high-resolution images, researchers from Stanford University have been able to measure and estimate crop yields with the goal to improve agricultural productivity in the region. They published their findings this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Earth-observing satellites have been used for decades, but recent advancements have enabled smaller, cheaper satellites to make more precise measurements of regions around the world. “By combining different wavelengths, we can tell a lot about plant health,” David Lobell, the study’s co-author, told Digital Trends. Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Young Ambassador Programme 2017 for Young Africans (Funded to NEF Global Gathering 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda) – Scholarship. Swahili and, soon, Zulu are now available for self learning on the Duolingo app — Quartz. Wild African elephants may not care about their step counts, but scientists who fitted two elephants with “fitbits” believe the results could change our understanding of sleep.

Le "Airbnb" du matériel agricole bientôt en Afrique de l'Ouest. We Farm Up va lancer d'ici 2018, en Afrique de l’Ouest, le concept de l'économie de partage adaptée à l'équipement agricole. Excellence Fertility Academy: Plus de 5000 professionnels formés. Avec africa-meet.com, un togolais veut connecter l’Afrique entière. (Togotopinfos.com) L’évolution des technologies d’information et de communication ainsi que l’avènement d’Internet féconde l’imagination de la jeune génération africaine.

C’est ainsi que les réseaux sociaux sont adoptés et sont devenus pour une grande majorité d’africains les nouveaux lieux de prise de parole. Meet Zenvus, a smart device redefining agriculture across Africa. Africa Data Science Association launched to champion the profession. Published on 23 February 2017 By Matshelane Mamabolo A three-day meeting of African data science professionals in Johannesburg, organised by the Africa Data Forum this week, has led to the founding of the Africa Data Science Association (ADSA), a new pan-African organisation for stakeholders from the discipline. Meet the Senegalese scientist that helped to discover new strain of HIV. 14 South African Girls Design and Develop what could be Africa’s first Private Satellite.

Stanford scientists measure African crop yields from space. The heart of Africa’s new medical school. Africa produces just 1.1% of global scientific knowledge - but change is coming. Egyptian invention cuts rice irrigation water by half. Nigeria: Govt to Deploy Drones to Protect Electricity Transmission Equipment. Africa: Why Microbes Are Key to Solving Africa's Food Security Crisis. Africa’s future lies in the hands of its scientists.

A malaria vaccine using genetically modified parasites is showing promising results — Quartz. Africa: Genetically Engineered Vaccine Prevents Malaria in Mice, Findings Show. UGA App Helps Attract Grant to Aid African Poultry Farmers - Global Atlanta. Comment Red Line veut transformer les campagnes africaines grâce aux drones - Tech. Skills revolution puts Africa on growth path. Plastic bags made from shrimp shells might help Egypt's trash problem. Local gains from African breakthrough - Agriculture - Cropping - General News. Looking back at 2016 inventions across Africa. Experts eye Africa-friendly biotechnology curriculum. Uganda Could Become the First African Nation to Regulate Bitcoin. Nigeria sets up a committee to study Bitcoin penetration. How “open source” seed producers from the US to India are changing global food production.

Experts panel created to identify emerging technologies of greatest help to Africa. Africa: Eco-Friendly Nanomembrane Removes Oil Spills. Quest to map Africa’s soil microbiome begins. Innovation Prize for Africa 2016: The 10 finalists. Africa Stepping Up Its Global Contribution to Scientific Research, Innovation. Code Week aims to train 5m African youth by 2025. Silicon Lagoon: Africa’s Tech Revolution Heads West. US-Based Renewable Energy, Data Tech Firms Attract Angolan Investors.

Vies d'expats : Hiroko Samejima, Japonaise installée en Éthiopie. Aerospace technologies application in African agriculture. African banks warm to blockchain. Can Mars' bid to publish genetic maps of historic African crops boost nutrition? Microsoft 4Afrika is supporting African IP registration and innovators across Africa — Quartz. Morocco is home to Africa's first bike-share program. Antimalarial Being Tested as Possible Ebola Virus Drug.

Scientists Hijacked Tobacco Plants to Make Malaria Drugs. Africa: From Gene Editing to Death Traps, Seattle Scientists Innovate in Race to End Malaria. L'Afrique réinvente sa propre voie du crowdfunding... E-Commerce In Africa: How To Deal With Lack Of Street Addresses? New Genetic Chip A Step Toward Diversity In African Genome Sequencing. Life. Africa's youngest billionaire banks on regional integration to boost expansion. Chapter Heads. Algeria’s richest man steps in to revive Sri Lanka’s sugar industry. Africa produces just 1.1% of global scientific knowledge - but change is coming. Synthetic rhino horn ready 'in two years' Drones launch off-grid healthcare in rural Madagascar - News from Al Jazeera. Dangote acquires gas processing company in the Netherlands. The MIT grad building Africa's first STEM school. An online Swahili-Chinese dictionary is teaching Chinese in Africa one of the continent's most widely spoken languages — Quartz.

Bringing Schools and Communities Online in Africa. Online gambling AI algorithms used to track poachers in Africa. Senegalese startup making digital skills training available to all. 28 kenyan companies nominated for African FinTech – The Exchange. Ox: The flat-pack off-road truck which could revolutionize African transport. L'Agriculture Africaine à l'heure du Big Data. 10 Blockchain Technologies Africa. African research universities to create hub of expertise. African research universities to create hub of expertise. Lagos real estate startup closes $1.2 million funding deal. South African husband & wife team make wristwatches out of wood. African Heroes and the Superpowers of Agriculture. Blockchain based Bitland revolutionising African land registry in partnership with CCEDK.

An Ambitious Genome Sequencing Project Is Tackling Africa's Nutrition Crisis. « En 2 ans, Akon a fait plus pour l’Afrique que toutes les ONG occidentales présentes depuis 30 ans » Des drones pour faciliter les échanges en Afrique. Mobile Phone Data Reveals Literacy Rates in Developing Countries. Allanblackia seed oil production (2009)