The Afrobytes London event held on Thursday 6th December evening at Wayra UK, with the support of ecosystem partners to connect London and the African Tech community.
Afrobytes is creating a new tech ecosystem to connect the African Tech community with other global tech ecosystems. Afrobytes builds bridges between the African Tech Industry and other International Communities.
Organised by (the amazing duo) Afrobytes co-Founders
CEO – Ammin Youssouf and MD – Haweya Mohamed
OPENING KEYNOTE: Gary Stewart
Director – Telefónica Open Future_ & Wayra – UK
Gary Stewart graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University and received his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was the executive editor of The Yale Law Journal. Gary clerked for the Chief Judge of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals before becoming an M&A and securities lawyer at white-shoe law firms in the US and Europe and before co-founding a start-up that raised over €4 million in funding before being sold in 2016. Previously Gary was an associate professor and Entrepreneur-In-Residence at IE Business School. He now sits on the board of Governors at the University of East London and supports Amos Bursary Scholars by Mentorship and employment.
Gary explained his background and journey from Ivy League corporate lawyer to entrepreneur to running a ‘tech accelerator’. Wayra UK has invested in almost 180 start-ups that have raised over $207 million from third-party investors.
In his presentation, Gary outlined several Key steps for success, emphasising the need for an entrepreneur’s self-belief (sample below).
1. Choose great co-founders (and champions)
2. Make sure you solve a real problem and validate your concept
3. Focus on product market fit and provide awesome customer service
4. Learn from your mistakes and pivot as necessary
Gary’s presentation was well received by the audience.
PANEL DISCUSSIONS ON BLOCKCHAIN, AI AND CRYPTOCURRENCY IN AFRICA
YSYS STARTUPS PITCH
AFROBYTES CREATING A NEW TECH ECOSYSTEM
PANEL: UNLOCKING BLOCKCHAIN IN AFRICA.
1. One of the main pulls of blockchain technology in Africa is the benefit from streamlining of supply-chain processes such as agriculture and energy.
2. Important blockchain value proposition is use as public ledger and smart contracts, so can be used for securitization of commodities and supply chain origination.
3. The future trend would be for mobile money transfers built into the ecosystem which would enable a higher volume of money transactions.
PANEL: WHAT CAN AI DO FOR AFRICA?
1. Real application in use for AI has been for commodities, i.e. diamonds where the source of goods need to be verified by blockchain ledger. Examples given (Retail sector) of Carrefour and Walmart who have blockchain requirements for their Tier1 suppliers.
2. Fintech companies in Africa are using machine learning for credit scores, by using data from social media, telco data etc. This applies to micro -sector and unbanked.
3. AI, ML are not stand-alone and would need to be integrated into the mobile money banking system for real gains. Recent concrete step was collaboration between Telco operators, MTN and Orange, to have a common portal and open their API’s.
PANEL: CRYPTOCURRENCY OPPORTUNITIES IN AFRICA
1. Cryptocurrency will be an important element for financial inclusion with use in the remittances sector. i.e. Foremost use in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa.
2. The best use cases will come form implementation in micro-financing with beneficial social impact.
3. However cryptocurrency adoption will also need to work with in the financial ecosystem. Use case in S. Africa has seen adoption of bitcoin for tuition fees payment.
4. Real issues (drawbacks) are poor internet connectivity and high power resources needed for mining.