Week 03: Reviving the economy, How South Africans use Bitcoin, Smart Cities

A brighter economic outlook: After a turbulent 2017, South Africa’s outlook for 2018 seems bright.  The year started with Cyril Ramaphosa vowing to revive the struggling economy. The Rand hit the key support level of R12.25 on Tuesday in response to his speeches. Ramaphosa hopes to increase the global investment outlook and economic growth for the country. With more than enough opportunities for innovation, the outlook and need for entrepreneurs are better than ever. Water shortages and a decrease in the price of renewable energy are perfect opportunities for the private sector to provide solutions to infrastructure problems. Smarter cities are still a mostly untapped market, and the increased accessibility of Bitcoin continues to create opportunity for innovation.
Karin Dames


Ramaphosa vows to revive struggling economyCyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s newly elected ruling-party leader, vowed to revive the struggling economy in his speech marking the 106th anniversary of the ANC. “Our vision is an economy that encourages and welcomes investment, offers policy certainty and addresses barriers that inhibit growth and social inclusion.” Ramaphosa, a lawyer and one of the wealthiest black South Africans, said in his message of economic revival. He proposes to fight corruption, address poor performance of state-owned enterprises, changes to modernize mining, manufacturing, agriculture and finance, and to transfer central reserve bank ownership to public owned.
businesstech.co.za, citizen.co.za, businesstech.co.za, iol.co.za

Challenge of Invention to Innovation competition (Ci2i) now open: An initiative of The Next Einstein Forum – a platform that connects science, society, and policy – made the announcement earlier this week.  The competition is open to African entrepreneurs and scientists focused on high-impact STEM research-based innovations.  A total of 15 applicants will be shortlisted from three categories, namely climate-smart innovations (including agriculture, energy and the circular economy), deep-tech innovations and personalized health.  Each candidate will have four minutes to present their pitch at the NEF Global Gathering between 26 and 28 March in Kigali, Rwanda. Winners will be selected over two rounds that include public voting via an app.
ventureburn.com, opportunitiesforafricans.com

South Africans buy cars online using Bitcoin and Pick n Pay pilots Bitcoin for payments:  With the value of cryptocurrencies continuing to rise, South Africans are buying high-value items online and are on the brink of paying for daily consumables in supermarkets using Bitcoins.  “Many sellers are willing to take a gamble with their assets in hope of a large pay-out,” says Claire Cobbledick from Gumtree. This is in line with international trends seen around the globe. Pick n Pay supermarkets are awaiting the establishment of a regulatory framework before offering customers the chance to pay for their groceries using Bitcoin wallets like Luno after a sucessful in-house pilot.
it-online.co.za, memeburn.com, techinafrica.com

A vision for Smart Cities: At the recent Consumer Electronics Show – the world’s biggest trade show for upcoming tech and trends – Smart City solutions was the focus. It is predicted that global spending on smart cities will reach $34 billion by 2020.  Ford sketches a vision for smart cities being more human-centered.  “It’s not about cities getting smarter, it’s about humans having a better day,” Ford’s Jim Hackett said in his keynote.  Ford and Autonomic aim to use innovation to build community in an open cloud-based platform connecting vehicles, third-party services, mobile applications and transport services in their Transportation Mobility Cloud to improve parking, traffic flow and goods delivery.
it-online.co.za, ventureburn.com

  • FNB ex-CEO Michael Jordaan to launch app-driven bank fin24.com
  • Here’s when South Africa is set to run out of water – and why it could be good for our economy businesstech.co.za
  • 4 big tech predictions for 2018 businesstech.co.za
  • Renewable tech to compete with fossils on price by 2020 itweb.co.za
  • Startup Mzansi Foundation is building Africa’s first digital bank for startups and entrepreneurs startupmagazine.co.za



Tackling fake news: According to Internews ‚Kenya thinks it has a fake news epidemic‘ and one startup is addressing the issue. PesaCheck (“pesa” is Swahili for money), is East Africa’s first  public fact-checking initiative to verify the financial and other statistical numbers quoted by public figures across East Africa. It is the new wave of  testing the accuracy of media reporting.
internews.org, Pesacheck.org 

Bridging the gaps with the supply chain in the pharmaceutical industry: MYDAWA, is an e-health solution that that allows its users to login and upload their doctors prescription or  browse through the different products, select them/add them to cart and checkout . “We have a vision to bridge the gaps between healthcare providers ( Drug manufacturers, doctors, pharmacists, Insurers) and consumers…,” said MyDawa Founder Neil O’Leary.The technology based service makes it possible for consumers to purchase high-quality healthcare, fitness, and wellness products from their mobile phones.
businessdailyafrica.com, aptantech.com