If there is one thing that is a constant in Africa, it is a healthy dose of positivity - one of the many reasons we still thrive in the midst of chaos. Today, we journey to the land-locked country filled with precious gems, Uganda, where we speak to a young woman who is creating positive experiences out of her own negative experience.
Shamim Nabuuma Kaliisa is the 25 year-old Founder and Executive Director of Chil Artificial Intelligence Lab [Chil AI Lab], which is using technology to change the lives of women in Uganda, through early cancer detection. She describes herself as a social entrepreneur, innovator and cancer survivor.
Fondly referred to by locals as “mama cancer”, she is a 2020 Forbes 30 under 30 recipient, winner of the Takeda Young Entrepreneur Award 2018, Young African Entrepreneur Award 2018, Social Impact Finalist AWIEF Awards 2018, has received an Honourable Mention at the Maathai Impact Award 2019, and was chosen among the top 10 artificial intelligence companies founded in Africa by Google for start-ups. She has also been endorsed by the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
When it comes to innovation, Africans are not far behind. Regardless of the many issues that we face in Africa, such as lack of infrastructure or lack of access to dignified employment, we still thrive. This is as a result of continuous innovation happening in different sectors on the continent.
Today, we journey to the country of Guinea, where we meet the formidable Wiatta Thomas, a Liberian-American woman who has been living in Conakry, Guinea for the past 9 years. She has a deep passion for building wealth and boosting the African economy through social empowerment and job creation.
Wiatta describes herself as ‘a West African social entrepreneur and economic development consultant with an instinct for creating new products and programs.’ She is the co-founder of a business incubator called “Dare to Innovate”, which is the largest incubator in Guinea. With 5 offices across the country, the company has trained around 10,000 young people and have invested in over 65 businesses across the country over the last 9 years.
The African technology ecosystem is brimming with potential - potential that often feels buried in the minds of its numerous innovators who struggle to access funding to bring their ideas to life. It is also full of tenacious and hardy creators who make the most of every situation, good or bad. A great example of this has been the past year, which has been one of immense global challenges, a colossal crisis that most expected would drive Africa into extreme poverty. Instead it proved to be a fantastic year for African tech, and we’re excited to see what 2021 holds for the sector. For this week’s blog, we spoke to a few founders in the ecosystem, who had a lot to say about how to maintain this new momentum and keep pushing the growth of the sector in 2021.
Welcome to our first instalment of “A month in tweets”, where we look at the tweets that have catalysed conversations in the last month in the African tech space. These are the tweets that started some of the most important conversations or simply let us know about key milestones of some of the leading players in the ecosystem.
Twitter is indeed a powerful social platform, not only used to let out one’s personal thoughts but increasingly where important hiring and business decisions are made. From sharing news, to customer acquisitions, to meeting investors, and networking with fellow “tech bros” [as they are fondly called], Twitter is the place to be for all stakeholders in the African technology ecosystem. Here are 4 tweets we found interesting in January.
Technology that will impact Africa in the next 5 years