This course is designed to magnify the lecturer’s delivery of core general management and drive engagement with advanced technology topics. Lecturers will be able to experiment with alternative teaching techniques and glean additional essential insight and research studies best practices.
The Microsoft Africa Development Centre (ADC) and Microsoft Leap are delighted to launch an inaugural workshop intentionally designed for university lecturers, proficient in leading technology-focused courses. University lecturers will be provided with an opportunity to engage with fellow educators in skill enhancement modules and identify best practices to incorporate into their curriculum.
The 12-week program, which begins on March 6th, will use a hybrid classroom model and practical training to provide instructors with a better understanding of industry requirements and inspire a curriculum change that will align university classrooms with the needs of the technology industry.
“This program is the result of collaboration on many fronts, including university lecturers and their students. The training has been designed to provide lecturers with hands-on experience with industry needs, allowing them to design effective teaching for their students in an equally practical manner. The course will also expose them to advanced topics and allow them to learn and experiment with effective teaching techniques while obtaining essential aspects of carrying out research studies,” said Catherine Muraga, Microsoft ADC Managing Director, at the program’s launch.
Yolanda Natal-Santos, Microsoft Leap’s Senior Business Program Manager says “Rooted in our culture of the growth mindset and the belief that digital skills are for everyone, we are grateful for our partnership with the Microsoft ADC, as we extend Microsoft Leap’s global reach to a region that is rich in culture and talent. The growth of our partnership with the Microsoft ADC, has provided our program with a platform to continue identifying, engaging, and aligning with changemakers in Africa, as we impact and elevate together.”
Working collectively with Engineers from the ADC, Nairobi, the program will enhance skills, based on a curriculum developed and taught by Microsoft Leap instructors.
In addition to technical programming aspects and teaching a hybrid classroom, educators will receive training on specific Microsoft tools that are already being used in classrooms around the world and can be introduced to Kenyan lecture halls. The program will also provide technical educators with the tools they need to introduce popular Microsoft resources like Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Power Platforms, and Microsoft Dynamics. “JKUAT’s Department of Computing is thrilled to participate in the Microsoft Skilling Program, as it will provide our staff with access to cutting-edge technologies and a leading global company. This opportunity to engage with industry-relevant skills and knowledge
brings great joy to the university”, Dr. Lawrence Nderu, Chairman/Lecturer, Department of Computing, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology said. “The world is changing quickly, and if we are to mould tomorrow’s leaders, we as lecturers must evolve too. Each day, there are new tools and methods being devised that are becoming increasingly crucial to operating within the tech industry.
For the sake of our students, it is best that we learn how to leverage industry-standard and emerging technology from industry leaders.”
Githinji emphasised a multi-pronged approach to improving technical education in Kenyan universities. “Improving lecturers’ capacities is line with the ADC’s digital skilling initiatives that range from elementary school-level all the way into the workplace. We held several campus tours last year, which prompted us to begin a curriculum review process with JKUAT. Improving all aspects of the training ladder is critical if we want to create a tech talent pipeline that is not only robust enough to meet today’s needs, but also propels Africa to compete on a global scale,” she added.
The first cohort of 23 educators is drawn from both private and public universities, including Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Multimedia University, and Kirinyaga University. Strathmore University, KCA University, Kabarak University, USIU- Africa, Zetech University, and Africa Nazarene University are the others.
Technology has always been a driving force in human communication. From the invention of writing to the development of printing, telegraphy, radio, television, and the internet, each technological breakthrough has enabled new forms of expression, connection, and collaboration. But technology also has an impact on how we perceive ourselves and others, how we interact with each other, relate to our environment and our culture, and how we cope with the challenges and opportunities of our times.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the ways that technology is changing the way we interact with each other, both positively and negatively. I will also offer some suggestions on how we can use technology wisely and responsibly to enhance our social and emotional well-being.
Technology is changing the way we interact with each other
Expands the scope and scale of our social networks
One of the most obvious effects of technology is that it expands the scope and scale of our social networks. We can now communicate with people from different countries, cultures, backgrounds, and interests, who we might never have met otherwise. We can also stay in touch with our friends and family members who live far away, share our thoughts and feelings with them, and support them in times of need. Technology also enables us to join online communities based on our hobbies, passions, values, or goals, where we can find like-minded people who share our interests and aspirations.
These benefits of technology are undeniable and valuable. They can enrich our lives by exposing us to new perspectives, experiences, and opportunities. They can also help us overcome loneliness, isolation, and boredom by providing us with a sense of belonging and purpose. However, technology also poses some risks and challenges to our social interactions. For example:
Technology can create a false sense of intimacy and closeness.
While online communication can be convenient and efficient, it can also lack the depth and richness of face-to-face interaction. Online communication relies heavily on text, images, and emojis, which can be easily misinterpreted or manipulated. Online communication also reduces the amount of nonverbal cues that we use to convey our emotions, intentions, and personalities, such as facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, eye contact, and touch. These cues are essential for building trust, empathy, and rapport with others. Without them, we might miss out on the subtle nuances and complexities of human communication.
Technology can distract us from our present moment and our surroundings.
While technology can help us connect with distant people and places, it can also disconnect us from the people and places that are right in front of us. How often do we check our phones or laptops when we are having a conversation with someone? Or how often do we ignore or interrupt someone who is talking to us because we are busy with something else on our screens? How often do we miss out on the beauty and wonder of nature because we are too absorbed in our digital devices? These behaviors can damage our relationships and our well-being by making us less attentive, less responsive, and less engaged.
How we can use technology wisely and responsibly
Be mindful of your screen time
It’s important to be aware of how much time you’re spending on your devices. Try setting limits for yourself and taking breaks throughout the day.
Use social media mindfully
Social media can be a great way to connect with others, but it can also be a source of stress and anxiety. Be mindful of how you’re using social media and take breaks when you need to.
Use technology to connect with others
Technology can be a great way to stay connected with friends and family who live far away. Try using video chat or messaging apps to stay in touch.
Practice digital self-care
Just like you take care of your physical health, it’s important to take care of your digital health too. This includes things like backing up your data, using strong passwords, and being mindful of what you share online.
Use technology to practice mindfulness
There are many apps and tools available that can help you practice mindfulness and reduce stress. Try using a meditation app or a breathing exercise app.
Technology is a powerful tool that can enhance or hinder our social interactions. It is also changing the way we interact with each other in many ways. Technology can create new opportunities and benefits for human communication and relationships, but it can also pose new challenges and risks. It is up to us to use it wisely and responsibly and to balance it with other forms of communication. Technology can never replace the human touch, but it can complement it in many ways.
Fintech is one of the most dynamic and innovative sectors in Africa, with hundreds of startups offering solutions for payments, lending, banking, insurance and more. In 2022, African fintech startups raised over $1.4 billion in funding, according to Disrupt Africa, and attracted global attention with acquisitions and partnerships.
Africa is a continent with immense potential for innovation and growth in the financial sector. According to the World Bank, more than 60% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa is unbanked, meaning they lack access to formal financial services such as savings, credit, insurance and payments. However, thanks to the rapid adoption of mobile phones and internet connectivity, many African entrepreneurs are developing innovative solutions to address this gap and provide affordable and convenient financial services to millions of people.
In this blog post, we will highlight five African fintech startups that are making waves in the industry and have the potential to scale up and impact millions of lives in 2023 and beyond.
Okra is a Nigerian startup that provides an API platform for connecting bank accounts to third-party applications. Founded in 2019, Okra has secured partnerships with major players like Access Bank, Interswitch and uLesson, and raised $10 million in a seed round led by TLcom Capital and Accenture Ventures. Okra enables businesses to access real-time financial data, initiate payments, verify identity and perform direct debits from customers’ bank accounts.
Moove is a Nigerian mobility fintech that provides revenue-based vehicle financing to drivers and transport entrepreneurs across Africa. Launched in 2019, Moove has facilitated over $200 million in loans for more than 10,000 drivers on platforms like Uber and Bolt. Moove leverages data and technology to assess credit risk and offer flexible repayment terms based on drivers’ earnings. Moove raised $68.5 million in a Series A round led by Speedinvest and Left Lane Capital.
Tabby is an Egyptian startup that offers a buy now, pay later (BNPL) service for online and offline shoppers in the Middle East and North Africa. Founded in 2019, Tabby allows customers to split their purchases into four interest-free installments or pay after 14 days with no fees. Tabby partners with over 2,000 merchants across various sectors, including fashion, electronics, beauty and travel. Tabby raised $50 million in a Series B round led by Global Founders Capital and STV.
Wave is a Senegalese startup that provides a mobile money service that allows users to send and receive money instantly and securely via their phones. Founded in 2018, Wave aims to make mobile money more accessible and affordable by charging no fees for transactions and offering competitive exchange rates. Wave operates in Senegal, Uganda, Gambia, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, where it claims to have over 5 million active users and process over $2.5 billion in annualized payment volume. Wave raised $200 million in a Series A round led by Sequoia Heritage and Stripe.
JUMO is a South African startup that operates a technology platform for building and running financial services for emerging markets. Founded in 2014, JUMO partners with banks, mobile network operators and fintech companies to offer credit, savings and insurance products to underserved customers. JUMO has served over 20 million customers and disbursed over $3 billion in loans across 15 markets in Africa and Asia. JUMO raised $55 million in a funding round led by Goldman Sachs.
Blockchain technology is a platform for designing financial services that can bridge many gaps in today’s virtual market system. It allows for data to be synchronized across multiple, independent stakeholders, enabling greater transparency, efficiency, and security. Blockchain technology can have a significant impact on small businesses in Africa, especially in the areas of payment solutions, access to finance, and operational improvement.
Blockchain technology can facilitate low-cost, real-time, and cross-border payments for small businesses in Africa. This can help them overcome the challenges of high fees, slow transactions, and currency fluctuations that often hamper their trade with local and international partners. For example, Stellar is a blockchain network that connects payment systems, banks, and people around the world, allowing for fast and cheap money transfers. Stellar has partnered with several African fintech companies, such as Flutterwave, Cowrie, and ClickPesa, to provide blockchain-based payment solutions for small businesses in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania.
Access to finance
Blockchain technology can also help small businesses in Africa access more funding opportunities and build a credit history. Many small businesses in Africa face difficulties in obtaining loans from traditional financial institutions due to a lack of collateral, documentation, and credit scores. Blockchain technology can enable alternative lending platforms that use smart contracts, digital assets, and peer-to-peer networks to provide loans to small businesses based on their transaction history, reputation, and social capital. For example, Bitbond is a blockchain-based lending platform that connects borrowers and lenders globally, offering loans to small businesses in Africa without intermediaries or credit checks.
Blockchain technology can also enhance the operational efficiency and productivity of small businesses in Africa by automating processes, reducing fraud, and improving supply chain management. It can enable smart contracts that execute automatically based on predefined conditions, eliminating the need for manual intervention and verification. Blockchain technology can also provide a secure and immutable record of transactions and data, reducing the risk of tampering, corruption, and theft. Blockchain technology can also improve the traceability and transparency of supply chains, allowing small businesses to verify the origin, quality, and delivery of their products. For example, Bext360 is a blockchain-based platform that tracks the journey of coffee beans from farmers to consumers, ensuring fair trade and quality control.
In conclusion, blockchain technology can have a positive impact on small businesses in Africa by providing them with more efficient, affordable, and accessible financial services and business solutions. Blockchain technology can help small businesses overcome some of the barriers they face in today’s market system and unlock new opportunities for growth and development.
Technology is one of the most dynamic and lucrative fields in the world today. If you have a passion for tech and want to turn it into a source of income, there are many ways you can do so. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most popular and profitable ways to make money with technology.
Start a tech blog or podcast
If you enjoy writing or speaking about tech topics, you can create a blog, YouTube channel or a podcast and share your insights, opinions, reviews, tutorials, or news with an online audience. You can monetize your content by displaying ads, selling sponsored posts or episodes, offering subscriptions or memberships, or creating your own products or services.
Develop an app or software
If you have coding skills or are willing to learn, you can develop your own app or software and sell it on various platforms such as Google Play, Apple App Store, Steam, or your own website. You can create an app or a software for entertainment, education, productivity, gaming, social networking, or any other niche that interests you. You can earn money by charging a fee for downloading or using your app or software, offering in-app purchases or upgrades, or displaying ads.
Teach tech skills online
If you have expertise in any tech-related field such as web development, graphic design, data science, cybersecurity, or digital marketing, you can teach others online and earn money. You can create your own online courses and sell them on platforms such as Udemy, Skillshare, Coursera, or your own website. You can also offer live coaching or mentoring sessions via platforms such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet.
Sell tech products or services online
If you have a knack for finding or creating tech products or services that solve problems or meet needs, you can sell them online and make money. You can sell physical products such as gadgets, accessories, hardware, or software on platforms such as Amazon, eBay, Shopify, or your own website. You can also sell digital products such as ebooks, audiobooks, videos, music, games, or software on platforms such as Gumroad, Sellfy, Podia, or your own website.
Freelance as a tech professional
If you have skills and experience in any tech-related field such as web development, graphic design, data science, cybersecurity, or digital marketing, you can offer your services online and work as a freelancer. You can find clients and projects on platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer.com, Toptal, or your own website. You can charge by the hour, by the project, or by the value you provide.
These are just some of the many ways you can make money with technology. The key is to find something that matches your skills, interests, and goals, and to provide value to your target market. With dedication, creativity, and hard work, you can turn your passion for tech into a profitable venture.