Cities in focus – Nairobi

By 2050, the number of people living in cities will increase by 2.5 billion. Almost 90% of those people will live in either Africa or Asia.

Today, Cairo, Lagos and Kinshasa already have populations well over 10 million, making them mega-cities. Other cities like Johannesburg and Nairobi are following suit.

Most of Africa’s urbanisation, however, will happen in medium-sized cities.

The rapid rate of urbanisation presents a unique moment for African cities. If managed well, these cities could be cradles of innovation and opportunities; however, if not, they may face long term development challenges.

Miami 2.0 in the making

“How can I help?”, this was Mayor Suarez’s response to a tweet suggesting Silicon Valley moves to Miami. Miami’s tech ecosystem had been already steadily growing over the last 15 years; the tweet just attracted the attention the city needed.

Mayor Suarez has been proactively promoting Miami as the next central tech hub. His politics are focused on developing an entrepreneurial, innovative and nurturing business ecosystem. Suarez believes that people looking to create great companies and thriving communities want two things – to feel welcome and not pay much tax. He is not only talking the talk; he is walking it.

Returning to the office sustainably

As a result of the pandemic, companies have had to adjust their work models and foresee that the future of work may differ from what was pre-pandemic. As lockdowns ease, we now have the opportunity to reimagine our workspaces and company cultures.

As a result of decreased travelling and consumption throughout the pandemic, carbon emissions have fallen, and air quality has improved. Digitalisation has spread across all industries, which has helped maintain efficiency and replicate some essential elements of in-person communication. Some of us have found that remote working provides flexibility and empowerment; others can’t wait to return to offices.

It is now coming close to the time when we need to make intelligent decisions about defining and executing a sustainable return to work. In order to do so sustainably, we need to consider our teams, environment and our business goals.

Is your company a disruptor or a constructor?

Disruptive companies enter markets to challenge and often replace industry incumbents. While they offer great scale and opportunities, they might highlight a risk to established public services if not executed properly.

Take, for example, Uber.

The gig giant’s offer was appealing to both its drivers and customers. Customers could order a taxi which cost less than most alternatives and arrived quicker. Drivers could work on a self-employed basis from anywhere, whenever they liked and use their own car.

Uber’s business model was based on recruiting many drivers to meet increased demand, at no additional cost to the company. The company started off in San Francisco and after gaining popularity and investor backing, expanded globally.

Although a success story, Uber has faced many regulatory hurdles around the world. The company has also been criticised by the taxi industry and endured backlash from both its drivers and consumers.

Growing Nigeria’s tech talent ecosystem

Nigeria has the youngest population in the world, which can reach 733 million by 2100. It also has the most prominent tech ecosystem in Africa. Yet, there is a shortage of tech talent.

According to the UN, countries with rapidly growing numbers of young consumers will be scarce in the next century. Estimates show that there will be a global shortage of more than 85 million tech workers by 2030 – an excellent opportunity for Nigeria to grow its tech talent; however, currently, 33% of the Nigerian population is unemployed.

8 London-based impact tech companies to follow

Last year, the UK ranked third in the world for impact tech investment. During the first three months of 2021, venture capital firms have invested $7.6 billion in UK tech.

Any company that addresses any one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals is categorised as impact tech, which is now one of the most sought-after investment areas.

We have selected eight very impressive London-based impact tech companies working to improve our cities, transport, food and health. Each business is sustainable and is working towards achieving our target of reaching net-zero by 2050.

Why are governments lagging behind on blockchain?

We increasingly see private sector adoption of blockchain for a variety of use cases. Visa is using blockchain to facilitate business-to-business transactions. De Beers, the international diamond corporation, is using the ledger to optimise their supply chain management. Blockchain is helping healthcare organisations improve the way medical data is shared and used. It is also helping to improve data storage and as well as gain advertising insights.

When it comes to blockchain implementation across governments, we typically see that they use blockchain to tackle specific, narrowly defined objectives on a smaller scale. Uganda’s Drug Authority, for instance, is using the ledger to handle the country’s counterfeit drug issues. The state of Illinois is experimenting with blockchain technology to strengthen the security of voter registration cards, social security numbers, birth and death certificates.

We don’t usually see governments using blockchain to streamline their entire organisation.

Exactly how bad is Bitcoin for the environment?

It is Thursday 25th March 2021, the price of Bitcoin is now $57,121. Since the start of the year, the cryptocurrency’s price has risen 99%.. According to Cathie Woods, founder of Ark Investment, Bitcoin’s value can increase between $40,000 and $400,000.

The last two months have seen a lot of discussions about Bitcoin’s impact on the environment. Elon Musk and Bill Gates have shown opposing attitudes about Bitcoin. Tesla has endorsed it by buying $1.5bn in Bitcoin, while Bill Gates has voiced concerns about the environmental damage that Bitcoin mining causes. According to Bill Gates, Bitcoin uses more energy per transaction “than any other method known to mankind” and says he would instead invest in malaria and measles vaccines than Bitcoin.

The differing opinions from the two most influential tech pioneers highlight the polarised views on Bitcoin, its complexity and its ambiguous future.