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Tech in 2020: Year in review

From isolation to lockdowns to social distancing, 2020 in retrospect came with its significant share of the new world order.

There was a major transition from the physical space to the virtual world, making it necessary for the least educated individual to learn a thing or two about using technology to the best of their ability.

Regardless, the year 2020 was pivotal to some significant disruptions in technology and innovation despite the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals and businesses alike.

It is exhilarating to know, that during the period when life was to come to a halt, industries, individuals, and organizations pushed back to re-build, invent, and deliver services in the best ways possible all around the world.

Also, mind-blowing tech trends emerged from the increased reliance on digitalization to service the virtual space, giving need for skills such as Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Programming, among many others.

Today, we round up some of the 2020 best inventions and innovations from Africa that made news headlines all around the world Earlier on in the year.

Also read: How Facebook’s Africa expansion could foster new tech hubs

  • Crenov8’s Smart Disinfection Gate graced the entrance of the Nigerian Consulate in Dubai joining the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 54Gene Africa’s First biotech startup unveiled its mobile laboratory to scale Nigeria’s COVID-19 test capacity.
  • Safaricom introduced the Peer to Peer (P2P) payment service to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Kenya by reducing the physical handling of money between individuals.
  • Ned Bank began the testing of its contactless payment solution in South Africa, enabling customers to simply tap their cards for payments of up to R500 without having to provide transactional PINs. Nedbank shared that the COVID-19 pandemic inspired the payment solution.

Further into the year: The rising adoption of digitalization in Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an increased dependence on Fin-Tech services in sub-Saharan Africa.

World Bank also encouraged global investment in the African tech space using digital platforms and facilitated the development of digital infrastructure by providing financial support for such projects.

Hence, the emergence of various startups in Africa. Mastercard and FASTA launched FASTAcard, The first virtual credit card in South Africa.

  • The UK department for international trade launched its ‘Tech for Growth’ program, to enhance the role of technology, in increasing access to financial services and trade opportunities between the UK and emerging economies.
  • The emergence of 5G in Africa happened with infrastructure development from global telecommunication leaders like Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Samsung, IBM, Etisalat, and Huawei. Alongside the launch of 5G enabled devices like LG’s first 5G smartphone, the Velvet, in South Africa. Apple’s iPhone 12 range with 5G, among many others.

Towards the end of the year: Africa’s first intelligent driver testing system was launched in Botswana.

  • Smart Addressing App Okhi graced the Nigerian soil to tackle postal delivery challenges in the country while O-City introduces contactless bus fare payment in Kenya.
  • Made in Africa Vault Share is Africa’s first digital social card that enables speedy storage and sharing of contact information and digital profiles of individuals to establish the maintenance of physical social distancing.
  • The extraordinary pandemic saw the launch of the Sony PS5 and then there is the surge in Cryptocurrency transactions among Africans.

From the turn of events, change is the only constant thing around the world, so it takes everyone – individuals, business leaders, and corporate organizations to be mentally prepared for what the new year 2021 has up its sleeves.

Original article on Tech Gist Africa

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