• Four African startups among WEF’s 100 technology pioneers of 2024

    Four african startups among wefs 100 technology pioneers of 2024 - nigeria newspapers online
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    World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Technology Pioneers community was founded in 2000 and it is composed of early-stage firms from around the globe that are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies and innovations and are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.

    The WEF provides the community with a platform to engage with public and private sector leaders and to contribute new solutions to overcome the current crisis and build future resiliency.

    The Technology Pioneers community is part of the Innovator Communities within the WEF’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

    The Innovator Communities convene the world’s leading global start-ups across different growth stages from early-stage Technology Pioneers to growth-stage Global Innovators and unicorn companies valued at more than $1 billion.

    In the first week of June 2024, World Economic Forum announced the 2024 cohort of Technology Pioneers.

    The select group of one hundred leading tech start-ups are focused on applying new breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence to develop clean energy solutions, healthcare innovation and progress in biotech, space and neurotechnology.

    According to WEF, these firms will contribute cutting-edge insights and expertise to the Forum’s global initiatives over the next two years and help scale their impact.

    This year’s Technology Pioneers cohort includes start-ups from 23 countries, with a third led by a woman chief executive.

    With a record number of applications, the focus this year is on companies with technology that made significant breakthroughs and are now on explosive growth trajectories. These include nuclear fusion, biotechnology, quantum and AI.

    Innovations which the start ups are working on can be categorised into clean technology, neurotechnology, space, new energy solutions where three start-ups from this year’s cohort take bold approaches to developing fusion technology.

    Other innovation spheres are Artificial Intelligence for HR and GenAI 2.0. WEF opined that whilst generative AI (GenAI) has gripped the world over the past 12 months, cutting-edge start-ups are now developing more advanced large language models (LLMs) with transformational applications.

    WEF stated that the companies are applying new advances in AI to develop industry solutions, including breakthrough innovations in clean energy, healthcare, biotech, space and neurotechnology.

    The 2024 Technology Pioneers cohort has particularly strong representation from the largest entrepreneurship ecosystems in the world: the United States and China, followed by India, which this year has more start-ups than ever before.

    A breakdown of the 100 start-ups show that sub-Saharan Africa has four companies, ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) has 4 firms, Europe has twenty firms; China has eleven; Japan has two firms; Republic of Korea and North Asia have three firms; South Asia has a total of ten firms; Latin America has four firms; Middle East and North Africa has six firms and North America has thirty-seven firms.

    The WEF’s 2024 Technology Pioneers from the Continent of Africa and based in Africa, comprise five firms namely: BasiGo from Kenya which offers bus operators in East Africa electric buses as a more affordable and reliable alternative to incumbent diesel buses.

    Another start-up from Kenya is Kapu which is building a new retail model for Africa’s mass market. From West Africa is Jetstream which is using digitisation and Artificial Intelligence to simplify the process of transporting and financing import and export cargo through Africa’s supply chains.

    Another start-up from West Africa is uLesson from Nigeria, which is offering an expansive library of curriculum-aligned video lessons and quizzes for primary and secondary school students in Africa.

    And from North Africa is the start-up Khazna from Egypt, which is building the workforce bank for the underserved across the Middle East, commencing in Egypt.

    Verena Kuhn, who is the Head of Innovator Communities at World Economic Forum stated that: “The 2024 Technology Pioneers are revolutionising industries on a global scale.

    “These innovators are leveraging the most advanced technologies to drive the radical changes needed to confront the world’s most urgent challenges.

    “We are excited to see how their groundbreaking work will enrich Forum initiatives and how they will contribute to building dynamic partnerships between the public and private sectors to solve these critical global issues.”

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