African Tech and Artificial intelligence in 2020

By March 4, 2020 News

African Tech is more rampant and wilder than ever and innovators are always coming up with new ways to solve the old problems. From avoiding banking queues to shopping, to money lending, to farming.

Amongst those innovations are those in the AI sphere, with African developers and innovators finding unique and lucrative ways to make the lives of clients and customers easier.

African tech in Banking

Technology is fully taking over the banking systems in Africa as a bevy of banks have taken to AI-powered chatbots over major social media channels to interact with their customers while making it easy for them to make any transactions. The commonest Chatbots are powered by Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp.

A very good example is the United Bank Of Africa’s (UBA) cool kid, Leo. “I am Leo, the Virtual Banker. You can find me here and ask me anything. I’m sure to respond, I’m your 24/7 chat buddy and the coolest thing is I can help you with your banking services too.”

Obviously, with the advancement of African Tech, come security worries but UBA is adamant that the security with this platform is that for every transaction, an OTP (One Time Password) is generated to the phone number that is registered on the account

Other examples – Access Bank in Nigeria operates Ada. Even the Nigerian Stock Exchange maintains a chatbot called X-Bot since 2019.


African tech in Credit and Moneylending

Banks rely on credit for effective lending with mitigated risks – credit is developed using data from those that would borrow the money, from their salary history to spending habits. Many credit rating systems in Africa do not yet have enough information on customers or ways to get it, and with the issue of financial inclusion as relevant as it is innovating ways to help more Africans do formal banking is key.

Enter Migo, a Lagos-based money-lending startup, that has developed an AI system that gathers data on potential clients, analyses the data and uses it to make informed lending decisions. Migo also works with banks to deploy the same technology to aid banks in minimizing credit risk.

Migo is a cloud-based platform that enables companies to offer credit to their customers, augmenting traditional bank and payment card infrastructure. Companies like banks, telecommunications operators and merchants integrate Migo in their apps and Migo underwrites customers to provide them with a digital account and credit line – via Migo Money 


UTU – meaning ‘Humanity” in Swahili, a Kenya-based startup, has developed impressive African Tech with an AI system that is used to improve trust –  the service operation revolves around the human aspects of congeniality, association, and consideration – understanding how people relate with one another and uses this data in their  Trust API seamlessly serves up personalized recommendations for trusted service providers on sharing platforms to drive your conversion, satisfaction, retention, and viral acquisition.

“If you can understand how people give trust, it is easy to improve and make them feel more comfortable with systems such as Siri or Amazon Echo,” writes Tech Cabal’s Abubaker Idris, paraphrasing a quote from Jason Eisen, founder of Utu.


The people at Nigerian startup Touchabl are actually pretty amazing. Their AI model is one that lets you choose to shop what you want just by simply touching it n a picture. Crazy! It’s like a magic wand, but for Pictures. It comes so much in handy when you can not identify the item by name. Now that is impressive African Technology.

 Cellulant, a Kenya-based payments company, saw it to it that people should stop purchases without trying on items – and now use filters to allow customers to try out items, like shades of lipsticks, to decide whether or not to buy them. Started with a successful telecom project in Uganda, and now:

  • Our digital payments ecosystem connects 95 banks in 13 countries servicing 34 countries & 500 mobile projects

  • Launched Mula, a consumer product in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique

  • Re-branded and launched the Cellulant e-wallet Technology to Agrikore.
  • Named as Company to Inspire Africa by the London Stock Exchange

  • Became the first Sub-Saharan Company to join Endeavour Global Entrepreneurs Network

  • Named Company of the year as the African Diaspora Awards in New York City

African Tech in Agriculture

Apollo Agriculture from Kenya is combining machine learning, geographic information sensing and soil information to aid in increasing the productivity of farmers. More and more companies are using machine intelligence to solve issues in the agriculture value chain.

Content from Luis Monzo, edited by MonkeyPesa.


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