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Why Technology
Why Africa

SISTEM one-on-one with Mr. Andrew Fassnidge, Founder of Appsafrica.com: A pan African mobile and technology news site.

Andrew Fassnidge

Andrew is founder of Appsafrica.com a pan African mobile and technology news site. He is passionate about Africa with extensive experience in mobile software, mobile money, mobile insurance and VAS services across Africa. He holds an MA from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland and a degree in Marketing and Management from the Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland.

Q: Please tell us about yourself and Appsafrica. What were the reasons behind its creation? What type of services and programs do you offer?

Fassnidge: Appsafrica.com is a leading pan-African technology site, dedicated to delivering the latest news on mobile, tech, innovations and start-ups. Having worked in mobile and technology across Africa I founded Appsafrica.com to provide a pan-African view of innovation, start-ups and entrepreneurship.

Q: Innovation and apps are the cornerstones of Appsafrica. Can you elaborate and expand on this ISTG statement?

Fassnidge: I would say technology, innovation and entrepreneurship are the cornerstones of Appsafrica.com. All three are linked and interdependent on each other in driving Africa forward. Apps are just one part of mobile technology, however SMS and USSD are equally important mobile technology, driving information, education and business.

Q: Tell us about the importance of online and mobile transactions, coding and apps, in the current and future African socio-economic development.

Fassnidge: Technology is an enabler in Africa, providing real solutions to real problems. Mobile innovation has enabled millions of people to send and receive money, not out of convenience but out of necessity as over 80% do not have a bank account. The evolution of mobile money has had a positive effect, driving local economies. That said there is a long way to go as progress varies widely across 54 countries. Technology has been essential in improving education, health and farming which are all critical for long term development.

Education is also imperative for long term growth. The technology companies of tomorrow need skilled developers to build products and services. Initiatives such as Andela in Nigeria and Codex in South Africa are essential. They educate and train developers who can help build the ecosystem long term.

Q: Can you please share a few words about Appsafrica Innovation Awards?

Fassnidge: The Appsafrica.com Innovation Awards celebrate the enormous growth in mobile, technology and entrepreneurship in Africa. The awards strive to recognize the positive impact technology is having and to encourage future innovation in Africa. We have had a phenomenal response with entries from 18 countries across 3 continents. Deadline for entries is this week, so please enter now www.appsafrica.com.

Q: Finally, please offer some advice and tips for students and entrepreneurs interested in studies and careers in STEM (coding specifically), and STEM related fields such as business, economics or medicine, for examples

Fassnide: My advice would be to get some experience whether it be an internship or temporary position to get a feel of what area you wish to work in. Start-ups are a great place to learn and get good experience, while the pay might not be as good starting off versus an established company you cannot buy experience which later on is what differentiates you.

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