Attention: During the week starting 13th of November 2023, many people in Tanzania received WhatsApp messages from a foreign number. The person identified to be a representative of an agency from Tanzania.
Our agency, Tanzlite Digital was among the brand names these automated messages used. Some of the messages read:
My name is Ayanna, I am a Senior Representative Officer at Tanzlite Digital Marketing agency . Our company is recruiting part-time/full-time online employees, Our job is very simple, May I take a few minutes of your time? I would like to share a job offer for you.
And another similar message came from Vinza Masana
First of all, this is a PURE Scam. Just look at it yourself. It’s bullshit.
Our response to this fraud
Let us reiterate what we posted on all of our social media channels:
First: There are no titles or hierarchical structures at Tanzlite Digital. If you receive a message that sounds corporatey, like some senior somebody from us —that’s NOT us. We don’t have Vinza Masana, Ayanna, or any representative with a foreign number.
Second: Tanzlite doesn’t reach out to anyone. People reach out to us.
Third: We single out talent from LinkedIn only. Not in your WhatsApp app.
Fourth: There’s no one in a foreign country with a foreign number representing us.
And lastly: You’re too smart to be scammed by this automated WhatsApp message. It’s the AI version of “Ile hela tuma kwenye namba hii.”
What should you do when you receive such a scam message?
Block and report that number to WhatsApp IMMEDIATELY. Don’t even waste time to reply because it is probably not a human on the other side. Just automated messages reaching you by guessing random numbers. They will probably come with a different name and company but, you have been warned.
Digital transformation has become the new normal in every industry. The rate of technological progress accelerates year after year, bringing disruptive innovations and game-changing technologies such as virtual reality, VR, AR, artificial intelligence, AI, machine learning, and robots.
These changes are not just about using new tools to improve current services. They are about transforming businesses to make them better and more cost-effective in a new digital world.
Let’s look at how AI and robots are changing the world of work today and in the future.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence is a term that has been around since the 1950s. It is the concept of machines that can perform human tasks and complete them more efficiently than humans can. In other words, artificial intelligence is the idea of machines that act as if they are sentient.
They are able to analyze data, solve problems, and make decisions in a way that is indistinguishable from how humans would approach the same problem.
AI depends on machine learning, which is a subfield of computer science that uses algorithms to discover patterns in data and then build models based on those patterns. Machine learning is responsible for most of the AI technologies that we see in the world today.
Why Are Robots Becoming So Popular?
Artificial intelligence is boosting the use of robots worldwide, especially in manufacturing and logistics. For instance, an autonomous robot could be used to deliver your order in a warehouse, in a restaurant, or even at home. If you’re in manufacturing, you probably already use robots.
But if you have production lines that are highly automated, you may have already incorporated some AI technology into them. In many industries, robots are being used in place of human workers. It’s not because employers are heartless or intend to make people redundant but because AI and robots are simply more efficient.
Consider these examples: Retail: In a typical store, the flow of goods from different areas of the warehouse to the sales floor is a manual process. This includes the selection of products, packaging, and placement. If a store wants to try out new products or change the way things are displayed, it’s often a long, costly process. With AI and robots, the process could be automated, streamlined, and much more efficient.
Healthcare: This sector is responsible for a significant portion of the world’s medical expenses. AI and robots can improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. They can perform medical procedures that were once only done by humans.
Will AI and Robots Make You Unemployed?
Artificial intelligence and robots are being developed to work in combination with humans, not replace them. So we won’t see a time when these technologies rule the world and humans have no place in it.
The reality is that AI and robots are more likely to create jobs than reduce employment. They are going to be used to perform tedious tasks like data entry and predictable physical tasks like lifting and moving objects in a factory.
There is a risk that AI could make people more redundant. However, the number of jobs created by AI will exceed the number that is lost. With the number of AI startups growing, it’s likely that we’ll see some of these companies go global and employ many people.
The Existing Jobs That May Disappear Due to AI and Robots
Some jobs that may disappear due to AI and robots include:
Data Entry: American data entry workers are often paid less than $15 an hour. That’s less than the minimum wage in some states. As AI becomes more advanced and capable, it’s likely that your company will switch to automated processes. This could mean no more duplicate data entry or human transcription.
Translation and Language Interpretation: The translation of text, speech, and languages is a $100 billion market. This could be transformed by AI and end human translation.
Trucking: Self-driving vehicles are expected to be on our roads in the next five to 10 years. They will change the way we gain freight, move goods, and transport passengers. It’s likely that many truck drivers will lose their jobs.
Service Call Jobs: Customers have been able to get immediate service via apps and chatbots. This has led to a reduction in service call jobs in many industries, including retail, travel, and telecommunications.
The New Jobs That Will be Created by AI and Robots
According to the World Economic Forum, the jobs that will be created by AI and robots include:
Data scientists: Data scientists are needed to analyze the data collected by robots. – Ethical and social engineers: They need to create algorithms that make AI and robots work for society in a socially appropriate way.
Cybersecurity experts: AI and robots need to be protected against hacking. These experts will work to secure them against cyber threats.
Designers: Designers will be needed to create AI-powered products that are intuitive and easy to use.
Policymakers: Policymakers will be responsible for ensuring that AI and robots are used in a socially responsible way.
Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming the way we work. They are being developed to work in combination with humans, not replace them. AI will create new jobs as well as eliminate others.
There is a risk that AI could make people more redundant. However, the number of jobs created by AI will exceed the number that is lost.
As technology continues to advance and become more complex, it’s important to keep in mind that it can be a great resource for improving productivity and efficiency—but only if it’s managed properly.
African startups founded by whites may be winning the funding and PR game, but the local market (which these founders are dimly aware of) delivers the final judgment.
As for Kune Food, the markets have spoken. The startup did not do its homework. Kune Food started off on the wrong foot when its founder tried to come up with a false narrative that he launched the startup after failing to get affordable ready-to-eat meals in Nairobi. A blatant lie that immediately backfired on social media. Kune Food later apologized but the damage was done.
To me, if the problem statement was based on a lie, then Kune Food was a dead startup before it even launched. The only reason it even managed to go that far is because of a white founder. The startup overlooked a lot of market realities.
Starting with the food pricing; If you ask salaried guys in Nairobi or Dar es Salaam whether they are willing to spend $3 per meal, these are common replies you would get:
“Bro, spending $3 on a single meal is a once-in-a-while thing for the majority of us”
“If you are looking for repeat business, try to innovate something around Mihogo or Mandazi”
“Three dollars on one meal? That’s two meals at Mama Aisha’s eatery”
You may argue that the price was not an issue, which may be true. After all, Kune Food sold more than 55,000 meals and acquired more than 6,000 individual customers and 100 corporate customers. So the price was not an issue, right?
My contention is that it is easy to be fooled by first-time orders coming in droves based on the marketing hype you have done. But as soon as people start seeing the hole you are digging into their personal finances with that $3 per meal, they go back to Mama Aisha. You are easy to replace.
Another major challenge that led to their demise is a logistics issue. A B2C startup with a delivery component in Africa is destined to fail. It is not about fancy slogans with nice apps and a great e-commerce website, the real deal is logistics. Maybe it works in South Africa but in other places, the cost of running such a business is too high.
All of these of course could have been addressed if Kune Food did their homework. Not everything that looks like a business is a business. More importantly, people do not use a tech-based business for the sake of “tech”. So nice apps and websites do not work if you don’t bring new value from what people are already getting.
The lesson from Kune Food’s collapse is that we should not do our ROI and feasibility studies while seated in fancy hotels. Go and talk to real people down the street. They have the answers. Avoid “peer-reviewed” market research papers. Talk to people.
Another lesson: be grateful your business is taking longer to grow. You can only break your business by trying to move things too fast. Kune Food was in a hurry to nowhere, the hiring spree was crazy, and the marketing hype was too flashy. It is always wise to take things slow.
Markets don’t care how many rounds of funding you have nailed. You may have that privilege to easily access funds but unless you have a solution people want, your days are numbered. Business is hard.
Africa’s internet economy is growing FAST! It looks like we are a few steps away from reaching the Africa we want. The new report by Google and the World Bank’s IFC has just foretold that.
According to the report titled e-Conomy Africa 2020, Africa’s internet economy is expected to reach $180 billion by 2025. Which will account for 5.2% of the continent’s GDP.
The booming population, urbanization, improved internet infrastructures, and a growing number of tech talent are among the factors for the promising internet economy in Africa.
Currently, Africa is home to 700 000 developers and venture capital funding for startups has increased year on year for the past five years, with a record $2.02bn in equity funding raised in 2019, according to Partech Ventures Africa.
“The digital economy can and should change the course of Africa’s history. This is an opportune moment to tap into the power of the continent’s tech startups for much-needed solutions to increase access to education, healthcare, and finance, and ensure a more resilient recovery, making Africa a world leader in digital innovation and beyond,” said Stephanie von Friedeburg, interim managing director, executive vice president, and chief operating officer of IFC.
Africa’s Internet economy is transforming development on the continent by fostering economic opportunities, creating jobs, and providing innovative solutions to complex challenges, like access to healthcare, education, and finance.