The Econet Global Group has announced from Accra Ghana their partnership with American startup, Atlas AI
. The announcement was made by Econet's Founder and Executive Chairman, Strive Masiyiwa on the sidelines of the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF).
It is not very clear what the two partners will really embark on or how their partnership will work. The information available at the moment is quite vague. Strive Masiyiwa said:
This important partnership will strengthen our AI capabilities going forward in key business areas for our group, including agritech, Fintech, mobility, logistics and waste management, and will ultimately help us and several other partners in our digital ecosystem, to deliver the rewards and benefits of the 4IR (the Fourth Industrial Revolution) to the continent of Africa.
Atlas AI CEO, Victoria Coleman's remarks did not shed any better light either:
We are excited to partner Econet because I believe both our organizations are uniquely aligned in their strategic goals for impact and sustainable development in Africa and the emerging markets. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration that will deliver the benefits of AI and ML to African businesses and to their customers.
What does Atlas AI do?
The company describes itself as such:
a tech start-up in Silicon Valley that tackles the scarcity of economic data and market intelligence in developing countries. The company delivers high-resolution datasets on agricultural productivity, infrastructure, markets, and economic well-being across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The core technology integrates satellite imagery with the latest advances in AI, enabling the prediction of plot-level crop yields, household wealth and consumption, and more.
Unlike other satellite analytics companies, we are radically transparent: our methods are published in top-tier scientific journals, and we are open about the performance of our models. Atlas AI meets the critical intelligence needs of financial service providers, agribusinesses, governments, and other organizations operating in emerging markets. It is a public benefit corporation, founded by a team of professors at Stanford University, and established in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation.
Our guess is that Econet wants to leverage Atlas AI technology to better understand some of the critical sectors the group plays in such as financial services. Also, AI could help them make better quality basic decisions on stuff like the viability of deploying fiber in region X as opposed to region Y.