The IRON List - November 3, 2017

1. Industry: Africa 360

The nascent virtual reality industry in Africa is providing more than just a unique way to watch movies. Starting primarily as a tool by advertisers, VR’s use is expanding into healthcare training and the tourism market. Obstacles still in place include the creation of content to grow demand and drive sales. Experts have estimated the market to grow to $6 billion by 2020, but as of now the small yet steady growth is concentrated in one of the continent’s most developed economies - South Africa.

“What might have once seemed like a flashy but superfluous addition to an ad campaign is starting to be viewed in a more practical light. “The naysayers of VR who think it’s a fad simply don’t realize it’s useful,” says Ulrico Grech-Cumbo, CEO of Deep VR…” --Variety, “Virtual Reality Makes Real Gains Across Africa.”

“In many African markets, music and movie sales are undermined by rampant piracy and artists’ work is often used without permission or payment. This means virtual reality presents filmmakers with the opportunity to market movies directly to those who already own equipment or who can’t see the films unless they attend launches or special exhibits.” --Quartz, “Virtual reality is giving African filmmakers a new way to explore complex narratives.”

“Short of bringing people to Zambia, the experience would transport them to a rural village where they could explore the sights and sounds of a new environment. This would help people to better understand the context and purpose of Impact Network’s work and maybe even want to visit themselves.” --Futurism, “This Captivating Video Will Transport You From Your Living Room to Africa.”

“Pediatric emergencies—though relatively rare—are by their very definition severe, with doctors, nurses, and techs battling the clock and working in a much tighter window. These high-stakes, low-frequency events create an ethical dilemma: How do you properly train medical personnel and provide best-in-class care without putting patients at risk?” --IT News Africa, “VR’s Healthcare Revolution: Transforming Medical Training.”

2. Research: The Enemy of One’s Enemy…

In the wake of reports on North Korea’s economic ties to Africa, many are wondering if there’s no line African leaders are willing to cross for their own self gain. A 2016 report by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) places most of the blame on foreign countries with massive and subsequently intimidating global influence for the pervasiveness of this corruption. In a 2017 journal article, Barney Warf from the University of Kansas explores the deeper context behind why African leaders persist in corrupt dealings despite it working less in their favor and more to the advantage of foreign actors.

3. Opportunities: Paid, Volunteer and Competitive

Summer and Associate Analyst Program at Fitch Ratings

Senior Staff Accountant at OkayAfrica

Highways Resident Engineer at EWI Recruitment Limited

4. Networking: Women In Technology

The Women in Technology (WIT) Campus Behind the Scenes - Imerys incubator is scheduled for Friday, November 10th. Registration is open here.