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Africa

  • Facebook’s Internet.org is coming to Nigeria #MWA2015

    Facebook on Wednesday announced plans to launch Internet.org app next month in Nigeria. The Internet.org app encourages telecoms to provide free and affordable access to certain web services like Facebook and Wikipedia. Announcing the plan for Nigeria, head of public policy for Facebook Africa Ebele Okobi, told participants at the Mobile West Africa 2015 conference, that the imminent launch in Nigeria follows similar ones in other African countries including Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. Speaking to Memeburn on the sidelines of the conference, she added that the app could be launched on more than one telecoms network in Nigeria, making the...

  • Why Africa’s mobile games should become powerful marketing tools #MWA2015

    Even though the opportunities for them are quite vast and numerous, mobile game companies in most parts of Africa are still trying to crack the market with varying degrees of success. In a fireside chat at Mobile West Africa 2015 with Zubair Abubakar, the Nigerian game developer and co-founder of ChopUp admitted that no game company in Africa is at the same level of monetisation as their counterparts such as King's Candy Crush which makes more than US$1-million weekly from in-app sales alone. This is while the local industry continues to grow in terms of number of companies, games and...

  • Report Xenophobia maps real-time insights through SMS, social media

    Kenyan non-profit Ushahidi and online publication iAfrikan have developed Report Xenophobia to help better understand the landscape of the violent attacks taking place against foreign nationals across the rainbow nation. Ushahidi was first popularised as a tool when it crowdsourced and mapped violent attacks during the Kenya's 2007 elections. The open-source software was soon rolled out to be used during the Haiti earthquake in 2010 as well as Chile and many other humanitarian disasters. Similar to Ushahidi's other platforms, the system provides a real-time reporting and alerting tool for incidents of xenophobia across the country. Information is collected from the...

  • iROKOtv gets pay TV distribution deal

    Nigerian video streaming service iROKOtv has inked a deal with StarTimes to have two new linear TV channels, IROKO Play and IROKO Plus included on the digital TV operator's platform. The deal has the potential to substantially increase iROKOtv's reach, given that StarTimes has 4.6-million subscribers across 14 countries. Subscribers will have the choice of two Nollywood channels. IROKO Play, available in the StarTimes Basic Bouquet, will showcase classic Nollywood movies from 2007 onwards, with a brand new exclusive movie added to the schedule each month. IROKO Plus, in the StarTimes Unique Bouquet, will reportedly show premium Nollywood movies...

  • Here’s how Africa’s mobile money players fit into the global landscape

    Think Africa and technology and chances are one of the first things that come to mind is mobile money. In conference talk after conference talk, you'll hear Africa referred to as "the mobile continent". There's a good reason for that too. This year for instance, the use of mobile financial services in sub-Saharan Africa to perform tasks like pay utility bills and send money to relatives could produce an estimated US$1.5-billion in fees for mobile-money providers by 2019. Even Bill Gates reckons that “digital banking will give the poor more control over their assets and help them transform their lives...

  • 2015 African Blogger Awards deadline extended

    The 2015 African Blogger Awards is extending its deadline and will now accept entries until 16 April 2015. The competition is aimed at African YouTubers, Instagrammers, Twitter and Facebook influencers. The awards aim to expose “truly exceptional African content creators and their unique story-telling approaches”. “Our aim is to broaden the industry for bloggers in Africa and allow brands to see the value in blogging as a marketing platform,” the organisers say. The top five categories in these awards are for Africa’s Top Instagrammer, Top Twitter Profile, Top YouTuber, Top Blogger and Best Facebook Page will be awarded to entrants...

  • SMS, Facebook dominate mobile activity in 5 of Africa’s biggest economies

    People speak about Africa as "the mobile continent" so frequently that it's become a cliche. People throw the phrase around as if it explains everything, without ever really interrogating exactly what it is Africans do with their mobile devices. One attempt to change that comes courtesy of technology research outfit World Wide Worx, which has published the results of its survey of 3 500 mobile phone users in five of Africa’s major markets, namely South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Uganda. The survey reveals somewhat unsurprisingly, that there's been a rise of internet access via phones, the potential demise of...

  • 5 ways technology impacted the Nigerian elections

    Last Saturday (and Sunday in some parts of the country), Nigerians went to the polling stations to participate in the presidential election which was eventually won by four-time presidential candidate and former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. For this electoral exercise, technology was on trial as those in favour of -- and those against the deployment of technology -- in the electoral exercise anticipated the outcome of the election and how far technology would, or could, go in the country’s electoral process. 1. Rigging could be curbed Rigging during elections is a fairly popular electoral tactic in Nigeria. ‘Rigging’ is the word...

  • Kenya’s internet access continues to experience growth

    Kenya The Communications Authority of Kenya has revealed impressive data about Kenya’s internet access. According to them the number of internet users in the country has grown to reach 26.1-million. This translates to 64.3 per 100 inhabitants with access to internet. Data/internet subscriptions grew by 10.8% to reach 16.4-million during the second quarter of the 2014/15 financial year, October to December 2014. Coming as no surprise, the report reveals that the majority of users continue to access the internet through their mobile phones. The increased uptake has been attributed to the number of promotions carried out by various service providers and...

  • Trevor Noah to succeed Jon Stewart as The Daily Show host

    The Daily Show is about to get a lot more South African. Some big big shoes to fill for South African stand-up comedian Trevor Noah who has just been announced as the new show host for The Daily Show in the US. The New York Times reported that Noah is to Succeed Jon Stewart on Comedy Central's satirical comedy show. "I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor,” Stewart said in a statement to the New York Times. “He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with.” He added that he “may rejoin as a correspondent just to be...

  • This drone footage shows off Africa’s most incredible landscapes

    Relais & Châteaux Africa has uploaded a video made up of drone footage that showcases the true beauty of Africa. The footage was shot using a DJI Phantom 2 with Zenmuse H3-3D Gimal with GoPro 3+ at 2.7K with an ND filter attached. The drone captures enchanting views of Africa. As it takes flight, over different landscapes, it captures stunning visuals of Zambia, South Africa, and Botswana. Here is a list of the places featured in the video as listed in YouTube: 00:00 – 00:13: Game Drive - Morukuru Family – Madikwe Game Reserve - South Africa 00:13 – 00:20: Elephants -...

  • iHub, Goethe Institut looking for art projects to fund in Kenya

    Kenyan innovation and hacker space iHub and Goethe Institut, have formed a partnership to fund creatives who use technology in their works. The programme, which is set to kick-start in the coming months, will see two applicants awarded funds to cover the productions of the artwork that they're expected to create. The artists will also be required to exhibit the artwork in a given timeframe. The organisers say that all the work must fall under the category of digital art as defined by Goethe Institut and iHub. Read more: The intersection of art and tech: we chat to Artsy’s...

  • Smart Villages launches energy challenge to address off-grid settlements

    Smart Villages is inviting East African entrepreneurs to form teams and come up with imaginative ways of distributing and implementing new or existing energy technologies for off-grid villages. It has also said that each team should at least consist of one science and engineering student or recent graduate from an East African University. The winning applicants will earn a place in the Cambridge Development Initiative (CDI) summer 2015 entrepreneurship training course based at the University of Dar es Salaam and an opportunity to pitch its ideas for US$3 000 prize capital to help implement their idea. The competition is a...

  • M-Pesa users can now send money between Kenya and Tanzania

    Mobile money service M-Pesa is usually one of the first names mentioned when it comes to revolutionary African mobile products. It has however been largely restricted to use within the individual countries it operates in. Until now, that is. M-Pesa customers in Kenya and Tanzania can now send and receive money from each other at the same cost as sending it locally. Speaking in Dar es Salaam, Vodacom Tanzania Managing Director Rene Meza said that the large amounts of money flowing between the two countries was evidence of a market for the cross-border service. “Statistics from the World Bank,...

  • 6 things we learned from this year’s Social Media Week Lagos

    For many corporate organizations and other corporate entities, Social Media Week Lagos is the best place to reach out to social media users in Lagos. It is the convention for Nigerian social media celebrities; their own version of Comic-Con. Here's what we learned from the third edition of the event. 1. Social Media knows no boundaries Even though Social Media Week Lagos is meant to focus on social media conversations and personalities in Lagos, the event was attended by individuals from across the country, some participants actually came from outside Nigeria including very close West African countries including Ghana, and...