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Africa

  • 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...

  • Nigeria’s mobile lifestyle should absolutely matter to your brand: here’s why

    Nigeria, with 125 million mobile subscribers, is not just Africa’s largest mobile market. It is also home to one of the most connected and engaged mobile populations on the continent. And as smartphones become cheaper and mobile broadband infrastructure continues to improve, the mobile phone will become even more deeply embedded in the daily lives of Nigerians. That means people in the marketing space should start thinking about the opportunities mobile will pose for them as more Nigerians spend more time on their mobile phones and join the world of mobile money and mobile broadband. MasterCard’s Digital Evolution Index research, for...

  • Vodafone’s digital school in a box will benefit 15 000 child refugees

    The Vodafone Foundation has announced an initiative called Instant Classroom, a digital school in a box. The concept, which can be set up in 20 minutes, was unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The purpose of the initiative, Vodafone says, is to help give children and young adults in poorly resourced refugee camps the opportunity to continue their education. The company says this year alone Instant Classroom will provide up to 15 000 children and young adults aged from seven to 20 with advanced teaching aids that are currently only available in a minority of schools in developed nations. Instant...

  • Yay! Apple selects South Africa as the only African flag to join emoji family

      In an effort to broaden its "emoji diversity", Apple is introducing some 300 new emoji. Developer preview builds include a range of new country flags for iOS and OS X that only includes one out of a possible 53 from Africa: South Africa. Uhm, what was that about diversity? How people of the world would exactly use our national flag and what its emoji equivalent would become shorthand for we can't quite predict. If the famous nail-painting emoji have become shorthand for "I'm not bothered" and "Haters gonna hate", our Rainbow Nation colours come to stand for something completely different. Read more: New phone...

  • Citibank to hold $100k Mobile Challenge in Africa, Europe, Middle East

    Citi, an American multinational banking and financial services corporation, has as part of its Digital Acceleration program announced that its Mobile Challenge is coming to Europe, Middle East and Africa in search of ideas which can change the way we bank. That a bank is sponsoring an initiative to disrupt the way banking is being done is further proof that banks are being left with no choice but to adapt or lose...