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All posts tagged "Africa"

  • Apple will donate some of its sales this shopping season to fight Aids

    Your next iPod or iTunes app could help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. The December holiday season is the most profitable time of the year. Statistics aside, have you seen what happens on Black Friday? People go absolutely ape for the latest laptops, flatscreen TVs and patio furniture. To raise money and awareness during this time, Apple -- proudly carrying the world's most popular brand title -- is having a fundraising campaign to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa after having partnered with the US-based NGO, Product (RED). For the next two weeks, a special section of the Apple's App Store called...

  • Facebook’s had to adapt its plans to give Africa free internet access

    Rumour has it that Facebook is in advanced talks with Avanti, a UK based satellite operator, regarding a project that will see it provide free internet access across Africa. The project is part of the Internet.org initiative, spearheaded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Though Facebook and Avanti have refused to confirm the rumour, the deal is expected to be announced in due course. Facebook turned to Avanti following a snub by mobile operators when Zuckerberg announced this plan earlier this year. In fact Vittorio Colao, the chief executive of Vodafone, rejected Zuckerberg’s appeal, saying there was “no reason I...

  • 9 graphs that will give you new insight into Africa’s thriving mobile landscape

    We love graphs. They are colourful, digestible and usually provide interesting, insightful data. Below are a couple of charts provided by GSMA's latest report The Mobile Economy that we thought you'd be interested in. We all know by now that mobile is a big deal in Africa. While it's great that the continent is one of the most penetrated regions in the world, it's even more interesting looking at how this technology effects people, from boosting GDPs to creating jobs and innovations. Read more: Sub-Saharan Africa will have half a billion mobile subscribers by 2020 2G connections accounted for 85%...

  • African women in tech: Nkem Begho on being geeky and manly in the tech space

    "Women in tech are thought to be geeky and manly. They are thought to have no fashion sense and probably all wear nerd glasses. I find that women in tech are perceived as unsexy, however I believe that your profession has nothing to do with how you look or who you are as a person." -- Nkem Begho Where are the women in tech? Who are the women building technology or working in technology in Africa? These questions and many more are asked on a daily basis. When it comes to technology in Africa, the general consensus is that...

  • Exit stage left: lessons from reporting Africa’s tech scene

    In the last four years I have learnt a lot about technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa. I have met Africa’s brightest and its bravest. I have walked the path of its past and seen the clearly marked walkways of its future. Erik Hersman from the iHub once told me that once you have been to deepest darkest Africa, it’s hard to ignore the opportunities for innovation. He was right, and you don’t have to search to far to find the opportunities. From Madagascar to the beautiful red sunsets of Tunisia, the opportunities lindy hop for anyone who will see...

  • IBM to launch mobile health-tracking initiative to track Ebola

    By relying on its supercomputers' brain power, IBM is going on a mission to help track Ebola as well as government-related issues in Sierra Leone -- the country currently most affected by the disease. The BBC reports that citizens can use SMS or voice calls to map out the virus and prevent it from spreading. IBM's systems would then be able to efficiently curate this data. Scheduled radio broadcasts are set to encourage...

  • Airtel partners with Kenya Revenue Authority to allow for tax payments on mobile

    Airtel Kenya has partnered with Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). The partnership will make it possible for Kenyan citizens to make tax payments of up to KES 140 000 per day through the Airtel Money Service. The taxman is strict, some may even go on to say that at times mean, unnecessarily so. Either way the universal agreement is that however passionate you want to cheat on someone, let it not, even if the feeling is strong, be the taxman. It has been proven over and over again that nobody cheats the taxman and gets away with it. But giving...

  • MTN’s results a mixed bag: subscribers, data up, revenues down

    MTN Group, Africa's largest mobile operator, reported a growth in quarterly subscribers on Thursday. The increase is not huge by any means but it is still impressive considering that the cellular faced tough competition as well as earlier this year battling stringent new rules in some markets. Of particular worry was the decision by the Nigerian telecommunications regulator to fine the country's three biggest mobile operators, including MTN, for the quality of their service and prohibited them from selling new SIM cards in March. MTN said the growth of subscribers increased by two percent over the three months ending...

  • Google Street View enables humans to hang out with their blood-related chimpanzees

    There is not a place Google has not taken us human beings, be it for education or leisure. It appears that Google wants to take us from Angkor to some of the greatest art galleries in the world to the Pyramids of Giza and all around the world. And now Google is taking us to the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, Africa, a park to a population of over 100 wild chimpanzees. Also living in the park is a chimpanzee named Google. This is part of Google's recent Street View “trek” 'Journey beyond the road'. These chimpanzees are...

  • Airtel partners with UNESCO for IT youth training in Gabon

    Bharti Airtel Limited, commonly known as Airtel -- an Indian multinational telecommunications services company with its headquarters in New Delhi -- has launched a training programme aimed at giving new technology skills to thousands of young people in Gabon. The initiative, which will be run in partnership with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), is called “Train My Generation: Gabon 5 000” and will be stretched out over a period of three years. For UNESCO, the initiative is ground-breaking. It's the first time it has formed such a partnership with a private organisation in Sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative...

  • African women in tech: Emma Kaye on changing the conversation around women

    "In my experience, women tend to create a collective around them and then it is 'lets go into battle together'. For me, it is this type of approach, collaboration, collective thinking that is useful in this industry, an industry full of innovation." -- Emma Kaye. Where are the women in tech? Who are the women building technology or working in technology in Africa? These questions and many more are asked on a daily basis. When it comes to technology in Africa, the general consensus is that women are not present. We beg to differ. Africa has a range of women working...

  • WeChat cannot succeed in Africa if it holds tight to its Chinese legacy

    WeChat is blazing around the globe caring very little of what is in its path. In the last year, the platform's global launch has seen it begin to weave itself into the fabric of Africa's tech ecosystem and platforms of choice. I recently started using the platform. Before now, it held no real appeal for me -- none of the people I would ordinarily IM with are on the platform and sharing seemed futile if my crowd wasn't there to share with. That said, the platform has managed to attract a fair number of users, but what are they doing...

  • Fiber-optic cable to increase Africa’s mobile coverage by 20% in 2015

    We all know Africa has a massive mobile population, right? Well, recent efforts will see a massive increase in internet coverage for this fast-growing population. Telecom operator Angola Cables has just announced an investment of US$100-million together with Brazil's Algar Telecom, Antel from Uruguay and Google that will increase mobile coverage to internet by 20% in 2015 of Africa's population. The Angolan telecom has already invested US$200-million in 2013 to construct a submarine cable from Africa across the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil. “The new cable route will be 10,556 km long and have six fiber pairs. According to estimations, it will...

  • PWC’s Danie Fölscher chats to Ventureburn about the winning formula for African startups and innovation

    If you've been taking a sabbatical from Ventureburn within the last few weeks, you've probably missed out on the news of PWC's Vision to Reality Awards. A first for South Africa, the startup accelerator saw 10 tech startups partake in a three-month mentorship programme and showcase their ideas. Impressive transaction authentication service Entersekt came up top. The Vision to Reality Awards in South Africa is merely the tip of the iceberg. Brewing below is an ecosystem with internationally acclaimed innovations as well as those that fit into the unique local environments. Ventureburn had a chat with PWC Partner in Charge...

  • How is the internet improving people’s lives in Africa? [T4A]

    There are five key characteristics reflecting how the internet has "greatly improved" people's lives in Africa, so says research conducted by On Device Research. The company, which presented its findings of a survey conducted recently, addressed some key consumption patterns for audiences in Africa and how the internet has changed their lives and the ways they consume content. "The data is representative of mobile internet users. That means that in the UK it is all smartphones whereas in the African markets the vast majority are feature phone users," said Alistair Hill of On Device told the audiences at the Tech4Africa conference,...