MTN pays 250 Million USD to Nigerian Government.

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An announcement was just made by , in reaction to the fine imposed on them last year, for failing to deactivate the 5.1 billion unregistered sim cards before the deadline of 11th August 2015. The announcement confirmed the payment of $250million USD, the equivalence of 50billion naira to the Nigerian Government.

The penalty was calculated at a rate of N200, 000 per unregistered sim by the Nigerian Communication Unit, landing a total of $5.2 billion as a consequence of their failure to meet the deadline. After several negotiations, the fine was reduced by 35% to $3.4billion which was later corrected to $3.9billion (25%). By this time, the stock of MTN had taken a huge hit and they decided to take legal action against the NCC.

As anticipated, following the announcement of payment and withdrawal of the lawsuit, the floodgates of MTN’s share price opened. The investors are glad that the future of MTN’s Nigerian subsidiary (which happens to be the largest) is no longer in jeopardy. MTN firmly held that their actions are a “gesture of good faith and commitment to continued efforts towards an amicable resolution”.

Do more than “Like” on Facebook!! Use emoticons!!

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Reactions have been launched by Facebook, in order to complement the like button. This new feature now lets users show their view of posts they come across. You can now make use of emoticons such as wow, sad, angry and so on. In order to add a reaction all you need to do is hold down the like button on mobile or hover over the like button on the desktop to see the image options.

Facebook tested Reactions in Ireland, Japan and Spain last year, and has received positive feedback so far. Today, it is available to everyone who uses Facebook around the world.

After a year of global research including surveys, the types of reactions people are more inclined to have been chosen. The research’s conclusion was on the basis of how people were already commenting on posts and the most used stickers.

Five African Startups compete at the Global Finals of the 1776 Challenge Cup.

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The Africa edition of the 1776 Challenge Cup took place in Nairobi, Kenya with 30 startups across the African continent, presenting their ideas and pitches for the chance to get funding and advance to the Global Finals in June.

The startups were clustered into six main categories: Education, Health, Food, Money, Transportation and Energy with many putting in amazing performances.

At the end of the competition, the startups that won appear to have been those with already established structures, including traction and a clear strategy for going to market. Three startups from Morocco (Hakeeme, GoMobile, Moldiag,), one from Kenya (Moringa Schools) and one from Ghana (Zeepay) won a trip to the 1776 Global Challenge in Washington, DC.

We wish them the Best as they move for the Finals.

Samsung SmartShoes Now Available!!

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The korean giant Samsung will soon announce at the Mobile World Congress next week the release of a pair of Samsung smart shoes. The smart shoe is developed by a startup named Salted Venture which spun out of Samsung’s Creative Lab. The shoes are embedded with sensors that can detect your balance and posture and then use that information to offer tips on improving your fitness regimen or golf swing.

The product is called Iofit, and, at least, two models are being made: one that looks like a running shoe and is meant primarily for strength workouts, and another that looks like an oxford and is meant for golfing.

Pricing will be $199 for the fitness shoes and $259 for the golf shoes, with both going for about a quarter off during crowd funding.

This is perhaps a further proof that the world is increasingly digitalized.

SnapHubr’s Ambitious Project to Share and Reuse Images Online.

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SnapHubr is an African high stock image web platform and marketplace where people simply upload and sell their images. The Company operates from the UK but focuses on Africa with its mission to change the way user-generated images are shared online, such that value is exchanged for user’s hard work by taking and uploading their images online.

In order to sell on SnapHubr, Users need to register for an account on SnapHubr.com and upon completion, they can begin uploading images. SnapHubr  handles the marketing of the images by making them available to potential buyers. SnapHubr also handles the payment process and gives a commission of 45% of each sale to  users via PayPal or bank transfer. The process is transparent such that users can monitor their image sales from their dashboard.

Snaphubr takes charge of the safety of users images. Also, the images are required to be of high quality, above 700 pixels, not pre-watermarked, and, of course, must not promote any form of nudity.

According to the founder of the company, Babajide Oluwaseun. They hope to be the next Facebook of Africa and plans are on to have an office in Africa within the next 6 months, Nigeria to be specific.

In essence, SnapHubr is telling you to upload your images to its website, worry less about marketing, and earn money from it instead of freely uploading images on social media platforms without Value.

New Vibes! Viber’s “Public Chat” Service Now Available for Africa

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Viber, one of the leading messaging and calling apps with more than 664 million unique users worldwide, announced that it has opened its latest social channel ‘Public Chats’ to partners in Africa and the Middle East. Brands, organizations, celebrities, public figures and social influencers from African countries can now join Viber’s global platform to reach a local and regional audience

Public Chats are live discussions that Viber users can follow, like and share with their community.

Public Chats are easy to follow from within the Viber app. Anyone on Viber can follow as many Public Chats as they like with the help of the search tab. Conversations are multi-media and include text, photos, audio, video, stickers, web links and geo-localization.

MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge 2016 Edition

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MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge is a Pan-African where young talents or experienced entrepreneurs have the possibility of winning over $50,000 in the total prize giveaway.

The Challenge is powered by Jumia  and the competition will bring together over 1000 entrepreneurs, students and investors, to collaborate on ways to amplify and consolidate the continent’s entrepreneurs.

The winner of the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge will win a cash prize of $25 000 towards their startup, and have access to a Facebook Start Program valued at $15 000, which includes tools and services needed to build mobile applications. The winner will also enjoy a yearlong partnership with Jumia where they will have the opportunity to work from any of Jumia’s offices across . Two runners-up will each receive US $5 000 towards their projects.

Applications for the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge close on the 27th of March, 2016 so hurry, apply now, as this could be that turn around moment your startup has been waiting for.

Social Media Week Lagos 2016 Edition.

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Lagos is a week-long conference that provides the ideas, trends, insights and inspiration to help people and businesses understand how to achieve more in a hyper-connected world.

This year’s theme is titled: The Networked African. Technology’s Impact on Africa (And How We can Harness It For Good).

In relation to this year’s theme, a bunch of the most interesting, current and valuable topics had been hand-picked, with date, time and brands who either will be sponsoring the sessions or hosting it for you.

The conference will kick off on Monday 22nd February 2016 at SMW Lagos Campus located at Landmark Center. Plot 2&3 Water Corporation Road Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.

If you are interested in attending other events you can sign up for events here => http://socialmediaweek.org/lagos/schedule/

MTN Cameroon: “We have paid the government 921 million USD from 2010 to 2014”

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As African governments keep finding new ways to tax mobile operators, MTN has seen fit to recall its many investments on Cameroonian soil.

MTN Cameroon announced that the company paid XaF 542 billion (more than 921 million USD) in various taxes to the government between 2010 and 2014.

A statement issued after a board meeting declared that MTN paid 790 million USD in taxes, duties, and royalties, to the government of Cameroon and its regulatory board, in strict compliance with the regulations in force. MTN Cameroon also paid 125 million USD to the State for the renewal of its operating licence in 2015.

MTN Cameroon also announced that 53.1 percent of its annual turnover had been reinvested in the company and local economy in the form of infrastructures reinforcement, payment of employees’ salaries, invoices of suppliers, commissions of distribution partners, not to mention the activities of the MTN Foundation which continues to receive national acclaim.

Demo Africa 2016 Moves to Johannesburg

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is a pitching event for African Startups. The 2016 Edition of the event will take place in South Africa for the first time after Johannesburg was confirmed as the location for the latest edition.

DEMO Africa has taken place in Lagos, Nigeria for the last two years, while it began it’s life in Nairobi, Kenya. The 2016 edition will take place in Johannesburg in September, with the venue yet to be announced.

The conference was initiated by LIONS@frica and exists as a platform for African tech entrepreneurs to pitch to international investors, in a myriad of sectors.

Interested parties are required to have a working product, and are now able to submit applications on the DEMO Africa website