Digital Renter Makes Major Upgrade To Its Interface: “Design for Humans”

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Screenshot of digital renter platform

In an effort to ease navigation and provide easy access to property listings, landlord and caretaker information on its platform, Digital Renter has launched a new user interface termed, “Design for Humans.” The startup launched this new interface on May 15, 2018.

Digital Renter is Silicon Mountain’s first online real estate marketplace was launched in 2017. It aimed at reducing the stress involved in the search for vacant houses and land by connecting property owners/managers with potential tenants/buyers. 

With the new UI/UX modification, the startup aims to enhance the look and feel of the Digital Renter platform.

Digital Renter UI/UX design

New UI design offers users more flexibility in navigation and property access

Besides providing more flexibility in navigation and easy access to a property, this new interface now enables users to obtain landlord and caretaker information directly from the platform. What’s more, it offers map navigations to property locations, making it easy for users to locate property themselves.

Crossing the threshold

According to Fongoh Martin, founder of Digital Renter, achieving such a feat has not been without plagues.

Fongoh Martin Tayong: Founder and CEO of Digital Renter

Fongoh Martin Tayong: Founder and CEO of Digital Renter

“In a community where a house numbering system still seems far-fetched, we were bound to encounter an enormous challenge in this direction.

‘The absence of such a system coupled with the lukewarm attitude of the population to accept technological innovations, as well as the difficulty in using the already existing real estate web platforms, was a real barrier for the team.”

Nevertheless, thanks to the reviews and observations the platform made in the last months, the Digital Renter team with help from its incubator ActivSpaces, went back to the drawing board. Their aim was to provide a working solution to these problems.

The team has been working for the past seven months to solve these problems. It has, so far, been able to scan through the town of Buea and provide information on over 120 vacancies. The platform has also helped over 100 persons in finding their dream homes.

Modifications on the user interface for Digital Renter

Major upgrades to the platform’s interface include a better structuring of the entire website to provide:

  • Faster, lighter and more dynamic loading of images to enable customers with low Internet connectivity to have a lightning speed experience.
  • A deeper search feature to enable users to search by location, house type, bedrooms, sale/rent, price range, purpose, etc.
  • More enhancements on search engines to provide better hits.

Meanwhile, with the help of a complete profile (pictures, description of properties), it is now possible to get an owner’s or manager’s phone number directly from the platform. Plus, the ability to get map directions to the location of a property, as well as, get a tour guide to the property for those who are not familiar with an area’s terrain.

With this new interface, no one is left behind. Property managers or owners can upload and advertise their property on the platform. They simply have to provide basic property information such as the property type, location, price, pictures and contact information.

Digital Renter Makes Major Upgrade To Its Interface: “Design for Humans”

Enhanced search feature facilitates user navigation

Averagely, this process takes less than 5 minutes to complete. To upload and advertise a property (house/land) for rent or sale, visit the link, https://www.digitalrenter.com/en/upload.

How it all started

In 2017, Silicon Mountain software developer, Fongoh Martin noticed a couple of problems many workers and students around Buea faced. 

First, he noticed that thousands of workers are transferred yearly to new locations. These workers usually had to search for houses to rent.  

Then, he realized that newly admitted students into universities and professional higher institutions in Buea needed to search for hostels that will suit their needs. 

However, the search in most cases is usually a tough one. Besides, house seekers are either usually not satisfied with the houses and/or hostels they found or their locations. House seekers didn’t face these problems alone, individuals in search of lands to rent or buy had the same worries. This is due to the presence of inadequate information on the existence of vacant property and real estate. 

Martin had shoved off to take a shot at finding the perfect solution to this problem. For the first months, Martin solo sailed for this solution–which, at the time, really meant alone. Then, came a team of engineers and marketers who joined him on his once lonely journey.

His search for a solution eventually paid off in the late fall of August 2017. He had successfully built an online platform to connect property owners/managers with potential tenants/buyers. He called it, Digital Renter.

Martin had created a platform where house seekers and real estate agents could search for, and easily get affordable properties.

As the country’s first online marketplace for house seekers and Silicon Mountain’s first real estate management platform, Digital Renter has a bright future as it plans to get more vacancies on their platform to help provide better information on accommodation.

The Hustler’s Digest – HTC’s Joining A Blockchain Smartphone Revolution

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The Hustler's Digest - HTC's Pioneering A Blockchain Smartphone Revolution

Today’s Quote

“The blockchain cannot be described just as a revolution. It is a tsunami-like phenomenon, slowly advancing and gradually enveloping everything along its way by the force of its progression.”
William Mougayar

Africa

NIPC launches iGuide Nigeria

The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has formally launched the iGuide Nigeria, an online guide to doing business in Nigeria.

According to a statement from the Commission, the iGuide is an easy-to-use online platform providing investors with up-to-date and pertinent information on the processes, procedures and basic costs of doing business in Nigeria.

iGuide Nigeria is a marketing tool, as information on Nigeria’s investment processes and procedures are on one platform for easy access.

Cameroon launches support program to fight against Armyworm

The fall of Armyworm this year has disrupted the production of food and Agriculture in Cameroon. The fear of this ragging the country’s economy backward is inevitable. In order to stop the worm attack and further damage, the government has implemented an 18 months program.

According to Louisette Clemence Bamzok, in charge of agriculture development at the ministry of agriculture and rural development, Armyworm has destroyed about 75% of the country’s cereal production.

The programme is to help fight against the worm and of course, provide jobs for farmers. Also, it will give them knowledge of how to tackle the problem if eventually, it occurs again.      

Video of Cameroon military brutality causes online outrage

There was an online rage among English-speaking Cameroonians within the week, after viral social media video showed how security officials severely abused a suspected separatist leader. The suspect’s hands were tied behind and he was made to lie on his belly in muddy conditions. He was then kicked and his head, stamped upon by some of the gendarmes.

In a reaction to the video after multiple condemnations, the Minister of Defense, Beti Asomo, condemned the act by the gendarmes, stating that they acted “clearly out of the norms and legal techniques in such circumstances…An investigation has been opened to identify (and) where appropriate sanction the perpetrators of these acts contrary to respect for human rights,” said the minister.

This is the second time the population has launched an investigation into a case of military brutality in the course of the Anglophone crisis. The results of the first investigation into the police killing of a school child in Kifem are still not known. Other brutal killings have taken place since then without investigation. What makes this case special is the question many have been asking.

Fintech firm, Cellulant raises $47.5 million to expand operations

The Rise Fund, a private equity firm, just led a $47.5 million investment a few days ago in Cellulant, a leading Pan-African digital payments provider with operations in Kenya and Nigeria.

The Hustler's Digest - HTC's Pioneering A Blockchain Smartphone Revolution

The last time an African startup made a deal of this magnitude, Flutterwave stole the headlines with its $10 million Series A funding round. Cellulant’s, however, not only surpasses that but has now become the largest involving a fintech company operating in Africa.

It however comes as no surprise that Cellulant will flush a huge part of this investment into expanding its most popular mobile platform, Agrikore, a blockchain-based mobile platform that serves more than 7 million farmers across the African continent, connecting them to the market and helping them easily sell their products to a broader spectrum of buyers.

Ghanaian shoe seller to challenge a President in a court of law

A Ghanaian shoe seller, Mr. Martin Kyere has promised himself not to rest until Mr. Yahya Jammeh, the former President of the Gambia is brought to justice. According to Kyere, the Gambia’s former leader, Yahya Jammeh, a murderer of 55 Ghanaian migrants, who were mistaken for coup plotters.

Mr. Kyere, who is the only survivor, out of the 56 migrants mainly from Ghana and Nigeria, is a key witness in an international effort to bring the former president to justice. The 55 migrants killed in July 2005, appear to be the single largest mass killing during Jammeh’s 22-year reign as president.

Yahya Jammeh is presently on exile in Equatorial Guinea since January 2017. He went into exile under a regionally-brokered deal after losing the December 2016 presidential election to Adama Barrow. Is it a case of a hunter suddenly becoming the hunted?

MEST Africa Challenge announces Regional winners

The pan-African startup, MEST has announced its Regional winners for the inaugural MEST Africa Challenge. The pitch competition was open to companies outside the MEST program and has now chosen winners from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

The Ghanaian winner was Cowtribe, a USSD-based technology that connects livestock farmers with veterinarians who can provide vaccinations, while the Nigerian winner was Accounteer, a SaaS company offering accounting and payroll management software tailored to the needs of African SMEs. Data Integrated, a payment processing company for the public transport industry, was the Kenyan winner, while the South African winner was Swift Vee, a livestock and agricultural trading platform.

These winners will pitch their companies in front of leading global investors, entrepreneurs and executives at the finals in Cape Town on June 20, during the MEST Africa Summit, for a chance to receive up to $50k USD in equity investment.

Young Senegalese designs SimulaMath to simplify the mathematics

Michel Seck, a 25-year-old mathematics teacher at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar has designed SimulaMath software. He specializes in coding, cryptology, algebra, and applications.

The Hustler's Digest - HTC's Pioneering A Blockchain Smartphone Revolution

SimulaMath software is a simulation and computation software that de-complexes mathematics, which is often treated as a tough task. It analyzes linear algebra, number theory, 2D and 3D graphs, probability, statistics, arithmetic networks, error correction codes. Its advanced calculator covers almost all domains.

This is an invention that deserves to be congratulated and encouraged.

Tunisia government opted digital technology for greater transparency  

Currently in Tunisia, the procedure in which the cases of corruption are regularly reported has caused a hindrance to transparency. In the search for greater transparency, the government has set up an electronic bidding system called Tuneps.

According to the government, the main objective of the platform is to make internal administrative procedures fluent. The platform will also help to determine responsibilities in case of fraud or corruption in the public procurement process.

Hopefully, this new tool will enable the Tunisian government to improve the efficiency of public procurement and also boost its competitiveness.  

Uganda wants to waste the resources of the poor on the already rich

The Ugandan parliament has recommended that former legislators receive a one-off payment of 100 million Uganda Shillings ($26,000; £20,000). The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga told the press that the payment was to “recognize the lawmakers’ contribution to the development of the nation”.The MPs had already been given $8,000, an amount President Yoweri Museveni described as ” too little”.

Former lawmakers had complained that it was difficult for them to get jobs. Another former MP, Angelo Drani is quoted as saying to his fellow politicians that  ” we are in the wee hours of our lives and requesting you to give us assistance”.

President Museveni is expected to grant the request and the Lawmakers who served between 1962 – 2001 are expected to benefit from the package. It is an embarrassment that former Lawmakers who are expected to have made huge investments during their careers, still depend on the state treasury, in the name of recognition. Any Lawmaker who cannot employ or get employment in one way or the other after his political mandate lacks capacity and puts the credibility of his political mandate to question.

World

Is Net Neutrality finally back?

The US Senate on Wednesday voted to keep net neutrality, weeks before the FCC finally takes it away. Net neutrality refers to the Obama-era rules that prevent Internet service providers (like Verizon or Comcast) from giving some websites a faster connection than others. The FCC had voted last year to repeal it.

The FCC’s changes after the repeal were supposed to take effect next month but supporters of net neutrality argue that getting rid of it will give providers new opportunities to invest in upgrades to their networks. They contend that the new rules will give too much power to providers by allowing them to create “fast lanes” for websites that can afford to pay more for faster service, and could mean extra fees for users.

The Hustler's Digest - HTC's Pioneering A Blockchain Smartphone Revolution

The Senate, therefore, passed a measure to keep the old net neutrality rules. Congress is now going to also vote on it, where it’s expected to concur with the Senate. This could be a talking point in midterm elections campaigns where many voters have different opinions about their Internet.

Is iZettle PayPal’s jackpot?

In a seeming bid to up its game against payment processors–Stripe and Square, PayPal have concluded plans to acquire iZettle a Swedish payments provider. TechCrunch reports acquisition of the Stockholm-based startup will be in a $2.2 billion all-cash deal.

The timing of the deal is notable. It comes on the heels of iZettle filing for an IPO earlier this month in a bid to expand. iZettle had, however, planned to raise $227 million on the Stockholm Nasdaq exchange, which would have valued the company at around $1.1 billion.

PayPal itself, however, has a market cap of around $94 billion. In its last earnings, the company had $7.8 billion in cash and investments, giving it ample funds for this deal. This is PayPal’s biggest acquisition ever. For some context, in 2015 PayPal acquired money-transfer startup Xoom for $890 million. And when it was still a part of eBay, in 2013, it acquired Braintree and its Venmo business for $800 million.

Did Trump blink on China to help ZTE or his business?

The bizarre recent tale of ZTE is getting another wrinkle. Donald Trump is already handing out concessions to China on trade rules, and the big question is why. Chinese electronics manufacturer ZTE is at the center of a burgeoning trade conflict. ZTE is near bankruptcy because the U.S. has forbidden U.S. companies to sell it vital components after it was caught red-handed violating international sanctions in Iran.

Then, Trump changed course, announcing “too many jobs in China lost.” He promised to fix the problem as part of a larger trade deal. And of course, for the sake of his personal relationship with Chinese strongman Xi Jinping. But the question is, did Trump get anything out of this negotiation for the American people?

The Hustler's Digest - HTC's Pioneering A Blockchain Smartphone Revolution

Agence France-Presse reports that Chinese state enterprises will provide $500 million in loans to a development project in Indonesia that will include Trump-branded hotels. The project stands to funnel millions of dollars into the Trump Organization, the president’s private business. With all the ambiguity, it’s, however, difficult to understand who the president is actually negotiating for.

Will you Exodus to HTC’s new blockchain-powered smartphone?

Smartphone innovation may have stuttered to a halt in recent years. But HTC has a plan to reinvent the ubiquitous device. The Taiwanese firm explained how it will utilize blockchain technology to support cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum. The phone, named Exodus, will feature a universal wallet and a built-in secure hardware enclave to support cryptocurrencies and decentralized applications.

According to HTC, users will also be able to purchase the phone itself using cryptocurrency. The firm, however, is yet to reveal the price and its release date. While HTC isn’t the first to think of a blockchain-powered phone, there’s not really much information beyond that.

But the real question is this: what will the HTC Exodus–or any blockchain-powered phone–offer that regular smartphones can’t already? You can trade cryptos with regular smartphones. You can also run DApps and privacy-oriented browsers. While you can trade specific cryptos for free on something like the HTC Exodus, you’re still going to have to pay mining fees for cryptos like Bitcoin, regardless of the type of phone you use.

HTC is clearly gunning to make a splash as its numbers have shrunk in overall proportion to a declining smartphone market. Even with rapidly increasing awareness and interest in the crypto space, however, it’s hard to imagine Exodus making much of a splash. Maybe it has something in mind that we haven’t thought of yet.

In Australia, Google’s harvesting what Facebook has been harvesting for years

Facebook isn’t the only company whose user data policies have captured global attention. Google is now under investigation in Australia for large-scale data harvesting from millions of Android smartphones without users’ permission. This data includes location information regardless of whether a user has turned off their location or does not have a SIM card.

Oracle’s report claims that the transfer of information uses up part of a user’s data quota each month. With over 10 million Android users in Australia, it raises serious privacy concerns so soon after the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Nevertheless, this is not Oracle’s first entanglement with Google. In 2010, Oracle sued Google for purportedly injecting portions of Oracle’s Java platform into Android without a licensing agreement; Oracle lost the case. More recently, Oracle funded various non-profit groups to smear Google’s name. Google and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have battled each other in the past as well. Google, however, insists that it only collects such data after a user grants permission.

A drawback to peace in the Korean Peninsula; whose fault is it?

There has been a setback in the roadmap to peace on the Korean Peninsula. The North Korean government has threatened to abandon that planned historic summit between its leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, which is set for next month in Singapore.

The Hustler's Digest - HTC's Pioneering A Blockchain Smartphone Revolution

A pothole has developed on the road to peace on the Korean Peninsula

According to Pyongyang, the U.S. wasn’t going to teleguide it into nuclear disarmament. The development is coming after the regime suddenly suspended high-level diplomatic talks with South Korea on grounds that the South is currently conducting military drills with the US.

Kim recently had a historical and well-publicised meeting with the South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month, in which the two leaders agreed to officially end the Korean War. North Korea is noted for often engaging in a charm offensive and then backtracking. However, analysts have expressed doubts if the North will abandon an opportunity to engage directly with a US president, a chance they have been seeking for a very long time.

WHO summons urgent anti-Ebola meeting

The World Health Organisation has summoned an emergency anti-Ebola meeting. The meeting aims to discuss measures to be taken in order to counter the spread of the Ebola virus across the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Congo’s government has recently identified a new Ebola case in Mbandaka, a more than one million inhabited city. This has raised fears of the disease spreading downstream to Kinshasa, the capital city, and other countries.

The WHO is preparing to distribute an experimental vaccine which is expected to be stored at extremely low temperatures. This is going to be a major challenge particularly in areas with unreliable electricity supply.

Silicon Times

 

Events

 

  • Don’t miss out on the  Sustainable Building Design and Construction  Seminar in Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Travaux Publics – ENSTP Rue Elig Efa Yaounde, Cameroon. From   May 23, 2018, 8:30 am to May 24, 2018, 8:30 pm. WAT. 
  • Attend the Douala Legal Tech Forum  At Hotel Sawa 488 Rue de Verdun Douala, Littoral; from May 30-31, 2018, 9 am- 8 pm.
  • Attend the Live Smart City Travel, Live, Work & Startup at Abuja-The World’s First. From November 23, 2018, 9:30 am to November 24, 2018, 6 pm at Sheraton Abuja Hotel, Ladi Kwali Street Abuja, Federal Capital.
  • Don’t miss out on the Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition 2018-From June 5, 2018, from 9 am to June 7, 2018, 1 pm WAT. At Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua Centre, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory Nigeria.
  • Grab an amazing opportunity to meet Human Resources Professionals in the Workshop on Writing HR Policies and Procedures, on November 12-16, 2018, 9am-5pm. At HCA Learning Centre. Acme Road, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos or MAAS Central Hotel, Eastern Bye Pass, Old GRA, Port Harcourt.Nig.
  • Attend the Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit: Conference & Exhibition on June 24, 2018, 7:30 am to June 26,  2018, 9 pm. At the World Trade Center-Ronald Reagan Building 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20004 United States.                                        
  • Take part in the Safina, MENA, Turkey & Pakistan Symposium on May 29, 2018, from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm EDT at Tower Club – Tysons Corner 8000 Towers Crescent Drive #Suite 1700 Vienna, VA 22182 United States.

Jobs

Opportunities

  • Apply for Investec Bursary Programmes 2019 for Young South Africans. Application Deadline August 31, 2018.
  • Western Union Moving Money for Better Scholarships 2018. Fully Funded to attend the 2018 One Young World Summit in The Hague, The Netherlands. Application Deadline: June 4, 2018.
  • Participate in the Crick African Network’s African Career Accelerator ( CAN ACA) awards 2018 for African Post-Doctoral researchers. Application Deadline: August 1, 2018.
  • Apply for the She Leads Africa  Accelerator Program 2018 for women-led businesses in Nigeria.Application Deadline: May 20, 2018.
  • Apply for the Nigerian Stock Exchange  Graduate Trainee Programme (GTP) 2018 for young Nigerians.Application Deadline:  May 21, 2018.
  • Grab the amazing opportunity and apply for L’Oreal South Africa  Digital Marketing Internship Program 2018.
  • Apply for the Young Money Business Pitch Competition taking place in Ghana from 26-28 July 2018. Application Deadline:  May 31, 2018.
  • Don’t miss Southern Africa startup Awards 2018 for young Entrepreneurs, bringing together amazing ideas and entrepreneurs from all over the globe.
  • Apply for AGA/ African Union Commission 2018 Regional Youth Consultations for African Youths ( Fully Funded ). Application Deadline: May 30, 2018.
  • Western Union Moving Money for Better Scholarships 2018( Fully Funded to attend the 2018 One Young World Summit in The Hague, The Netherlands. Application Deadline:  June 4, 2018.

Featured Articles

Silicon Mountain Software Developers Win Google Udacity Scholarship

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Silicon Mountain Web Developers Win Google Udacity Scholarship

Our Fears are our only Limitation Some Silicon Mountain Web-Developers who decided to face their fears by applying for the Google Udacity Scholarship have won the 2nd phase of the competition.  

Overcoming our fears is never an easy task or decision to take because it comes with a price. When we take a grasp of the price from afar, we see reasons to go for it. But when we take a look at the challenges we decide to give up.

However, a lot await these brave developers.

The Google Udacity Scholarship

The Google Udacity Scholarship is a web and Android program that is sponsored and Administered by a U.S. Delaware corporation known as Udacity Inc. This year’s scholarship program was for residents in Africa from the age of 18 and above.

 

The scholarship curtain opened on March 19, 2018, and closed on April 24, 2018. The registration was 100% online, in order to enable participants to work at their convenience.

Every next Level will demand a new you

Winning this scholarship is a sign of victory to the participants, and also a big plus to the Silicon Mountain community and the country Cameroon. It will serve as a tool to broaden their knowledge in their areas of concentration; it will help them to acquire skill sets for their specialties. Finally, it will prepare them for greater opportunities ahead.

However, just as the saying goes, “every next level of your life will demand a new you,” participants are warming up in order to give their best during the next level.

Some of the participants include; Eugen Bleck, Courage Angeh, Fomengnia Felix, Derick N. Alangi and Miriam Mot, just to name a few. Also, for participants who are not sure if they were shortlisted,visit this link to know more.

Congratulations to the winners and we wish them well as they prep for the next level.

 

 

The Hustler’s Digest – Ghana’s Mobile Money Systems Go Interoperable

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Ghana’s Mobile Money Systems Are Now Interoperable - The Hustler's Digest

Today’s Quote

“Opportunities for interoperability arise where interconnections with external parties can create greater value for customers and service providers than a single mobile money service provider can create alone. Once an opportunity for interoperability has been identified, it needs to be strategically or financially compelling for all parties involved to jointly pursue it.”

Mahindra Comviva

Africa

Startupbootcamp Africa has  partnered with Google to support startups

The Google Cloud Startup Programme intends to help startups build and scale using the Google Cloud Platform. This partnership will offer selected startups for the Cape Town-based accelerator more than US$20,000 worth of tech support.

The partnership with Google also aims to offer additional support to selected startups. These startups will be eligible for membership in the tech giant’s Cloud Startup Programme. According to Naama Yanko, membership of the programme includes US$20,000 in Cloud and Firebase credit. They equally have access to Google engineers for office hours, and in-depth one-on-one architecture reviews. Plus invitations to exclusive local events.

Applications remain open for the Startupbootcamp Africa programme, which took place for the first time last year and has been holding FastTrack events across the continent in advance of this year’s edition, which runs from August until November.

70 million Nigerians are to receive e-ID cards to boost financial inclusion

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has revealed plans to issue electronic identity cards (e-ID) to 70 million Nigerians. This is in a bid to further boost financial inclusion drive.

According to Aliyu Aziz, NIMC Director-General, there are plans to expand the collaboration by including other payments companies, with the ultimate target of covering all citizens.

Note that working with payment companies on the e-ID card can, however, have a great effect on Nigeria’s Central Bank financial inclusion drive. 

According to the Nigeria Communications Week, the issuance of the 70 million new cards is thus, expected to be completed by December 2019.

Panic in Nigerian airports as Ebola virus shows its ugly head in DR Congo

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has stepped up Ebola prevention measures at various ports of entry into the country. These screening measures have been ignited by a recent outbreak of the Ebola disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“We are using all the facilities available to detect the virus. That means the extra use of thermometers…we must take extra measures to make sure people are screened at all the entry points into the country” said NIS spokesman Sunday James, speaking to Africanews.

Africa can, therefore, no longer afford to have the Ebola nightmare. The previous experience was enough. Besides, African leaders must take all precautionary measures to avoid another Ebola scenario.  

Cameroon’s firearms shops are going digital

The increasing rate of firearms circulation in Cameroon is alarming. Cameroon’s government is, therefore, not happy about it. In this wake, firearms dealers have decided to digitize their shops any moment from now.

According to the President of the Firearms Association, Belibi Edza, these dealers will set an efficient monitoring system. Each shop owner will, therefore, make use of commercial and management software.

This new improvement, in essence, might enable the association to verify the identities and authorizations of buyers. Besides, it’ll help to reduce the rate of firearms circulation in the country.  

How ready is Cameroon opposition to face President Biya?

Cameroon is on fire. But the government is bent on organizing elections in a heavily fractured country and the opposition is not ready to take power from Mr. Biya. Many would have thought that the Cameroon opposition would use the present political crisis to close ranks and present a single credible challenger to Biya.

Unfortunately, each opposition candidate appears to be interested only in the share of the campaign funds. That’s why they have all refused to present a unified front and challenge Mr. Biya’s CPDM party. Presidential candidate for the main opposition party Joshua Osih cautions that;

“If we do not register on the electoral list, we will have seven years of additional suffering; we will have seven more years of false promises; we will have seven more years of laying of foundation stones of structures that will never be inaugurated. Massive registration will be the fatal weapon of the CPDM,”

Ghanaian government launches interoperability of mobile money payment systems

Ghana’s Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has launched the first mobile money payments interoperability system in Ghana. This phase of interoperability will, thus, allow mobile customers to move money from their mobile money accounts to bank accounts and vice versa.

The launching ceremony for the first phase of the interoperability project in Accra took place on Thursday 10, May 2018. The  elated Vice President Bawumia praised the “hardworking Ghanaians and Ghanaian institutions” whose efforts had resulted in a platform that provides “a financial transactions engine that is versatile, efficient, robust, and enhances patronage.”

This interoperability is expected to largely eliminate the difficulties associated with traditional banking services, such as the difficulty in opening bank accounts. Interoperability will also eliminate other inconveniences like the high costs associated with maintaining a bank account relative to customers’ income levels.

Algeria Nascent launches a programme to support early-stage startups

Algeria is the biggest country in Africa, with a lot of business opportunities. Sadly, the country has a big lack in business knowledge. In order to feed entrepreneurs with the skills needed to build their companies, Algeria’s Nascent Startup ecosystem has launched a programme called IncubMe.

“IncubMe is providing day-day support and individual coaching in different skills and knowledge relating to startups. We are providing all the necessary support to the entrepreneur to let them concentrate on their business,” said Kamel Oumnia, the General Manager of IncubMe. 

However, the programme will not only improve the skills of entrepreneurs in Algeria, but it will also help to improve the country’s economy. Also, Africa’s economy will not be left out, as these entrepreneurs are going to spread their businesses across Africa.

Internet penetration rate reaches 62% in Senegal

Recent research shows that out of the 15.7 million inhabitants in Senegal, more than  9.6 million are Internet users. This has led to an increase in the internet penetration rate of the country to 62.9%.

The Prime Minister Mahmoud Boun Abdallah Dionne highlighted the fact that “ICT in Senegal contributes 2% to GDP, but with the Digital Senegal Strategy 2016-2025 the Senegalese government wants to bring that share of the digital to GDP at 10%.

He further cited the government’s goal: “digital inclusion and digitization of the economy.”  A goal that he believes cannot be achieved if access to the Internet does not become popular, especially among the poorest. Prime Minister Mahmoud Boun Abdallah Dionne also invites the three Internet access providers who have recently been licensed to register in a dynamic of decreasing costs of access to the Internet.

Zimbabwe’s Vice President cries out to the press

Vice President of Zimbabwe, Constantino Chiwenga, on Thursday, debunked allegations by the public that he has been bleaching to attain a lighter skin complexion. The former chief of defense forces has increasingly been mocked by Zimbabweans on social media, as ‘Bleachy Chiwenga’ and ‘General Ambi’, following sudden changes in the color of his skin.

“It was during (the military operation) that I fell ill. I had this skin disease that affected my whole body from beneath my feet to my back and the journalists started saying I was using skin lightening creams but that was not the case. I was sick”. He explained in a family ceremony.

Public service, especially political leadership in Africa comes with its own problems. A leader has no private life of his own. Whatever he does in secret can at any time surface in public space.

World

When a giant acquires a giant

U.S. retail giant Walmart just picked up a 77% stake in India’s largest online retailer Flipkart for $16 billion. This appears to be the country’s largest acquisition and the world’s biggest purchase of an e-commerce company. Walmart plans to use Flipkart’s expertise to expand globally and assure employees that it intends to nurture and strengthen its ethos. 

Walmart might want to portray its $16 billion purchase of Flipkart as a brilliant strategic move, long-planned in secret, that would allow the U.S. retail giant to manage the transition away from big-box stores globally. Yet, the truth is that the deal represents a second-best outcome.

In its 11 years of operating in India, Walmart has failed to build up its own business, though it’s not entirely the company’s fault. It’s, however, just a reminder that India remains, in some ways, as unfriendly to foreign businesses as China.

For over a decade, successive Indian governments have denied permission to Walmart to open up its own stores. It’s, therefore, no coincidence that Walmart closed its deal with Flipkart now. Its joint venture with Bharti went bad a few years ago.

Is the US Senate bringing back net-neutrality?

A group of US Democratic senators has called for the reinstatement of the net neutrality protection and moved to force a vote on the proposal. The senators, led by Democratic leader Chuck Schummer and Edward Markey filed a discharge motion on Wednesday, which could trigger a vote to overrule the repeal of the net-neutrality Act.

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) had taken a decision to revoke internet protections put in place during the presidency of Barack Obama. But there are indications that the vote to bring back net neutrality may go through. This is seen from the fact that the motion presently has the support of 47 senators.

Political pundits had described the repeal of net neutrality, as a dangerous move, which could have far-reaching political effects beyond the shores of America. This is particularly true as most African politicians have resorted to using internet restrictions as a way of limiting free speech among opposing voices.

iZettle plans IPO to raise $227 million, valuing it at $1.1 billion

The strong climate for tech IPOs at the moment is leading more mature startups to set up plans to list. And the latest development in that direction is from Sweden. iZettle, the payments and small business financial services startup that is often referred to as the “Square of Europe,” this week confirmed plans to list on Nasdaq in Stockholm. The company plans to raise 2 billion Swedish kronor ($227 million), giving it a valuation of SEK10 billion ($1.1 billion). iZettle notes that the listing would happen sometime in 2018 but has not yet specified an exact date.

Now, the company is currently operating at a loss, but it’s growing quickly with that loss narrowing. Along with the IPO announcement, iZettle has published its most up-to-date financials. These financials confirm that iZettle is still operating at a loss, though its revenues continue to grow.

iZettle’s announcement puts to rest IPO speculation that has been swirling around the company for a while now, which reached a crescendo pitch last week. It also comes less than five months after the company raised its last funding — $47 million at a $950 million valuation. A number of strong tech IPOs so far this year point to a sympathetic climate for more to list, rather than stay private and raise more growth funds that way.

Religious Headscarves are not welcomed in the German public service

A Berlin court has upheld a decision by authorities in the city to bar Muslims women with hijab from teaching in schools. A Muslim teacher, who wears a hijab (headscarf), had approached the court after she was barred from taking classes in a primary school.

In rejecting her discrimination complaint, Justice Arne Boyer said on Wednesday that the city state’s neutrality law, which bars the wearing of overt religious symbols and clothing for state employees on duty, weighed stronger than the right to free religious expression.

“Primary school children should be free of the influence that can be exerted by religious symbols,” said Martin Dressler, a court spokesman.

ZTE opts out of life support with a pause

One of China’s largest tech companies, ZTE is ending its major operations as its conditions worsen under a U.S. ban on exports to the Chinese phone maker. In a filing, ZTE said that it has enough cash to stay afloat while pausing operations for the time being. While the news doesn’t mean ZTE is completely dead, things aren’t looking good for the phone maker either.

Last year, it pleaded guilty to illegally shipping US equipment to Iran and North Korea. ZTE agreed to a truce with the U.S., but apparently never held up its end of the bargain. So, the US responded by banning American companies like Dolby and Qualcomm from selling products to ZTE until 2025. Many saw this as a move to show China how much damage the U.S. could do. As a result, ZTE’s shares have been halted from trading for weeks.

This is definitely too much for the firm to swallow. It is, therefore, least surprising that the firm is now pausing its main operations. However, ZTE is having a little chat with the U.S. about how to reverse or modify the terms of the ban. But that will only happen, at least, seven years from now as previously agreed.

Australian startup Unlockd has had a win in its fight against Google

The English High Court on May 10, granted an interim injunction to stop Google from disabling AdMob-generated ads and removing Unlockd apps from the Google Play Store in the UK. The Australian startup applied for the injunction in April after Google threatened to withdraw Unlockd’s access to Google Play and AdMob services.

According to Google, Unlockd, which rewards users opting to view targeted ads, content and offers when they unlock their smartphone, breached a number of its policies. But Unlockd claims Google approved its app for use with AdMob on two separate occasions in 2017. On both occasions, according to Unlockd, Google acknowledged the app was “consistent with their policies.” But Unlockd has not made any changes to its app that would change that view since.

Despite this injunction, however, Unlockd says it will continue to explore its legal options to fully protect its interests both in the U.K. and globally. But it’s too early for Google to accept defeat.

Malaysian youth & middle age group appear politically docile

Malaysia now has the oldest leader in the world. 92-year-old opposition politician Mahathir Mohamad, defeated his onetime protege and incumbent prime minister, Najib Razak to win elections as new Prime Minister.

The incumbent Prime Minister Razak had, however, been engulfed in a million-dollar corruption scandal. His political defeat can, therefore, be situated within the context of the corruption scandal that dominated his second term.

The position of the oldest elected leader in the world has thus moved from Africa to Asia, after the overthrow of 94-year-old President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. Age has not been very much a problem in the election of political leaders across the borders of Africa if we go by typical example around the world.

 

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The Hustler’s Digest – Orange Cameroon Dancing to the Tune of Digital Education

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The Hustler’s Digest - Orange Cameroon Dancing to the Tune of Digital Education

Today’s Quote

“Education is a sector in transition. There are some common challenges… We’re shifting into this mould of digital pragmatism where institutions are looking at how they are changing their practices.”

Ian Fordham, Microsoft

Africa

$20m investment by MainOne in Cote d’Ivoire for provision of wholesale connectivity services

The Nigerian open-access connectivity services provider group, MainOne is to invest $20m in Cote d’Ivoire for provision of wholesale connectivity services. This is after it obtained the  C1B license from Minister Bruno Koné, the country’s Minister for Communication, Digital Economy and Postal Services. The license was to enable MainOne land its transAtlantic submarine cable and build transmission infrastructure in Cote d’Ivoire to strengthen connectivity.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of MainOne, Funke Opeke, “Cote d’Ivoire is the largest economy in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and a very important hub for business and transport in West Africa…”

Consequently, its cable landing will provide open-access infrastructure within Cote d’Ivoire and other WAEMU countries to expand internet access for all users in the region and support rapid development as well as facilitate increased non-resources trade and improve public services to aid the evolution of regional businesses.

Former Nigerian President, Chief Obasanjo blasts President Buhari

Former Nigerian president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Wednesday, made another cutting remark at the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration. According to Chief Obasanjo, President Buhari, bungled his trip to the US for talks with President Donald Trump, thereby losing another opportunity to “self-redeem.” President Obasanjo had earlier within 2018, described the Buhari administration as a total failure and that he cannot be seen trying to reinforced failure.

President Buhari had on Monday April 30th, met with the US president at the Whitehouse. President Trump during the meeting expressed concern over “…the religious violence in Nigeria, including the burning of churches and killing of Christians”. He encouraged the Nigerian State to do the needful to immediately secure communities and protect innocent civilians, including Muslims and Christians.

Political drama has continued to unfold among the different political divides in Nigeria as the 2019 general elections approach. There has consequently been increasing political bickering, accusations and counter accusations among political stakeholders relating to the performance of the Buhari administration and whether he deserves a second mandate or not.

Orange Cameroon contributes to Digital Education

Indeed, education is the key to success as Solomon Ortiz once said. In order to make education more flexible for students, Orange has decided to commit to the digitalization of Cameroon’s public Universities. This decision was signed on April 27, 2018, by the company’s managing director, Frederic Debord, and the Minister of Higher Education, Prof. Jacques Fame Ndongo.

According the minister of higher education, this commitment will help in meeting the objectives set by Cameroon’s president of distributing laptops to students. These objectives include, distance learning and a better appreciation of ICTs.

Notwithstanding, the new support by Orange will help to prove the digital standard of the public universities and this will give students more knowledge of ICT. It will also improve the love for education and will reduce the workload on these institutes.

President Paul Biya decries dissemination of fake news

As the world celebrated World Press Freedom Day on May 2, Cameroon’s President Paul Biya took to his twitter account to decry the spread of fake news. According to the President, “Disinformation, slander and lies for selfish gains, have eclipsed the dissemination of real news,”

President Biya’s statement came at a time when international rights agencies are reporting an atmosphere of fear and restrictions employed by the government to force journalists to self-censor their work for fear of detention and high fines. Many Journalists in the troubled Anglophone regions were recently arrested and locked up in line with their duty.

The President’s act of decrying the dissemination of fake news on twitter on Press Freedom Day, appears more to be a justification of his government’s anti press freedom activities.

Kenya’s Safaricom, goes into social networking

Kenya’s mobile network operator, Safaricom, is going into social networking. The mobile network operator is launching a platform that will allow its customers to send and receive money while they chat. The move is to make the messaging service, also known as Bonga (which means “to chat” in colloquial Swahili), more social.

The  Bonga chat service positions Safaricom as a social networking site, allowing its near-30 million subscribers to not only send direct messages on a singular free platform but it will also help them conduct business meetings and enhance their commercial experience. Users will have access to a special M-Pesa button that will allow them to send and request money.

Is the Kenyan President really serious about this?

Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, is seeking for forgiveness from the Kenyan people. In his first State of the nation address since winning a second term in office, President Kenyatta said the people should forgive him, if in anyway during the heated elections, he contributed in damaging the unity of the country.

Kenyatta in his speech also praised the resistant opposition leader, Raila Odinga, for accepting to collaborate with his administration towards the restoration of national unity and reconciliations. “Hon. Raila and I stood together not because we agreed on every item of politics or policy, but because we agreed that Kenya belongs to all of us.” He said.

May be the President should begin by seeking forgiveness from the families of those who died from police excesses during the post-election protests and the judges of the supreme court whom he described as “thugs” for annulling the elections. Notwithstanding, Kenyatta may just be speaking from his heart.

South Africa’s Wezart art subscription service globalizes African artists

South Africa’s Wezart has launched an artwork subscription service that will help African artists sell to the world.  It should be noted that Wezart is the South African art and fashion marketplace which helps African artists and designers sell to the rest of the world via its e-commerce platform. It focuses solely on new-age African identity in fashion and art, allowing Africans to sell their modern contemporary creations as efficiently as possible.

Early this week, the startup rolled out an artwork subscription service, which allows companies and individuals to rent artwork from artists through subscription, rent-to-buy artwork they want to own, and commission portraits. The service is the first of its kind in South Africa, and empowers artists by allowing them to make a living from their work before it is sold.

Egyptian online rental platform secures a $1 million funding

An Egyptian Startup, La Reina just raised a US$1 Million from its country’s leading tech firm, Algebra Venture.

La Reina is Egypt’s first online rental platform that was founded in 2016 by Ghada El-Tanawy and Amr Diab. The platform caters for women standing on either side of a demand and supply equation, enables women to rent their used gown to each other online.

Also, the company plans to use the acquired investment to expand its team. “We are certainly focusing on the team,” says Amr Diab, La Reina’s co-founder. In addition, La Reina has caught the attention of US-based global venture capital fund, 500 startups. “We have been watching the La Reina team since the beginning and were impressed with their innovative approach to solving a huge regional pain point,” says 500 startup partner Sharif El-Badawi.

M & A Capital  launches Reverse Factoring  as an alternative financing platform for SMEs in Senegal

On April 26, 2018 in Dakar, the Pan-African investment company M & A Capital and the Agency for Development and Supervision of Small and Medium Enterprises announced the start of the project “Reverse Factoring ” as an alternative financing platform for SMEs through a joint venture called M & A Fintech.

This initiative responds to the desire to provide an alternative to the traditional mode of financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Small and medium industries (PMI), very small businesses (TPE) and very small industry (TPI).

Financial Afrik  reveals that this project has strengthened the financing capacity of these structures for the Senegalese economy by improving capitalization, working capital requirements (BFR) and short-term cash management. This is due to the establishment of a secure tripartite platform between banks, suppliers (SMEs, PMI …) and prime contractors (large enterprises).

 

World

Why is WhatsApp founder quitting Facebook?

On April 30, WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum announced plans to leave the company, owned by parent company, Facebook. Koum has worked with Facebook and served on the company’s board since Facebook acquired WhatsApp for over $19 billion in 2014. In a Facebook post, Koum said it was “time for him to move on.” And that he’ll be taking some time off to pursue non-tech related interests.

Nevertheless, Koum, did not detail his reasons for leaving Facebook. But The Washington Post said he was departing because he has clashed with Facebook execs over the messaging app’s strategy and Facebook’s attempts to use WhatsApp personal data, monetize the service, and weaken its encryption. And this is one thing he had fought so strongly against.

The social giant had originally promised not to share WhatsApp data with Facebook. However, that changed less than two years after the acquisition, leading to ongoing disagreements over data sharing.

€3.25 million to station all your web apps in one place

Paris-based SaaS startup, Station, is setting out to build a web browser that unifies work applications in a single interface. It has now raised €3.25 million in a seed round of funding led by Accel Partners.

Founded out of Paris in 2017, Station wants to create a browser for businesses that gathers all your cloud-based web apps into a single portal. However, this will not help if you are still using traditional applications such as Office on your desktop. But there has been a snail shift to subscription-based software that’s accessed in the browser. And Station believes it has a solution to boost productivity by sidestepping browser tabs like Chrome and Firefox.

With $3.25 million in its bank, Station said it plans to accelerate its product development and grow its user base. But what this really means is, Station just solved a personal issue we all experience–the over-accumulation of tabs in our browsers.

China’s 21st richest man to purchase 70% of marriage and dating site, Baihe

Fosun International chairman and business magnate, Guo Guangchang, plans to purchase a majority stake in marriage and dating website Baihe.com for just under RMB 4 billion ($630 million).

Baihe’s shareholders entered into an agreement with Yuanhong Investment to sell 869 million shares at a price of RMB 4.6 ($0.72) per share. Guo controls 100% of Yuanhong, which will make him a controlling shareholder of Baihe when and if this deal goes through. However, there has been no indication as to when the purchase will be concluded.

The Chinese online dating market has expanded dramatically, and the sector is experiencing a period of increased growth. According to Statista, the number of users of online dating platforms will increase by 45% by 2020. In 2019, total revenue in the sector is predicted to reach RMB 4.4 billion, up 600% from 2010. Guo’s interest in Baihe, therefore, comes as no surprise.

What’s the relationship between the Nobel Prize and a sex scandal?

The Nobel Prize in Literature for this year has been postponed. The postponement came in the wake of a sexual and financial scandal rocking the Swedish Academy, the cultural institution in charge of awarding the prestigious prize.

“We find it necessary to commit time to recovering public confidence in the academy before the next laureate can be announced,” the academy’s permanent secretary, Anders Olsson noted.

Some people may have questioned the relationship between the sex and financial scandal within the academy and the Nobel award. But authorities of the Swedish academy say their action is out of respect for previous and future literature laureates, the Nobel Foundation and the general public. It’s therefore an issue of credibility.

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FasterCapital Welcomes Two Cameroonian Startups Into Its Incubation Program

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FasterCapital Welcomes Two Cameroon Startups Into Its Incubation Program

UAE-based incubator FasterCapital has selected two Cameroonian startups to take part in its incubation program. Bamai Namata’s Maibeta and Churchill Nanje’s Njorku are the two startups fortunate to enroll in FasterCapital’s acceleration program. The incubator made the announcement on their official website late in April.

The virtual incubator on April 11, had launched the second round of its incubation program to run from April 15 to July 16, 2018. Through this second round of funding, FasterCapital aimed at scouting for promising IT startups around the globe.

According to the firm, it will invest 50% seed funding of between $200.000 to $2 million in successful startups.

During this period, Cameroon-based Maibeta and Njorku applied to be incubated by the virtual accelerator. Their aim was to scale their respective startups and establish an unshakable footprint/presence across Africa.

About FasterCapital and the startups

It is an Emirati incubator that offers funding, mentorship, and networking opportunities to tech startups globally.

Launched in 2014, Maibeta Inc is a Silicon Mountain-based startup that provides technical services to individuals, companies and construction sites through its online platform, Maibeta.com.

Since 2014, the startup, under its founder Bamai Namata, has provided long-lasting solutions to the difficulties most people face with accessing and hiring very reliable technicians for technical jobs both in homes and offices.

With the aim of expanding its user-base nationally, the company aimed at raising $40.000 to realize this objective. When the incubator launched the second round of their incubation program last month, it was, therefore, an opportunity for Bamai Namata to raise $40.000 and scale across the country.

This development, however, comes just as the technical digital services startup recently launched a crowdfunding campaign. Through this campaign, Maibeta, thus, aims to raise funds to create lucrative employment to 500.000 Africans through its online platform.

FasterCapital Welcomes Two Cameroon Startups Into Its Incubation Program

Another Silicon Mountain-based startup, Njorku founded in 2011 by Churchill Nanje, is a fast-growing job search engine and aggregator that helps thousands of African job seekers find employment opportunities in locations nearest to them. Churchill Nanje and his team aim to raise $300.000 through FasterCapital to better develop Africa’s largest job search engine–njorku.com.

The incubator’s regional partner for Cameroon, Roland Fomundam,  introduced both startups to FasterCapital’s acceleration program earlier this year. FasterCapital’s regional partners represent the firm in different countries worldwide.

More than seven years ago, a small consortium of individuals launched FasterCapital, a Dubai-based virtual incubator. However, FasterCapital had a happy challenge of finding and accelerating the best IT startups through its incubation program.

Selected startups will receive mentoring, access to capital, and business resources from FasterCapital.

Maibeta Launches Crowdfunding Campaign To Create Jobs For 500k Africans

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Maibeta Launches Crowdfunding Campaign To Provide Jobs To 500k Africans

The official launch of the Maibeta Inc fundraising campaign “Web and Mobile app to employ 500.000+ Africans,” has been programmed to kick-off from Wednesday, May 2, 2018, and end on Thursday, May 31, 2018.

This major fundraising campaign aims to raise $35.000 over a period of one month to reach Maibeta’s goal of providing jobs to over 500.000 unemployed and underemployed technicians by 2022.

Maibeta will, however, conduct the fundraising program on the online platform “www.indiegogo.com” as well as locally through Mobile Money.

The firm aims to dedicate funds collected from this venture mainly to strengthening its ambition of building a strong technician network in earmarked Cameroonian cities. It will also carry out technician empowerment and skill building through training and augmenting technology development.

According to Bamai Namata, founder and Managing Director of Maibeta Inc, a startup based in Silicon Mountain Buea, “this innovation, in the long run, will enable increased demand for technicians leading to an increase in incomes and a boost in living standards.

Bamai Namata, founder and CEO of Maibeta Inc.

Bamai Namata, founder and CEO of Maibeta Inc.

It will also help foster a culture of maintenance and management of urban spaces. As such, the platform will give rise to a new breed of trusted, reliable and highly qualified Cameroonian technicians.”

Maibeta joins Cameroon’s anti-unemployment body

Prior to this initiative, there has been tremendous unemployment and underemployment of specialists in the maintenance and construction industry. Among others, several reasons account for this:

  • Inability to find customers,
  • Lack of trust from potential customers, as well as
  • Lack of adequate and novel technical skills.

Consequently, Maibeta wants to harness opportunities for this disadvantaged community of professionals through its online platform, www.maibeta.com.

Maibeta has been working on this project since 2015. The startup hopes to encourage people to participate in their fundraising campaign and take concrete steps to support this cause.

Contact Maibeta via email or phone to participate in this fundraising campaign.

Email: info@maibeta.com

Tel: +(237) 678-352-269 / + (237) 233-320-48.

 

Orange Digital Ventures Invests in Africa’s Talking

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Orange Digital Ventures Invest in Africa’s Talking

Just as changes are occurring in every part of the world, Africa is becoming an interesting place for startups and entrepreneurs. For some years now, Africa has become one of the hottest topics in the technology industry, especially mobile. In order to facilitate the growth of Africa’s entrepreneurs, Orange Digital Ventures has invested in one of Africa’s mobile technology company known as Africa’s Talking Ltd.

Orange Digital Ventures Africa investment fund’s new initiative for Africa has announced its first investment to help Africa’s Talking raise US $8.6 million alongside the IFC World Bank and Social Capital.  

What is special about Orange Digital Ventures?

Orange, the big French carrier with 240 million customers, formally known as France Telecom has bid to get closer to little startups, and appear a little cooler in the process. Orange wants to be the new black. With the aim of finding strategic funding and then working with early-stage tech business, Orange unveiled a new fund called Digital Ventures.

Orange Digital Ventures Invest in Africa’s Talking

However, Orange Digital Ventures is Orange’s early-stage corporate investment vehicle. It was created in 2015. It comprises a dedicated team of telecoms, digital and investment professionals.

Orange says that Digital Ventures will start out initially with a budget of $23 million ( €20 million). Nevertheless, this is not Orange’s first moves in the area of venture funding, nor the first work with startups.

In 2012, Orange started a $400 million fund in partnership with advertising giant, Public and French investment manager, Iris. Also, it backed individual sites like music streaming Deezer and online video company DailyMotion, to name but a few.    

Africa’s Talking Ltd.

Africa’s Talking Ltd, is a mobile technology company with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The company is working with a goal to unlock the potential of mobile communication networks across Africa. The Africa’s Talking SMS/ USSD/ Voice and Airtime APIs have more than 1000 active developers spanning corporates, tech start-ups, SMEs and even budding techies.

The company is aimed at building the best mobile technology systems that are scalable, robust, reliable and cloud-based. This is in order to enable end users to interface directly with telecommunication service providers across the continent. The company’s deep involvement with developers is to ensure that excellent service for any technical solution over mobile are provided.   

However, this new established relationship will enable Africa’s Talking Ltd to take Africa to the next level.

According to the CEO of Africa Talking, the relationship is good news to the company. “This new round of fundraising will enable us to grow our Pan-African community of Software Developers building businesses that consume communication and payment service. In this context, the arrival of Orange Digital Ventures is excellent news for Africa’s Talking,” he said.

The company intends to leverage the new relationship to accelerate their expansion in countries where Orange is present. Notwithstanding, it is also good news for all of Africa’s startups.

Nigeria’s Burgeoning Techsphere and the Arrival of CloudCover – Virtual SIM Technology

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Nigeria’s Burgeoning Techsphere & the Arrival of CloudCover - Virtual SIM Technology

CloudCover recently joined the Nigerian tech space. Are Nigerians ready to give them a share of the market?

Nigeria’s tech ecosystem is growing with an increasing influx of investors into the market. Mobile operators, broadband companies, content providers and other technology-focused companies around the globe are pitching their tents in Nigeria. Of course, the underlying aim is to tap from the large market provided by the over 180 million Nigerians.

Lagos, Nigeria,  has recently been declared set to overtake Nairobi, Kenya, as Africa’s start-up capital. This is probably because Nigeria boasts of many tech/eCommerce startups like Konga, Jumia, Andela, iRoko, Farmcrowdy, and Flutterwave, among others. There equally exist investments like; ‘Yabacon Valley’ and the $360 Million African ecosystem investment, where Nigeria got about $109 Million.

These consequently reflect an increased investor interest within the Nigerian tech space/ICT market. CloudCover, certainly wants to grab its own share of  the big market.

Nigeria’s Burgeoning Techsphere & the Arrival of CloudCover - Virtual SIM Technology

In the first quarter of 2012, the Telecommunications and Postal sector was the primary driver of growth of the Nigerian economy. The sector is the fourth highest contributor to the nation’s GDP. From recent developments in the Nigerian tech space, it can be said that the above situation has not declined but there has instead been an improvement.

 

However, there’s still a problem.

Accessibility to high-speed Internet connection and telephone services remains a huge challenge. It is, therefore, not uncommon to find Nigerians migrating from one Internet and telecom provider to another in search of better Internet connection and communication services.

The recent arrival of CloudCover in the Nigerian ICT market thus, provides a glimmer of hope.

About CloudCover in Nigeria’s ICT Market

CloudCover is a multinational provider of multi-network mobile data services. The company provides a portable CC1 Mi-Fi device which allows users to access the best available network anywhere in over 100 countries, including Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Burgeoning Techsphere & the Arrival of CloudCover - Virtual SIM Technology

Some Executives of CloudCover displaying the portable CC1 Mi-Fi device in Abuja

The company has existed in Nigeria since 2017 and has been servicing citizens in all 36 states. It is a pioneer in virtual SIM technology in the country. It supports the states, Federal government and the private sector to strengthen the growth and impact of the ICT industry.

CloudCover, therefore, works towards providing constant reliable Internet connectivity for subscribers on an extensive scale, with just a single device. It reduces the burden of tough decision-making which Internet providers go through in a country. And so, the service becomes very necessary in a country like Nigeria with multiple service providers.

On April 24, CloudCover hosted Critical Information Communication Technology (ICT) stakeholders in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. The session was to discuss the future of the Internet in Nigeria. Through its leading 4G/LTE device – CC1 MiFi, CloudCover presents an unwavering solution to the fluctuating Internet services in Nigeria. This will help subscribers to cut down on extra cost in buying different SIMs and Mi-Fis.

Nigeria’s Burgeoning Techsphere & the Arrival of CloudCover - Virtual SIM Technology

CloudCover executive lectures ICT stakeholders in Abuja on the Virtual SIM Technology

Mission of CloudCover

Virtual SIM technology is increasingly being adopted around the globe, especially in Western countries. Consequently, this concept clearly appears to reflect the future of mobile technologies. Nick Dixon, CEO of CloudCover shares this position.

“Constant connectivity to the Internet in today’s world is priceless. With so much innovation being shared and discovered in the cyberspace, it has become imperative for one to stay connected regardless of time and location. People in today’s generation are relying on the Internet to do a lot of many different tasks. This is why we created the CC1 Mi-Fi that keeps you constantly connected locally and internationally,” he argues.

Nigeria’s Burgeoning Techsphere & the Arrival of CloudCover - Virtual SIM Technology

Nick Dixon, CEO of CloudCover

With this, it is obvious that the Virtual SIM technology innovation is the future of Internet and cellular technology in the world. Considering its vibrant and flourishing ICT market, Nigeria thus provides a favorable and enabling environment as one of its testing grounds in Africa.