Author: ngwa

Biola Alabi Features in Financial Times’ Top 100 Global Female Executives List

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Biola Alabi Named in Financial Times’ Top 100 Global Female Executives list

Financial Times & HERoes Champions of Women in Business 2018 celebrates 100 senior female role models who help to increase gender diversity in the workplace.

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Biola Alabi Media, Biola Alabi, has been named in the FT & Heroes 100 Female Executives list for 2018, in recognition of her tireless commitment to gender diversity and inclusion of women in the African workplace. The prestigious annual list celebrates female role models who are actively playing their part to increase gender diversity in the workplace. It also celebrates those working to increase the number of women in senior business roles.

A rare recognition

As the only Nigerian-based woman to make it to the global list, Alabi joins the ranks of some of the world’s most powerful female executives from global companies like Deloitte, IBM, Amazon, Mastercard, WPP, EY and more. With over 20 years in business, both in the US and Africa, Alabi has championed women in the corporate workplace. This, she has done through extensive networking and mentorship, as well as, leading by example; Alabi’s consultancy company has an all-female leadership team, and boasts over 75% female staff.

Biola Alabi Named in Financial Times’ Top 100 Global Female Executives list

Biola Alabi, CEO & Managing Partner of Biola Alabi Media, makes it to FT’s Top 100 Global Female Executives list

As founder of Grooming for Greatness, a leadership development and mentorship program designed to harness and develop a new generation of African leaders, Alabi ensures a minimum of 70% female intake. She also provides professional and leadership development opportunities for aspiring women in Nigeria and across the continent.

Biola’s thoughts on the accolade

“I have always placed a strong emphasis on doing what I can to support and nurture talented women in business – through mentorship and creating opportunities for others to excel in business and the workplace across Africa. I am humbled and honored to be recognized alongside so many outstanding female executives who are championing gender diversity and inclusion. Yet, I am also aware of how much there still is to do to increase the representation of women in business at all levels.

‘Let me be frank; ‘Africa PLC’ cannot and will not advance at the pace it should, without the amplification of female roles in senior positions. Until we see parity in leadership teams and in the boardrooms, I will be resolute, and vocal in my mission to bring women to the forefront of corporate Africa,” says Alabi upon receiving the accolade.

The rich profile of Biola Alabi

Currently a non-executive Board Member of Unilever Nigeria, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Alabi was the Managing Director for M-Net Africa for over five years.

Biola Alabi Named in Financial Times’ Top 100 Global Female Executives list

Photo Credit: jackson.yale.edu

During this period, she headed an 80% female executive team before venturing into the realm of entrepreneurship; building on her business and entertainment background to launch Biola Alabi Media, as well as move into movie production.

In the last two years alone, she has produced two of Nollywood’s biggest recent hits, Lara and the Beat (2018) and Banana Island Ghost (2017). She is also the Executive Producer of Nigeria’s no.1 food travel documentary-series Bukas and Joints, currently airing across Africa and in the USA.

Biola Alabi Named in Financial Times’ Top 100 Global Female Executives list

Photo from food travel documentary series, Bukas & Joints

Biola previously worked for Sesame workshop, the producers of globally renowned children’s program Sesame Street, where she surrounded herself with strong female leaders that encouraged and supported her.

She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader as well as, a Yale Greenberg World Fellow. In 2012, Forbes Africa named her one of the 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa. And in 2013, she was AABLA West African Business Woman of the Year.

Founder of INvolve and HERoes, Suki Sandhu says, “these lists have been created with one aim – to create gender parity in workplaces across the globe.

“The role models we’re recognizing aren’t just those who have achieved success themselves. They’re those who are committed to lifting others with them as they climb, and ultimately fueling the female talent pipeline.”

All of the 2018 Champions of Women in Business were nominated by peers and colleagues. Nominations were then reviewed by the FT & HERoes judging panel.

 

 

Revisiting the Life of the Man Who Redefined the UN – Kofi Annan

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Revisiting the life of the man who redefined the UN-Kofi Annan

One of the world’s greatest compatriots and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan was in plain sight when worries about the Cold War were replaced by threats of global terrorism. And his efforts to combat those threats and secure a more peaceful world brought him the Nobel Peace Prize. It ended Saturday when he died after a brief illness in Switzerland. He was 80.

Kofi Atta Annan, a Ghanaian born in 1938, served as the seventh UN Secretary-General from 1997 to 2006. He was the first to rise from within the ranks of the United Nations staff. Throughout his life, Annan portrayed himself as a global statesman. He was a deeply committed internationalist who fought for a fairer, more peaceful world.

Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, Mr. Annan was the first black African to head the United Nations. He did so for two successive five-year terms beginning in 1997 — a decade of turmoil that redefined Annan’s place in a changing world.

Revisiting the life of the man who redefined the UN-Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan receiving his Nobel Peace Prize

In 1998, Mr. Annan traveled to Baghdad to negotiate directly with Saddam Hussein, winning a temporary respite in the long battle of wills with the West. But in doing so, he raised questions about his decision to shake hands — and even smoke cigars — with that dictator.

Following his graduate studies in Geneva in the 1960s, Annan, in 1992, joined the staff of the World Health Organization (WHO), a branch of the United Nations. Annan always assumed that he would return to his native land after college, although he was disturbed by the unrest and numerous changes of government that occurred there during the 1970s.

Kofi Annan and his work with the UN

In 1974, he moved to Cairo, Egypt, as the chief civilian personnel officer in the UN Emergency Force. Annan briefly changed careers in 1974 when he left the United Nations to serve as managing director of the Ghana Tourist Development Company.

Annan returned to international diplomacy and the United Nations in 1976. For the next seven years that followed, he was associated with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva. In 1983, he returned to the UN headquarters in New York City as director of the budget in the financial services office.

In the later parts of the 1980s, he filled the post of Assistant Secretary-General in the Office of Human Resources Management and served as security coordinator for the United Nations. By 1990, he became Assistant Secretary-General for the Office of Program Planning, Budget, and Finance at the UN. In fulfilling his duties to the United Nations, Annan spent most of his adult life in the United States, specifically at the UN headquarters in New York City.

By this time, Annan had filled a number of roles at the United Nations, ranging from peacekeeping to managerial. And the 1990s were no different. In 1990, he negotiated the release of hostages in Iraq following the invasion of Kuwait. Five years later, he oversaw the transition of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) to the multinational Implementation Force (IFOR), a UN peacekeeping organization.

In recognition of his abilities, the UN General Assembly appointed Annan as Secretary-General, the top post of the UN in December 1996. He began serving his four-year term of office on January 1, 1997.

Revisiting the life of the man who redefined the UN-Kofi Annan

Moment Kofi Annan was sworn in as UN Secretary-General in 1996

Heading the United Nations

As Secretary-General of the United Nations, Annan’s duty was to prevent, contain, or stop international disputes. Above all, Annan must try to maintain world peace.

In an address to the National Press Club, Annan declared, “If war is the failure of diplomacy, then … diplomacy … is our first line of defense. The world today spends billions preparing for war; shouldn’t we spend a billion or two preparing for peace?”

After heading the United Nations as Secretary-General for 10 years, Kofi Annan stepped down in 2006. He had also been a member, since 2007, of The Elders, a humanitarian group of a dozen leaders and activists of worldwide stature formed by Nelson Mandela. In 2013, Annan became its chairman.

Revisiting the life of the man who redefined the UN-Kofi Annan

The-Elders around table

Questioning his role

Many critics have, however, singled out Annan’s role as head of the United Nations peacekeeping operations from 1993 to 1997. This was a period that saw the killing of 18 American service personnel in Somalia in October 1993 and the deaths of more than 800,000 Rwandans in the genocide of 1994. Despite the United Nations’ presence in 1995, Bosnia remained the site of an ethnic war, in which thousands died.

In Rwanda and Bosnia, rebel forces outgunned troops drawn from across the UN’s member states and showed little resolve. In both cases, troops from Europe quickly abandoned their missions. And in both cases, Annan received criticisms for failing to safeguard those who had looked to the UN for protection.

Revisiting the life of the man who redefined the UN-Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan on a visit to a memorial site in Rwanda after the genocide

Despite the serial setbacks, Kofi Annan commanded the world stage with ease — a feat that made him and his second wife, Nane Lagergren, a global power couple. At the time, he seemed to radiate an aura of probity and authority.

His achievements going down memory lane

The desire to burnish his legacy seemed to motivate Mr. Annan long after Ban Ki-moon replaced him as Secretary-General. He set up a non-profit foundation to promote higher standards of global governance. In 2008, he headed a commission of eminent Africans that persuaded rival factions in Kenya. His mission was to reconcile a year after more than 1,000 people were killed during and after disputed elections.

In February 2012, the United Nations appointed Annan the UN and Arab League joint special envoy to Syria. But six months later, he quit, citing increasing militarization in Syria and “the clear lack of unity” at the UN Security Council.

August 18, 2018, is the day this great and fine statesman bowed out of life’s stage. Afro Hustler celebrates Kofi Annan because his works are evidently those of a true African. We will remember him for the way he drew attention to the plight of those caught up in war, environmental disaster, or simply grinding poverty. The way he quietly but firmly reminded world leaders that they needed to put their duty to their citizens above their political career.

 

An Idea, a Project? Sign up for the ActivSpaces Incubation Program

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An idea, a project? Sign up for the ActivSpaces Incubation Program

Are you young, brave, motivated, or ambitious? Convinced that your idea or project can improve the lives of people in Cameroon, Africa, and even the world? Or are you an entrepreneur or project developer in the field of Technology? Register from August 10 to 25, 2018 for the ActivSpaces Incubation Program.

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Join the world of entrepreneurship and kickstart your startup with personalized support. Follow a coaching framework that helps you clarify your business idea while defining your project. The program will last for a duration of 3 months of incubation, marked by a personalized follow-up. At the end of the incubation period, you will be able to express a solution that meets a clearly identified need in the market.

The previous batch of entrepreneurs incubated at ActivSpaces realized projects such as Dikôrah, a platform for event-related service provider networking; Guanxi-Invest for crowdfunding based on equity and accepting Bitcoin payments; Voozi, specializing in the sale of online tickets; and many others. Do you want to be among our next incubated batch of entrepreneurs?

Criteria for rating incubated entrepreneurs

  • Participation in the weekly Business Development sessions
  • Documents and any other evidence of the progress of your work
  • Preparation of monthly reports

http://blog.activspaces.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Programme-dIncubation-ActivSpaces-Aout-2018.jpg

Throughout the 3 months incubation period, selected entrepreneurs and projects will benefit from:

  • Training sessions
  • Guidance from mentors
  • Validation of their business ideas
  • Free co-working space with an Internet connection
  • Exposure to potential investors and partners

How to sign up for the new ActivSpaces incubation program

But you must also have a project related to technology, count at least one developer on your team, residing in Douala.

ActivSpaces also encourages feminine candidates to register for the incubation program.

For more information, contact us at info@activspaces.com.

 

The post, An idea, a project? Sign up for the ActivSpaces Incubation Program,” first appeared on ActivSpaces Blog.

 

Why Africa Must Prepare for an Artificial Intelligence Future

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Why Africa Must Prepare for an Artificial Intelligence Future

A few years from now, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be the driving force behind the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It will potentially change everything about human knowledge, work and almost certainly change how people live. This change will also resonate on the African continent and Google is helping to make that happen.

Google is making a big bet on AI for its future. In 2016 alone, it invested $30 billion on artificial intelligence and machine learning research.

Google has been active in Africa for a while now but the company decided to take a different route for the continent. For the time the search giant has traversed the African market, it has opted to strengthen Africa’s educational institutions by providing infrastructure and software. And then, build technology communities from those institutions (Google’s university-based Developer Groups).

The company has implemented other giant projects in Africa with the aim of extending its influence on the continent.

Earlier this year, Google launched Project Loon for Africa, a project that will release a network of giant balloons to bring Internet access to remote regions of rural Kenya. The firm’s antennae-dangling fleet will ride the wind high above parts of the East African country.

Why Africa Must Prepare for an Artificial Intelligence Future

Bringing connectivity closer (Reuters/Stephen Lam)

In April this year, Google released Google Go in South Africa in an effort to address the concerns of weak data connectivity and high data costs.  

Why Africa Must Prepare for an Artificial Intelligence Future

Did Google leave Africa in the dark?

Of course not.

For years, problems of poor infrastructure, last-mile Internet connectivity, among others, have continued to hamper Africa’s development when it comes to Internet technology. Throughout Google’s stay in Africa, the firm wasn’t ignoring Africa. Rather, it was trying to find a solution for the continent.

That solution has finally arrived, revealing itself in digital skills training for millions of Africans, massive investments in infrastructure and Africa’s burgeoning startup ecosystem. The most recent solution is Google’s announcement of an Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Accra, Ghana. According to the firm, Moustapha Cisse, a Senegalese AI pioneer and expert, will run the lab.

Why Moustapha?

While studying for a Maths and Physics degree in Senegal, Moustapha had started designing an algorithm for a strategic game. He later on studied Machine Learning with a Masters and a Ph.D. degree in Paris, France.

Why Africa Must Prepare for an Artificial Intelligence Future

Moustapha Cisse, Senegalese AI champion to lead Google’s AI Lab in Accra, Ghana (Image source: Moustapha Cisse)

After working at Facebook AI Research, he has now moved to lead Google’s AI expansion strategy in Africa. Moustapha is an AI technical researcher, hands-on expert and proactive knowledge champion with an inspiring vision for AI in Africa.

Currently, no African country is among the top 10 countries expected to benefit from AI and automation. Though the continent has the potential to catch up with the rest of the world, it must, however, act fast to avoid lagging behind. Google’s recent announcement that Africa is getting an AI Lab, signals the search giant’s commitment to put Africa on the world’s technology map, starting with Ghana.

Of all African countries, why Ghana?

That’s the question many African tech watchers are asking. It’s true that Accra has a vibrant tech industry. But it’s equally true that its tech industry isn’t as vibrant as that in Nairobi or Lagos where Google has already announced plans to open its first Launchpad Space outside the US. Besides, Facebook also opened its first startup hub for Africa in Lagos just last month.

So, why Ghana?

But the answer has been clear for a long time; Ghana is the future of Africa.

When former US President Barack Obama, visited Ghana as the first African country during his reign, it was a sign that Ghana was aiming for the future.

Why Africa Must Prepare for an Artificial Intelligence Future

U.S. President Obama walks with Malia, Michelle and Sasha following, during their visit to Cape Coast Castle, Ghana (Image source: kwabena.me)

It’s true that the country doesn’t have the hardcore market edge of countries like South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. But, it is an excellent place to live and work.

Stability

Unlike other African countries, Ghana has relative stable electricity supply. It also has relative security and a decent Internet infrastructure, capable of accommodating an AI laboratory.

Google, however, might have slightly different reasons for picking Ghana. According to Jeff Dean, the Google AI and Google Brain lead, Google picked Ghana because of its robust network of academic institutions and its infrastructure. Over the years, Google has committed itself to strengthen those institutions and the infrastructure around them. This explains the decent Internet connectivity Ghana currently boasts of.

To say the least, Ghana’s Internet speeds are currently comparable with those in the US. Besides, in 2015, Google quietly started laying an extensive fiber-optic backbone in Accra, then Kampala, to improve Internet speeds.

Why Africa Must Prepare for an Artificial Intelligence Future

Google’s Project Link coverage in Accra (Google)

 

Education

In recent years, Ghana has also become a sweet spot for education on the continent. And the reason is clear; the country has been relatively stable. Plus, its educational system is second to none in Africa. It’s the reason people from non-English speaking regions increasingly travel to Ghana to learn English and study. Currently, the foundations of its educational system are the strongest in the sub-region.

Why Africa Must Prepare for an Artificial Intelligence Future

Image source: Graphic Online

Building African talent has, over the years, grown to become one of Ghana’s strongest points. Besides, its central location on the continent also makes it an excellent business hub for businesses that want to expand into Africa’s largest market – Nigeria and Francophone Africa.

Is Africa ready for Artificial Intelligence?

For decades, Africa’s reputation has suffered, mostly owing to horrifying stories of poverty, hunger, disease, conflict, lousy leadership, among others. Despite these awful images of Africa, some of the best AI talent in the world is, however, of African origin. Some of this talent either work on applied AI projects from within Africa or in developed markets.

Why Africa Must Prepare for an Artificial Intelligence Future

Sophia, the robot whose artificial intelligence was partly developed in Ethiopia (Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar)

Many world economies are entering a period where AI can overcome physical limitations and open up new sources of growth.

To avoid missing out, Africa’s policymakers and business leaders must prepare for, and work towards a future with AI.

AI is already invading major areas across Africa. In Nigeria, doctors are using machine learning for the early detection of birth asphyxia in newborn babies.

In Ethiopia, where Sophia the robot was partly developed, futurists believe AI has the potential to drive massive development. And the country already has its own AI lab, iCog run by Getnet Assefa. To become an AI leader,  China is using Zimbabwe as the testing ground to help its facial recognition systems identify faces with dark skin.

The AI paradox

But governments across Africa worry that developments in artificial intelligence will impact existing jobs and take away others even before they can go round. This is especially true as AI can replicate certain activities at greater speed and scale. In some areas, AI could learn faster than humans, if not yet as deeply. AI will no doubt, improve the productivity of many jobs and create millions of more new positions. But it could, however, impact many others.

When automated teller machines (ATMs) arrived in the 1960s, they saved customers from relying on humans to conduct simple transactions.

But ATMs didn’t replace bank teller jobs. Instead, the number of fully-employed bank tellers grew by 2% after ATMs were widely deployed in the early 2000s. Economist, James Bessen, dubs this, “The Automation Paradox: When computers start doing the work of people, the need for people often increases.”

Far from fearing that AI will replace human jobs, Africa should explore and invest in technology that can help humans become more creative and work side by side AI. It’s important to stay ahead of the trends and find opportunities to expand human knowledge and skills. But Africa must also learn how to work more closely and symbiotically with technology.

While AI could be yet, another productivity enhancer, African leaders must see AI as a tool that will transform the continent’s knowledge about how growth is created.

For Africa, AI has the potential to bring up new solutions for Africa’s problems. It also has the potential to create new markets for the continent, and Google is committed to helping Africa get there.

The Hustler’s Digest – Why’s There War On Global Trade?

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United States-China trade War & Burden of Consumers

Today’s Quote

“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations…entangling alliances with none”

Thomas Jefferson

Africa

Nigeria’s business tycoon Dangote prepares $4.5 billion of debt financing in oil refinery

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote is taking more interest in the oil sector. He has set aside more than $4.5 billion in debt financing for his Nigerian oil refinery project and aims to start production in early 2020. The business tycoon who built his fortune on cement is now building the world’s largest single oil refinery.  

The refinery will have a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day. Though Nigeria is a crude oil exporter, it still imports petroleum due to lack of domestic refining capacity. According to CNBC, Dangote’s aim is to use this refinery to reduce Nigeria’s dependence on imported petroleum.

The financial mix for this project will include Nigeria’s central bank, AfDB, Trade banks from China, India and some European countries.

“Things Fall Apart” in Nigeria’s ruling All Progressive Congress (APC)

Nigeria’s President Mohamadou Buhari and his ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) party, are in murky political waters. This comes as a result of a huge defection of its prominent members to the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP). There has been confusion in the ruling party since Monday with the defection of 16 Senators from the PDP to APC.

What followed was another defection of more than 30 members of the House of Representatives. There have also been many reported defections in the various states with the opposition taking over State Houses of Assemblies hitherto controlled by the ruling party. This has so far placed the ruling party at the minority position in the National Assembly, thereby further complicating relations between the executives and the national assembly.

President Buhari has announced his intention to seek a second term in office in the 2019 general elections. This is despite mounting pressure from Nigerians that he resigns and take care of his health. Buhari who is 76, spent a good chunk of his first mandate on medical vacation in London treating an undisclosed ailment. With the ongoing defections, it is left to be seen how the political atmosphere will be in Nigeria in the coming weeks and months.  

Cameroon on the wake to promote IETF activities    

In the quest to improve the existing Internet Engineering Task Force specifications, the IETF organization took it upon itself to meet about three times a year for feedback and discussions. However, during this year working session in Montreal, Cameroonian students were invited.  

“In the IETF Africans are not represented enough. So, the Internet Society Cameroon wants to promote the IETF and its activities to encourage our researchers, students or engineers to also make contributions,” said Willy Manga, secretary general of Internet Society Cameroon.

Nevertheless, this new goal might serve as a way to inform the Cameroonian public about the true function of the Internet.

Opposition parties fail to unite against Paul Biya

President Paul Biya of Cameroon who is 86 years old is poised to win another mandate after a group of 20 mushroom opposition parties adopted him as their consensus candidate for the October 7, 2018, Presidential elections. The three main opposition leaders namely Barrister Akere Muna, Joshua Osih and Maurice Kamto are still far away apart.

The Cameroonian public had expected the main opposition leaders to form a coalition against the ruling CPDM candidate, Paul Biya, who shall be seeking a 7th term in office after governing the country for 35 years running.

The Presidential elections in October are built to take place amidst an uncertain political and security atmosphere. For two years now, tension has remained high in the English-speaking parts of the country after President Paul Biya declared war on separatist rebels, who have accepted the war and are now engaging security forces in sporadic gun battles. How will elections hold in this part of the country? This is the question begging for answers.

Kenya’s UTU Technologies and RideSafe make it to the æternity Ventures Finals

Kenyan startups UTU Technologies and RideSafe have made it to the finals of Sofia-based æternity Starfleet Incubator for blockchain startups. Nikola Stojanow, CEO of æternity Ventures, said he had been very impressed by the passion, dedication, and far-reaching potential of the teams that made it to the final. æternity and æternity Ventures, which oversees the global incubator programmes and partnerships, announced that the nine projects that made it to the final will receive a combined US$1.3 million in investment.

The Hustler’s Digest - Why’s A Global Trade War Imminent?

UTU, the  Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered recommendations engine, based on a real human model of trust, and a blockchain protocol that helps to deliver Trust Infrastructure as a Service (TIaaS) in Kenya secured US$200,000, as well as an additional US$50,000 from æternity Ventures’ partner network as a number of investment funds and angel investors, followed the event online.

Equally, the Kenya-based insurtech mobile-based application, RideSafe which offers real-time health services to the public motorbike sector in the event of an accident, made it into the final. The projects of these young startups will no doubt take them to another level with the guidance and vision of æternity Ventures.

Will the opposition succeed to fill in a single presidential candidate in DR Congo?

As citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo prepare to go to the polls in December 2018 to elect a new president, the opposition parties have agreed in principle, to put forth a joint candidate for the election. Though it’s not clear who the possible coalition candidate will be, former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba, a pretty popular figure in the DRC’s political milieu claims he’s the perfect candidate in the election. But he’s also prepared to support another candidate.

In his first detailed statement since being acquitted in May on appeal for war crimes at The Hague, Bemba revealed to press men and women in Brussels, that ambition to stand as president is not an obsession but touted by the experience and leadership qualities he possesses. This he said citing his experiences in human, military/security and economic management.

Incumbent President Joseph Kabila, who has been there since 2001, is barred by the constitutional clause of term limit from running. However, the power drunkard has refused to publicly commit himself to that effect. Consequently, as the opposition scheme for a single candidate against Kabila’s party, the release of Bemba from prison and his planned return to DR Congo on August 1, 2018, has further muddied the political waters.    

South Africa’s Eskom rocks in bankruptcy

South Africa’s electricity public utility, Eskom announced on Monday, that it was considering cutting staff and selling assets after reporting a $171 million loss. The company which is one of South Africa’s greatest assets and supplies more than 90% of the country’s power, has around 270 billion rands of state-guaranteed debt. Eskom is currently in a financial crisis, which Jabu Mabuza, Eskom Chairman says is the firm’s most difficult in recent history.

The Hustler’s Digest - Why’s A Global Trade War Imminent?

It is quite a shame that the largest producer of electricity in Africa and of the top seven utilities in the world in terms of generation capacity has gone bankrupt. It is no doubt that Eskom is suffering today just like many other African companies due to corruption in state-run companies in South Africa.

South Africa hosts 10th Annual Summit of BRICS

Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, are currently meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa in the 10th annual BRICS Leaders’ Summit. The summit kicked off on Wednesday.

At the opening of the summit, the leaders raised concerns about the protectionist policies in global trade. This is in direct reference to the US trade actions under Donald Trump in which high trade tariffs have been imposed on China.

BRICS is the acronym for the member states of the association of major emerging countries, which include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS Leaders’ Summit is convened annually with discussions representing spheres of political and socio-economic coordination in which member countries have identified several business opportunities, economic complementarities and areas of cooperation.

IMF fears Algeria’s economic policy could quicken inflation

For four years now, Algeria has wallowed in an economic crisis. But Algeria’s government has now turned to monetary financing in order to cut budget deficits. However, the IMF fears this could cause higher inflation as its non-oil sector remains weak.

According to the IMF, if not adequately sterilized, the increased liquidity would raise perceived or actual nominal wealth and stimulate demand, causing prices to rise in the short term due to insufficient domestic supply or saving opportunities.

Nevertheless, as part of the measures to cut spending and offset the fall in energy revenue, the government has imposed import restrictions for some goods including foodstuffs and home appliances since 2014.

Why does it appear like everybody in Africa wants to be president of their countries?

While presidential candidates in western democracies are in most cases very few in number (largely between 2 and 5), most African nations which are known for limping democratic systems have often witnessed a huge turn out of presidential aspirants during elections. From DR Congo to Cameroon and to Mali, the situation remains the same with more than 20 candidates expressing interests in the highest office of their various countries.

As Malians prepare to head to the polls to test the political stability of the country in a Presidential election, the Constitutional Court has validated 24 candidates to run in the July 29 presidential race while it rejected six applications.

Incumbent president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who has been in office since 2013, and opposition frontrunner Soumaila Cisse, are the two front-runners. Other candidates who could possibly create an impact in the elections include former Prime Minister Cheick Mohamed Abdoulaye Souad known as Modibo Diarra, Former ministers Choguel Kokala Maïga, Mohamed Ali Bathily and Mountaga Tall, religious leader Harouna Sankaré and businesswoman Djeneba N’Diaye.

Senegal looks forward to expanding cooperation with China

Senegal envisages expanding cooperation with a focus on infrastructure. The idea surfaced after Chinese President, Xi Jinping stopped in the West African country to discuss on China’s infrastructure projects. Before now, China has been cooperating with Senegal to develop the infrastructure sector. Senegal has invested $1.5 billion in infrastructure, notably in road construction, thanks to its cooperation with China.

The Hustler’s Digest - Why’s A Global Trade War Imminent?

Senegal has a plan proposed in 2014 to achieve an average economic growth rate of 7% by 2035. This plan consists of 27 projects among with six focused on developing a transport infrastructure.

China’s infrastructure projects are well known in Africa and cooperation between these two countries have won admiration and created jobs for Senegalese.

World

Google’s Alphabet crawls closer to becoming the world’s first $1 trillion company

Google was already worth more than $800 billion. While still behind Apple, Google is now jumping into that batch of companies that are on their way to being a $1 trillion company. After its latest earnings report, Google’s parent company Alphabet saw its share price jump an additional 5%, putting its valuation neck-and-neck with Amazon’s. As of Tuesday morning, Google has a market cap of around $873 billion.

The Hustler’s Digest - Why’s A Global Trade War Imminent?

The company continues to make money from its ad business, even as its cost-per-click continues to decline. Meanwhile, its other revenue, including revenue from Google Cloud, grew 37% year-over-year. But it wasn’t that long ago that Apple hit a $900 billion market cap. Then, everyone started talking about it being a contender to hit $1 trillion.

While the EU is slapping Google with a massive fine, this doesn’t seem to bother Wall Street all that much. The Wall Street sees Alphabet as a company that will continue to grow over time.

Why is Facebook’s stock nose diving?

At first blush, it looked like Facebook had a pretty decent earnings report. The social media giant’s revenue was up 42% last year. But on Wednesday, its stock plummeted 20% after the company announced disappointing Q2 earnings. Even though billions of people use Facebook and its chicks — Instagram and WhatsApp — the company didn’t meet Wall Street’s high revenue expectations.

So, why did Facebook’s revenue drop?

Facebook has been putting fewer brands on your news feed so you could focus on your friends and families. And privacy concerns mostly from Europe’s new privacy laws have also forced it to make changes which it claims are taking a hit at its revenue.

For now, Facebook is begging Wall Street to lower its expectations for the new few quarters. In the meantime, Facebook says it will spend millions to improve security and safety after the data-sharing debacle, as well as to combat fake news and election meddling.

Why’s Trump being so generous towards farmers with $12 billion?

For the past few months now, the US government has been upping tariffs on other countries — China, the EU, Mexico, Canada which it claims aren’t trading fairly. Countries are hitting back. And US farmers have been hit especially hard as countries have targeted tariffs on things like meat and soy. But Trump has an idea.

The Hustler’s Digest - Why’s A Global Trade War Imminent?

On Tuesday, the Trump administration said it’s going to pay US farmers to make up for the lost money, either by cash, or by buying up what hasn’t sold and sending it to food banks, or by teaming up with businesses to create new markets. Trump says “Tariffs are the greatest!” and should be used toward countries that have taken advantage of the US for years. Lawmakers say farmers don’t want a bailout — they want an end to the trade war (if only Trump would listen).

The farming industry has been in pain for years now and Trump’s trade war isn’t helping. The Trump administration is pitching this new plan as a short-term fix. But many worry that it’s a sign the trade war isn’t going away anytime soon.

PAI Partners buys legendary gaming firm, Asmodee for a $1.4 billion

PAI Partners, a European private equity group, is in talks to buy Asmodee, the French gaming company behind the vastly popular strategy game Settlers of Catan. In 2014, another equity group, Eurazeo bought Asmodee for €143 million. This deal with PAI Partners could amount to €1.2 billion, or about $1.4 billion, including debt.

Under Eurazeo, Asmodee has expanded into international markets, with operations in Europe, North America and China. Its revenue, however, grew 17% last year to €442 million. Asmodee’s new owners now have a task to broaden the firm’s reach into the digital world. Asmodee could follow a strategy similar to that of its peers by developing movie or comic franchises with its games.

China promised Facebook a seat at its parliament — then took it all away

Facebook announced on Wednesday that it won an approval to set up its first subsidiary in China. The license was an apparent victory in Zuckerberg’s long quest to bring Facebook to the restrictive country. But hours later, China withdrew its approval. Facebook’s user base is stagnant in America and shrinking in Europe — part of the reason its stock slumped a shocking 24% Wednesday — making the Chinese market, where Facebook has been blocked for 10 years, more important than ever.

The Hustler’s Digest - Why’s A Global Trade War Imminent?

To get in, Zuckerberg has, therefore, been willing to try almost anything. He learned Mandarin to host a Q&A at a Chinese university and released a secret Chinese app. But most importantly, Zuckerberg spent hours sweet-talking Chinese officials. And for a few hours on Tuesday, it looked like all those Mandarin lessons had finally paid off. But China fast extinguished that glimmer of hope. You see, Facebook got approval from local officials, only to get shot down by the national Internet regulator.

Despite the setback, Facebook will continue to remain active in China. The Chinese government banned Facebook in China, but Chinese companies are still Facebook’s biggest ad buyers in all of Asia. Other companies have submitted to Beijing’s rules to stay, but Zuckerberg has refused to let the government censor the platform.

US and EU leaders working towards zero tariffs?

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to work towards eliminating tariffs and barriers on trade. The revelation comes to reduce tensions in a brewing trade war between the US and her trading partners (China&EU).

“We agreed today, first of all, to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods,” Trump said while speaking to the press after the talks. The two leaders also agreed to temporarily halt tariffs that threatened to devolve into a trade war as negotiations proceed. And the EU agreed to import more US soybeans and liquid natural gas.

As part of Trump’s new trade policy to protect US businesses and ensure national security, began a trade tariffs offensive against the EU and Canada in early 2018. Last week, he extended his tariffs offensive to China when he imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods. China too swiftly responded with similarly sized tariffs on US products.

Silicon Times

Events

  • Be part of ZOOM’s ENTREPRENEURS ‘FAIR 237 on August 10, 2018, 9 AM – 8 PM in Douala and network with like-minded entrepreneurs from Cameroon.
  • You can’t afford to miss the Simio Standard Training – Johannesburg, South Africa from August 14, 2018, at 9:00 am-  August 17, 2018, at 5:00 pm (MDT).
  • Take part in the Brand Clarity Workshop on August 24, 2018, 10am-5pm. At Hotel Vallee Des Princes, Douala, Littoral.
  • Register now for an insightful session with numerous networking opportunities at the Africa Singapore Business Forum (ASBF) 2018, from August 28 – 29, 2018 in Singapore.
  • Don’t miss the SME Economy Conference on funding and get the chance to pitch your business idea to potential investors, coming up from September 22, 9:00 am – 23, 2018, 11:00 pm in Lagos, Nigeria.

Jobs

  • Qatar Red Crescent Society is in need of Grants Officer. Gaziantep – Turkey. Deadline: August 01, 2018.
  • Population Service International is in need of a Technical Advisor in Yaoundé – Cameroon. Closing date: August 05, 2018.
  • Work as an Internal Controller and Compliance personnel at Save the Children. Bamako – Mail.  Deadline: August 07, 2018.
  • INTERSOS needs the service of a Project Manager in the English speaking region of Cameroon. Closing date: August 07, 2018.
  • Apply as a Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Adviser at the British Red Cross. London – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Deadline: August 05, 2018.
  • Chemonics needs the service of a Senior Educational Advisor. Senegal. Closing date: August 10, 2018.
  • Work as a WASH Program Manager at Gruppo di Volontariato Civile. Libya. Closing date: August 10, 2018.
  • Apply as a Program Manager at Tearfund in Rwanda. Closing date: August 12, 2018.

Opportunities

Featured Articles

Pennel Skills Development Foundation Organizes International Youth Day Conference

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Pennel Skills Development Foundation Organizes International Youth Day Conference

In line with the upcoming International Youth Day celebrations, Pennel Skills Development Foundation (PSDF) in association with the Regional Delegation of Youth Affairs, is thrilled to announce the maiden edition of the International Youth conference.

The conference which will focus on empowering youths and young professionals with the entrepreneurial mindset is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 11, 2018, at the Youth Animation Center, Buea Town. It will run from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm on the theme: “Youth Entrepreneurship & Innovation: Enhancing Safe Spaces for Youths.’’

The conference which will run annually seeks to showcase best ways of engaging youths, young professionals and other individuals of the community in implementing successful and sustainable development strategies towards creating initiatives that strengthen youth development in Cameroon.

It also seeks to create networks and avenues that improve and foster access to adequate information, training, finance and technology. All these will help curb most obstacles most young persons face in their ventures. It will also reshape their perceptions about business development and sustenance for community development.

Why the conference?

According to Nyah Penn, Chief Organizer of this conference, “Youths need safe spaces, a forum where they can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision-making processes and freely express themselves. Safe spaces ensure the dignity and safety of the youths.

“Young people are essentially the leaders of tomorrow. If we put in place proper mentorship and guidance mechanisms, they can lead society towards a better future. However, a large percentage of the youth remain in the background, unrecognized and struggling to make ends meet. With increasing population, the incidence of youth unemployment and illiteracy are rising at an alarming rate.”

About Pennel Skills Development Foundation

Pennel Skills Development Foundation is an organization that focuses on individual and community growth and development. Their aim is to achieve sustainable development goals such as zero-hunger, quality education, decent work and economic growth.

Activities during the event include blue carpet, motivational talks, networking sessions, music, comedy, spoken word, guest speaker presentations and exhibitions.

The participation fee is FCFA 1,000 while the fee to secure a stand at the conference is FCFA 5,000.

For more information on the conference, contact Nyah Penn @ 673-575-002 or via email: psdfoundationcmr@gmail.com.

Lingering Colonialism in Africa & the Need for Complete Decolonization

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Colonialism

Otto Beseka Isong is Founder & CEO of Akwajobs.com. He’s also a leading business development strategist in Silicon Mountain.

In this article, he argues that much of Africa is still under Western colonialism, as African States only appear to have gotten flag independence. Both the lands and the intellects in most of Africa remained colonized.   

Lots of people will want to believe European colonialism in Africa came to an end after African states gained independence, mostly in the 60s. Lies we’ve been told, lies we’ve believed. In this post, I want to prove to you that until this day, the majority of Africa is still colonized.

Let’s get it started.

First things first. What’s colonization? In English, this is the definition I will like us to start with: “ the action or process of settling among and establishing control over the indigenous people of an area.” There are three things that stand out — control over, indigenous people and area (territory). In effect, once a group of people have direct or indirect control over the indigenous people of an area, then it means the indigenous people are colonized.

Let’s take this a little further. In order to colonize a people, one must have control over them in their own territory. Not another’s territory. Their own territory. We can see territory in two ways, minds and lands. Yes, the mind is a territory and the land is also a territory. It therefore implies for effective colonization, there has to be mental and terrestrial domination.

The colonized lands

First, domination on lands. How many communities in Africa hold the full rights of their lands? I mean full rights as in all the rights over their lands. What we have today is Africa in which the people who truly own their lands don’t have the rights to the minerals in their lands. Rather the mineral rights are owned by national governments. The interesting part about governments in Africa is that they’re made in the images of colonial administrations.

When European countries and kingdoms still had direct administrative control over much of Africa, they instituted laws that stripped Africans of their inherent rights over the minerals, transferring those rights to the colonial administrations. All mineral rights were properties of their respective home governments or the corporations in charge.

The indigenous people could live on the land, but once mineral deposits were discovered, the people were forced out of these lands and resettled, albeit with some compensation. But the people weren’t part of the negotiation and never profited from the abundance of their ancestral lands.

Today, we have our so called national governments doing the same. The national governments have the rights over these minerals and they choose to sell those rights to corporations, most often foreign corporations. In that exchange process, if the indigenous people are involved, they’re simply as witnesses, nothing more.

It implies, our national governments are simply proxies to Western control. Reason why when an African government isn’t willing to open up to Western influence, the regime is considered evil and toppled, albeit with the help of the African masses manipulated by the media. Which brings us to the other territory of colonialism, the mind.

Colonialism of the minds

There are lots of on going debates about the effects of foreign education, religion, media and entertainment on the African psyche.

In as much as it appears as though territorial colonialism ended in the 60s, mental colonialism has been intensified in the past years. The whitening of the late pop star Michael Jackson, disgraceful dead of Col. Muammar Qaddafi, massive investment in scholarship programs that push Africans to study abroad, funding of Christian programs, proliferation and promotion of western media and entertainment in Africa, promotion of western ideals in Africa. And many more.

Though they may all seem unrelated, they all have one thing in common, keep the African psyche glued to Western ideals, thus maintaining the belief Western ideals are superior to the African counterparts.

Colonizing religion

All ancient human societies conceived of deities in their image. In precolonial Africa, the Gods worshiped were always carved in the image of the people, with some direct descendants of the gods living among the people, most often as rulers. In such a society, majority of the people see their gods looking like them and have a very high self-esteem. They go about their daily routines with lots of pride of who they are.

 

Sculpture of Olorun, one of the Yoruba gods

Africa today doesn’t have that kind of liberty anymore. With a predominantly Christian population (more than 60% in sub-Saharan Africa), the mental ideal of a sub-Sahara African looks like a Caucasian in the traditional image of Jesus Christ.

One of the conventional images of Jesus Christ

This image makes the ideal far off from the African, with the closest relative of such a god being the earthly Caucasian family. This, by default dethrones the African from their own mind and implants the Caucasian ideal on the African psyche, thus making it impossible for the African to not cede control, willingly, to the Caucasian.

How colonialism crept into Christianity

Christianity in Africa, with an image of Jesus Christ that looks like a Caucasian is a backdoor that’s kept the African permanently colonized. Our forefathers welcomed Europeans and treated with them on a level playing field, today, we put them on pedestals and worship. They are always present in our meetings. We pay them higher (experts) than we pay ourselves. They are given preferable treatment even when they have nothing to contribute.

The celebration of Caucasian beauty ideals on the media, is an essential part of the program. It makes Africans feel uncomfortable in our own hair, skin and body shape. As such, our brothers and sisters do everything to look less like who they naturally are and more like Caucasians. It is for this reason that when Africans become affluent, they choose to maintain fairer skin complexions and hair that look more like Caucasians than Black Africans.

Michael Jackson is a classical example of the whitening of Africans as they become affluent

These cause the erosion of the African’s self-esteem, thus leading to their reliance on Western handouts.

Decolonization

If Africa must rise beyond Western colonization, Africa must decolonize on both fronts — minds and lands. Decolonization of only one of these doesn’t result to good governance, economic growth and stable polities.

The FULL land rights have to go back to the people and their communities, not the central or state governments. However, it is the duty of the central or state governments to protect the interest of its people. As such, it has to make the laws that protect the people and provide educational and support facilities that will empower the people to get into complex negotiations with corporations — local and foreign.

On the front of the mind, we can start understanding why countries like China have been overprotective of the religion of its people, their education, media and entertainment. African states and communities have to make a conscious effort to address this mental colonialism. Without which, most other efforts to create good governance, growing economies (with the wealth going to Africans) and stable polities will most often be wasted.

Our histories has proven this over and over again. It’s been a cycle of booms and busts. There was Democratic Republic of Congo, now there’s Libya.

Until we completely decolonize, most of Africa is still colonized.

The Hustler’s Digest – Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

By ,

Today’s Quote

“Money will soon just be a number on your phone. Your wallet will become redundant.”

Karthik Vaidyanathan, Momoe

Africa

A trip that resulted in a new venture fund for Nigerian entrepreneurs

In a bid to promote Nigeria’s growing tech ecosystem and work with Silicon Valley’s tech ecosystem, an agreement has been signed to set up a new corporate venture fund in partnership with US-Nigeria council. Venture platform startup is directly responsible for this fund. The agreement was signed during the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo’s trip to Silicon Valley. His entourage was made up of senior policy-makers and young tech enthusiasts.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

Up to $250,000 will be invested into the startup initially. The fund will not only provide capital but will also grant investee companies access to market and distribution, growth support and partnerships, talent development and technology.

Such partnership is an opportunity for Nigerian corporations and corporate leaders to work to build Nigeria for a better future.

Obama preaches against brain drain in Johannesburg

Former U.S. president Barack Obama has called on talented young Africans to be at the forefront of driving change at home rather than running out of their countries. The president was speaking on Wednesday in Johannesburg in a gathering of young Africans under the Obama Foundation program.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

The president urged African governments to do more by creating an enabling environment to curb a brain drain in the continent.  “If we have African leaders, governments and institutions which are creating a platform for success and opportunity, then you will increasingly get more talent wanting to stay,” He said.

The former President whose Kenyan-born father studied in the United States and returned home to work as an economist, described the phenomenon of brain as “a real issue. He had earlier called on Kenya’s leaders to turn their backs on divisive ethnic politics and clamp down on corruption.

Cameroon to increase Tollgate fees

The only thing that is constant in life is change but most times, this change can demand so much from us. The Cameroon government has decided to construct 14 automatic toll gates across the country.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

According to the government, the main aim of this project is to make the 14 toll gates which produce 75% of the toll gates revenues in Cameroon, more profitable.

However, transporters worry that the toll gate ticket fees might increase once it is completed. Just as the government sees this opportunity as a way of increasing its revenues, it might be a problem to the drivers and passengers.

Paul Biya announces 7th Presidential ambition on Twitter

The 86-year old President of Cameroon, Paul Biya, last weekend declared his intention to run for another 7-year term as President. Mr. Biya who has been in power for 36 years, made the declaration on Twitter which was followed up within the week by the submission of files for his candidature at the ELECAM head office.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

The Presidential election is to take place on October 7, 2018. Mr. Biya is to be challenged by a good number of opposition candidates. The inability of the opposition to form a coalition or unified platform puts Biya on a vantage position. The Cameroon parliament last week approved a bill from the president requesting the postponement of the legislative and Municipal elections by 12 months.

With this declaration, it is evident that only death will remove Mr. Biya from power. Paul Biya, who has been Cameroon’s President for 36 years, is facing accusations of brutal human rights abuses from different international organizations following the appearance of different videos on social media depicting gross human rights violations.

South Africa on a quest to power rural Kenya

In order to help provide access to energy in rural Kenya, Sun Exchange, South African solar micro-leasing marketplace, has partnered with rural mini-grid solutions provider Powerhive to utilize the crypto-economy.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

Sun Exchange will allow users to buy solar panel with crypto currencies and lease them to various projects, while Powerhive, which has offices in both the US and Kenya, will enable development, financing and management of bankable solar micro-grids.  

According to Abraham Cambridge, CEO of Sun Exchange, their aim is to work towards a world where no one will be forced to cook with unsafe kerosene or wood-burning stoves. Also, children will not have to worry about how they will study after dark and lack of energy access will cease to propel cycles of poverty.

Kofi Annan leads delegation of the Elders to Zimbabwe

Former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan on Wednesday led a team of ‘The Elders’ to a three-day trip in Zimbabwe where they engaged political stakeholders ahead of general elections this month. The delegation is among others that met with the different political leaders, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the diplomatic community, civil society representatives and media.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

The elections, which are scheduled for July 30, 2018, is the first post-Mugabe polls which puts incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa against main opposition Nelson Chamisa. The tense political atmosphere, so far, is probably what has necessitated the visit of the Elders to calm political nerves.

“The Elders” are an independent group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights. The group was founded in 2007 by iconic anti-Apartheid leader and former South African President Nelson Mandela. They represent an independent voice, not bound by the interests of any nation, government or institution.

Egypt wants to regulate popular social media users

From now on, be careful with your tweets and posts. Egypt’s parliament has passed a controversial law that will allow the state to regulate social media users. Under the law, a personal social media account, blog or website with more than 5.000 followers could be considered a media outlet and subject to media law.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

But not everyone is happy with the law. Critics say the legislation will increase the authorities’ ability to crack down on free speech and dissent. Earlier this month, Amnesty International warned that the law would legalize mass censorship and step up the assault on the right to freedom of expression in Egypt — already one of the world’s most oppressive environments for media and journalism.

The new law — passed on Sunday by two-thirds of MPs — placed popular accounts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms under the supervision of Egypt’s media regulator, the Supreme Council for the Administration of the Media. The law also gives the council the power to block websites. Reporters Without Borders describes Egypt as “one of the world’s biggest prisons for journalists”.

Extrajudicial execution of women and children triggers international outrage

A video emerged on social media last week showing the brutal extrajudicial execution of two women and children purportedly by members of the Cameroonian army. Cameroon’s Minister of Communication Issa Tchiroma, described the video as fake news but promised government’s investigation to verify the authenticity of the video.

Amnesty International after an investigation, declared that the soldiers involved are actually Cameroon soldiers and the weapons used also belong to Cameroon’s security forces. The human rights body has also called on the government of Serbia that has been supplying weapons to Cameroon, to consider stopping the sales.

Reactions from the international community have been very massive. The United States Department of State, the British government, the UN and other international human rights organizations have all condemned the carnage and called for investigation of the video and sanctions meted out on the perpetrators of the genocide.  

Orange Cote d’Ivoire proposes an electronic payment card for its Orange Money Service

The Ivorian subsidiary of the French telecommunications group Orange, announced on July 10, 2018 the launch of its VISA card for withdrawals and payments on its Orange Money Service. The group has partnered with Africa Atlantic bank to market its VISA card which started on July 17, 2018. The card is a quick and secured solution that will enable customers make financial transactions from their mobile money accounts.

In Africa, Orange Group has more than 30 million Orange Money customers in 17 countries. And Cote d’Ivoire is the first subsidiary in West Africa and the third African subsidiary to offer this electronic payment card, after Botswana and Cameroon.

According to the group, introducing this innovation confirms its commitment to provide trustworthy services to international standards.

South Sudan government going inclusive with five vice presidents

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir agreed to set up an inclusive transitional government that accommodates all warring factions. This is a move aimed at ending the civil war that has ravaged the young nation since independence.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

“The people of South Sudan are looking for peace and if that arrangement can bring about peace to the people of South Sudan, I am ready to take it,” said Kiir on Wednesday while swearing-in his foreign minister.

The peace deal which is being negotiated in Sudan would give the country five vice presidents and also covers other security and power sharing arrangements. An end to the South Sudan Civil war will certainly mark a new era in the country’s history, as it will pave the way for massive reconstruction.

Safaricom is considering taking M-Pesa to Ethiopia

In recent years, some Nairobi-based firms have expressed interest in setting foot in Ethiopia, mostly owing to its huge population of over 100 million people and lack of economic development. Now, Kenya’s Safaricom wants to introduce its popular M-Pesa mobile money service to neighbouring Ethiopia. Vodafone, Safaricom’s parent company, will license the service to an Ethiopian bank while Safaricom will host the servers in Nairobi, Reuters reports.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

Since launching in 2007, M-Pesa has built a dominant base in Kenya and a strong presence across East Africa. If this goes ahead, the deal will present Safaricom with a lucrative opportunity to grow revenue and deposits in a market more than twice the size of its home country, with over 100 million Ethiopians.

The service’s introduction could also have a notable impact on Ethiopians, who could use it to not only send and receive money but also borrow, save, and pay for services.

Ethiopia’s set to sign $483.1m contract to upgrade its roads

As part of the country’s second growth and transformation plan, the Ethiopian Road Authority and contractors have signed a US $483.1m agreement to upgrade various roads across the country.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

“The upgrading of the roads will be conducted on eight national road projects. It will cover 749.37 km and are mainly implemented in Amhara, Somali, Oromia, SNNPs and Benisangul Gumuz states,” said Samson Wondimu, the Authority Communication Directorate Director.

Nevertheless, the execution of these projects will ease traffic flow in the country and also provide job opportunities to the unemployed. Also, it will strengthen socio-economic relationships between the various communities within and among the states.

Eritrea withdraws her troops from border with Ethiopia as a sign of reconciliation

Following the peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea, after a 21-year long war between the two nations, Eritrea, on Thursday reportedly withdrew her troops from the heavily militarized border with Ethiopia. According to the Eritrean government, it’s a “gesture of reconciliation.”

“It is imperative for all those who care about the long-term stability and economic viability of the region to do everything they can to help the two countries move beyond the senseless war that brought so much suffering on both people,” said an Eritrean pro-government news agency.

The leaders of the two countries had on July 9 restored ties between the two once warring nations, and have since then moved swiftly to sweep away the two decades of hostility. Both countries have so far appointed Ambassadors to both countries. The Ethiopian Airlines also made its first flight to Eritrea, helping to a reunite many separated families. It is a new dawn for Ethiopia and Eritrea.

World

Amazon crashed on its biggest day of the year

Monday happened to be Amazon’s made-up holiday, Prime Day. And the day started out well for Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos. Pre-Prime hype sent his personal fortune past $150 billion, making him the richest man in recent history. But Amazon’s site crashed, dropping the company’s stock nearly 1% on a day when it was supposed to soar. By 5pm, Amazon issued a statement saying shoppers were successfully back on the site spending.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

And it was supposed to be a company-wide mourning for Amazon. But this subprime experience was not the worst of Jeff’s worries. 1.8k warehouse workers seized the opportunity to protest low pay and poor working conditions.

Amazon was projected to bring in $3.4 billion over the course of the 36-hour sale. Meaning that every minute the site was down, the company potentially lost $1.57 million in sales. Prime Day started at 3pm ET. But by 3:05pm ET, the site had crashed — leaving many shoppers stranded staring at pictures of ‘dogs of Amazon.’

Netflix is falling off a cliff

While Netflix is still adding subscribers, the company fell below the forecasts it set for itself during the second quarter. That, in turn, shaved off more than $10 billion in its market capitalization on Monday afternoon. MarketWatch reports that Netflix shares fell around 14% upon news that they added just 5.2 million users, down from 6.2 million estimate the company listed in April.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

But they did hit their domestic earnings expectations. On the bright side, the company reported a profit of $384 million at 85 cents a share, topping their projection of 79 cents, up from $66 million in Q2 a year ago. Unfortunately, they couldn’t say the same for their international revenue. In April, Netflix predicted a $65 million+ impact on international revenue. But Netflix says that a strengthened US dollar reduced the impact.

Netflix shares have risen 109% so far this year, while the rest of the S&P 500 rose around 4.7% combined. But, the one concern that still plagues analysts is Netflix’s spending. The company blew through $559 million more than it brought in (down around 8.8% from last year).

Luckin coffee wants to challenge Starbucks in China as it’s now worth $1 billion

Chinese company Luckin Coffee, recently closed a $200m funding round, giving the young company a $1 billion valuation, as they attempt to steal Starbucks’ crown in the area. With over 3k stores, Starbucks is currently the largest coffee slosher in China — its 2nd largest market after the US.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

The Beijing-based coffee startup has grown at an insane rate. It has opened 525 outlets across China’s major cities less than 9 months after its launch. As part of their “new retail” strategy, the company makes their customers download their app to order coffee. Meanwhile, Luckin’s also trying a new legal strategy: suing Starbucks in May for “monopolistic behavior.”

The EU and Japan just shook hands on a major trade agreement

The deal creates an open-trade zone between the two and waves goodbye to almost all tariffs between them. And this should save companies in the EU a little over $1 billion a year. The deal has been in the works for years. Both parties reached an agreement about a year ago — few months after the US pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The two trade partners signed the deal on Wednesday. Now, it’s up to their parliaments to give it the thumbs up before it can take effect — which could be next year.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

Why should you care? It’s the largest bilateral trade deal ever. Plus, Japan and the EU produce almost a third of the world’s GDP. But because Trump is not a fan of trade deals, he pulled the US out of the TPP. Ever since, he’s been slapping tariffs on everyone from China to the EU. He says this will help US workers by bringing jobs back to the states.

But many lawmakers say this will hurt the US economy instead. The IMF says trade wars could cost the world economy billions of dollars. And that the US is especially vulnerable, exactly what the US is trying to avoid by using the WTO to challenge countries that hit back at the US with tariffs. This was probably Japan’s and the EU’s way of telling the US, ‘we’re moving on without you.’

Silicon Times

Events

  • Attend the event on Powering up at continent at POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa 2018, from July 17 – 19, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Be part of the most influential christian business networking event, The Royalty Business Breakfast on July 21, 2018, 7 PM at Rhema Restaurant Molyko, Buea.
  • Join Techstars Startup Weekend Benin-City and get experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs, from July 20, 4:00 PM to 22, 2018, 7:00 PM in Benin City, Nigeria.
  • Be part of ZOOM’s ENTREPRENEURS ‘FAIR 237 on August 10, 2018 9 AM – 8 PM in Douala and network with like-minded entrepreneurs from Cameroon.
  • Register now for an insightful session with numerous networking opportunities at the Africa Singapore Business Forum (ASBF) 2018, from August 28 – 29, 2018 in Singapore.
  • Don’t miss the SME Economy Conference on funding and get the chance to pitch your business idea to potential investors, coming up from September 22, 9:00 am – 23, 2018, 11:00 pm in Lagos, Nigeria.

Jobs

  • DAI Global needs the service of a Consultancy – Territorial Marketing Strategy personal in Morocco. Deadline: July 25, 2018.
  • I – Care Foundation is in need of a Communication Officer. Karachi – Pakistan. Deadline: July 28, 2019.
  • Waterlex organization is currently open for Communication Intern. Geneva – Switzerland. Deadline: July 30, 2018.
  • Work as a Program Officer (Reporting and Communication) at Mercy Without Limits. Gaziantep – Turkey. Closing date: July 31, 2018.
  • Work as a Project Manager MNPSS at COOPI – Cooperazione Internazionale. Kousseri – Cameroon. Closing date: July 30, 2018.
  • Apply as an ICT Manager at Concern Worldwide. Nairobi – Kenya. Closing date:  August 05, 2018.
  • Apply as a Grants Manager at International Rescue Committee. Cameroon. Closing date: August 11, 2018.
  • Work as a Deputy Nursery Manager at Future schools trust. London. Closing date: August 19, 2018.

Opportunities

Featured Articles

The Hustler’s Digest – China Retaliates with Shivery Tariffs Against the US

By ,

The Hustler’s Digest - China Hits Retaliation Button, Launching Shivery Tariffs Against the US

Today’s Quote

“I don’t initiate violence, I retaliate.”

Chuck Norris

Africa
Is agriculture the next stop for Former Konga boss, Sim Shagaya?

It is time to see how it goes with Agriculture when Sim Shagaya, the former CEO and founder of Konga, Nigeria’s e-commerce giant shows interest in this sector that is fast gaining its grounds in Nigeria’s economy.

Little has been heard of his endeavors after his exit from Konga. However, he recently expressed his support for the federal government’s intentions to close the borders to rice smuggling. It was evident as he thanked the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe. Shagaya in an interactive session with young entrepreneurs in Jos motivated them to join this lucrative sector. Considering agriculture is one of the promising sectors at the forefront of replacing oil in Nigeria.

Getting youths involved in this sector will go a long way to fight against poverty,  one of Nigeria’s major challenges. With his funds and entrepreneurial skills, this sector can become very vibrant if only he really intends to invest in the sector. This could either be on the farm or along the agricultural value chain. More is still to be expected as his tweet on workers leaving their white collar jobs to embrace agriculture has raised eyebrows on what might be his next stop.

Nigerian oppositions unite to throw Buhari out of the Presidency by 2019

President Buhari’s ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) split last week when a faction emerged known as the Reform All Progressive Congress (RAPC). This split resulted from a disputed national elective convention of the party. The RAPC has withdrawn its support for the government and pitched a tent with the CUPP.

However, his party- All Progressive Congress (APC) needs to approve his candidacy. But unfortunately for Buhari APC has split off to join the other oppositions to challenge him at the 2019 elections. This split, therefore, is a serious threat to Buhari’s hopes of securing a second term in the 2019 elections.

The Splinter group Reformed-All Progressive Congress (R-APC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and 37 other political parties are in this new alliance to defeat the ruling party. According to the said memorandum read by Tom Ikimi of the PDP, the parties have guaranteed the rise of a joint presidential candidate for the February 2019 elections.

KPMO to Manage Cameroon Kribi port multipurpose terminal

In order to properly manage the Kribi multipurpose port, the Cameroonian group of companies (KPMO), has signed a subcontracting terminal agreement. This agreement was signed on July 09, 2018.

According to Mr. Patrice Melom, the port managing director, during this transitory period, the port will manage the terminal itself but can subcontract another company for that purpose.  

However, this group was chosen by Cameroon for a partnership agreement in the framework of the maintenance and management of Kribi port’s multipurpose terminal.

Amidst worsening crisis, Cameroon’s president still wants to stand for the 2018 Presidential elections

Cameroon’s octogenarian president Paul Biya has announced his candidature for the 2018 Presidential elections. He made the announcement via his Twitter account, which is the first time the head of state is using the social media to announce his candidature for any election.

The announcement comes amidst a worsening conflict and rising humanitarian crisis in the Anglophone regions of the country, where separatist forces have vowed to truncate elections in the region.

President Biya is 85 and Africa’s oldest and longest-serving president. With the prevailing atmosphere of war in the Anglophone region of the country, Boko Haram incursions from the North, the age of the president and the dwindling economy of the nation, it will be difficult for anyone to conclude that all is well and set for the elections.  

Okapi Finance is fighting Kenya’s youth unemployment with motorcycles

Okapi Finance is a global money transfer company. It launched its services in Kenya with an objective to offer affordable cash transfer services. Just recently, Okapi Finance signed a partnership with Diptop Agencies to fight the rampant unemployment rate in Kenya. Youths in Nairobi’s Kibera area are set to receive funding to buy motorcycles for boda-boda business and repay using the Okapi platform.

The Hustler’s Digest - China Hits Retaliation Button, Launching Shivery Tariffs Against the US

According to the Okapi Finance Country Manager Patrick Kihara, “Youth unemployment is rampant in our society. Okapi Finance is, however, in the process of addressing the problem to our subscribers across the country. We shall soon do the same to other parts of the country,” he says. Kibera has a total of 13 villages, and the company plans to reach out to as many youths as possible across the slum. Mr. Kihara said beneficiaries will re-pay as little as Ksh 500 daily.

This act of benevolence towards the vulnerable youth population proves Okapi Finance is indeed a blessing to the Kenyan citizens.

Absa introduces the world’s first banking service via WhatsApp 

The South African banking giant, Absa just made history as the first banking institution in the world to fully launch banking via WhatsApp.Speaking at a press briefing at the Absa brand launch, the bank confirmed that the WhatsApp banking service is a part of the group’s digital banking strategy going forward. Absa said that the new service will be part of its “social media banking” strategy. Through this, customers can now conduct “instant transactions” using Absa’s ChatBanking service.

The Hustler’s Digest - China Hits Retaliation Button, Launching Shivery Tariffs Against the US

According to the group, clients will be able to perform instant transactions using the bank’s ChatBanking service, available on Facebook Messenger, Twitter and now WhatsApp.

It is an amazing innovation as clients will now be allowed to do banking transactions via WhatsApp.This service allows them to get their bank balance, buy electricity, purchase airtime and data, and also pay beneficiaries.

Ivorian government picks American VISA group to digitize her services

Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Economy and Finance has signed a partnership agreement with the International group, a specialist in electronic payments. This is in a bid to digitize its services.

To Adama Koné, Ivorian Minister of Economy and Finance the partnership is proof of the country’s aim to have an international standard to offer services to the population.VISA group is expected to ensure the availability of financial services in every part of the country. Most especially to the population who do not have access to the traditional financial system.

It will be interesting to have more Ivorians integrated into the formal financial system and improve the quality of services. This will, in turn, encourage the use of the latest payment technologies.

Ethiopian Airlines partner with CellPoint Mobile to improve Passengers’ Mobile experience

In the quest for flight payment flexibility, Ethiopian Airlines group and skyTrax certified global airline has partnered with Cellpoint Mobile. Cellpoint Mobile is a leading provider of sales and payment technology solutions in the United States. 

“We want to make the mobile payment process as accessible and simple as possible for all our customers. We have made significant investments in technology to create a seamless user experience within our branded application. Cellpoint Mobile gives us the flexibility we were looking for to add the payment methods we need, quickly and easily, and to advise us how to improve the profitability of our growing digital channel,” said Miretab Teklaye, Digital Director of Ethiopian Airlines.

However, Ethiopian Airlines hope to capture a larger share of the international travel market in Africa, through this partnership. Also, this opportunity might help to strengthen the group’s presence on the African continent.  

Ethiopia and Eritrea finally at Peace with each other

After 20 years of a bitter military stand-off, Ethiopia and Eritrea have finally reached a peaceful settlement. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has committed himself to respect the international boundaries between the two countries defined by the United Nations.

As a landlocked country, Ethiopia now wants to re-open two roads connecting to two of Eritrea’s Red Sea ports. This is a priority in the two nations’ reconciliation process, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.

It is expected that this historic reconciliation would transform politics and security in the once volatile Horn region, which lies along one of the world’s busiest shipping routes. Haven achieved this feat just after 100 days in office, it would not be surprising for Abiy Ahmed to become a Nobel Peace laureate.

World

Uber partners with Lime as the scooter wars rev up

Recently, Uber joined forces with the citrus-centric scooter startup Lime in a $335 million funding round. Lime’s Series C closed just 2 weeks after rival Bird pulled in its own $300 million round. This puts Lime scooters on the map. But more importantly, it escalates the mobility war between ride-sharing giants like Uber and Lyft.

The Hustler’s Digest - China Hits Retaliation Button, Launching Shivery Tariffs Against the US

Google led the round, bringing Lime’s overall funding to $467 million. But the race for scooter supremacy is just kicking off. Both Lime and Bird hit the $1 billion milestone in less than a year and a half, but Bird was the fastest company to become a unicorn in history. Uber and Lyft are competing across the fronts of ride-sharing, bike-sharing and now, scooter-sharing to become a “one-stop shop” for transportation.

Just last week, Lyft announced its acquisition of the largest bike-sharing company in America, Motivate, for $250 million — challenging Uber, which bought bike-sharing company Jump in April for around $200 million. As the companies continue to mimic each other, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to compete without undercutting their own business.

Your social media following may soon shrink

Don’t be surprised if your number of Twitter followers suddenly drops this week. Twitter said it’s purging tens of millions of suspicious accounts from its platform. Most people will lose four or fewer followers, but the big-time accounts of celebrities and other famous people will lose many more. The move comes after The New York Times reported a firm that sold millions of fake followers to customers eager to boost their stature and influence on Twitter.

The Hustler’s Digest - China Hits Retaliation Button, Launching Shivery Tariffs Against the US

Facebook is also waging war on the fake stuff, too. The company held a big presentation for the media in which it bragged about its efforts to get fake news and misinformation off its pages. But during a Q&A with reporters, the head of Facebook’s News Feed couldn’t explain why a company like InfoWars, which peddles conspiracy theories, is still on its platform.

That aside, UK regulators recently slapped Facebook with a hefty fine because of that Cambridge Analytica scandal. Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm took tens of millions of Facebook users’ data without their permission. Facebook pretty much knew about it but didn’t do much to stop it. Now, the UK’s asking Facebook to write a $664,000 check for not being transparent. It’s the first fine since the scandal is going down and Zuck’s wallet is about to get a little lighter.

China’s Xiaomi slumps after IPO

In a slow start for the first of what may be a slew of Chinese tech firms selling shares to the public, the Chinese smartphone maker fell to about 4% in its trading debut in Hong Kong. Xiaomi planned to raise enough in the IPO for a $100 billion valuation. But investors only had enough gas in the tank to get it to $54 billion, with stock dipping as much as 6% and closing just 1% up from the open price.

The Hustler’s Digest - China Hits Retaliation Button, Launching Shivery Tariffs Against the US

Analysts speculate that Xiaomi’s valuation may have been overly ambitious compared to the likes of already-public phone makers like Apple, and investors simply weren’t buying the hype. The recent tariff-off between the US and China also may have investors wary, as Xiaomi will need to break into the American market at some point if it wants to keep growing.

Notwithstanding, they’re still the 4th-most valuable smartphone maker in the world, and their executives are still billionaires. Founder and CEO Lei Jun owns about 28% of the company, a stake now worth about $14B, and President Lin Bin’s 12.5% stake made him a cool $6 billion.

China retaliates with $34 billion worth of tariffs on US exports

It was only a matter of time before China struck back. Following through on their promise to retaliate against Trump’s 25% tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports, China levied a 25% tariff on $34 billion worth of US exports. The new Chinese tariff affects 545 US exports. The whole thing feels like a face-off for a real fight. China doesn’t appear to be backing down any time soon. China claims the US has violated WTO rules, calling the back-and-forth the largest trade war in economic history.

The Hustler’s Digest - China Hits Retaliation Button, Launching Shivery Tariffs Against the US

Meanwhile, businesses are now caught in the middle. On the US front, some exports will be canceled immediately, leading to short-term revenue loss for those businesses. The effects on consumers may take longer to see.

About 60% of US-China trade involves “parts and supplies,” rather than finished products. So, businesses making the products will feel the effects before consumers. Harley-Davidson is already moving some of its manufacturing overseas as a result of the US tariffs. As a result, both the US and Chinese consumers may want to anticipate price spikes in the near future.

Silicon Times

Events

  • You can not afford to miss the 3 days workshop for intermediate and Advanced programmers organized by ActivSpaces and a German-based NGO Company, Leapfrog. From  July 24-26, 2018 at ActivSpaces Buea-8AM-4PM daily. Contact: 678925156/678949241.
  • Don’t miss out on the Catholic Entrepreneur Forum. From Sat, July 14, 2018, 8:30 PM – 11:30 PM WAT at Deido St. Jean Parish Douala, Littoral.
  • You can not afford to miss the Entrepreneurs Day .2018. From November 15, 2018, 10:00 AM – November 17, 2018, 10:00 PM WAT. At Maison du Parti Bonanjo Douala, Littoral.
  • Attend the 1-sessions Afterwork from July 19, 2018,  7:30 PM – 11:30 PM WAT Douala Design Hotel, Littoral.
  • Don’t miss the Training in Digital Communication – Session 5. From July 21, 2018, 09:30 AM – August 18, 2018, 17:00 PM. At ActivSpaces Boulevard de la Liberté Douala, Région du Littoral.
  • You can’t afford to miss the TechStars Startup Weekend Buea 07/18, run from July 20, 8:00 AM – July 22, 2018, 10:30 AM at Catholic University Institute of Buea.
  • Register now for an insightful session with numerous networking opportunities at the Africa Singapore Business Forum (ASBF) 2018, from August 28 – 29, 2018 in Singapore.
  • Attend the event on Powering up at continent at POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa 2018, from July 17 – 19, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Don’t miss the East Africa Digital Construction from November 14 -15, 2018, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • 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, Nigeria.
  • Grab an amazing opportunity to meet Human Resources Professionals during the Workshop on Writing HR Policies and Procedures from November 12-16, 2018, 9 am – 5 pm at HCA Learning Centre, Nigeria.

Jobs

Opportunities

  • Participate in the 2018 Business Partners Limited/ SME Business plan competition for aspiring young entrepreneurs(R2500 cash prize & funded to Johannesburg South Africa). Application Deadline: July 31, 2018.
  • Apply for the African Women’s Development Fund: Call for Proposals for 2018 World Aids Day (US $2,000 grant). Application Deadline: July 20, 2018.
  • Apply for Lafarge Ashaka Cement Limited 2018 Graduate Training Programs for Young Nigerian graduates. Application Deadline: July 13, 2018.
  • Apply for the World Bank Group IFC Recruitment Drive 2018 for sub-Saharan African Professionals. Application deadlines vary with position.
  • Apply for Investec Bursary Programmes 2019 for Young South Africans. Application Deadline is August 31, 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.
  • Grab the amazing opportunity and apply for L’Oreal South Africa Digital Marketing Internship Program 2018.
  • Apply for the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Awards for Scientific Excellence(AUKNASE): Continental & Regional Awards 2018 Edition. Application Deadline: November 10, 2018.

Featured Articles

The Hustler’s Digest – Uganda’s New Social Media Tax is Getting a Hit

By ,

The Hustler’s Digest - Uganda’s New Social Media Tax is Getting a Hit

Today’s Quote

“The power of the people is much stronger than the people in power”

Wael Ghonim 

Africa

Nigerian government injects $1.4 billion into low-cost mortgage lender

In the next five years, the Nigerian government will inject 500 billion Naira ($1.4 billion) into low-cost mortgage lenders. According to the country, this falls in line with its effort to encourage home ownership in Nigeria.

The most populated African nation has a housing deficit of 17 million units. Subsequently, Nigeria seeks to improve access to home loans in an economy that rivals South Africa as the biggest on the continent.

According to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), with the lack of proper land deeds and record high-interest rates, there are only an estimated 50,000 registered mortgages. FMBN, however, accounts for a meager 18,200 which it intends to increase its capital from 5 billion Naira at a rate of 100 billion Naira yearly.

What urgent concerns brought French President to Nigeria?

40-year old French President Emmanuel Macron was in Nigeria on Tuesday. He met his 78-year old counterpart, President Muhammadu Buhari for talks ranging from security to economic development.

The Hustler’s Digest - Uganda’s New Social Media Tax is Getting a Hit

After an audience with Buhari, Macron bluntly said his country cannot help Nigeria and Africa solve insecurity but would intervene, especially, in the fight against terrorism. He encouraged the Nigerian president and other African leaders to provide enabling economic and political environments for young people.

There are very high speculations that Macron was in Abuja to seek Buhari’s assistance to fight Anglophone Separatists in Cameroon. The visit came just a few days after the French Secretary of State for foreign affairs visited the Anglophone region under threatening security conditions, while president Macron on his part had a phone conversation with Paul Biya, his 85 years old Cameroun counterpart.

Considering the historical underpinnings of the conflict in Cameroon which directly affects Nigeria, one begins to wonder if Nigeria will accept to side with France to crush her English-speaking neighbors fighting for a course anchored on international law and historical truths.

Cameroon records a 25% budget increase on BEAC’s security market

During the public security issuances meeting organized by BEAC, Cameroon currency grew by FCFA 4689 billion after the last budget meeting on June 4, 2014. This was revealed by the monitoring committee in charge of the Reglement et de Conservation des Titres (CRCT).

According to the CRCT those are mainly short-term issuances and the interest rate required by the investors are ever increasing.

However, these increases can be explained by the high solicitations observed on BEAC security market since the end of 2015 due to the fall of commodities’ prices.

Cameroon’s Parliament rubber stamps President Paul Biya’s election postponement bill

Parliamentary elections in Cameroon will only hold in October 2019. This comes after lawmakers adopted a presidential bill last Monday requesting the postponement of the elections by 12 months. “The mandate of the deputies is extended for a period of twelve months, from October 29, 2018,” part of the bill, submitted by President Paul Biya read.

The Hustler’s Digest - Uganda’s New Social Media Tax is Getting a Hit

According to President Paul Biya who is has been in power for almost 40 years, the holding of presidential, legislative and municipal elections at the same time this 2018 would be difficult due to the “overlapping electoral operations.” This reason given by the Cameroon government sounds convincing to the ears if only one does not know what is happening in the country.

But the political reality is that the atmosphere in Cameroon, especially the Anglophone region is not favorable for any kind of universal suffrage elections. Separatists rebels have been fighting government forces since September 2017 when president Paul Biya declared war against what he called “secessionist terrorists.” There are no signs of a cease-fire anytime soon as the situation escalates every day.

Kenya’s mobile food delivery firm, Twiga Foods secures $7million

After raising $10.3-million in a round led by Wamda Capital and Omidyar Network last year, Twiga Foods hits it big again. The B2B distribution platform which connects farmers with urban retailers and vendors is set to secure $7million to scale up its operations. 

The Hustler’s Digest - Uganda’s New Social Media Tax is Getting a Hit

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is set to invest $3 million while TLCom will invest $4-million in Kenya’s Twiga Foods. The startup is currently in discussions with members of the IFC’s Global Food Safety Advisory programme over a GAFSP-funded project which will see the startup design a Twiga Good Agricultural Practices Brand.

Twiga Foods runs a mobile cashless platform through which vendors can order and pay for fresh food from farmers. The initiative, which will be piloted with 30 banana farmers, will enable the farmers to increase farming yields. This will also lead which will lead to positive demonstration effects for other domestic players as well.

Civil servants in Equatorial Guinea must obtain authorization before traveling abroad

Civil servants in Equatorial Guinea now need an authorization from the vice president before making any foreign trip. The reason for this decision has not been made known. It, however, comes on the heels of a crackdown following an attempted coup last December.

“I couldn’t travel without this authorization, I didn’t know. At the airport, they told me civil servants needed one,” Juan Mbo, an official at the National Institute of Social Security, told Africanews, giving an account that was confirmed by other state employees.

It’s interesting how a single family has taken hostage the destinies of all Equato-Guineans and the citizens are watching helplessly. It is important to note that the Vice President referred to here is Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of the President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo who has been President since 1979. The son is not only the vice president of the country but also doubles as the Minister of Defense and security.

Tanzania’s Vodacom and Azam Telecom win two new telecom licenses

Tanzania’s Vodacom and Azam Telecom have won two new telecom licenses just after winning spectrum last month. The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has announced the issuance of two new telecom licenses in the country. To win this license, the market leader, Vodacom Tanzania, submitted an offer of $ 10.005 million, while the offer of Azam Telecom Limited was $10 million.

According to the TCRA, spectrum conditions included bidders’ assurance to provide mobile broadband coverage for 60% of Tanzania’s population by 2021 and 90% coverage by 2024. These requirements are in line with the 2016 objectives of Tanzania’s National Communication to promote efficient use of spectrum for the best socio-economic benefits.

The participation of Vodacom and Azam in the auction and finally obtaining the two new telecom license, thus, reflects their commitment to invest in the country. As Tanzania’s mobile network operator, Vodacom is working towards their vision to lead Tanzania into the digital age.

African Union leaders want to control Africa’s illegal migration

African leaders have come up with a body to help coordinate national policies on migration. At the 31st summit of the AU leaders in Mauritania on Monday, they all agreed to set up an organization called the African Observatory for Migration and Development. Morocco agreed to host the organization at its capital, Rabat.

The Hustler’s Digest - Uganda’s New Social Media Tax is Getting a Hit

 

This comes against a backdrop of the increasing illegal movement of Africans across the Mediterranean to Europe, a journey that has claimed the lives of thousands of African youths. Is this organization the beginning of a solution to the migration problem in Africa?

Just between January and June 2018, about 42,653 have arrived in Europe, with 1063 deaths at sea. Also, hundreds of African migrants intercepted by Libyan Coast Guards between 2017 and 2018 have been returned to their countries of origin.

Uganda’s social media tax forces activists to file a lawsuit

In May, Uganda’s parliament imposed a tax on the use of social media in a bid to raise revenue. But recently, activists filed a lawsuit against the new tax, arguing that it limits basic rights and harms businesses.

Ugandans pay 200 shillings ($0.0517) per day to access Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube, Skype and other phone apps under this tax. The government says the revenue will help fund energy, transport, and other projects.

According to Daniel Bill Opio, a lawyer who filed the petition, youths are taking on initiatives toward innovation and technology mostly using these platforms. But “once you introduce a tax, you are actually killing this budding entrepreneurship.” Meanwhile, Amnesty International called on the government on Monday to scrap the tax and said it was an attempt to smother dissent disguised as a measure to raise revenue.

South Sudan government proposes a bill to extend president’s term

The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, has proposed a bill to elongate his term of office for three years. The bill seeks to amend the Constitution for an extension of Kiir’s mandate to 2021. The opposition has however condemned the bill describing it as an illegal procedure. They also argue that the bill undermines peace talks with the opposition. Lawmakers will vote the bill into law later this month.

The Hustler’s Digest - Uganda’s New Social Media Tax is Getting a Hit

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and erupted into violence in late 2013 after a political disagreement between President Kiir and his former vice. Riek Machar. Thousands of people have been killed since the start of the conflict, with more than three million displaced.

The warring parties met last week in Khartoum Sudan and agreed on a new peace deal that included a ceasefire. However, an eruption of fighting last Monday killed at least 18 civilians.

Ethiopia’s twin dams threaten thousands of Kenyans

Last week, UNESCO put Kenya’s Lake Turkana on its list of endangered World Heritage Sites because of the “disruptive effect” of an existing Ethiopian dam over Kenya’s northern border. Now, Ethiopia plans to build two new dams on the Omo river in a bid to step up its electricity supply. If Ethiopia moves ahead with its plans, some 300,000 Kenyans who depend on Lake Turkana — the world’s biggest desert lake — could run short of drinking water and fish.

Ethiopia’s plan will only make the situation worse, but Addis Ababa is rejecting this claim. The country argues that the dam will regulate the river’s flow and stabilize water levels in the flood-prone region. Lake Turkana in northwestern Kenya gets 90% of its water from the Omo river in Ethiopia. And it also used the Omo river to generate power for manufacturing and export.

The lake is likely to shrink slowly, reducing breeding grounds for fish. Become too salty for fish to survive and too toxic for people and animals to drink. Ethiopia is also at loggerheads with Egypt over another dam that Addis Ababa is building on the River Nile which Cairo fears will reduce waters running to its fields and reservoirs from Ethiopia’s highlands.

South Africa joins the free trade deal for African nations

South Africa has signed a free trade agreement joining 50 other African states for free trade in the continent. While commenting on the free trade agreement, President Cyril Ramaphosa noted that he was excited that South Africa has joined the community of nations that have signed.

The Hustler’s Digest - Uganda’s New Social Media Tax is Getting a Hit

South Africa, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Lesotho, and Burundi have therefore joined the 44 countries that have already signed the agreement March 2018 in Kigali. The South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the nitty-gritty needed to be put into place before it was commercially viable. One of such things to be put in place is the fact that the agreement needs to go through Parliament for ratification.

It’s still a long road to go in the continent but its a step closer to realizing its free trade dream, with five more countries signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement at the 31st African Union summit currently underway.

World

After 5 years of private reboot, Dell returns to the public market

Dell is returning to the public market after a 5-year stint as a private company. Michael Dell built the company he started in his dorm room into the world’s largest computer-maker by the mid-2000s. But by 2013, Dell had slipped behind HP and Lenovo. Unhappy with its new position, Dell decided to take the company private for $25 billion.

The Hustler’s Digest - Uganda’s New Social Media Tax is Getting a Hit

Outside of public market scrutiny, Dell revamped its non-hardware offerings, buying data storage company EMC Corp for $67B in 2016. To finance the historic acquisition, Dell issued a tracking stock for its subsidiary, VMware.

Over 5 years, Dell succeeded in diversifying its software offerings to become a one-stop computing shop for businesses. But in doing so, it piled up $52.7 billion in debt as of last quarter. To make up for the cash shortfall, Dell had to return to public markets. They bought their own tracking stock for $21.7 billionallowing for tight control and outside investment. Now, Dell and VMware will operate more independently.

Facebook is buying a British AI firm to help tackle fake news

On Tuesday, Facebook announced that it’s acquired London-based artificial intelligence firm Bloomsbury AI, which specializes in natural language processing. Facebook has vowed recently, to beef up human editors and problem-spotting AI to address concerns about election meddling. The company says Bloomsbury’s expertise will strengthen its efforts in natural language processing research.

The Hustler’s Digest - Uganda’s New Social Media Tax is Getting a Hit

Facebook’s grand goal is to have AI that understands images, videos, and text that it can effectively moderate the entire social network’s platform. It’s not immediately clear where Bloomsbury will fit into the picture here. But Bloomsbury AI co-founder Sebastian Riedel also helped create Factmata to help weed out fake news.

The company recently expanded fact-checking resources to more countries ahead of global elections. Its acquisition of Bloomsbury would cost only $30 million according to reported estimates. But this signals that Facebook is now looking outside the company to round out its own efforts. Bloomsbury AI product, Cape, reads text documents and answers questions about the content, including questions that involve reasoning and synthesis.

Uber returns to Finnish roads after a one-year hiatus

Previously, Finland allowed Uber to operate within its borders but on one condition. That its drivers hold valid taxi licenses, something other countries don’t require. But Uber still became the target of police investigations. This situation forced Uber to cease operations in Finland last year. But the company is back thanks to new, less-strict regulations that took effect July 1.

It’s a major victory for Uber, which has come under increased pressure from regulators and taxi drivers in Europe. The new rules remove a cap on the number of taxi licenses the government issues annually and restrictions on fares.

More than a quarter million people in Helsinki have opened Uber’s app since August, despite ride-hailing services not being available. Uber also recently regained its license to operate in London, but only after agreeing to a probation for 15 months. The company has fought a country-by-country battle in Europe, where it faces much greater scrutiny from regulators.

Quartz is moving across the pond after a Tokyo-based firm acquisition

Publicly listed Japanese financial intelligence and media firm, Uzabase has shown interest in online tech and business news organization, Quartz. According to Quartz, the two firms intend to close the deal within a month and will pay between $75 million and $110 million, depending on Quartz’s financial performance the rest of this year.

Uzabase is one of Asia’s largest information databases and news services. As the company seeks growth outside Asia, Quartz will help build Uzabase’s operating app into an English-language newsfeed, strengthening their presence in the US. Atlantic Media launched Quartz in 2012 as a newswire for young professionals within the organization. Now, Quartz has grown into what some call, “The Economist of the digital era.”

Lately, high-profile media acquisitions have been less than favorable. Quartz reached 12 million US readers in May and has managed to do what large media companies have not — hit their revenue targets. In 2016, the company turned a profit earning of more than $1 million on over $30 million in revenue. And it’s currently on pace to increase revenue by as much as 35% this year.

Silicon Times

Events

  • You can not afford to miss the Entrepreneurs Day 2018 from November 15, 2018, 10:00 AM – November 17, 2018, 10:00 PM in Douala, Cameroon.
  • Take part in the VTC Digital Holidays 2018: Digital Competence and Self-Employment. From July 9, 2018, 4:00 PM – September 1, 2018, 6:00 PM WAT in Douala, Cameroon.
  • Attend the 1-sessions Afterwork from July 19, 2018  7:30 PM – 11:30 PM Douala Design Hotel, Littoral.
  • You can’t afford to miss the Techstars Startup Weekend Buea 07/18, run from July 20, 8:00 AM – July 22, 2018, 10:30 AM at Catholic University Institute of Buea.
  • Don’t miss out on DEMO Africa Innovation Tour – Yaounde Edition on July 5, 2018 from 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM at ActivSpaces, Buea.
  • Register now for an insightful session with numerous networking opportunities at the Africa Singapore Business Forum (ASBF) 2018 from August 28 – 29, 2018, in Singapore.
  • Attend the event on Powering up at continent at POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa 2018 from July 17 – 19, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Don’t miss the East Africa Digital Construction from November 14 -15, 2018, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Attend the Live Smart City Travel,Live, Work & Startup at Abuja-The World’s First from November 23, 2018, 9:30 am to November November 24, 2018, 6 pm at Sheraton Abuja Hotel, Nigeria.
  • 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, Nigeria.
  • Grab an amazing opportunity to meet Human Resources Professionals during the Workshop on Writing HR Policies and Procedures from November 12-16, 2018, 9 am – 5 pm in Nigeria.

Jobs

Opportunities

  • Participate in the 2018 Business Partners Limited/ SME Business plan competition for aspiring young entrepreneurs(R2500 cash prize & funded to Johannesburg South Africa). Application Deadline: July 31, 2018.
  • Apply for the African Women’s Development Fund: Call for Proposals for 2018 World Aids Day(US $2,000 grant). Application Deadline: July 20, 2018.
  • Apply for Lafarge Ashaka Cement Limited 2018 Graduate Training Programs for Young Nigerian graduates. Application Deadline: July 13, 2018.
  • Apply for the World Bank Group IFC Recruitment Drive 2018 for sub-Saharan African Professionals. Application deadlines vary with position.
  • Applications are open for the 2018 Google Impact Challenge Nigeria for nonprofits and social enterprises ( $250,000 grant and training from Google). Application Deadline: July 4, 2018.
  • Apply for Investec Bursary Programmes 2019 for Young South Africans. Application Deadline is August 31, 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.
  • Grab the amazing opportunity and apply for L’Oreal South Africa Digital Marketing Internship Program 2018.
  • Apply for the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Awards for Scientific Excellence(AUKNASE): Continental & Regional Awards 2018 Edition. Application Deadline: November 10, 2018.
  • Call for nominations: Inspiring Fifty – South Africa 2018 for young South African women in Technology & Innovation. Application Deadline: July 9, 2018.

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