Facebook and Google want to incubate African startups

A year after Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg visited Nigeria, the social network giant has announced it will fund several digital training programs, as well as a community space reserved for startups in Nigeria. The ultimate goal is to train 500,000 young entrepreneurs and SMEs in digital and the various services of Facebook.

With this initiative, Facebook joins the search giant, Google who also announced it will launch its training program, Launchpad Africa – the first of its kind outside the US.

But hey! A little earlier (in February 2017), Google made an opening gesture towards the continent by opening its Launchpad Accelerator mentorship program to African entrepreneurs.

Burkina Faso is now home to West Africa’s biggest solar farm

Built at a cost of $56.7 million, a 55-hectare (approximately 135-acre) farm was created to power tens of thousands of households in the country located in the town of Zatubi, outside the capital Ouagadougou. This Project was funded through donations from the European Union and a loan from AFD – France’s development agency.

Nigerians set out to protest about Lybians slave market

A small but dedicated group of protesters stood for about three hours outside the UN office in Lagos. This was to protest against reports of African migrants being sold as slaves in Libya. As ugly as slavery may seem, it is funny to think that some Africans till practice it these days. However, though the demonstration is small, it is a reflection of the huge reaction among Nigerians, mostly on social media, to reports of slavery in Libya.


3 Cameroonian kids are among the top 7 winners of Orange #SuperCodeurs

French Telecommunications group, Orange organized a contest for kids between the ages of 6 and 16. In principle, this game was aimed at letting young children around the world to create games or animations to raise public awareness of the protection of the planet. Among the winners, a 10-year old Cameroonian kid developed a game to protect against water pollution. Then, two other Cameroonian teens separately developed a garbage collection and anti-pollution game. All three of them made it to the top 7.

According to the terms of the competition, the 7 most remarkable projects will win a Thymio robot that allows children to discover the world of robotics and learn the language of robots from an early age.

Cameroon funds SMEs specialized in renewable energies

If you ask entrepreneurs in Cameroon and Africa their greatest challenge, the lack of funding will be at the top of the list. More specifically, the difficulty of accessing bank loans. However, startups working towards providing clean, renewable energy will soon start benefiting from funding.

This week, the French development bank – AFD and SCB Cameroon just launched a FCFA 10 billion credit line to finance Cameroonian SMEs initiating renewable energy projects.

The president to end terrorism in Cameroon

In a national radio address on his return from Ivory Coast, Cameroon’s President Paul Biya vowed to end attacks by separatists in the English-speaking regions of the country, describing them as “a band of terrorists”. Now the question everyone is asking is how a group of people fighting for their rights can be termed as “terrorists”. A number of protesters have been killed and many others detained.

The authorities have imposed night-time curfews, restrictions on movement, raids and body searches in the English-speaking areas of Cameroon.


The internet has made Trump’s spoiler a hero

A Twitter employee famously turned off the lights on Trump’s Twitter account when he learned he was leaving the company. Though the takedown only lasted 11 minutes, it was a profound silence for Donald Trump. Now, the employee responsible for those 11 minutes moved back home to Germany and agreed to reveal what happened that day. But it seems the internet has nominated the hero for a Nobel Peace Prize.

As it turns out, those who haven’t been happy with Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S Presidential election felt an unexpected ounce of joy for those 11 minutes.

BuzzFeed is reducing the size of its staff

In recent years, BuzzFeed has been cited as a shining example of digital media success in a volatile landscape. But despite their apparent success, the company’s overall traffic has largely stagnated over the past year. According to the World Street Journal, BuzzFeed is planning to cut a whopping 8% of its U.S workforce.

The job cuts, which will mostly affect BuzzFeed’s business and sales teams, come less than a month after the media company reported it will miss its yearly revenue targets by 15-20%. Besides, 2017 has been especially brutal for major players in the media industry including one-time digital titan, Mashable. It seems media companies will need to find new revenue streams before the falling sky crushes them for good.

White House plans to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

In the next few weeks, CIA Director Mike Pompeo will replace Tillerson. President Trump’s relationship with Tillerson has been openly tense for months. Trump has undermined Tillerson’s efforts to negotiate with North Korea. Tillerson is in charge of keeping international relations running smoothly and helping avoid things like war.

At a time when North Korea is becoming a bigger threat, it’s important this person and the president are on the same page.

Trump is also making headlines for reportedly trying to get Senate Republicans to drop their investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

Silicon Times




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