Author: Lynn Wandia

Kenyan company, Usiku Games, has launched a video conferencing platform: Gumzo

Kenyan company, Usiku Games, has launched a video conferencing platform: Gumzo

Internet, Mobile, Startups
A Kenyan gaming company has launched a web-based video conferencing platform, Gumzo, which it describes as the first made in Africa video conferencing platform. Gumzo, which means "chatting" in Swahili, costs users $1 per week to access. How Gumzo works Gumzo has unlimited talk minutes and can accommodate an unlimited amount of users, according to Jay Shapiro, CEO of Usiku Games which created the platform. It has options of screen sharing and full-screen presentation mode, he added. Unlike many video conferencing applications, it has no app to download or extensions to configure. Its calls happen in the browser so they can work on any phone or computer with internet access. Shapiro says one of the problems Gumzo addresses is poor network quality. Most video conferencing...
COVID-19: Kenya Airways loses $100 million in revenue

COVID-19: Kenya Airways loses $100 million in revenue

Business
Kenya Airways has lost an estimated $100 million in revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and related lockdowns, CEO Allan Kilavuka told reporters on Friday. The coronavirus crisis has hit the global aviation industry hard, with Africa carriers alone expected to lose $6 billion this year in revenue. “Our estimate is since January to date we have probably lost in terms of revenue about $100 million,” Kilavuka said, adding that figure was expected to grow to between $400 and $500 million by the end of the year. Kenya Airways, in which Air France-KLM holds a small stake, was struggling long before the outbreak, posting 2019 losses of nearly 13 billion Kenyan shillings ($122 million) compared to 7.56 billion the previous year. The government has been working on a plan to re
DCA Group Hosts ‘The Impact of COVID-19 on SME Financing in Africa’ WebForum

DCA Group Hosts ‘The Impact of COVID-19 on SME Financing in Africa’ WebForum

Business
The COVID 19 pandemic has had and is predicted to have a strong effect on labour markets worldwide and in particular, Africa, where more than 70% of the workforce is in self-employment or works in micro, and small enterprises. This will also disrupt many existing value chains that most likely would, in turn, lead to loss of income and sharp increases in unemployment. In addition, most of the SMALL MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (SMEs) especially in the developing countries are often run by women, operate in saturated sectors in the informal economy and most lack social protection. SMEs will, therefore, be the first to suffer devastating consequences of the economic downturn. Re-starting the economy and creating jobs will be key once the immediate health crisis is over. DotConnectAfrica hosted an
CBK extends it’s COVID-19 emergency measures on mobile money Transactions to December

CBK extends it’s COVID-19 emergency measures on mobile money Transactions to December

Business, Mobile
Good news for M-Pesa users as CBK extends deal to December CBK (Central Bank of Kenya) has extended the waiver on mobile money transactions under Sh 1,000 for another six months after the initial 90-day period lapsed. The emergency measures had been effected in March this year, and will now extend to December 31, to combat the spread of the nobel Coronavirus. In a statement, CBK says the measures, which include the elimination of charges on transactions of up to Sh1, 000, have been effective and will remain in force. CBK said it had noted that the measures were timely and highly effective in facilitating official and personal transfers at a time of great need. Following the March 16 announcement by CBK of measures to facilitate increased use of mobile money transactions instead o...
Safari joins browsers that tell you who’s trying to track you

Safari joins browsers that tell you who’s trying to track you

Internet, Mobile, Technology
It's part of a larger push-back on the intrusive practice that follows you across the internet. On Monday, Apple unveiled a new version of its Safari browser that'll tell you which ad trackers are running on the website you're visiting. It'll also give you a 30-day report of the known trackers it's identified while you were browsing. Additionally, it'll tell you which websites those trackers came from. The new features are a step toward transparency, giving you an idea of just how many trackers are following you around and taking notes on your behavior. The tech giant said that the new privacy feature in its underdog browser, Safari, will shine a spotlight on all of the ad trackers embedded on each article or website you visit. Safari’s new anti-tracking feature sits in the top part
Twitter puts warning on Trump tweet for ‘threat of harm’ against DC protesters

Twitter puts warning on Trump tweet for ‘threat of harm’ against DC protesters

Business
Twitter Warns Trump Twitter on Tuesday put a warning label on a tweet from President Donald Trump in which he warned if protesters tried to set up an "autonomous zone" in Washington DC they would be "met with serious force!" "We've placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our policy against abusive behavior, specifically, the presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group," Twitter said. Twitter users, including Trump's supporters, will be unable to retweet the offending tweet due to the measure. The company explained that although the tweet broke its rules it "will remain on the service given its relevance to ongoing public conversation." Trump posted the same message on Facebook. CNN has reached out to Facebook for comment. Glorifica...
Facebook launches WhatsApp digital payments service

Facebook launches WhatsApp digital payments service

Internet, Mobile, Technology
WhatsApp Pay allows users to send money to one another for free. WhatsApp launched its digital payments service in Brazil while the messaging app capitalizes on its popularity in emerging markets. The move comes as the parent company Facebook forges ahead with plans to capitalize on emerging markets and bring e-commerce to its platforms, launching a WhatsApp-based digital payments service for the messaging app’s 120m Brazilian users. WhatsApp, the popular messaging app acquired by Facebook in 2014, on Monday unveiled a new payment service, WhatsApp Pay, which will allow users to send money to one another for free or make purchases from small businesses, without ever leaving the chat platform. After testing a beta version in India, WhatsApp has launched in-app payments in Brazil, the co
Kenyan Lecturer On The Rise With App For COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Kenyan Lecturer On The Rise With App For COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Technology, Women
A Kenyan lecturer has come up with an app that can be used for COVID-19 contact tracing, which has become important in this unpredictable year. eKonnect App Masinde Muliro University took to their their Facebook page and said, "Dr. Tecla Sum of MMUST shows how to operate a mobile application (eKonnect) that she invented. The APP has the ability to carry out seamless Covid-19 contact tracing and other infectious diseases as well as locate and alert nearest health care facilities and ambulances." According to her, the eKonnect app’s primary goal is to “save the largest number of survivors from COVID-19 pandemic.” We have secured patent for the App On a phone interview, Dr. Sum confirmed a number of things about the app. She developed it as part of her post-doctoral program in
What is Messenger Kids? Facebook launches video chat and messaging app in Africa

What is Messenger Kids? Facebook launches video chat and messaging app in Africa

Internet, social media
Facebook's Messenger Kids app is now available in 20 countries across the Middle East and Africa, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Available to download from the Apple App and Google Play Stores, Messenger Kids has been designed for children between the ages of 6 to 12 years, with the app including two new features aimed at helping kids connect with their friends and family. Parental Control Facebook says the App targets children who can't have Facebook accounts, in line with the company's policies. As such, it has  parental control features which allow parents to customize the app for their children, including being able to edit and change contact lists and be notified if a child blocks or reports another user. In a statement, the company pointed to its expansion as refl
Safaricom Smart meters are helping to track water on the internet

Safaricom Smart meters are helping to track water on the internet

Internet, Mobile, Startups
Ever got your water bill at the end of the month and you couldn’t believe how and when you spent that much money on water? Well, it looks like Safaricom has a solution to that with their new Smart Meter and Narrow Band technology. This robust IoT monitoring platform makes it possible to track real time consumption of water. Safaricom Smart Meters On a bright morning in October 2019, teams of technicians fanned out to 20 locations across Embu County to meter various consumers of one of Kenya’s most successful water utilities, Embu Water and Sanitation Company (EWASCO). The technicians had in hand a set of field network management tools to measure data access performance metrics such as connection data rate and latency on Safaricom’s newly introduced Narrow-Band (NB-IOT) network.