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The biggest game changer in African development is the internet

The biggest game changer in African development is the internet

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Information and communication technology is driving the new “knowledge-based” economy in the developed and developing world. However, internet access remains comparatively low in Africa, with internet penetration at 20% for the continent. There’s free Facebook, mobile banking, and the promise of cashless societies and digitised land records. And from Accra in the west to Kigali in the east, a spray of “tech hubs” talk about “leapfrogging” technology and incubating start-ups. Such are the giddy promises of Africa’s “fourth industrial revolution” – a giant step forward into the digital world which the Guardian is reporting on for the next two weeks. Some are salivating that it will amount to the renaissance of a marginalised continent, while others soberly warn of the hype. By 2
Ushahidi executive director accused of sexual harassment gets fired

Ushahidi executive director accused of sexual harassment gets fired

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Technology firm in Kenya,  Ushahidi,  has fired  the executive director, Daudi Were, on accusations that he sexually harassed an employee, Angela Kabari , who has since resigned. Kabari, a former capacity development officer,  had complained that Were had made lewd comments and told her to have sex with another colleague while on a retreat in January. Kabari published the details of that night in a damning post last week, revealing the psychosomatic effect it had on her, which led to her quitting her job. Kabari said that she had heard stories from eleven other women who had similar unpleasant encounters with the same person, showing that he had “years’ long, widely-known reputation for sexually inappropriate conduct, socially and at work.” These women narrated incidents where he had
Telcos to fight back as WhatsApp hurts mobile revenue growth in Africa

Telcos to fight back as WhatsApp hurts mobile revenue growth in Africa

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It's been a rough ride for global telecommunications companies in recent years, and it's not because they finally started reading their fan mail. The telecommunications industry will lose a combined $386 billion between 2012 and 2018, the firm predicts, from customers using over-the-top (OTT) voice applications such as the market-leading Skype and Lync, both owned by Microsoft. As this happens, Mobile revenue growth has been declining in sub- Saharan Africa since 2013 and is expected to continue its downward trend until the end of the decade—despite a fast-growing subscriber base. Much of the drop has been attributed to the use of over-the-top (OTT) messaging services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. With more subscribers showing a preference to chat and and make voice calls v
Tech Innovation Must Serve Refugees in East Africa, Too

Tech Innovation Must Serve Refugees in East Africa, Too

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Mobile technology is often a matter of life and death for refugees. Yet innovation is skewed towards displaced populations in Europe and the Middle East. In order to improve technological access, we must first understand why so few mobile services have been developed for refugees in Sub-Saharan Africa. Poor or incomplete mobile connectivity across the region, lack of access to smartphones and low levels of technical literacy are all cited as factors that restrict refugees access to mobile services in East Africa. It is important that we separate fiction from fact. Firstly, refugees are increasingly connected. Global levels of mobile network coverage for refugees closely follow national averages. In Kenya, over 72 percent of refugees have access to 3G connectivity, while the corres
SuperSport has acquired pay TV 2018-2024 broadcast rights in Sub-Saharan Africa

SuperSport has acquired pay TV 2018-2024 broadcast rights in Sub-Saharan Africa

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded exclusive broadcast rights to DStv SuperSport, Econet Media and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and the Olympic Games in 2024 in a city yet to be selected, in the following territories: DStv SuperSport has acquired pay TV media rights in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa*. Econet Media has acquired free-to-air and pay TV media rights in Sub-Saharan Africa*. SABC has acquired free-to-air media rights in South Africa The announcement follows the completion of a competitive tender in the region. SuperSport will also work with the IOC to support the development of the Olympic Channel, in...