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CcHUB to Invest $45,000 into Big Pot, 1 Million Teachers &  TruuScore for Winning First Diaspora Challenge

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Big Pot, 1 Million Teachers &  TruuScore have been declared winners of Co-creation Hub (CcHUB)‘s first Diaspora Challenge and will each receive a $15,000 investment, and will be enrolled into a 9 month long CcHUB Acceleration Programme.

The three beat over 250 entries from scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs across the diaspora community in the UK.

According to ‘Bosun Tijani, CEO and Co-founder, CcHUB, ‘Nigeria is experiencing an unprecedented growth and with this comes developmental gaps and issues. We believe that the restructuring of Nigeria is one that requires collective efforts needing all hands on deck. The Diaspora Challenge is one of the vehicles through which we want to drive innovation for a better society by tapping into the innovative wealth of Nigerians in the diaspora eager to proffer solutions.’
The CcHUB Diaspora Challenge, launched in May 2017, solicited innovative workable ideas with a focus to address challenges in the energy, finance and education sectors. The objective was to tap the diverse wealth of resources that Nigerians living abroad could contribute to national development.

Founded by Oluyemi Jegede Big Pot is a power utility startup that provides solar energy to small and medium sized residences and businesses through smart community microgrids distributed via a blockchain network formed by geographically dispersed solar photovoltaic panel installations and lithium ion battery storage.

1 Million Teachers is an education based startup on a mission to fix education in Africa by empowering teachers with skills and knowledge using gamified and incentives based learning. This startup founded by Hakeem Subair aims to develop a subscription-based online learning platform for teachers.

And finally, TruuScore founded by Dr. Freda Owusu is a credit reference service which uses a person-centered algorithm to enable credit scoring for the financially excluded populace. TruuScore is developing a person-centred system that enables credit scoring, using multiple data sources.

DFS Lab calls for applications for its third fintech bootcamp holding in Tanzania

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DFS Lab, a fintech accelerator funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is accepting applications for their third fintech bootcamp, which will be held Dec. 3-9, 2017 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

DFS will give up to USD 50K in funding to top fintech businesses and six months in DFS Lab’s proven approach accelerator.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to invest in breakthrough technologies that can help reach the billions of people in South Asia and Africa who lack financial services,” said DFS Lab Director Dr. Jake Kendall. “Our goal is to identify, invest, and work with early-stage companies who are building transformative technologies that will help improve the lives of unbanked citizens.”

Since launching in 2015, DFS Lab has invested more than in 18 startups. The Lab is currently interested in entrepreneurs that are creating solutions for customers that function on non-smartphones, as well as new approaches for closing the financial services gender gap. But they encourage applications from any great team with a breakthrough idea.

Over the past year, finalists in previous cohorts representing companies headquartered in Africa and South Asia went through intensive 1-week boot camp programs in Tanzania and Sri Lanka. In addition to financing, the companies selected receive six months of intense mentorship and integration into a global network of top experts who have agreed to advise them.

Entrepreneurs who wish to be considered should apply to DFS Lab Bootcamp Three by Nov. 3, 2017, at dfslab.net/apply.

Kenya’s Pezesha and Pula, an insurance intermediary for small-scale farmers in Africa and Ghana’s Inclusive, an API that verifies financial identities across Africa and US-based Teller are set to raise $250,000 in funding from DFS Lab.

KETRACO gets into East Africa’s fibre-to-the-home business with a Liquid Telecom deal

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Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO) is getting into the fibre-to-the home business after a deal with Liquid Telecom Kenya.

The electricity transmission firm has contracted Liquid Telecom Kenya to run its fibre-to-the home business for ten years. The deal will see Liquid Telecom upgrade fibre connections to Kenyan areas already connected to the national grid with high voltage lines of 132kV and above, which include Garissa, Isiolo, Garsen, Lamu, Rabai, Namanga, Meru, Machakos, Makueni, Wote, Sultan Hamud, Mwingi, Konza, Kitale, Eldoret, Kisii and Kisumu.

It will then extend fibre connections to remote areas of Kenya and neighboring countries like Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Burundi.

“We are delighted to be doing more than extending power lines. With KETRACO and Liquid Telecom coming together, we are now taking fibre to where it has never been before whilst diversifying our company’s revenue base,” said FCPA Fernandes Barasa, KETRACO’s Managing Director.

More countries in East Africa are now moving to leverage their power transmission infrastructure to carry internet data on the earthing cable already used to transmit power regulation data.

KETRACO applied for a Network Facility Provider Tier 2 (NFPT2) license from the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA), which was granted in 2014. which has now resulted in the 10-year deal with Liquid Telecom Kenya.

KETRACO operates as a national long haulier of fibre that Liquid Telecom Kenya will now commercialise to meet the rising demand for high-bandwidth, video and internet services for businesses and individual consumers across the country and East African region.

Currently, KETRACO runs a 1,791.5km electricity transmission network within Kenya and by 2020, the company will have completed construction of over 8,000km of high voltage transmission lines with concurrent fibre connectivity. These include the 127km 400kV Kenya – Uganda, the 612km 500kV Ethiopia – Kenya and the 93km 400kV Kenya – Tanzania interconnectors.

“A resilient telecommunications network requires reliable connectivity, and KETRACO’s overhead fibre cable is a technology that is far superior to buried fibre or microwave connectivity,” said George Kuria, Liquid Telecom’s Infrastructure Build & Deployment General Manager (East Africa). “This new backbone fibre cable will significantly expand our network and add resilience to our internet connectivity with a limitless capacity to carry any amounts of data bandwidth. We will invest in high-capacity equipment at the terminating points to ensure we achieve the largest data capacity possible and serve the region with the fastest and most stable internet ever achieved in East Africa,”

KETRACO will continue to use 2 per cent of its optical fibre for its own communication – in gathering information about its power systems, the amount of power being carried, meter readings at interchange points, the status of equipment, and alarms and voice communications between KETRACO’s power dispatchers and line maintenance crews.

At the same time, Liquid Telecom Kenya will install connectivity equipment in all the power terminating points along KETRACO’s network, complementing the Internet Service Provider’s own underground cable network running from Mombasa to Nairobi and across most major towns in Kenya.

 

How to reset Windows 7/8/10 Password incase you forget it

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 Let’s just admit it, it happened to all of us when we sit down on our laptop or computer, turn it on to get some unfinished work done and entered the password. But suddenly it started showing INCORRECT PASSWORD! So, you checked every last piece of details on your drawer and text files but still no password seem to work anymore. Well, the worst news is that you have reached an ugly impact where you can finally accept that you no longer remember your password.

This can be a furious and despondent situation especially if you wanted to use your computer for some emergency task. In addition, without entering the correct password, you won’t be able to access any data contained inside your system. So, you must be wondering what to do now and how to bypass Windows 7/8/10 password.

The good news is that it is possible to reset your Windows computer login password and in this comprehensive guide, we are going to demonstrate 3 amazing ways to accomplish that.

Solution #1: Format and Re-install Windows again

So, this is one of the easiest solutions but does come with a huge drawback. If you choose to format your primary disk and re-install Windows then remember that it will indeed get rid of the password from your system but at the time you will have to say good bye to all of your precious data inside your PC. So, this part is only recommended if you have no regret losing any data.

Step 1. Insert the Windows bootable disc on your computer and restart it.

Step 2. Windows will load its files automatically upon startup and a new installation window will appear.

Step 3. Click on “Install Now” and customize the settings according to your requirement.

Step 4. Finally format the PC and re-install Windows in your C drive and the password will be automatically removed.

Cons –

  • All data from your primary disk will be permanently removed.
  • Frequent Windows installation will cause data scratch.

Solution #2: Reset Windows 7/8/10 password from Guest account

If you have setup a guest account for your computer then changing password of your main account will be incredibly easy if you could simply follow these below steps –

Step 1. First turn on your computer and enter into your PC via guest account. Usually guest accounts do not require any password to sign in.

Step 2. Right-click on “My Computer” and click on “Manage” to open the computer management application.

Step 3. Select “Local Users and Groups” from the left sidebar option and then click on “Users”.

Step 4. It will show all the accounts registered on your computer. Simply right-click on the account that is currently locked and choose “Set Password”. Enter the password twice and apply the changes.

Now reboot your PC and you should be able to logon using the new password.

Cons –

  • Only works if the guest account has administrator privileges.
  • Guest accounts must be registered before you forgot the password.

Solution #3: Reset Windows Login Password with Password Recovery Utility

Since, the above mentioned methods has huge limitations, there’s a rare chance of getting your computer unlocked with them. But, stop worrying because we are saving the best solution at the last. In this final part, we will be showing you show to reset any Windows computer password with Windows password recovery utility.

iSeePassword – Windows Password Recovery Pro is a remarkable and innovative solution to reset and bypass Windows sign in password independently. It can reset any length of password without re-installing Windows or formatting the computer. It can totally remove the password protection from your PC making it easier to logon without any password at all. It is totally compatible with every Windows version including Windows 7/8/10 and other Windows versions such as XP, Vista, 95/98/2000.

It can unlock all 4 types of accounts such as administrator, Microsoft, root and domain profiles. It works excellently with over 7000+ desktop and laptop brands like Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, Lenovo, HP, Dell, and Acer and so on.

Let us show how to create a password reset disk in 2 ways with iSeePassword program and use it to unlock your Windows PC.

Step 1. Grab a distinct accessible computer and install Windows password recovery tool in it. Next, open the tool and insert a blank CD/DVD or flash drive to your computer.

Step 2.  Create a password reset disk by clicking on “Burn USB” if you are using a flash drive and “Burn CD/DVD” if you are using a compact disc. It will take few minutes but when it’s done, you will see the following screenshot –

Step 3. Pull out the password reset disk and insert it on your protected PC. Boot from it and wait for the password recovery tool to appear on the screen. Now, choose the Windows version that you are using and pick the username that is currently locked out. Next, hit the “Reset Password” button and restart your PC.

CHA-CHANGG!!! Password is completely gone from your PC. Now enjoy and use your PC normally.

Conclusion

And there you have it! A conclusive prove that you can reset your Windows logon password even if you forget it. iSeePassword – Windows Password Recovery Pro has been the best password reset tool reviewed and rated by thousands of satisfied customers. In the future, try to write down the password on a piece of paper or text word file so that you can retrieve it again if you forget it. Thanks for reading the article and have a nice day!

All you need to know: Huawei Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, Porsche Design

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Just like last year, Huawei released 3 versions of their top tier phone, a standard, a Pro and a luxurious Porsche Design version. The three of them live up to the Mate Series legacy of big screens, big battery, big performance. Building up from last year, the Mate series upgraded the Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities (something that Apple borrowed from them) and also introduced glass construction.

Huawei Mate 10

This is the smallest and most affordable of the group and probably the one that will see the widest availability in international markets. This year all models have glossy glass construction on the front and back with a metallic frame holding the panels together, there is a horizontal matte strip at the camera that gives the Mate series a unique distinction from the sea of glass devices. This standard version comes with a 5.9 inches just like last year but the bezels are much smaller now. The device isn’t bezel-less like the 18:9 devices we have been seeing lately (That was reserved for the pro), but it has significantly reduced bezels. It retains the 16:9 aspect ratio and comes with QHD resolution and front mounted fingerprint sensor. The screen also supports the highly acclaimed HDR10 tech for superior colours and contrast, it is however, an LCD variant.

What Huawei is most proud of is the Kirin 970 processor. It comes with a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that has machine learning capabilities for enhanced AI features. Most essential actions in the device will have an AI aspect attached to it like camera zooming. The processor is 25% more powerful than its predecessor and the new Mali G72 MP12 is a whopping 4X the raw power of last year’s Mali G71. Both are more energy efficient, up to 8X less battery draw from the GPU. They are assisted by 4GB RAM and 64GB internal.

Battery life is always a priority of the Mate series, this time, they have retained a 4000mAh battery which should be super long lasting considering the devices energy efficient internals and the Android 8 Oreo running under the AI-heavy EMUI 8.0. Fast charge has been implemented under the company’s SuperCharge technology, it promises a full day’s charge in just 20 minutes.

The device comes with Projection mode which turns your phone into a desktop computer experience by simply connecting it to a monitor via the USB-C to Display port. Unlike Samsung Dex, no additional adapters are required. Speaking of ports, the 3.5mm audio jack port is still present and so is the MicroSD slot which is of the hybrid variant (can either accommodate a SIM card or an SD card).

The device will cost 700 Euros ($823 KSh 79,999 in Kenya) and will be on shelves by mid-November.

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

This one is just like the Standard Mate 10 apart from a few changes, it has a full screen display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. It is of the AMOLED type. The resolution is however lower at Full HD which is strange for a pro version but a great move for battery-conscious customers. The screen is HR10 enabled as well.

The new Mate 10 pro on the right vs Mate 9, screen size 6 inch vs 5.9 inch, but the 10 Pro has smaller bezels; image courtesy

The camera, internals, battery and software are all similar to the Standard Mate 10. Oddly, the pro neither has a 3.5mm audio jack nor a Micro SD slot, but as a consolation, you get IP67 dust and water resistance plus an extra version with 6GB RAM, 128GB internal storage. The Pro will cost 800 Euros ($940, KSh 89,999 in Kenya)

Huawei Mate 10 Porsche Design

This one is the luxury version which comes with a design that is a bit different, the camera section has a vertical strip instead of a horizontal one like in the Standard and Pro variants.

It comes in an 18:9 aspect ratio AMOLED screen. The internal storage is set at 256GB and 6GB RAM. Everything else is similar to the Pro version (yes audio jack and Micro SD slot are missing here as well). As usual , Porsche Design products come with a higher price tag, this version will go for 1400 Euros ($!640).

New Accessories

Huawei also launched three accessories: the EnVizion 360 Camera, SuperCharge Power Bank, and Smart Scale.

  • The EnVizion 360 Camera can shoot 5K photos and 360-degree 2K videos with multiple viewing modes. The content is sharable across their social media channels.
  • Huawei’s SuperCharge Power Bank supports a 4.5V / 5A low-voltage fast charge.
  • The Smart Scale can monitor and analyze health information such as body fat percentage and Body Mass Index through a mobile app.

 

 

Mobisol and Baobab+ launch pay-as-you-go solar systems in Ivory Coast

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Mobisol which operates in East Africa and Baobab+, a principal solar distributor in West Africa, have joined hands in a partnership to boost the solar revolution in Ivory Coast.

Baobab+ will be distributing Mobisol’s all-in-one solar system throughout the country in a move to provide reliable high-tech solar hardware and innovative software solutions and finance in West Africa.

According to Klaus Maier, Mobisol’s Head of Partnerships & Expansion: “We are pleased to team up and deliver our state-of-the art hardware and software solutions to Baobab+ as an experienced partner on the ground. This is the first step towards further supporting Baobab+ to provide tens of thousands of Ivorian households and businesses with reliable, affordable and sustainable energy.”

The partnership with Mobisol as a hardware and software provider enables Baobab+ to focus on sales and distribution strategies through Microcred’s existing distribution network of 20 branches and 100,000 clients in Côte d’Ivoire.

The deal will see Baobab+ clients, have successfully completed their PAYG purchase, will become eligible to a Microcred digital loan. Baobab+’s deep understanding of local characteristics and operational experience within the West African market positions them ideally to quickly establish scalable structures for logistics, sales and marketing as well as a comprehensive after-sales network for households and micro-entrepreneurs throughout Côte d’Ivoire.

The Mobisol system includes PV panel, inbuilt battery, large flatscreen HD TV with aerial & sat receiver, ultra-efficient LED lamps and charges customers’ mobile phones. By providing robust and reliable solar solutions with compatible DC appliances in Côte d’Ivoire, the Germany-based company builds upon their success story in East Africa, where they have already electrified nearly half a million people to date.

Mobisol provides their proprietary software suite SolarHub, enabling convenient pay-as-you-go (PAYG) financing via mobile banking and comprehensive customer experience support.

Alexandre Coster, CEO and founder at Baobab+ said, “We are thrilled to officially launch our operations in Côte d’Ivoire with larger solar systems that empower entire communities. This way, we will help to vastly boost electrification in Côte d’Ivoire – thus raising households’ quality of life and socio-economic opportunities, while mitigating global climate change.”

Standard Chartered Bank & iLab Africa’s Women In Tech Incubator to invest $50,000 into women-led startups

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Standard Chartered has partnered with iLab Africa to launch Women In Tech Incubator, an accelerator program to invest into women-led startups.
The new KES 20 million fund aims to identify and empower  5 women-led startups in Kenya and mentor them for over a period of one year.
According to Mr. Sunil Kaushal Standard Chartered Bank Regional CEO for Africa and Middle East, “We are optimistic that the Women In Tech Incubator program will change the fortunes of women entrepreneurs and business owners in Kenya. It will help identify, grow and bring to the market unique business ideas, while at the same time celebrating women in Kenya.”
The Kenyan initiative builds upon Standard Chartered’s global track record of increasing women’s access to entrepreneurial finance, and supporting adolescent girls and women through financing and capacity building. The Women In Tech incubator program is targeting women entrepreneurs and business owners in Kenya who want to or are using technology to grow their business but lack the requisite support.
Upon application, shortlisted entrepreneurs will be invited to pitch to a panel of judges who will then select the top 10 contestants with the most compelling idea or project. Thereafter, the 10 contestants will go through a 10 week Incubation period where they will have a chance to work on their projects and make them come to life. They will then present the final output to a panel of judges. The judges will then select five winners out of the 10, who will be announced during an award ceremony.
Each of the five winners will receive $10,000 to help grow their business. Standard Chartered first launched the programme to support women in technology in 2014 at the City College of New York where it created the Women Entrepreneurs Resource Center. The US program includes a dedicated workspace, mentorship, coursework and access to an extensive network designed to support entrepreneurs navigating the challenges of starting a business.

Times when other Tech companies copied Apple’s products and innovations {Part 2}

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Apple seem to be the only one thinking different

….a sequel to Times when other Tech companies copied Apple’s products and innovations

Emojis

WhatsApp recently released its own set of native emoji after a long run of using those of Apple’s. The move was a good one and while many were still basking and singing WhatsApp praises to for such a brilliant and innovative move, Emojipedia was quick to point out that the WhatsApp emojis were somewhat a clone of Apple’s emoji; even though WhatsApp claimed it wasn’t using them anymore.

“At a glance these could be confused for Apple’s own emojis. It appears that the brief for this project may have been “take Apple’s emojis, and change them enough so we can call them our own”. Is that a bad thing? Perhaps not, given how change-averse most users can be”, says Emojipedia.

Face ID recognition technology

Although many have erroneously thought Apple copied a feature on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8, the fact however remains that the “Iris Scanning” is different in its entirety from the iPhone X Facial recognition technology. This is a story for another day.

The Apple Face ID Facial recognition technology is new but that isn’t stopping some OEMs from copying the feature already. Not too long after the iPhone X was announced, some other Chinese manufacturer wasted no time to announce that their upcoming devices will feature the Facial recognition technology.

In this article, we listed about three iPhone X alternate devices with the Facial recognition technology, but what we didn’t say was that they took the inspiration from Apple. I’m speaking of devices like the Doogee Mix 2, Vivo X20 and Vivo X20 Plus.

It is surprising how the Face ID still serves as an inspiration to many OEMs despite the misconceptions (which we have cleared) that clouded the innovation when it was announced. There are even reports that says enquiries from Android brands about the Facial recognition technology have tripled since the iPhone X announcement.

3.5 mm headphone jack removal

When Apple ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack last year on the iPhone 7, many cried foul and some thought Apple have made the biggest mistake ever.

Well, seeing top dogs like Xiaomi (on the Xiaomi Mi Note 3 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2) and Google (on the Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL) ditch the 3.5 mm headphone jack on their devices only proves how much of an influence Apple has in terms of determining what other smartphone brands adds or removed on their products.

The Apple Airpods is another product we have seen other brands taking their time to replicate; like Google is doing with the Google Pixel Buds for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

Though Apple isn’t the pioneering company or parent to most of the above innovations but it is quite surprising as to how many other brands picks interest in an innovation or idea only after Apple does.

Times when other Tech companies copied Apple’s products and innovations

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Apple seem to be the only one thinking different

Apple is no doubt one of the biggest Tech companies in the world. Their gadgets (laptops, smartphones, music players, accessories, softwares etc) are always of top quality… and often replicated by other top Tech companies and rivals.

It is in this light that we shall be looking at times when Apple have been copied in terms of products design and innovations.

Apple seem to be the only one thinking different!

Product Design

The iPhone 6 was one of Apple’s best designed phone in the history of iPhones. The device was revolutionary in numerous number of ways. The device’s appearance and aesthetic was darn appealing that even the former Vice President of Android (now Vice President at Xiaomi), Hugo Barra was blatantly impressed by the “unique design language” that the device carried and crowned the iPhone 6 as the “most beautiful smartphone ever built”.

To a very large extent, I agree with Barra. Because looking at Apple’s smartphone releases from 2 to 3 years back, one would notice that subsequent iPhone models after September 2014 all followed the iPhone 6’s design model.

When the iPhone 6 was released, tons of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) wasted no time in going into their respective design rooms and factories to create their own “version” of the iPhone 6. Some were exact clone of the iPhone 6, while some were just “iPhone 6 inspired”, like some reviewers would call it. Irrespective, be it a clone or an inspiration was taken or borrowed, Apple was copied and I don’t think the company will be angered. That’s what Kings do – they inspire.

Devices like the SoPhone I6, VPhone I6, Texet iX-maxi, Dakele Big Cola 3 are perfect clones of the iPhone 6 – more like the twin sister of the iPhone 6. Though these smartphone brands are the industry’s “nobody” but what if I told you that there are giants in the gadgets industry that are also involved in the ‘act’ of copying Apple.

Top smartphone manufacturers like Oppo (who sold the highest number of smartphone in China in 2016) is a perfect example. The OEM took a cue from Apple’s iPhone 6 design to make devices like the Oppo R9, Oppo R7, and Oppo R9 Plus. Likewise, the Oppo R11 have also been labelled as an “iPhone 7 clone” countless number of times.

Pink Oppo R9 Plus (left) and Gold iPhone 6 (right)

Two of the biggest smartphone manufacturers in the world, Lenovo (on the Lenovo S90 Sisley) and Huawei (on the Huawei P9) have also being caught in the act.

Apple’s iPhone 6 placed on the Huawei P9 – spot any resemblance?

One of China’s best smartphone manufacturer, Xiaomi is yet another culprit. The OEM recently unveiled the Xiaomi Mi A1 dual camera flagship smartphone. The device is a 5.5 inch beauty and resembles the iPhone 7 Plus so much (design-wise) that Business Insider says it is as though the Xiaomi Mi A1 was fitted in an iPhone 7 Plus shell and the Apple logo was replaced with a fingerprint sensor.

Xiaomi Mi A1 (left) and iPhone 7 Plus (right)

I guess it’s only a matter of time before we begin to come across clones of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, right?

Microsoft to invest $1b into 300,000+ nonprofits through its newly created Technology for Social Impact arm

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Microsoft Philanthropies has launched a new arm dubbed to fulfill its three-year commitment to donate $1 billion in cloud computing resources to help non-profit organisations digitally scale their impact and better serve public good.

The firm added that it now aims to triple the number of non-profits served over the next three years, to over 300,000 organisations to help them move to the cloud and digitally transform to raise funds, improve productivity, accelerate innovation and ultimately have a greater impact on their beneficiaries.

“We’re inspired by these kinds of stories, as they demonstrate the potential of technology to help transform how non-profits pursue their missions and drive impact,” says Sebuh Haileleul, Microsoft Country Manager for East Africa. “Too many non-profits have been left behind in the digital revolution that’s reshaping business and society, but many have a strong desire to adopt the latest technology. That’s why we’re working to help more non-profits around the world more fully leverage the power of the cloud.”

The Technology for Social Impact team will also build comprehensive new offerings for non-profits. These begin immediately with Microsoft 365 for Non-profits, which includes Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security.

With millions of non-profits serving communities around the world, these tools can help them bring the power of Microsoft’s most advanced technologies to bear on some of the world’s toughest problems.

“This is only the beginning,” says Haileleul. “In the coming months we will build upon these offers and on our longstanding commitment to non-profits. We will also engage with start-ups and incubators to enable them to build solutions that meet non-profits’ unique needs.”

In Kenya, the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) and I Choose Life – Africa (ICL) are benefiting from the commitment to digitally transform their operations tapping from Microsoft’s cloud resources that have helped 90,000 non-profits and researchers at 700 universities around the world, advance social good initiatives.

Tanjalo.com, a Lagos-based bitcoin trading platform launches to power borderless payments

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Nigeria’s Tanjalo, is a new bitcoin exchange promising to allow anyone in Nigeria to buy or sell bitcoin in Nigeria.

The trading platform also promises to power cross-border money transfer across West Africa and increase access to cryptocurrencies in the region according to its founder Tim Akinbo.

Like its predecessor BitKoin Africa, the trading platform will see users buy bitcoin and other digital currencies online in exchange with Naira. The Lagos-based firm wants to simplify money transfer between countries in Africa and from the US to Africa through use of his bitcoin trading platform.

Bitkoin Africa is a person-to-Person bitcoin trading platform allowing users to sell and buy bitcoin from other users and is also based in Lagos, Nigeria. Bitkoin Africa founder Timi Ajiboye, said Bitkoin Africa aims to be the continent’s most secure payments and settlement platform with a secure Bitcoin Wallet. Through its escrow services Bitkoin Africa aims to make sure there is no fraud during transactions.

How Omidyar Network built the Nigerian tech scene

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Chairman And Founder Ebay Inc. and Omidyar Network
Pierre Omidyar, chairman and founder of eBay Inc and Omidyar Network

The founder of eBay sold the company after 3 years, and became a billionaire.  His name is Pierre Omidyar, and for many in the U.S, this is not a household name.

But the Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm has become one of the most significant investors in the African technology scene, and since actively investing, has created an out-sized impact on the continent.

In Nigeria alone, Omidyar Network has invested in 6 of the largest Nigerian technology companies, and has introduced its blend of combining impact with profits to make them uniquely different from their American equivalents. The big African technology companies have turned out more gentle, more social and seem to be more caring about the growth of everything around them than just metrics compared to their western equivalents.

One of Omidyar Networks’ early investments was in an incubator and innovation centre in Lagos called CcHub. For many years, the CcHub served as the capital of the Nigerian tech scene – it was where the various little startups were created that went on to become many of the larger ones today. CcHub is a profitable enterprise, and it’s a mix of WeWork and Ycombinator – part co-working space and part incubator.

One of the success stories that came out of CcHub was another company called BudgIt, which focuses on transparency in government budgets. A B2G company that has gone on to win large contracts to make government budgets open to the public. The investment not only became a commercial hit, but also pushed one of Omidyar’s goals – which is in leaving a significant impact.

In 2015, Omidyar Network made a surprise investment in a company called Hotels.ng – a simple service for booking hotels. On the surface it seemed unclear what type of impact this would have – but it turns out that before then, there was no online hotel booking service in Nigeria. The company has grown to become the second largest OTA in Africa, netting ON a tidy return.

Hotels.ng also represents an example of how the ON philosophy is filtering down to the companies it backs – even though it operates the seemingly boring business of online travel, the company has become one of the biggest trainers of local software developers – it runs huge software developer internships with more than 2000 participants per year, all of whom get put back into the local market. The philosophy of the company is that if they don’t create the talent, they won’t have anyone to hire.

Omidyar also co-invested with Mark Zuckerberg in a company called Andela – which basically grooms local software developers to a level that they can then work for western companies and recently raised a Series C round of $40 million. It maintains huge offices where local software developers work in a remote “managed” environment for foreign companies.

Omidyar has not been afraid to challenge the status quo – he also invested in a radically anti-government newspaper called Sahara Reporters. The founder of the paper is an unafraid rebel – he publishes breaking scoops on government bribery and other corrupt practises – and has to sneak into the country most times as the government of the day is always against him.

The Omidyar Network is probably one of the most interesting investment companies in the world, and it will be interesting to see what else they will be investing in. One thing is clear – they are not afraid to push the boundaries, and they are not afraid to go where others fear to tread.

 

Uber hires new GM for West Africa as Little readies to launch

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Uber has hired a new GM for West Africa as Safaricom-backed Little prepares to launch in a few weeks.

Uber says its new GM for West Africa, Lola Kassim, who is replacing Ebi Atawodi  will oversee the firm’s West Africa strategy, improve its UberX service and create additional value for its driver-partners who are said to be joining Little which is heavily recruiting in Lagos.

Kassim, a Nigerian-Canadian is particularly good for Uber#s growth in West Africa because of her public policy experience. She worked as an Governance Advisor with the Liberian Presidency through the Africa Governance Initiative where she was supporting a unit driving delivery of Presidential infrastructure priorities. She has also been part of the Canadian Government where she served as a Policy Advisor whose main responsibilities was developing policy, strategy, and business cases regarding socio-economic development programming for Canada’s Aboriginal communities and foreign policy.

Lola’s vision for West Africa, is to create a friction-less environment for Uber as a sustainable, alternative mode of mobility.

“In addition to creating value for driver-partners and riders, I will also be focused on ensuring that we continue to engage with our key stakeholders and relevant partners with a view to continued positive impact across West Africa,” she said.

Atawodi has moved to Uber Product Design team in Amsterdam.

 

 

Top 5 Online Marketplace to sell your car in Nigeria

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You would agree with me that selling off an old or new car (particularly an old car) have over the years proven to be not as easy and convenient as buying one.

It might take some time for that to turn around but are you planning to sell off your car(s) in Nigeria and you want that done fast? and with convenience? Don’t want to go through the hassles of finding a buyer for your car? Then you might want to try these online platforms below.

1. JiJi

Founded in 2014 by Anton Wolyansky in Lagos State, Nigeria, the 3-year-old online marketplace is have grown to become one of the best classified ads website to buy and sell cars in Nigeria. Though a wide range of things ranging from Electronics, Fashion items, Real estate, Pets and lots more can be sold on Jiji, Jiji Cars remains one of the best places to easily and safely get your car sold.

2. Yakata

Calling it “the most secured online classifieds website in Nigeria” during our interview session with him, Founder and C.E.O of Yakata, Jesse Yusufu brags about the newly launched online startup {Yakata} as one of the best and safest place to buy and sell stuff; including Cars/Automobile.

3. OLX

This is one of the oldest online marketplace to easily find a buyer for your Automobile. Founded in 2012 by Fabrice Grinda and Alec Oxenford, OLX has over 1200 employees and about 2 million active buyers who may want your old or used car.

4. Cars45

The self-acclaimed Nigeria’s favourite car buying service, Cars45 will buy your car directly from you in 45 minutes! It’s easy as it sounds. Unlike other above-listed platforms which you get to wait for an “interested” buyer to call, Cars45 buys your car directly from you after evaluation of your car.

Founded by Etop Ikpe in 2016, the one year old Car purchase platform recently raised $5 million to even further better services provided.

5. MoboFree

Though operational in other countries like Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, India and more, the Cristobal Alonso founded online marketplace {MoboFree}has over 2 million unique users who might have interest in purchasing your car. All you have to do is to place a proper ad showcasing your car after registering on the platform.

DRmare M4V Converter – Best iTunes DRM Removal Tool

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Just a few decades ago, no one would have imagined that music and books could be sold as compressed files on very tiny flash disks allowing users to carry them wherever they go. Music in the old days was made up of an entire band with bulky music instruments and a dozen or more singers. In the not so distant past, all books were printed and were found on shelves in public libraries or in homes. Now both music and books can be carried around on phones and laptops with ease.

To make money out of these computer files, musicians, authors and producers have teamed up with software developers to come up with digital protection tools to protect their copyright as well as curtail any illegal distribution and selling of their content.

The protection stops a buyer from distributing to their friends and family or even to their own second or third devices. Especially those using different dives for work and for personal use. These protection, also called Digital Rights Management or DRM however, also restricts buyers from using their use of the content on a different device or in any other format.

Personally we can’t count the number of times we have helped a consumer access a digital file such as music and books from one device to another. For example buying a TV show or movie from iTunes and watch it on an Android phone is a menace without knowing that the DRM protection can be removed.

DRmare M4V Converter which specializes in removal tools for iTunes movies, TV shows among others uses latest DRM trends and technologies to help such consumers unlock their iTunes restricted data to give them the freedom they need.

The iTunes DRM removal software removes copyright locks from purchased and rented iTunes media such as iTunes movies, iTunes TV shows, iTunes Extras, and iTunes M4V video converter among others. The software helps users to play iTunes digital media like files that never had any restriction before.

For rentals, DRmare M4V Converter removes the rental restriction to allow users continue using the software even after the rental time expires with zero quality loss and the ability to allow consumers to customize the output video formats and parameters they prefer.

The software supports non-lossless output media formats including MOV, MP4, MPEG, WMV, AVI, MKV, FLV, 3GP, MP3, WMA, WAV among others and can be manually customized on video codec, bit rate, frame rate, size among others.

For music lovers, the DRmare M4V converts their video to MP3, M4A, AAC, AC3, OGG, CAF, AIFF, APE, FLAC, WAV, VMA, M4B, M4R, MKA, AU and ALAC and a user can then sync the files to all the devices they own such as Android, Windows and iOS devices without having to purchase new licences. As we discussed earlier, the firm has both the Windows and Mac version of the software.

The software can run on a computer with 512 RAM and 1G Hz processor and the user needs not have any technical skills to use the DRM Removal Solution & M4V Video Converter. The firm has both an M4V Converter for Mac and M4V Converter for Windows to help every iTunes user access their content easily whether purchased and rented. The DRmare M4V Converter unlocks DRM-locked iTunes videos such as music, TV shows and books with just a few clicks minus losing any of the original quality.

Is using a DRM Remover illegal? The truth is that DRM were put on digital content against illegal access and duplication or distribution that time when content was so expensive to buy and pirates copied files and made money distributing them.

The greatest pain isn’t about piracy but mostly about formats for use. For example if you buy a digital book or buy music on iTunes, you can’t access these files on a Windows PC or on an Android phone, and you might be forced to buy the same content again if you lose your device, buy a different device or go to a region where it’s difficult to assess your network coverage.

By removing the DRM restrictions from your music, movies and TV shows, and also being able to move files from one format to another, DRmare M4V Converter gives its users the freedom they need after purchasing or downloading any files. 

 

 

Hacken is launching its token sale on October 31, 2017

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Hacken, a community driven cybersecurity blockchain project is launching its token sale on October 31, 2017, just a few weeks after it announced the formation of an all-star advisory board as well as the successful conclusion to its “HackIT Cup” final event.

According to Dmytro Budorin, CFO of Hacken, “We created Hacken to promote price and increase financial incentives around the white hat hacker profession. We strongly believe that Hacken will be successful in leading Ukraine to become the next European and ultimately international cybersecurity hub.”

The HackIT Cup brought together the top-30 white hat hackers worldwide and offered them a chance to meet tech luminaries Steve Wozniak and Philip Zimmermann during the opening ceremony.

Hacken had a HKN token pre-sale earlier in September, which served to disseminate the first decentralized crypto token that incentivizes white hat hackers to report bugs.

It’s pre-sale in September so the firm raise an equivalent of $650,000 with TaaS Fund and Cryptonomos, two active players in the international blockchain space among the first backers. In addition to the presale funds raised, Hacken received 33 BTC for winning the d10e ICO Pitch Competition held by the Blockchain Investors Consortium (BIC), beating out several other blockchain projects from around the world. The funds from the d10e Competition are being used to hire two full-time Ruby developers and a UI team who will focus on improving the HackenProof Platform.

One of the major differentiators of the HKN token will be the rate at which the HKN tokens are burned using the Hacken “burning” principle. The principle involves various trigger mechanisms to eliminate 1% of the entire amount of HKN tokens over different time periods. Via the “burning principle,” HKN will bring more value for its token holders by providing a mechanism to improve liquidity and decrease volatility.

The token sale will result in a community-based ecosystem of businesses, providing the following cybersecurity services such as the HackenProof bug bounty marketplace, Zero-day Remuneration Platform, the Hacken Accelerator and a Cybersecurity Analytics Center (CAC).

Phil Zimmermann, founder of PGP, leading expert on cryptography and secure communications. Andrii Zamovsky founder of Ambisafe and Orderbook Ethereum token exchange. Moe Levin, founder of Keynote FZE and organizer of the World Blockchain Forum. Mike Costache and Brad Yasar, founders of KrowdMentor and Blockchain Investors Consortium. Patrick Salm, founder of SmartOne Swiss-based law firm specializing in blockchain solutions and Yuri Olentir, co-founder of Cryptogroup, are part of the Hacken advisory group.

LG V30 beats iPhone 8, Galaxy S8 and Note 8 in battery life tests.

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Many people prefer longer battery life to slim devices, but when a manufacturer achieves both on the same device, it is not a mere feat. LG V30 is slimmer than most flagship phones it competes with yet it managed to have better battery endurance than them.

The V30 made headlines when it launched with a camera that had the widest aperture size in smartphone history (f/1.6 , the smaller the “f” number the bigger the aperture). However, when reviews were published, they were marked as “previews” this was because the early models were running on preproduction software. This caveat meant that things like battery life tests were not conducted since they would be inconclusive. Reviewers did not have high hopes for the battery life due to past experiences with LG flagships, they all had average endurance at best, the V30 has finally broken the curse.

Battery test results

According to tests done by PhoneArena, the V30 single-handedly beats all 2017 Android flagship models with 9h 34min and even goes after the iPhone 8 (8h 37min) as well. The Galaxy Note 8 which used to be the reigning champ in previous tests performed so poorly (7h 50 min) that it was outdone by its Galaxy S brothers. Perhaps Samsung is playing too safe with the battery after the Note 7 fiasco.

LG V30 has a battery that is only 100mAh bigger than its predecessor the V20 which achieved an embarrassing 6h 23min on the same test. Credit for the new record score could be given to the energy efficient Snapdragon 835, Android 7 nougat and optimizations to LG’s custom interface.

Snapchat will now notify you when your secret video gets recorded.

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Snapchat has been on the spotlight for many things like turning-down a billion-dollar buyout from Facebook and later the cloning of their essential features by well, Facebook. However, the key aspect that got the young social network on the map was self-destructing texts and videos. The app was unique due to its ability of disappearing texts and videos a couple of seconds after they are read/viewed by the recipient. In fact, the technique used to destroy the sent media was so advanced -that it was labelled “military-grade” – such that the media could not be retrieved even by law enforcers.

With time, people have come up with ways of retaining the sent media even after its disappearing timer runs out. The easiest way was to use screen-recorder apps. Nowadays, many phones have the functionality built in, but Android has not officially integrated it into the stock version. The iPhone users, on the other hand, have the feature embedded into the new iOS 11 update, this will see a lot more people record secret media.

Snapchat has already foreseen such behaviour and has tackled it will a heads up to the sender. Whenever an iPhone user records secret media, it will be saved in the Photos App, but the sender will instantly get a notification saying that a video has been recorded. Unfortunately, the sender does not have a way of stopping the record from happening, neither can they delete the recorded copy from the recipient’s phone. Some people are seeing this as a lazy escape for Snapchat, it would have been more beneficial if they could have a way of avoiding their video from being recorded in the first place, the company could simply override the iOS 11 screen-record feature. Of course, cunning recipients can simply record the sent video using the camera of another phone, I would like to see how Snap Inc. tackles that.

SupaBRCK’s Moja free WiFi goes live in Kenya, firm partners Vanu & Facebook to test in Rwanda

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Image Source:BRCK

BRCK in March announced Moja, a free public WiFi project for smartphone users in Kenya. The service is finally live in a number of areas in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital and has signed up partners Facebook and Vanu for similar trials in rural Rwanda.

Moja was announced sometime back in Kenya and is now live in a number of parts in the city. TechMoran is yet to establish Moja WiFi’s local network partners in Kenya but Vanu Inc is providing low-energy and solar-powered base stations to BRCK in Rwanda.

Unlike Rwanda where BRCK is the only firm working on free public WiFi, Surf and Poa Internet are working on similar but ad free models targeted at low-cost communities at a daily, weekly or monthly fee. Free or affordable internet is a great initiative  and BRCK’s Moja has evaded the net neutrality debate by running ads to pay for Internet in Kenya. In Rwanda, Facebook’s Free basics is the main focus and might raise eyebrows.

It’s not a big deal though as Airtel runs Facebook’s Free Basics service in various markets to help bring as many people online as possible.

Back to the project in Rwanda.

If this partnership works, and the pilot proves successful, BRCK would have found its holy grail in the Moja free WiFi network, after the rugged BRCK v.1 turned out to be too expensive and bulky for individuals and government agencies in Africa to deploy in remote schools. The earlier version went for $200+, hardware alone.

In Rwanda, the SupaBRCK, and its Moja software and Vanu are building a local content delivery network (CDN) with free content such as licensed music, news, books, TV shows and of course Facebook allowing users in off-grid areas to connect to great educational and entertainment content, TED shows, jobs and Facebook then the rest of the internet, which is free at the moment.

Using its Vanu SuperPico and a small laptop based GSM MSC, Vanu runs a private GSM Network capable of operating as a standalone GSM network or as a GSM extension to a VoIP wireline network. The SuperPico is a weatherproof, power-efficient GSM Base Station Subsystem (BSS) that is specifically designed for outdoor deployments and has a superior transmit footprint than most Micro Base Stations.

Together the SuperPico Cellular Radio and BSS Controller constitute a GSM BSS offering that can efficiently deliver voice and data services in a compact and portable package. Coupled with a laptop based MSC, the SuperPico is ideally suited for rapid deployment or mobile GSM infrastructure. The system can operate in disconnected mode when a backhaul network is not available, and can utilize an IP network for backhaul when available, The system has been qualified with satellite, microwave, DSL, and WiFi backhaul networks.

SupaBRCK’s Moja WiFi therefore has a reliable hardware partner optimized for rapid setup with minimal configuration. Vanu’s hardware is able to make voice calls and automatically recovers from power outages and can utilize alternative power such as solar or vehicle battery.

Moja free WiFi is also being deployed in Kenya in restaurants, bars, cottages and in Matatus on various routes. Matatu WiFi will not work though due to fear of pickpockets who most times collude with bus crew. However, the general population loves free internet and the firm would make a kill if it signs up as many advertisers as possible. Safaricom’s Vuma WiFi died and Google’s Wazi WiFi failed too and Liquid Telecom has been talking about free WiFi in urban centers for years now but that doesn’t mean our friends at BRCK can’t try it out.

 

 

 

 

 

Azuri Tech raises £300,000 led by Virgin Unite to enable Kenyan families install affordable home solar systems

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Azuri Tech has raised £300,000 through a crowdfunding platform from over 100 investors to help more Kenyan homes get connected to affordable home solar power systems.

The investment will help Azuri distribute four light solar home systems to Kenyan homes at affordable installments of over 18 months. Virgin Unite provided an up-front match of £75,000 while other investors put in the rest.

Founded in 2012, Azuri is addressing the problem of energy access that affects over 600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa due to a lack of access to the grid. The firm has sold more than 100,000 systems since 2012 which is approximately reaching 500,000 people with access to solar energy.

Azuri home solar systems operates in 12 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa with offices in the UK, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Nigeria and Ghana. The Cambridge-based firm generated £1.9 million in revenues in 2016.

The £300,000 investment bond matures in 24 months and the investors will earn an expected interest rate of 5% per annum.   Azuri’s PayGo service model enables customers to pay back the cost of the system over time (typically 18 months) after which they fully own the system and can continue to use it for free. The Quad system includes a 10W solar panel, a rechargeable battery, 4 powerful LED lights, a rechargeable torch and radio, and a USB port to recharge a mobile phone.

The £300,000 will help the firm to manufacture and distribute at least 3,000 Quad systems together with their local distribution partners across Kenya, where approximately 4 million households do not have access to mains electricity.

The bond was raised via Energise Africa – an initiative that provides working capital to businesses that sell solar home systems in sub-Saharan Africa. The aim is to provide more than 111,000 rural families access to clean and renewable energy over the next three years. Energise Africa is a platform run by Lendahand Ethex Ltd, made up of two online impact investing platforms,UK’s Ethex and Dutch’s Lendahand which joined forces to provide UK based retail investors with investment opportunities which will significantly improve off grid energy access for families in Sub Saharan Africa.