African startups can now score capital commitments real time―so long as they convince a venture capitalist to give it to them in front of a live audience. That’s the format for “Face The Gorillas,” a Rwandan IT pitch series that runs several times a year on local TV, YouTube, and at events. The competition was originally conceived in 2013 by Yariv Cohen and wife Angela Homsi―who became engaged in Rwanda’s tech scene through impact investment firm Kaenaat and the Ignite Power Solar initiative.
Entertainment: Latest News
Peter Pedroncelli, 9:26 am
The winners of the Facebook First Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge were announced this week, with submissions from Egypt doing very well. Egyptians featured prominently among the winners and runners-up of the three categories, as did Morocco. A total of 60 finalists from 64 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region were considered for the eventual winner’s prize, which included $20,000 in addition to three months of Facebook mentorship.
Peter Pedroncelli, 3:00 am AFKI Original
African tech innovators create jobs while finding solutions to modern African problems, and they deserve to be celebrated for the important role they play in society. Twitter has become a popular short-message platform in which to connect with the masses, and African innovators, along with the wider audience on the continent, have adopted the social media platform via mobile and desktop. Here are 12 African tech innovators who are worth following on Twitter.
Peter Pedroncelli, 8:47 am
The new dotAafrca top-level internet domain appears to be very popular among trademark owners, as it has attracted just short of a thousand registrations during the initial registrations period, known as the sunrise phase. The top-level domain has been through its sunrise phase, is now in its landrush phase, and will be available to the general public from July 4, but already dotAfrica is showing why it has been much-anticipated. The heavy initial interest in the dotAfrica domain places it in the top 10 worldwide for the number of domain name reservations during the sunrise phase of a launch process.
Peter Pedroncelli, 8:42 am AFKI Original
Africa has embraced mobile like few other regions of the world have, with some of the highest mobile penetration rates and the majority of internet users accessing content online via their mobiles. Whether one considers online banking, apps for healthcare, connecting through social media or voting for a political party, Africans have fully embraced mobile technology and all of its possibilities. Here are the 12 things you didn’t know about how Africans have embraced mobile.
Peter Pedroncelli, 3:16 am AFKI Original
Social media has taken the world by storm in recent years, and the number of active Facebook users in Africa is a testament to the fact that the continent is also part of the social media trend. With Facebook being the most popular of the social media networks, and the proliferation of mobile throughout Africa providing the ideal breeding ground, the combination of factors has led to a growing user-base for the company. Africa is home to around 330 million internet users, and around 44 percent of them are active on Facebook.
Peter Pedroncelli, 4:39 am
Dalkom, a privately owned operator based in Somalia, has signed an agreement with Intelsat SA for satellite services that will lead to expanded broadband access and capacity in East and Central Africa. Intelsat SA, integrated satellite communications specialist and operator of the world’s first globalized network, will assist Dalkom Somalia in increasing its broadband enterprise and direct-to-home (DTH) services in East and Central Africa and the Middle East. The multi-year agreement will allow Dalkom to incorporate Ku-band satellite services provided by Intelsat 17 to extend their current services
Peter Pedroncelli, 5:11 am
Malaysian subscription streaming video service iflix, which is focused on emerging markets, has announced the creation of iflix Africa to bring its service to sub-Saharan Africa while taking on the likes of Netflix and Showmax in the region. The video-on-demand service is planning to launch its service in South Africa during the third quarter of this year, before expanding into other parts of Africa. The current expansion plan includes the launch of services in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, with iflix Africa taking the company’s global footprint to 23 territories.
Peter Pedroncelli, 7:44 am AFKI Original
Internet penetration continues to be a challenge in Africa, but there are success stories throughout the continent, with the number of internet users growing consistently. East Africa is a positive story within this context, with a few countries from this region appearing in the list, while the continent’s biggest economy, as well as the most developed economy, feature prominently on the list. Here are the 12 African nations with the highest number of internet users.
Peter Pedroncelli, 9:18 am
Norwegian Internet browser Opera Software has announced plans to invest $100 million in Africa’s digital economy over the next two years, as the company aims to consolidate its most robust market. The investment will be used to develop artificial intelligence that delivers Africans customized and localized content, while continued efforts will be made to reduce data costs by around 90 percent. The goal is also to grow African businesses in partnership with African tech companies. It is envisaged that Opera will bundle in third-party services that provide mobile payment and improved data features through the web browser.
Peter Pedroncelli, 4:39 am
South African telecommunications giant Vodacom is in the process of acquiring a majority stake in Kenya’s largest company and major East African telecoms firm, Safaricom. The announcement was made on Monday, with a proposed 34.94 percent indirect stake set to be bought from the Kenyan government. The stake is worth 284 billion Kenyan shillings or around $2.76 billion, based on Safaricom’s current share price on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
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