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.
Entertainment: Latest News
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.
Peter Pedroncelli, 5:53 am
Cape Town has been named the best business tourism destination on the African continent once again, a ranking produced by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) revealed. The Mother City is now considered the 39th best business tourism hub in the world, having improved last year’s ranking by 15 spots. In the last financial year, the city secured 33 new bids with an estimated attendance of 28,000 delegates and an estimated economic impact of around $31.7 million, while conferences over the past six years have had an estimated economic impact of more than $112 million.
Peter Pedroncelli, 3:09 am AFKI Original
African consumers are increasingly able to enjoy numerous global tech brands due to a growing middle class on the continent that is savvy and mindful of what brands can offer them. Many of these brands have earned the admiration and loyalty of African consumers, with BrandAfrica ranking them in terms of the most admired brands from an African perspective. We take a look at 12 of the most admired global tech brands according to Africans.
Tom Jackson, 12:09 pm AFKI Original
ShowMax’s European launch is proof that its hyper-local video-on-demand concept, pioneered in Africa, has wider application, says ShowMax Africa head Chris Savides. The cost of mobile data may be the biggest factor affecting the uptake of subscription video-on-demand on the continent. A number of services have tried and failed. It’s not an easy business because it’s not just about the technology, but also about understanding customer needs and content. “It may be that your niche isn’t the type of content but how you deliver that content in a way nobody else is doing,” Savides told AFKInsider.
Peter Pedroncelli, 2:22 am AFKI Original
Africans who tweet don’t like to talk about brands nearly as much as their American counterparts. Instead, Africans are increasingly talking politics as Twitter comes of age in Africa, according to a London-based communications firm. Previous research showed that Twitter in Africa was more of a space for social interaction. Now serious debate about politics and government prevails. Twitter continues to be one of the most popular social networks available in Africa, enabled through a heavy mobile usage and apps that cater to smartphone users.
Dana Sanchez, 3:11 pm
The Gambian village of Sareh Pateh, population 4,000, turned on solar street lights for the first time Sunday, thanks to Akon’s $1 billion line of credit. “I want to leave a legacy,” the Senegalese-American Akon told reporters in Banjul. “Africans work harder in everything and they work harder to live and to sustain themselves.” Akon spent part of his childhood in a Senegalese village with no electricity before moving to the U.S. In 2011, Forbes ranked him fifth out of 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa. He says he’s a businessman first and a musician second.
Peter Pedroncelli, 1:35 am AFKI Original
Zimbabwean business mogul Strive Masiyiwa has been incredibly successful in his career as an entrepreneur and investor, with business interests worldwide showing his pedigree as a businessman. The founder and CEO of telecoms company Econet Wirless is Zimbabwe’s richest man, and continues to use his fortune for philanthropic pursuits throughout the African continent, with education among the youth proving to be a particular passion for the British educated Masiyiwa. Here are 12 things you may not know about Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa.
Dana Sanchez, 4:02 pm
Africa has potential to boast more billion-dollar startups than anywhere else on Earth, says an Africa-focused investment manager. More than 200 African private equity deals were reported in 2016. Almost a third were in South Africa, but the potential in Nigeria is mind boggling. Internet spending in Nigeria was nearly $2B last year, with only 3% of Nigerians having fixed broadband access. Multiple billions in spending is driven by mobile internet users. Digital content and the subsequent advertising and brand exposure are, for the first time, accessible by the majority of Nigerians on their mobile devices.
Dana Sanchez, 11:07 am AFKI Original
South African media giant Naspers is launching its 18-month-old internet TV service ShowMax in Poland. It plans to provide hyper-local content and original productions rather than trying to compete with expensive shows designed to appeal to audiences worldwide. It’s competing with the much older, bigger, more established U.S. firm Netflix, which launched in 1998. Netflix is also commissioning original content, but it has an overseas problem, one commentator said. “It just doesn’t have the amount of local content that some of the (streaming and pay TV) competitors have.”
Dana Sanchez, 3:39 pm
Some U.S. journalism professors have been encouraged to incorporate Trevor Noah’s new book, “Born A Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood,” into their classwork. A comedian and host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” Noah is still finding his voice, one commentator said. He lacks the tenacity, defiance and indignation that made his predecessor, Jon Stewart such a stalwart. But time will treat him well. If cable TV fails Noah, “literature will remain a firm ally.” Noah’s debut book has been described as “extraordinarily heartfelt, compulsively enriching (and) a hell of a memoir.”
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