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Africa

The importance of informal finance arrangements is a reverberating theme across Africa. Informal doesn’t necessarily mean bad or evil or dirty, it’s just that rather than rely on the heavy hand of the law, some communities prefer to place their trust in reputation and social networks for all trade commerce and financial relationships whether offline or online.  Others, will turn to informal institutions of trade and finance when faced by adversity in an immediate harsh environment such as war, political instability, structural programs or lack of reliable services. For example,

As news of Uber’s possible decline and fall filters in, it behooves me to take a moment to ponder the implications for sub-Saharan Africa’s digital economic ecosystem, particularly, the decentralized hybrid one emerging among the erstwhile informal sectors of the economy, such as motorcycle taxis like Safeboda and other on-demand services. While Uber itself has made waves in all the major urban metros across the African continent – Lagos, Nairobi, Johannesburg, etc – its inevitable end will leave a greater legacy than simply copycat taxi-hailing services. Uber the app, has changed the

Originally posted here via Wogrammer As a child in Nigeria, Olamide Opadokun noticed a constant issue in her community: the sporadic availability of electricity. With not enough energy being produced for each town, families and businesses were often forced to use backup generators that made loud, disruptive noises and contributed to air pollution. Having read about renewable energy advances happening abroad, Olamide wondered why Nigeria didn’t have a better solution. “It was sunny every day in Nigeria — why weren’t we using more solar energy? As the rest of the

Alexa’s always had a problem understanding commands from varying accents, however, what’s worrying is her reluctance to learn and improve. Alexa terrorised my Nigerian mother-in-law by refusing to grant any of her requests until she had asked at least five times, the fifth time in a forced British accent. I was amused at first because I have a dark sense of humour, but it got personal when Alexa repeatedly refused my husband’s requests. I’m Ugandan with a British accent. My Nigerian husband has a Nigerian accent, speaks English excellently, Yoruba

“In a lot of ways, Facebook is more like a government than a traditional company” – Mark Zuckerburg The rise of virtual internet platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Telegram, Kakao is challenging established regimes of state and sovereignty, monetary policy and issuance of currency, control, ownership and governance of virtual resources in developing countries in Africa. Billions of users, including Africans, are spending more time on virtual networked platforms that command the attention of far greater audiences than the populations of individual nation states. WhatsApp has 1 billion, Telegram 200

This article takes a look at some of the fantastic technologist hailing from Eritrea and Ethiopia [both in the diaspora and the motherland]. The list is far from exhaustive, so please feel free to shout out anyone else in the comments! 1. Betelhem Dessie At 10, she was coding. Now, at 19 Betelhem Dessie has been dubbed “the youngest pioneer in Ethiopia’s fast emerging tech scene” by CNN. Working at Ethiopia’s first Artificial Intelligence Lab [iCog], she was involved in the development of the world-famous Sophia the robot. This young

A spat between the UK Government, PayPal and Kenya freelancers has got everyone mixing up issues. “Thousands of jobless graduates from Kenya who help lazy university students in developed countries to cheat academically could soon be forced to find something else to do after the UK government started clamping down on essay mills. On Thursday, international digital money transfer service, PayPal, announced it was withdrawing its services to essay-writing firms selling to university students. This was after weeks of pressure from the UK government, which insists on stopping payments for

Facebook is plotting a new cryptocurrency dubbed ‘Libra’ for its vast social network scheduled for release in 2020. Libra Coin, a virtual currency, will be governed by Libra association, a conglomerate of 28 American and European corporations who will decide everything from who can join the network, process transactions and how much currency will circulate. As an African, it is my opinion that the peoples of Africa, its governments and central banks should be concerned, because we risk ceding more control, from the little we have now, to a digital

In May 2018, Twitter officially released the Account Activity API to help developers build solutions that enable businesses to create better customer engagement experiences on its platform. On the team of engineers that worked on the API is Babatunde Fashola, a Nigerian software engineer that has worked at Twitter for the past three years building products now used by millions of people around the world. Many Nigerians may recognize the Twitter software engineer’s name as that of the former Lagos state governor and current Minister of Power, Works, and Housing.

According to Terragon’s Digital Trends for Nigeria in 2018 report, about 6 million Nigerians use Twitter actively every month. Over the years, the social media platform has changed the way Nigerians interact with one another online and with other users all over the world. It has also bridged the gap between citizens and the Nigerian government as many government officials and agencies have active Twitter accounts. In Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, the tech giant’s headquarters, various teams of diverse specialties, educational backgrounds work together to ensure that users of the platform all over

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