Tuesday, December 1

Apps

Facebook Suspends Huawei From Pre-Installing Its App And WhatsApp On Its Phones
Apps, Social Networks

Facebook Suspends Huawei From Pre-Installing Its App And WhatsApp On Its Phones

Huawei is running into more problems after the US government banned major tech firms from doing business with the Chinese company. Reuters is reporting that Facebook is now joining Google, Microsoft, and others in the Huawei ban. What now? The social network giant is reportedly pulling its apps from Huawei devices. More specifically, Huawei will no longer be able to pre-install Facebook apps on its new phones, and that includes Facebook itself, as well as WhatsApp and Instagram. Facebook said the company’s apps will continue work and receive updates for existing users, but new users who get new (and existing) phones, won’t be able to get the apps pre-installed. Facebook blocking its popular apps from being pre-installed on Huawei devices is a big blow to the phone maker. Although...
Volkswagen Expansion in Africa With Ride-Hailing App Gains Traction
Apps, Ridehailing

Volkswagen Expansion in Africa With Ride-Hailing App Gains Traction

It’s been a year since one of the world’s biggest automotive companies, Volkswagen, bet on tiny and landlocked Rwanda as part of its expansion strategy in Africa. Since the 1950s, the German automaker has assembled cars in South Africa, and later in Nigeria and Kenya. The carmaker’s renewed interest in Africa is driven by the demand for brand new cars propelled by an emerging middle class as well as competition from companies like Toyota, Nissan, and Peugeot who are ramping up production in the continent. In Rwanda, Volkswagen set up a $20 million operation expected to produce up to 5,000 vehicles a year and create about 1,000 jobs. In Kigali, VW also placed a wager on another first for its global operations: ride-hailing services. The project is part of an initiative to use Rwanda ...
Egyptian entrepreneurs join global Endeavor network
Apps, East Africa

Egyptian entrepreneurs join global Endeavor network

Mounir Nakhla, co-founder of Egyptian ride-hailing startup Halan, and the three co-founders of mass transit system Swvl have been chosen to join the global Endeavor network, offering access to mentorship and acceleration services. The global Endeavor initiative launched in Nigeria and Kenya last year, and has accepted a host of African entrepreneurs into its network in recent months. The organisation works to catalyse long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs worldwide. It supports entrepreneurs that have passed through the initial startup phase and demonstrate the potential for rapid expansion and scale.  At its most recent International Selection Panel (ISP) in San Fra...
Nigerian motorcycle taxi app Gokada to open driver training school
Apps, West Africa

Nigerian motorcycle taxi app Gokada to open driver training school

Lagos-based on-demand motorcycle taxi app Gokada has celebrated its first birthday with the launch of its new office in Ilupeju, which will house a state-of-the-art driver training school to train and verify up to 500 riders at a time. Gokada customers can order a motorbike ride through the company’s website, or by using its geo-location -based smartphone app. In 12 months of operation, the startup has secured close to 1,000 bikes and completes around 5,000 rides across Lagos’ Mainland each day. It has now launched its new office, which will house its driver training school. The school, which is due to open in April, will assist with the smoother, more efficient training of more Gokada drivers. “Gokada was built on a super simple premise; moving Lagos citizens around the traffi...
Kerb, an ‘Airbnb for parking spaces’ launches in Kenya
Apps, East Africa

Kerb, an ‘Airbnb for parking spaces’ launches in Kenya

Kerb, an Australian ‘Airbnb for Parking’ has launched in Kenya to allow car users find parking easily as well as let homeowners rent out their spare spaces to make extra cash. Launched in Australia in October 2016 by Rob Brown and Matt Salmon , Kerb is live across the world in 19 languages and localized in 300 cities. The Kenya launch will be shortly followed by a regional expansion across East Africa. “We’re really excited about the benefits that Kerb is going to have for users”, says Co-founder Rob Brown. “The app allows you to list an entire car park up in minutes, and each individual bay can be customised by availability, price and vehicle type.” Kerb changes the conventional view about where people can park their cars, motorbikes, boats and even helicopters! Kerb’s tech...
Uber launches UberASSIST to help elderly and disabled riders in Nairobi
Apps, Central Africa, East Africa, Trends

Uber launches UberASSIST to help elderly and disabled riders in Nairobi

Uber in Kenya has announced the launch of a new product; UberASSIST a platform that caters for senior riders and riders with access needs in the wake of World Disability Day last week. Drivers driving on UberASSIST have attended dedicated information sessions and are better equipped to help senior riders and those with access needs to travel more effectively and more frequently thus enabling them to enjoy the freedom they deserve. “Everyone deserves an opportunity to travel freely within their own city, and with UberASSIST, we are able to provide reliable transportation to senior citizens and riders with access needs,” says Loic Amando, General Manager of Uber in East Africa. Continue reading Photo: Laura Dale / AAP
Apps, Trends

Here’s how tech is revolutionising transport for low-income communities in urban Africa

The transport and mobility sector have undergone significant change in recent years. Disruptive technology and the sharing economy have completely transformed the mobility space, creating new markets with a more on-demand, consumer-centric model. Taxi apps like Uber and Lyft have revolutionised notions of accessibility, convenience and predictability in public transport. But in South Africa, approximately 42.4 million people still rely on traditional modes of public transport. In the Western Cape province, 52 percent of households use minibus taxis (unscheduled privately-operated minibus services carrying passengers), while almost 22 percent of households use trains. Historically, the previous apartheid regime segregated South Africans by racial group and assigned specific race grou...
Meet the 21-year-old tech whiz who’s coded for Instagram and Snapchat
Africans in Tech, Apps, Social Networks

Meet the 21-year-old tech whiz who’s coded for Instagram and Snapchat

Iddris Sandu has done a lot in his 21 years.Besides creating algorithms for Instagram and Snapchat and consulting for Twitter, he's now working with Kanye West and Jaden Smith to create augmented-reality experiences around music and politics for the tech festival ComplexCon next year in Chicago. "With Jaden, we are getting more young people to vote and creating experiences around that," Sandu told CNN about his work with the musician and actor who is the son of Hollywood stars Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith.Born in Accra, Ghana, Sandu's parents came to the United States when he was 3. He learned to code when he was just 13, during a work experience at Google eight months after the tech giant moved into Frank Gehry's "Binoculars Building" in Venice, California.For Sandu, it was a l...