Monday, September 21

East Africa

Kenya to be Part of Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Program for Women-led Startups
East Africa

Kenya to be Part of Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Program for Women-led Startups

Kenya will be one of the nine countries that will benefit from Microsoft’s Cloud Accelerator Program that entails a 6-month training designed to help women-led companies start and build their business through Microsoft products and its cloud distribution channel. The program, which is currently running in the U.S., will be introduced in Kenya, South Africa, Canada, France, Germany, India, the UAE and the U.K. in partnership with IdeaGen and Women in Cloud. Generally speaking, the project is geared toward offering access to the cloud, mentorship, networking communities, and resources to women-owned tech firms. The program, which was founded two years ago, was launched to pursue a community-led initiative to empower women in tech and drive growth. Microsoft says the project has since bec...
Kenyan Government Website Hacked
Cybersecurity, East Africa

Kenyan Government Website Hacked

A group of hackers known as the Kurd Electronic Team defaced Kenya's government related websites earlier on 1 June 2019. At the time of publishing some of the websites, like that of the National Youth Service, had been restored while others were still displaying the hacking group's message stating that they were responsible for the defacement. In some cases, Kenya's ICT Authority seemed to have regained control and put up a message that they are under maintenance. "Sorry for the inconvenience but we're performing some maintenance at the moment. If you need to you can always contact us. Otherwise we'll be back online shortly! - GoK Cyber Security Team" Hacktivisim or just mischief? So far, it is not clear what was the motive for the defacements. However...
Kenya Parliament Approves Progressive Draft Data Protection Policy and Bill
East Africa, Tech Policy

Kenya Parliament Approves Progressive Draft Data Protection Policy and Bill

Amidst the hue and cry from Kenyans who have since faulted the Government’s plan to create a universal database for citizens under the NIIMs program that is popularly known as Huduma Namba, the State through its Twitter handle @StateHouseKenya revealed that Parliament had approved a progressive draft Data Protection Policy and Bill. The announcement was made by President Kenyatta. I assure Kenyans and all people residing in our beautiful country that we are taking additional measures to ensure the information they give is safe. Yesterday, the Cabinet approved a progressive draft Data Protection Policy and Bill ~President Uhuru Kenyatta | #HappyEaster— State House Kenya (@StateHouseKenya) April 19, 2019 The declaration was necessary because the Huduma Namba registration exercise had ...
“Born to Code”: Rwanda launches first coding academy
East Africa

“Born to Code”: Rwanda launches first coding academy

Rwanda has embraced technology and is now preparing its young population for the future by launching a coding academy. The school's motto "born to code" encourages young people interested in coding to pursue it as a career. The academy focusses on cyber security and software programming, and 30 girls and 30 boys enrolled in the first intake. The Rwandan government and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) recently launched the Rwanda Coding Academy in partnership with the Ministry of ICT, Ministry of Education and Rwanda Polytechnic among other institutions. The Rwanda Coding Academy, which opened on the 4th of February 2019 with a total of 60 students; 30 girls and 30 boys. A statement from the Ministry of Education said, “This model school will graduate its studen...
Siemens and Ethiopia collaborate to address urgent energy and infrastructure challenges
East Africa

Siemens and Ethiopia collaborate to address urgent energy and infrastructure challenges

Siemens is currently helping to increase the reliability of energy supply through an interconnector being built between Kenya and Ethiopia Siemens today announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to support the government’s objective of becoming a low middle-income country by 2025. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) addresses the country’s energy and infrastructure sectors. Other key aspects of the agreement include financing concepts that will ensure the long-term sustainability of these infrastructure initiatives; and creating opportunities for local upskilling and job creation during construction and operation. Siemens can make a significant contribution to Ethiopia’s development Ethiopia’s Growth and T...
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...
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...
Nigeria’s AMPZ.TV, Ghana’s OZÉ & Kenya’s WayaWaya named regional winners in MEST Africa’s $50,000 pitch competition
East Africa, Start-ups

Nigeria’s AMPZ.TV, Ghana’s OZÉ & Kenya’s WayaWaya named regional winners in MEST Africa’s $50,000 pitch competition

Five promising start-ups from across Africa have been chosen as regional winners in MEST Africa’s annual Pan-African pitch competition, moving one step closer to winning $50,000 in equity investment, a place in the MEST Africa incubator of their choice and global mentorship to help their company scale. Winners will pitch on a global stage in the finals at the 4th MEST Africa Summit, to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, June 10-12.  Out of nearly 1000 applicants from across the continent, 10 finalists were chosen to pitch at the regional finals in Accra, Lagos, Nairobi, Cape Town and Abidjan, held February 27-28th. Winners from each region include: Nigeria –AMPZ.TV, the ‘LinkedIn for Sports’ that is developing the next generation of Etos, Drogbas and Aubameyangs through te...
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
Zimbabwe’s internet blackout shows how powerless major telcos are against governments
Central Africa, East Africa, Nigeria, Southern Africa, Tech Policy, West Africa

Zimbabwe’s internet blackout shows how powerless major telcos are against governments

Internet access was restored in Zimbabwe late on Wednesday, but on Thursday WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter remained inaccessible. More than 600 people were arrested this week as police armed with AK-47 rifles rounded up protestors, according to the Associated Press. At least six people were killed when the military was deployed to quell protests against high fuel prices on Monday. Amnesty International reported eight deaths, while the Association of Doctors for Human Rights reported treated 68 cases of gunshot wounds and more than 100 other cases of assaults. A tense calm returned on Thursday. Zimbabweans were protesting a fuel hike that would see the price of petrol and diesel rise by 150%in a country that already had fuel shortages. Amid the violent crackdown on pro...