Monday, May 10

Tag: Africa

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...
Africans in Tech, East Africa

Inside the world of a Kenyan cryptocurrency miner

Eugene Mutai is well aware of the risks of mining virtual money. "Sometimes I ask myself: will the bubble pop? "He's right to be, cryptocurrencies are volatile. That hasn't stopped him from operating in this shadowy and controversial corner of the global financial system. A few years ago Mutai was working odd jobs on farms in rural Kenya. Now he's a cryptocurrency miner in Nairobi. His apartment where he mines, is dimly lit blue and drowned with the low drone of a self-made cryptocurrency computer rig. Mutai began researching cryptocurrencies last year. "I was curious about what was making these alternative coins drive. "Bitcoin was hard to mine by that point in time," Mutai tells CNN. There were already many Bitcoin miners. Instead, Mutai started mining Ethereum, a similar but less w...
AI, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa

Drones driven by AI will track illegal fishing in African waters

Across the African continent, drones are finding innovative uses -- from monitoring displaced populations to delivering critical medical supplies. Moroccan technology startup ATLAN Space is developing artificial intelligence (AI) to guide autonomous drones so they can scan large areas for "environmental crimes" like illegal fishing, poaching or deforestation. In June, ATLAN Space won the National Geographic Society's $150,000 Marine Protection Prize to implement a pilot project to combat illegal fishing in Seychelles. Drones will be armed with information about illegal fishing hotspots, explains Badr Idrissi, CEO and co-founder of ATLAN Space. Once a drone detects a boat, AI will enable it to verify whether it is a cruising boat, tanker or fishing vessel. The drone will then est...
Space, West Africa

Why NASA chose Senegal to observe a frozen world beyond Pluto

On a night in August, an object called 2014 MU69 passed in front of a star and blocked its light. This phenomenon, called a stellar occultation, lasted just a second and was visible only in certain regions in Africa (more exactly in Senegal, Mali and Algeria) and in South America in Colombia.MU69 is an icy object of the Kuiper Belt, (informally named Ultima Thule) which was discovered in June 2014 with the Hubble Space Telescope.NASA is pursuing this object to learn more about the origins of our solar system. Senegal was chosen to observe this occultation, because of its political stability, and the existence of a community of amateur astronomers and scientists.The choice of Senegal was made despite the challenging climatic conditions in August (rainy season), which offered a proba...