Architectural Visionary Sir David Adjaye On The Importance Of Design Thinking

Architect Sir David Adjaye heads up the Lexus Design Awards judging panel Sir David Adjaye is one of the most exciting

Architect Sir David Adjaye heads up the Lexus Design Awards judging panel

Sir David Adjaye is one of the most exciting architects in the cultural realm.

Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2017 called him an “architectural visionary”. Last month the British designer headed up the judging panel on the annual Lexus Design Awards as part of Milan design week. Now in its sixth year, some 1300 creatives from 68 nations applied for the scheme, answering to the theme of “Co” in its Latin sense to mean harmony, community and collaboration. The four shortlisted entries will now receive professional mentoring and funds to help develop their ideas.

I caught up with Adjaye to discover more.

This is your first time working with Lexus. What attracted you to the scheme?

David Adjaye: The Lexus project is about design in the global sense and I like that. There are regional differences and concerns and this is exciting. I like the idea of encouraging and supporting diversity in design. I feel part of my job as a designer and architect is to support and encourage a new generation to understand some of the problems that we face in our work and to offer scenarios for solutions. Schemes like this encourage and empower a new generation.

The winner isn’t an archetype design concept. Rather the New York-based research studio Extrapolation Factory’s “Testing Hypotheticals” is all about ideas – a test site involving a diverse group of local residents to help understand the implications of design and in the process imagining and exploring alternate futures for their communities. What attracted you to this concept?

David Adjaye: This is about design thinking and it excites me. Younger designers are questioning the concept of simply manufacturing products and there appears to be a rebirth of design thinking. Some of the designers here are interested in emotional well-being, others discovering experiential moments, while the team at Extrapolation Factory want to teach people to understand the world we live in.

What are you looking for when observing these younger designers?

David Adjaye: I’m interested in how innovation is not just about manufacturing products, but providing social solutions. For me design is about thinking. I’m always impressed by how the younger generation champion strong views.

If the job of designers and architects is no longer simply to make products, how do you see your role evolving?

David Adjaye: Design can play a key role in helping people navigate an increasingly complicated world. It shouldn’t just be about making things but understanding the responsibility of the product. Products have implications and it is up to design thinking to tackle that. Democratization through technology means that we need new tools to understand how to function in this new society. The codes of the twentieth-century are no longer relevant and designers need to be part of this dialogue.

As we approach the driverless future, what are your thoughts on the urgency for an open dialogue between architects, urban planners and car companies?

David Adjaye: Absolutely this is a huge topic and there are raging discussions taking place in architecture schools now. What we know is a new world is coming. It is literally the horse and cart moment again.

It is interesting that some of the more advanced car companies are at the forefront of pushing for innovation and change…

David Adjaye: Yes, it is a paradox isn’t it? Yet at the same time the push isn’t coming from governments or individuals. These are no longer car companies though, but technology industries. They recognize the future is in being a patron of technology and innovation.

Winner “Testing Hypotheticals” offers workshops for navigating the future

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Google Launches First African Impact Challenge

Photo: LOIC VENANCE / AFP   Tech Giant, Google has announced the launch of the Google Impact Challenge Nigeria, 2018.

Photo: LOIC VENANCE / AFP

 

Tech Giant, Google has announced the launch of the Google Impact Challenge Nigeria, 2018.

The company made the announcement on Wednesday saying it will be offering $2m worth of grant funding to nonprofits in Nigeria through the challenge.

According to Google, four non-profits in Nigeria stand the chance of winning $250 000 each while eight runners-up will each get $125 000.

It says winners will be decided by a panel of local judges and a public vote.

Apart from the cash prizes, winners will have access to guidance, technical assistance and mentorship from Google, which they are free to take up should they so choose.

The Nigerian judging panel includes chairman CEO Channels media group John Momoh, chairman CEO, Zinox Technologies Leo Stan Ekeh, chief executive officer Parminder Vir, Rapper and CEO of Chocolate City Music Group MI Abaga, Philanthropist and Executive Director of Nigeria Network of NGOs Oluseyi Oyebisi.

Others are Philanthropist and Media entrepreneur Mo Abudu, Ex-footballer and founder of the Kanu Heart Foundation Kanu Nwankwo, Managing General Partner, EchoVC Partners Eghosa Omoigui and Google Country Director Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor.

The Challenge kicks off today (May 23) and will close on July 4, 2018, after which a final awards ceremony will be held during the week of November 26.

At Google for Nigeria in July last year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the company’s commitment to providing $20m funding to African non-profits over five years.

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai at the Google for Nigeria event in 2017.

Read Also: Google CEO Announces Training For 10 Million Africans

This, however, is the first initiative aimed at realising that commitment.

Speaking on the announcement, Google Country Marketing Manager Affiong Osuchukwu said: “This is the first time we are running a Google Impact Challenge in Africa. Many African nonprofits are doing great work with real impact and we’re keen to shine a light on them, and give a financial boost to innovative projects and ideas.

“We believe technology can help local and national organisations to better reach their goals and solve some of the continent’s most pressing challenges, and we are eager to back people who are using technology in new ways to make a positive difference in their communities.

“We also want to highlight the healthy state of social enterprise in Nigeria today, and encourage non-profits to consider how technology can help them reach their goals,” Osuchukwu says.

Other Google Impact Challenges around the world have supported ideas ranging from smart cameras for wildlife conservation to solar lights for off-grid communities to a mobile application that helps to protect women from domestic violence.

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Walmart Seeks Blockchain-Based Patent To Help Customers Resell Products

Blockchain technology just got a major boost to becoming commonplace in the U.S. One of world’s largest retail chains, Walmart

Blockchain technology just got a major boost to becoming commonplace in the U.S.

One of world’s largest retail chains, Walmart has filed a patent for a blockchain-based marketplace for reselling purchased products. The patent was filed May 17 with the  US Patent and Trademark Office.

“The application describes a service that would record a customer’s purchases in a blockchain ledger, thus allowing the customer to resell the items on a sales platform using the record of purchase,” Coin Telegraph reported.

According to the patent notes, when customers look to get rid of unused or unneeded items, they are often “left to their own devices to arrange for a subsequent resale.”

What Walmart proposes is a system that will offer “additional support to greatly ease and facilitate their later reselling of items.” The interface for this proposed system could be point-of-sale, browser-based, or a mobile device among other options. In short, the blockchain marketplace will help customers resell Walmart products they no longer want.

With this, Walmart will keep track of customer purchases.

“According to CoinDesk, the patent details a blockchain ledger that can track items that stores sell to particular customers. The system would allow a customer to register an item after it’s been purchased and then choose a price for resale, with the system acting like a digital marketplace,” PYMTS.com reported.

“By one approach, the transfer from the seller to the courier may require signatures from both the sender and the courier using their respective private keys,” the company wrote. “The new transaction may be broadcasted and verified by the sender, the courier, the buyer and/or other nodes on the system before being added to the distributed delivery record blockchain. When the package is transferred from the courier to the buyer, the courier may use the courier’s private key to authorize the transfer of the digital asset representing the physical asset from the courier to the buyer and update the delivery record with the new transaction.”

This isn’t the first blockchain patent the company has filed for. “In the beginning of March, a Walmart filed a different patent for a ‘Smart Package’ delivery system that uses a blockchain-based tool for tracking package contents, environmental conditions, and locations,” Coin Telegraph reported.  Also, at the end of April, the vice president of Walmart’s Food Safety and Health announced Walmart would be using blockchain tech in its live food business. This he said would improve contamination management and overall transparency.

Walmart is using IBM’s blockchain technology to ensure food safety. Walmart tracks its produce from the farm to the store shelf to confirm items have not been contaminated or are within their sell-by date. Transport company Maersk has established a joint venture with IBM to develop a global trade platform for the blockchain system to help companies reduce costs and eliminate inefficiencies with how items are being shipped, IEEE reported.

As of 2017, Walmart operated about 6,363 international stores.

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Why Is A Norwegian Newspaper Going After Tidal?

It seems Tidal is under attack — an attack started by a Norwegian newspaper. First, the newspaper claimed that the

Norwegian Newspaper

It seems Tidal is under attack — an attack started by a Norwegian newspaper. First, the newspaper claimed that the music streaming service owned primarily by rap mogul Jay-Z was faking streams, especially for Beyonce and Kanye West.

Now Norwegian financial newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) is claiming that Tidal is not paying record labels on time.

This begs the questions: Why is the Norwegian media going after Tidal so hard? Is it because of Tidal rival Spotify?

The timing is curious as the attacks on Tidal started less than a month after Spotify went public.The latest revelation, according to the newspaper, is that Tidal is “significantly behind with its royalty payments to music industry rights-holders,”
Music Business Worldwide reported.

DN claims Tidal is late in paying three major international record companies, including two Norway-based music businesses–independent label Propellor Records and its distributor, Sony-owned Phonofile.

“It is correct that there are delays in payments from Tidal,” said Sveinung Rindal, CEO of Phonofil /head of The Orchard in Norway.

“We have not been paid since October,” Frithjof Boye Hungnes, CEO of Propeller Recordings, added.

Other parties claiming that Tidal has not paid them for months include successful local artists Bjørn Gunnar Sando–drummer and manager of Hellbillies–in addition to ‘Ravi’ Johansen, Music Business Worldwide reported.

Just last week, Tidal was accused of manipulating streaming numbers for its two biggest ever exclusive album releases–Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” and Kanye West’s “The Life Of Pablo.” The newspaper said it had obtained a hard drive which contained data that proved Tidal had faked streams.

Tidal has denied all these charges and has accused accusing DN of a “smear campaign” against it.

Yet these newspaper reports have led to Tidal being put under investigation.

“Norwegian collection society Tono, which represents around 30,000 songwriters, has filed an official police complaint against Tidal, encouraging the authorities to look into the claims of streaming manipulation,” Music Business Worldwide reported.

And, Danish collection society Koda has announced it will be undertaking an independent audit of Tidal data. It’s been reported that Tidal reduced its recorded music royalty payout in April last year from a 62.5-percent share of its revenue to 55 percent.

Still, why is it only the Norwegian press and artists that are complaining about Tidal? Does It have something to do with Tidal rival, Spotify, which is a Swedish
entertainment company? Or is it because Jay-Z took over the former Norwegian company? 

In 2015, Jay-Z bought Aspiro, Norwegian parent company of a streaming service formerly known as Wimp, for $56 million.

In September of that year, he tweeted that Tidal had hit the 1 million-member milestone. Internal payments to record labels cited in Norwegian publication Dagens Næringsliv said it was closer to 350,000. Six months later, Tidal claimed it had reached the 3 million subscribers. The Norwegian newspaper said was closer to 1 million. “No further numbers have been circulated,” Variety reported. In 2017, Jay-Z sold a third of the company to Sprint based on a $600 million valuation.

In late April, Spotify went public. Spotify claims 157 million monthly active users in 61 countries, 71 million of which are in its premium paid-subscription tier.

“While Spotify is losing vast sums of money every year, its path to profitability is unclear and it has hedged its bets on Wall Street by going with a direct listing rather than a traditional initial public offering, it has a solid lead globally over the No. 2 service, Apple Music, and its name has become synonymous with streaming for many people,” Variety reported.

Spotify is still the leader, especially in the U.S. The company claims 41 percent of the U.S. market share, beating music services from Apple, Amazon, Pandora, Soundcloud and Tidal. However, “Spotify has yet to turn a profit, despite increasing revenue 38 percent to about $5 billion in 2017 from the prior year. Losses topped $1.5 billion for 2017, up from $662 million the prior year,” USA Today reported. 

Still, it seems time will tell why Tidal is under attack. Maybe the outcome of the investigation will reveal why. But for now, the negative publicity isn’t helping Tidal in its struggles.

Norwegian Newspaper
Jay-Z. Photo: Wenn

 

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What Are The Best Upcoming Cryptocurrency ICOs?

What are the best upcoming cryptocurrency ICOs? This question originally appeared on Quora, the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are

What are the best upcoming cryptocurrency ICOs?

This question originally appeared on Quora, the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answers by Liz Shell, Jonny Dee, Joel McLeod, Hamerton Bruce and Dror Kris.

Liz Shell, Founder at Just Juniper Media (2016-present)

Answered Wednesday

My team is currently working with two ICOs that I believe are quite promising.

VOLT Technology’s final ICO sale kicks off May 18 and comes with 20% in bonus tokens. This ICO is being led by Philip Lee, who lead the QuickQuick team – ‘The Uber of Korea’ – and is looking to now decrease emissions, improve air quality, lower prices and improve wages for messengers by revolutionizing our delivery systems using blockchain and AI.

Be aware, though! Their first two ICO sales both sold out in less than 5 minutes.

You can check out the project and prepare for the next sale at VOLT.

The second ICO my team is working with are ready to improve the property-sharing industry using blockchain to schedule stays and eliminate the possibility of double bookings. On top of this, OkeyDokey plans to eliminate the need for hosts to physically meet their guests through the use of smart locks. This will make property sharing increasingly simple for hosts, allowing property-owners to manage their bookings while they’re away on their own holidays.

Jonny Dee, Social Media Manager/Freelancer

Answered April 2

Be very wary about taking advice solely from Quora in regards to which ICO to invest in.

I suggest to everyone the best way (is) to get hold of some small amount of crypto through free ways while working out how the ecosystem works. I don’t think it is a smart move to invest any capital into an area that you do not understand or understand the value in. Cryptocurrencies do have value, but you need to understand it.

One of the great things of the crypto scene is that you can earn some cryptocurrencies through numerous ways that are free and less risky. I would always advise this to anyone who wants to get involved in cryptocurrency before they put ANY cash into cryptocurrency.

One great platform that I recommend is Crowdholding. There you can log onto their platform, give feedback to businesses and you receive crypto for your responses. The better the response, the more of the share you get. It is completely free and allows you to explore the crypto world without investing into it. I have also attached an article from them which has numerous ways on how to get into cryptocurrency without investing or buying hardware/learning how to mine.

How to earn Cryptocurrency without Investing or Mining

Once you have more knowledge in the crypto sphere, then maybe consider investing. People are too quick to just invest into an ICO and expect 100% ROI without even researching. You wouldn’t invest into any other ecosystem without the knowledge so why is cryptocurrencies different?

One great forum that is very active in all things crypto is Bitcoin Forum Index. It is a great forum where people are asking questions. You can ask on ICO threads and learn so much in a small time.

Good luck, know the facts before making the move

Joel McLeod, Founder (2017-present)

Answered March 11

2018 is an exciting time for cryptocurrency as there many quality ICO projects with innovational concepts utilizing blockchain technology. Many of these will change the way in which we interact, how we pay with and use our money as well as increasing opportunities for profit and reward via cryptocurrency. At icoSource we see hundreds of ICOs who wish to present their project to our users and their potential investors via our platform. While we only list quality projects, these are some of the standouts we have listed right now:

Sharpay is the share and multi-share button for sites with blockchain-based rewards for content promotion for users.
https://sharpay.io/
Belmopan, Belise

Faceter is a video surveillance and security platform based on artificial vision technology and an approach that involves analyzing the chain of events happening in the frame and responding to them.
https://faceter.io/
Cape Town, South Africa

BitRewards is one of the first blockchain movers in a +$100 billion industry of loyalty software, points, miles, stamps, bonuses and gift cards.
https://bitrewards.network/
New York, USA

AirPod Sleeping Pod is a private “capsule style” unit designed to be installed in public spaces such are: airports, hotels, railway & bus stations, shopping centres and offices. It is an ideal solution for people who are seeking an area to relax, sleep, work, or have fun in privacy, while still in a public place.

Home Page

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Sapien – Web 3.0 Social News Platform that rewards millions of content creators, fights fake news & shares ad revenue with users.
https://www.sapien.network/
Fremont, California

Concierge is a travel booking marketplace with 0% commission fees using the NEO Blockchain.
https://token.concierge.io/
London, UK

Shping is a shopper-marketing platform that enables brands and retailers to reward shoppers with crypto for their actions and choices in store
https://tokensale.shping.com/
Melbourne, Australia

MeetnGreetMe is a global platform for delivering personalized travel services from locals to travelers.
https://ico.meetngreetme.com/
Minsk, Belarus

Signals: Data science marketplace to help you discover, create and monetize cryptocurrency trading strategies driven by machine learning, crowd wisdom and decentralized supercomputing power.
https://signals.network/
Prague, Czech Republic

KickCity is a Y Combinator startup school alumnus and one of the companies leading innovation in the $40B event marketing industry using blockchain technology.
https://tokensale.kickcity.io/#/
Houston, USA

To see more ICO projects you can go to icoSource | ICO List, Upcoming ICOs and Cryptocurrency Token Sales for an extensive global list.

Hamerton Bruce

In the current market, I would suggest investing in Litecoin.

Let us first understand the Litecoin, what is Litecoin?

Litecoin (abbreviation: LTC), it is a peer-to-peer technology network currency, It is also an open resource software project under the MIT/X11 license. It can help users pay in time to anyone in the world instantly. Litecoin has been inspired by bitcoin and has the same technical realization.

What are the characteristics of Litecoin?

1. Litecoin can provide faster confirmation transactions

The Litecoin network can process a block every 2.5 minutes, so it can provide faster transactions. Litecoin is similar to status coin, they are all issued in large numbers.

2. Liccoin produces a lot of money

The Litecoin network is expected to produce 84 million Litecoins, which is more than four times that of the bitcoin network.

3. Litecoin mining easier

Each Litecoin is divided into 100,000,000 smaller units.

Buying Litecoin in 2018 is really a very good investment. Just like Bitcoin, Litecoin is also a digital cryptocurrency platform that is used to make online transactions between two individuals without any third party involvement. Litecoin is a decentralized digital cryptocurrency, or its also called peer-to-peer network.

Dror Kris, Content Marketer at MaxData (2017-present)

Answered Feb. 5

There are 3 main questions you should be asking when trying to assess which ICO will succeed:

1) Does their product/service offer concrete, real-world benefits?

2) What is the size of the market they wish to reach?

2) Do they have a team with the know-how and connections to make their vision a reality?

Check out the ICO I work for:

Our company (MaxData.io) is developing a platform that facilitates direct connections between businesses and consumers. What is great about this structure is that it can drastically transform business as we know it, as companies can perfect their targeting (essentially, identifying the specific customers themselves) while not having to spend exorbitant expenses on cluttered, bulky marketing processes. This provides a cheaper solution for consumers and businesses worldwide.

Additionally, our team is quite well experienced in the financial and marketing worlds, with our CEO a regular participant in government regulatory committee meetings.

Read more at Quora, the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Illustration: Stock Catalog /
www.quotecatalog.com

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Facebook Board Member Called Modi’s India Dumb For Rejecting Free Basics, Now India Looks Smart

In 2016, the “Pope of Silicon Valley” — Marc Andreessen — backed off social media after tweeting “anti-colonialism has been

In 2016, the “Pope of Silicon Valley” — Marc Andreessen — backed off social media after tweeting “anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?”

The billionaire venture capitalist and Facebook board member was angry because Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government rejected Facebook’s plan to offer free internet — a free internet that Facebook would have control over.

In light of Facebook’s ethical fumbles — new revelations keep surfacing about how Facebook exposed millions of users’ data for four years —  India is looking smarter than the other parts of the world that gave Facebook free access to data.

After being “burned to a crisp” for manhandling Facebook users’ data, “Cambridge Analytica’s ashes blew away on 2 May,” Naked Security reported.

Andreessen criticized India’s opposition to Free Basics on Facebook, likening India’s opposition to free Internet to anti-colonialism. His comment caused such an uproar that he apologized and deleted it.

Critics argued that Facebook’s Free Basics violates tenets of net neutrality, which stipulate that all internet content and users should be treated equally, CNN Money reported. They said it was dangerous to allow Facebook to decide what content was allowed on Free Basics, and what was not.

Andreessen disagreed. “Denying world’s poorest free partial Internet connectivity when today they have none, for ideological reasons, strikes me as morally wrong,” — Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) February 10, 2016.

Cambridge Analytica wasn’t an aberration. A twin named Cubeyou turned up in April: yet another firm that dressed up its personal-data snarfing as “nonprofit academic research,” in the form of personality quizzes, and handed over the data to marketers.”

In a private message leaked in 2010, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg wrote, “Yea so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard . . . just ask.” His friend asked how he did it, Fast Company reported. “People just submitted it,” he said. “I don’t know why.”

“They ‘trust me,’” he added. “Dumb fucks.”

Those were the early days of moving fast and breaking things, and nearly 15 years later, Zuckerberg certainly regrets saying that. But even then he had caught on to a lucrative flaw in our relationship with data at the beginning of the 21st century, a delusional trust in distant companies based on agreements people don’t read, which have been virtually impossible to enforce. It’s a flaw that has since been abused by all kinds of hackers, for purposes the public is still largely in the dark about, even today.” — Fast Company

Rejecting Free Basics
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Illustration: Nishant Goswami

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East Africa Com Tracks Region’s Slow But Steady Tech Growth

East Africa Com serves to bring together stakeholders within the East African tech scene. Photo – Twitter Every year, stakeholders

East Africa Com serves to bring together stakeholders within the East African tech scene. Photo - Twitter

East Africa Com
East Africa Com serves to bring together stakeholders within the East African tech scene. Photo – Twitter

Every year, stakeholders in the East African tech scene converge on Nairobi for East Africa Com, the region’s flagship tech conference, to discuss progress and roadblocks in the region’s tech revolution.

The story of this year’s event was one of quiet progress, with discussion over the obstacles that remain when it comes to establishing cities like Nairobi, Kampala and Dar es Salaam as African tech hubs, and ensuring that technological development benefits all parts of society.

While the likes of Kenyan tech pioneer Dr Bitange Ndemo and ICT secretary Katherine Getao kicked off the event by hailing the extent of tech transformation in the region, others were more cautious when it came to the state of play.

Oren Tepper, vice president for sales in Africa at satellite operator Spacecom, said the provision of affordable connectivity was being hindered by the fact that satellite firms and mobile operators had yet to find affordable ways of working together.

“There is a conception that satellite connectivity is expensive. The challenge is to bring the cost per bit to as cheap as possible,” he said.

“There are a lot of upfront costs. So we need to find innovative business models to enable us to bootstrap projects and reduce costs.”

An operator shopping list

The mobile operators themselves are also looking for better working relationships, but with government. A panel on the regulatory environment for operators in Kenya convened representatives from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) and the country’s three telecoms companies.

It agreed good progress had been made, but regulators can still do more when it comes to assisting development.

Paul Kukubo, board director at the government regulator, said Kenya had one of Africa’s most vibrant telecoms markets, while the recently-introduced policy of mobile money interoperability was an example of forward progression in the sector. The regulator, he said, had to continue to look forward.

“There are so many emerging issues – AI, data, what a network looks like in 2018, or 2025.  How do we create a regulatory environment? Our mindset now is a bit more futuristic. We don’t want to regulate for yesterday, the world moves on,” he said.

Kenyan operators want the world to move on in a certain way, and came to the event with a shopping list for government. Alice Kariuki, group regulatory director at Airtel Africa, said there were issues around how infrastructure is accessed by operators, and called for a stable tax environment.

“They don’t always have a consistent policy. When they face financial pressures they will target the telecoms space,” she said.

Karuki also said the region as a whole was lagging behind when it came to laws for data protection.

“We appear to want to have a European model before we have something to protect us. We need to have legislation that grows with the challenges as opposed to waiting for the perfect model,” she said.

Stella Wawira, head of public policy at Telkom Kenya, said the cost of spectrum was too high, and urged the CA to come up with a policy that encourages investment, a view echoed by Mercy Ndegwa, head of regulatory and public policy at Safaricom.

“We want an environment that allows for competitive investment. We want a framework that allows for consumer interest to thrive,” she said.

A bright future

Hindrances aside, the conference discussed a number of exciting developments, in spaces as diverse as internet of things and blockchain, that could contribute to the development of the region.  Startups also had their chance to impress, with nine innovative solutions from the region pitching their wares to an audience of investors, telecoms operatives and other stakeholders at the inaugural Disrupt Africa Live Pitch Competition on day two.

The startup-related section of the event also saw representatives from the corporate and startup worlds agree that, though progress had been made, more needed to be done in terms of facilitating partnerships between corporates like mobile operators and banks, and smaller, more innovative startups.

Uber also had its chance to share its vision of a brighter future, with the company’s East Africa general manager Loïc Amado introducing Uber Movement, its data-driven service aimed at facilitating smarter cities. He also said the company’s carpooling service will help get cars off the road in Africa.

However, he believes that the self-driving cars Uber is trialling will truly make an impact.

“This is going to be a gamechanger. It is still very early days, but shared self-driving cars would reduce the number of cars on the road by 90 percent,” he said. “We can turn a ride into a shared ride and start reclaiming our cities today.”

Financial inclusion

Fintech is another space that is developing quickly, with Anuj Tanna, director of mobile financial services at Telkom Kenya, saying the industry was “in a good place right now”.

“We are at a very mature stage compared to other markets in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.

“We are seeing expansion above and beyond simple basic services like money transfers and payments, where we are leveraging platforms and ecosystems to drive further financial inclusion within the market. It has given a chance to developers and startups that are trying to solve problems.”

Tanna said different players should understand exactly what their individual roles were, and that the sector needed do more to tackle closed ecosystems.

“We are layering products, and that is natural. When you have the rails in place you want the products to bring different services to customers as well as additional revenue streams,” he said.

“The real thing that’s dawning on everyone is that there’s been a lot of progress but most transactions are still cash-based. There’s still so many hurdles when it comes to providing these products. A tech solution is not always a solution that is going to translate into customer behaviour.”

Tom Jackson is co-founder of Disrupt Africa, a news and research company focused on the African tech startup ecosystem.

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Tech Entrepreneur & Digital Marketing Guru Editi Effiong of Anakle is our #BellaNaijaMCM this Week

This week, our #BellaNaijaMCM feature shines the spotlight on Editi Effiong, the Founder/CEO of Anakle Limited, one of the leading

This week, our #BellaNaijaMCM feature shines the spotlight on Editi Effiong, the Founder/CEO of Anakle Limited, one of the leading tech businesses in this part of the globe. It describes itself as “a digital agency, building experiences for online and offline audiences.”

He is also the founder of Anakle Labs, which he describes as “an investment company and incubator for technology businesses.”

Editi’s story is an interesting one. Out of curiosity, he taught himself how to use a computer with the system in his friend’s house. Later on, his parents got a desktop PC for his family. With the desktop computer in his home, Editi learned how to use MS Paint, MS Powerpoint and MS FrontPage (which he said changed his life).

Prior to this, he had learned how to use free web services to build WYSIWYG websites. How did that happen?

An 18-year-old Editi and his friends were waiting for one last friend with whom they had planned to leave the house together for an outing. When the friend arrived, he apologised for his lateness and told them he was building his website.

Editi told TechCabal that that was his “lucky day.” He had been curious as to how websites were built, and here he was, standing with someone who is already doing so. He asked the friend how it’s being done, and he shared the information. Editi proceeded to try it out himself.

In a matter of days, his website was done. And it was a website advertising a web development business which he said was birthed after his friend’s revelation days earlier. Mind you, he didn’t even know how to code!

In one week, Editi got his first client who paid N8,000 for a new website he built without spending a dime. A month later, the same client paid N12,500 for another website.

At this point, Editi knew it was not a drill. It was happening. He was on to something and he needed to move fast!

He decided to write a 9-page proposal with his “company’s” letterhead changing “I” to “We” in its content. Editi detailed the importance of websites and how his company can help businesses get their websites ready. He also had business cards which he printed on cardboard paper and cut neatly with scissors. He sent this document to some companies and in a few weeks, got a call.

A hotel in Calabar needed his services. Prior to seeing the person in charge, Editi had decided to charge N75,000 for the job. On getting there, he changed his mind, and ended up signing the deal for N300,000. Yet, no coding experience.

Using MS FrontPage, Editi produced a demo, and then proceeded to learn HTML. He got his first laptop from that job.

Having worked as Country Manager for XEQ Technology, and then as Product Manager for Thompson & Grace Group, Editi decided to start Anakle in 2010. The brand specialises not just in web and app development, but also digital marketing, social media & online reputation management, as well as user experience design.

Anakle is well known for creating viral campaigns on social media, chief of which is the Brideprice App of 2014, the Call Your Mum App of 2015, and its Things Come Together ad for Wikipediain 2017.

Anakle also gives back to the society through its Forward by Anakle platform that organises training bordering on digital marketing, user experience design, photography, among others, for SMEs in the country. It also shares digital marketing advice on its blog.

Editi also recently built a computer lab for the primary school he attended in the 90s.

Editi has been featured on CNN, BBC, and CNBC.

We love stories of how people have created businesses from virtually nothing, or with little resources. Editi’s is one of them, and we celebrate him today.

South Africa’s First Cryptocurrency ATM Improves Access To Bitcoin In Johannesburg

The first cryptocurrency ATM has launched in South Africa. Photo – CoinWire South Africa’s first cryptocurrency ATM has officially launched

The first cryptocurrency ATM has launched in South Africa. Photo - CoinWire

cryptocurrency ATM
The first cryptocurrency ATM has launched in South Africa. Photo – CoinWire

South Africa’s first cryptocurrency ATM has officially launched in Johannesburg, making it possible for South Africans to purchase various cryptocurrencies via the machine.

A South African blockchain firm called Vendibit established its first commercial cryptocurrency ATM in the country’s financial hub, placing it in the Spar-Northwold supermarket, according to IOL.

The ATM, which is known as a VTM machine, allows users to buy a variety of cryptocurrency options including Dash, Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum using South African Rands, linked to their smartphone cryptocurrency e-wallets.

Before they are able to use the cryptocurrency machines, users will need to open an e-wallet through established companies such as Luno and Wirex.

Daniel Cappiello, Vendibit senior blockchain consultant, explained the demand and functionality of the new cryptocurrency ATM.

“The rapid spread of blockchain technology and Vendibit VTM machines are proof that the public is demanding access to the future, today. Most people are becoming familiar of blockchain and cryptocurrencies thanks to names like Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum,” Cappiello said, according to Techfinancials.

“The VTM machines allows customers to buy cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum with cash, with their smartphone-cryptocurrency e-wallets. They will also be able to send and receive peer-to-peer, without a bank. Worldwide, in the U.S., Europe and Asian countries, businesses are rapidly expanding their acceptance of cryptocurrencies in day-to-day peer to peer and business transactions,” he said.

“Vendibit believes the customer should always come first. Cryptocurrencies are still new in South Africa, so making information easily available and understandable to a broad public is vital. It is key that people understand that the price of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is volatile,” he added.

While adoption is growing, there has not been a great deal of clarity regarding regulation of cryptocurrencies in South Africa. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) recently revealed, however, that cryptocurrencies will be subject to normal income tax rules, iAfrikan reports.

Another cryptocurrency ATM for Africa

In April South Africa’s neighbor Zimbabwe saw their first cryptocurrency ATM launched in Harare, with users able to choose between purchasing either Bitcoin and Litecoin, according to Ventureburn.

Cryptocurrency exchange platform Golix is responsible for the ATM in their offices in the Zimbabwean capital, with people in the country embracing cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

In the confusion and concern surrounding the potential for hyperinflation to affect Zimbabwe, bitcoin has become a viable and popular means of transacting in the country with regards to big ticket items, driving adoption and the price of the cryptocurrency on the local exchange.

Before the launch of the South African cryptocurrency ATM, only Zimbabwe and Djibouti had crypto machines in Africa from which the public could purchase Bitcoin.

The post South Africa’s First Cryptocurrency ATM Improves Access To Bitcoin In Johannesburg appeared first on Moguldom.

Women Are Being Left Out Of Rwanda’s Tech Revolution

(Photo: African Leadership Magazine)   In recent years, Rwanda has been going through a digital revolution. The tech industry has

Rwanda

Rwanda
(Photo: African Leadership Magazine)

 

In recent years, Rwanda has been going through a digital revolution. The tech industry has become one of the largest contributors to GDP growth, at 3 percent, and, the government claims, the burgeoning sector is attracting more and more investment from foreign countries.

But women are largely missing out on this tech boom, and those who do work in the industry say companies and the government need to do more to help bolster their ranks.

From News Deeply.

The gender gap starts in high school and college, where the number of young women studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is dwarfed by the number of young men. The Educational Statistical Yearbook shows that only 34 percent of women opt to study sciences in university, compared to 66 percent of men. The number of women taking engineering is even smaller at 23 percent versus 77 percent of men.

Read more at News Deeply.

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