No VC: Facebook is not making any direct investments to African tech startups

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Facebook has been scaling up its operations in Africa and engaging more intently with tech startups on the continent, but the company has decided it will not be making any direct investments, Disrupt Africa reports That is according to Julien Decot, director of platform partnerships for EMEA at Facebook, who was speaking at last week’s MEST Africa Summit in Cape Town. He said the decision not to become an investor had come straight from Zuckerberg himself. “That was a Zuckerberg decision. The way Mark thought about it was – “this…

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Senegalese-Born Musician Akon To Launch Akoin Cryptocurrency

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The American-based Senegalese artist says the cryptocurrency will be the currency of choice in Akon Crypto City, a 2,000-hectare development which is under construction in an area just outside Dakar, Senegal’s capital city. The rapper describes the development as the real-life Wakanda. He also believes the technology has benefits for those on African soil, disadvantaged by political and social circumstances. Unfortunately, Akon didn’t reveal any technical details of the cryptocurrency. CANNES — Senegal-born star Akon — whose Lighting Africa project is bringing solar power to Africa — is at Cannes…

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Google’s New Chat Messaging Service is Ready to Launch

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Google has started the global roll-out of its new Chat messaging service, which is designed to replace SMS text messages on Android phones. Chat has features such as group texts, videos, typing indicators and read receipts, which are not available when sending SMS texts. Chat will be integrated with the default messages app on Android phones. However, it will be up to mobile operators to enable the service and it does not offer encrypted messages. The new system has been in development for several years, but is now beginning to…

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Q&A: Leti Arts bringing authentic Africa to the world through games & digital comics

Leti Arts
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Caption: (inset) Leti Arts Co-founders, Eyram Tawia (Ghana) and Wesley Kirinya (Kenya) Africa is at the verge of global stardom, with the latest box office stunner movie featuring African superheroes in their fictional Kingdom of Wakanda. There is no doubt that Africa is starting to create its own imagery and endearing the world. It is through such that companies like Let Arts are focusing on. The IBCA caught up with Leti Arts to find out just what the founders are working on to bring an authentic Africa to a worldwide…

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Mobile Commerce enabler DOCOMO Partners with Safaricom to Launch first App Store Integration with M-PESA.

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Global mobile commerce enabler, DOCOMO Digital has partnered with Safaricom to give customers the option to pay for content on the Google Play Store using M-PESA. The integration, which is powered by DOCOMO Digital’s mobile commerce enabling platform using Google Play’s payment API, allows M-PESA customers to use the mobile money service to pay for goods and services from the app store. The service is available to more than 27 million M-PESA customers in Kenya with an Android smartphone or tablet. From today, customers matching this criteria can purchase content…

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Geneva: Miss.Africa Digital Program Named Finalist in the ITU/UN 2017 EQUALSinTech Awards

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ITU and UN Women this week in Geneva, Switzerland announced the Miss.Africa Digital program as one of 15 Finalists and the Winners for the prestigious 2017 EQUALS in Tech Awards. As the flagship event of the EQUALS global network partnership, the annual award event is designed to showcase how ICTs can be used to dramatically improve social, political and economic outcomes for women and girls – and the value that women and girls bring to the technology sectors. This year, there were 293 participants from 72 countries for the EQUALS…

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Target Launches its own Mobile Payments System with Debut of Wallet

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As promised earlier, Target launched its own mobile payments system with the introduction of “Wallet” in the Target app. Wallet, as the name implies, allows Target shoppers in-store to both check out using their smartphone as well as take advantage of their Cartwheel digital coupons and discounts with only one scan of their barcode. Already, Cartwheel savings in Target’s app had worked like this – that is, after adding the discounts on selected products to your Target account using the Cartwheel feature, shoppers could present a barcode to be scanned…

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Parking Insider is a mobile wallet dedicated to helping you avoid parking tickets

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Parking Insider is a smart app with a mobile wallet expressly dedicated to enabling its users to quickly and seamlessly pay for parking spots by the minute. The app also invites users to earn free minutes of parking by snapping pictures of free parking spaces, photos that it will use to create a heat map that enables others users to find open parking spots. It’s the second go at this idea by two of Parking Insider’s three creators. Shruti Kuber  and Advait Kumar are both getting their master’s degrees in…

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Lightform raises $5M to turn old projectors into augmented reality machines

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In Blade Runner 2049, one of the more interesting stylistic choices was how the film imagined futuristic augmented reality. While the Microsofts and Googles of our real dystopian world are currently approaching AR tech with headsets and smart glasses, Blade Runner 2049 relied entirely on external projection to augment its world and the people in it. This vision of the future may still seem a tad concerning, but it’s good news for San Francisco-based AR startup Lightform. Lightform isn’t a hologram startup, but by capturing structured light, their projector-mounted computer…

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LightStep emerges from stealth with a tool for application performance monitoring

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LightStep, a company which has developed a new tool for application performance management, has emerged from stealth with a $29 million dollar war chest. The company, founded by ex-Google engineer Ben Sigelman, has developed a group of software tools to track the how well applications are working across enterprises. At Google, Sigelman was responsible for the creation and operation of Dapper, a distributed monitoring system that could analyze 2 billion transactions per second, according to a LightStep statement. Sigelman also was one of the developer behind the OpenTracing standard, part…

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