Distribution Is The Real Disruption, Mobile phones game-changing agri-tech in Africa

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While emerging technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence can capture our imagination, some of the most game-changing innovations for smallholder farmers are more modest. Seeds. Roads. Electricity. While such technologies may seem mundane, they are anything but. Reaching smallholder farmers in rural areas takes a nuanced combination of appropriate innovations, sophisticated distribution systems, and a human touch. One organization celebrated for its approach is One Acre Fund, a non-profit social enterprise working with 600,000 farmers in East Africa. I spoke with Ilana Kessler, Impact Ventures Growth Director, about scaling innovative approaches to help…

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Competitive Edge: Tech Giants spent a combined $80 billion last year on big-ticket physical assets stockpile

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General Motors Co. and Google couldn’t be more different. GM musters an army of people and machines to produce the 10 million cars it sells each year. What Google makes doesn’t really exist: You type on a laptop or click play on a YouTube video, and Google zips back bits of digital information. But Google parent Alphabet Inc. and the other four dominant U.S. technology companies—Apple, Amazon​.com, Microsoft, and Facebook—are fast becoming industrial giants. They spent a combined $80 billion in the last year on big-ticket physical assets, including manufacturing…

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Safaricom faces $4.5 million fine $4.5 million for failing to connect smaller firms

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Kenya’s biggest telco Safaricom may be fined about $4.5 million by the regulator for failing to connect calls made to smaller firms, according to company and regulatory documents reviewed by Reuters. The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has imposed a fine on Safaricom, part-owned by South Africa’s Vodacom and Britain’s Vodafone, of 0.2 percent of its gross revenue for the last financial year, equivalent to 449 million shillings ($4.5 million), the documents show. Safaricom denies the accusation and has secured a temporary suspension of the fine pending a hearing before…

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Sources Intimate that Rocket Internet is preparing a Jumia IPO

Banking Crisis
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Reuters sources have intimated that German start-up investor Rocket Internet (RKET.DE) is preparing its African online shopping platform Jumia for a possible New York listing in the first quarter of 2019 which could value the firm at about $1 billion. Citi (C.N), Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Berenberg are coordinating the IPO, the sources said. Shares worth up to $250 million may be sold, one of the sources said, adding that no final decision about the timing or metrics of the deal had yet been taken. The investor and the banks…

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Surprise overdue dual-SIM support coming to the iPhones

Apple
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Apple’s introducing letting you embrace your inner duality with your iPhone. At Wednesday’s Apple event, the company announced the launch of dual-SIM support for the iPhone. Both the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max will offer the dual SIM card option. This will allow you to have two different phone numbers and two different carriers on the same phone. The dual SIM support is possible because Apple’s newest iPhones will have an eSIM as well as a regular nano SIM card. The eSIM means you won’t have to swap…

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Fintech Will Contribute $150 Billion to Africa’s GDP by 2022

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The contribution of the financial-technology industry to sub-Saharan Africa’s economic output will increase by at least $40 billion to $150 billion by 2022, according to Financial Sector Deepening Africa, a development-finance organization. The industry currently employs about 3 million people directly and indirectly in the region, FSD Africa Financial Markets Director Evans Osano said in an interview on Thursday. Sub-Saharan Africa’s gross domestic product is about $1.6 trillion, according to data compiled by the International Monetary Fund. “If you look at the value chain, most of that money is coming…

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SEC Suspends Exchange-Traded Bitcoin and Ether Investment Vehicles as market crash continues

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Ether, the second-largest virtual currency, slumped 8.9% from its level at 5 p.m. New York time on Friday, according to Bloomberg composite pricing. Bitcoin lost 2.1%, while the market capitalization of digital assets tracked by CoinMarketCap.com shrank to $197 billion — down about $640 billion from its January peak. Cryptocurrencies have declined for five of the past six weeks amid concern that a broader adoption of digital assets will take longer than some had anticipated. That worry was underscored over the weekend after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission temporarily…

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Google reportedly paid millions of dollars in secret data deal with Mastercard to track retail sales

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For the past year, select Google advertisers have had access to a potent new tool to track whether the ads they ran online led to a sale at a physical store in the U.S. That insight came thanks in part to a stockpile of Mastercard transactions that Google paid for. The revelation comes amid heightened concern about how much consumer data is consumed by tech companies like Google. Earlier this year, Facebook was criticized when data on as many as 87 million people was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica, raising…

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San Francisco judge orders bail payment in Bitcoin

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A federal judge in San Fracisco has ordered a cyber-criminal to pay their bail charges in Bitcoin, inadvertently stimulating cryptocurrency mainstream adoption. The Daily Post – a local Palo Alto newspaper – reports Martin Marisch has been charged with hacking the well-known video games company Electronic Arts, responsible for popular titles like FIFA, The Sims, and Battlefield. Marisch, the Daily Post reports, managed to gain access to EA’s central computer systems, and obtain 25,000 customer records. Had the attack not been caught, Marisch could’ve used this information for substantial financial gain.…

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Bitcoin Sinks Below $6,000 as Almost Every Cryptocurrency face downfall

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Bitcoin dropped below $6,000 and dozens of smaller digital tokens tumbled as this month’s selloff in cryptocurrencies showed few signs of letting up. The largest digital currency fell as much as 6.2 percent to $5,887 as of 3:07 p.m. in Hong Kong, the lowest level since June, according to Bloomberg composite pricing. Ether sank as much as 13 percent, while all but three of the 100 biggest cryptocurrencies tracked by Coinmarketcap.com recorded declines over the past 24 hours. The total market capitalization of virtual currencies dropped to $192 billion from…

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