Connect with us

E-Business

Microsoft 4Afrika Announces AfriLabs ‘Collaboration Challenge’

Published

on

Kabelo Makwane, country manager, Microsoft Nigeria

 

Microsoft 4Afrika has announced a new Collaboration Challenge with AfriLabs to increase knowledge sharing across the hub network in Africa and spur innovation.

The challenge, officially launched at this year’s DEMO Africa event, is tasking hub members with proposing and delivering an activity, process or tool that fosters collaboration within the AfriLabs network.

AfriLabs’ core function is to facilitate collaboration, which requires the right platforms, mechanisms and incentives for hubs and their teams to share information and dialogue.

The winning solution will receive $15,000 from Microsoft and technical support to develop it. The hubs within the AfriLabs network will be provided with a more efficient way to learn from each other’s best practices and build more sustainable models.

“Collaboration fuels innovation. It encourages people to learn from each other and build on better and bigger ideas,” says Annie Njenga innovation hubs manager for Microsoft. “Innovation hubs give developers a collaborative space where organisations can assist them with the technical and business skills needed to get their businesses off the ground. They bring different people together who otherwise would never have met, and create successful companies that strengthen local economies.”

According to the World Bank, there are currently 90 innovation hubs across Africa.

AfriLabs, a pan-African network of technology and innovation hubs, makes up 35 of these.

Two of these hubs, the Co-creation hub in Nigeria and the iHub in Kenya, have been recognised as best performing models.

The iHub has launched 152 successful local startups to date, encouraging the local Kenyan government to commit to establishing a tech hub in each of its 47 counties.

“The encouragement of a vibrant innovator ecosystem is essential to the growth of Africa’s knowledge economy,” said Fernando de Sousa, general manager of Africa Initiatives at Microsoft. “To remain relevant and sustainable, the hubs will need to not only promote innovation, but also focus on their monetisation.”

However, many hubs have been unable to find models that ensure sustainability from the initial grants that got them started. “Challenges like finding the right partners, determining the correct strategy and sustainability model, having the right team and skills in the hub, and the involvement of government can be difficult to navigate,” said Tayo Akinyemi, director at AfriLabs.

The Collaboration Challenge has been designed to help stimulate collaboration and knowledge sharing within the Afrilabs network and fully leverage the knowledge, skills and resources that are available through the network and its partners.

“If you look at the success of Silicon Valley, you’ll see it lies in collaboration.” Research done by the Accenture Institute for High Performance pins it down to close ties among outstanding educational institutions, research organisations and businesses. “That’s what we’re aiming for throughout the pan-African network,” said Annie Njenga.

Hub members who enter the challenge will have until the 24th of October 2014 to submit their concepts and vote for their favourite ideas.

All those proposing an application need to design it for the Windows platform and host it on Microsoft Azure, an open and flexible cloud platform with a single software-as-a-service offering that manages the entire lifecycle of an application.

The winning individual or team will receive financial, technical and mentorship support from Microsoft to help them execute the concept.

The challenge will be run on Hylo, a social network that enables skilled collaborators to coalesce around shared intentions and challenges. Individual participants and teams can submit an ‘intention’ in the form of a brief description of the proposed idea.

Others may respond by submitting their own ideas, requesting information from the idea’s originator, or submitting an ‘offer’ to help develop someone else’s idea. The winning concept will be the one that garners the most overall support.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

E-Business

Western Digital Expands Its Product Range in Nigeria

Published

on

Western Digital Corporation, a global leader in data technology, has expanded its portfolio of data storage devices in Nigeria. The expansion will allow consumers to access a wide range of WD®- and SanDisk®-brand products while positioning Western Digital as a premier data technology company for Nigerians.

As part of the expansion, Western Digital has introduced products catered to mobile storage solutions, which includes the iXpand™ flash drive, SanDisk Ultra™ Dual Drive m3.0, microSD™ and SD™ cards (SanDisk Extreme™ and SanDisk Extreme PRO™); in addition to SanDisk external SSDs; WD internal SSDs, and a range of internal and external hard drives, while offering after-sales support for consumers across Nigeria.

Speaking on the expansion, Ghassan Azzi, Senior Sales Manager for Africa Western Digital said, “At Western Digital we offer high-performance, high-capacity and high-quality storage solutions to fit the increasingly digital lifestyles of consumers. More and more Nigerians are capturing moments and creating and sharing memories with their smartphones, high-resolution cameras, drones and action cams. We want everyone to know that Western Digital and its consumer brands have the right storage solutions for their needs.”

SanDisk Mobile Storage Solutions

iXpand – The iXpand flash drive is ideal for the iPhone or iPad that enables you to free up space, back up your camera roll and even watch videos straight from the drive.1 The iXpand flash drives are equipped with a Lightning connector and a USB 3.0 connector so users can move files between iPhone, iPad, and Mac or PC computers. Users can also set the iXpand mobile app to automatically back up their iPhone or iPad camera roll anytime the product is connected.2 It comes in 32|64|128|256 GB capacities.*

Dual Drive – The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive m3.0 is for Android™ devices and enables the movement of content from your OTG-enabled Android smartphones to your computer.3 Quickly free up space on your Android smartphone or tablet so you can take more pictures and videos. It comes in 16 |32|64|128|256 GB capacities.*

400GB* micro SD card – The SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card is perfect for recording and watching Full HD video, with room for hours of video.4 Ideal for Android based smartphones and tablets, this card’s A1 rating means that you can load apps faster too.

This card racks up transfer speeds of 100MB/s and can move 1,200 photos per minute.5 It meets the A1 App Performance Class specification which allows it to load apps faster. With a breakthrough capacity of up to 400GB, you can store even more hours of Full HD video on the card without worrying about running out of room for the videos, photos, music, movies and other files you want to shoot, save and share.4

SanDisk external SSDs

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD – This ruggedized portable SSD delivers high-speed transfers of up to 550MB/s** making it perfect for saving and editing hi-res photos and videos. With an IP556 rating and a solid state core, it also stands up to rain, spills, dust and drops. It comes in 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB capacities.*

Continue Reading

E-Business

Jumia Launches Africa Hospitality Report 2018/19

Published

on

The 2nd edition of Jumia’s Africa Hospitality Report looks at the 2017/2018 trends in the continent’s tourism, travel, hospitality and aviation industries.

It sheds light on the impressive growth that Africa’s travel and tourism industry has recorded through in 2017 and 2018 with an increase in international arrivals.

The Jumia Hospitality Report further underlines the industries’ contribution to the economy, underlying challenges and the potential for future growth, as African tourism becomes of age.

“The African market for online travel is still nascent with undoubted prospects.

“We are proud to once again produce a comprehensive report that highlights the diverse aspects of both the hospitality and aviation industries in Africa.

“This has been made a success by the input of our partners,” remarks Joe Falter, CEO of Jumia Travel & Food.

According to the report, “the continent receives only 5% of all the international arrivals, Africa’s travel and tourism industry continues to record impressive growth over the years.

‘In 2017, the continent hit a 63 million high in international tourist arrivals as compared to 58m in 2016 (+ 9% vs 2016).

“As a result of affordability and ease of travel, domestic travel is growing in Africa, recording a high of 60% in local spending as compared to 40% in international spending.

The UNWTO’s Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili explains the change in domestic travel landscape in Africa, noting that “people’s movement is no longer a luxury set aside for the few with high per capita income but a basic need for the ever-increasing majority of the middle class who create and shape the future generation entrepreneurs.

A growing middle class is a sign of a robust economy. The existence of domestic tourists who have more money to spend at their disposal and thus willing to travel more has led to the mushrooming of low-cost airlines, upward growth of bed capacity in main cities, flourishing of the so-called shared economy etc”.

The AU e-Passport and the creation of visa upon arrival, e-visa and visa-free travel for African citizens in line with the concept of unrestricted movement of persons, goods and services across the countries remains a strong driving factor to the growth of domestic travel.

Africans now do not require a visa to travel to 25% of other African countries, can get visas on arrival in 24% of other African countries, while still a dominant 51% of African countries need Africans to have visas to travel.

The report also breaks down the percentages of the various sources of traffic on Jumia.

The high record in the mobile as a source of traffic is perhaps as a result of the increasing adoption of smartphones in Africa, which stands at 34% in 2018. 61% of the travellers are using a smartphone to book their hotel or flight on Jumia Travel.

The African traveller still opts to Pay-at-Hotel as the mode of payment (65%) in 2018, even as the trust for Credit & Debit Card increases to 21% from 15% in 2017.

Africa’s air passenger traffic share is only 2.2% of the world total with 88.5 million passengers in 2017, an increase of 6.6% from 2016.

It is expected to grow by 4.9% annually over the next 20 years, creating enormous opportunities for the continent’s airlines to grow.

Addressing how to competitively position Africa’s airlines in the global aviation market, IATA’s Special Envoy to Africa on Aeropolitical Affairs Raphael Kuuchi stipulates that “the sustainable growth of African airlines traffic lies in removing the bottlenecks to effective connectivity, lowering industry operating cost and developing commercial cooperation among airlines.

With the assurance of safety, security, competitive operating environment, ease of market access and visa facilitation, Africa’s share of passenger traffic will exceed 320 million by 2037,” he concludes.

 

Continue Reading

E-Business

Publiseer to Deliver Digital Content to Over 3,000 Libraries with cloudLibrary

Published

on

Publiseer, Nigeria’s digital content distribution company, has been working hard on developing new features and partnerships based on the feedback it received so far this year.

 

In the spirit of the holidays, today, Publiseer announces that it will now deliver digital content to over 3,000 book libraries around the world, including the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia, thanks to cloudLibrary, a lending platform by Bibliotheca.

 

Bibliotheca has been a highly requested distribution channel from most of Publiseer’s authors, so Publiseer is really excited about this expansion of its distribution channel.

 

Two months ago, Publiseer announced that it will be taking its library distribution even deeper with its addition of Baker & Taylor as part of its library distribution service. Now, the distribution goes even deeper with the addition of cloudLibrary.

 

These new libraries to be added to Publiseer’s distribution channel have hundreds of thousands of eBooks and very engaged readers, and so this is an exciting opportunity for expanding the readership of its authors.

 

All books published by Publiseer will be automatically be distributed to cloudLibrary after December 20, 2018.

 

“The upcoming holidays might delay the regular distribution process. However, we’re working harder to expedite the distribution process”, said Chidi Nwaogu, Publiseer’s chief executive officer, who was recently invited to The Future Leaders Forum 2018 by The Future Awards Africa in partnership with the University of Sussex.

 

The cloudLibrary platform offers royalties based on their standard library model and “Pay Per Use” (PPU) option.

 

With the standard library model, the library purchases a single copy of an author’s book to lend out.

 

As a book is purchased for lending Publiseer provides a higher library price, which is three times higher than the original list price of the book at other bookstores like Amazon. Of course, the royalty of the author will be paid out after this higher price.

 

With the PPU option, a check-out of an author’s book by a patron triggers a sale. The price of a check-out is 30% of the book’s original list price.

 

For Publiseer’s authors who use the Premium Distribution Option, they get to keep all the royalties they earn from Bibliotheca.

 

Publiseer is a digital publisher that lets writers and musicians from low-income communities in Africa publish, promote, protect, and monetize their digital contents across hundreds of partner stores worldwide, at no charge, with just a single click.

 

Publiseer has been described by Konbini as “one of the largest digital publishers in Africa”.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Communication Week Media Limited.