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Govt could soon declare UTL bankrupt: Places it under receivership  

Techjaja - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 22:09

Uganda Telecom Ltd the country’s oldest telecom has been placed under receivership by the Ugandan government. 

In law, receivership is a situation in which an institution or enterprise is held by a receiver—a person “placed in the custodial responsibility for the property of others, including tangible and intangible assets and rights”—especially in cases where a company cannot meet financial obligations or enters bankruptcy.

On February 25th the Government took over the full control of UTL after the Libyan majority shareholder, UCom unilaterally pulled out of the embattled telecom company.

According to the East African, the Minister for Investment, Ms Evelyn Anite said that government has evaluated and found that the telco’s liability far outweighed its assets but has resisted a push to wind it up. She further said  this is the only chance to save the troubled telecom company.

Speaking at a press conference at the Ministry of Finance HQ the Minister said ;

“Putting UTL under an administrator is the best news for subscribers,” Ms Anite said, “I can assure that if you are a UTL subscriber, it will be here tomorrow and the day after, in fact I want to encourage more Ugandans to have UTL as their first line.”

Uganda Telecom is believed to owe about Ush128 billion ($34.7million) in debts.

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Jumia’s 2017 White Paper gives us details on Mobile Internet penetration trends the Ugandan online consumer

Techjaja - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 13:15

At an event this week, Jumia Uganda unleashed a white paper that showed a unique insight into key Mobile Penetration trends across Africa – and Uganda specifically; the impact mobile has on Internet penetration and m-commerce in Uganda; and the profile and behaviour of customers shopping online on Jumia. Their research also explored how the mobile phone market has democratized Internet use; and the role mobile brands, mobile operators and m-commerce have played in creating an enhanced customer experience.

This research was carried out in 14 other countries that Jumia currently operates in: Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Tunisia. These countries represent more than 80% of Africa’s total GDP, and as a result give us a good overview of mobile trends in Africa. The top sources of data presented as part of this report are: GSMA Mobile Report 2017, We are Social, & Jumia Business Intelligence.

Digital Uganda

A Uganda moves towards a more digital economy, we find that the Ugandan consumer is becoming more sophisticated, with 41% of the population in Uganda being classified as Internet users (16.8m Ugandans). Although this puts Uganda 23 points higher than the Africa average, the 59% of Ugandans who are yet to become Internet users represent the country’s huge potential for Internet penetration growth. Uganda (and Africa as a whole) can look to neighbouring Kenya as a model of this potential, as they lead in Africa – with 67% of Kenyans already classified as Internet users.
Meanwhile, mobile subscription penetration in Uganda is at 65% – driven by a competitive mobile landscape, which has proved to be favourable to Ugandan consumers. It is also worth noting that 33% of Ugandans accessing the Internet do so through a mobile device.

Mobile Market Trends

The competitive landscape in the smartphone industry over the last five years has shifted, welcoming the Chinese Brand Era. Chinese brands dominating the sector have led to democratization of smartphones.
Combined data from the 15 African countries confirm that Chinese Brands continue to dominate Jumia smartphone sales, with Infinix, InnJoo & Tecno featuring within the top 5 Mobile Brands on Jumia, across Africa. Infinix is yet to officially enter the Ugandan market – but where Infinix has a presence, it secures its position as the top smartphone brand on Jumia. For Jumia Uganda specifically, Samsung is still the top selling smartphone brand – but Tecno edges close at number 2 and continues to secure an increasing amount of market share.
The most significant shift driven by this change in landscape is the reduction in the average price of a smartphone. Over the last three years the average price of a smartphone in Uganda has decreased by almost 45% – from 178 dollars in 2014 to 99 dollars in 2017. This is largely accelerated by Chinese Brands such as Tecno and Itel, entering the Ugandan market with decreasing price points and surprisingly good specs. The lowest price that we currently have on Jumia for a smartphone is the Blu Dash J – 4 inch smartphone at UGX 99,900, and our current best-seller the Samsung Galaxy J2 is priced at UGX 404,000.


Jumia does not expect the prices of smartphones to decrease much further over the next two years, instead we expect brands to grow market share by investing in new technology and more sophisticated features such as the fingerprint scanner, Iris scanner, virtual reality, better camera resolution etc. – e.g. Fero released the Iris phone on Jumia at 386,000 UGX; with Iris scanning technology to reinforce security on the phone.

With the combination of a rising middle-class and the reduction in average smartphones prices sold on Jumia, we continue to see an upward trend in smartphone sales (a 58% increase from 2014 to 2016). This is however heavily concentrated in urban areas; with 85% of Jumia’s smartphone sales coming from Kampala and surrounding districts. There is a significant opportunity here to take the democratisation of smartphones up-country.

M-Commerce & the Ugandan Consumer

The mobile phones category on Jumia Uganda is made up of over 500 smartphones and over 400 mobile accessories listed on the website from a variety of brands and distributors. This category continues to be one of the most popular on Jumia (top 3, alongside men’s fashion and women’s fashion), both in terms of number of items sold and revenue generated.
We continue to see a strong migration of customers using their phones to access Jumia. Our most recent insights show that 80% of Jumia Uganda visitors use their mobile to visit the site – and 69% are not only browsing but also actually completing their purchase directly from their handset. Jumia expect this trend to continue upwards with the availability of 4G connections.


50% of the customers who access the Jumia Uganda Mobile Site, do so using Google Chrome and 31% visit using Opera Mini. Opera Mini tends to be favoured among new mobile internet users because it boasts data saving features, while Chrome seems to be heavier. This makes Opera the preferred choice of people who can’t afford high performance phones and costly Internet data packs. E-commerce businesses need to adapt to this type of mobile customer who goes on-line using a low specification smartphone and does not have a lot of data. Jumia has developed progressive web apps to bridge the gap between conventional web pages and native mobile applications. The result is a lightweight, faster web application that drastically improves the user experience on mobile. For instance, not only will customers get a faster loading e-shop, but also push notifications and the ability to browse the shop while offline.
Uganda’s mobile trends for 2017 are positive, with a steady growth in sales for smartphones that offer customers value for money versus key specs. We will continue to see brands invest in research and development, customer service and marketing over the next few years as they cement their foothold as a household name. However, there are still more efforts required to reach out to new segments of the Ugandan population who are not yet online or are still reluctant to shop online; and to convert the already digitised Uganda consumer towards more advanced applications, to enhance their online shopping experience

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Facebook’s Messenger Lite is now available in Uganda

Techjaja - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 08:15

If your smartphone doesn’t have a lot of memory, or has limited processing power, and you want the benefit of messaging quickly with any of the 1.2+ billion people using Messenger every month, its time to give Lite a try! Facebook has today announced a new global expansion of Messenger Lite, and just like Facebook Lite, its a low-bandwidth version of its messaging app. The expansion, which is adding 132 new countries including Uganda on top of the existing launch markets. The service originally landed last October in Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela.

Snapchat should get more worried The 3.87 MB app brings more bad news for Snapchat on a number of levels. For one, Snapchat is an intensive app now almost wholly focused on videos and augmented photography that relies on cloud processing to add masks, filters, and other real-time effects. The end result of all this computational load is that Snapchat isn’t really a viable piece of software for mid-tier and budget Android phones outside the US, where smartphone owners routinely grapple with hardware constraints and poor network coverage.

We’ve seen Facebook, aggressively take on Snapchat in recent months and they have added Snapchat-like features to their main apps, Instagram, and Messenger, the expansion of its Lite versions gives it another advantage over its rival. But don’t expect to fine the augmented reality features of Snapchat in either Facebook Lite nor Messenger Lite, those have been reserved for Facebook’s main apps have. But it’s only a matter of time. Just yesterday, the company announced that it’s adding reactions, geofilters, and other subtle camera effects to Facebook Lite. You could imagine these features coming to Messenger Lite soon.

Facebook’s new strategy with these lightweight apps could become a bigger threat to Snapchat down the line adding more daily users than any of its other social media competition.

Download Messenger Lite here.

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Shell Gas Tokosa Food Festival Returns with Reduced Shell Gas Prices

Techjaja - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 11:42

Vivo Energy Uganda, has launched the 3rd edition of the famous Shell Gas Tokosa Food Festival and announced a reduction on Shell Gas prices.

The Shell Gas Tokosa Food Festival will take place on Saturday 20th May 2017 at the Legends Grounds Kampala sponsored by DSTV, Uganda Breweries, Coca-Cola and Vivo Energy Uganda through its Shell Gas brand. This year’s festival is promising to be bigger and better with special chefs who will teach the audience how to produce complete meals in minutes. The 2017 edition will also have a dedicated kids’ corner with lots of fun activities for the children including face painting, sack races and bouncing castles among others.

Some activities that have been planned for the 2017 festival include cooking competitions for various categories including: divas sponsored by Shell Gas; bachelors sponsored by Tusker; couples by Coca-Cola; and the fathers’ cook off sponsored by DSTV. Some participants will be nominated through social media while others will be chosen from the audience. The day will also feature entertainment from Zumba dancers, performing artists and live bands.

This year the Shell Gas Tokosa Food Festival has once again identified the Bless a Child Foundation as a beneficiary partner to receive 10% of the total proceeds. The foundation provides improved childhood cancer care services for terminally ill children. Through the foundation, the children can access food, education and care, free of charge. Over 800 children have benefitted from the foundation over the past years.  The foundation will also receive a kitchen makeover at their home in Makerere-Kikoni to support care for the children.

Speaking at the media launch held at Legends Rugby Grounds on 26th April 2017, Vivo Energy Uganda’s Country Sales Manager, Edward Walugembe said the third edition of the Shell Gas Tokosa Food Festival gives Ugandans an opportunity to taste food from other countries such as Ashiana from India, Coastal from Zanzibar, Little Donkey from Mexico, Yujo from Japan and Fasika from Ethiopia, among others, as well as benefit from cooking ideas shared by special chefs to make their cooking even better.

“This annual festival gives us an opportunity to say thank you to our Shell Gas customers as they enjoy good times at the festival. Shell Gas is available in three sizes – 6kg, 12kg and 45kg, as well as the bulk solution suitable for real estate developers, schools and hospitals. We have reduced the price of the complete set of the 6kg cylinder with a burner and grill – commonly known as Ka-portable from 200,000/= to 180,000/= and the 12 kgs cylinder can now be refilled for 110,000/=.” Walugembe noted.

Gates will open at 10:00am and the entry fee is 10,000/= for adults and free for

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Samsung is working on a new app that will respond to text messages for you while you drive

Techjaja - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 07:48

By just reading the headline, you’d wonder if Samsung is not just try to make the existing manually triggered replies in SMS apps more automated. Yes, you guessed right– that is what they are doing. The upcoming app from Samsung is called , and it will will automatically respond to text messages when you’re in the car or riding a bike. It will be able to pull this off by using the sensors and GPS in your phone to detect when you’re in a moving car or bike and will send a preset reply to incoming texts.

The company is currently testing the app, in Netherlands, and it lets you choose two different types of replies right now. When someone sends you a message while you are driving it will automatically reply to them with the default message “I’m driving, so I cannot answer at the moment” responses or you can opt for a “fun” response with some sort of animation. We hope this app with have extensions to 3rd party apps like WhatsApp and Messenger as they are more used than traditional SMS. When it launches, Samsung plans to allow users to create a customized canned response as well.

The details on now the app will exactly how this works are currently fuzzy. Samsung’s statement on the app doesn’t reveal how the app would distinguish between drivers and passengers, for instance, but even the relatively simple functionality could go a long way toward preventing texting and driving.

 

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Xeroxing Snapchat seems to be finally paying off for Instagram

Techjaja - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 07:33

Instagram is on its way to hit 1 billion users, okay its not yet there but with over 700 million users, the Facebook owned company is on the right track. The photo sharing app  is growing fast if not faster and just recently, it announced that it added 100 million users in a space of 4 months to hit 700 million overall users on the video and photo sharing site after announcing 600 million users last December thanks to the new features pulled out of Snapchat’s ‘innovation labs’.

That is 300 million users short of hitting the 1 billion mark enjoyed by its bigger cousins like Facebook, Whatsapp and Messenger. Instagram now seems to have ‘curtailed’ its real threat which would be SnapChat alas copying many of the latter’s core features and integrating them into Instagram.

Instagram’s stories feature, borrowed from SnapChat now has more active users than SnapChat’s total monthly active users. SnapChat is now grappling with its CEOs alleged racially charged comments touting the app as only for rich kids and Instagram is drawing numbers boosted by low end Android devices, web signups and Stories.

If Instagram is to continue with this growth trend, within a year or two, it will be counting 1 billion users of its service and will join the billionaire club enjoyed by a paltry of apps as mentioned above and Google’s own Gmail, YouTube among others.

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Twitter is adding new active users but not revenue

Techjaja - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 17:04

Twitter is now an old guard when it comes to influential  social networks but its growth has stumbled over the years to somewhat being stagnant while new kids on the block like Instagram and SnapChat are growing faster than it is.

However, its new Q1 2017 earnings report  shed some light about the social network’s growth during the quarter since it has added over 9 million new monthly active users to bring the total of its monthly active users (MAUs) to 328 million. It should be noted that Twitter has over 900 million accounts on its service, many of which lay dormant.

Of the 328 million, 259 million are outside the United States which itself saw an average of 70 million monthly active users during the same period. This represented a 14% YoY increase in MAUs.

Its wasn’t all rosy for Twitter though, it registered an 8% drop in Year on Year revenue which now stands at  $548 million against the analyst’ projected $511.9 million. It beat analyst’ projections but the company neither turned a profit, it instead accumulated a net loss of $60 million which is better than what the company posted in the same quarter last year of $80 million.

Twitter remains central in online conversations happening across the world but its active user base is dwarfed by Facebook and new entrants like Instagram with over 700 million users and is adding many more in droves not forgetting SnapChat. Twitter revealed that it will now focus on livestreaming to increase its growth now that it has big guns on its service.

 

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Samsung has not yet given up on selling the Note 7: Renamed to Galaxy Note 7 R

Techjaja - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 14:06

Last month, Samsung said they will sell the Note 7 as refurbished device, and now according to a report from ET News (via SamMobile) the recycled Note 7 will be available in South Korea after June.

Branding and pricing are still being negotiated, but the handset will reportedly go on sale as the Galaxy Note 7 R with a price-tag of around $620 which is $266 cheaper than the original. Around 300,000 units of the three million to four million Note 7 phones recalled in the region will reportedly go on sale. There is no word if the Note 7 R will reach this side of the Sahara.

ET News notes that the Note 7 R is said to have a smaller battery than 2016’s Note 7 — which about 3,200 mAh instead of 3,500 mAh. This is a rumor we’ve heard before, and one that makes sense considering it was Samsung’s difficulty fitting a large enough battery into the original Note 7 that caused the phone to explode in the first place.

This isn’t an official announcement from Samsung, and these details may change.  As Samsung said in March: “The objective of introducing refurbished devices is solely to reduce and minimize any environmental impact. The product details including the name, technical specification and price range will be announced when the device is available. Samsung will not be offering refurbished Galaxy Note 7 devices for rent or sale in the US.”

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Datacentre investment leaders highlight Africa investment opportunity

Techjaja - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 13:43

Large scale datacentre investment opportunities are increasing in Sub-Saharan Africa as key commercial hubs benefit from the critical combination of high quality international backbone infrastructure (subsea cable) connectivity and mushrooming local demand for data, say investment leaders.

Michael Tobin OBE, former chief executive of data center operator Telecity, who is a key speaker at the upcoming TMT Finance Africa 2017  event in London, said there is massive potential for datacentre investment in Sub-Saharan Africa and conditions in three markets especially standout.

“Clearly South Africa is the core environment,” said Tobin. “We’re just starting to see the big boys go there: Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Netflix arrived last year, and you are seeing burgeoning volumes on the internet exchanges. Teraco, which is owned by Permira, is the standout asset by a million miles. It has the NAPAfrica infrastructure within it, so much of the traffic in all of the 53 countries in Africa goes through that.”

“Kenya is becoming increasingly interesting as the sub-sea cables coming into Mombasa drive more traffic through Nairobi. There is also significant traffic going up the east coast of Africa, through Tanzania and beyond. However, Lagos offers even more potential,” added Tobin. “As well as the massive demographic potential, it has the benefits of both sub-sea cables coming in, and acting as the central commercial hub for Nigeria, which are the two key drivers for datacentre location.”

“Whereas Kenya has Mombasa and Nairobi; Lagos is the only point you would need to put a site in Nigeria so I see tremendous investment opportunity.”

Tobin will make a keynote presentation on African datacentre investment and feature on the datacentre and cloud leadership panel at TMT Finance Africa 2017 in London on May 24.

The executive only event, which is in its eight year in London, gathers international telecom, media and tech investment leaders, investment bankers and advisers to assess the latest pan-African opportunities for investment.

Participating companies include: Orange, MTN Group, Airtel Africa, Millicom, Liquid Telecom, Google, Microsoft, American Tower Corporation, Eaton Towers, Helios Towers Africa, SEACOM, MainOne Cable, Digital Bridge, Intelsat, WIOCC, Africa Mobile Networks, Rack Centre, Societe Generale, Savannah Fund, Citi, Standard Bank Group, African Capital Alliance, Credit Suisse, IFC, the World Bank, iColo, Atlas Mara Ltd, WorldRemit, PayStack, Vanu, African Broadcast Network,  Fibersat, Sliide Airtime, Connect Africa, Government of Benin, Draper Dark Flow, Ringier Africa, Norton Rose Fullbright, Amadeus Capital Partners, Chanzo Capital, Intelsat, Digital World Capital, Jumia Food, M-KOPA Solar, Flexenclosure and Hardiman Telecom.

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Uganda ranks 7th in Africa in Use of Mobile Financial Services – Report

Techjaja - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:36

According to the latest report released by Quantum Global’s independent research arm, Quantum Global Research Lab has revealed that Uganda ranks 7th in the use of mobile financial services at 27%, behind Kenya 68%, Sudan at 52%, Gabon at 50%, Algeria 44%, Congo 37% and Somalia 34%.

The scores are based on a range of factors that include mobile phone penetration, financial and conventional infrastructure development, regulation and the appetite of private players to pursue new initiatives that have driven the the variation in digital financial services, unlike countries like Cameroon where only Banks are allowed to offer digital financial services directly.

“There are 203 Million registered mobile money accounts in the world, almost half of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa with East Africa accounting for the highest share. At least 19 African countries have more registered mobile money accounts than Bank accounts.” read part of the report.

Uganda was also ranked number four in Financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa, with 28% of the adult population using formal financial services. Kenya ranked first at 67% and Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, was ranked second at 60 per cent as shown below.

Our neighbors (Kenya) have a high rate of financial inclusion which is mostly supported by having the highest percentage (at nearly 60%) of people who own a mobile banking account. Safaricom’s M-PESA mobile money platform is ranked highest with approximately 30 Million subscribers, making it the most successful digital financial services initiative globally.

The report further notes that Ugandans receive nearly 70 per cent of their remittances through mobile phones, followed by Ivorians at 50%. This is well above the Sub-Saharan Africa average of 30 per cent, and a comparable markets including South Asia and Latin America each at 5 percent.

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Google founder Larry Page, has published the first video of his prototype “flying car”

Techjaja - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 08:48

With every passing day the future draws near, and all those concepts you watched in sci-fi movies are becoming a reality one by one. Kitty Hawk is the “flying car” company that’s financially backed by Google founder Larry Page, has published the first video of its prototype aircraft.

The Kitty Hawk Flyer is an “all-electric aircraft” this currently limited to operating over water and the beauty about it all, is that it doesn’t require a pilot’s license to fly. According to video commercial below, the company promises that people will be able to learn to fly the Flyer “in minutes.” A final version of the car will be ready for consumer use by the end of this year.

Kitty Hawk hasn’t said exactly what the Flyer is for, and no price has been set yet for the retail version. But the company is using some kind of membership priority placement to entice eager pilots to sign up. Members will also get a $2,000 discount off the eventual retail price. Here is the sad part for international users, Kitty Hawk says that there are no plans to ship the vehicle outside the US due to regulation limitations.

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This is what you can do with the new Google Earth

Techjaja - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 13:19

Every April 18th the world celebrates Earth Day, and Google found it wise to revamp Google Earth for web and Android. The latest version of includes a slew new features that let users see 3D maps of specific locations,curated video content, learn about random places around the world, and take guided tours.

These are some things to try with the new Google Earth, which runs in Chrome on desktop and on Android for mobile users:

View entire world in 3D Accacia Mall in 3D Google Maps

When Google Earth was first introduced, you were able to view certain buildings in 3D, provided you checked off “3D Buildings” in the Layers portion of the app. But in the newest release of Google Earth, you can view, well, the entire world in 3D. For any location searched, a clickable 2D/3D button appears on the lower right-hand corner of the screen, making it easy for users to switch views.

Epic Hunts Caught on Camera

You can also check out “Epic Hunts Caught on Camera.” Thanks to a partnership with BBC Earth, Google Earth now offers a series of short video clips narrated by Attenborough, which play in YouTube along the right-hand side of the usual Earth view. If chimpanzees or underwater expeditions are more your thing, there’s also content just for you.

Take the helm with Voyager Try out the new Voyager feature

There is a new “Voyage” tab in Google Earth, you can take a virtual tour of the Sese Islands, the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya, or any other UNESCO World Heritage sites; and check out the architecture by Zaha Hadid, and global perspectives on the different structures we call “home.”

Feeling lucky?

Ripped right out of its own search engine page, Google has ported its “I’m feeling lucky” button to the new Google Earth, and it’s a glorious way to distract yourself at work or plan your next spontaneous trip.

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Kenyan Startup Paygo gets $1.43m seed fund to build its next generation smart meter & expand

Guru8 - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 13:10

Paygo Energy, pioneering pay-as-you-go provider of clean cooking fuel for the mass market, raised US $1.43MM in Series Seed debt and equity financing. Their innovative approach allows households to cook on clean burning LPG yet pay ‘kidogo kidogo’ (in small amounts) – creating a new market in safe, fast and affordable cooking. Mark Zuckerberg, upon meeting PayGo in Kenya: “It’s inspiring to see how engineers here are using mobile money to build businesses and help their community.”

PayGo Energy’s investors include Novastar Ventures, Energy Access Ventures, Village Capital, Global Innovation Fund, and Global Partnerships/Eleos Social Venture Fund. The investment will finance the expansion of Paygo Energy’s customer base in Nairobi, the development of its software platform and next generation smart meter, as well as the growth of Paygo Energy’s team.  

Since launching its first technology pilot in 2016, Paygo Energy has developed a steady customer base in Nairobi that has welcomed the innovation of pay-per-use cooking via mobile money. The company currently has an international team committed to launching Paygo’s hardware and software technology across the region.

Nick Quintong, CEO: “A billion households are forced to cook with dirty fuels every day, which is not only a serious development challenge but also a significant market opportunity. This financing will allow us to invest deeply in our technology, build a service that our customers love and prepare for commercial roll-out.”


“EAV is delighted to be part of Paygo’s round. We are excited by the tremendous potential the company’s technology has to significantly increase uptake of LPG in the home outside of wealthy, urban areas in Sub-Saharan Africa in a way that is highly impactful and commercially promising. In addition, we were most impressed with the Paygo team, who have consistently shown entrepreneurial drive coupled with a passion for making a difference.” – Dr Michael Gera, Managing Partner of EAV

“By making clean cooking fuel affordable and accessible, Paygo Energy is unlocking the potential for millions of more people to improve how they meet one of their most everyday basic needs—feeding their families—in a safer, healthier and more environmentally-friendly way. We’re thrilled that Village Capital was an early partner with them, and we’re very excited to continue participating in this next phase of their growth.”  – Victoria Fram, Co-Founder and Managing Director at VilCap Investments, LLC

“At GIF our mission is to find and fund innovations with the potential to improve the lives of millions of the world’s poorest people. We’re proud to support Paygo Energy in providing a supply of affordable, clean gas to their customers, with the aim of reducing the use of cheap but potentially more dangerous fuels such as charcoal and kerosene, which have been linked to a range of health risks such as burns, respiratory diseases, and cataracts.” — Raymond Guthrie, Senior Partner

“We are delighted to be supporting Paygo Energy as the company prepares for rapid growth,” said Jim Villanueva, SVF Managing Director. “Paygo’s innovative approach to providing affordable clean energy promises to be both scalable and profitable, generating immense social and environmental impact.”

This Blog was curated from PayGo Energy

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Orange Bank wants to overhaul mobile money as we know it

Techjaja - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 11:42

The advent of mobile money has had notable effects on the way we do mobile transactions especially here in Africa. It’s a public secret that there are more mobile money accounts than there are bank accounts. Surprisingly, telecoms that control mobile money are neither banks nor financial institutions except, they partner with banks and provide the technology over which we carry out mobile money transactions and with their arsenal of network infrastructure and subscribers, banks seem no match (for now at least). They also control the entire value chain that leaves traditional banks as mere accomplices than stakeholders. Orange bank wants to change the status quo (more on this later)

It would however surprise you that most of mobile money is liquidated instantly and most often is not kept on the mobile account thus services like Mokash, Wewole which act more like traditional banking accounts springing up to allow mobile money users retain money on their accounts. Now, Orange with its Orange bank seems to have overhauled what we know as mobile money to a fully fledged bank account, now with a debit card, overdraft protection and an interest-bearing savings account. A credit and insurance services are in the coming soon mode according to Techmoran.

Let’s say, Orange bank is more like mobile money owing to its mobile nature but on steroids. Orange Bank will gradually replace Orange money and it will allow for contactless mobile payments, sending of money over SMS, instant bank balances, a debit card and a 24/bank advisory service.

Orange bank users will be able to transact and check their transaction history on the go, online and it’s network of in walk in stores in its areas of operations that includes Europe and Africa. Every transaction over the service can be tracked in real-time but the mere sending and receiving of money over text messages plus the debit card option places it far ahead of mobile money.

In hindsight, mobile money transactions happen over a USSD interface. Savings often occur over a different service though still tied to mobile money but they’re protected by the central bank given the mobile money service is just an overlay of the actual bank account, which in this case is held by traditional bank.

Over to Orange bank, everything is under one roof where the Orange bank accounts acts as a one size fits all.

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How To Drive A Car In Kampala City

PC Tech - Sat, 04/22/2017 - 19:11

To drive in Kampala requires a certain absence of common sense, normal behaviour and sanity. There is only one way to drive a car in Kampala City and that’s to drive as though it’s one’s first time on the road. It’s only in Kampala where drivers getting driving permits before learning to drive. In fact, if you are a good driver, follow all the road traffic rules and respect other drivers, it won’t take you more than a week before you’ve made a mistake.

To drive in Kampala requires that you hoot endlessly, for a reason, for no reason. Just press that horn. If you see something that makes you happy, press the horn. If your friend is walking by, hoot. If someone has annoyed you, hoot. Please hoot. If you have to ask for a reason to hoot then Kampala city is not for you.

To drive in Kampala requires that you assume you are the only intelligent person on the road. Regardless of what happens, always know that everyone else is stupid, you are the only sober one. If you knock someone, it’s not because you are driving poorly, it’s simply because they are stupid.

To drive in Kampala requires a rare degree of luck. Everything about driving in Kampala is about luck. You miss that other car by luck. You miss that bodaboda guy by luck. If you are not lucky, you can’t drive in Kampala. Driving in Kampala is like war, you never tell the other driver about your next step. Don’t indicate until it’s too late to make a difference. Change lanes at ease. Reverse as you wish. Park anywhere. Use all sorts of lights. Brake with a reckless abandon. This is war mehn.

Everything about driving in Kampala is dependent on the traffic officer. As long as there is no traffic officer, feel free to break the rules. If there is no traffic man, speak on your phone while driving, abandon the seat belt. Who cares about these stupid road safety rules?

Forget about those ethical things of right of way. It’s all about first come, first serve. Whether at a round about, whether at a junction, if you are there first, go. There is only one rule about driving in Kampala and that is-there are no rules. The only people that have right of way in the city are those with the big cars, those fuel guzzlers. After these, comes all sorts of our VIPs. But you can always follow their convoys.

The road is your trash can, it’s your dumping site. Throw all sorts of garbage at the other road users. Dump those polythene bags, dump those banana peelings. Those city cleaners will do the job of removing the litter.

Speaking of Zebra Crossings, don’t stop for any human being trying to use the zebra crossing. Zebra crossings are only for zebras. Step on that gas and cruise all the way through those black and white markings, they mean nothing. This is not a zoo or national park.

When traffic is beyond measure, feel free to create your own lane. If there are three lanes, create the fourth. Anything that gives you special advantage of getting closer to your destination, please do that. Forget about speed limits. Just don’t scratch anyone’s car. Swerve from side to side. Let them know your car is beyond the ordinary.

Whenever you notice someone driving poorly in front of you, assume it’s a woman. On Kampala roads, a lady driver is ever wrong. The macho Kampala men have decided in advance that going forward, lady drivers don’t know how to drive. Always remember the phrase; “Anti mukazi.”

If you are flagged down by a police officer. Relax, don’t panic. Prepare that commission. We now call it ‘etoffali.’ When the officer gets close, smile sheepishly, wait for him to write that receipt, then when he gives it to you to sign, get that note and put in in between the sheets, hand it back while pretending to be in a pleading phase.

That said, hope you now have an idea of how to drive in Kampala city.

The post How To Drive A Car In Kampala City appeared first on Campus Eye.

Review: Poor Patient Care At Case Medical Centre

PC Tech - Sat, 04/22/2017 - 16:11

I am here to share my painful experience while at case medical centre.

I went for a check up yesterday afternoon,got to the counter gave in my name and was told to sit and wait for my file,time check 12:00pm. I sat for close to 40mins without any assistance all I could see was nurses running around to assist the fat bellied men who got there after me.

With all anger and hunger I decided to storm the reception desk and to my surprise they had forgotten about my file,I played it cool got the file number went picked the file myself and went to see the doctor of course after I had paid the consultation fee. Doc then sends me to the lab and scan which turned out to be another nightmare.

Oh heavens I sat for 3hours waiting for my turn to go in for the Ultrasound scan only because the nurses were busy jazzing and sharing juice and I guess waiting for their time to sign out.
I later got in and proceeded to the lab and at this moment I was beginning to smile thinking it was all done but ooh I was wrong.

I got my results and went to the treatment room to get my BP measured bish puts that shit on my arm and walks away,I sit for close to 5mins and there’s no one coming I decided to just take a pic of the results with my phone and then head back to the doctor’s office, chic was long gone.
I walked back to the reception desk to find out where the DR was and on calling her she bluntly said she had forgotten about me..Seriously??
Beware my dear ones!!

Submitted By: Sheeba Ella Tusiime

The post Review: Poor Patient Care At Case Medical Centre appeared first on Campus Eye.

Review: Katende Muhammad Photography Overpromises, Under-Delivers

PC Tech - Sat, 04/22/2017 - 16:04

Katende Muhammad photography…...you are so unbelievable….you charge someone an arm and a leg….them what follows is a total nightmare. This guy has gotten to a level of self actualization that that he has forgotten who got him there….”The customer” .
1. He charges you for a package of so many items and equipment which he doesn’t bring along to the function.
2. He takes four months do deliver work after a function a midst constant reminders, making pick -up appointments and failing to show up…..meanwhile payments were fully made and he was available to pick the money.
3. After months struggle he finally sends another person to deliver the work……And the work delivered…..hmmmmm is just not worth the price and the time wasted running after him to deliver…..Katende you are such a disappointment.…i hope you last in your self actualization

Submitted By: Namatovu Halima

The post Review: Katende Muhammad Photography Overpromises, Under-Delivers appeared first on Campus Eye.

Gaming Smartphones to watch out for in 2017 

Techjaja - Sat, 04/22/2017 - 13:19

One of the most exciting tech events in the calendar is the unveiling of the new versions of smartphones. Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia, LG, OnePlus, Sony, Google, and Vodafone are all set for new releases during 2017 – the year of the smartphone – and each one packs its own unique blueprint for the tech-savvy consumer. While it’s easy to get lost in the small details that cause certain features to differ, when it comes to mobile gaming, it’s critical to choose the phone that would provide you with the optimal user experience.

The biggest push for smartphones in 2017 will come courtesy of the Snapdragon 835 chip, which offers a 25% increase in graphics rendering compared to half the power used by its forerunners. For big gamers, this means game-play on a mobile device will be nearly as crystal clear as it is on a console or PC. Gaming on the move has never been as accessible as it will be in 2017.   
via GIPHY

When choosing a new smartphone for gaming, many features stand out as affecting play: touch responsiveness, battery life, processing power. The perfect smartphone would have the ability to combine all these features to create the optimum device for mobile gaming. But we’re still a little way off that yet, so choosing the feature that would make or break gaming on your phone is the next best strategy.

Early reports indicate that the Samsung Galaxy S7 holds the title of best phone for mobile gaming. With a 5.5-inch AMOLED display powered by a Snapdragon 820 chipset, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage space rounding out its features, the S7 was seemingly designed to be a gamer’s new top dog. Samsung’s leap into allowing Vulkan APIs means players will be first in line for top-graphic games. Game Tools and Game Launcher allow for an optimized gameplay mode that allows users to block notifications and keep games in one place. The camera also means that when new AR (Augmented Reality) titles are released, users will be fully optimized for it. 

However, back to the days of playing Snake on an old Nokia, not everyone looks to have a mini game console in their hand. A lot of mobile games don’t necessarily require the highest processing power and the top-of-the-line graphics offered by Samsung and Apple. Older games such as Worms and Tetris don’t take much out of your mobile to play them – and even Angry Birds isn’t as difficult for a phone as one might expect (although the graphics may suffer slightly at lower resolutions). For those into iGaming, games such as mobile bingo use up very little processing power from your phone. Different variants of bingo such as Bargain Bingo and Bingo Linx available at Fabulous Bingo have quick-fire rounds, and enable players to choose how much they want their phone to process at once, making it suitable for lower spec phones.   

 

via GIPHY

No smartphone debate can be complete without a mention of the latest iPhone. The iPhone 8 is due for release later in 2017. While Apple remains quiet about its features, an oft-debated topic for tech fans, Imagination Technologies, a company Apple use heavily for their hardware, have revealed they are developing an Augmented Reality chip. Apple recently dropped its licensing of hardware for a chance to go it alone. Could this mean that Apple themselves are developing the AR chip to enhance gaming? Should Apple be using the chip in their new devices, then this will be a massive game-changer for the world of mobile gaming. The capabilities and graphics from the chip will allow Apple to soar above its competitors for gameplay style and looks.

But not every version of gaming requires the features that the latest smartphones offer. The enhanced graphics can be detrimental to certain games, and the processing power and battery consumption of the enhanced features may be a massive con for anyone wanting longevity when it comes to gameplay. At the end of the day, choosing the best smartphone for gaming really depends on what exactly you need it for. With the market saturation as it is, there is a smartphone optimized for every kind of gaming, and there really is something for everyone out there. 

The post Gaming Smartphones to watch out for in 2017  appeared first on Techjaja.

Uber expands its services in Kampala. Check out the new places you can make an Uber request. 

Techjaja - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 19:28

Since it’s launch, the Uganda’s leading ride Sharing service has been committed to connecting its customers to safe, reliable and affordable rides – be it for your daily commute or for a night out on the town.

Starting April, 21st, Uber is updating their service area from where you can request trips to make sure that there is more reliability in the core areas of Kampala. The new service area means more reliable rides when you need them. Check out Uber Uganda’s new coverage footprint

Uber Uganda footprint

The key benefits to this expansion include:

  • Lower estimated times of arrival as more driver partners are made available around the core service area
  • Riders can still be dropped off outside the service area, they just can’t request from outside the service area.

The post Uber expands its services in Kampala. Check out the new places you can make an Uber request.  appeared first on Techjaja.

Cable System connecting Africa and the Americas reaches a major milestone to create a new route for Internet traffic

Techjaja - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 19:13

Taking a step closer to completing a valuable new route for the global telecommunications sector, Angola Cables today announced the completion of the marine survey for the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS), as well as the start of cable loading on the Angolan side of SACS. Marking an important milestone in the development of the globally relevant project , when completed, SACS will interconnect with the Monet cable system — connecting the United States and Brazil — and WACS, the West Africa Cable System.


SACS is a 40 Tbps cable — 6,165 km in length — with four fibre pairs that will connect Angola to Brazil, linking Africa and the Americas. (Each fibre pair is capable of transmitting 100 wavelengths with a bandwidth of 100Gbit/s.)  Angola Cables is one of the 12 members of the consortium that manages WACS (and one of its largest shareholders), a cable system which provides carrier level services to operators in Angola and Sub-Saharan Africa across 11 countries. As a 14,530 km cable running from Yzerfontein (South Africa) to London (UK), WACS has four fibre pairs and includes 14 landing points, 12 along the western coast of Africa (including Cape Verde and Canary Islands) and two in Europe (Portugal and England).

With the marine survey successfully completed, Angola Cables assures that the cable will be deployed in the best route, thus avoiding hazardous points, a crucial factor in ensuring longevity of SACS. Completion of the marine survey means that final manufacturing can be completed and any minor route and/or cable type adjustments can be fine-tuned based on the actual survey findings. With the loading of the Pre-Laid Shore End (PLSE) the construction of SACS is underway. For this aspect of the cable system, Angola Cables commissioned NEC Japan and contracted Ocean Specialists, Inc (OSI) to oversee the construction process, all to assure the highest levels of quality.

“We have worked closely with our partners and suppliers to ensure the highest possible value of the SACS network for our customers,” said Antonio Nunes, CEO of Angola Cables. “As part of our global connectivity strategy, SACS will offer the first direct, high-capacity southern transatlantic connection.”

SACS to be ready by the middle of 2018 
“These key milestones illustrate that the SACS cable is on target for completion as Angola Cables continues to build sales momentum for delivery of services on SACS by the middle of 2018. Increasingly, customers are turning to the southern transatlantic route for diversification and security. SACS, coupled with Monet and the existing WACS cable, provide unparalleled value for which we are seeing very high demand in the marketplace,” added Artur Mendes, Chief Commercial Officer for Angola Cables.

This is a press release 

The post Cable System connecting Africa and the Americas reaches a major milestone to create a new route for Internet traffic appeared first on Techjaja.

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