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

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

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 17:10

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.”

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Simcard registration is a hatched plan to conduct mass surveillance on all Ugandans- Unwanted Witness

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 21:04

Unwanted Witness Uganda an activist organization has learned that over 7million telecom subscribers have participated in SIM Card verification exercise since the 7day ultimatum issued by Uganda communications Commission (UCC) last week. The ongoing exercise, which is not fully guided by law, is meant to accomplish a hatched plan by the establishment to intercept and openly conduct surveillance on all Ugandans.

According to 2014/15-budget paper, the government earmarked UGX 205billion for procuring a phone-tapping machine, on grounds that the existing tapping equipment only tracked telephone communications between callers and recipients but could not record their voices. Unwanted Witness is a civil society organization (CSO) that was established to respond to the gap in effective communication using various online expression platforms.

The registration Process going on at an MTN outlet: Photo: New Vision

The billion shillings surveillance equipment supplied by the Israeli firm enables the operatives to listen to phone conversations anywhere in the country, detects the location of a caller and receiver and has the capacity to burst emails accounts that are under surveillance.

“ Verifying National ID data with SIM Card registration only justifies government’s surveillance traits and besides the country does not have a law on data collection, usage and storage which highly exposes citizens’ data to abuse by both state and non-state actors,” warns Jeff Wokulira Ssebaggala, the Chief Executive Officer, the Unwanted Witness-Uganda.

Phone users being registered. Photo: Daily Monitor

He said it is important for Ugandans to be aware of the consequences involved when the government decides to share all Ugandans’ biometric data with profit oriented companies whose database is not locally based. The Unwanted Witness calls for withdraw of telcos from SIM registration

We are also concerned about the security of mediums being used to register online and share citizens’ NIN including *197*2#. These mediums are not secure as anyone can hack into it and get access to citizens’ sensitive personal information/data.

Unwanted Witness calls upon government agencies, police, UCC and NIRA to desist from further abusing the privacy of citizens and continuing to deny that telecom companies have not received all citizens’ data, yet sharing a National Identity Number (NIN) is full exposure of one’s identity.

This is a Press Release from Unwanted Witness

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BREAKING: Sim card validation exercise extended

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 14:43

The Government of Uganda through the Office of the Prime Minister has this afternoon extended the deadline for Simcard registration with national ids to May 19th. In a letter that was written to the Executive Director of Uganda Communications Commission Mr.  Godfrey Mutabazi by Hon Ruhakana Rugunda, the Prime Minster has issued a directive to have the date of the ongoing Sim Card Verification and Validation extended further to enable everyone register fully.

It should be noted that the very Prime Minister days ago had backed up the UCC for calling upon massive registration and validation of sim cards countrywide. It’s rather surprising that the Prime Minster has issued this directive.

The Government has reviewed the said timelines and has taken a decision that the ongoing SIM card verification exercise should be extended to the 19th May 2017. Here is the letter;

 

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President’s Son Maj Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s Twitter account Hacked

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 12:10

Ugandans on Twitter were shocked on Tuesday evening after the twitter account of Maj Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Son to the President of The Republic of Uganda and the  Senior Presidential Advisor in Charge of Special Operations had some rather ‘disturbing’ tweets. The tweets had twitter fanatics wonder whether they were actually tweeted by Mr. Muhoozi or his account had been compromised.

A Screenshot of the deleted tweet that sparked controversies

 

However, the attack on Maj. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s twitter account was this morning confirmed to be compromised and hacked by unknown malicious individuals. The Spokesman of the UPDF Special Forces Command, Maj. Chris Magezi took to twitter to clarify on the tweets that were showing on the General’s twitter handle last evening and confirmed that they had secured the account that has been compromised.

Friends, attempts were made early this evening to compromise de @mkainerugaba account.Appropriate measures have now been taken to secure it.

— Chris Magezi (@chris1magezi) April 18, 2017

The tweets have been deleted and the account has been secured.

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Android Instagram users will soon get offline mode

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 11:15

While Snapchat seems to have forgotten about the developing world, Instagram knows everyone everywhere wants visual communication and are soon rolling out the way a better experience for users with limited network connectivity or no data plan to enjoy Instagram. Offline Mode!

Instagram announced at the F8 conference that it’s built support for using most of its features without Internet access. Much of this functionality is now available on Android, which is the preferred device type in the developing world. More will come in the following months, and Instagram tells me it’s exploring an iOS version.

Instagram offline users will be able to see content previously loaded in Instagram’s feed, users can leave comments, Like things, save media, or unfollow people — all of which will go through when they reconnect. Profiles they’ve visited before will be visible, as will old versions of the Explore tab or their own profile.
Source: TechCrunch

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All you need to know about the 2nd edition of the MTN App Challenge

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 18:19

MTN Uganda is partnering with Outbox in the 2nd edition of the MTN App Challenge, a 3 day Hackathon event which will see talent from all over the country innovate and create Mobile Applications in various categories.

The challenge that saw the rise of the prominent YozaApp is back again and applications/Registration is now open and it’s FREE. For young innovators that are eager about the MTN App Challenge can apply here to register for the challenge. The deadline for registration is 28 April 2017 and all successful entrants shall be notified by 4th May 2017.

Overview:

This year registration will be in teams. Each team should comprise of at least four individuals and a maximum of five (5) with the following skill-sets/roles: UI/UX creative designer, software developer, marketer and project manager. We shall select a maximum of up to twenty (20) teams to participate.

Description of roles:

  • Developers: you fit here if you know how to create code in different languages. You can plan technical architecture for complex Mobile Apps and test the outcome.
  • Designers: you fit here if you know HTML/CSS/JS/AJAX and call yourself a front end designer and/or you are graphic designer for either websites or software
  • Marketers – every business needs marketing ideas from the beginning. You fit here if your blood runs for sales, marketing and making products fly and reach the target audience.
  • Project Managers and visionaries: You fit here if you have awesome IT ideas that you want to make happen. You can organize teams by structuring the work to be done, ensuring they have the necessary resources and are vigilant on the quality of work delivered.

Categories:

The MTN APP Challenge will focus on the creation of Mobile Applications under the following themes:

  1. M-Health:  Apps to access health services from the Phone
  2. M- Media & Entertainment: Apps to enable Entertainment on the phone: e.g Music, Games, Images, etc
  3. M-Education: Apps that extend consumption of education on the phone
  4. M-Finance: Apps that  extend a type of financial services to low-income segment via the phone
  5. M-Agriculture: Apps that support the Agriculture industry

Awards and Prizes:

There will be Awards to recognize participants in the following categories:

  • Best M-Health App: An original concept to address a key need accessing health services in Uganda and a potential to be used by many individuals
  • Best M-Education: App with the most potential to address a need in the Education sector
  • Best M-Media & Entertainment: Most original concept for Entertainment on the phone
  • Best M-Finance: Original concept in extending financial services to low-income segment via the phone
  • Best M-Agriculture: Original concept in enabling Agricultural services on the phone
  • Overall Winner: out of the winning Apps in the categories above, this is an  Application identified as most aligned to MTN’s current objectives in Enterprise, Consumer, Financial and Digital services
  • Audience’s Favorite: this application will be chosen by the audience as a favorite

All Awards will be chosen and given out on the 14th May 2017 as per the event program.

Prizes:

  1. i)      Overall Winner:
  • Certificate of Recognition for each team member
  1. ii)   Best M-Health App, Best M-Education, Best M-Media & Entertainment, and Best M-Finance, Best M-Agriculture:

Each of these Awards will receive the following:

  • $1,000
  • Certificate of Recognition for each team member
  • Commercialization through MTN
  • 1GB internet to all team members for 3 months
  • A Smartphone for each team member

iii) Audience’s Favorite

    • Certificate of Recognition for each team member
    • 1GB internet to all team members for 3 months
    • Commercialization through MTN
    • A smart Phone for each team member

Key dates:

  • Applications close: 28th April 2017
  • Communication to selected teams: 4th May 2017

MTN App Challenge event: 12th May  – 14th  May 2017

This awesome article All you need to know about the 2nd edition of the MTN App Challenge was first posted on GURU8

SocialPAY wants you to tap on your social media numbers to grow your business

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 14:05

The days of social media are taking a different trend and you’ll have to give it up to the people that are actually minting a coin or two using the various platforms. People are tapping into the ever growing social media base to grow their businesses and other causes.

Hashtags swing here and there, noble causes are achieved using social media. Money is being mined from social media thanks to the growing e-commerce platforms that have given people value for money.

In an economy that has seen e-commerce steadily grow over the past years, there is SocialPAY, a platform that is bringing all these ideas onto one platform to enable business owners to grow their business using the power, potential, and exposure to social media. SocialPAY is a mobile-based platform that enables you to sell and advertise your goods or service to people who already know and trust you on Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook and Google +.

With SocialPay, business owners are given the power to leverage their existing Social Networks to grow their income and also helps them to combine the numbers on Social Media and the simplicity of Mobile Money Payments to expand their business at almost no cost.

How Does SocialPay Work?

Merchant downloads the SocialPay application from the PlayStore, IOS or uses the Web Version and Registers.

Merchant then defines their product(s), uploads an image and a short link is auto-generated. Merchants can share this link on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, and Email.

Customer clicks on the link to view product(s) or services. The customer selects “Pay Now”, enters a phone number and receives a Mobile Money debit request.

Customer authenticates the debit request and the merchant receives their money.

What are the Benefits of using SocialPAY

Using the SocialPAY platform offers a variety and range of benefits to both merchants and consumers. With the platform, you can grow your market share by reaching out to existing and potential customers on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter et al. That platform also accepts payments using MTN and Airtel Mobile Money, partial payments from customers as a deposit on goods and services offered

Users also get free real-time Statements showing all your financial transactions (deposits and withdraws), Stock / Inventory Management platform for your business and SMS and email notifications for all purchases on made on SocialPAY

The Apps are now available and can be downloaded via the Google PlayStore, iOS Apple Store and there is a web app too.

NB: This is a sponsored article.

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Light up your Easter with these tech gift ideas for your loved ones

Mon, 04/17/2017 - 09:52

Want to buy hard boiled eggs as Easter present? Take away that elitist tradition! Easter is here and in case you have been wondering what gifts to buy that special one in your world, the world of tech does not disappoint. There are so many gadgets and appliances out there to make this Easter quite a memorable one.

These are the gifts we recommend;
For her….
Ladies first you know. For that special woman in your life, side chic, girlfriend; buy her a Smartphone not a pair of padded buttocks. Let her resurrect that selfie game with a Samsung 8. (Lol, I am kidding) Okay i7, Infinix, Huawei mate are a great variety of midrange and flagship smartphone choices. Those selfies will be your bragging rights when with the boys.
For the woman of the home, that is wife, mother, or the woman who are cohabiting with, it would be perfect to go for a domestic appliance like a blender. That would serve constant nourishment which comes in handy for hangover fangs. It is good to both look healthy when you are living with someone. Not so?

For that little girl at home, buy her LEGO building blocks to enable her to explore her imagination and creativity. Watch her build her castle as she imagines her reign as a queen.
For him….

Men love toys too. Photography is the in-thing and many are trying their hand at capturing images. The perfect gift for him this Easter is none other than DSLR camera. This cuts across from teens to adults. Instagram and snap chat filters are not enough. DSLR cameras preferably Nikon and Canon brands are readily available in stores around town.
Another wise gift for him is a laptop and MiFi. Regardless of occupation, internet connectivity is a basic requirement. Let’s go tech and digital this Easter.

Happy holidays.

This is a guest blog for the Easter Holiday.

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The Smartphone revolution is really really robbing you of some personal traits

Mon, 04/17/2017 - 09:08

 

As a child, I was one of the few lucky fellows in my junior school class to own a cell phone, not smart at that moment. I had already embraced technology when most people in my circle were still trying to figure out how to turn on and shut down a computer. That helped me get some bragging rights and be the center of attention when I sat down on a PC in the school lab.

Today as phones get smarter, it’s hard to remember the days when we didn’t have to spend much time on screens. When am in a taxi or at a party, I glance around just to see everyone glued to their individual screens. This isn’t an indictment, as I’m often glued to my own screen, but rather an observation about how much reshuffle society has had in the past decade.

With almost everyone writing about the digital revolution and advances in technology, what has been written about what has been lost with this tech overhaul is a mere trifle. Those daily, mundane things we’ve done are slowly becoming anachronistic and surely we’ll cease to do them at all as they withdraw into memory lane. We are losing some of the things that defined humanity for many centuries, and ghastly, we are not even noticing

Handwriting.

If you don’t think about the last time you actually did some writing, forget to make a few scribbles of quick notes, you won’t realize you are losing your writing skills. Back in school, I used to be among the top (like honestly) people with the best handwriting. Now, I can confirm I lost my crown ever since I surrendered the pen and started typing intensively on computers and smart devices. This might not be a world-ender, but it’s an obviously worth noting. I actually grasped a lot when I wrote stuff down back in school. It helped me remember a lot. How this will affect today’s children, who are learning to use iPads remains to be seen.

Face to face conversation.

Let me confess, I’m a talker, a big fan of conversations! Sadly, I’ve lost count of the get-togethers, concerts, and parties I’ve been to where people are constantly on a phone or device, even among close friends whom they know well. Even with my love for conversation, I’m no exception here, although I try to reserve it for meet ups where I don’t know many people. Our desire to talk to each other is facing extinction. People tend to concentrate more on their smart devices, taking pictures to post on social media, instead of enjoying the actual moments.

Memorization.

This is subtle though. In the early 2000s, I knew the phone numbers of my entire family and close friends. Today I know my own,  a few family members and a handful of friends. Our brain’s capacity for memorization has dimmed substantially. It’s only because we no longer need memorization that much; information is readily available via Google or other search engines. Numbers are stored in our smartphones where they are available with a few clicks and swipes. We are not using our brains to full capacity.

Brain downtime.

The human brain actually uses downtime to analogize, assimilate and process information. But unfortunately, we fill this downtime with constant information from websites and e-books so we have no time to process the information that is already jam-packed in our brain. Consequences? Lots of data, but little actual learning. You end up having pieces of knowledge about most topics but not knowing less detail.

I lived a better half of my life without these technologies, so did anyone who is 15 years and above. I was okay with it. I was very okay. I’m not saying technology is bad and that we should head back to the bushes, get spears or head back to the caves. I’m not. Am just mindful about what traits we are losing as we turn to the new way of doing and being.

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E-Case is the new technology that will locate your lost luggage using your smartphone

Sat, 04/15/2017 - 11:01

Many times we hear of cases where people lose their luggage and because chances are high your suitcase may have many similar others, you may never find it that easily so fast. E-Case has created a piece of smart luggage that will tell your smartphone app where it is. How sweet?

For the folks that love traveling or are always on the go and have been a victim of losing luggage easily, E-Case comes in a 20-inch carry-on size as well as 24- and 29-inch check-in sizes. It also comes with an advanced digital lock with Bluetooth locking and fingerprint authentication for additional security. You can also unlock it remotely via text message if necessary.

The E-Case sells for as low as $250, and it comes in three sizes and five colors. Other smart luggage products have hit the market, but often they only tell you if your bag is missing. But E-Case has global positioning system (GPS) tracking, which allows you to see its exact position in real time on your smartphone app.

When it comes to weighing your bag, E-Case takes all of the heavy lifting and guesswork out of the process. Typical smart luggage uses a handle-based scale that makes you physically lift the bag to weigh it, but E-Case’s digital scale is built into the bottom. It’s convenient and accurate weighing without all the heavy lifting, so you can avoid overweight bag fees. If the suitcase moves out of the range of your smartphone’s distance sensor, it sends an alert to your phone the moment it slips out of your vicinity.

E-Case also optimizes battery life using automatic dynamic positioning frequency, which enables you to automatically set the bag to sleep mode at your desired frequency to save power. E-Case uses algorithms to analyze vibration and light intensity and suspend GSM signals during flying, in order to comply with safety requirements — which no other bag on the market can do.

E-Case sells for $249 for the 20-inch carry-on, $279 for the 24-inch check-in, and $329 for the 29-inch check-in. Rivals include Bluesmart, Fugu Luggage, and Planet Traveler.

Source: VentureBeat

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How to get android apps in beta versions from the Google PlayStore

Sat, 04/15/2017 - 10:16

This is for the curious, those that desire being ahead of the game. It’s for the adventurous and audacious minds. Today we will get to learn about beta updates of Android apps and of course, how to get them before the less enthusiastic fellas.

In this whirlwind world, we all need to handle a variety of ponderous and time-taking assignments, from scheduling our appointments to sending emails and keeping an eye on the business online pages. The one thing that frees us of the ache we experience while doing many of these tasks is that we hold some really really intelligent smartphones that offload as much work by making almost everything one might ever think of easy thanks to the revolutionary ICT sector.

The backbone of all this smartness of the devices lies in the core of the apps which have ever increasing features and back to back updates are rolled out now and then.

In Android’s case, we have a beaucoup of apps on the Play Store available for download and surely every person, finds something that makes every day a breeze: for example, a simple Facebook post saves you the tedious process of using SMS to tell everyone what’s up. More to that, there are beta updates of some of the greatest apps!

Okay, this brings me to my topic today, beta updates! What are they? Where can you get them?  Let’s get straight to the point then.

Beta pinned on noticeboard

An App is developed in different cycles. New features are added as soon as they are developed and only made available to beta testers. It’s that small group of people that get access to the new features before they go mainstream. Now that’s super cool.

It’s not a complicated process signing in for those beta updates so you get the first feel of the new features and boss up in your circle. In fact, if you are an Android user, you’re just a few clicks away.

Step 1: Open your play store

Step 2: Search for the particular app, for example, Whatsapp.

Step 3: Click on Whatsapp from the visible list of apps.

Step 4: Scroll to the bottom (Swipe up till you reach the end)

Step 5: Click on the button accompanied by some beta-related message.

Step 6: Click on OK/Yes

Step 7: Wait for a few minutes till a message saying, Awesome! You are a beta tester is displayed just above the install button.

Step 8: Now go the My Apps & Games section.

Step 9: Switch to Beta tab.

Step 10: Now update Whatsapp.

Congrats ! Now you have the beta version of Whatsapp installed.

Use a similar process for other apps, but you should know that not all apps have beta versions, nor do all accept unlimited beta testers. Beta versions are known to crash since they still possess bugs but such problems are fixed with newer versions.

 

This awesome article How to get android apps in beta versions from the Google PlayStore was first posted on GURU8

German Firm To Transfer Renewable Energy Technologies To Uganda

Thu, 04/13/2017 - 14:41

Press Release: Uganda’s Ambassador to Germany, Amb. Marcel Tibaleka, on 11th April 2017, met with Eng. Forster Edwards from the German African Climate Change Integration Technology Institute (WECASS) to discuss ways of offering innovative solutions to affordable off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Uganda.

WECASS Institute was set up in order to deliver high-quality education and praxis-oriented Europe, Africa and world-specific training. It hopes to also take advantage of Uganda’s strategic location in the region to set up its base in Uganda and gradually export innovative solutions to the neighboring countries.

Ambassador Tibaleka informed Eng. Edwards that sourcing for renewable energy technologies that generate electrical power on-site through the use of solar, wind and geothermal energies and contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions in the air, was a priority of the Government of Uganda. He added that though solar electric lights and solar home systems are becoming readily available, in Uganda there was need to improve the available technologies. He encouraged WECASS not only to introduce affordable products but also offer after sales service.

Eng. Edwards assured his host that German-technology-designed solar systems are sustainable under African conditions, adding that renewable energy development is significant for people living in remote rural areas. He explained that plenty of agricultural machinery and farm equipment like irrigation pumps, incubators, cold storage and driers can now be operated using reliable solar energy. Local hospitals that require most of their drugs and vaccines to be kept under refrigeration would find such solar systems very ideal. He added that among their popular range of products were solar street lights with hidden security cameras that enhance security.
Eng. Edwards assured the Ambassador that WECASS had the patent for its renewable energy products and would therefore assemble durable and affordable products at their Uganda Centre. This would not only reduce production costs but create jobs for the local people. The Centre will be equipped to remotely monitor their customers’ solar electric systems and even offer a quick response to any fault detection. He said that WECASS would introduce mobile phone payments so as to eliminate the collection costs.

This awesome article German Firm To Transfer Renewable Energy Technologies To Uganda was first posted on GURU8

Hire The Youth, an online Initiative helping youth combat unemployment

Thu, 04/13/2017 - 14:09

In a cut-throat economy where employers are asking a minimum of 5 years experience in order to even make them take a look through an applicant’s CV is maybe asking for way too much from the fresh graduates. Year in year out universities churn out millions and million into an already narrow and suffocated job market.

In an era where jobs and the youth are playing cat and mouse games, there is little or no ray of hope at all for them to ever get a Job after all years they spent in campus. In that sense, a team of youth came up with a portal that seeks to help the youth find Jobs that can be easily attained and don’t require the ‘outrageous’ years of experience that employers ask for.

Hire The Youth a youth-led initiative to make society more inclusive, fair and responsive to young people’s unemployment challenges. It achieves its mission by giving a platform to the most marginalized young people and by helping fight this issue.

The online initiative aims to help young people aged 15-30 who are in / out of school, unemployed or underemployed overcome the barriers to employment by pushing forward campaigns that drive educational reforms and youth empowerment .

Mr Ssenkubuge Kenneth the lead brain behind the idea says that Hire The Youth initiative helps avail youth friendly opportunities  to make a successful transition to employment.

The Look of the Portal

“We aim to dispel the negative stereotypes of young people by giving them a platform where they can express themselves and issues affecting them. Developed, run and managed by young people”, he notes

Hire The Youth wants young people to be independent, happy, flourish, get a job, workout who they are, irrespective of their background. This will help them make connections that will help them achieve their goals and live a fulfilling life.

This awesome article Hire The Youth, an online Initiative helping youth combat unemployment was first posted on GURU8

Here is a list of Ugandan Banks that have unsecure websites

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 16:36

A techie friend of mine walked up to my office and told me how he was skeptical about using most online banking portals. He had noticed that some are not secure at all. I brushed him off and went on with my work as usual. But not so long ago, it occurred to me again and i thought to myself; So what if it is true? So what if these portals are not any secure? What does that mean? I then set out on a ‘investigation’ of sorts to see whether his claims had any water.

After a little look through the banks’ websites in Uganda, I was actually shocked when most websites of these Banks were unsecure. It hit me hard about how many folks I know of that would rather login onto a bank website and freely give their information than haggle with the long cues in the bank. I know a few people that hold online banking with high esteem and feel the need for all the convenience they can use.

A screenshot of an insecure website that has no SSL certificate enabled.

It’s should be noted that Websites that require so much information from a user ought to have an SSL certificate which guarantees a certain level of security for their users. Websites with SSL certificates have the url starting with https:// with an ‘s’ that actually stands for secure. This means that the traffic to the website is encrypted and ISPs may not actually track the particular section of the website you are visiting.

SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details.

SSL certificates also help users identify websites since they can differentiate them from those of scammers. Most big corporations and banks worldwide even have EV SSL certificates that actually show the organisation’s name in green before the URL. It’s a shame that many banks in Uganda do not have this layer of security enabled for their public websites.

Here are a few Banks that we dug up that didn’t have SSL certificates and users’ data might not necessarily be safe from attackers;

Stanbic Bank, Centenary Bank, Tropical Bank, GTBank, Orient Bank, NC Bank, Exim Bank, Commercial Bank of Africa, Citi Bank, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Bank Of Africa, ABC Capital Bank

We noticed that some banks only have SSL certificates for their online banking which should reduce the worries of some customers such as Stanbic’s iBanking and GT Bank’s iBank. The risk is the that the informatory section of the website can be attacked and information altered in the event of an attack. However, Banks are institutions that ought to have EV SSL certificates across the entire website for security of user data.

We can neither confirm wether the above listed banks plan to secure their websites or not. However one thing for sure is that people who subscribe to these banks and are transacting through these portals are not safe with their information.

How do I know a website is not secure?

Most businesses and in this case banks have a website that serves as the hub of their marketing ventures. It’s the digital billboard and brochure that allows them to reach their target audience on an international scale, but more often than not, those websites are like sitting ducks: susceptible and unprotected.

A screenshot of a secure website using an SSL certificate and the url begins with HTTPS

It’s the job of banks to protect the data that you gave them, so it’s important that you be careful who you trust with your information online. But how do you know who to trust? How do you know if a site is legitimate and if you should give them your data?

Why do I need a secure website

You may ask what’s with all the fuss and banks not having secure websites but until you are entangled in cyber theft and you walk to an empty bank account on a Monday morning, then it will dawn to you that your bank didn’t take you as a customer seriously.

With all of the increased online shopping, online payments and transactions et el, lots of personal information—phone numbers, home addresses, and credit cards are flying around the Internet. This personal data translates to dollars for cyber criminals who are ready to earn as much without dropping a sweat but just pressing a few buttons here and there and emptying your account.

Websites rely on certificates. And those certificates are protected by encryption, which turns plain text into jumbled code. But encryption algorithms need to improve to stay one step ahead of hackers, who want to spoof certificates. If a bank doesn’t have these certificates, this is a pie to eat for hackers and trust me your information is out there in the open.

However, according to a report released by the CIA, It’s important to note that, as of today, hackers can’t crack the weaker version these banks are using. Bank customers aren’t exposed — yet. But cyber security experts all say it’s only a matter of time.

How to know if a website is secure?

Before giving any information to a website, you should make sure it is secure. Most websites are merely data mining tools and even if they may not be selling your personal information, if they are not secure websites, your information may be available to hackers.

Check the SSL Certificate: Look at the URL of the website. If it begins with “https” instead of “http” it means the site is secured using an SSL Certificate (the s stands for secure). SSL Certificates secure all of your data as it is passed from your browser to the website’s server. To get an SSL Certificate, the company must go through a validation process.

Look at the Domain: Cyber attackers will sometimes create websites that mimic existing websites and try to trick people into purchasing something on or logging into their phishing site. These sites often look exactly like the existing website.

Disclaimer: Guru8.net is no way a supporter and promoter of hacking and related malicious acts of unscrupulous individuals but seeks to be a platform of disembarking vital information and advice to potential victims.

This awesome article Here is a list of Ugandan Banks that have unsecure websites was first posted on GURU8

Steps on how to validate simcard registration information using your phone

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 16:32

Uganda Communication Commission issued a directive to all phone users to validate their sim card registration information using their National IDs or Passports within 7days or risk being disconnected.

However, majority Ugandans simply laughed at the directive and termed UCC a barking Dog that never takes action with its directives. Some even took to social media to mock UCC over their ‘ridiculous directive. We shall not fall in the same boat and not dare to doubt what UCC is capable of, rather, we shall bring you simple steps to avoid being disconnected.

You don’t have to go for the long queues at the Telecom outlets to complete this but can doing it at the comfort of your smartphone. Below are the steps;

  1. Type *197#

2 Select Prompt 3

3. Enter your national identification number (NIN) the 13 digit number on your ID that starts with CF or CM.

4.Enter your Details
5.

After you’ll receive a confirmation

Do this now and avoid being Disconnected.

This awesome article Steps on how to validate simcard registration information using your phone was first posted on GURU8

Phone users have only 7 days to update their simcard registration information or shall be deactivated – UCC

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 13:56

The Uganda Communications Commission has issued tough regulations for the simcard registration and validation process and has urged all phone users to update their registration information with their National IDs or Passport in 7 days or else shall be deactivated.

In a closed meeting that was held today with the Inspector General Of Police Gen Kale Kayihura IGP, UCC ED Godfrey Mutabazi, officials from the National Identification and Registration Authority(NIRA), Executives of Telecoms and Security Chiefs present, the officials unanimously agreed to the use of the National ID and Passport for verifying, validating and registering SIM cards.

Inspector General Of Police Gen Kale Kayihura IGP, UCC ED Godfrey Mutabazi at the Press Conference at UCC House, Bugoloobi. Photo: Sudhir Byaruhanga‏

UCC recently issued a directive to all telecoms to disable and deactivate all Unregistered, Pre-registered and partially registered sim cards that are being sold on the streets and those that are in use. Thankfully after the telecoms switched off majority simcards, very many users went on register as instructed by UCC.

Today, new regulations have been issued by UCC together with the Uganda Police to have the system of registration more secure. There have been a little tougher rules from both UCC and telecoms that have been put in place to make sure the process goes on smoothly. Some of the agreed terms include;

1.There will be no selling of SIM cards by street vendors and all operators and stakeholders  have requested to help in enforcement

2.All operators are to submit lists of authorized SIM card vendors across the country to enable enforcement.

3.All existing subscribers should present their National ID’s to their operators for verification within 7 days

4.Lists of verified subscribers by telecoms will be presented to NIRA for Validation using National ID database

5.The only accepted Identification documents for different persons are;

Nationals- National ID

Foreigners- Passport

Refugees- OPM database

Companies- URSB  

 

This awesome article Phone users have only 7 days to update their simcard registration information or shall be deactivated – UCC was first posted on GURU8

How to overcome the nightmare of a cracked smartphone screen

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 17:48

That devastating moment when you watch your pristine smartphone slip through your hands,trips off the table fall to the ground, or gets in some sort of way messed up, the world freezes for a moment and that makes you wish you were “The Flash” so you could save your lovely pricey smartphone from getting shuttered, and covered in a pattern of crazy cracks in a zigzag format that is uncoordinated.

Depending on the magnitude of the damage, the screen may still work but damages like this may render the phone unusable after sometime. Some accidents that damage the LCD screen below may make the colors on your screen abnormal or stop some pixels from displaying.

If you were unfortunate and got a cracked screen, first you should do some damage assessment. Small cracks that don’t block your view too much can be ignored, but larger cracks should probably be dealt with immediately since you can even shred your ear during a phone call. Here’s is what you ought to do when you are faced with this scenario.

  1. Make a backup of your phone data.

If you are lucky enough to have your screen still functional, your best bet is to back up all the data that you need on a computer or removable SD card. Phones are a mirror into our lives nowadays and store some of the best moments of our lives, you wouldn’t want to lose your precious photos so back them up.

  1. Do you have insurance cover for your phone?

In a country where insurance cover for phones is almost non existent,  you need to be careful as you handle your phone. Manufacturers offer guarantee on some devices when you buy them new. If your guarantee covers for accidental damages, rise and shine,  it’s your lucky day.

  1. Can the seller fix it?

Phone sellers are known to have legit phone spare parts. So in case your warranty is out if date, you should pay a relatively small screen replacement fee as compared to buying a new phone. Contact the shop where you bought the device for information about where you should repair your phone. Samsung have support centers in town.

  1. Go to a third party repairer.

Of course getting the manufacturer to look at your phone instead of a third party is the best option as they obviously knows what’s best for their own devices. But third party repairer are a bit cheaper and more widely available. Please note that warranty is void once thee phone is tampered with by third parties. So only go to third parties if the warranty is out or if the manufacturer can’t fix your device.

  1. Sell your phone.

You may not get a lot from a damaged phone, but instead of throwing it away, you can get a few thousands back when you sell it. This can be used to top up for securing a new device. Go on advertise on platforms like OLX or social media for possible buyers.

Your phone may be smart, but it’s not Superman. Giving your phone some extra protection will save you from incurring extra costs on replacement and data loss. A decent jacket or a cord attached to your trousers will do the trick. Your phone is worth every way of protecting it, so get on with it.

This awesome article How to overcome the nightmare of a cracked smartphone screen was first posted on GURU8

Ugandan Broadcasters are unhappy with UCC over a 2% levy

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 17:16

Broadcasters in Uganda under their umbrella body National Broadcasters Association are unhappy with the Uganda Communications Commission after a 2% levy on gross annual revenue that was meant for telecommunication operators was also ‘imposed’ on them

UCC recently sent copies of the agreement to broadcasters detailing license fees payable annually by broadcasters and asked them to sign but broadcasters refused to sign saying the move is likely to have a devastating effect on the revenues and financial position of the radio and television stations.

The broadcasters through their Chairman Mr Kin Kariisa have expressed their unhappiness over the levy that was imposed on them and protest that it was not intended for broadcasters but telecommunication operators.

Read Also: Ugandan man arrested for hacking Safaricom

Section 68 of the Uganda Communications Act imposes a 2% levy on gross annual revenue of all operators including broadcasters.  Although UCC insists that the broadcasters should pay the levy, it has never implemented it.

According to the New Vision, a local daily, In a protest letter to the commission executive director Godfrey Mutabazi, the chairman national broadcasters association Kin Kariisa argued that the move will not only put jobs at risk but will also stifle new artists trying to break into the entertainment business and harm the listening and viewing public who rely on local media.

According to Kariisa, the broadcasters continue to protest the levy since it was never, in the first place, intended for broadcasters but telecommunication operators. He wondered why UCC was keen on implementing the charge yet the matter is still under discussion and no clear conclusion has been reached between the parties.

“As you are aware, this is a matter that is yet to be concluded following prior correspondences between the national association broadcasters, UCC and other stakeholders. It is therefore improper for UCC to demand that broadcasters sign a license agreement with the provision enforcing the payment of the said levy when the matter is clearly still under discussion,” Kariisa said.

This awesome article Ugandan Broadcasters are unhappy with UCC over a 2% levy was first posted on GURU8

Ugandan man arrested for hacking Safaricom

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 15:48

A Ugandan man has been arrested by the Kenyan Police after he reportedly hacked into the database systems of banks, telecom companies and money transfer service providers and stole millions of shillings. Ronnie Nsale, a Ugandan living in Kenya was arrested on suspicion that he attempted to hack into the electoral agency’s systems and working with the Islamic State group.

According to the New Vision a local daily, Nsale was arrested last Friday together with a Kenyan national and arraigned in court on Monday and remanded for 15 days after the police asked the court to grant them more time to carry out detailed investigations.

Nice Read Meanwhile :Ugandan Broadcasters are unhappy with UCC over a 2% levy

Kenyan prosecutors alleged that the two hacked into computer systems of “vital and key installations, agencies and a telecommunication service provider”. Kenyan police claim Nsale, working together with others, hacked into the database systems of  banks, mobile phone companies and money transfer service providers and stole millions of shillings.

Nsale and the fellow also reportedly hacked into included Kenya’s leading mobile company Safaricom. A statement released on the Safaricom website indicated that one of their customers had lost a considerable amount of money through the hacking but that “Safaricom’s risk management unit detected the intrusion and immediately escalated it to security agencies”.

This awesome article Ugandan man arrested for hacking Safaricom was first posted on GURU8

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