Uber launches data sharing portal in Kenya

Uber launches data sharing portal in Kenya

by Fundisiwe Maseko
May 18, 2018

Taxi-hailing service, Uber has launched introduced Uber Movement in Kenya, a digital data-sharing website to help urban planners, city leaders, third parties and the public to better understand the transportation needs of Nairobi. According to a report by Business Daily, The portal is designed to help urban planners in making informed decisions on road networks in and around the capital.  Uber Movement includes filters for specific dates and times, allowing users to investigate the impact of occurrences such as floods and electoral processes on traffic. There will be anonymised traffic data derived from Uber trips in Nairobi which will be freely accessible through Uber’s public and free data-sharing tool.  Uber Movement will provide data from the trips that passengers have taken with Uber in Nairobi, enabling urban planners to more effectively evaluate where their investments in transport infrastructure should be made.

Uber Movement was launched at the East Africa Com conference attended by government officials, city planners and local and international think tanks. Speaking at the launch, Uber’s Head of Public Policy for East Africa, Cezanne Maherali, said Uber Movement is the next step to connecting with cities and having the opportunity to recognise their transportation needs.  Kenya is the third African country to get access to transportation data through Uber Movement, after Egypt and South Africa.

IT News Africa

AfrikaBurn- The Festival Where Money Doesn’t Rule Ends

AfrikaBurn- The Festival Where Money Doesn’t Rule Ends

May 14, 2018

The annual AfrikaBurn festival closed in a fiery blaze of glory at the Tankwa Karoo Desert in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province on Sunday.  Created in 2007, the week-long festival is a celebration of sustainability, self-reliance and creativity. It encourages festival-goers to experience life in an environment far removed from their normal routine. It also provides a platform for artists, musicians and performers in every field to display their talent. Everyone who attends is expected to participate in some way.

Over 11,000 people were attracted to the festival this year. They wore elaborate costumes, body paint and wandered around, giving out hot dogs, pancakes and drinks and creating unique experiences for each other.

“It’s a place where we always call it a sandpit for adults. People come and play, they can be themselves, there is no money for a week, you don’t have to worry what you can pay or what you can’t pay.

Delphine and Vincent came to the festival from Paris; they spent three months preparing their costumes for the festival.  “I did everything myself. It took me about three months to get the inspirations and to do the work. So it was really nice to prepare everything and then that we can wear it here today, so it was worth all the work,” said Delphine.

The festival is an official, regional event and is affiliated with the Burning Man festival, which takes place every year in the Black Rock Desert in the U.S. state of Nevada. It is famous for allowing no cash transactions and insisting that visitors leave no trash behind them when the festival ends.  AfrikaBurn is run on 11 guiding principles, which act as both a kind of manifesto and constitutional self-governing law.

One of these principles is participation.  There is no money at AfrikaBurn. Nothing is for sale and nothing can be bought. In this community, everything is gifted and received with grace. “It’s a place where we always call it a sandpit for adults. People come and play, they can be themselves, there is no money for a week, you don’t have to worry what you can pay or what you can’t pay. So everybody is gifting something – some people give music some people give art, some people give cappuccino!” said Etienne Barkhuysen, a coffee shop owner.

AfrikaBurn is not only a sandpit for adults, but also a playground for kids as well.  “I really like it because I get to meet new people and I get to look at the artworks and watch them getting burnt down,” said a boy attending the event.  AfrikaBurn is like a temporary utopia for people and allows them to get rid of all the noise and restrictions from their daily lives. Travis Lyle, the communications director of AfrikaBurn, says that there are very few free places where people can be what they want to be and AfrikaBurn is one of these select few.

For many, watching the spectacle of giant art installations being set on fire is a major highlight of AfrikaBurn.  Over the last three nights of the week-long event, massive art pieces were burned, mesmerizing the throngs of people at the event. When the festival is all over, everything is packed up, leaving no trace that this parallel universe ever existed.


African Music Icon Yvonne Chaka Chaka Bags Honorary Degree

African Music Icon Yvonne Chaka Chaka Bags Honorary Degree

Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban
May 14, 2018

African music icon, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, has been awarded an honorary degree by a top South African public university – Rhodes University.  Incidentally, the award is not for her illustrious music career that has impacted the world but for her humanitarian work.

“The Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) (honoris causa) in recognition of your sustained, extensive and wide-ranging humanitarian work. This work includes your role as a Champion of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB & Malaria,” the university said.  The 53 year-old born in Soweto, beyond her music and humanitarian work is also known to be an entrepreneur and a teacher. She sang three of her songs during the ceremony where she was honored along with a top judge, Justice Dikgang Moseneke.

Dubbed the “Princess of Africa” (a name she received after a 1990 tour), Chaka Chaka has been at the forefront of South African popular music for 27 years and has been popular in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Gabon, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast.  Among her big tracks are “I’m Burning Up”, “Thank You Mr Dj”, “I Cry For Freedom”, “Motherland” and the ever-popular “Umqombothi” (“African Beer”). The song “Umqombothi” was featured in the opening scene of the 2004 movie Hotel Rwanda.

She has shared the stage with persons such as Bono, Angelique Kidjo, Annie Lennox, Youssou N’Dour, South Africans greats like Johnny Clegg, Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela, to name a few.  She has performed for Queen Elizabeth II, US President Bill Clinton, South African President Thabo Mbeki and a host of other world leaders.

Distributed by APO Group

Merck Foundation supports the training of Thirty Future Oncologists in Africa

Merck Foundation supports the training of Thirty Future Oncologists in Africa

Twenty candidates from Uganda, Zambia, Ethiopia, Namibia, Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, Liberia, Tanzania, and Kenya have enrolled in the Merck Africa Oncology Fellowship Program
May 8, 2018


  • Merck gives back to society through Merck Foundation’s programs to build Cancer Care Capacity in Africa.
  • Merck Foundation provides Africa with Thirty New Oncologists through Merck Africa Oncology Fellowship Program established in India, Kenya, Malaysia, and Egypt.
  • SDG 3 calls us to sustainably invest in building Healthcare Capacity to improve access to equitable healthcare solutions.

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, continues the second stage of their Africa Oncology Fellowship Program that started in 2016 with the aim to increase the limited number of oncologists in Africa.   In June 2017, BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), and the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) released a white paper on the African continent’s emerging cancer crisis.

Over 20% of African countries have no access to cancer treatments at all, while access is limited and sporadic in other countries. Later-stage diagnosis in African patients contributes to poorer outcomes. For example, 5-year female breast cancer relative survival rates are 46% in Uganda and 12% in The Gambia, compared with around 90% in developed countries, the report cited.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation emphasized, “One of the main objectives of Merck Foundation is to build a strong platform of qualified medical, paediatric and surgical oncologists across the continent through the Merck Africa Oncology Fellowship Program.”

“Twenty candidates from Uganda, Zambia, Ethiopia, Namibia, Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, Liberia, Tanzania, and Kenya have enrolled in the Merck Africa Oncology Fellowship Program in partnership with African Ministries of Health, the University of Nairobi, Kenya, Tata Memorial Centre, India, and Cairo University, Egypt. We are very proud of our contribution, to lead Africa to a better future through changing the landscape of Cancer care in the continent.” Rasha Kelej added.

In partnership with Ministries of Health and Academia across Africa, the Merck Africa Oncology Fellowship Program provides one-year and two-year oncology fellowship programs and a three-year master degree in medical oncology at Tata Memorial Centre, India, University of Nairobi, Kenya, University of Malaya, Malaysia, and Cairo University, Egypt, respectively.

Launched in 2016, with the aim to increase the limited number of qualified oncologists in the continent, three medical doctors from Sub-Saharan African countries Kenya, and South Africa were granted a two-year Africa medical oncology fellowship training at the University of Nairobi. Also, Merck Foundation supported another two African doctors from Ghana and Tanzania for the Paediatric and Adult.

Medical Fellowship program that is conducted annually at Tata Memorial Centre, India.  In 2017; Merck Foundation partnered with more African countries such as; Rwanda, Liberia, Zambia, Ethiopia, Botswana and Uganda to provide ten candidates with the one-year oncology fellowship program in India and three candidates from Liberia, Ghana and Namibia to conduct a master degree in clinical oncology at Cairo University, Egypt.

“In 2018, We will continue to enroll more candidates and engage other countries on this program as we firmly believe this is a vital component of improving the quality and accessibility of cancer care in Africa. We have received requests from countries such as; Niger, guinea, Gambia, the Central African Republic to partner with them through their First Ladies’ offices and Ministries of Health to provide our fellowship program to their doctors with the aim to improve access to quality cancer care in their countries and across the continent. Merck Foundation will continue their long-term commitment to further partner with more Sub-Saharan African Countries to realize their vision to create a strong platform of future trained oncologists “, Rasha Kelej added.

The partnership between Merck Foundation and The African First ladies’ organization has been established in Jan 2018, to cooperate in building healthcare capacity with the special focus on cancer, Diabetes and fertility care in their countries with the support of their Ministries of Health.

Merck Foundation has supported the African governments to define their strategies, to emphasize on building professional capacity and focus on long-term training, with the aim to develop trained oncologists and not only relying on Drug or equipment donation, which will help them to be independent and would overcome their major challenge, which is the lack of skilled oncologists and healthcare professionals in general.

Merck Foundation strongly believes that building professional healthcare capacity is the right strategy to improve access to quality and equitable cancer care in Africa.

Merck Foundation makes History:

Merck Foundation will train the first medical Oncologist in some Sub- Saharan African Countries such as the Gambia and Guinea Conakry where they never had an oncologist or cancer care facility, we are making history there, and through them, we will transform people’s lives every day.

The annual platform of Merck Foundation- Merck Africa Asia Luminary and Solutions for Cancer Access:

Since 2013, Merck Africa Asia Luminary features a workshop dedicated exclusively to improve access to cancer care through Capacity building through Merck Foundation, www.merck-foundation.com. It convenes key players from the global, regional and local cancer network, health ministers, and First ladies, with the goal of encouraging dialogue among stakeholders, raises awareness of the issues, explores partnership opportunities to generate ideas for potential solutions to existing challenges.

Merck Foundation Vision and Call for Action: 

“A world where everyone should lead a healthy and fulfilling life, this is Merck Foundation ‘s vision. We are working together to achieve the Sustainable Development goals- SDGs. The SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, calls us to sustainably invest on building healthcare capacity to improve access to safe, effective, quality, and affordable healthcare solutions for all by 2030.”  Kelej emphasized.


The African Union has targeted by 2063, every citizen will have full access to affordable and quality health care services, and integrated and comprehensive health services and infrastructure will be in place, where services are available, accessible, affordable, acceptable and of quality.

Distributed by APO Group 

African Businesses Increase Cloud Budgets To Scale Operations

African Businesses Increase Cloud Budgets To Scale Operations

Distributed by Muslim Community Report on behalf of Sub-Saharan Africa at F5 Networks.

By Matthew Barker, Divisional Sales Manager,  Sub-Saharan Africa at F5 Networks
May 05/03/2018

Cloud computing is reaching ubiquitous adoption among enterprises in Africa. Shrinking IT budgets and increasing pressure to ‘do more with less’ is making cloud computing an attractive option for businesses that want to scale their operations and digitally transform their infrastructure. As the cloud is more affordable and accessible than ever before, a bigger portion of African IT budgets is being allocated to cloud computing spend.

This was one of the key findings of Cloud Africa 2018, a research project conducted by World Wide Worx and F5 Networks, across Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa earlier this year, where we asked decision-makers at 300 medium and large organisations about their cloud computing usage, benefits, and intentions.

Budgets Aim For The Sky

  • These were the biggest take-outs from the research when it came to cloud budgets:
  • Nine out of ten (90%) companies in South Africa increased spending on cloud computing last year, and 83% will increase these budgets in 2018.
  • In Nigeria, 78% increased budgets last year, and 94% will increase their spending this year.
  • In Kenya, 74% of companies increased cloud budgets in 2017, rising to a massive 98% in 2018.
  • Not more than 2% of organisations in any of the countries surveyed decreased cloud spending last year.
  • Only 5% of South African respondents said they would decrease cloud spending this year, the majority of which were in the engineering sector. No companies in Kenya or Nigeria will decrease spending this year.

These spending trends are in line with global forecasts from the IDC, which expects spending on public cloud to increase from $67 billion in 2015 to $162 billion in 2020. Worldwide, cloud computing spending has grown at 4.5 times the rate of IT spending since 2009 and is expected to grow at more than six times the rate of IT spending from 2015 through 2020.

Hard-To-Ignore Benefits

The Cloud Africa 2018 research found that one of the biggest reasons for the increased spend on cloud computing is that African organisations are starting to realise the benefits and impact of cloud computing on everything from business innovation and market share, to customer experiences and brand perception.

Organisations are also starting to understand the value of cloud computing in enabling more complex business models and orchestrating better integration and collaboration across their infrastructure deployments. Higher levels of trust in cloud computing means organisations are more comfortable virtualising mission-critical business processes and applications.

This has seen many businesses in Africa – which are not as hampered by legacy infrastructure investments as their counterparts in developed markets – pursue a cloud-first strategy as they prioritise increased automation and management of cloud services without vendor lock-in.

Apps Become Cloud-Native

Another trend fuelling growth in cloud computing is the migration of applications and workloads from on-premises data centres to the cloud, as well as the development of cloud-ready and cloud-native applications. This leaves African organisations with little choice but to invest in cloud computing if they want to remain relevant and make use of new digital technologies.

Our research found that organisations in South Africa and Kenya expect 26% to 50% of applications to be cloud-native by 2021, from around 1% to 25% today. In Nigeria, half of the respondents estimate that over three-quarters of applications will be cloud-native by 2021.

Along with the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and 3D printing, cloud computing is still making the biggest and most measurable impact on businesses all over the world. With the continued roll-out and investment in supporting infrastructure – like fibre connectivity – organisations in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria are not only unlocking access to global markets and innovation through the cloud but are also well-positioned to tap into the growing demand for outsourced cloud services from businesses that want the advantages of scalability and flexibility without the massive upfront investment.