iAfrikan Daily Brief - MMM Nigeria, Nokia, Zipline In Tanzania And Volkswagen In Rwanda
Tuesday, 10 January 2017
MMM Nigeria Ponzi Scheme Coming Back For 'Seconds'
Credit: MMM Global Social Financial Network
Here we go again. It seems MMM Nigeria, the online social financial network, can’t get enough of Nigeria as they have now announced that it has introduced Bitcoin as the payment currency of choice on their platform, ditching the Naira. This comes after late in 2016 they ‘froze’ all outgoing payments and promised people who deposited their hard earned money that they will ‘unfreeze’ (or did they say ‘defrost’? 🤔 😂) all outgoing payments in January 2017. Together with this new Bitcoin announcement, MMM is asking users to perform community tasks, simply put these are marketing and recruitment tasks. Sigh This likely means new ‘community members’ will likely be bailing out ‘frozen’ community members and they will be frozen later. As Dr. Vukosi Marivate wrote in his opinion article on iAfrikan, we’ve seen this happen in South Africa and to be frank, MMM is a ponzi scheme.
Nokia Is Back In The Smartphone Business
Credit: HMD Global
HMD Global, the company that acquired the exclusive rights to the Nokia brand, has released their first phone, dubbed the Nokia 6, manufactured by Foxconn. It will be exclusively available in China through JD.com and will retail for about $245. It is interesting to see Nokia, once the global giant, come back into a market they helped revolutionise, but gradually found themselves unable to compete in. It will also be exciting to see whether or not people (especially former Nokia users) will be ready to buy new devices because of the Nokia name, or whether HMD will be forced to come up with new and exciting features for their devices.
Zipline's Drones Will Now Trial Medical Deliveries In Tanzania
Zipline, which successfully launched a drone delivery project to take blood and other essential medical supplies from Rwanda's capital Kigali to the remote areas of Rwanda, is looking to replicate the same project in Tanzania. The new trial is being funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID). The Ifakara Health Institute in Dar-es-Salaam, which specialises in treatments for malaria, HIV, tuberculosis as well as neonatal health issues, will be the local implementing partner. Tanzania is much larger than Rwanda, and the country's size introduces a new factor – whether Zipline can operate on a much larger scale. Flights are planned to start in early 2017, and when they do it is estimated that deliveries made using the UAVs could help in over 50,000 births a year. This will drastically cut down the waiting times for mothers and newborns, delivering life-saving medicine in 19 minutes.
Volkswagen Set To Launch A Ride-Hailing Service And Vehicle Assembly Plant In Rwanda
As part of their Afrika expansion, Volkswagen is entering the ride-hailing space in Rwanda with the launch of a new 'integrated mobility concept' in Kigali, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Rwanda's President Paul Kagame and Volkswagen CEO Dr Herbert Diess. The partnership will see the launch of a number of app-based mobility solutions such as car sharing and ride-hailing, and Volkswagen will set up a vehicle production facility in Kigali to cover vehicle demand. The planned facility will produce the VW Golf as well as several other models from Seat and Skoda, which are owned by Volkswagen. Kigali presents a less competitive market for VW's ride-hailing experiment compared to Johannesburg, Cairo, Lagos, and Nairobi, where there are already a number of established players in operation.