iAfrikan Daily Brief - Malawi & UNICEF, Democratic Republic of Congo, #TshWiFi And Trump Meets Silicon Valley
Friday, 16 December 2016
World's First Dedicated Humanitarian Air Corridor For Drones Is Being Set Up In Malawi
The Government of Malawi and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are setting up the world's first dedicated air corridor for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), known as drones, to be used for humanitarian purposes. “Malawi has over the past years faced serious droughts and flooding,” Malawi’s Minister of Transport and Public Works, Jappie Mhango, stated. “The launch of the drone testing corridor is particularly important to support transportation and data collection where land transport infrastructure is either not feasible or difficult during emergencies.” The 40-kilometer corridor will be the first in the world to be used for humanitarian and development purposes, and will become fully operational by April 2017. In the coming months, the Government and UNICEF will finalize the details and identify potential drone operators who can deploy quickly in the event of disasters, as well as put in place standby agreements to ensure a rapid emergency response.
Democratic Republic of Congo Order The Blocking Of Social Media Networks From Sunday Ahead Of Anti-Kabila Protests
Credit: United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has directed telecommunications companies in the country to block social media from Sunday, 18 December 2016. The order comes as President Joseph Kabila's mandate comes to an end after elections scheduled for November 2016 were postponed to 2018. The order will affect effectively ensure social networking platforms including Facebook and Twitter, as well as WhatsApp are blocked as a way to hamper the organisers of public protests against President Kabila in the upcoming week his Presidential term is supposed to end on Sunday. The letter from Congo's Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ARPTC) is said to have been sent to at least three telecommunications companies in the country and orders them to the "temporary blocking of sharing of images, video and voice [data] over the network" from 23:59pm local time on Sunday.
City Of Tshwane Mayor Revealed that South Africa's Auditor General Declared ##Tshwifi As Unlawful And Irregular Expenditure
Credit: City of Tshwane
When giving his public feedback on his first 100 days in office, South Africa’s City of Tshwane Mayor, Solly Msimanga, revealed that the city’s free Wi-Fi project (popular known as #Tshwifi) had been red-flagged by the Auditor General as “unlawful and irregular expenditure”. The mayor’s office also revealed that so far the free Wi-Fi project had cost the city approximately $12 million (ZAR 180 million) to date. The funds from the city spent on the free Wi-Fi project were allocated as per South Africa’s Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) which allows for spending to be allocated to projects run by non-profit organisations (which Project Isizwe is one). To their defence, Project Isizwe have come out stating that back in 2013 when they started with the project there was no clear policy from government for such projects and that the MFMA allowed for the project to be implemented by the city.
Donald Trump Meets Silicon Valley
The USA’s President-elect, Donald Trump, invited some of the top Silicon Valley and other tech leaders to a meeting at Trump Towers to have a discussion, among other things as he said in his opening remarks, to “help you folks do well.” It was interesting to observe that those companies represented in the meeting excluded Twitter, which it’s reported that he considers them “too small”. Among those present were Tim Cook of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Elon Musk of Tesla, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, and Larry Page of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. “You're doing well right now and I'm very honored by the (stock market) bounce. They're all talking about the bounce. So right now everybody in this room has to like me — at least a little bit.” said Donald Trump. Before the meeting Trump added Uber’s Kalanick and Tesla’s Musk to his business advisory council.