Wednesday, 18 January 2017
GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Reports Suggests That Mobile Operators And Startups Should Partner More
Credit: GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator
A new report from the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator looking at the potential for collaboration between startups and mobile operators in emerging markets has identified several key areas in which the two can leverage on each other's strengths to grow market share and spread their reach into sectors they were otherwise unable to compete in. While start-ups in emerging markets are vital forces in both the innovation ecosystem and the wider economy, the majority struggle to reach scale. They are often stifled by a dearth of investment capital, lack of payment infrastructure, difficulty to reach unconnected users, a shortage of market insights and limited government support, among other challenges. Mobile operators have reached impressive scale. Emerging markets represent 75% of the world’s 4.8 billion unique mobile subscribers. Nevertheless, these mobile operators face a plethora of challenges. Sustainable competitive advantage in the telecommunications sector is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve.
China Bans Pokémon GO And Other Virtual Reality Games
China, through its media regulator, has banned virtual reality games by turning down an application to license Pokémon Go. Reason, national security. The country’s General Administration of Press and Publications, Radio, Film and Television says that it looked at consumption patterns from overseas countries regarding Pokémon Go and they found that there are “major social risks linked to the operation of this game”. Among the social risks cited by the regulator are “breaches of security relating to geographical information, traffic safety and threats to consumer safety”. In case you were thinking you could just arrive in China and whip out your phone and start playing because YOLO, Google Maps is also banned in China. So, you are likely going to be looking at a blank Pokémon Go screen. Activists in China suggest that the government is not keen on seeing large groups of people gathering in public places.
Mastercard Launches Mobile Marketplace to Digitize East Africa’s Agricultural Sector
Mastercard launched 2KUZE, a digital platform that connects smallholder farmers, agents, buyers and banks in East Africa. 2KUZE, which in Swahili means “Let’s grow together,” enables farmers to buy, sell and receive payments for agricultural goods via their feature phones. The platform brings the benefits and security of mobile commerce and payments to farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. 2KUZE was developed at the Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion in Nairobi, which was set up in 2015 to develop practical and cost-effective financial tools that expand access and help build stable futures for more than 100 million people globally. Through an $11 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lab is working with East African entrepreneurs, governments and other stakeholders to develop local products rooted in the company’s global knowhow.
Ugandan Telecoms Engineer Has Developed A Smart Jacket That Diagnoses Pneumonia Within Two Minutes
Credit: Brett Eloff / The Royal Academy of Engineering
Brian Turyabagye, a Ugandan engineer, has designed a biomedical “smart jacket” that will quickly and accurately diagnose pneumonia by detecting symptoms such as temperature, breathing rate and the sound of the lungs. The “Mamaope’’ or “mother’s hope” jacket, named so in reference to the 27,000 children who die of pneumonia in Uganda every year, is three to four times faster than a doctor. The smart jacket comes with a pneumonia diagnosis kit that helps to distinguish pneumonia’s symptoms from a variety of other diseases, eliminating human error in diagnosis. It looks for the most common symptoms of the disease in young children - a fever, which may be mild or high, shaking chills, and shortness of breath - using a thermometer and a flex-sensor to check breathing rates. It connects to a mobile phone for interpretation of results, and can be used to diagnose pneumonia within two minutes.
Daniel Mwesigwa speaks to Balungile Belz to explain the value of storytelling in terms of sharing and shaping Afrika's narrative of growth. Daniel explores the impact that storytelling has on younger generations and the role it plays in not only giving them hope about the future but also guiding them in the process of imagining and building Afrika's future.