Wednesday, 08 February 2017
Government of Kenya and MasterCard Have Launched The Country's First Multipurpose Social Payment Card
Credit: Government of Kenya
Two years after the Government of Kenya entered into a partnership with Mastercard to launch the Huduma Card, a prepaid smart card with chip and PIN technology, the project is finally taking off. The new cards will allow Kenyans to pay for Government services such as the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), as well as to access targeted funds for women and youth directly. Huduma Kenya is a programme by the Government of Kenya that provides citizens with access to various Public Services and information at one-stop citizen service centres and through integrated technology platforms. MasterCard won the contract in 2015, and there were attempts to introduce the card as a means to pay for public transport, but after the project was shuttered due to lack of stakeholder interest and poor experience design, it appears that the plan is back on track.
This Year's Safer Internet Day Is Calling On You To 'Be The Change' And Unite For A Better Internet
Credit: Safer Internet Day
In case you didn't know, today is Safer Internet Day, an occasion celebrated globally through conversations about the safe, responsible and positive use of technology, with a focus on a subject that affects many but few ever discuss - how to stay safe online. This year, various public sector agencies and non-governmental organisations have partnered with Facebook to mark the 2017 Safer Internet Day. The focus this year is to people think about the small steps they can take to stay safe online, and the initiative is coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission. Facebook is working with partners such as Watoto Watch in Kenya, the International Center for Leadership Development and the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre in Nigeria, South Africa’s Film and Publication Board, the JOXAfrica Association in Senegal, Tech Women Zimbabwe and Ghana Internet Safety Foundation.
Silvertree Internet Holdings Acquires Nigeria’s TopCheck
Silvertree Internet Holdings has acquired Nigerian price comparison site TopCheck for an undisclosed amount. TopCheck is Nigeria’s leading price comparison site for financial services offering free online comparison for insurance products, loans, and broadband internet plans. The website is reported to have processed up to 3 billion Naira (10 million USD) in Gross Application Value per month in 2016. It was founded by European entrepreneurs Christian Wiesner Jose Figueiredo and Thomas Pilar in 2014. The startup, that dubs itself the “Moneysupermarket of Africa”, had raised 1 million Euros in venture capital in 2015. “The TopCheck team is excited to join forces with Compare Africa Group. Together, we are forming Africa’s undisputed leader in price comparison”, said TopCheck founder Thomas Pilar.
UberHIRE Launched For Those Looking To Hire An Uber For Longer Periods At An Affordable Rate
Currently only available in Mumbai, India, Ubers says their newly launched service, UberHIRE is “a new kind of time-based Uber that’s available on-demand, to let you explore and travel around cities knowing that your Uber will wait for you. It’s perfect for travellers exploring a new city, senior citizens who need to make trips punctuated with multiple stop overs, or for business travellers who have multiple meetings – while ensuring it is an economical option for everyone.”. Like many of Uber’s services, it is likely, if succesful in Mumbai, not long before we see UberHIRE being rolled out to cities around the world with “tourist” type cities likely being the first in line to get the service.
Envir Fraser, Chief Strategy Officer and Principal at Investment company Convergence Partners, spoke at our Annual Tech Round-Up 2017 in Nairobi about the key trends they have observed and what they think 5G means for Afrika.