Tag: Tanzania

Godwin Gabriel Launches Moovn, a Ride-Sharing App to Compete with Uber, Lyft in U.S. and Abroad

Moovn creator and CEO Godwin Gabriel (photo via urbvangeekz.com)

article by Wilfred Ainsworth via urbangeekz.com

Ride-sharing technology has boomed into a multi-billion dollar industry within the past decade with the biggest names being Uber and Lyft.  Now a new platform, led by an innovative chief executive, looks to stake a claim in the global marketplace.  Moovn is a ride-hailing app that is currently operating in 7 U.S. cities and has plans to rapidly expand in both western and emerging markets.

Founded by Tanzanian-born Godwin Gabriel, the mobile application also operates in 3 cities in Africa: Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; and Gabriel’s home city, Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania.  In an interview with UrbanGeekz, Gabriel talks about teaching himself to code and developing the software to launch the platform. Still, he admits his beta launch was “amateurish at best” and states, “It wasn’t until we received investor backing that I was able to hire and collaborate with a team of seasoned developers to transform the platform into what we have today.”

When asked what his biggest challenges are, he says, “The market, for the most part, is currently being dominated by Uber and Lyft with these companies enjoying the benefits of having first mover advantage with the transportation technology space. However, we’re confident that the global market remains sizable enough for all of us to fit in and play.”

In fact, operating in Africa has been a smart business strategy, particularly with the rise smartphone usage across the continent. It is also a chance to do business in markets that hadn’t been explored by big name brands. “I believe Moovn is changing lives – particularly in Africa and developing markets,” he says. “For instance, drivers earn more on our platform, are reducing idle time and are able to provide and build their communities.”

Gabriel has an impressive track record climbing the ranks of corporate America. He also has an MBA from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. Stepping out in faith as a tech entrepreneur, he quickly realized that he had to differentiate his brand to create a competitive transportation technology platform.

Moovn sets itself apart from most ride-sharing applications because it allows the rider to pre-schedule trips up to a month in advance, instead of only being able to request one for immediate service. It also allows different vehicle options depending upon local modes of transportation, such as motorcycles and tricycles in developing economies. Other unique features include the movement of products and services from the marketplace to the consumer and the ability to enable businesses to keep track of their transport logistics.

To read full article, go to: African-American Launches Ride-Sharing App to Compete with Uber, Lyft – UrbanGeekz

Tanzanian Women Use Solar Technology via Solar Sister Project to Gain Financial Independence

Solar Sister
Members of the Solar Sister project in Tanzania. Rural Reporters (photo via face2faceafrica.com)

article by Frederick Ngugi via face2faceafrica.com

Hundreds of Tanzanian women are gaining financial independence by supplying renewable solar energy utensils to their friends and relatives in the rural areas.

With the help of Solar Sister, a social enterprise established to help women learn about sustainable energy and participate in its expansion, these women have become solar evangelists and entrepreneurs in their rural communities.

“We’re deliberately including women as part of the clean-energy chain and really changing the narrative from ‘oh, these poor women, they are victims’ to women as change agents,” Neha Misra, a co-founder of Solar Sister, told E&E News.

How Does It Work?

Currently operating in Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria, the Solar Sister project was established to empower African women with knowledge about the benefits of using clean energy.  The project also provides rural women in Africa with an opportunity to earn a living by selling a catalog of solar energy and clean cooking stove equipment within communities that do not have access to electricity.

Solar Sister enables women to make a profit by negotiating with the manufacturer on their behalf as well as giving them continuous mentoring and training. Each product is tailored to specific needs of the intended consumer to guarantee quick sales.

Solar Sister in Uganda
Members of Solar Sister in Uganda. (Revelation Life)

Speaking to the Guardian on Saturday, Hilaria Paschal, a Solar Sister entrepreneur, said she has already sold solar products to more than 1,000 customers, earning her enough money to pay school fees for her children and to expand her basket weaving business.

Paschal is now mentoring other Tanzanian women keen on gaining economic freedom.

To read full article, go to: https://face2faceafrica.com/article/tanzanian-women-solar-technology

 

African Nations Tanzania and Gambia Outlaw Child Marriage

(photo via venturesafrica.com)
(photo via venturesafrica.com)

article via bbc.com

Gambia‘s President Yayha Jammeh announced that anyone marrying a girl below 18 would be jailed for up to 20 years.

In Tanzania, the high court imposed a landmark ruling outlawing marriage under the age of 18 for boys and girls.

Some 30% of underage girls are married in Gambia, while in Tanzania the rate is 37%.

Before the Tanzania ruling, girls as young as 14 could marry with parental consent, while it was 18 for boys.

The BBC’s Tulanana Bohela in Dar es Salaam says this is a big win for child rights groups and activists, who will now have an easier time rescuing girls from child marriage.  The case was brought by lobby group Msichana Initiative.

Gambia’s President speaking at the Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations at the end of Ramadan, said parents and imams who perform the ceremonies would also face prison.  “If you want to know whether what I am saying is true or not, try it tomorrow and see,” he warned.

Women’s rights campaigners have welcomed the ban, however some say that it would be better to engage with local communities to try to change attitudes towards child marriage instead of threatening families with prison sentences.

“I don’t think locking parents up is the answer… it could lead to a major backlash and sabotage the ban,” Isatou Jeng of the women’s rights organization Girls Agenda told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from the Gambian capital, Banjul.

In December last year, Mr. Jammeh also outlawed female genital mutilation (FGM), with a prison sentence of up to three years for those that ignored the ban.  He said the practice had no place in Islam or in modern society.  Three-quarters of women in the mostly Muslim country have had the procedure, according to Unicef.

World Economic Forum Names Top 5 African Female Innovators

Three of WEF's top five African women innovators (photo via VenturesAfrica.com)
Three of WEF’s top five African women innovators (photo via VenturesAfrica.com)

article by Fumnanya Agbugah via VenturesAfrica.com

On Friday, the World Economic Forum on Africa presented the five winners of the conference’s challenge to find Africa’s top women innovators. The winners, whose innovations were from the areas including mobile health insurance, solar powered vending carts, bio medical materials and IT training as well as food processing, hail from Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

Currently, Africa has the youngest population in the world and this is expected to double by 2045. In view of this, several global leaders have attested to the fact that Africa’s future lies in the hands of its youthful population. The region’s start-up businesses are gaining confidence and scale with a growing number of innovations achieving recognition beyond the region’s borders. However, a lot still has to be done in order to create an enabling environment that will allow women to flourish. Due to this set back, the World Economic Forum decided to run this competition to find Africa’s top female innovators especially as the potential of women entrepreneurs is far from optimum.

“I strongly believe that the 21st century will be Africa’s century, that its young population has the potential to build a world where they are not only materially better off, but also where things are fairer, more sustainable and more tolerant than at any other time in history. But this will not be achieved unless women are able to make a full contribution. This is why we are showcasing Africa’s best female entrepreneurs in Kigali this week,” said Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa at the World Economic Forum.

Here are Africa’s top female innovators, selected based on the criteria for the WEF Africa challenge. This required entrant companies to be less than three years old, be earning revenue for at least a year and have proven innovation and positive social impact.

Natalie Bitature – Musana Carts, Kampala, Uganda

Natalie Bitature - Musana Carts, Kampala, Uganda

Musana Carts has used frugal innovation to develop environmentally friendly, solar-powered vending carts. With a price point of $400, each Musana Cart saves 3,000 tons of carbon emissions and improves the health of cities by eliminating pollution from charcoal and kerosene stoves.

Audrey Cheng – Moringa School, Nairobi, Kenya

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Audrey Cheng established Moringa School to enable an entire generation gain the skills they need to compete in the digital economy. Two years on, graduates work in the top tech companies in the region, earning, on average, 350 percent more than before they completed the course.

Continue reading “World Economic Forum Names Top 5 African Female Innovators”

Obama Allocates $300,000,000 to Fight HIV Infections in Young Women in Africa

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President Barack Obama (PHOTO BY ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES)

In an effort to combat HIV infections in girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African nations hit hardest by the virus, the Obama administration recently announced a $300 million program to help reduce the growing numbers according to The Associated Press.

The administration hopes to see a “25 percent infection reduction in females between ages 15-24 by the end of next year and a 40 percent reduction by the end of 2017,” the report says.

“No greater action is needed right now than empowering adolescent girls and young women to defeat HIV/AIDS,” said National Security Adviser Susan Rice of the program credited with saving millions of lives in Africa, writes The AP.

The new goals represent the next phase of the program, which was started by President George W. Bush and broadened by President Barack Obama, the report says.

The Obama administration releaased the new targets before “a U.N. summit on development goals for lifting people around the world out of poverty. Obama is scheduled to address the development meeting on Sunday,” writes The AP

About half of all new HIV infections among girls and young women last year are from the 10 countries countries targeted by the new initiatives, including Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, The AP says.

Read more at The Associated Press

article by Lynette Holloway via theroot.com

Ugandan Journalist Nancy Kacungira Wins BBC World News Komla Dumor Award

Nancy Kacungira (photo via sde.co.ke)
Nancy Kacungira (photo via sde.co.ke)

A Ugandan journalist with a background as an entrepreneur, radio and TV reporter and presenter has won the first BBC World News Komla Dumor Award.

Nancy Kacungira, a television anchor for Kenya’s KTN television channel, was selected from nearly 200 applicants.

She will spend three months at the BBC in London and also report from Africa for the BBC TV, radio and online.

The award was established to honour Komla Dumor, a presenter for BBC World News, who died suddenly aged 41.

Ms Kacungira said: “I am stunned, but also ecstatic upon hearing this news. I am so greatly honoured and humbled to be the winner of this award.”

“I owe it to the continent that I fiercely love and am dedicated to, to do my bit to expand the often dogmatic and skewed narratives that have beleaguered it for so long.

“To be a part of continuing Komla’s legacy is such an honour it feels almost like a dream. I will do my very best to justify the great trust that I have been awarded, and ensure that the benefit of this opportunity goes far beyond myself.”

One of the judges, BBC Africa’s current affairs editor, Vera Kwakofi, said: “Nancy is incredibly smart with a breadth and depth to her knowledge and experience that comes across instantly.”

The BBC’s Director of News and Current Affairs James Harding, said: “When Komla Dumor died, it was an enormous loss to the BBC, to Africa and to all of us personally.

“I am delighted that in Nancy we have found an extremely passionate and talented journalist, a worthy winner of the award that we established in Komla’s name.”

Nancy grew up in Uganda where she attended Makerere University in Kampala. She has more than 14 years of experience working across a range of media in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as well as a Masters degree in communications from Leeds University.

She is currently the anchor of Prime Time Evening News on KTN where she is also the channel’s social media editor. There are two runners-up for the award: Leila Dee Dougan from South Africa and Paa Kwesi Asare from Ghana.

Komla Dumor was an exceptional Ghanaian broadcaster who in his short life made an extraordinary impact – in Ghana, in Africa and around the world.  He represented a confident, savvy and entrepreneurial side of Africa.

Through his tenacious journalism and compelling storytelling, Komla worked tirelessly to bring a more nuanced African narrative to the world.

article via bbc.com

HEALTH: TOMS Celebrates World Sight Day on October 9 to Help Restore Vision to Those in Need Around the Globe

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 4.11.04 PM

by Lesa Lakin #givesight
article by Lesa Lakin
#givesight

One of the great things about being the Lifestyle Editor for GBN is that I sometimes get to share positive stories about things that people and companies are doing purely for the betterment of society. When I heard about World Sight Day and TOMS I had to share.

From a fashion standpoint, I simply love the styles. I discovered TOMS had an eyewear line when my own eyesight started to de-crisp a few years back. Since no one wanted to read me food labels, pill bottles or menus anymore, I knew it was time for glasses to become a daily part of my life. But it wasn’t really that big of a deal because I had the privilege of going to the doctor, getting a prescription and driving the saleswomen completely nuts when I couldn’t decide which frames best flattered my face. I’m lucky. But what about the millions globally who can’t afford glasses or don’t have access to proper eye care? Everyone on the planet knows someone who is affected by some sort of visual impairment and TOMS wants to help out.

TOMS is asking a very important question: WHAT DOES SIGHT MEAN TO YOU? Every year, World Sight Day raises global awareness about blindness and visual impairment. This year, World Sight Day is on October 9 and TOMS is hosting an all-day event at the their Flagship store in Venice, California. TOMS is also supporting the day by encouraging fans to take to social media and contribute to an Instagram gallery with images of what sight means to you with the hashtag #givesight. The images collected with the designated hashtag will be curated online leading up to October 9, and select images will appear in TOMS stores around the world on World Sight Day.

Continue reading “HEALTH: TOMS Celebrates World Sight Day on October 9 to Help Restore Vision to Those in Need Around the Globe”

Obama Travels to Africa to Foster Economic and Business Development

Obama in Africa
Obama greets Malawi President Joyce Banda at White House summit in March. (Photo: Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images)
During a 2009 stopover in his ancestral Kenya, President Obama said, “I have the blood of Africa in me.” He is the first American president able to make such a declaration, but that’s not the only thing that will be different about his first major tour of the continent that begins today.

Unlike his immediate predecessors, his primary focus will not be human rights violations, AIDS or aid. This president will be taking care of business.  The weeklong trip with his family includes stops in SenegalSouth Africa and Tanzania, each representing a different region of the continent and chosen for very strategic reasons. The goal is for the “U.S. to significantly increase our engagement in the years to come,” said Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

New York Rep. Gregory Meeks, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told BET.com that Obama is developing the next phase of the nation’s relationship with Africa.

“The trip shows a new direction and attention, and instead of focusing on aid or hunger, which are important, he’ll be talking about business, economic development and how we can get the Export-Import Bank involved in Africa with American and African businesses,” Meeks said. “And he’s bringing along a number of business folks, including African-Americans, to make these kinds of contacts.”

Continue reading “Obama Travels to Africa to Foster Economic and Business Development”

David Adjaye Tops Britain’s PowerList 2013

David Adjaye is hailed as the UK's most inspirational black figure by the 2013 PowerList

David Adjaye is hailed as the UK’s most inspirational black figure by the 2013 PowerList. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

David Adjaye, the architect chosen to design Washington DC’s $500 million National Museum of African American History and Culture, has topped a list of Britain’s most influential black people, ahead of double Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah and “The Wire” star Idris Elba.

In the sixth edition of the annual PowerList, the top 100 people regarded as role models in their fields, the Tanzanian-born founder of Adjaye Associates is hailed as an inspirational figure who saw off financial crisis during the recession to become one of the country’s most high-profile architects.

Continue reading “David Adjaye Tops Britain’s PowerList 2013”