WEF Africa 2016: connecting Africa’s resources through digital transformation

first_imgWith Africa’s economy under pressure, the World Economic Forum on Africa meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, will look at how the continent’s technology industry can help overcome its challenges.Rwanda’s capital, Kigali will host this year’s WEF Africa. (Image: Flickr, Lori Howe)Africa’s positive economic outlook is under pressure – mainly due to adverse changes in the global economy – and is expected to remain just below 5% in 2016.As many countries in the region improve their investment climate and undertake macroeconomic policy reforms, foreign direct investment flows are expected to continue to grow, although at a slower pace.Low global prices for major commodity exports, currency devaluations and debt sustainability considerations, as well as geosecurity threats that have weakened growth in some countries underscore the urgent need for economic diversification for sustained inclusive growth.In this context, Africa’s leaders need to pursue new approaches to ignite structural transformation, particularly in the face of rapid technological changes that have the potential to create new industries and reduce inequality.Under the theme Connecting Africa’s Resources through Digital Transformation, the 26th World Economic Forum on Africa, being held in Kigali, Rwanda, between 11-13 May, will bring together regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society.They will discuss digital economy catalysts that can drive radical structural transformation, strengthen public-private collaboration on key global and regional challenges, and agree on strategic actions that can deliver shared prosperity across the continent.Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills, has dramatically transformed since the 1994 genocide. The country is emerging as a regional high-tech hub and boasts one of sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest GDP growth rates. It is one of the continent’s most competitive economies and a top reformer in improving the business environment.This remarkable progress showcases the country’s rapid evolution as a knowledge economy, powered by smart policies and investments. Nonetheless, further reforms and alliances are called for to accelerate development by leveraging digital transformation to expand socio-economic opportunities.South Africa will be sending a delegation to Kigali for the conference. Follow them on Twitter using #SAinKigali.last_img read more

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Skype Video Coming to Android, Is 2010 the Year of Mobile Video Chat?

first_imgThe fast-growing population of Android users will soon be able to chat face-to-face thanks to a Skype mobile application that will hit the marketplace with video functionality “later this year.” As reported on the gadget blog Skatter Tech, Skype representatives have been quoted confirming the release of a carrier-independent app that will allow users to use voice and video to chat on their Android devices. This is a giant step forward for Android users who were disappointed to learn earlier this year that Skype’s initial offerings on the platform were restricted to Verizon’s 3G network.“We’re betting big on video, and we intend to set the bar on mobile video calling, and it’s something we’re going to do this year,” said Skype PR representative Brianna Reynaud. “We will be bringing a direct to consumer app to the Android marketplace later this year. This application will be available for all consumers globally to download regardless of carriers.” Though it remains to be seen if any other restrictions or limitations will be placed on the app, this news is certainly exciting to Android users. The announcement also comes amidst speculation that Apple’s forthcoming refreshed iPhone will feature a forward-facing camera for video calls. Whether Skype is also working with Apple to launch an iPhone application this year is unknown, and some have suggested that Apple may reserve the functionality for a native iChat application. Either way, a new dawn of mobile video chatting seems to be upon us. The question is, however, will people actually take to this new form of communication? In 1993, AT&T ran a series of commercials suggesting the breakthrough technologies the company hoped to bring to its customers in the future. The ads include technologies prevalent today, including e-readers, in-car GPS, tablet PCs and even automated toll booth systems like EZ Pass. One innovation featured in the ads that has yet to take off significantly is the idea of video replacing standard phone communication.Skype chat on the desktop and enterprise video conferencing solutions have become popular in recent years, but they haven’t gone gangbusters and replaced the way we communicate all together. In fact, in the same interview with Skatter Tech, Reynaud said that only one-third of Skype calls are video calls, so the majority of users are simply using the voice functionality. Tags:#mobile#web chris cameron What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … This is not to say that video-calls on a mobile device shouldn’t have a place in our current technological ecosystem. Video chatting on a phone could be great for special situations, like when a group of friends are getting together and they call up an absent friend and pass the phone around the room. It’s going to take some time for the novelty of mobile video chat to ware off before it finds itself being used more and more as a common means of communication.We as humans, for better or for worse, have evolved into incredible multi-taskers. We listen to music, watch videos, read stories, check email, update our social status – sometimes all at the same time. Video chatting, from my experience, does not fit in well with a multi-tasker’s mindset. Think of all the things we do while talking on the phone – driving our cars, eating, doing laundry, etc. Now think of trying to do anything else while video chatting; it’s nearly impossible because it requires the majority of your attention.Will mobile video chatting take off? That still remains to be seen; however, regardless of these assertions, it is good to see Skype expanding its mobile platform to more carriers and devices. I only hope as an iPhone user that video chat from Skype finds its way onto my device sometime soon as well. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

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Thiruvananthapuram temple riches spark ownership debate

first_imgKerala’s Padmanabha Swamy temple is being called the world’s richest. Riches worth over Rs one lakh crore have already been unearthed from the underground vaults of the temple, while one more chamber was being opened on Monday. The discovery has sparked off a controversy as to what happens to the treasure now. Does it belong to the public or to the royal family? The wealth was discovered when the underground vaults in the temple were opened on June 27 on the Supreme Court orders following a private petition seeking transparency in the running of the trust and what came out dazzled the seven-member panel appointed by the apex court. The treasure trove in Kerala temple includes a gold sheaf weighing 500 kilos, 18-foot gold chain weighing 10.5 kilos, three-and-a-half feet tall Lord Vishnu idol studded with diamonds, emeralds and rubies, 36-kilo golden veil, 1200 ‘Sarappalli’ golden chains, some sporting ‘navaratnas’, three gold stone-studded crowns, diamonds, precious stones, including cat’s eye, rubies and emeralds and 1,000 kg of gold coins. Former High Court Judge M.N. Krishnan said, “We are expected to take the inventories and submit before the Supreme Court.” Two of the six underground vaults of the temple have not been opened in 136 years. One chamber was last opened 140 years ago. The last remaining chamber – the oldest one termed the B vault, will be opened after July 8. Meanwhile, security has been heavily beefed up in and around the temple complex. But the question is who the wealth belongs to. What happens to this treasure now? Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said, “The government will assist in safeguarding the treasure.”  Former High Court Judge Justice C.S. Rajan said, “That is for the court to decide who is the owner. Who is the authority that is a dispute before the court – whether the maharaj is the owner or somebody else is the owner or the government can take over all this.” Legal Expert V.R. Krishna Iyer said, “The wealth should be used in public interest. The treasure should be handed over to a national trust and spent for the welfare of the poor.” Activist Jaya Jaitley told Headlines Today, “People offer money to the God. The God’s represented by the temple. There is no question that the state can say it has a right over the wealth. There will be huge turmoil in that event. Leave it to the temple.” However, Jaitley added, the temple can use some money for the welfare of the people. “The money belongs to the temple. It’s a great treasure we have found?it’s atrocious to suggest it’s black money,” Sabrimala temple spokesperson Rahul Easwar told Headlines Today. The government, though, says that the treasure will be used in public interest, but only if the Supreme Court allows. Till the time SC decides on who gets the treasure, the world’s richest temple will continue to be the guardian of God’s own wealth.  Experts believe the value of the treasure trove is nearly three times the annual budget size of Kerala. It is almost double of the annual budget of Bihar, which was Rs. 65,000 crore for year 2011-12.  The treasure trove is more than the budgetary allocation for rural development programmes with a total allocation of Rs 74,143 crore. It is four times the annual health budget, which was allocated at Rs 26,760 crore in this Budget.advertisementHow the Kerala temple compares to other rich temples  Five hundred and twenty two silver bricks were recovered from the ancient Jagannath temple in Puri in February this year. The bricks weighing 18 tonnes were worth Rs 90 crore. The recovery, from a room that had remained closed for decades, had been a surprise. It was the Balaji Temple in Tirupati that was the richest Hindu temple in the world, till the Padmanabha Swamy temple surpassed it. The insurance cover for Tirupati Balaji’s jewels is whopping Rs 52 thousand crore. The Tirupati temple is also known to have 3000 kg of gold, worth Rs 42 thousand crore. One third of this gold was deposited with the State Bank of India last year. Several temples in India have crores of rupees worth of wealth as devotees donate gold and other precious objects. But with one more vault left to be opened, the wealth of Lord Padmanabha could possibly be the largest in the world – larger than even the most celebrated religious repository of treasure, the Vatican. While the Vatican has more artefacts of proven artistic, historical and religious value, most of them cannot even be quantified in terms of money. Its Rs 1500-crore annual revenue pales in comparison to the treasure of Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple. The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, maybe priceless, but the gold from the Kerala temple would earn more interest per year, year after year. – With Sreekesh in Thiruvananthpuramadvertisementlast_img read more

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Knicks beat Spurs to end 18-game home losing streak

first_imgNew York Knicks forward Kevin Knox (20) looks for a shot around the defense of San Antonio Spurs center LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)NEW YORK — This Broadway smash even made news on Hollywood’s big night.Hey, when the Knicks win a home game, Spike Lee needs to know. Even if he’s across the country at the Academy Awards, busy getting his own big victory.ADVERTISEMENT ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes So when the Knicks snapped franchise-record losing streak at Madison Square Garden at 18 games by beating the San Antonio Spurs 130-118 on Sunday night, actor Samuel L. Jackson made the announcement from on stage to Lee . Lee was in the audience on the night he won the award for best director for “BlacKkKlansman,” but for so long sat courtside when the Knicks used to win home games.“It’s major,” guard Dennis Smith Jr said after his first home victory as a Knick.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“We’ve been having our fans come out and support every night and haven’t won here since Dec. 1. I wasn’t part of that one, so I’m glad that we could get it tonight and just give the fans something to see.”Damyean Dotson scored 27 points, and Smith, Kevin Knox and Emmanuel Mudiay all had 19. Smith had 13 assists and Knox had 10 boards, while rookie Mitchell Robinson finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds. PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Coach David Fizdale said the Knicks never talked about their home skid, which began after a victory over Milwaukee.“They get over it, they get back to work,” he said. “And at some point you know the basketball gods will look out for you when you’re doing that.”DeMar DeRozan had 32 points and nine rebounds for the Spurs, who fell to 1-6 on their trip that ends Monday night in Brooklyn. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 18 points, but was limited to just 13 minutes through three quarters because of foul trouble.The Spurs came in as the NBA’s best 3-point shooting team but were just 6 for 24 behind the arc, far too poor to make up for a dismal defensive effort that had the Knicks wearing out the rims with slam dunks and shooting 51 percent.Coach Gregg Popovich credited his reserves for getting the Spurs back into the game in the second half, but the hole was too big.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss “He’s better than most of us as a coach. I think most people know that, but that’s not always what gets you hired,” Popovich said. “It’s circumstances and those sorts of things and personal situations, and timing has to be right and all that. But he certainly is somebody who would make a franchise better, without any doubt.”FAMILIAR FACEDavid Lee sat courtside with his fiance, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki. Lee played for both teams, beginning his career with the Knicks in 2005 and playing his final season with the Spurs in 2016-17.UP NEXTSpurs: At Brooklyn on Monday night.Knicks: Host Orlando on Tuesday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Tigresses foil Lady Maroons bid for lead; Lady Eagles stun Lady Tams US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ “That group gets credit for playing and doing their job the way they should,” he said. “Other than that, it was a pathetic performance defensively, but the Knicks had something to do with it.”The Spurs were so off early that they didn’t even make one of their baskets. Knox and Smith both went for the rebound of Aldridge’s miss with no Spurs around and knocked it into the basket, with Aldridge getting credit for the field goal.The Knicks led by nine at halftime and then started to run the Spurs off the floor in the third quarter. Pushing the pace and getting some easy dunks on lobs, they opened a 90-67 advantage on a 3-pointer by Dotson. The Spurs had to call three timeouts in the period — two at the same time when they couldn’t get the ball in after the first one — and were still down 19 with just over 2 minutes left in the period.They scored the final eight to cut it to 94-83 entering the fourth, but whenever they seemed to have any momentum, they would throw the ball away, allow an offensive rebound or commit a foul to stall.“We crawled back from 20, got back in the game, gave ourselves an opportunity,” DeRozan said, “but it’s really hard to find positives when you’re supposed to come in a building like this, against a team like this and get a win.”TIP-INSSpurs: Popovich said G Derrick White, recently returned from a heel injury, would play Monday in Brooklyn after sitting out the front end of the back-to-back. … Jacob Poeltl had 12 points and nine rebounds.Knicks: C DeAndre Jordan sat out with a sprained left ankle. … Fizdale said G Frank Ntilikina was progressing in his recovery from a sore groin and now able to do some running. … Fizdale was asked if he had considered any different types of techniques to deal with the Knicks’ struggles at home. “Like incense?” he responded.COACH ON COACHPopovich coached against Jeff Van Gundy when the Spurs beat the Knicks in the 1999 NBA Finals, and selected him to coach the U.S. team in qualifying games for this summer’s Basketball World Cup, where Popovich will lead the Americans. Popovich praised the work of Van Gundy, who hasn’t been an NBA coach since going 52-30 with Houston in 2006-07. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

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