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Watch Out for MozFest East Africa 2015

MozFestEA will take place from July 17th – 19th 2015, at Victoria University, Kampala, Uganda under the theme,“Building solutions for Africa's challenges, together on the web”:

MozFest East Africa is an annual event that brings together educators, innovators, learners and makers from East Africa and beyond to share experiences and build the web together laying a foundation for growth of the internet and information technology in Africa.

The event is exponentially spreading across Africa to help address the technological challenges faced in the African continent through meaningful collaborations.

Spain and Latin America Celebrate Open Data Day

One again, bloggers, hackers, designers, experts, as well as citizens interested in open data and transparency will meet to celebrate International Open Data Day 2015 all over the world to promote the opening of government data. The event is expected to have online meetings but also in-person activities all over the globe, requiring exceptional coordination and organization. 

Open Data Day 2015, imagen extraída de la página Escuela de Datos, utilizada con autorización

Open Data Day 2015, image from Escuela de Datos. Used by permission

Faeriedevilish, blogging for School of Data, informs us on the Open Data Day festivities to take place on Saturday, February 21st in Spain and various cities in Latin America. Here you'll find information about the organization and event coordination in Buenos Aires, Lima, Medellín, Madrid, Mexico City, Xalapa, Monterrey, San Salvador, Panama City, etc., where many different activities will be held:

Alerta – Nos unimos a Abierto al Público: queremos que #datosabiertos se vuelva trending topic mundial en Twitter el 21 de febrero. Para lograrlo, las organizaciones participantes tuitearemos con este hashtag (y pediremos a lxs participantes que también lo hagan) el sábado 21 a partir de las 10:00 hora México, 11:00 hora Lima, 13:00 hora Buenos Aires, 17:00 hora Madrid. Importante: no usar el hashtag antes de esta hora.

Alert – We're meeting at Abierto al Público: we want #datosabiertos (#opendata) to trend on Twitter on February 21st. To do so, we'll be tweeting participating organizations with this hashtag (and we ask participants to do the same) on Saturday, February 21st starting at 10:00 in Mexico City, 11:00 in Buenos Aires, 17:00 in Madrid. Important: do not use the hashtag before this time. 

Click here for more information on the International Open Data Day festivities. 

You can follow @faeriedevilish and Escuela de Datos on Twitter.

This selected article participated in the 43rd edition of #LunesdeBlogsGV on February 16, 2015. 

14 Open Source Products Based in Africa

Despite many problems facing the African continet, African open source innovators are not lagging behing. Here is a list of 14 open source projects coming out of the continent.

Emerging Threats in Cybersecurity Legislation in Africa

Access, an international human rights organization is troubles by emerging threats in cybersecurity and data protection in Africa. Ephraim Kenyanitto explains:

The Convention was originally scheduled to pass in January 2014, but was delayed for modifications after protests by the private sector, civil society organizations, and privacy experts—all of whom had very little involvement in the drafting process. But a number of countries promulgated harmful new cybersecurity legislation after it was improved in June.

As Access noted in analyzing both versions of the Convention, the Convention has some positive provisions but still needs strengthening. It requires states to consider human rights in implementing cyber security legislation, but it also supports greater government control of private user data. For example, the Convention permits governments to process private data when “in the public interest,” a confusingly vague standard.

MTN South Africa launches FrontRow

Telecommunication provider MTN South Africa has launched MTN FrontRow, a video-on-demand (VOD) service. Tech Moran reports
 
According to MTN, ” MTN FrontRow, is a premium entertainment network that brings you all the TV series and movies you love, even if you’re not an MTN subscriber – and you could get the first month FREE.You won’t even have to install a dish, buy a box or take out a bank loan. From only R179 a month, you can sign up to MTN FrontRow Club and play our content instantly at any time via your browser on your computer or mobile device, or on our Android app (an iOS version is coming soon!). You can even stream to your TV via your devices, of course.”

 

Real Goats. Real Stories. Bangladesh Delivers.

Screenshot from The Goats of Bangladesh Facebook page.

Screenshot from “The Goats of Bangladesh” Facebook page.

Read the full interview here at Scroll.in.

Bangladesh has now a satirical Facebook page much like Pigeons of New York, which is itself a parody site of the famous Humans of New York project. Goats of Bangladesh is only about six months old, but it boasts of almost 10,000 followers. Sahil Bhalla of Scroll.in interviewed one of the page's administrators, who preferred to remain anonymous.

[What is] the idea behind the page?

We were bored one day during Eid and decided to take pictures of goats with a DSLR camera. After seeing the outcome of the pictures, one of us decided we would open a parody page called “Goats of Bangladesh” where we would mimic the style of posts made by Humans of New York in a mocking way.

Screenshot from the Goats of Bangladesh Facebook Page

Screenshot from the “Goats of Bangladesh” Facebook Page

Read the full interview here at Scroll.in.

Here Are Kenyan Technology Companies That Were Funded in 2014

Do you know Kenyan technology companies that got funded in 2014? Erik Hersmann lists them in this blog post:

Early stage capital

Angani – Public cloud computing provider
BRCK – Rugged, wireless WiFi device
CardPlanet – Mobile money payment system aimed at business and NGOs
iProcure – Software for optimizing rural supply chains
OkHi – Physical addressing system for logistics solutions
Sendy – Motorcycle delivery service
Tumakaro – Diaspora driven education funding
Umati Capital – Factoring for farmer cooperatives, traders and processors
GoFinance – Working capital finance to distributors of FMCGs
BuyMore – Electronic student discount card
TotoHealth – SMS technology for children’s health
BitPesa – Bitcoin for African remittances

Malawian Student Makes His Own TV Station

Chisomo Daka, a student at the University of Malawi’s chancellor college, has created his own TV station, Paul Ndiho reports:

Innovation is happening across Africa, in all different sectors, from education to energy, banking to agriculture and in television broadcasting. In Malawi, a university student has created a community TV station called “analog TV project” one that he hopes will transmit all social events taking place on campus. Malawi TV Project
Chisomo Daka is a student at the University of Malawi’s chancellor college. He is pursuing a degree in education science and he is trying to make his mark in the television broadcasting industry. By his own admission, he says that he is not an engineer by training, nor does he claim to know much about engineering. But his love and passion for tale-communications has inspired him to build from scratch a community television station. Daka says he hopes to use this TV station to broadcast social events and student projects throughout the entire campus.
“We have been able to transmit a video signal and we have been able to capture that. But by the end of the day, we would want to finalize it and make it a full working television station for the campus.”
Before his first broadcasting test signal, he was just a normal student, and few students knew about his innovation. Today, Chisomo Daka has created a name for himself as the new kid on the block. His community TV station is a hit on campus and everybody is talking about him. He says operating out of the norm is what is drove him to be innovative.

Kenya Monitor: Mobile Citizen Media and News App

Kenya Monitor app is a m-Media & News app. It is the to-go citizen journalism app for all local content. It brings together all favorite news in one place from different counties in Kenya. All content is presented in a fun and intuitive manner.

Getting reliable news stories about Kenya or about development issues has become a rarity. Any story that is covered is vague and has no follow-up. The Kenya Monitor app will seek to change this. All stories will focus on what is going on in the different locales. Anyone will get to play a role in telling the story of where they live.

Kenya Monitor will provide Kenyans with a platform to tell their stories in what is known as citizen journalism. Kenyans from all walks of life will get to tell stories about where they live, how they want it to be told and at the time they think it should be told. All content will be gathered from the people themselves. Stories will be submitted through SMS enabling anyone with access to a phone to do so. One does not need a smart phone to send in or receive content.

Online Entrepreneurship: Interview With Ana Bizarro from ‘Acción Alegría’

Andrea Collazo, who we already know from her blog Profesora de Informática (Computing teacher), shares an interview with entrepreneur and creator of accionconalegría.com, Ana Bizarro.

Bizarro's website aims to provide support to “entrepreneur parents, with children and no time, this is, people who are responsible for their lives”. There is no age, gender, condition, let alone religion that may prevent someone to become an entrepreneur, claims the interviewee and discusses the advantages of online entrepreneurship:

La primera, como he adelantado en la primera pregunta, el coste: hace 15 años invertí 20.000€ e hipotequé mi vivienda ¡hoy no lo haría ni loca!

La segunda, el estilo de vida: con una simple conexión a internet y un ordenador puedo trabajar desde cualquier lugar ¡La bomba! Una herramienta vital para la conciliación laboral.

La tercera: el efecto palanca. Me explico, con un simple artículo puedes conseguir 1000 visitas en una semana, o incluso en un día. Eso era algo impensable en la era analógica. ¡¡Ni los mejores comerciales!!

The first one, as I've already mentioned on the first question, the cost: 15 years ago, I invested 20.000€ and got a mortgage on my house. Today, this wouldn't even cross my mind!

The second one, lifstyle: with a simple connection to the Internet and a computer, I can work from anywhere. Great! A vital tool for conciliation.

The third one: the lever effect. This is, with a simple piece, you can get 1000 views in a week, or even in a day. This was inconceivable in the analogic era. Not even the best commercials!!

You can follow interviewer Andrea Collazo on @ascollazo, and interviewee Ana Bizarro on @bizarroana73

This post was part of the twenty-ninth #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on November 17, 2014.

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