How technology is giving hope to millions of African children who have never been to school

Refugee children are benefiting from the Instant Network Schools programme, which is part of the ongoing initiatives by the Vodafone Foundation that are expanding to help more than five million children in sub-Saharan Africa who are marginalized and excluded from traditional education.

The Foundation – which supplies devices, data and tablet-based teaching programs and online education across Kenya and Somalia as well as Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania – is working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide both primary and high school education to children in refugee camps like Sasha’s.

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Facebook to Focus on the social site’s Groups and looking for Hollywood scripted TV programming.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg revised the world’s largest online social network’s mission statement on Thursday last week to emphasize support for hobby clubs, civil society organizations and other community groups.

The move comes as Facebook faces pressure from smaller rivals such as Nextdoor and Meetup, whose online networks bring together neighbors and people in the same area with shared interests.

Zuckerberg said on his Facebook page that his company’s new mission is to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” In February he said he wanted to boost the number of Facebook users who are members of what they called “very meaningful” groups. Only about 5 percent were members of such groups, he said then.

The previous mission was “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” Facebook’s pursuit of that mission has been criticized in the past 12 months after the network became one of the main distribution points for so-called fake news, which many think influenced the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

While at this, the social networking giant is looking for programming aimed at audiences form 13 to 34 that avoids politics, news, nudity and rough language. 

It’s reported to have already started talking to Hollywood studios and agencies about producing TV-quality shows with an eye toward launching original programming by November.

It’s said that Facebook is seeking short-form content, primarily unscripted, that could run for 10 minutes in the Spotlight section for videos.

The social network is reported to guarantee creators of short-form fare a minimum $5,000 to $20,000 share of ad revenue per episode. They are already companies working on such content for Facebook including BuzzFeed, ATTN and Refinery 29, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In a statement, Vice President of Media Partnerships Nick Grudin said, “We’re supporting a small group of partners and creators as they experiment with the kinds of shows you can build a community around—from sports to comedy to reality to gaming. We’re focused on episodic shows and helping all our partners understand what works across different verticals and topics.”

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300 tech hubs in 93 cities across 42 countries in Africa

The future of tech “will be written in Lagos, Nairobi, Kampala and cities across Africa,” Jeremy Johnson the CEO and founder of Andela told CNBC. “We believe that Africa is going to emerge as a very significant player in the global tech scene,” he said.

Andela connects Africa’s top 2 percent of developers with jobs at companies globally. “We created a platform that enables the best and brightest to basically scale their abilities as technologists, and in the process … also solve the problem that many companies around the world are facing, and that’s just a shortage of technical talent,” said Johnson.

Today, there are 300 tech hubs in 93 cities across 42 countries on the continent, compared to none just a decade ago. Nigeria and Kenya are both centers of start-up activity, and among the fastest growing of the innovation hubs on the continent.

Andela has about 400 developers in its 6 month immersion program that operates out of its offices in Lagos and Nairobi. The start-up recently announced its third office in Kampala, Uganda.

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Facial recognition tech spreads in China

In China, Big Brother is watching. Facial recognition technology has been becoming more commonplace in China as part of a social-engineering experiment to help monitor citizens. The goal is to influence behavior and find — and possibly shame — lawbreakers. By 2020, China hopes to provide citizens with a national “social credit” system that rates each citizen based on how they behave in the community.

I think I watched an episode of this (social credit) in the Black Mirror series off Netflix.

This rapid pace of development comes after the Chinese Government made Artificial Intelligence a state priority. Billions of pounds is being ploughed into the research and development of facial recognition, speech recognition, robots, deep learning and 3D printing. In the field of e-payment the country has already left the rest of the world in its wake; the market here is 50 times larger than the United States.

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Patricia Kahill

Patricia Kahill is a multipotentialite Christian entrepreneur, Content Marketing Coach and founder of the Content Marketing agency, Kahill Insights that helps business owners create engaging and interactive content items for digital platforms with a focus on returning a desired outcome. Patricia was the producer of SlamDunk Basketball Talk a show on House of Talent online TV, a former fellow at Harvest Institute for leadership and now an assessor there, and an alumnus of the YELP class of 2017. A member of the BNI Integrity chapter and African Women Entrepreneur Cooperative. She is driven by passion and curiosity, been taking every opportunity that has been given to her with an ambition of stamping her footprint on the world.

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