It’s a new week so here’s what you need to catch up on from the past week:
Facebook’s Internet.org launches in 13th country, Senegal: in a bid to reach the developing world with free internet access, Facebook’s Internet.org was launched in Senegal, in addition to 12 other countries before it. Internet.org was first launched globally in Zambia in partnership with Airtel, allowing free basic access to some websites for subscribers on the Airtel network. There have been similar partnerships in other countries mostly with the mobile operators Airtel or Tigo in those countries. Read more here.
Multichoice announced its Connected Services feature, allowing DStv Premium subscribers to connect their Explora decoders to the internet via Wi-Fi through a cable to their router or by buying a DStv Wi-Fi connector (from K218.50) from any of Multichoice’s retail outlets in Zambia. They will have access to more than 300 titles of great series, movies and other exclusive content. They will also be able to download up to 25 titles at a time from the Internet to their DStv Explora. Read more here.
Google announced a standalone Photos app that would no longer need to be linked to your Google Plus account. This is available for Android and iOS users. The app backs up all your photos to your Gmail account so you never lose them incase your device is stolen or is wiped of all data. Read more here.
Twitter added a blocked contacts sharing option: As part of it tougher security measures to avoid cyberbullying, Twitter now added a feature that allows users to share the list of users they have blocked with their followers. The feature can be seen in the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab on www.twitter.com. Users can import the blocked lists of others and they can all be blocked at once by the importing user as well, rather than one contact at a time. Read more.
We also shared information on the Zambia 2050 Business Plan Competition that’s giving away a top prize of $6000 (or the Kwacha equivalent at the time) to the best business idea. There will also be a year-long mentoring session given to 10 young Zambians with the best business ideas that work well for the community, by a mentor based in the United Kingdom or within Zambia. Read more about that here.
The June Lusaka Tech Salon took place last week and the discussion was “Will P2P Financing Succeed Where Microfinance Has Failed”. The main points raised as to what blocks entrepreneurs from starting their business when it comes to obtaining microfinancing are the need for collateral to present to lenders/creditors. These borrowers are usually startups that do not have any collateral at all to present as surety. They are also charged high interest rates if they do manage to get the loan. So how will this be overcome to enable people start their businesses and still pay back the loan? Platforms like Zidisha are helping bridge that divide. Read more here.