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Uber follows Careem, launches Uber Bus in Egypt

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Uber announced Tuesday the launch of Uber Bus in Egypt, a day after its competitor Karim officially launched Careem Bus in Cairo.

Uber also announced it willbring Uber Lite, a new version of the rider app built to work in low connectivity, and with older Android devices, across the Middle East region early next year.

Uber said that it has been testing Uber Bus since September 2018 to ensure the safety and seamlessness of the product prior to its launch.

According to the announcement, the initial rollout will start by covering the areas of Nasr City, Heliopolis, Greater Downtown, and Mohandeseen, and will expand across Cairo in upcoming months.

Regarding Careem Bus, Careem announced on Monday launching Careem Bus through four pilot lines covering a number of Cairo’s main neighborhoods. It is looking to invest $100 million in this service in the coming period.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr attended the launch of Uber Bus on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

According to Uber, this step comes within the framework of the company’s plan to pump investments in Egypt by $100 million within 5 years.

“Uber Bus, a product built for Cairo, incorporates Uber technology into the city’s already popular minibus system to provide safe, seamless, and efficient trips. Cairo is the first city globally to be rolling out Uber Bus,whichis an important step as Uber broadens its platform to be more accessible so that truly anyone, anywhere can get a ride,” Uber stated.

In the same context, the company said: “Uber Lite, the new, space-saving app works in low connectivity areas and on 99 percentof Android devices. UberLite’s new interface was designed to make booking rides quicker and lighter in spotty connectivity, on basic Android phones, and for people with limited data plans. The product is already being testedin parts of the region with plans to roll out early next year.”

“Whena global company like Uberchooses Egypt to launch Uber Bus, it is a testament to the success of the investment climate after the latest regulatory reforms. Uber’s new investments will benefit from the new investment law and the ride-sharing regulations, as well as the roads and bridges infrastructure the country has put in place, based on the directives of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi,”the minister commented.

The minister also said that “Uber’s investments highlight the attractiveness of Egypt’s investment climate. Having opened its Centre of Excellence in Cairo in 2017 with an investment of around US$ 20 million, Uber has now, in 2018, chosen Cairo once again, this time for the launch of Uber Bus.”

“I’m excited to be in Cairo to launch Uber Bus, a product that will improve affordable transportation for millions of Egyptians by using Uber’s technology to enhance the popular minibus system. We are committed to broadening access to the Uber platform with a range of low-cost options that will move more people around town and help cities tackle issues such as congestion. Egypt and the Middle East region are hugely important to Uber and we will continue to heavily invest in this part of the world,” Uber CEO said.

UberBus is the latest addition to the Uber app in Egypt, joining the UberX, Select and Scooter services.

– EGYPT TODAY

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Banking / Insurance

Zenith Bank launches POS payments without cards

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Zenith Bank Plc has launched the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, USSD, payments on Point of Sales (USSD on POS), enabling customers to pay for goods and services via POS terminals in merchant locations or on e-commerce websites without the use of cards.

The innovative payment solution, which is powered by CoralPay, allows Zenith Bank customers to use the *966# Eazy Banking (USSD) to pay for goods and services on POS terminals in merchant locations or on e-commerce websites through the generation of a payment code on the POS terminal which is then confirmed by the customer using their USSD pin.

At the launch of the new payment solution, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc., Mr. Peter Amangbo, said: “This solution is an exciting and highly innovative initiative in promoting financial inclusion, facilitating payments by customers either remotely in the comfort of their homes/offices or at merchant locations without the use of a payment card. With this solution, customers in remote locations plagued with challenges of poor Internet access can now carry out transactions easily using their feature phones.”

Zenith Bank’s *966# Eazy Banking on POS will further drive financial inclusion through agency banking. It also allows bank customers, irrespective of their bank, to carry out withdrawals from their accounts or wallets without cards on the POS terminals at agent locations.

The solution has been successfully connected to all existing POS terminals through integration with leading Payment Terminal Service Providers (PTSPs) and directly to e-commerce sites (Websites) of Zenith Bank merchants/customers.

It also supports wallet-to-wallet transactions across provider banks and Mobile Money Operators (MMOs), enabling interoperability across platforms, financial institutions and payment service providers (PSPs) in the payment industry. (NAN)

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Technology

GE Nigeria launches e-learning portal at Lagos Garage Week 2018

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The portal was launched during GE’s Lagos Garage Week 2018, a year-end series of events held annually at the Lagos Garage

LAGOS, Nigeria, December 7, 2018 In line with its commitment to skills development and the empowerment of entrepreneurs in Nigeria, GE (www.GE.com) (NYSE: GE), the world’s premier digital industrial company, yesterday launched an e-learning portal for its Lagos Garage advanced manufacturing training program with the objective of extending the training program’s reach to thousands of Nigerians across the country.

The portal was launched during GE’s Lagos Garage Week 2018, a year-end series of events held annually at the Lagos Garage which is located in GE’s Lagos office in Victoria Island. During Garage week, GE opens up its innovation hub to the public for interested entrepreneurs to register for carefully curated courses in advanced manufacturing and business development.  Courses on offer introdu ce participants to principles of 3-D printing and rapid prototyping as well as a range of business development skills in Finance, Personal Branding, Marketing and Innovation.

Speaking at the portal launch, Director, Communications and Public Affairs, GE Africa, Patricia Obozuwa expressed pleasure at the continued success of the Lagos Garage since inception.

“Our goal is to empower Nigeria entrepreneurs with the relevant skills required to compete on a global scale. I’m happy to say that so far, over 250 people have successfully graduated from the advanced manufacturing training program we offer here at the Garage” she said.

Obozuwa added that with the e-learning platform, interested entrepreneurs no longer have to be physically present at the Garage to benefit from the innovative training the hub offers.

“This platform will make the training on offer at our GE hub reach a much wider audience than ever before, thus increasing the number of beneficiaries and making it more impactful. This has always been our goal: to reach the maximum number of Nigerian entrepreneurs in a short period, delivering valuable training that they would otherwise not have access to.”

Speaking as the Special Guest of Honour at the event, Hon. Hakeem Fahm, Commissioner of Lagos State Ministry of Science & Technology, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Kayode Ogunnubi commended GE on being a collaborative partner of the Lagos State Government for several years.  He congratulated the company on the launch of the Garage e-learning portal saying, “Lagos state is at the forefront of ICT development in Nigeria and training programs like the GE Garage that equip youths with innovative skills is one of the ways we believe we can develop the economy of the state and by extension the entire country.”

Launched in 2016, the permanent installation of the Lagos Garage, is a hub for advanced manufacturing-based innovation, strategy development, idea generation and collaboration. The Garage offers year-round series of skills training programs focused on building the next generation of Nigerian

entrepreneurs. Till date, 250 entrepreneurs have graduated the program having been trained to use the latest in advanced manufacturing technologies; 3D printers, CNC mills, and laser cutters as well as in business development.

 

Media Contact:
GE
Yewande Thorpe
Head of Communications
GE Nigeria
Email: Yewande.Thorpe@ge.com

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Technology

Facebook Launches Safe Online Programme With JA Nigeria And CCHub

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Earlier this month, Facebook announced its partnership with Junior Achievement Nigeria and CCHub to launch SafeOnline, an online safety programme for students in secondary schools across the country. Starting in five cities this term and expanding rapidly to another five cities from January, the 12-week workshop is designed to introduce teenagers between the ages of 14-17 to the fundamentals of online safety and digital literacy. SafeOnline covers topics such as Managing an Online Presence, Social Media and Sharing, Public Wi-Fi Safety, Building Healthy Relationships Online, Understanding Password Security and Privacy Settings, as well as Identifying Misinformation Online.

Commenting, Simi Nwogugu, Executive Director, Junior Achievement Nigeria said: “JA Nigeria embarked on a digital transformation strategy in 2015 to take advantage of new technologies and tools for reaching our thousands of students across Nigeria. We realized the opportunities afforded by the Internet also came with some challenges, particularly for young students who may be more vulnerable online, so when Facebook approached us about SafeOnline, it was exactly what we needed to ensure our students against those vulnerabilities. We are proud to be a partner in this initiative and look forward to taking SafeOnline to all our schools across all regions of Nigeria.”

So far over 2,500 students across JAN schools have received this training in Lagos, Abuja, and Ibadan and we are excited about expanding into all our cities during the next phase. Feedback from the students shows that the programme has been very insightful and has helped them better understand how to protect their privacy online.

                       

JA Nigeria

 

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