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Facebook, Africa Check expands its local language coverage as part of its Third-Party Fact-Checking Programme

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Facebook’s fact-checking programme relies on feedback from the Facebook community, as one of many signals Facebook uses to raise potentially false stories to fact-checkers for review

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 14, 2019 – Facebook, today with Africa Check announced that it has added new local language support for several African languages as part of its Third-Party Fact-Checking programme – which helps to assess the accuracy of news on Facebook and aims to reduce the spread of misinformation.

Launched in 2018 across five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Cameroon, Facebook has partnered with Africa Check, Africa’s first independent fact-checking organisation, to expand its local language coverage across:

  • Nigeria, in Yoruba and Igbo, adding to Hausa which was already supported
  • Swahili in Kenya
  • Wolof in Senegal
  • AfrikaansZuluSetswanaSothoNorthern Sotho and Southern Ndebele in South Africa

Also Read Black Space App CEO, April Jefferson on entrepreneurship and connecting black travelers to their culture

Kojo Boakye, Facebook Head of Public Policy, Africa, said: “We continue to make significant investments in our efforts to fight the spread of false news on our platform, whilst building supportive, safe, informed and inclusive communities. Our third-party fact-checking programme is just one of many ways we are doing this, and with the expansion of local language coverage, this will help in further improving the quality of information people see on Facebook. We know there is still more to do, and we’re committed to this.”

Commenting, Noko Makgato, executive director of Africa Check, said “We’re thrilled to be expanding the arsenal of the languages we cover in our work on Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme. In countries as linguistically diverse as Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Senegal, fact-checking in local languages is vital. Not only does it let us fact-check more content on Facebook, it also means we’ll be reaching more people across Africa with verified, credible information.”

About Third-Party Fact-Checking
Facebook’s fact-checking programme relies on feedback from the Facebook community, as one of many signals Facebook uses to raise potentially false stories to fact-checkers for review. Local articles will be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos. If one of Facebook’s fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution.

Credit APO Group/ Facebook.

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Rwanda’s women in tech: Leading the digital revolution

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When she was a little girl, Jeanne Yamfashije wanted to be a doctor. Her goal was to make her parents proud and serve her people.

The 29-year-old IT specialist did not become a doctor but she has certainly fulfilled her other wishes. For the past five years, Yamfashije has been working with a project that promotes science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) among girls in Rwanda.

The group, called Girls in ICT Rwanda, offers mentorships, boot camps and a competition to encourage innovation among students. The organization reaches 500 girls each year.

“I am serving my people by making sure that women reach where they want to be, especially in the area of IT,” she said.

“My message to young women is: ‘Always believe in yourself, work hard and smart to achieve what you want, and seek help. Walk away from your comfort zone … Become women with vision and goals.’”

Yamfashije is a graduate of the Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda, a local branch of the technology-focused American institution.The university, which is being co-funded by the African Development Bank and the Rwandan government, aims to create Africa’s next generation of technology leaders, and encourages them to apply their highly sought-after skills where they are most needed: at home. Since the university opened its doors in 2011, 90% of its students have remained in Africa.
Sylvia Makario found her way to Carnegie Mellon after hearing about the school while she was completing the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship in the United States in 2015.

“I got drawn to Carnegie Mellon University Africa, particularly due to the pan-African vibe to it, which enables you to interact with different perspectives from various corners across the region and learn to collaborate to deliver solutions to cross-cutting issues in the continent,” she said.

Makario, who is Kenyan, co-founded Kigali-based data company Hepta Analytics in 2017, together with other graduates from Carnegie Mellon and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Hepta Analytics is a gender-balanced outfit, with 50% male and 50% female ownership. It wants to be part of the digital revolution in Africa, using data to help organizations reach their full potential.

One of Hepta’s greatest accomplishments was a product it designed for the Samburu Girls Foundation to assist women affected by genital mutilation. The RecReporter system connects callers to social workers via a toll free number and records messages as well as mapping the location of the caller for easier tracking within a certain radius.

Such undertakings have found fertile ground in Rwanda, which has established a ministry of ICT and innovation in order to position itself as a knowledge hub in this part of the world. The East African nation has also become a global leader in promoting gender equality, which is enshrined in legislation.

In November 2019, Rwanda will host the Global Gender Summit, a biennial event organized by multilateral development banks, including the African Development Bank.

Also Read Lillian Barnard: Tech Enthusiast And First Female Managing Director, Microsoft South Africa

Makario is looking forward to the opportunities on offer in Rwanda and elsewhere on the continent, such as the African Continental Free Trade Area, which envisions a borderless continent that would increase trade among its 55 states.

“My ultimate goal is to see businesses in the African continent use various tools to make quality decisions, based on data and not guesswork. We are working day and night to help more organizations reach that objective,” Makario said.

African Development Bank

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Oui Capital partners with IBM

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Oui Capital has partnered with IBM on the Startup with IBM program, to tap into the power of IBM Cloud to pace growth and build stronger portfolio businesses.

Through this partnership, Oui Capital will provide $120,000 in cloud credits and secure access to IBM tools to integrate solutions with leading-edge technologies and help deliver more value to portfolio companies. The Cloud credits allow access to over 130 industry leading services like AI, Watson, IoT, blockchain, advanced data analytics, developer tools, educational resources and technical support to aid building leading-edge solutions.

“Our goal for this partnership is to clear the technological hurdle for more diverse entrepreneurs. We strongly believe that innovation has no country of origin, which is why we are happy to support Oui Capital’s mission to empower companies in the African Continent” said Felix Ekwueme, Offering Leader at IBM, responsible for this partnership.

Also Read Cycles, Nigeria’s No.1 Bike-Sharing Platform Achieving The United Nations SDG Goal 11 – Damilola Soladoye

“IBM has operated in Africa since 1920 and has had a direct presence since 1939 in 24 Countries. We remain committed to being a part of Africa’s technological fabric, business and community”.

This partnership also allows affiliated startups to showcase their solutions on IBM Marketplace and to lBM’s customer network globally.

Oui Capital is an impact focused early stage VC fund investing in promising technology startups in Sub-saharan Africa. Apply here

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The growth of digital wallet is a global trend | Korapay

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Over the years, the FinTech industry has seen consistent innovations that not only make it fit for present-day users but also makes it a lot easier to access traditional services that once required a bank visit. This FinTech Era has brought to consumers real-time 24/7 access to financial services via mobile banking, digital wallets and virtual cards. As the fintech industry grows, some of these services — mobile banking, digital wallets — have branched out.

In this article, we will be looking at digital wallets, what it means and it’s growth globally. Along with that, how the growth of digital payments is synchronous with digital wallets and incentives that make digital wallets lucrative.

Also Read Cycles, Nigeria’s No.1 Bike-Sharing Platform Achieving The United Nations SDG Goal 11 – Damilola Soladoye

First, what are digital wallets? According to Investopedia, — A digital wallet is a system that securely stores users’ payment information and passwords for numerous payment methods and websites. Common examples include Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and PayPal. These platforms are being used to a great extent across the world. The growth of digital wallets is not segmented to a part of the world, no! It is a global trend. Millions of mobile users make a transaction every day with their smartphones. In the United States alone, 57 percent of users (which amounts to 60 million people) have used a mobile wallet at least once & as of 2016, PayPal has 600 000 users in Sub-Saharan Africa.

A key reason behind the rampant growth of digital wallets across the world is the ability to have one platform that makes all your transactions easier and faster as you don’t need to input your details every single time. Because of the quick transaction facility that digital wallets allow, it has been able to become one of the most used elements of the FinTech Industry. The rise in digital transactions is then another trigger issue which has resulted in the growth of digital wallets. Capgemini’s World Payments Report 2018 reveals that within 2015– 2016 the volumes of non-cash transactions have touched 482.6 billion and are expected to develop by 12.7% by 2021. Digital payments as an industry are anticipated to grow at a yearly rate of 18% between 2018–2023.

Of course, there are difficulties in the adoption of digital wallets. Most grown-up customers have not fully adopted digital payment practices, and changing from a traditional purse to a digital one will take some time. A lot of consumers have still not seen the need to change their payment behaviors, although most people would be inclined to switch if the new payment method would shorten the checkout procedure and if offered incentives as research has shown that discounts, rewards, and coupons could get customers to switch their payment type over to mobile wallets.

 

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Steve Onwuka | Community Manager at Korapay: a cross border remittance platform focused on reducing the cost of money transfer and increasing its speed into and within Africa. Korapay allows individuals in the United States to send money within minutes to the bank account of anyone in Nigeria.

 

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