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Earth Finds

Jumia Named Among MIT’s 50 Smartest Companies

Jumia Group has been named as the only Africa-focused company to make the World's Top 50 Smartest Companies list (2016), published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The announcement comes shortly after Jumia Group (formerly known as Africa Internet Group) earned the impressive title of ‘Africa’s First Unicorn’.

MIT mentioned, among other credits, the company’s flagship project ‘Jumia’ - Africa’s biggest online shopping mall - and it’s online booking portal ‘Jumia Travel’ as the continent's leaders in their respective sectors.

“Jumia Group is proud to be on this list, as it is great testimony to our relentless efforts in tapping into, and bringing to full the potential in Africa’s digital market” said Sacha Poignonnec, co-founder of the company. “We are committed to filling the gaps in this massively growing economy through technology; we believe that for every challenge encountered therein lies an opportunity”.

Ranked at number 47, Jumia joins an exclusive list of iconic companies including: Microsoft; Facebook; Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba; and the world's leading automobile manufacturer Toyota. "This list draws a lot of attention to what new age companies are doing to capitalise on the digital possibilities brought forth by the Internet. We chose to focus on Africa as the leading digital frontier," Paul Midy, the CEO for Jumia Travel said.

MIT Smartest Companies was first published in 2010 under the title, Most Innovative Companies. This year’s list mainly spread between Biotech, Computing & Telecommunication, Transportation and Internet & Digital Media.

About Jumia

Jumia aims to create a connected digital Africa to improve people’s lives on the continent, thanks to the Internet. Jumia’s mission is to connect African consumers and entrepreneurs to do better business together. Founded in 2012, with a presence all over Africa, the group has MTN, Rocket Internet, Millicom, Orange and Axa as investors. Jumia has created a sustainable ecosystem of digital services, namedly: Jumia, Jumia Market, Jumia Travel, Jumia Food, Jumia Deals, Jumia House, Jumia Jobs, Jumia Car, Jumia Services.

MTN Partners With Beneath The Lies TV Show

Uganda’s leading telecom services provider MTN Uganda has today in a press statement announced a partnership with 40 Plus, the producers of the popular television drama series, Beneath the Lies (BTL) which will premiere on July 31st, 2016 in Kampala. Under this partnership, MTN will be the exclusive Digital Partner for the show and social media followers of both Beneath the Lies and MTN can find information relating to the show on MTN’s social media channels. 

Furthermore, fans of the show will be able to interact with the show cast in a Face-live session on the MTN Facebook page supported by the twitter page on Saturday, 30th July and will also watch full episodes of the show on MTN’s YouTube channel for a limited time after August 31st 2016. 

Beneath The Lies is a Ugandan TV drama series that explores the dark side of the City filled with extortion, drug trafficking, the exploitation of women and child prostitution. It depicts the challenges of growing up in urban Kampala, and utilizes local talent to tell the story of the extreme lengths both the rich and the poor are willing to go in order to survive. 

Speaking at the official announcement of this partnership, one of the Executive Producers Cedric Babu Ndilima said; "The digital partnership with MTN presents an opportunity for Beneath the Lies to air this Ugandan production not just in Uganda but throughout the world. MTN arguably has the largest social media brand following in Uganda but more importantly is in tandem with what we the producers are trying to achieve.” 

Nana Kagga Macpherson the scriptwriter executive producer, of  the show added, “BTL is made in Uganda by Ugandans for the World and MTN is the company that will help us to create the movement and traction to achieve our goals. The show is set to revolutionize the TV industry in Uganda and we are delighted to have the opportunity to do this through strategic partnerships like this with MTN." 

MTN Uganda’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mapula Bodibe on the other hand commended the 40 Plus Productions team for the commendable job of producing a world-class TV series and expressed MTN’s commitment to ensuring the partnership makes the show even more successful by extending its reach and appeal through the digital environment more specifically social media. 

“MTN customers and social media fans will now be able to watch and follow their favorite show on our Social Media channels. MTN is committed to delivering a bold new digital world for our customers by among other things delivering world-class Internet and facilitating it with content that resonates with and promotes Ugandan talent,” Ms. Bodibe noted. 

“We are specifically grateful to 40 Plus Productions for the tremendous effort put in delivering a quality series and look forward to working with them in our future initiatives,” she added. The cast of Beneath the Lies TV series stars features leading Ugandan celebrities in the key roles led by Flavia Tumusiime, Cedric Babu Ndilima, Natasha Sinayobye, Gaetano Kagwa, Hellen Lukoma, Rabadaba, Salvador Idringi, Susan Naava.


Huawei Pushes ICT Development With New African Innovation Centre

Huawei signed a Cooperation Contract with the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) on July 19th during the launch of their joint Innovation and Experience Centre in Johannesburg. The Centre will showcase futuristic ICT products and solutions across the Carrier, Enterprise and Consumer business, as a new platform to push the development and innovation of the ICT industry in Africa.

The joint Innovation and Experience Centre is a platform for industry players to explore what the ICT world has in store allowing them an experience of what is available in the developed world and what is to come.

Huawei’s Regional President of East and Southern Africa, Mr. Li Peng said, “The center is one of our long-term investments in Africa. It will provide governments, telecom operators, academies, enterprises better understandings of the latest ICT solutions. Huawei will leverage the center to produce joint innovation with ICT stakeholders in Africa. Huawei focuses on innovation and is committed to empowering Africa’ digital transformation with continuous strategic investment.”

The DTPS endorsed centre is another milestone achieved through strategic relations between Huawei and the department, aimed at enhancing local ICT skills, job creation, and the bigger scope of securing South Africa’s position as Africa’s ICT hub. Minister of the DTPS, Dr. Siyabonga Cwele said thanked Huawei for the important contribution to the development of ICT in South Africa.

"We are pleased to strengthen our cooperation with Huawei, to achieve digital transformation in South Africa. The signing of Cooperation Contract today is the beginning of DTPS & Huawei collaboration, to bridge the digital divide in South Africa.” Dr. Siyabonga.  

The Chinese ambassador, Mr. Tian Xuejun also praised Huawei by highlighting, “The seed from last year’s Forum on China-Africa Cooperation is being harvested, ICT is truly the driving tool of any economies development. The Chinese government always encourages excellent enterprises from China, like Huawei to work closely with South Africa to achieve a win-win result.”  

The centre cost 72 million Rand (5 million USD), and is located in Sandown’s Vunani Office Park in Johannesburg. It will also serve as an open lab to 5 local universities, namely: University of Johannesburg, Tshwane University of Technology, Durban University of Technology, Vaal University of Technology.Huawei has also committed to training 1000 ICT talent in South Africa by the year 2021.  

The Centre is a leading ICT experience platform in Africa, flooring 500 sqm, equipped with 5G/4.5G wireless communication technologies, Video( VR, 4K Video, Mobile Video), Smart Home solutions, Safe City solutions, Smart Metro solutions, Mobile Money Solution, VoLTE & VoWiFi, Transmission, IoT / NB-IoT, Cloud Service, Data Center, Smartphones and wearable devices amongst other technologies, to ensure the synchronization of technologies in Africa and the Global, form the leading force of ICT in Africa, to assist the development of African countries 

Tian Xuejun, Ambassador of People’s Republic of China to South Arica, Ruan Ping, Consul General of People’s Republic of China to Johannesburg, Dr Siyabonga Cwele, Minister of Department of Telecommunication and Postal Service of South Africa, Tjekero Tweya, Minister of ICT of Namibia, along with other 120 distinguished guests attend the launching ceremony.

Uganda To Celebrate Culture At Kampala Fair

The diverse and rich cultural diversity that is characteristic of Uganda will be on display when the three-day International Uganda Cultural Fair kicks off Uganda Museum from 29th to 31st July in Kampala. At the fair, you can learn about Uganda’s arts, social norms, languages, marriage, indigenous knowledge systems of nature and environment, music and dances.  

"Culture preserves and provides knowledge, which is essential for the physical and intellectual existence of man," said deputy Chief Executive officer for Uganda Tourism Board, John Ssempebwa at a press conference this week. 

He added, "Culture preserves knowledge and helps its transmission from generation to generation. Culture directs and confines the behavior of an individual. In many cases, culture has provided much need employment amidst biting unemployment.

"Whereas culture plays such an important role in society, we are witnessing its erosion because our children are frequently exposed to foreign cultures through the internet and television," Ssempebwa said. 

The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities through its Tourism-Promotion agency the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), in collaboration with Perfect Events are organising the International Uganda Cultural Fair to showcase what the gem Ugandan cultures have been and still are. 

According to the organizers, there will be lots of activities packed in the three days, including the cultural quiz, foods, drinks, dance and entertainment as well as fashion. 

Under the theme: “Appreciating who we are: Celebrating Cultural Diversity”, this fair will also help to establish relationships with people from different cultural heritages across the globe and support creating an enabling environment in which people can work together to build strong socio economic base of Uganda hence feeding into the vision 2040 of prosperous nation.

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