Youth On Mobility Quest


From Monday this week we have been looking at the future of the youth on mobile application development and here comes a series of stories from the on going @UNESCO held training that ends on 2nd march 2018. The training will empower a few teams of women on the android app development process and how to develop an android prototype.

The view from the youth focused training’s are a series of UNESCO training’s that are currently ongoing in the continent to empower the youth on applications that are based on the mobile phone technologies. (Just to be clear the events are fully patented and the #Youthmobile hashtags are reserved for these types of trainings that are meant to assist the Youth in the Continent). The UN branch is working on a youth summer school that will assist them in acquiring  coding  skills …

UNESCO #YouthMobile initiative helps youth everywhere solve local challenges and create jobs, through the development of mobile apps. Do you want to join our effort?

– Follow the YouthMobile Initiative on Twitter @YouthMobile_
– Visit the project website at www.youthmobile.org
– Learn about our workshop in South Sudan: bit.ly/VEpXH6

The Nairobi Youthmobile edition has some interesting turn of events and the are a few teams that are working on great stuff.

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There are the PIONEER app team that seek to sensitize the plight of the girl child in the marginalized and hard to reach areas. There is also the FIKA app team that seeks to develop an application that helps the farmers bring their produce to market at a market friendly price rate and by giving them supply orders .

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There are other coders who are still getting the hang of the android studio development environment but the only thing we as Africans have is time on our side. We as the youth are looking at the aspects of there being more mobile application developers and we hope to see these edition of #youthmobile which was also a #womenintech event replicate its inventiveness.

Africa development bank group


From the successful financing of the Thika super highway which links Nairobi city to( the once industrial ) Thika town, then did most of the government institutions know about the ease of doing business with the Group.( Follow other projects they have financed and what they are up to on https://twitter.com/AfDB_Group).

From Nigeria, SouthAfrica, Burundi, Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania just to mention a few states that have gotten grants and loans from the Group. Some of these loans are for financing major projects like Ethiopia airlines expansion plans. While others are for non-states related financing.

AfDB approves USD 159 million corporate loan to Ethiopian Airlines to finance expansion plan and fleet modernization program

Looking at the level of expertise they employ in ensuring these grants and loans are put into good use, the Africa development bank is rumoured to be  backed by Mr. Ndangote(Yeah, the billionaire). Governments might not have an excuse of munching funds which have been funded by this Group which has a tremendous track record of successfully financed projects.

Assist women suffering silently from fistula – Margaret Kenyatta


 

Margaret Kenyatta

 

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has asked women hiding under the shame of fistula to be assisted in seeking medical help so that they can continue with their normal lives.

She said those suffering from Obstetric Fistula are usually hidden away to suffer negative emotional and psychological effects due to humiliation from their smell and inability to perform their family roles.

“I urge that we seek out more of our mothers who are hidden away while suffering from this condition and encourage them to seek help”, Margaret said on Monday.

She was speaking when she opened an International Conference on Reproductive Health at Kenyatta University, Nairobi.

The three-day conference, under the theme of “Ending Obstetric Fistula in a Generation” is part of the commemorations to mark the World Fistula Day, observed today.

Other related activities include an ongoing Fistula screening and medical intervention of the condition at Gatundu Level 5 hospital.

Obstetric Fistula is a devastating and demeaning condition caused by prolonged obstructed labour, leaving a woman with insufficient voluntary control over urination. It also causes suffering, indignity and disability. The condition is preventable and treatable.

Strong smells occasioned by this condition forces many affected women to remain in hiding away from any public interactions including being shunned by insensitive family members. Separation and divorce are some of the other consequences of the condition.

Globally, an estimated 2 million mothers suffer the stigma of Obstetric Fistula while giving birth.

In Kenya 3,000 new cases of the condition are reported annually although there are fears many more mothers could be suffering in silence and seclusion due to shame and public humiliation.

“This situation is unacceptable and should not be allowed to persist,” Margaret said.

She said childbirth anywhere in the world is a time for celebration, yet in many cases in Africa (including Kenya), childbirth ends with serious and tragic life-threatening complications that bring untold suffering to women.

“This forum (the conference) presents us all with an opportunity to seriously reflect on the challenges that continue to impede us from achieving our national maternal and child health targets”, she said.

The First Lady is the patron of the innovative Beyond Zero campaign whose key goals include addressing challenges of maternal health, new-borns and children.

She said the current generation must commit itself and find ways to end Obstetric Fistula.

“We have come together to refine our strategy, renew our commitment and put all necessary measures to ensure that we are the generation that will end obstetric fistula”, Margaret said.

She said the campaign to end the condition has enhanced the visibility and knowledge of Obstetric Fistula worldwide but observed that this campaign is still under-resourced and requires far more financial and human resources to achieve its goals.

“More needs to be done to prevent labour and delivery complications”, Margaret said, adding that prevention is the key to ending fistulae.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) aims to eradicate fistula across the world.

“Ensuring skilled birth attendance at all births and providing emergency obstetric care for all women who develop complications during delivery would make fistula as rare in developing countries as in the industrialized world”, says UNFPA in one of its statements.

The First Lady said other issues that need to be addressed include access to health services and education, including gender equality, bringing child marriages to an end and eradication of marginalization of women and girls.

She said if these issues are properly addressed, maternal disability and death could be reduced by 20 per cent.

Margaret thanked Kenyatta University for hosting the conference adding that its theme—ending Obstetric Fistula in a generation-fits within the agenda of the conference on Reproductive Health.

She was received at the university by among others, the convener of the conference Prof Margaret Keraka, Principal Secretaries Julius Korir (Health), and Colleta Suda (Education), Acting UNFPA Country Representative Gift Malunga and Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Paul Wainaina.

The Conference brings together both regional and international health partners and delegates from all over the world including Canada, United Kingdom, Pakistan and Somalia.

 

Courtesy The Star Magazine Kenya

China’s ChemChina acquires Syngenta for $43M


‘Syngenta’ helps humanity face its toughest challenge: how to feed a rising population, sustainably. They apply world-class science and the most productive research and development in the industry to achieve a step change in agricultural productivity. In more than 90 countries around the world, their employees enable millions of farmers to improve global food security by making better, more sustainable use of available resources.
With Syngenta’s $12 Billion in annual sales Not profits, the Chinese government is using the company ChemChina to ensure food security by creating such mega mergers . here is the extract from nyt.com:

LONDON — The Chinese government wants to make sure its food supply is reliable and safe as it works to feed a rapidly growing middle class. So it was a coup on Wednesday when a Chinese company won approval to take over one of the world’s largest suppliers of seeds and pesticides.

By clearing the deal with European Union regulators, China National Chemical Corporation is close to the $43 billion takeover of Syngenta, the Swiss farm chemical and seed company. It would be the largest Chinese takeover of a foreign company and is one of three proposed mergers in a stop-and-go international race seeking greater influence over the world’s food supply.

“China has been trying to develop its own seed industry — and agricultural chemicals as well — for decades, and the progress has been slow,” said Fred Gale, a senior economist at the United States Department of Agriculture. “This is an attempt to upgrade productivity.”

The deal between China National Chemical Corporation, a state-owned company known as ChemChina, and Syngenta comes as trade relations between China and the West have become increasingly tense. The situation has been made worse by President Trump’s sharp talk on the issue.

Syngenta’s clearance from the European Union is part of an international competition that includes Dow Chemicals and DuPont, who are still working to close their merger. Though best known as chemical companies, Dow and DuPont, both based in the United States, also have huge agricultural businesses.

Bayer AG, the German industrial conglomerate, is also trying to complete its multibillion takeover of Monsanto. That deal would give Bayer control of the company most closely associated with the rise of genetically modified foods.

And ChemChina’s takeover of Syngenta would give Beijing more influence over many of the seeds and chemicals it needs to feed its swelling population.

If all three deals are completed, they would reshape the global agricultural chemical business, reducing competition in the industry.

It is an important play for China, which has struggled to maintain and upgrade its food supply in recent years. China hopes to better feed its increasingly affluent population, but several food scandals have made Chinese citizens suspicious of domestic supply chains.

Those scandals have fueled anxiety about genetically modified food, even as China wants to use the science to increase production. Although China has poured money into research, it still bans cultivation of genetically modified food for human consumption, and knowledge about genetically modified organisms is limited.

The ChemChina deal could bolster China’s efforts to become a major player in genetically modified food. But Mr. Gale said Chinese consumers would probably remain wary.

“The general public has become very suspicious of seeds,” he said. “That will be an obstacle to Syngenta becoming a pipeline for G.M.O. seeds in the China market.”

ChemChina will have to sell prized assets to take control of Syngenta.

To appease European officials, it must sell substantial parts of its European businesses that make pesticides and substances that stimulate or slow plant growth.

“It is important for European farmers and ultimately consumers that there will be effective competition in pesticide markets, also after ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta,” Margrethe Vestager, the European Union commissioner in charge of competition policy, said in a statement. “ChemChina has offered significant remedies, which fully address our competition concerns.”

The European Union granted its approval a day after ChemChina received the go-ahead from the United States Federal Trade Commission. The F.T.C.’s approval hinged on ChemChina selling parts of a subsidiary’s business in the United States to an agricultural chemical company based in California. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which focuses on national security issues and was also regarded as a significant potential obstacle, cleared the deal in August.

The ChemChina deal for Syngenta is part of a spate of consolidation in the agricultural chemical industry globally, as companies have tried to meet the challenge of falling crop prices.

Their efforts to win new customers are being made more difficult by consumer resistance. Widespread suspicion of genetically modified foods in Europe means that protests against Monsanto can draw thousands, and several European countries ban their cultivation.

The approval of antitrust agencies would be seen as promising for others seeking deals, said Dale Stafford, the head of mergers and acquisitions for the Americas at Bain & Company, a business consultancy.

“This sends a strong signal that even though there needs to be concessions, with the right strategic deals, they can happen,” Mr. Stafford said.

The ability to complete another agricultural chemicals deal, however, could be diminished by the huge deals that have been done.

“As markets get more concentrated, the impact on competition gets amplified,” said Elai Katz, who leads the antitrust practice at the law firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel. This could make it harder to get deals past agencies or to find buyers for divestitures.

In recent years, Chinese companies have been on an acquisition binge, buying major strategic assets like copper mines and oil deposits, and investing in flashier, if less economically or geopolitically important, deals for marquee names like the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan.

Lately, there have been signs that the shopping spree might be ending. China has tightened limits on how much money it is allowing past its borders, and that has threatened purchases that some Chinese officials have criticized as frivolous.

Far fewer overseas acquisitions by Chinese companies have been announced this year than by this time a year ago. The value of these deals has also fallen to about $31 billion this year compared with $87 billion at the same point last year, according to Dealogic, the financial data company.

American and European companies alike have criticized China’s ambitious plan to build up its own technology industries, which the overseas businesses worry could create global competitors and potentially weaken their business in the big Chinese market.

And in the United States, takeover watchdogs have blocked several deals that they say could affect national security, while some lawmakers are calling for even tighter reviews.

Yet Chinese companies have shown a willingness to be aggressive when it matters. And for China, food matters.

“On one hand they want to have the best technology, but at the same time they don’t want their markets to be dominated by international companies like Monsanto, Dupont or Bayer,” Mr. Gale said. “So that’s the fastest way to do it, buy the technology. That seems to be China’s strategy now.”

 

Regards from April.

 

How To Raise $215Million in Asia and Africa


Mobike

Mobike uses Internet of Things(IoT) to lure investors

Imagine you came up with an idea that could get people healthy and help the environment. Imagine you quit your dream job, launched a startup around the idea and 2 years later had turned the idea into a billion dollar company.

That’s exactly what David Wang has just done.

Two years ago David quit his job as General Manager of Uber in Shanghai after thinking “Why don’t I create an Uber for bikes?

He launched his company, Mobike, a year ago. Each of his bikes has a pedal-powered GPS, smart lock and timer, so you can find a bike and unlock it with your Mobike App, get charged 15c per hour, and then leave it wherever you finish your ride.

David knew the key to his idea was making his own low cost, high tech bikes. So he started bike-building, and launched the service in Shanghai in April last year.

The bikes were so popular, in August he attracted $10 million from Panda Capital. Then, a month later he raised another $100 million from well known VCs.

By the end of 2016, Mobike’s Shanghai GM, Michael Yao (in photo) said: “We just announced passing the 100,000th bike in Shanghai earlier this month. We are currently operating in nine cities: Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Ningbo, Xiamen, Foshan and Wuhan.”

Shanghai has now become the No.1 bike-sharing city in the world, and China is now producing more ride-sharing bikes than all the rest of the world put together.

 

“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking.” ~ William Butler Yeats

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This month Mobike raised $215 million from Tencent and a group of VCs, likely at a valuation of over $1 billion, and this week Xiaofeng did a deal with Foxconn which will get 10 million Mobikes on the road by the end of this year.

Less than 2 years after starting his company, David has 1.5 million users taking 500,000 bike rides each day. That’s 1.5 million users getting healthy and improving the air quality of China’s cities each day. He now plans to be in 100 cities in China and around the world by the end of this year.

In his announcement of the Foxconn deal this week, David said “In 2017, we aim to enable residents in a hundred cities in China and internationally to enjoy our unique and convenient solution.”

That solution is the bicycle, invented in 1817 (and celebrating its 200th birthday this year), with some high tech upgrades.

In other words, he took a 200 year old invention and turned it into a billion dollar startup.

Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest.

In fact, the technology that David is using for his bikes is freely accessible to anyone to start a similar company.

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The difference is, he took massive action.

What simple idea are you delaying today?

Where will you be in 2 years from now by simply taking that next step?

Time to get on your bike!

 

courtesy: Roger Hamilton

 

The Africa Innovation Challenge


“As part of its longstanding commitment to Africa, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) today announced the launch of the Africa Innovation Challenge, an initiative to support Africa’s vibrant and growing innovation ecosystem and to help develop important and locally sustainable consumer health solutions.  The challenge is the latest initiative in the company’s comprehensive approach to advancing health and innovation worldwide. The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies’ presence in Africa dates back more than 80 years and includes business operations, public health programs and corporate citizenship.”

Johnson and Johnson

Throughout Africa, we are looking to drive entrepreneurship and help advance promising consumer health-care solutions. Chosen applicants will receive a combination of awards including funding up to US $100,000, potential lab space in Africa and/or business and technical mentoring from some of the brightest minds at Johnson & Johnson to help bring their idea to life and create meaningful change in their community or country.

More about the application process

The submitted consumer health care solutions will be evaluated based on their ability to meet the following criteria:

  • Idea submission addresses at least one of the three challenge categories:
    1) Promoting Early Child Development & Maternal Health in Africa,
    2) Empowering Young Girls in Africa,
    3) Improving Family Well-being in Africa
  • Idea submission is innovative and creative
  • Idea submission is scalable
  • Idea submission outlines how the award would help them reach a critical milestone within the time frame of a single year and provides a full commercialization plan

You have to sign up for an account to get started, and you will receive an email to activate your account. You will be guided through the application process which will include signing our general Terms and Conditions Agreement, filling out your application form and uploading your non-confidential project plan.

Deadline to apply is January 17th, 2017
Winners will be announced by the end of February 2017

Apply_Here

12 Hours Left For E. Africa Amplify Challenge


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If you are a fan of design and all the innovations taking place in the global design world then you are in for a surprise. For the past few days openideo has been organizing a Youth Empowerment challenge for all the interested parties to apply for the challenge.

The challenge has so far received tremendous applications which can viewed on the openideo dashboard. There are 455 ideas submitted so far and counting. There are also a few research contributions on how the Youth can be empowered. The 269 contributions can assist you as an entrepreneur in knowing exactly what the East African Youth value the most.

By giving feedback on the submitted ideas, you can ensure that the $500,000 prize goes to the right idea… or not.

Enjoy