Thursday, June 21Always On-point

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Messenger Kids: Facebook’s Commitment To Promoting Digital Literacy

Messenger Kids: Facebook’s Commitment To Promoting Digital Literacy

Breaking News, Social Media
NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES Earlier this week, Facebook unveiled Messenger Kids, their first product targeted at users under the age of 13. It has launched in a United States preview — the company has not yet announced plans for a European expansion — and it will likely spread to the rest of the world over the coming months. Messenger Kids is a variant of Facebook’s wildly successful messaging platform Messenger. As of September, Messenger is used by 1.3 billion users every single month to communicate through messages, stickers, and video. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, led the introduction of the product: “As a mom, I know how meaningful it can be when kids use technology to connect with family and friends. But, I also know how important it is to make sure they’re safe wh
Can The Zimbabwean Economy Function Without The Internet?

Can The Zimbabwean Economy Function Without The Internet?

Breaking News
We were without internet access for almost six hours today, from 11:45am to about 17:17pm. The outage was due to a core platform failure on the Liquid Telecom network which in turn affected all those riding on their network. ZOL and Econet were affected. NetOne was affected but only briefly as they seem to have switched to another provider. Telone switched providers and technically never went down but it was excruciatingly slow it was as good as down. Telone gave a statement. Telecel did not seem to be affected at all. Seeing as Econet controls about 75% of the mobile data and internet traffic in the country, most were affected despite Telecel and Netone to some extent not being affected. ZOL and Telone control just over 96% of the equipped internatio
Bond Note:USD Exchange Rate Falls, ZSE Drops $6b In 8 Days As Markets Self Correct

Bond Note:USD Exchange Rate Falls, ZSE Drops $6b In 8 Days As Markets Self Correct

Breaking News, FinTech, News
We have been religiously following the events on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange(ZSE) over the last few weeks, for good reason. The experts say the stock market reaction is one of the primary indicators which speaks to investor sentiment. We have also been keeping an eye on the black market bond note to the USD exchange rate. We were interested to see what effect the events that unfolded in this country over the last few weeks would have on the markets. What was it like before the transition? ZSE The ZSE was on a bull run, fancy speak for on the rise. Investors saw themselves with limited options to preserve the value of their monies. They flocked to the ZSE and this led to increase upon increase of stock prices. It was a simple case of demand driving prices up.
Strive Masiyiwa Changes Tactics As He Seeks To List Econet Global

Strive Masiyiwa Changes Tactics As He Seeks To List Econet Global

Breaking News, Telecomms, What's Hot
We recently learnt that Econet Global is looking to list on the London Stock Exchange with an $8 billion valuation. It comes as a bit of a surprise really, not because it doesn’t make business sense, because it does. It is surprising because of the comments Strive Masiyiwa made about listing in the past. Back in 2015 the Econet group faced with repeated multi billion dollar offers for Liquid Telecom decided they were going to pursue a separate listing of Liquid Telecom on a European Stock Exchange in 2016. That listing did not come to fruition. However when the group was considering that separate listing of Liquid, Strive Masiyiwa, the group chairman made it clear that he preferred the listing of subsidiary companies rather than that of his privately owned Econet G
Google has been collecting location data from Android users without their consent

Google has been collecting location data from Android users without their consent

Breaking News
It was quite interesting to read about how Google has admitted to having been collecting users’ location data without their consent. Android users were most affected by this. Turns outs phones and tablets running Android software gather data on people’s locations even when the user is offline or even without a SIM card. After collecting the data, it is then sent to Google once the phone is connected to the internet. According to the Verge, Google in its defense says their intent was to “further improve the speed and performance of message delivery” by making use of a network sync system that requires mobile country codes and mobile network codes called “Cell ID” codes. However, seems they (Google) eventually didn’t follow through with that idea and decided to d
RBZ Says Bitcoin Is Not Legal…

RBZ Says Bitcoin Is Not Legal…

Breaking News, FinTech, What's Hot
For some time now Techzim has wondered whether Bitcoin is legal or not. In fact, a number of people from in and out of the country have contacted us and enquired. Our standard response has been that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has been lax towards regulating the cryptocurrency and our assumption has been that they don’t really understand it and hence would just let it ride. Seems they’ve increased in knowledge, somewhat, as at a recent event, a representative from the central bank, Norman Mataruka, director and registrar of banking institutions, stated that bitcoin is illegal and the regulator will not allow this in the country. In his words: In terms of the bitcoins, as far as we are concerned, it’s not actually legal. In Southern Africa, what we
RBZ to more than double the number of BOND NOTES in circulation this month

RBZ to more than double the number of BOND NOTES in circulation this month

Breaking News, News
The RBZ has said that they are adding another $300 million worth of bond notes (I call them notes of bondage) by the end of November. They say this is again supported by another facility from the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank). Perhaps Ignatius Chombo, the new minister of finance (it still surprises me) has seen how huge a success the notes of bondage have been. To those who may catch on slow, I was just being sarcastic: bond notes have not succeeded. Have they failed though? I don’t know if they have failed. They held their own. For some weeks following their introduction they kind of maintained a 1:1 parity with the USD. As predicted though they started falling in value against the USD. This led to the government outlawing the exchange of currencies on the streets
Governments should invest in hospitals and not internet and telecoms services says Liquid CEO

Governments should invest in hospitals and not internet and telecoms services says Liquid CEO

Breaking News, News
It’s day two at AfricaCom 2017 and I have just come out of a panel debate that I know Techzim readers are eager to hear about. The topic was on how to make internet access more affordable in Africa (I have forgotten the official title of the discussion but trust me it was about that). On stage was the Liquid Group CEO: Nic Rudnick, the Chief Innovation Officer for (Kenya’s biggest mobile operator ) Safari Com: Kamal Bhattacharya, the Head of Facebook’s Express WiFi in Africa: Uche Ofodile and the Global Head for TMT International Finance Corporation: Anikoi Szigetvari I liked Nic’s opening comments. He shot from the hip and declared one of the biggest problems to the roll out of internet service (the infrastructure really) is government involvement. He said realy governments should j
Econet Wireless and Mahindra Comviva scoop the “IoT Product/Service of the Year” award at the AfricaCom awards.

Econet Wireless and Mahindra Comviva scoop the “IoT Product/Service of the Year” award at the AfricaCom awards.

Breaking News, Telecomms
Last week Techzim wrote about how three of our own companies; Liquid Telecom, ZOL and Econet Wireless had been nominated for the largest technology, telecoms and media event in Africa, AfricaCom’s awards ceremony. Let’s not mind the technicalities of that “our own companies” statement for now and just go with it, after all, it’s a good story ain’t it? Anyway, of the 3 companies that we stated, Econet Wireless made it! However since the award was a product/service centric award, it means that it’s not Econet as a company that won but rather its product/service EcoCash, EcoCash diaspora to be precise.Therefore, it follows that it wasn’t only Econet Wireless that was acknowledged for this service but Mahindra Comviva too since the service is a product of their partnership. The EcoCas
Tech’s favorite royal — Prince Alwaleed bin Talal — has been arrested in Saudi Arabia

Tech’s favorite royal — Prince Alwaleed bin Talal — has been arrested in Saudi Arabia

Breaking News, News
In a move sure to shock the business world, Saudi Arabia last night announced the arrest of at least eleven princes, including renowned billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, as part of a sweeping corruption investigation. Prince Alwaleed controls the investment firm Kingdom Holding and is one of the world’s richest men, owning or having owned meaningful positions in satellite TV networks, as well as in News Corp. (a stake it has since mostly sold), Citigroup (shares of which it has owned since 1991), and a growing number of tech companies. The prince and Kingdom Holding, of which he owns 95 percent, first invested $300 million in Twitter in 2011, two years before the company went public. In 2015, he invested another $50 million to increase his ownership in Twitter and, as o
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