Archive for March 14, 2012

Top Ten African mobile apps

Posted: March 14, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Africa
Tags: , , ,

Africa is full of opportunities, and with a need to create something truly African, a number of mobile app developers have taken up the challenge. Here are ten of the best mobile apps developed in Africa, for Africans:

Zimbile will help small businesses enter the online world in a flash (image: Zimbile)

1. Zimbile

Although not strictly an app, Zimbile helps small businesses enter the online world in a flash. The website allows businesses and individuals across Africa to build fast loading, mobile optimised websites in app form in a few easy steps.

The company prides itself on helping you (even if you have no technical knowledge) build a mobile website in mere minutes.

“We have been looking for a meaningful way to get involved and contribution to the mobile internet boom taking place across Africa,” Zimbile says on their website.

Once created, websites can be marketed through popular channels such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, ensuring customers stay in contact and provide valuable feedback. “Zimbile was not only created for small businesses, but also for any individuals who have local content to share with the world,” the site adds.

Platform: Web

With the Afrinolly mobile app, users will be able to watch movie trailers of movies produced in Africa (image: Afrinolly)

2. Afrinolly

Films are a huge part of African culture, and a number of them have been shot and produced here as well. Nigeria’s film industry is one of the largest on the continent, affectionately known as Nollywood.

With the Afrinolly mobile app, users will be able to watch movie trailers of these films, with a strong focus on Nollywood. It also provides users with in-depth news and interviews with some of the biggest stars, not only from the movies, but music as well.

The app is well designed, loads quickly and is very easy to navigate. Users can also submit film reviews.

The app also sports a Share button, so users can share interesting articles and movie trailers with friends. It is a great app for any movie lover — an African version of IMDb.com

Platform: Android, BlackBerry, Nokia

Mocality is Kenya’s largest business directory (image: Mocality)

3. Mocality

Mocality is Kenya’s largest business directory. The app allows users to find relevant local businesses in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret and Nyeri, with more cities being added every month.

Providing users with locations, users can also access contact details along with offered products and services.

The app sports a clean design and loads rather quickly, which is important for the fast-paced world of commerce.

Platform: Android

SlimTrader enables users to carry out e-commerce transactions, like buying or paying for goods and services, via SMS or WAP (image: SlimTrader)

4. SlimTrader

As mentioned earlier, business is a vital part of keeping Africa afloat, so any app or website driving commerce is a welcome sight. SlimTrader enables users to carry out e-commerce transactions, like buying or paying for goods and services via SMS or WAP.

“By enabling purchases via mobile, SlimTrader hopes to relieve the burden associated with everyday transactions,” the company says.

The app is ideal for users struggling with cash or bank payments and it is incredibly easy to use.

“Merchants partner with SlimTrader and this enables them to conduct business via mobile sites that work on WAP phones or via SMS for users without internet access. Users can then search, reserve or pay for goods and services either via the mobile sites or through a series of SMS messages between the user and the merchant,” SlimTrader explained.

Platform: Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Text-based

Matatu is a two player card game that has origins in Uganda (image: Matatu)

5. Matatu

Developed by Kola Studios, Matatu is a two player card game originating from Uganda. The objective of the game is to play all the cards before the opponent- and the first one to do so wins.

It is a lot harder than it sounds as there are many opportunities for opponents to ruffle a few feathers of non-vigilant players.

Luckily the app comes with a set of rules and an explanation on how to play the game so new players will quickly understand what needs to be done.

The playing area of the app is clearly designed and thoughtful layout makes for an enjoyable experience.

Platform: Android

6. MPAYER

Together with supporting local business, shoppers should have no problem paying for goods in a convenient way. MPAYER is just such an application, as it helps users manage their cash and mobile money payments.

“MPAYER is tailored for businesses and organisations that would like to accept and manage cash and/or mobile money payments with [the] need for real-time customer feedback,” the site says. The app lets users accept payments in real-time, giving customer feedback and integrates into any financial system in real-time. “We just make your business faster and your customers happier,” it adds.

Platform: All

7. My Social Mobile

Social media is one of the fastest growing trends worldwide, and Africa is no exception. Staying in touch with friends, family and business contacts is vital. My Social Mobile ensures users never miss another social media notification.

The service offers voice alerts whenever a new notification is received from the pre-selected social media websites. In terms of Facebook, users can set it up to receive alerts whenever selected friends update their status, users are tagged, friends comment on status updates and a lot more.

Platform: All

8. kasha.mobi

Security and peace-of-mind is very important to all internet users, especially if they make use of online banking. The Kasha.mobi app allows users to secure their data, providing services to store passwords and login details.

It saves any text message (SMS) at a secure location, so users can safeguard information contained in a text message. Users will be able to save their M-PESA, yuCash and ZAP messages by simply forwarding the text message to kasha.mobi after joining. To retrieve messages, log into the mobisite and follow the links. “We store your messages in a safe and secure database which only you have access to,” kasha.mobi writes.

Platform: Text-based

9. M-Farm

Another great app developed specifically for the African market is M-Farm. The app allows local Kenyan farmers to get up-to-date information on crop prices and farming-related matters. “It is a transparency tool for Kenyan farmers where they simply SMS 3535 to get information about the retail price of their products, buy their farm inputs directly from manufacturers at favourable prices, and find buyers for their produce.”

In Kenyan farming, getting accurate prices is a valuable asset. Users are also able to request prices for five major towns in Kenya. Being SMS-based is also a big selling-point, as not a lot of farmers have access to reliable internet connections.

Platform: Text-based

10. M-Pedigree

With Africa having its share of bad eggs, users and consumers can never be too careful when it comes to products and services. M-Pedigree is a great application helping users determine the authenticity of their medication. As a non-profit based in Ghana, they “advocate for the development of strategies to fight counterfeiting. We work with technology providers worldwide to bring relief to patients at risk of counterfeit medication in developing nation,” they wrote.

When customers buy a pharmaceutical product, a verification strip can be scratched off to reveal a number. When this number is texted to M-Pedigree, the response will alert users to the validity status of the medicine bought. The platform has also been endorsed by the Kenyan government.

Platform: Text-based

To see a list of our Top Ten Business Apps, click here

http://www.itnewsafrica.com/2012/03/top-ten-african-mobile-apps/


PRESIDENT KIIR BULLIES BASHIR IN MY DREAM

Last night, I had a dream

In my dream,

President Kiir visits his ailing partner,

President Omar Hassan Bashir

Bashir contracted diarrhea,

A chronic diarrhea

Coz he drank unclean water from river Nile

He couldn’t afford bottled water

He is broke

Oil production got shutdown by Kiir

Bashir ekes out

Handouts from Arab League

After Kiir gave him emotional and moral strength,

He asks him what his say is

In regards to the outstanding CPA issues;

The Abyei,

Border issues,

Oil transit fees,

And nationality question

Before answering Kiir,

He gets up,

Runs to the toilet

Spends half an hour in there

He comes back,

Stands by the door,

And breathes heavily

It’s here Kiir sees his full body frame

Silhouetting in an ankle-length loose white Jalabia

The beer-belly he acquired

Through South Sudan oil money shrinks;

It’s disappearing

His ribs protrude

Kiir counts them

They’re ten

Two of them got surgically removed

After he got shot by Kerubino Kuanyin Bol

During a one-on-one meeting somewhere in Omdurman

In the 90s,

An incident that went unreported for fear of

Grand official butchering of reporters

Along with their families

“I beg your pardon, repeat your question,

Ya baba Mayar”, he asks Kiir

Before Kiir finishes shooting the same question for the second time,

Bashir dashes into the toilet again,

Leaving Kiir seething with rage;

Agitated,

Irritated

Kiir plunges into a sea of thoughts,

Trying to figure out how

 He will make bashir speak his language

Bashir comes back,

Holding a small bluish container

For keeping water used in place of toilet roll

He fills it up with water from an old pot

And places it near the door

He sits on an old mat

Made from reeds

People say his wife got the mat from a neighbor

Immediately after auctioneers

Stormed in Bashir’s house

 And confiscated the furniture;

They were sent by the landlord

Who grew impatient

After Bashir failed to pay February rent

Back to the point:

Bashir begins to respond to Kiir

He starts off by telling Kiir to go to hell

Coz he ain’t letting any other thing

Slip through his fingers

 Since he allowed south to go it alone as

An independent state through the 2011 referendum

Kiir begs him to reduce oil transit fee demand;

From $36 to 40 cents per barrel

Kiir also implores him to leave Abyei alone

But still, Bashir insists that Kiir goes to hell

And races to the toilet again

He spends his good time in there

Provoked by Bashir’s attitude,

Kiir grows smarter

He hatches a plan

And waits till Bashir comes back

Salva says he wants to use the toilet

Bashir directs Kiir:

“Go straight on; turn left, turn left again.

It’s the one with

 A green door next to the gate”

Salva leaves, taking along the Citizen Newspaper

He takes his time in there

Ten minutes elapse,

Still no sign of Kiir

Now the worst happens

Bashir gets pressed again;

Remember he has a running stomach

He rushes toward the toilet, the only toilet

Only to find it locked from inside

Salva is in, reading the newspaper

Atlala bara ya Salva. Ena taban

What are you doing in there?”

Bashir panics

But Kiir keeps mum

“Knock knock knock”

He knocks, he pushes the door

Kiir whistles

As he turns pages of the newspaper,

He scans through the stories

Pretending to find an interesting story to read

Finally, Kiir breaks the silence:

 “What do you think of my proposals?”

Bashir says they will discuss the issues back in the house

Kiir declines

And keeps reading the paper

Bashir begs Kiir, saying

“Please get out; I will sponsor 100 south Sudanese university students”

Kiir says thanks but that’s not what I want

With his left hand patting buttocks

And the right hand on the stomach;

Bashir begins to talk: “okay okay okay okay,

I’m proposing a meeting with you, just two us.

And it will be mediated by Obama himself”

Kiir resumes whistling

“Kiir please let me use the latrine,

Don’t let me do it in my pants

Kiir you are causing a scene;

My wives kids are milling around

And I can see my neighbors peering

I’ll do anything you want me to.

I will return all the barrels I confiscated,

 I’ve given up Abyei. I…….

…..Ding…….dong…..Ding…dong,

My mobile phone rang,

Waking me from the dream

By: Tears Ayuen

South Sudan After independence, the celebration continues

Posted: March 14, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Jocelyn Edwards in Juba

In early December, Hafsa Anguparu, a wedding planner, put together her biggest event yet – a 2,000-person affair for which she decorated a motorcade of 13 cars.

Several white pavilions adorned with strings of yellow lights lit up the grounds of Juba’s Nyakuron Cultural Centre.

Anguparu says she has noticed an explosion in demand for her services leading up to and since South Sudan’s independence on 9 July 2011.

In previous years, she handled one wedding every two or three months. Now she may even have two or three happening simultaneously in different venues on a given weekend.

“How can you get married when you don’t know where you will be next? When there is war, you have to move around a lot,” says Anguparu.

“We feel that we are now settled. That is why people want to be together and start families.”

People in South Sudan are also partying for other reasons, including the reunification of families long separated by the civil war.

“During the war, people were scattered. They are now coming back and people are organising get-together parties,” says Anguparu.

After the deprivation and austerity of war, there is a longing for luxury in what is still one of the most underdeveloped nations in the world.

Those who can afford it celebrate in style. “People like the white tent and the big cars. People like to show off here.

Because we have been oppressed for so many years, it’s almost like a way to win respect and prestige,” argues Kevina Aber, another event planner.

Weddings among Juba’s elite can range from 1,000-1,500 guests and cost up to $140,000.

Latjor Mayul is the owner of South Sudan’s first limousine, a stretch, white Lincoln Navigator. The businessman reports that demand is high for the car.

“There is a queue. For the last two or three months, it has been booked.” It costs SS£400 to rent the limousine for an hour.

“No matter what the cost, they will pay it,” says Mayul on the sidelines of the 2,000-person wedding planned by Anguparu.

In the background are the sounds of women ululating between speeches from friends and relatives.

At the edge of the scene sat dancers with drums and noise-makers wearing yellow T-shirts left over from independence day.

‘A Dream Come True: A New Nation, a New Beginning,’ say the shirts. What better reason for an extended celebration?

[B][I]This article was first published in the 2012 February edition of The Africa Report, on sale at newsstands, via our

http://www.theafricareport.com/index.php/society-and-culture/south-sudan-after-independence-the-celebration-continues-501807138.html


Sudan
 lowers oil transit fee demand

Reuters
By Peg Mackey | KUWAIT (Reuters) – Sudan has lowered its oil transit fees demand to $32.20 a barrel in a bid to resolve a row that has shut in South Sudan’s output, Sudan’s oil minister said on Tuesday, but the two sides remained far apart as talks 
South Sudan to cut budget spending by 35 pct
Reuters Africa
NAIROBI (Reuters) – South Sudan will cut its budget spending by 35 percent to cope with the drying up of oil revenues and plans to build a 10000 barrels per day oil refinery in the capital, a senior Treasury official said on Tuesday.
The Events That Shaped the Nation and the World At Large in 2011!
AllAfrica.com
By Deng Riek Khoryoam, 12 March 2012 South Sudan — Quote: “…….Sudan cannot and will never the same again…….” (Late hero, Dr. John Garang) If only time could allow one to write in the midst of this highly competitive and business-oriented world 
Sudan, South Sudan to Set up Panels on Citizenship, Border Issues
Voice of America (blog)
Sudan and South Sudan have agreed to set up commissions to handle complex nationality and border issues that have heightened tension between the countries. Officials at the talks in Ethiopia’s capital say negotiators will initial agreements on the 

South Sudan After independence, the celebration continues
The Africa Report
Though the posters announcing the ‘Birth of a Nation’ have faded in South Sudan’s searing equatorial sun, the celebrations continue in the world’s youngest nation as a boomin weddings and other events takes place in the capital of Juba.

South Sudan, Sudan presidents to meet over impasse

Posted: March 14, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan


South Sudan
 Takes Major Step to Protect its Wildlife

EP Magazine
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) joined officials from the Republic of South Sudan and US Government on March 8 to inaugurate Boma National Park Headquarters in Jonglei State in South Sudan, home to some of the world’s most spectacular wildlife 
Sudan, South Sudan Presidents to Meet
Voice of America
March 13, 2012 Sudan, South Sudan Presidents to Meet Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa Sudan andSouth Sudan on Tuesday initialed preliminary agreements on two of three contentious issues left over from their breakup last year.

In South Sudan’s violence, U.S.-backed army part of the problem
Kansas City Star
Fleeing a column of 10000 enemies in South Sudan’s tribal wars, Meroi, eight months pregnant, and her family darted across the parched wilderness for four days before rival militiamen caught up and pinned them against a riverbank.

Syria; Haiti; South Sudan; LRA; and more
UN Dispatch
South Sudan: The United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan today said it has sent patrol units and a medical team to an area on the country’s border with Ethiopia where unidentified raiders reportedly attacked several cattle camps occupied by 

Resolving Conflicts Remains a Top US Policy Priority, Carson Says
AllAfrica.com
Johnnie Carson with former Secretary of State Colin Powell, US Ambassador to the UN Susan E. Rice, and Ambassador R. Barrie Walkley inaugurating the new US Embassy in Juba, South Sudan on July 9, 2011. (Photo Courtesy USAID Photo/Jenn Warren) When he 
South Sudan oil export ban brings self-inflicted pain
Washington Times
(AP Photo/UNAMID, Albert Gonzalez Farran) Tribal conflict, financial crisis and a humanitarian emergency are threatening stability in South Sudan, only eight months after the world’s newest nation gained independence. In a dispute with Sudan, 

Queen City to quench South Sudan
Charlotte Observer
In fact, the UNESCO, the United Nations Sudan Information Gateway and the CIA estimate only 50 percent of residents have access to “improved” drinking water and only 6.4 percent have access to “improved” sanitary facilities. Though South Sudanis more 
In Sudan’s Nuba Mountains, Government Rocket Attacks Sow Fear, Witnesses Say
New York Times
Some analysts see similarities between the brutal tactics used in Nuba and those employed in Darfur, in Sudan’s west, during the height of the violence there several years ago. The Nuba conflict is complicated by the separation of South Sudan from 
Sudan, South Sudan sign initial agreements on status of nationals, demarcation 
EastDay.com
ADDIS ABABA, March 13 — Sudan and South Sudan on Tuesday initialed two agreements on status of nationals and demarcation of common boundary at Sheraton International Hotel here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Under the agreement on nationality, nationals of 
South Sudan Safeguards Wildlife Amidst Interethnic Warfare
Environment News Service
BOMA NATIONAL PARK, South Sudan, March 13, 2012 (ENS) – A new headquarters building was inaugurated in wildlife-rich Boma National Park on Friday in South Sudan’s conflict-ridden Jonglei State. The world’s newest nation, South Sudanclaimed its 

Lexington Herald Leader
By Alan Boswell — McClatchy Newspapers Human skeletons still lie scattered above ground weeks after the attack took place in Likwongole, South Sudan. (Alan Boswell/MCT) ALAN BOSWELL — MCT PIBOR, South Sudan — Martha Meroi escaped one nightmare only 

South Sudan, Sudan presidents to meet over impasse
The Seattle Times
An African Union official says that the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan will soon meet to negotiate as “partners rather than aggressors.” The Associated Press No comments have been posted to this article. An African Union official says that the 
South Sudan Cuts Budget by 26 Percent After Shutting Oil Output
BusinessWeek
The government of the newly independent nation has reduced monthly spending to 650 million South Sudanese pounds from 880 million, he told reporters today in the capital, Juba. The official exchange rate ranges from 2.9 to 3.1 pounds per dollar.

African oil production increasing except from South Sudan: IEA
Platts
Oil production is gradually increasing in African countries — apart from South Sudan, the International Energy Agency said in its latest report Wednesday. The Paris-based agency said commercial production in Uganda could begin as early as next year 

The Lost Boys Of Sudan and Faith at the End of the World
Huffington Post (blog)
It is in Northern Bahr El Ghazal in South Sudan. I am sure there are places in the world less equipped to sustain life, but not many. For the majority of its citizens there is no clean water, no electricity, no sewage system, no access to medical help, 
UN, South Sudan sign child-free army plan
Sudan Tribune
March 12, 2012 (JUBA) – The UN and South Sudan’s army, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), on Monday signed a revised action plan regarding their commitment to ridding the army from child soldiers. The agreement was signed by Pieng Deng Koul,