Monthly Archives: April 2016

NY African Restaurant Week (NYARW) supports the upcoming Go Africa Harlem Street Festival on 7/16/2016

A Taste of Africa USA (ATOAU), organizer of the NY African Restaurant Week (NYARW), is proud to support Go Africa Network’s Go Africa Harlem Street Festival that will be taking place on Saturday, July 16, 2016.  See www.GoAfricaHarlem.org

General Attendees: please register at http://goafricaharlem.org/events/general-attendee-sign-up-for-go-africa-harlem-2016-street-festival-on-july-16th-2016/

Some of the restaurants who will be participating in NYARW 2016 will be featured at the festival.  Interested Merchants can register via the link below:

http://goafricaharlem.org/events/vendormerchant-registration-for-the-go-africa-harlem-2016-street-fest/

Restaurant Week flier

 

A Taste of Africa USA is a community-based organization that is dedicated to promoting the best of African cuisine and culture. We are also committed to supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses in our community. We are thus looking forward to supporting the Go Africa Harlem Street Festival as it provides us with another opportunity to fulfill our mission.

The NY African Restaurant Week is an annual cultural event inviting people from all over to celebrate the best of African cuisine, wine, chefs, artisans and restaurants across the city. During this week, foodies, travelers, people from all backgrounds and more are treated to some of the best African dishes served in New York City.

Restaurant Week flier

 

At the NYARW, some of the premier African restaurants will be offering a discounted prix fixe menu, highlighting the best of African cuisine from more than 40 African restaurants and some Caribbean restaurants. The African Restaurant Week provides the wide-ranging dining options and brings individuals from our various communities, surrounding areas and tourists to walk the streets of New York City and enjoy a dinner at a special discounted price.

To learn more about the program, sign up or see how you can participate, please visit NYARW.com. NYARW 2016 will take place from October 6-16, 2016.

 

Restaurant Week flier

 

 

 

 

How to use WhatsApp from your computer (CNET)

 Tired of only being able to access your WhatsApp conversations on your phone? Start using WhatsApp Web.Typing long messages or holding multiple WhatsApp conversations on your smartphone is possible, but there are times when typing away on a full keyboard and viewing messages on a full-size computer screen would be better.

by

For those times, you can use WhatsApp’s Web platform to send and receive messages with your WhatsApp contacts.

Requirements

According to WhatsApp’s support page, you can use WhatsApp on the Web if your phone is one of the following:

  • Android
  • iPhone 8.1+
  • Windows Phone 8.0 and 8.1
  • Nokia S60, Nokia S40 EVO
  • BlackBerry and BlackBerry 10

When you’re using WhatsApp Web, your phone will still need to have a data or Wi-Fi connection. That’s because the platform essentially mirrors the app on your smartphone. So if, for example, you’re traveling in another country and your phone doesn’t have a connection, you won’t be able to use WhatsApp Web.

How to set up WhatsApp Web

The bulk of the setup is pairing your phone with WhatsApp Web.

  1. Using Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari or Edge, head tohttps://web.whatsapp.com/.
  2. You’ll see a QR code for you to scan with the WhatsApp phone app. Just below the code, you’ll see instructions for where that scanning option lies within the app. For example, in the iOS app, tap on settings, then WhatsApp Web.
  3. After scanning the code, your WhatsApp messages will display on your phone and in the browser. A Wi-Fi connection isn’t required for your phone, but WhatsApp recommends one to cut back on the amount of cellular data used by your phone.

The layout of WhatsApp Web mirrors the mobile experience, just on a larger scale. You can still send emoji, photos and voice notes, view your contact list, and receive notifications on the computer.

A note on security

Going forward, anyone who has access to your computer will be able to pull up your WhatsApp conversations as long as you remain logged in. If your computer is password-protected, that’s probably not a big deal. But when using WhatsApp Web from a public computer, sign out when you’re finished. You can do that by clicking on the three-dot menu icon and selecting Log out.

If you forget to log out of WhatsApp Web on a computer that’s not yours, or you suspect someone has gained access to your account, you can log out of all active sessions by visiting the same settings page you used to scan the QR Code. (For iOS, again, that would be Settings > WhatsApp Web.)

Editor’s note:This post was originally published in January of 2015 and has since been updated with new information.
Read more at CNET.com

 http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-use-whatsapp-from-your-computer/

Could Cryptocurrencies be the next big thing in Africa? (IT News Africa)

Mobile money is booming in Africa, and digital currencies are at a close second, due to the same reason: 30% of Africans lack access to traditional financial services such as bank accounts and credit cards.

By Eran Feinstein, Chairman of 3G Direct Pay Group

 

Consequently, they are mostly limited to cash transactions, which impede on their ability to choose where to make purchases and do business. Cryptocurrencies play an important role in the development of technology-driven markets, and as Africa shifts a large portion of its business to technological and virtual endeavors, it is only natural that cryptocurrencies should become significant.

New research from PricewaterhouseCoopers reveals that the acceptance of the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has achieved critical mass and, as such, is positioned to disrupt the payments market. For Africa, cryptocurrencies hold many benefits, such as:

Pan Africa – Connecting Africans
Currently, each African country has their own currency, and Africans are unable to even complete transactions in other African countries within the same system, such as M-Pesa: a user in Ghana cannot send an M-Pesa payment to another user located in Kenya, for example.

Economic growth in Africa is often hindered by the lack of regional trade that cryptocurrencies can enable without necessitating the adoption of a single currency such as the Euro. As a decentralized currency with no real authority, cryptocurrencies would enable less expensive and more widely accepted cross-border transactions between African countries than the currently popular mobile payments. While mobile payments are more well-established and trusted in the region, and they do allow for cross-border transactions, they are costlier than cryptocurrencies and do not work across all borders.  Cryptocurrencies enable swift, cheap transactions that will broaden markets and possibilities, both for the individuals and the countries, and contribute to Africa’s growth.

The World at Africa’s Fingertips
Cross border transactions are currently incredibly expensive for those who are lucky to have the ability, but as 30% of Africans do not have a bank account or credit card, world markets are unavailable to them. The surge in usage of mobile phones has introduced Africans to alternative forms of remittance, which have, in turn, been a tremendous boost to business and individuals. However, mobile payments still rely heavily on currencies such as the Dollar or Euro, as well as African eWallets, such as M-Pesa, all of which cause very high currency exchange fees. Cryptocurrencies are decentralized, and thus, have no exchange fee, as they are accepted worldwide, thus both saving the user fees and enabling them to purchase products and services from other countries, which were previously unavailable to them.

Additionally, freelancers will be able to accept payments in the cryptocurrency of their choice, thus facilitating cross-border work. Freelancers will no longer be limited to business in Africa and will be able to work with clients worldwide, as receiving payments will no longer be a challenge. Payments can be sent and received quickly, anywhere in the world, 24/7, without having to account for banking holidays, currency exchange rates, banking fees, and more.

Security, Trust, and Transparency
Cryptocurrencies have no central authority figure, such as a government, and transactions are transparent. While personal information is never revealed, each person has a unique address where their transactions are listed. As such, cryptocurrencies are safe against identify theft, and merchants cannot add fees without the customer’s’ knowledge. Anyone can view all transactions at any given time, but cryptocurrencies are cryptographically secure, meaning they cannot be manipulated by any person or government. Cryptocurrencies cannot be seized and funds cannot be frozen by governments or financial intermediaries, so users can be confident that they have complete control over their money. For many Africans, this level of security and transparency is precisely what they need and demand.

Risk in cryptocurrencies is very low; since transactions do not carry any personal information, cannot be reversed, and are encrypted, the chance of fraud for merchants is very low. Bitcoin carries multilayer protection, including physical access to the computer, meaning the chance of theft is significantly lower than other currencies. Consequently, merchants will be able to do business in higher-risk areas. This also means that companies and individuals that may have been hesitant to work with some African countries will now have the ability to confidently expand their offerings to Africa, as well.

Creation of New Services
The introduction of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in Africa can spark numerous technological advances to support its usage. Ideally, people will be able to elect to receive their salary in the cryptocurrency and financial institutions can issue cryptocurrency-backed credit cards. Tipjars, both virtual and physical, can also have an ability to be cryptocurrency-based, which can broaden usage capabilities.

Advances in the field are already taking place in Africa: A Ghana-based IT company has recently created a bitcoin-producing farm, adding capacity to the global pool, thus promoting Bitcoin development in Africa. Companies such as BitPesa enable Africans to convert Bitcoin received overseas into local currencies.

Disadvantages of Cryptocurrencies
While cryptocurrencies boast a plethora of advantages, at the present time, very few businesses, in Africa and worldwide, currently deal with them. As such, adoption and growth in Africa is severely hindered. However, as more international companies begin to accept cryptocurrencies, Africa, too, will be able to reap the benefits. Likewise, cryptocurrencies are currently very volatile, with very few coins available and demand rising daily. However, volatility is expected to decrease with time.

Additionally, public awareness of cryptocurrencies in Africa is currently very low. As people are not aware of them, they have yet to demand their acceptance at local business. However, with an estimated million Bitcoin wallets in Africa at the end of 2015, with nearly one third being used by Kenyans, the potential of cryptocurrency in Africa is clearly high. Therefore, lack of awareness is only a temporary issue.

Finally, since cryptocurrencies are anonymous, it has been known to be used for illicit purposes. Nonetheless, while traditionally Bitcoin was viewed as a black market currency used to cover up illegal activities, its widespread adoption by respected companies has given it validation and enabled it to grow.

Cryptocurrencies can potentially transform Africa by enabling an increasingly open trade in the continent itself and worldwide. Cryptocurrencies facilitate cross-border transactions by providing users with one lone currency and little to no fees. Additionally, the security and transparency of the network will provide Africans with the trust that they do not feel with their local financial institutions. With so many Africans lacking bank accounts and electing to utilize mobile payment platforms like this one instead, cryptocurrencies will undoubtedly transform into the largest game-changer for African economies in the upcoming decade.

Read More at IT News Africa

Could Cryptocurrencies be the next big thing in Africa?

14 Middle East & Africa non-profits to receive Microsoft grants (IT News Africa)

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Microsoft Philanthropies has announced grants for over 100 non-profits worldwide, of which 14 are in the Middle East and Africa. These grants are a component of the $75M commitment Microsoft made to increase access to computer science education around the world through Microsoft YouthSpark, as announced by Satya Nadella last year.

By Staff writer (IT News Africa)

14 non-profits across Middle East & Africa to receive Microsoft grants. (Image Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft is partnering with these nonprofits by providing cash grants, content and other resources needed to bring computational thinking and problem-solving skills to young people in local communities, important building blocks to help them succeed in today’s tech-fueled economy.

“Computational thinking and problem-solving skills will be relevant to every job in the future,” says Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Through our partnerships with nonprofit organizations around the world, we aim to empower all youth to prepare for this future with the foundational knowledge of computer science to dream and create the innovations of tomorrow.”

One of these partnerships is with Silatech, a dynamic social initiative that works to create jobs and expand economic opportunities for young people throughout the Arab world. Microsoft recently partnered with Silatech to provide online employability resources to Arab youth through the Ta3mal employability platform.  Microsoft is also eager to continue the partnership with World Vision, the new implementing partner of the recently transitioned TizaaWorks employability platform in Ghana.

Closing the computer science skills gap and reaching young people on a global scale is a multi-faceted challenge that cannot be solved by one organization or solution alone.

Microsoft’s partnerships with nonprofit organizations mean that more young people in the MEA region—particularly underserved communities, girls and ethnic and racially diverse populations-will have access to computer science education, helping build skills critical for future success.

One such partnership that will aid in bridging the gap in computer science skills is the Oman Information Technology Society and We Speak Code Initiative which promotes learning how to code through various activities and projects.

Other countries in the region to receive grants include Morocco, Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, Turkey, Kenya, Tunisia, South Africa, Oman, Egypt, Pakistan, Ghana and Cameroon.

read more at: http://www.itnewsafrica.com/2016/04/14-middle-east-african-non-profits-to-receive-microsoft-grants/

 

Volvo to electrify its entire fleet, will release battery-electric vehicle in 2019 (CNET)

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It’s all part of Volvo’s master plan to sell one million electrified cars by 2025.

By CNET Staff

Gas is nice and cheap right now, but it’s not going to stay that way forever. That’s why, despite the continuation of strong truck and SUV sales, automakers are still working to add electricity into the mix. Volvo’s just announced a very ambitious goal of selling one million electrified cars by 2025.

Now, “electrified” doesn’t infer that every vehicle will be a full-on, battery-electric cruiser. That term can expand to cover anything from mild hybrids, to plug-ins, to hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Hybrids will likely play a huge part of Volvo’s plan, especially since the automaker claims it will eventually offer “at least” two hybrid variants of every car in its lineup.

Volvo also said that it plans on releasing its first battery-electric vehicle in 2019. Between now and then, the company will be unveiling a new range of 40-series cars (e.g., V40, S40), which will have electrified versions alongside battery-packing variants of its 90-series and 60-series vehicles. Considering Volvo already has a plug-in XC90, with a PHEV S90 on the way, the group is already starting to ramp up its electrification.

The company’s goals go beyond electric cars. Volvo has also stated that it hopes to achieve “climate neutral operations” by 2025, and it’s hoping that no one will be injured or killed in a new Volvo by 2020. Autonomy will likely play a large part in the latter objective.

Read more at  http://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/volvo-to-electrify-entire-fleet-battery-electric-vehicle-2019/

 

New York City schools tap Amazon for e-books (engadget.com)

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The New York City Department of Education has awarded Amazon a $30 million contract to provide digital textbooks to its 1.1 million students over the next three years, the Wall Street Journal reports.

By Andrew Dalton

With the new contract, New York City schools will invest in electronic formats (and save precious locker space) by accessing materials through a private marketplace similar to what Amazon has rolled out to colleges and universities in the past. While this deal only covers the content, and not the hardware to read it on, the texts will be available on a range of devices from laptops and tablets to e-readers and smartphones.

In the 2016-2017 school year alone, New York has committed to spend about $4.3 million on Amazon materials. That number will double every year throughout the contract, with the option to extend for another two years and $34.5 million. Amazon will reportedly receive a healthy 10 to 15 percent cut of sales.

Stepping into the classrooms of the country’s largest school district is a big win for Amazon, which has been making strides to keep up with competition from Apple and Google in the education space. Last month, the online retail giant also quietly announced a “revolutionary” platform that promised “free and unlimited access to first-class course materials.”

read more at: http://www.engadget.com/2016/04/21/new-york-city-schools-amazon-e-books/

Uber set to deliver flu shots in South Africa (IT News Africa)

Winter is slowly but surely making its way to South Africa and with it comes flu season. With winter fast approaching, Discovery has revealed a partnership with Uber & Dis-Chem to bring the flu vaccine to consumers in the country.

By Darryl Linington (IT Africa News)

On Friday, 22 April 2016 between 10:00am and 15:00pm, Discovery Vitality members who live in selected areas in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town or Port Elizabeth can have a qualified Discovery-accredited Dis-Chem nurse arrive at their location within minutes, ready to administer the flu vaccine for up to five patients per visit.

Uber set to deliver flu shots in South Africa.

The vaccine is free of charge according to Discovery; however you will need to pay R100 for the drive to you when you order through the Uber app.

How it Works
– On Friday 22 April at 10:00am, open your Uber app (or download Uber at uber.com/app)
– Slide across to the UberHEALTH view with the cross icon
– Set your pickup location and request a ride as you normally would

Vitality members earn 1 000 Vitality points for having a flu vaccination. If you’re new to Uber, sign up and enter the promo code UBERHEALTHSA to enjoy your first trip free up to R150, before 22 April 2016.


Read More IT News Africa 

Google awards R10 Million grant to African organisation (IT News Africa)

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By Staff Writer (IT News 

Google has awarded a $717,728 (roughly R10 Million) grant to the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD) to develop technology that can assist people in Sub-Saharan Africa who are living with disabilities.

Related: Google to train 1 million people in Africa in digital skills

SAFOD is working with with the University of Washington and The African Network for Evidence-to-Action on Disability (AfriNEAD) to establish AT-Info-Map, a system that will map the location and availability of assistive technology (AT) in Sub-Saharan Africa—providing critical and timely information to empower governments, suppliers, and advocates to increase access to AT.

Google awards R1m grant to African organisation

The Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities was launched in March last year, in the form of an open call to global nonprofits who are building transformative technologies for people around the world with disabilities. Ideas were received from over 1 000 organisations spanning 88 countries, and 30 winners were announced last week.

Google is helping these 30 organisations to scale by investing in their vision, by rallying its people and by mobilising its resources in support of their missions.

The organisations Google is supporting all have big ideas for how technology can help create new solutions, and each of their ideas has the potential to scale. Each organisation has also committed to open sourcing their technology—which helps encourage and speed up innovation in a sector that has historically been siloed.

In awarding these grants Google looked for big ideas, with technology at the core and the potential to scale supported by nimble and flexible teams that are strong enough to implement the work proposed.

And, Google realises there’s always room to improve its products as well. The company has a team committed to monitoring the accessibility of Google tools; and provides engineering teams with training to incorporate accessibility principles into products and services. That doesn’t just mean improving existing Google tools, it means developing new ones as well. For example, Liftware is a stabilising utensil designed to help people with hand tremors eat more easily, and self-driving cars could one day transform mobility for everyone.

Find more information.

https://www.google.org/impactchallenge/disabilities/grants.html

 

 

Google to train 1 million people in Africa in digital skills (IT News Africa)

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Google has, at a press conference in Johannesburg, announced its commitment to train one million young Africans in digital skills in the next year. In realising this commitment, Google is supporting its partner Livity Africa to run two training programs: ‘Digify Bytes’ to give digital skills to young people looking to develop a digital career; and ‘Digify Pro’, a 3-month immersion program for digital specialists.

Editor: Darryl Linington (IT News Africa)

Luke McKend, Country Director, Google South Africa. (Image Credit: Darryl Linington).

These programs have already launched in Nigeria, Kenya & South Africa, and will be scaled to reach more people in the next 12 months. A group of 65 volunteer Googlers from around the world are helping the Livity team with content development, ‘training the trainers’ and, in some cases, delivering the training sessions.

Additionally, the announcement saw the launch of digifyafrica.com – an online-learning portal that will house a range of digital skills courses, available to anyone in Africa – free. The courses are designed to be as “light” as possible so they don’t eat up valuable data. There are nine training courses already available and Google aims to have 50 available by July.

Luke McKend Country Director, South Africa: “The internet is at the heart of economic growth and the Digital Skills Program is aimed at helping more Africans play a part in the digital economy. Everyone can succeed online, start a new business, grow their existing one, or share their passion.”

Read More at IT News Africa

(HuffPost Style) Tim Gunn: The Obama Girls Are The ‘Antidote’ To The Kardashians

James Cave | Lifestyle Staff Writer, The Huffington Post

Has your newsfeed OD’d on the Kardashians? Tim Gunn has your medicine.

When asked in a recent sit-down interview at HuffPost Live about who he considers the “antidote” to the Kardashians, he replied without hesitation: Sasha and Malia Obama.

KEVIN MAZUR VIA GETTY IMAGES

“I believe that they dress for their age, they dress in a way that for me is fashionable and sophisticated, and they’re not trying to look older than they are, and they’re not trying to look younger,” Gunn said. “And of course they have the best fashion mentor in the world right there with them — their mother.”

Watch the full video here.

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