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Mozilla has revealed that the Firefox OS will soon expand to Africa. The Firefox OS ecosystem has gained support from three new key partners in the region: Airtel, MTN South Africa and Tigo, operated by Millicom, are the first carriers working with Mozilla to soon bring first Firefox OS smartphones to Africa.

“We are proud to see that with Airtel, MTN South Africa and Tigo, Firefox OS gains additional support to soon extend the Firefox OS footstep into Africa”, says Rick Fant, Mozilla’s VP Planning and Ecosystem. “The continued growth of Firefox OS holds great promise for enabling millions more people to access the mobile Web at an affordable cost, while helping to remove control points in today’s closed mobile ecosystems.” Read more

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FlickPay, Snapscan and Zapper might sound like a foreign language – yet these are the apps used by a fast growing group of consumers in South Africa who have bought into the world of mobile payment. Mobile phone providers, merchants, financial institutions and consumers represent the fast-growing ecosystem centred on mobile-linked banking, a facet of today’s society that continues to gain popularity.

Experts in the financial services space (and convergence with ICT) agree that mobile transacting has developed, is now a reality and has found mainstream application. The days of thick wallets, heavy purses and paper-based transactions are fast disappearing.

Innovation centred on mobility and integration with financial systems makes it possible for consumers to pay for goods and services via their mobile phones. It also enables merchants to offer customers the benefit of an inter-connected system and add more value and convenience to their services. Read more

Cloud Computing set for massive growth in SA & Kenya

Rapidly expanding bandwidth capacities, following the landing of undersea cables, have led to the proliferation of data centres and established a solid platform for the development of cloud computing services in South Africa and Kenya. Enterprises are steadily embracing outsourcing and managed services for various business and technological benefits, further driving migration to cloud computing.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Overall Cloud Computing Market in South Africa and Kenya, finds that the market earned revenues of $114.6 million in 2013 and estimates this to reach $288.0 million in 2018. Software as a Service will become the most popular cloud computing platform. Read more

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As of the second quarter of 2014, Facebook now has 100 million people coming to the platform every month across the African continent, representing half of the 200 million people connected to the Internet in Africa. More than 80% come to Facebook every month on mobile.

In addition to this being a significant milestone for Facebook, it also reflects the fact that people in high-growth countries want to be connected to the world around them and that mobile is providing unprecedented ways for that to happen.

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Innovation is happening all over Africa in all different sectors, from education to energy, banking to agriculture.

“It’s the best kind of innovation – the problem-solving innovation born out of necessity,” says Toby Shapshak, editor and publisher of the South African version of Stuff magazine says.

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With desktops living in the shadows of their much cooler friends, mobile phones, continental app developers are responding to the needs of Africans on the move.

When it comes to chatting, playing and sharing, more people are doing it with a phone in their hand, so it’s no wonder that mobile applications (apps) are becoming more and more popular on the continent.

big tech brands are now developing their own devices – like phones and speakers – for the African market

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The mobile internet sector in Africa is developing rapidly, with smartphones becoming much more affordable and growing in popularity. Jumia has taken advantage of this with a mobile app that allows an increasing number of Africans to access the e-commerce platform wherever they are.

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late 2012, the World Association of Telecom operators said that sub-Saharan Africa has become since 2000, the most growing market in mobile telephony.

40% growth each year.

With these data, it is expected one billion mobile subscribers on the continent in 2015, attracted by the strong demand for connectivity and innovative services like mobile money and mobile internet.

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Young techies hunched over laptops in small offices across Africa want to create their own versions of California’s Silicon Valley and some are beginning to attract investors prepared to take a risk in the hope of high returns.

One such start-up, a South African social photography app called Over, last month beat 19 others from around the world to win funding from U-start, an advisor that matches mainly European investors with fledging businesses.

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