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Empowering DRC Through Improved Connectivity

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Dikembe Mutombo

Did you know more than 49 million people live in remote or rural regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)?

In those regions, more than 32 million live in an area without a minimum of 3G. Broadband access is widely recognized as a catalyst for social and economic development and gaps in connectivity impact everyday life from education to health and job skills.

Intelsat is working to change that and always believed that  a fresh approach, fully integrated hybrid networks, new business models and creative partnerships will be essential to accelerate the buildout of a robust network infrastructure that would provide a great foundation for endless opportunities in Africa.

In June 2022, Intelsat hosted, together with its partner Ragasat, the DRC Connectivity Forum in Kinshasa.

The forum brought together key stakeholders involved in the promotion of the telecommunications sector in DRC (public and private), fostering high quality discussions around solutions for reliable connectivity to all the people in the DRC.

Speaking at the event, the Minister in charge of Posts, Telecommunications and New Information and Communication Technologies (PTNTIC), His Excellency Mr. Augustin Kibassa Maliba, emphasized the importance of providing connectivity to more people in the DRC.

Congolese-American Dikembe Mutombo, former professional basketball player and humanitarian, referred to as the “son of the Congo,” was on hand to explain how connectivity can expand opportunities for residents improving healthcare, education and quality of life of the people in the DRC.

“We cannot have a strong, independent, and successful Africa without an educated and connected population. This is how we change our future – we need African solutions to address African problems,” Mutombo said.

During the event, Intelsat cut ribbon on a teleport inauguration in Kinshasa to celebrate a state-of-the-art ground infrastructure, which is crucial to the services Intelsat provides there offering greater connectivity solutions in the DRC.

“This is a great day for Intelsat, Ragasat and DRC. Together with Ragasat, we partnered to achieve our objective by bringing new capabilities and solutions in DRC.  Through this state-of-the-art platform, we are enabling Service Providers and Mobile Operators in DRC to expand their network coverage anywhere in the country, connecting more subscribers, land areas, roadways, and IoT devices – all with minimal investment and an extremely fast time to market,” Intelsat Senior Vice President Global Sales Media & Networks, Jean-Philippe Gillet said.

“At Intelsat, we believe in a connected Africa where rural communities will gain access to healthcare, education, and financial services for an improved quality of life.”

In partnership with Ragasat, Intelsat is deploying its CellBackhaul service from Kinshasa, providing easy connectivity to hard-to-reach places. Intelsat CellBackhaul, an end-to-end managed service, is the ideal solution for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in DRC to expand their coverage to rural areas. It overcomes the technical and economic challenges often associated with traditional, terrestrial backhaul deployments for rural coverage.

In addition to expanding coverage, MNOs in DRC can use Intelsat CellBackhaul to ensure their subscribers stay connected anywhere they go by providing backup to existing coverage.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Startups

5000 Startups From Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa Completed Google Training Programme

No less than 5000 startups from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa have completed the Google Hustle Academy training programme.

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Start-up - Investors King

No less than 5000 startups from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa have completed the Google Hustle Academy training programme. The programme was designed to help business owners learn soft skills that complement their hard talents.

Investors King learnt that Google received more than 10,000 applications for this year’s edition. 

It could be recalled that earlier this year, Google announced a plan to train 5,000 African Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with participants coming from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. 

Google noted that participants will go through a training academy where they will undergo five days of hands-on training and receive 3,000 hours of training on fundamental aspects of business to help them navigate the challenges faced by SMEs in Africa.

According to the press statement released by Google Head of Brand & Reputation, Sub Sahara Africa, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde after the completion of the training, participants attended a five-day virtual boot camp where they learned how to define their business strategy, increase sales, and how to pitch for investor funding. 

While dividing them into 23 cohorts, they were also trained in digital marketing and effective financial planning.

This is in addition to the one-on-one mentoring sessions received by each participant. The mentoring session was handled by a network of trained mentors and coaches. 

Meanwhile, Aderemi-Makinde further revealed that Google has launched a new speaker series in which successful African entrepreneurs share lessons and advice. 

He added that Google will continue to do more to help African entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive.

“(The) speaker series will allow Small and Medium Businesses to get insight from business owners from an array of sectors, focusing on the issues, themes and subjects they face on a regular basis,” he said. 

He stated that Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the global economy while noting that in Africa, they account for an estimated 80 per cent of jobs. 

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Fund Raising

Nigerian Based Food Tech Startup, Orda Raises $3.4 Million in Seed Funding

Orda Africa has now raised a combined $4.5 million raised by the African-centric food tech company. 

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orda africa

Nigerian-based food tech startup, Orda announced it has raised a sum of $3.4 million in seed funding after it raised $1.1 million in pre-seed funding at the beginning of this year. This makes it a total of $4.5 million raised by the African-centric food tech company. 

Investors King understands that Orda is an African restaurant cloud operating system that helps restaurants to move from pen and paper to a fully automated digital platform. 

According to the startup, it aims to help more African restaurants maximize their business operations and expand distribution. 

The tech company added that it plans to improve on some new features which include loan, credit, and payment options which will eventually enable its clients to maximize the potential of their business. 

Investors King learnt that this new round of funding was co-led by Quona Capital and FinTech Collective. Other institutional investors which participated in the seed funding include Far Out Ventures, Lofty Inc Capital, Enza Capital, and Outside VC.

In the last one year, Orda has been able to increase its customer base to more than 600 restaurants across Nigeria and Kenya while its weekly processing orders has increased by more than 500 percent. 

Speaking about the growth and focus of the company, Orda’s CEO and co-founder, Guy Futi said “From day one, Orda has been focused on building solutions for small and medium-sized restaurants”.

“These businesses operate with slim profit margins and the power of Orda’s software and financial solutions can catapult their business. Our goal is to provide end-to-end solutions that help them optimize their operations so they become more prosperous”. 

Founded in 2020 by Guy Futi, Fikayo Akinwale, Mark Edomwande, Kunle Ogungbamila, and Namir El-Khouri, Orda has the vision to help small-sized African restaurants optimize their business and achieve sustainable growth.

Meanwhile, the company has attributed its growth over the last 12 months to the excellent team it has put together, a trend it hopes to continue in the coming months. 

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Social Media

Twitter CEO, Elon Musk Alleged Apple Plans to Remove Twitter From iOS Store

Musk claimed that Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter

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Twitter - Investor sking

Twitter’s new owner and CEO, Elon Musk, has alleged that Apple Inc. is planning to remove the Twitter app from the iOS App Store, the billionaire revealed this in a series of tweets yesterday. 

“Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why,” Musk tweeted on Monday. 

Aside from the threat to remove Twitter from its App Store, Musk also disclosed that Apple has mostly’ stopped advertising on Twitter.

In the following tweet, Musk claimed that Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. “Do they hate free speech in America,” he asked. 

Investors King had reported that a number of big brands which include Ford, Volkswagen, and General Motors have paused paid advertising on the microblogging platform. 

The brands have alleged that Twitter under the leadership of Elon Musk will open the social media platform to hate speech. 

If Apple eventually removes Twitter from the iOS store, it would be detrimental to Twitter’s business, which is already struggling with a loss of advertisers following Musk’s takeover. 

Millions of users get the Twitter application from the Apple iOS store. Therefore new users will not be able to download the Application on the iOS store while existing users will be deprived of updating the app. 

Washington Post reported that Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter in the first quarter of 2022, spending $48 million on ads on the social platform. 

The newspaper added that Apple’s spending accounted for more than 4 percent of Twitter’s revenue in that quarter.

Although Apple CEO, Tim Cook nor any of the company’s representatives responded to Musk’s post. 

The tweet however caught the attention of United States lawmakers who have proposed bipartisan legislation that aims to dismantle the power that Apple and Google wield through their app stores.

“This is why we need to end the App Store duopoly before the end of this year,” one of the lawmakers, Rep. Ken Buck tweeted. 

“No one should have this kind of market power,” he added.

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