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Three Software Developers Win Cash Prizes In MTN Yolo Hackathon Challenge




Three young software developers have all walked away with prize money after winning the First edition of the MTN Yolo Hackathon challenge.

Rwibutso Germain, a young software developer from Kigali won the first prize of Rwf2,000,000, Yves Mutsinzi, the founder of Kigali Rides was the second and awarded Rwf1,200,000, while Joselyne Nisingizwe, the only lady in the competition and owner of Smart Ikigega, won Rwf800,000.

The winning project in the MTN Yolo Hackathon under a mobile application named “MensaH’’ attempts to provide innovative solutions to bridge the gap between customers and what they want to buy.

Powered by the MoMo API, MensaH, will allow Customers to scan any product they want from any shop, process the payment, and get the products delivered, both in Rwanda and abroad.

Speaking at the event, MTN Rwanda CEO, Mitwa Ng’ambi said that the MTN Yolo Hackathon was a great experience.

“Having launched the 1st edition, and meet such brilliant young developers is proof that we have the next digital giants,” she said and congratulated the top three winners as well as all the applicants who took part in this digital challenge.

The Minister of Youth and Culture, Rosemary Mbabazi, who attended the awarding ceremony, said that the youth empowerment agenda is a complex assignment that cannot be achieved without synergies and complementarity between the government and private sector actors.

The Minister lauded MTN’s contribution towards empowering talent in the industry and also advised winners to always follow their passion, work harder and smarter, do different things from what their competitors are doing.

She encouraged the winners to be mindful of providing good service to clients, and be people centric.

MTN Yolo Hackathon attracted more than 200 young entrepreneurs where at the first stage only 30 best projects were selected. The top five were then selected and attended a four-day Bootcamp for mentoring. Mentors came from various institutions including MTN and RISA.

RISA CEO, Innocent Muhizi and MTN CEO, Mitwa Ngambi were among the mentors.

The panel of judges was composed of Alex Ntare, the chief judge who is the CEO of ICT Chamber, Diana Gahima from RISA, Aline Akuzwe, a software developer, Philip Gakuru from MTN Fintech, and Ezer Ntabwoba from MTN IT Department.

MTN Yolo Hackathon is an annual youth challenge meant to address specific challenges in the society by developing digital channels.

It is an opportunity to create innovative financial applications and transactions using the Mobile Money API (MoMo) MTN platform.

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Kazakhstan’s AI-Powered Among Top 10 MedTech Startups



Kazakhstan’s AI-powered software [Cerebra] for early stroke detection and faster and more accurate treatment, has been included in the list of the world’s ten most innovative projects in the field of medical artificial intelligence, according to Medtronic APAC Innovation Challenge.

This is a platform for startups and businesses run by Medtronic, a Florida-based company in healthcare technology, which is aimed at advancing innovative ideas in therapeutics and digital health, as well as introducing artificial intelligence, robotics, and machine learning in the field.

Cerebra is artificial intelligence software that is designed for fast stroke diagnosis and minimization of human factors while providing an internal ecosystem for data exchange and any-time remote platform access.

While stroke remains one the leading causes of death in Kazakhstan with nearly 80% of patients suffering severe complications, Cerebra helps detect cytotoxic edema on a CT scan, often hidden from the human eye.

The project, which is a participant of Astana Hub international technopark of IT startups, currently works in test mode in 17 stroke centers across Kazakhstan.

“There are only a few large companies in the world that do stroke diagnostics.

Despite the clear advantages of competitors from Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States in terms of finance, human power, and the amount of medical data to train AI, our team is very motivated by what we can do for people.

In developed countries, mortality from stroke has been minimized, and in our country, stroke remains one of the first causes of death.

To scale the project abroad, we need to show good results in Kazakhstan, and for this, we need the support of the state,” said project founder Doszhan Zhusaupov.

At the early stage, the startup attracted investments from Quest Ventures Singapore Venture Fund and also won a $50,000 grant for the first place in Build Your Own Business competition from the Saby Foundation in 2020.

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Data Privacy Day: Are Rwandans Protected Online?



Rwandans will on Friday join their global counterparts to observe the Data Privacy Day usually celebrated on January 28.

Millions of people are unaware of and uninformed about how their personal information is being used, collected or shared in our digital society.

The purpose of Data Privacy Day is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. Data Privacy Day is part of the global online safety, security, and privacy campaign called ‘STOP. THINK. CONNECT.’, — an initiative of the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).

Data Privacy Day’s educational initiative originally focused on raising awareness among businesses as well as users about the importance of protecting the privacy of their personal information online, particularly in the context of social networking.

The educational focus has expanded over the years to include families, consumers and businesses.

Our personal information has been at risk for many decades. Personal data has been collected, manipulated, and shared or sold for decades, then manipulated further for profit by banking institutions, product manufacturers, political parties, nonprofit organizations, ad agencies, polling groups, airlines, grocery stores, credit agencies, and many others.

Digital technologies have made the collection of personal data easier, both legally and illegally. And with 4.66 billion people in the world who are active internet users, there is an incalculable amount of unsecured data waiting to be pilfered.

Data Privacy Day promotes events and activities that stimulate the development of technology tools that promote individual control over personally identifiable information; encourage compliance with privacy laws and regulations; and create dialogues among stakeholders interested in advancing data protection and privacy.

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How to Avoid Dangers With Mobile Money Transfers- Worldremit



The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world as we know it. Crucially, we have seen a marked acceleration in the global adoption of online and digital platforms in a variety of sectors ranging from education to work collaboration tools to financial services, all of which brings about new sets of cyber security challenges.

Online and digital business platforms are, of course, nothing new, and they certainly predate the advent of the pandemic.

However, the global crisis has given impetus to trends that were already becoming an integral part of life in the 21st century even in countries traditionally less reliant on technology.

Africa is now one of the fastest growing regions taking part in the digital economy where people across the continent have become quick and enthusiastic adopters of global innovation trends.

But this rapid change comes with significant risks, not least of which is the potential for cybercrime, as greater numbers of the African population move online and become increasingly reliant on digital platforms to conduct business, access product and services, and transact financially.

According to a recently released document from the global police agency Interpol, the African Cyberthreat Assessment Report, there are five types of cybercrimes that have become more prevalent than ever before on the continent: online scams, digital extortion, business email compromise, ransomware and botnets.

Africa has more than 500 million internet users, placing the continent ahead of regions such as North America, South America, and the Middle East in terms of the absolute number of people online.

This volume equates to 38% of Africa’s population, which implies there is room for growth in the continent’s use of internet services in the coming years, as levels of connectivity and uptake trend upwards. These will be driven by lower connection costs, greater innovation and rising digital literacy.

According to the report, the leading countries are Kenya with 83% of its population online, Nigeria with 60% and South Africa with 56%.

Mobile banking in particular is noted to be used widely within these three countries, contributing to Africa’s active role in digital financial services, the report finds.People who use online banking, cross-border money transfers, and other financial services, must remain vigilant in order to remain safe online.

WorldRemit, a leading global payments company, advises that users adopt a few basic safety protocols to avoid falling victim to any of the various forms of cybercrime.

Confirm receipt of identity and method: Whether it is cash pickup, mobile money, or bank transfer, it is important that customers ensure they include the recipient’s full legal name, as the bank in the receiving country will match their identification with the transfer information.

Speed is of the essence: Pick a service that ensures your money reaches its intended destination quickly and safely.

Also check if the platform you are using has a 24-hour customer care service that is operational.

There is a simple 3-step process to help avoid online fraud:

Stop: take a moment to think before sending money or providing any information.

Challenge: it’s okay to ignore or refuse requests for funds. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Protect: contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve wired money to a scammer and report it to the relevant authorities.

WorldRemit operates in 44 African countries through partnerships with local mobile network operators (MNOs)

While these partnerships offer an extra layer of protection to mobile money transfers and other online transactions, WorldRemit advises users to confirm the identity of the person they are transacting with and to take advantage of the mobile service’s security protocols to protect their identities and online accounts.

The rise in cybercrime and online scams is the corollary to the rapid digital growth fueled and accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In African countries where, notably, mobile banking and mobile money transfer have leapfrogged to unprecedented levels, it is incumbent on all of us to stay vigilant and beware of fraud by following the safety protocols in place and reporting suspicious activities through the proper channel.

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