ESET East Africa and @iLabAfrica Sign MoU to Fight Cyber Crime

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iLab -ESET MOU Signing

Kenya has in the recent past suffered from Internet Security threats such as hacking,impersonations, loss of money, loss of information and even exposure of confidential information. The attacks are mainly targeted at individuals, banks, financial institutions and government institutions.

A report by Deloitte named Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions 2017, ranked Kenya as one of the most vulnerable countries worldwide in terms of cyber security. Kenya has a current internet penetration of 85.3 percent, one of the highest in Africa.The report showed companies and government organizations in Kenya lost a record of US$171 million through cybercrime in 2016 and this is expected to rise by 30 percent by the end of 2017.

To help reduce cyber security threats in Kenya, ESET East Africa has signed a memorandum of understanding (M.O.U) with @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University. ESET will support Strathmore University’s current academic programs on cyber-security, through collaborative research and benchmarking approaches on issues of local interest such as ethical hacking, phishing and ransomware studies. Teddy Njoroge, Country Manager ESET East Africa, said the company will explore joint opportunities with like-minded partners and contribute assets in developing innovative cyber-security solutions targeting both blue chip businesses and Small and Medium Enterprises over the next one year.

Estimates indicate that Kenya has just about 1000 certified cyber-security specialists, way lower than the optimal 40,000 needed “The rise of cyber-crime and related information security incidents in the country can be attributed to this shortage of personnel coupled by the slow development of homegrown research driven solutions” said Collins Oduor the Information Technology Security Manager for @iLabAfrica centre.

@iLabAfrica offers customized cyber-security training in ethical hacking(CEH), computer hacking forensic investigation as well as certified security analyst courses to about 200 graduate and undergraduate students annually – drawn from the financial services sector, government agencies and academia.

Among other agreements, under the M.O.U with ESET East Africa, @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University plans to develop and introduce additional courses on emerging technologies and skills to tackle new cyber threats such as Internet of Things (IoT) Security, Security for Industrial Control Systems, Cyber security for Executives, Advance Malware Analysis and Secure Application Development among others.

Apply: Facebook Bots for Messenger Challenge

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For many years Facebook has been promoting innovation across the Middle East and Africa, providing startups with the tools they need to build, grow, monetize, and measure. Facebook grew out of a hacker culture, and we thrive on seeking out and promoting innovation on new platforms. That’s why they are launching the Bots for Messenger Challenge, a contest to recognize and reward developers who are able to create the most innovative new bots on Messenger in (i) the Middle East and North Africa; and (ii) Sub-Saharan Africa across one of these these three categories:

  1. Gaming and Entertainment
  2. Productivity and Utility
  3. Social Good

Teams of up to 3 people are invited to participate in the Challenge. The submission period runs from February 15, 2017 to April 28, 2017, and winners will be announced on June 19, 2017.

In view of this, Facebook will be partnering with AfriLabs to implement the Bot challenge through our network. We will like to request for your shipping address so we will be able to send across the Facebook posters for the Bots Challenge once received from them.

AWARDS
Finalist Teams
From each region (i) Middle East and North Africa; and (ii) Sub-Saharan Africa, 30 finalist teams (10 from each category) will win a Gear VR and mobile phone, Facebook mentorship and up to $40,000 USD in tools and services from FbStart, a Facebook program designed to help early stage mobile startups build and grow their bots

Note: All student teams or individual student entrants who make it to the finals will receive an additional $2,000 USD.

Runner Up Teams
For each region, 3 runner up teams (1 from each category) will win $10,000 USD and 3 months of Facebook mentorship.

Winning Teams
For each region, 3 winning teams (1 from each category) will win $20,000 USD and 3 months of Facebook mentorship.

DEADLINE
April 28, 2017

RULES 
Please review the Terms & Conditions carefully before registering.

Some important rules to note:

    • Bots must be created, and will be verified, between February 15, 2017 to April 28, 2017. Bots created before February 15, 2017 will not be eligible to participate.
    • Bots must comply with all Facebook for developers Messenger Platform developer guidelines and rules, and use the Messenger Platform API.
    • Any bots created on other non-Messenger bot platforms will be excluded.
    • Bots must be created by people in the Entrant’s home region of either (i) the Middle East and North Africa or (ii) Sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Bots may be in any language (or combination of languages). Only the Bot Submission must be entirely in English.
    • It is optional to submit a link to an online video of the bot, but if you do, the video must be under 2 minutes long.

Judging Criteria

    • Technical Quality – How well does the Bot use the Messenger platform features? [35%]
    • Non-Technical Quality – What is the degree of excellence of the Bot, taking into account the Bot’s distinctive attributes and characteristics (except for the technical aspects)? [35%]
    • User Experience – How usable is the Bot for the intended audience, including how well the conversation flows? [30%]

To learn more and participate in the challenge, kindly visit here.

Follow @iLabAfrica onTwitter and Instagram to learn more about our work

Microsoft’s #Insiders4Good Program in East Africa

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Microsoft’s Windows Insiders Program is a global community of over 7 million people using technology to make a lasting impact on the world through meaningful relationships with people around the world. As part of Windows Insiders, we launched the #Insiders4Good Fellowship in Nigeria, which seeks to find leaders in local communities who are actively and creatively solving problems. We are very excited to expand the #Insiders4Good Fellowship to East Africa and are seeking East African entrepreneurs with projects in the early stage to apply to become part of our second cohort of #Insiders4Good Fellows.

To participate in the #Insiders4Good East Africa Fellowship, applicants must be:

  1. Registered members of the Windows Insider Program (sign up at: insider.windows.com);
  2. Legal residents of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania or Uganda, aged 18 and over;
  3. Have an idea, or a business, for a product or service in the early stage that will improve the lives of East African people;
  4. The product or service cannot have been selected as a winner in any contest or sweepstakes.

Twenty-five entrepreneurs will be selected and will receive:

  1. A premier suite of Windows hardware and software, and
  2. A 6-month mentorship program that will be kicked off by a special one-week learning event for Fellows and mentors. The 6-month mentorship will include tailored technical and strategic mentorship from local and international leaders to help raise the Fellows’ unique idea to the next level.

Application Deadline is March 31st.

To learn more and apply for this exciting opportunity, please check here.

Post and photo credits: Microsoft Winsiders Website

Global Impact Challenge- SingularityU East Africa

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The purpose of the SingularityU East Africa Global Impact Challenge is to foster moonshot innovations and startups that positively impact the lives of people living in East Africa, with an ability to scale and impact a billion people worldwide in 10 years.

The Prize of the Challenge is free attendance to the transformational Global Solutions Program at no cost.

This year, the GSP has two big changes:

(1) climate change is the overarching theme, and

(2) we have a new collaboration with XPRIZE.

We selected the climate change theme because it has consequences for every industry, geographic region, and way of life. Even if you don’t consider yourself a climate change authority or innovator, your skill set can probably help mitigate the effects of climate change. If you’re already passionate about impact or working in the impact space, you can create a moonshot innovation to address this urgent global problem.

We will not require participants to innovate in the climate change space, and welcome people from all disciplines to apply, but this theme will inform the GSP curriculum. We are looking for applicants from ANY technology or science discipline because we know a challenge as huge as climate change can only be solved within the convergence of multiple disciplines and exponential technologies.

Our collaboration with XPRIZE will give you an extraordinary opportunity to tap into the wisdom and expertise of the best minds working in this field today and their established network of funders.

Application & Assessment

 Applicant Criteria:
  • The challenge is open to residents and citizens in East Africa Countries
  • You must be age 21 or older on the first day of the GSP
  • Must be fluent in written and spoken English
  • Able to participate for the entire GSP17 program
  • Applicants selected as finalists will be interviewed by a panel of judges on 24th March 2017

Assessment Criteria:

  • Degree of solution’s relevance to the theme of the challenge
  • The regional relevance in solving the challenge in East Africa
  • Feasibility, Viability and Coherence of implementing the idea
  • Entrepreneurial and innovative potential, with a focus on technological novelty
  • Applicant’s leadership experience and quality, profile, achievements, and potential

Save the Dates

 East Africa GIC Timeline
  • Applications Open- 13th February 2017
  • Applications Close – 13th March 2017
  • Pitch Day Event – 23rd March 2017
 What is needed
  •  CV/Resume
  • Summary of accomplishments
  • An abstract of the project idea
  • A video URL of the project idea
  Guidelines
 The challenge must be on solving a problem e.g. Climate Change or one of SU Global Grand Challenges, Thinks of a local problem scalable globally to positively impact a billion people of lives.
  • The idea should leverage exponential technology.

Revenue Enhancement Specialized Training

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@iLabAfrica in partnership with key industry players offered this 4-day course which offered an approach to sustainable revenue mobilization and enforcement in local governments and looks at means of improving core revenue processes, systems, data quality, skills and organizational structures.

The course was graced with the presence of senior and middle managers in the revenue/finance departments of County Governments, including Directors, Chief Officers, Sub-county Administrators, Revenue Officers, and Members of the County Assembly (MCAs), in charge of the budgeting process. It was well represented with county officials from all over the country.

On the first day, through Dr. Walter Ongeti and Mr. Stephen Khadondi, the participants were challenged on disruptive strategic thinking and creative destruction – to shift the paradigm towards performance management in revenue collection through change management. They were also enlightened on the revenue mobilization constitutional mandate and PFM Architecture Analysis.

On the second day, the participants were able to gain and understand a lot on domestic resource mobilization policy, legal framework and administration as well as revenue enforcement strategies through a panel discussion that consisted representatives from CRA, COB, ICPAK, KRA, IFMIS and KIPPRA among others.

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Douglas Gicho, the ICT Director of Kiambu, during his afternoon session touched on holistic e-Governance and public-private partnerships on revenue collection and mobilization.

CRA Director, Sheila Yieke shed light on CRA Recommended County Revenue Laws, their implementation and revenue target setting on the third day. Stephen Masha reviewed the mandate of the COB in County Revenue Collection and Resource Mobilization.

On the final day Professor David Sperling, one of the founders of Strathmore University addressed the County Officials on economic growth, sustainable growth and equity. They were very amazed at how knowledgeable he is about kenya and development.

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Banking institutions also had their representatives in the area. They focused on maximum utilization of banking capabilities in revenue collection enhancement and introduction of cashless systems.

In the end each County had a representative who shared how they’ve benefited from the course and how they would use the recently acquired knowledge within their own counties.

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We acknowledge the CountyPro team that made the 4-day course a great success.

Techfugees Kenya Event on Blockchain & Refugee Emergency Response

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This event  marks the official kickoff of the Techfugees Chapter in Kenya.

The Problem: Many refugees, and people in refugee-like situations, across Africa are unable to prove their identity or access essential services. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, 80% of the total adult population are unbanked and do not have the necessary documentation to open a bank account, and without necessary documentation, many refugees are unable to access healthcare, seek legal protection, or enrol their children in schools. In response, private enterprises and humanitarian organisations have begun to look into Blockchain technology as a way to independently authenticate and validate exchanges of information, from personal identification to money transfers.

How can Blockchain help?

Blockchain is a cloud-based public ledger that automatically records all transactions and stores them securely for everyone to see. This enables independent entities to rely on the same, secured and audible source of information without the need of third-party oversight.

Mapping solutions

The technology behind Blockchain has the potential to transform refugee response. Blockchain is increasingly being used in refugee emergency response – for example, in Kenya, a company like BanQu helps refugees create digital identities based on Blockchain technology. This event brings together startups, innovators and humanitarians to explore multiple Blockchain initiatives that have the potential to improve a refugee’s life.

● How can Blockchain technology alleviate challenges faced by refugees by providing identification and financial mobility?

● Can Blockchain unlock essential services to refugees without government support?

● Which humanitarian organizations have started to use Blockchain technology in Africa?

● When it comes to refugee response and Blockchain: What are the lessons learned from Africa and outside of Africa?

● From QR codes to electronic cards and digital vouchers? How can Blockchain benefit refugees?

Confirmed Speakers

At this event, you will be hearing from representatives from:

● Welcome by the co-chairs of Techfugees Kenya

  • Josephine Goube – Techfugees: Background on Techfugees and our plans for 2017!
  •  Komminist Weldermariam – IBM: Introduction to Blockchain 101
  • Caroline Njuki -IGAD: Context – key challenges facing refugees in the region
  • David Yen – BitPesa: How Bitcoin can support refugees
  • Joseph Thompson – Aid:Tech: (via Skype): Using Blockchain to distribute aid in refugee camps
  • Diana Klein- WFP Kenya: Introduction to a Blockchain pilot project developed by theThe World Food Programme

Event Details

  • Date: 22nd of February 2017
  • Time: 4:30pm and 7:00pm, East Africa Time.
  • Location: Strathmore University, Main Auditorium

Apply: Ideas for Action (I4A)2017 Competition

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Every year, students and young professionals from around the world participate to design ideas for financing and implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Winners of the competition will present their ideas during the IMF & World Bank Annual Meetings, receive support from a dedicated startup accelerator at the Wharton School, and benefit from unique networking opportunities with other young leaders as well as some of the most senior decision-makers in international development, academia, and the private sector.

Your Proposal 

Your proposal should include the following:

  • Title and team name
  • Short abstract
  • Explanation of the problem and context: Briefly describe the problem that your proposal is addressing.
  • Your solution: Succinctly describe your idea (including design, target population, stakeholders, incentives, and implementation)
  • Expected impact: Why is it relevant?
  • Are there similar examples? If so, where and how?
  • Challenges: What are challenges you might face and how can they be addressed?

 Timeline 

  • Deadline for full proposal submissions: February 28, 2017
  • Announcement of submissions selected for the final round: March 21, 2017
  • Deadline for final submissions: April 17, 2017
  • Announcement of winners: May 31, 2017

Registration and Submission

Eligibility: Students and young professionals between the ages of 14-18 years and 18-35 years from around the world are invited participate.

Team Registration: Teams must consist of two to six members and may be formed across different schools, institutions, companies, countries, nationalities etc. Please register your teams prior to submitting your proposal. You will then receive all relevant updates regarding the competition and our upcoming events.

Submission: Proposals must be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format

Ready for this??apply here