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WeGov

Why Did Mobile Money Flop In Nigeria?

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, September 5 2013

Two years have passed since a mobile money service was deployed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and it still has yet to catch on with the masses. According to a recent poll by the Nigerian research company NOI, only 6 out of 10 Nigerians know about the service (59 percent), and of that number only 13 percent are using it.

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WeGov

One-Size-Fits-All Toolkit For Gathering Information In A Crisis

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, September 4 2013

The thing about crises is that they can take you by surprise. Although governments and humanitarian organizations do their best to prepare, it's nice to have something to fall back on in any situation, something like an emergency first aid kit for NGOs. The nonprofit media support organization Internews thought so too, which is why they partnered with Columbia University's Modi Research Group and Captricity to create the Humanitarian Data Toolkit.

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WeGov

The Open Data Tool That's Getting Thousands All Over Africa to the Polls

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, August 28 2013

Screenshot of GoToVote! ZW

A “get out the vote” initiative that began in Kenya is spreading across Africa to countries like Ghana, South Africa and now Zimbabwe. On July 31, Zimbabwe's election day, thousands of voters knew where to go because of a simple online tool called GoToVote! ZW. It saved those citizens the usual hassle of searching for their polling station.

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WeGov

Can Better User Experience Reboot Kenya's App Economy?

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, July 17 2013

Mark Kamau (Flickr/Whiteafrican)

African bloggers have bemoaned the failure rate of mobile apps in Kenya, in particular those that win competitions and then disappear. While many factors could contribute to the phenomenon, at the iHub UX Lab in Nairobi, Kenyan web solution expert Mark Kamau shows developers how to put the user at the center of the design. UX is short for User Experience, and Kamau advocates for it as a way of sharing the “cognitive load” between mobile app developers and users.

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WeGov

Mostly Thumbs Up for Uchaguzi Election Monitoring in Kenya

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, July 12 2013

Uchaguzi election monitoring map of the "POSITIVE EVENTS" that were reported

To ensure a fair and free, nonviolent election in Kenya earlier this year, the non-profit tech company Ushahidi launched an election monitoring platform called Uchaguzi. This month iHub Research released a report based on a six month long assessment of the use of Uchaguzi in Kenya this year. The review was performed in order to assess scalability, replicability and long term sustainability.

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WeGov

In Kenya, a Gov't Initiative to Give First Graders Solar Powered Laptops

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, June 25 2013

Next January 400,000 free, solar powered laptops will be handed out to Kenyan first graders in a government initiative to catch up with the quickly digitizing world. Although the administration claims that, when fully implemented, the program will eventually reduce the costs that come with purchasing textbooks, critics complain that it is expensive and that what schools need are more teachers, desks, books and even buildings.

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WeGov

In Kenya, Apps Fizzle Out After Winning Competitions

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, June 11 2013

Nairobi (Sam Stearman/Wikipedia)

This spring, Kenyan tech blogger Kennedy Kachwanya left the regional Microsoft Imagine Cup competition thoroughly underwhelmed by the quality of the apps presented. He then wrote an impassioned post (in his words, a rant) on his website Kachwanya.com about the decline of the Kenyan mobile app. He is also outraged because even winning apps seem to fall off the map – basically fail – after the competition is over and media coverage dies down.

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WeGov

New Web Platform Allows Students in Kenya, Uganda to Report Corrupt Professors

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, May 6 2013

Screengrab from Notinmycountry.org

Students in Kenyan and Ugandan universities now have an outlet to anonymously report professors and university personnel for corrupt activities or ineffective and lazy work. Read More

WeGov

Google Launches Mobile Micropayments in Africa

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, April 30 2013

A Nairobi matatu (bus) (Wikipedia)

Google just announced the launch of rebranded electronic payment system BebaPay in Kenya, home to the popular and successful mobile money system M-Pesa. With the BebaPay card, Google tackles the notoriously chaotic bus system in Kenya. The BebaPay card standardizes fares and provides riders with receipts, protecting them from unscrupulous conductors charging hiked up fares or not providing change. And it costs consumers next to nothing: the card is free and there are no transaction fees, although cell phone operators can charge to transfer money to the card. With all those perks, many are asking, “What’s the catch?”

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WeGov

Mobile Banking Outpaces Traditional Banking in Kenya

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, April 24 2013

Screengrab from YouTube Video The Story of M-Pesa

Kenya’s mobile networks last year collectively held more in deposits than the country’s largest bank. The telecoms regulator CCK reported the mobile networks held Sh226 billion ($2.70 billion) in deposits at the end of last year while the largest commercial bank held Sh223 billion ($2.66 billion). The report said the number of mobile money transfer subscribers grew to 21.1 million from 19.3 million in the previous period, a growth of 9.4 percent.

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