[Africa Tech Week] Facebook is targeting African fake news in local languages
Facebook launched its third-party fact-checking programme across five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Cameroon in 2018. The programme relies on feedback from the Facebook community, as one of many signals Facebook uses to raise potentially false stories to fact-checkers for review. Local articles will be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos. If one of Facebook’s fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution.
The social media giant together with Africa Check is now expanding its local language coverage as part of its Third-Party Fact-Checking Programme. This week, it announced that it has added new local language support for several African languages as programme.
This week, South Africa’s fintech startup uKheshe, announced the completion of its first seed investment round. Still, on startups, Nairobi-based affordable diagnostics startup Ilara Health also raised $735,000 from seasoned investors including ShakaVC, a Nairobi-based firm backed by Chinese investors. Kobo360, the digital technology platform disrupting African third-party logistics, announced the completion of a $20M Series A equity round. Just recently, Kobo360 announced that it will expand operations into Accra, Ghana and Nairobi, Kenya.
Nigeria’s digital content distribution startup Publiseer was shortlisted for the Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards 2019. In January this year, it was also accepted to Singularity University’s Global Startup Program (GSP).
On matters fintech, Allied Wallet Africa, a global FinTech company offering various payment solutions in 196 countries, announced a new office in Angola, Africa to support the growing opportunities for African entrepreneurs. The firm also recently partnered with African banks to bring state-of-the-art digital payment technology to over one billion people in Africa.
Telecom Egypt was also in the news this week. The Telco signed on August 8, 2019, on the sidelines of the BRICS Future Network Innovation forum (from 5 to 9 August 2019 in China), an agreement with Chinese technology company Huawei to develop its networks. It also announced financial results recording consolidated profits of LE 2.13 billion during the first half of 2019, compared to LE 2.06 billion including minority rights during the same half of 2018, marking an increase of 3.49 per cent. Recently it signed a strategic partnership agreement with Cable Network Egypt (CNE) to provide Telecom Egypt’s customers with Internet Protocol. Still, on matters telcos, Hammer Fiber Optics Holdings Corp also announced that its subsidiary in Sierra Leone, Hammer Wireless (SL) Ltd has completed construction of its first network deployment in Freetown.
HAPSMobile Inc, a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. joined Facebook’s High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) flight demonstration conducted in Oudtshoorn, South Africa. Verve, a payments technology and card business in Africa, and Discover Global Network, the payments brand of Discover, launched the Verve Global Card. Experts from IFDC, CORAF, and the private sector came together in Dakar Senegal to develop an online tool to give localized seed and fertilizer recommendations.
Other highlights of the week included Nigeria’s Union Bank announcing edTech challenge to boost innovation in the education sector, SnapLogic accelerating its growth across EMEA with 14 new channel partners,and TechnoServe and Wehubit launching an initiative that will use drones to improve the productivity and environmental sustainability of Benin’s important cashew sector.