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Thursday, 24 October 2019
Facebook says it has intensified efforts to combat the use of hate speech on its platform.
Ms. Fadzai Madzingira, Content Policy Associate Manager, Facebook sub-Sahara Africa, made this known at a Facebook Content Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya.
Madzingira said that in its effort to fight the use of hate speech on the platform, Facebook had over 15 thousand experts who review content in more than 50 languages on a daily basis.
She said that hate speech created an environment of intimidation, exclusion and in some cases may promote real-world violence, hence it would not be allowed on the platform.
“We define hate speech as a direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sex and serious disability among others.
“Talking on attacks we define it as violent or dehumanizing speech, statement of inferiority and calls for exclusion or segregation, “Madzingira said.
She said that attacks were separated into three tiers, noting that the first tier consisted of content targeted at dehumanizing a person or a group of people on the basis of their immigration status.
According to Madzingira, the second tier was targeted on a person or group of people based on their physical deficiencies, intellectual capacity and mental health among others.
“The third tier focuses on calls for segregation, explicit exclusion of the right of a person or group of people to participate in politics, economic entitlement and opportunity to gain access to spaces and social services,” she said.
Published in Telecoms
Thursday, 24 October 2019 19:42

Morocco, Russia to build refinery

Morocco has signed an agreement with Russia to build a petrochemical complex in the North African country, official news agency MAP reported on Thursday.
The agreement, which is estimated to be worth 2 billion euros (2.2 billion U.S. dollars), signed on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Economic Forum.
The forum which was organised by the Moroccan private company MYA Energy, the Development Bank of the Russian Federation and the Russian Center for Exports in the Russian city of Sochi on Wednesday.
The petrochemical complex will have a refining capacity of 100,000 barrels a day, and will eventually reach 200,000 barrels a day, MAP said.
It will be built in the northern city of Nador on the Mediterranean, and use Russian expertise and latest technologies for the refining and storage of petroleum products.
Published in Business

Zimbabwe’s state-owned electricity distributor, grappling with drought and ageing equipment, said on Thursday it will disconnect mines, farms and other users as it looks to recover $77 million in unpaid bills.

The southern African nation is experiencing daily power cuts lasting up to 18 hours after a severe drought reduced water levels at the country’s biggest hydro plant. The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is also being hampered by ageing coal-fired electricity generators which constantly break down.

ZETDC said in a public notice it was owed 1.2 billion Zimbabwe dollars ($77 million) and it was targeting to recover the money from mining, agriculture, commercial and domestic users.

Defaulters should “settle their electricity bills without any further delay to avoid the inconvenience associated with power being disconnected,” ZETDC said as it steps up its revenue collection efforts.

The Chamber of Mines, which represents big platinum and gold producers and other miners said its members were paying for power supplies in dollars to guarantee supply. They will not be affected by the disconnections, chamber CEO Isaac Kwesu said.

On Thursday, Zimbabwe was generating 688 MW of electricity, less than half its peak demand, official figures showed.

The country imports up to 400 MW from South Africa and Mozambique when they have spare capacity.

Earlier this month, Zimbabwe hiked its average electricity tariff by 320% to increase power supplies, angering consumers already grappling with soaring inflation and the country’s worst economic crisis in a decade.


- Reuters

Published in Engineering

Forty of the 46 airplanes grounded this week owing to faults at the maintenance unit of state-owned South African Airways (SAA) have been returned to service, South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) Chief Executive Poppy Khoza said on Thursday.

Khoza said SACAA had made five findings during its audit at SAA Technical, two of which were serious. The two serious findings were that unqualified personnel had signed off on maintenance work and that maintenance checks on flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders had not been done correctly.



Published in Travel & Tourism
Thursday, 24 October 2019 09:41

UBA posts N81.6bn profit for Q3 2019

United Bank for Africa (UBA) has released its Q3 2019 interim consolidated financial statements for the 9 months period ended September 30, 2019.

The results show that interest income increased by 10.77% from N268.9 billion in 2018 to N297.9 billion in 2019.

Profit before tax stood at N98.2 billion in 2019, compared to N79.1 billion in 2018. This represents an increase of 24.17%.

Profit after tax recorded for the period was N81.6 billion as against N61.7 billion in 2018, representing a 32.3% increase.

The bank made N86.5 billion from fees and commissions; and N35.7 billion from trading forex. These represent 25.85% and 10.24% increases when compared to N68.8 billion and N32.4 billion in 2018.

Earnings per share increased from N1.72 in 2018 to N2.32.

UBA is currently trading at N5.85 on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Year to date the stock is down 26.92%.

Published in Bank & Finance

Airtel Africa telecommunications services provider with operations in 14 countries across Africa, and Ecobank banking group operating in 33 countries, have signed a partnership which will allows millions of Airtel Money and Ecobank customers across Africa access to mobile financial services and carry out a variety of mobile transactions.

This partnership, which is subject to regulatory approval in each market, will enable Airtel Money customers, through Ecobank’s digital financial services ecosystem, make online deposits and withdrawals, effect real time domestic and international money transfers, make in-store merchant payments, and access loans and savings products amongst others.

The partnership will also allow Ecobank corporate account holders to make bulk disbursements, such as payroll payments, directly into Airtel Money customer wallets. Additionally, Ecobank will be able to sponsor Airtel Money to issue both virtual and physical debit and pre-paid cards to Airtel Money customers.

Raghunath Mandava, CEO for Airtel Africa, said: “This partnership is a further demonstration of Airtel Africa’s commitment to provide affordable, simple and innovative solutions for our consumers across Africa. We will continue to offer locally relevant M-Commerce solutions with partners like Ecobank in order to enhance the daily lives of our customers.”

Ecobank Group CEO, Ade Ayeyemi, commented: “We believe that financial inclusion can ultimately contribute to economic development, collaborating with major telecommunications providers in Africa is therefore a key strategic driver towards closing the gap between the banked and the underbanked. Hence this partnership with Airtel Africa which makes Ecobank financial services available to any Airtel line registered on Airtel Money, in our markets where regulatory approvals are in place. This potential extensive reach will further provide convenience to customers, intra-country and particularly for cross-border transactions and remittances across Africa.”

Published in Telecoms
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