“Coding must be compulsory, at all levels. The currency of the future is going to be coding…

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, April 8, 2019/ — African Development Bank President Adesina, on Friday, pleaded for Africans to embrace technology, and governments to urgently move away from “investing in the jobs of the past, but rather in the jobs of the future. A future that is just around the corner.”

Adesina was addressing a debate entitled: The New Tech Era: Job-killer or Job-creator?organised by Africa Report and Jeune Afrique as part of the 2019 Mo Ibrahim Governance Week. The debate took place in the Sofitel Hotel in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

The people who control data, will control Africa. Coding must be compulsory, at all levels. The currency of the future is going to be coding,” Adesina said. “Information technology must not be the exclusive privilege of the elite, we must democratize technology,” he added.

In his welcome remarks, Mo Ibrahim urged the panelists to think about ways to address the “tsunami of young people entering the job market.”

In response to that call to action, Kacou insisted on the need for “a change in mindset to move from BBC or Born Before Computers to rethinking education to teach people how to learn and help them solve problems.”

Panellists acknowledged the critical role the tech industry can play in Africa’s economic transformation through the continent’s digitization. However, they agreed on the urgent need to upgrade the skills of the past, to do it fast, and move away from the social fear of technology.

Research has shown that if governments harness the full economic potential of just the internet, Africa could add $300 billion to its GDP by 2025. Also, 70% of all jobs will have an ICT component by 2020.

Opportunities to transform Africa through technology are endless.  In agriculture, drones can monitor crops, Artificial Intelligence can speed varietal selection, and the Internet of the Things can control smart irrigation systems. Block chains can also aid food traceability.

“We must grab the opportunities…We must democratize technology. Africa should prepare itself. Digital technologies, including Artificial intelligence, big data analytics, blockchains, 3D printing, are already upon us,” Adesina concluded. 

TechCrunch Startup Battlefield 2018 To Be Held In Lagos

Facebook is returning as the headline sponsor of TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2018. The event, taking place in Lagos, Nigeria — will search for Sub-Saharan Africa’s best innovators, makers and technical entrepreneurs.

TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa sees start-ups compete across three categories: social good; productivity and utility; and gaming and entertainment. It profiles the founders and entrepreneurs leading Africa’s next wave of technology innovation and highlights new ideas, businesses and applications with disruptive potential.

On December 11, TechCrunch Startup Battlefield supported by Facebook, will bring together the strongest start-ups from across Sub-Saharan Africa, where they will pitch to a live audience of 500 people ranging from VCs, investors, government officials and developers.

Facebook representatives from Africa and beyond will be on the ground to celebrate, where they will be connecting, listening and learning from various communities as well as taking part in an exciting series of workshops, networking sessions and talks between 6th and 11th December.

“Following the great success of the inaugural TechnCrunch Startup Battlefield event in 2017, we are delighted to return as the headline sponsor for this year’s event,” says Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Head of Developer Programs. “Given our passion for connecting people and helping developers and entrepreneurs to thrive, we can’t wait to see how this year’s entrants are using technology to engage and empower people across the continent.”

 

Events Facebook will host over the week include:

  • Developer Circle Leads Summit (6-7 December): A two-day summit for more than 65 Developer Circles Leads across Sub-Saharan Africa, representing a growing community of over 42,800 members across 31 cities in 15 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

  • Instagram Inspire Action Lagos – Women and Small Business Event (6 December): A workshop to inspire, educate and train 70-80 entrepreneurs and women working in tech with a panel featuring special guests.

 

  • Startups and Developers Summit 2018 by Developer Circle Nigeria (8 December): Bringing together 600 attendees, and hosted by Facebook Developer Leads, the Summit will run trainings and workshop sessions on specialist deep-tech subjects, such as Messenger Bot

 

  • Aspiring Entrepreneurs — Digital Pitch Competition (10 December): Winners from seven Nigerian states who participated in the Aspiring Entrepreneurs: Digital 2018 programme will pitch their businesses to a panel of judges for a chance to win support and prizes from Facebook and Fate Foundation.

 

  • NG_Hub Start-up Mixer (10 December): A social gathering bringing together Start-ups from across the ecosystem, including NG_Hub start-ups (Start-ups using Facebook’s Community Hub) and those taking part in the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield event.

 

  • Student Hack (11 December): In partnership with Re:Learn by CC_Hub, Facebook will bring together 50 local high school students from Lagos to take part in Hack-a-Day and other activities that highlight the difference developers can make in the world using computer science skills.

Cyber Criminals Reaping Millions From Ransomware Attacks – Report

Sophos has launched its 2019Threat Report providing insights into emerging and evolving cybersecurity trends. The report, produced by SophosLabs researchers, explores changes in the threat landscape over the past 12 months, uncovering trends and how they are expected to impact cybersecurity in 2019.

“The threat landscape is undoubtedly evolving; less skilled cyber criminals are being forced out of business, the fittest among them step up their game to survive and we’ll eventually be left with fewer, but smarter and stronger, adversaries. These new cybercriminals are effectively a cross-breed of the once esoteric, targeted attacker, and the pedestrian purveyor of off-the-shelf malware, using manual hacking techniques, not for espionage or sabotage, but to maintain their dishonorable income streams,” said Joe Levy, CTO, Sophos.

The SophosLabs 2019 Threat Report focuses on these key cybercriminal behaviours and attacks:

Capitalist cybercriminals are turning to targeted ransomware attacks that are premeditated and reaping millions of dollars in ransom – 2018 saw the advancement of hand-delivered, targeted ransomware attacks that are earning cybercriminals millions of dollars. These attacks are different than ‘spray and pray’ style attacks that are automatically distributed through millions of emails. Targeted ransomware is more damaging than if delivered from a bot, as human attackers can find and stake out victims, think laterally, trouble shoot to overcome roadblocks, and wipe out back-ups so the ransom must be paid. This “interactive attack style,” where adversaries manually maneuver through a network step-by-step, is now increasing in popularity. Sophos experts believe the financial success of SamSam, BitPaymer and Dharma to inspire copycat attacks and expect more happen in 2019.

Cybercriminals are using readily available Windows systems administration tools – This year’s report uncovers a shift in threat execution, as more mainstream attackers now employ Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) techniques to use readily available IT tools as their route to advance through a system and complete their mission – whether it’s to steal sensitive information off the server or drop ransomware:

Turning admin tools into cyberattack tools
In an ironic twist, or Cyber Catch-22, cybercriminals are utilising essential or built-in Windows IT admin tools, including Powershell files and Windows Scripting executables, to deploy malware attacks on users.

Cybercriminals are playing Digital Dominos
By chaining together a sequence of different script types that execute an attack at the end of the event series, hackers can instigate a chain reaction before IT managers detect a threat is operational on the network, and once they break in it’s difficult to stop the payload from executing.

Cybercriminals have adopted newer Office exploits to lure in victims

Office exploits have long been an attack vector, but recently cybercriminals have cut loose old Office document exploits in favour of newer ones.

EternalBlue becomes a key tool for cryptojacking attacks

Patching updates appeared for this Windows threat more than a year ago, yet the EternalBlue exploit is still a favourite of cybercriminals; the coupling of EternalBlue to cryptomining software turned the activity from a nuisance hobby into a potentially lucrative criminal career. Lateral distribution on the corporate networks allowed the cryptojacker to quickly infect multiple machines, increasing payouts to the hacker and heavy costs to the user.

The continued threat of mobile and IoT malware – Malware’s impact extends beyond the organization’s infrastructure as we see the threat from mobile malware grow apace. With illegal Android apps on the increase, 2018 has seen an increased focus in malware being pushed to phones, tablets and other IoT devices. As homes and businesses adopt more internet-connected devices, criminals have been devising new ways to hijack those devices to use as nodes in huge botnet attacks. In 2018, VPNFilter demonstrated the destructive power of weaponized malware that affects embedded systems and networked devices that have no obvious user interface. Elsewhere, Mirai Aidra, Wifatch, and Gafgyt delivered a range of automated attacks that hijacked networked devices to use as nodes in botnets to engage in distributed denial-of-service attacks, mine cryptocurrency and infiltrate networks.

HP To Educate 100,000 Across Africa In Three Years

Technology company Hewlett-Packard (HP) has announced a new commitment to reach 100,000 learners across Africa over the next three years through the HP Foundation’s HP LIFE program.

The company kicked off the commitment by opening a new tech-enabled HP LIFE Center in South Africa.   HP aims to enroll a million HP LIFE users between 2016 and 2025, as outlined in the HP 2017 Sustainable Impact Report.

By 2030, Africa will be home to 32 per cent of the population under the age of 30, and the largest working age population by 2035. Yet, today’s youth unemployment in Africa is up to three times higher than adult unemployment.

HP LIFE offers free, online learning for users to gain the skills to start and grow their own business or improve their employment opportunities. Building on the success of this global program, HP is working with partners to open technology-enabled HP LIFE innovation centers to further support entrepreneurship and workforce development across the continent.

“We believe that education is a human right, that technology in the classroom is a critical component for a 21st century education, and that in today’s economy our learning is never done,” said Nate Hurst, Chief Sustainability and Social Impact Officer, HP. “Africa is experiencing rapid urbanization and digitization—and it’s essential that people have access to learn skills for the work of tomorrow. This new HP LIFE Center provides a launchpad for innovation and opportunity across the continent.”

In 2017, on the global stage at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany, HP announced a commitment to enabling better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025. The commitment to education is a part of HP’s broader Sustainable Impact strategy – a strategy to use the scope, scale and expertise of HP to drive positive, lasting change for the planet, its people and the communities where we live, work and do business.

“Sustainable Impact is fundamental to our reinvention and core to achieving our vision – to create technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere,” said Hurst.

HP LIFE

In collaboration with institutions such as the Ekurhuleni West TVET College in Katlehong and its Centre of Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubator, HP opened the HP LIFE Center in South Africa on November 30, a technology-enabled hub to facilitate learning, collaboration and entrepreneurship in a physical, face-to-face setting.

Built on the belief that entrepreneurs are the backbone of the global economy, HP LIFE offers 30 free, online courses focused on business and IT skills – from business planning and marketing, to raising capital and design thinking. To date, HP LIFE has reached 744,000 learners in 200 countries and territories. All users need is a computer and Internet connection to access HP LIFE, and the new, physical center in South Africa will create a more formal educational environment. HP LIFE has an enrollment goal of 1 million users between 2016 and 2025.

At the World Economic Forum’s 48th Annual Meeting in January, Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF) and HP Foundation announced a new 3D printing course to be delivered through the HP LIFE platform. 3D printing will fundamentally change the manufacturing industry. $4 to $6 trillionof the global economy will be disrupted in the next five to 10 years, shifting economic value and jobs across the globe. This new course is helping individuals to learn how to use 3D printing and create entrepreneurial opportunities.

Interesting Features Of Canon’s New Mirrorless Camera System EOS R

Canon Central & North Africa (CCNA), has for the first time in East Africa unveiled its pioneering EOS R System.

Over thirty years on from the original, era-defining EOS launch, the bold, new EOS R Full Frame Mirrorless Camera that expands photographic possibilities in countless ways. The new RF lens mount has been engineered with the perfect blend of optical, mechanical and electronic design to capture unique moments in previously impossible ways.

A pioneering lens mount, built from the best of EOS legacy

Since its inception in 1987, the EOS System – including Cinema EOS – has grown into the most recognised imaging system in the world. Today’s introduction takes the EOS platform to new heights, incorporating the best from the existing system, with even greater levels of performance, lens design possibilities and creative flexibility. The new RF mount has been built on the strengths of the existing EF mount and is the result of detailed research by Canon engineers, who have designed an impressive optical system with a flange back distance of 20mm and a wide 54mm diameter lens mount – allowing for even greater freedom when designing lenses. The new mount’s 12-pin connection enables enhanced communication and power transmission between the lens and camera body, further enhancing lens design options, resulting in higher image quality and enhanced usability.

Mr Amine Djouahra, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager – B2C, Canon Central & North Africa, commented: “We are very proud to have officially launched our EOS R System today here in Nairobi. This market and the entire East Africa region, plays a significant role in our growth plans and we hope that today’s local launch will further cement our position as innovators in imaging technology.” He further went on to add that, “Today, Canon is globally committed to investing in the unrivalled EOS world with cameras, lenses and accessories that set new heights in image quality, optical excellence and performance, building on Canon’s lens heritage, these high-performance lenses will push forward the frontiers of creative storytelling and satisfying the ever-evolving needs and demands of our customers.”

Mr Amine Djouahra, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager – B2C, Canon Central

Exceptional quality in every detail

Built from the ground up, the new System has been reengineered with invaluable input during the System’s development from professional and enthusiast photographers and filmmakers. The EOS R System with RF mount and Dual Pixel CMOS AF delivers unrivalled optical excellence, the world’s fastest auto focus and faster communication between camera and lens. Features that are synonymous with EOS – fast performance, superb ergonomics and superior, uncompromising, image quality – remain at the heart of the EOS R System.

Featuring innovative technology for photography and filmmaking alike, the EOS R System allows all users to shoot and film in extremely low light with accurate focusing, thanks to Dual Pixel CMOS AF. Small and discreet, the EOS R System gives flexibility, plus the advantage of silent shooting. It also offers the highest standard of movie output from any Canon EOS System camera, outside of the Cinema EOS range, enabling filmmakers to take their storytelling to the next level in 4K with output in 10-bit over HDMI. The whole system has refined handling and enhanced ergonomics, including an electronic viewfinder and extensive customisation, allowing the user to the focus on the subject rather than the camera.

A system designed with lenses at its core

The EOS R System inherits all the existing system advantages, importantly full compatibility with existing EF and EF-S lenses and accessories, when using one of three newly-developed lens adapters, expanding the boundaries of image capture. Canon has today also launched four new lenses, compatible with the EOS R System – the RF 28-70mm f/2L USM, RF 50mm f/1.2L USM, RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and RF 35mm f/1.8 MACRO IS STM. Additionally, users of existing Canon EOS full frame or APS-C DSLR cameras can enjoy the EOS R System with their existing EF and EF-S lenses thanks to the adapters, while retaining the same performance as when used on a DSLR, as well as access to EOS accessories and Speed lite flashes.

Adding to the full frame family

Adding to the EOS full frame line-up, Canon has today unveiled the first camera body to carry the EOS R name and RF lens mount – setting the new standard for the camera of tomorrow. With the world’s fastest autofocusiii, it is also the world’s first camera with the ability to focus in light conditions as low as -6EViv and totally silent shooting, providing stunning quality results every time. The EOS R redefines photo and video performance with unrivalled image quality, state-of-the art connectivity, refined ergonomics and responsive handling.

Further expanding the existing EOS System, Canon today also launches the EF-M 32mm f/1.4 STM – a new 32mm lens for the EOS M mirrorless system – and the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM, two revolutionary, lightweight professional super telephoto lenses for the EF System.

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