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How low will bitcoin go? History provides some clues

Nearly 170 years before the invention of bitcoin, the journalist Charles Mackay noted the way whole communities could “fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit”. Millions of people, he wrote, “become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first”.

His book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, published in 1841, identifies a series of speculative bubbles — where people bought and sold objects for increasingly steep prices until suddenly they didn’t. The best-known example he cites is the tulip mania that gripped the Netherlands in the early 17th century. Tulip bulbs soared in value to sell for up to 25 000 florins each (close to R500 000 in today’s money) before their price collapsed.

The bitcoin bubble surpasses this and all other cases identified by Mackay. It is perhaps the most extreme bubble since the late 19th century. In four years, its price surged almost 2 800%, reaching a peak of US$19 783 in December 2017. It has since fallen by 80%. A month ago, it was trading at more than US$6 000; it is now down to US$3 500.

To begin to answer this question, we need to understand what creates the values that drive speculative price bubbles

That’s still a fantastic gain for anyone who bought bitcoin before May 2017, when it was worth less than $2 000, or before May 2016, when it was worth less than $500.

But will it simply keep dropping? What makes bitcoin worth anything?

To begin to answer this question, we need to understand what creates the values that drive speculative price bubbles, and then what causes prices to plunge.

The above chart shows the magnitude of the bitcoin bubble compared with the price movement of Japanese property and dot-com bubble from four years prior to their peak until four years after.

We typically think about bubbles in financial assets such as stocks or bonds, but they can also occur with physical assets (such as property) or commodities (like tulip bulbs).

A bubble begins when the price people are willing to pay for something deviates significantly from its “intrinsic value”.

Theoretical

The intrinsic value of an asset is theoretical, based its “fundamental” value. Fundamental value includes: the ability to generate cash flow (for example, interest or rental income); scarcity or rarity value (for example, gold or diamonds); and potential use (for example, silver and platinum are used in both jewellery and industrial operations).

A house may have fundamental value owing to the scarcity of land, its use as a home, or its ability to generate rental income. A tulip (or bitcoin) has none of those things; even the presumed scarcity does not exist when you consider all of the alternative flowers (or cryptocurrencies) available.

Initially, most investors tend to be cautious and ‘rational’ about a new technology

A bubble tends to occur after a sustained period of economic growth, when investors’ get used to the price an asset always

What’s causing today’s IT security gap?

December 10, 2018 • Opinion, Security

What’s causing today’s IT security gap?

What’s stopping global businesses from protecting their assets despite significant investments in cybersecurity programmes? That’s the question we asked ourselves when trying to determine what the reasons are behind the dangerous gap in modern IT security.

We define the gap as the inability of an organisation’s people, processes and technologies to keep up with a constantly changing threat landscape. And, given that data breaches are now so common that on average 58 records are stolen every second, we know it’s a problem that needs to be addressed urgently.

Here’s a closer look at what’s stopping businesses from identifying, detecting, containing and resolving data breaches and other security incidents in an IoT era.

Expanding and blurring the line of the corporate perimetre

Firstly, it’s no secret that the volume of IoT devices connecting to corporate networks has exploded – eclipsing that of the global population. This level of proliferation is impacting the requirements each organisation has when it comes to network security. Over half (fifty-five percent) of respondents from our global study with The Ponemon Institute said it is hard to protect the expanding and blurring IT perimeter considering IoT, especially with BYOD, cloud and the opening up of networks to partners. A clear lack in security strategy around IoT is only compounding this problem. In fact, only 24 percent of respondents said that their organisation’s IoT devices are appropriately secured with a proper security strategy in place.

Tackling the security issue without the skills and expertise

A big part of this problem is rooted in the difficulty organisations have in recruiting security staff with the necessary skills and expertise to protect complex and dynamically changing attack surfaces. Half of Ponemon’s respondents said staff lack the crucial expertise to match the risks these attackers and corresponding threats present, citing it as the main reason behind security gaps.

Accountability is another issue for consideration. When asked who inside their organisation was responsible for IoT security, responses ranged from CTO, CIO, CISO and line-of-business leaders. Lack of ownership of course impacts the ability of an organisation to tackle complex cybersecurity threats – as there is no clear consensus over where the responsibility lies.

A disconnect on IT process and training

In addition to this, employees lack security understanding. For example, in a previous study, over 70 percent of global employees revealed they were compromising network security by sharing passwords and devices. It’s these kind of behaviours that can cause immense damage. Just imagine an employee with local administrator rights disabling security solutions on their PC. It could allow an infection to spread onto the entire corporate network.

To keep up with these threats and future-proof against the insider threat, of course training is valuable, but we also need to keep ahead of sophisticated and well financed attackers by being able to act with speed and deep visibility into user activity. That way we can spot potential changes in

SqwidNet announced as Diamond sponsor for IoT Forum 2019

December 10, 2018 • Events, Internet of Things, Top Stories

SqwidNet will be led from the front by CEO, Phatizwe Malinga

SqwidNet has extended their partnership with IT News Africa by returning as a Diamond Sponsor for the 3rd straight year at the annual IoT Forum Africa 2019, which is set to take place between 26-27 March 2019 at the Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand Johannesburg.

The highly anticipated conference is targeted at thought leaders, IoT ecosystem participants and experts in Africa, and will create a platform for all players to share their knowledge of real-world IoT trends, challenges and solutions.

IoT Forum Africa 2019 will gather thought-leaders, solution providers and decision-makers from diverse industries.

SqwidNet will be led from the front by CEO, Phatizwe Malinga who will deliver a keynote on the opening day. Malinga was previously Chief Solutions Officer at SqwidNet, before being appointed as Chief Executive Officer in April of 2018.

Having been involved in the information technology and telecommunication industry for over two decades and being in senior management level positions, Malinga is set to unpack and give insights on the Internet of Things.

SqwidNet was launched in November 2016 as a licensed SIGFOX operator in South Africa. The SqwidNet network offers low-cost access to IoT solutions and operators in South Africa, creating opportunities for businesses, both small and large, to create innovative solutions.

The company began through a partnership between Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) and global IoT operator Sigfox. Today, Sigfox has a presence in over 50 countries and covers 1 billion people with its global network, allowing Sigfox Ready™ devices to roam at no extra cost.

The SqwidNet network currently covers over 85% of the South African population, enabling millions of physical devices to be connected to the digital world.

Staff Writer

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Netflix unveils its first SA original series

Netflix is working to release its first-ever South African — and African — original television series, it was reported on Monday.

According to Independent Group’s IOL Entertainment website, the global streaming giant will collaborate with the stars of South African film Catching Feelings, Pearl Thusi and Kagiso Lediga, for its first-ever African original series.

The new show, called Queen Sono, involves Thusi taking on the role of a highly trained South African spy. Lediga will direct the show, which will be produced by Tamsin Andersson.

The announcement comes after Netflix said last month that it will soon offer more local programming to its audiences on the continent

The announcement comes after Netflix said last month that it will soon offer more local programming to its audiences on the continent.

Variety reported last week that Netflix had confirmed plans to commission original series from Africa in 2019.

The entertainment website quoted Erik Barmack, Netflix’s vice president of international originals, as saying that its European team was “in the process of looking at opportunities in Africa. It’s definitely the case that we’ll commission some series there in … 2019.”

IOL reported that Queen Sono, which will launch in 190 countries next year, will be the first of many productions Netflix plans to do in Africa.

The development comes as rival Showmax, owned by MultiChoice, plans to release its second locally made series. The Girl From St Agnes is a murder mystery and Showmax’s second original show after the well-received Tali’s Wedding Diary.  — © 2018 NewsCentral Media

Tech experts and policymakers discuss Nigeria’s digital future

December 10, 2018 • General, West Africa

Fireside session with Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu.

Information Technology (IT) experts have called for a collaboration between policymakers in the government, private sector players, civil society and academic researchers to ensure that Nigeria explores the ongoing digital transformation across the globe, embraces its own digital future and augments the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This call was made at the Inaugural Digital Economy Workshop Series for Nigerian Policymakers organised by Lagos Business School (LBS) in partnership with foremost technology company, Microsoft.

Held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, conversations at the workshop began with Academic Director, LBS and digital financial services specialist, Dr Olayinka David-West sharing insight into the current state of affairs in Nigeria’s IT landscape.

“The digital ecosystem has changed, and we have seen developments in Infrastructure, Agriculture, FinTech, E-commerce, and Telecommunications such that the dynamics of market entry now freely allows skilled individuals to be IT solutions providers,” David-West said.

“These technological transformation have impacted economic activities, particularly the on-demand, sharing, and circular economic systems. Therefore, policy, regulation, and incentives are some of the factors that should be prioritised in our discussions while also seeking ways to ensure technology contents are localized,” she added.

A fireside session with Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu, moderated by Executive Secretary, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Akintunde Oyebode explored the future of work as it concerns education and digital skills.

Rimini Makama, Government Affair Director, Microsoft Nigeria further expanded thoughts on the new digital economy saying, “Governments and educational institutions should continue investing in digital skills by creating more technical colleges which can be achieved by partnering with organisations who can help train and build a local technology ecosystem. We need to identify what Nigeria’s comparative advantage is over other countries, and what sort of labor force we should be developing by paying focus to what people in our countries do well that machines cannot do. There also needs to be a shift in educational policies with an increased focus on vocational skills and other forms of certifications”.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the driving force for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and developed economies are taking full advantage of AI technologies in making breakthrough advances in healthcare, education, transportation, and more. However, Africa is yet to completely catch up with the rest of the world despite its inherent potentials because awareness about AI is low.

This was the core of the discussion at the panel session moderated by LBS Faculty, Professor Olawale Ajai who alongside private sector leaders concluded that policymakers have a major role to play in ensuring Nigeria and its citizens reap the benefits of AI in the very near future.

Director of Programs, Paradigm Initiative, Tope Ogundipe who sat on the panel said: “We need a national strategy on Artificial Intelligence (AI), but unfortunately, those conversations are not yet happening. It is also important that we look in the direction of training

Meet the CEO: BitCo’s Jarryd Chatz

Jarryd Chatz

Meet the CEO is a regular feature on TechCentral. The aim is to introduce our readers to the people behind the news by providing insights into the leaders shaping South Africa’s ICT industry. Our latest interview in the series is with BitCo CEO Jarryd Chatz.

What was your first-ever job?
I was a retail store manager in Cape Town within the Vodacom Chatz Franchise Group, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the store’s sales, managing the staff, deals, bundles and offers — and ensuring that customer service was of high quality and there was satisfaction in the shopping experience.

Who is your greatest role model, and why?
My father, Selwyn Chatz. He has built everything he has himself. He has grown his business from the nothing to what it is today, one of the country’s largest dealer channels. My goal is to grow BitCo hopefully to the point where it’s larger than my father’s business — he’s still a shareholder in BitCo, so he stands to benefit as well.

I started learning about business from him from the age of 12. He used to give me financial packs of his company and I would read through them and ask questions. From a young age, I started getting involved in understanding business, reading income statements and balance sheets, etc. It was a really nice learning curve which set me up in life as it’s now a large portion of my role.

What’s your favourite quote?
“If one day speed kills me, don’t cry because I’m smiling.”

What phone do you currently use, and why?
An iPhone X. I’ve been using an iPhone since the first one came out. All my devices are Apple and are synced so it allows me to operate effectively. I upgrade my phone to the latest model every year to get the latest features and get an optimal user experience.

What are you currently reading?
The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz. It’s about making that hard decisions in business for example identifying who to promote, when to promote and why should you do it. You find sometimes that a person is really great in their current role and once they are promoted to a managerial position, they battle to grasp the new role because they don’t have that skill yet.

What are your three favourite books?
I don’t read much but I’m really enjoying the book I’m currently reading (see above). I used to enjoy fiction when I was a kid, especially Anthony Horowitz’s books.

What’s your favourite movie?
I’m a Marvel fan — I like The Avengers series.

What is your most treasured possession?
It’s going to sound funny, but it’s my reputation. We all only have one and once its tarnished then that’s it, it’s difficult to come back. I really don’t want to be seen as a bad person, especially from an ethical point of view.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Growing BitCo from where it was four years ago to what it

Versatile Versant 3100 press powers up Lesedi 7 Group’s digital dynamics

Lesedi Mapheto, owner of Lesedi 7 Group

Innovative commercial printing companies need to respond with confidence to the ever-changing needs of their customers. That’s what convinced Lesedi 7 Group to bolster its digital print facility with a Xerox Versant 3100 colour digital press from Xerox Business Partner XBC-IT and Altron Bytes Document Solutions (BDS). Lesedi 7 Group is a full creative service, litho, digital and wide-format media business and a one-stop printing factory. The Versant has significantly boosted their production capabilities and turnaround times and is far exceeding their customers’ expectations.

Stressing that in the past three years Xerox has played an important role in the growth of the company, Lesedi Mapheto, owner of Lesedi 7 Group, says speed, quality and the ability to print on a wide range of media were the key features that encouraged him to invest in the Versant 3100 press.

We can now print on 350gsm, and on long sheet sizes, which has increased productivity

“Our relationship with Xerox began in 2015 when we bought a Xerox C70,” he says. “That was our introduction to high-quality digital cut-sheet printing. The press gave us the opportunity to grow and expand the digital side of our business and position us as strategic partners to our clients, who demand the highest standards of excellence. Since then, we have had excellent service from XBC-IT. Like us, they firmly believe that long-term customer satisfaction is the cornerstone of business success. They, too, are passionate about the performance of their machines and committed to creating value and providing superior quality. That is why we have built such a solid relationship with XBC-IT, Xerox and BDS over time.”

The increasing demand from customers for wide media latitude and auto-duplexing on even the heaviest stocks and substrates convinced Mapheto that the time was right to invest in the Versant 3100. The press features Ultra HD Resolution Technology, as well as Full Width Array to enable near-total automation of virtually every quality parameter, from colour calibration to registration, image transfer, density uniformity, image-to-media alignment and more. It also has a wide range of feeding and finishing options.

‘Colour consistency’

“We can now print on 350gsm, and on long sheet sizes, which has increased productivity,” Mapheto says. “The colour consistency and overall image quality are excellent, enabling us to achieve what many competitors cannot — accurate capturing of corporate colours. We can also print on many different types of substrates, including magnetic and synthetic media. Another key advantage is that we can use prints from the Versant 3100 as proofing documents for our litho printing.”

The Versant 3100 prints 100ppm on stocks and speciality media from 52gsm to 350gsm with an average monthly printing volume (AMPV) of up to 250 000, rendering every job with outstanding detail, crispness and clarity from first print to last. Mapheto is confident that their printing platforms exceed all their client’s expectations which is evidenced by their continual growth and expansion.

James Carruthers, sales executive at XBC-IT, says Lesedi 7 Group

Nick, Priyanka are 'match made in heaven': Joe Jonas

American singer Nick Jonas and actress Priyanka Chopra were meant to be together as they are a match made in heaven, according to Nicks older brother Joe Jonas.

The DNCE frontman stopped by at a J.C. Penny event this week in New York, where he gushed about his brother’s relationship with the Quantico actress to Entertainment Tonight, reports people.com.

“Seeing Nick’s face when he first met her, and the way he talks about her, and then getting to meet her and seeing what an amazing person she is, I knew right away that they were a match made in heaven,” Joe, 29, said.

His comments came days after Nick, 26, and Priyanka, 36, said their “I dos” in two fairytale weddings — one Indian and one western — in Jodhpur, India.

Joe had a front row seat to the festivities, attending them alongside his fiancee Sophie Turner, 22. Both were in the wedding party, as were Nick’s brothers Frankie Jonas, 18, and Kevin Jonas, 31; Priyanka’s brother Siddharth Chopra, and her cousin, famed Bollywood actress and singer Parineeti Chopra; and Kevin’s wife Danielle Jonas.

“My face hurts from smiling so much,” Joe told ET.

“The ceremonies themselves were so beautiful. The Indian ceremony, for me, was something new. We were all in tears, he added.

Text: IANS
Images: Instagram

Santander UK CIO to speak at Digital Retail Forum 2019

December 10, 2018 • Events, Retail, Top Stories

Felipe Penacoba Martinez, CIO for Retail and Business Banking at Santander UK announced as keynote speaker.

Felipe Penacoba Martinez, CIO for Retail and Business Banking at Santander UK has been confirmed as the keynote speaker for the upcoming Digital Retail Forum 2019, set to take place on 30 January, at the Hilton Sandton in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Themed Harnessing Digital Technology for Next-Level Customer Centred Retailing, DRF2019 will focus on how emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, drones, digital payment solutions, new eCommerce models and mobility are disrupting the retail sector. This event will also delve into how to survive by harnessing new technology to improve both Customer Experience and Operational Efficiency.

Felipe Penacoba Martinez is passionate about Technology, the amazing pace at which it evolves and how it can empower People and Organisations to excel and deliver to their purpose. Starting his career as a consultant at Accenture where he travelled the world implementing core banking systems and collaborating in large-scale IT transformation and integration programmes, Martinez has over 20 years of experience in the Financial Services industry, leading large and diverse teams within global retail and commercial banks.

In 2008 he moved to the UK where he held various positions at Santander UK, which is the 5th largest retail bank in the country. In his role as Chief Information Officer for Retail and Business Banking, Martinez is responsible for aspects of both “keeping the bank running” (BAU) and “changing the bank”, which means that he owns, leads and controls the quality of IT service delivery and the definition and execution of the IT strategy and change agenda.

Other confirmed speakers include:

Ben Williams, GM: Online at Exclusive Books Dr Mark Nasila, Chief Analytics Officer: Consumer Banking & Chief Risk Office at First National Bank Alastair Tempest, CEO at e-commerce Forum Africa Vera Nagtegaal, Executive Head of Hippo.co.za Frans Van der Colff, Director at TIA Gareth Hawkey, CEO at redPanda Software Priya Thakoor, Chief Digital Officer at Coca-Cola Kofi Abunu, Chief Development Officer(Nigeria & Ghana) at Food Concepts Plc Lesego Moagi, Marketing Executive at AutoZone South Africa Bradley Elliot, Founder at Platinum Seed Vian Chinner, CEO at Xineoh Warrick Kernes, CEO at Insaka eCommerce Academy

Key topics to be discussed:

Leveraging data to understand customer segments, manage risks and enhance decision making. Mapping your journey from brick-and-mortar to eCommerce. Leveraging mobile technology to enhance your in-store experience. Making Mobile Payment for Everything a reality. Leveraging AI to impact your bottom line and CX. Real-World retail digital transformation stories. Order Fulfilment: Improving efficiency and speed of delivery. Understanding the key drivers within the South African retail sector.

To register, speak or exhibit at the conference, visit: digitalretailforum.co.za [t]: 011 026 0982 [e]: events@itnewsafrica.com

Staff Writer

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Half the world is now online, ITU says

For the first time, half the world is now connected to the Internet, the International Telecommunication Union said at the weekend. By the end of 2018, the ITU estimates that 51.2% of the global population, or 3.9 billion people, will be using the Internet.

In developed countries, Internet use has risen from 51.3% in 2005 to 80.9% in 2018, while in developing countries growth has jumped from 7.7% in 2005 to 45.3% now, the United Nations specialised agency said.

“Of all ITU regions, the strongest growth was reported in Africa, where the percentage of people using the Internet increased from 2.1% in 2005 to 24.4% in 2018,” it said. In its measurements, the ITU excludes North African countries from its Africa numbers, instead grouping these countries with the Arab states.

Of all ITU regions, the strongest growth was reported in Africa, where the percentage of people using the Internet increased from 2.1% in 2005 to 24.4% in 2018

Mobile access to basic telecommunication services is becoming ever more predominant. While fixed telephone subscriptions continue to decline, with a penetration rate of 12.4% in 2018, the number of mobile subscriptions is greater than the global population. Growth in mobile in the past five years was driven by countries in Asia-Pacific and Africa.

Broadband access continues to grow, too, the ITU said. There were more fixed-broadband connections (1.1 billion) in 2018 than fixed telephone connections (942 million).

The growth in active mobile broadband subscriptions has been much stronger, with penetration rates increasing from four subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in 2007 to 69.3 in 2018. The number of active mobile broadband subscriptions have increased from 268 million in 2007 to 5.3 billion in 2018.

‘Much faster’

“Developing countries are registering much faster growth in mobile broadband subscriptions compared to developed countries. In developing countries, penetration rates have reached 61 per 100 inhabitants in 2018, with much more scope for further growth in coming years.”

Nearly the entire world population, or 96%, now lives within reach of a mobile cellular network. Furthermore, 90% of the global population can access the Internet through a 3G or faster network.

The ITU estimates that, globally in 2018, almost half of all households had at least one computer, up from just above a quarter in 2005. In developed countries, 83.2% of households own a computer in 2018, compared to 36.3% in developing countries. In Africa, the proportion of households with access to a computer increased from 3.6% in 2005 to 9.2% in 2018.  — © 2018 NewsCentral Media

Desert solar initiative to make Africa a renewables power-house

December 10, 2018 • Mining & Energy

Desert solar initiative to make Africa a renewables power-house.

The details of the “Desert to Power Initiative” have been outlined as part of the Paris Agreement climate change talks at COP24 in Katowice, Poland. Energy poverty in Africa is estimated to cost the continent 2-4 % GDP annually, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB), which is leading the project.

The Initiative aims to develop and provide 10 GW of solar energy by 2025 and supply 250 million people with green electricity including in some of the world’s poorest countries. At least 90 million people will be connected to electricity for the first time, lifting them out of energy poverty.

Currently, 64% of the Sahel’s population – covering Senegal, Nigeria, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Sudan, and Eritrea – lives without electricity, a major barrier to development, with consequences for education, health and business. By harnessing the exceptional solar resource in the region, AfDB and its partners hope to transform the region.

Magdalena J. Seol in the AfDB’s Desert to Power Initiative said: “Energy is the foundation of human living – our entire system depends on it. For Africa right now, providing and securing sustainable energy is in the backbone of its economic growth.”

“A lack of energy remains as a significant impediment to Africa’s economic and social development.”

The project will provide many benefits to local people, said Ms Seol: It will improve the affordability of electricity for low-income households and enable people to transition away from unsafe and hazardous energy sources, such as kerosene, which carry health risks. Construction of the project will also create jobs and help attract private sector involvement in renewable energy in the region.

Many women-led businesses currently face bigger barriers than men-led enterprises to accessing grid electricity – so the project has the potential to increase female participation in economic activities and decision-making processes.

The project has been launched in collaboration with the Green Climate Fund, a global pot of money created by the 194 countries who are party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to support developing countries adapt to and mitigate climate change. The program is designed to combine private sector capital with blended finance.

“If you look at the countries that this initiative supports, they’re the ones who are very much affected by the climate change and carbon emissions from other parts of the world,” said Ms Seol.

“Given this, the investments will have a greater effect in these regions, which have a greater demand and market opportunity in the energy sector.”

“Women are usually disproportionately negatively affected by energy access issues. Providing secure and sustainable electricity creates a positive impact on gender issue as well.”

The African continent holds 15% of the world’s population, yet is poised to shoulder nearly 50% of the estimated global climate change adaptation costs, according to the Bank.

These costs are expected to cut across health, water supply, agriculture, and

Liquid Telecom to invest R5.6-billion in Egypt expansion

Strive Masiyiwa

Pan-African telecommunications group Liquid Telecom said on Monday it plans to invest US$400-million (about R5.6-billion) in network infrastructure and data centres in Egypt following the completion of its “Cape to Cairo” link.

Liquid, which is controlled by Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa’s Econet Group, has signed a partnership with Telecom Egypt as part of the three-year investment plan.

The investment was made during a signing ceremony between the two companies over the weekend at the Africa 2018 Forum.

Liquid Telecom’s network is now about 70 000km in length and is linked to more than 600 towns and cities in 13 countries in Africa

Telecom Egypt will use the network to connect Egyptian businesses to the rest of Africa, while partnering with Liquid Telecom to build data centres across Egypt. Following an initial investment of $50-million in data centres and cloud services, Liquid Telecom plans to invest an additional $350-million in broadband and “financial inclusion initiatives”. Money will also be directed into building data centres, which it said will be “similar to some of the best-in-class data centres in South Africa”.

Liquid Telecom’s network is now about 70 000km in length and is linked to more than 600 towns and cities in 13 countries in Africa. Its Cape to Cairo network offers a direct land-based terrestrial fibre link from Cape Town to Cairo.

“The $400 million investment will allow Liquid Telecom to significantly expand its position as a connectivity and cloud solutions provider in North Africa, serving businesses in the region with world-class network and data centre services,” it said in a statement.

Masiyiwa, who serves as Econet’s executive chairman, said the next plan is to complete a link between Cairo and Dakar in Senegal through Sudan, Chad and Nigeria, and connecting other countries in West Africa, too.  — © 2018 NewsCentral Media

Bollywood, Beyonce add spunk to Isha Ambani's pre-wedding gala

Grammy Award-winning singer Beyonce gave a power-packed performance at the pre-wedding celebrations of Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal.

The pop star performed on Sunday night for a star-studded audience, which included former US First Lady Hillary Clinton and a slew of Bollywood celebrities including newlywed Priyanka Chopra and her American singer husband Nick

Known for songs like Crazy in love, Single ladies and Run the world, Beyonce chose a thigh high slit red and gold dress with a plunging neckline by designer duo Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla. she completed her look with soft curls and a gold maatha-patti.

Beyonce performed on numbers like Perfect by Ed Sheeran and belted out her greatest hits.

Beyonce’s arrival for a private concert in Udaipur has been much talked about since September when American singer John Legend performed at Isha and Anand’s engagement in Italy’s Lake Como.

Among those who joined the party were business tycoons, as well as Bollywood celebrities like Aamir Khan with wife Kiran Rao, Abhishek Bachchan with mother Jaya, wife Aishwarya and daughter Aaradhya, Karan Johar, Salman Khan, Parineeti Chopra, Anil Kapoor and wife Sunita, Boney Kapoor with daughters Janhvi and Khushi, Siddharth Roy Kapur with wife Vidya Balan, John Abraham with wife Priya Runchal, Ronnie Screwvala with wife Zarine, Karisma Kapoor, Varun Dhawan and Karan Tacker.

Veteran actress Rekha also arrived on Sunday.

Isha and Anand, scions of the Ambani and Piramal business families respectively, will wed as per Indian traditions, customs and culture at the Mumbai residence of the Ambani family on Wednesday.

Text: IANS
Images: Instagram/Twitter

Don’t start the New Year in debt

December 10, 2018 • Finance

Don’t start the New Year in debt.

December is a time for relaxing, spending time with family and friends and generally enjoying the festivities of the season. However, accidents happen all too frequently, and it’s not called the silly season for nothing. Even with Medical Aid in place, medical expense shortfalls in the event of accidents and emergencies can run into thousands of Rands. So, before you slap on your sunscreen, slip into your flip flops and head off on a well-deserved holiday break, make sure your gap cover is in place for 2019. This will help to ensure your New Year doesn’t start with unpleasant and unanticipated additional medical expense shortfalls.

Starting the New Year

January is often a lean month, to begin with, as salaries are paid for a number of people in mid-December and need to see people through until the very end of the following month. Starting the New Year in with the additional pressure of a large medical expense shortfall is an unnecessary and entirely avoidable scenario. Gap cover can save you from these out of pocket medical expense shortfalls in the case of an accident or emergency,

Accidents happen

During the festive season, there is always a huge increase in the number of motor vehicle accidents on our roads. Unfortunately, injuries sustained as a result of a motor vehicle accident are often serious and require extensive medical treatment. They are also typically emergencies, and are treated at the nearest hospital, whether or not this hospital is a  Designated Service Provider (DSP) in your medical scheme’s network. While treatment for life-threatening injuries resulting from an accident is covered as a Prescribed Minimum Benefit (PMB), the full cost of a hospital admission may not be covered once a patient is stabilised. If you do not have gap cover in place, you will be liable for the remainder of the bill, which could add up to a significant sum.

However, it is not only motor vehicle accidents that you need to worry about. Over the festive season, many people take advantage of the holidays to enjoy new adventures or take up new pursuits. From hiking to surfing, parasailing to cycling and even running, injuries are all too common and once again could result in significant medical expenses without gap cover to take up the medical expense shortfall.

Even accidents at home, such as burns and cuts while cooking or broken bones from a fall, might require a visit to the emergency room, potentially after hours, which can be an expensive undertaking.  These expenses are often considered to be ‘out of hospital’ and are usually covered under day-to-day medical expenses, therefore they are most often funded from  medical savings of your medical scheme. At this time of year, however, many people have no medical savings left. Certain Gap Cover offerings provide a casualty benefit, which comprehensively covers facility fees, consultations, medications, radiology and pathology associated with an accident.

Check your

US has Huawei in cuffs; China has US in chains

Imagine you’re a product engineer for a US device brand based in China. You’ve had to submit your passport for annual visa renewal.

Without it, you can’t travel. And with heightened concerns over security and a crackdown on VPNs (which enable users to bypass Chinese censorship of the Internet), your company has decreed that all sensitive product discussions be done in-person back at HQ. But that visa renewal is taking a long time and you’re stuck in Shanghai, with your product cycle being extended by the day.

In Shenzhen, where your devices are assembled, the factory has just been raided for the third time that month. Inspectors are looking for breaches of occupational health and safety. You’ve worked hard to keep things up to code, though the rules seems to shift constantly. Minor rust on a pipe at the back of the site was all the authorities needed to shut you down pending a fix. Your site manager can’t even find any mention of rust in the regulations, and that pipe is in no worse condition than the previous two scheduled inspections. Now it’s a problem and production is halted.

Concerns over the immediate future of Huawei Technologies, with its chief financial officer under arrest, are well warranted

A new focus on capital controls has frozen offshore remittances. Local profits can’t be sent overseas and you’re having trouble getting money to suppliers in Japan and South Korea. They won’t ship to your China factory without it.

You could try to get a loan from a Japanese bank to cover, but that takes time and the holiday shopping season is approaching. You might be forced to source locally, but nothing made in China matches your specs. To get local suppliers up to standard you’d need to invest considerable time and money, and probably purchase equipment on their behalf.

And don’t think that these hypothetical scenarios are mere fiction.

Panic mode

Concerns over the immediate future of Huawei Technologies, with its chief financial officer under arrest, are well warranted. Compatriot ZTE had its supply of US components threatened, sending executives into panic mode. The same could happen to Huawei should the US escalate the detention of Meng Wanzhou to something more broad, as some members of congress want.

US companies have a lot to lose if such a scenario sparks a backlash in China. Apple is the most obvious, with the company’s devices assembled there. It goes further: Cisco routers, Dell computers and wiring harnesses for Ford are sourced from China. Even the servers deployed by Facebook, Google and Amazon.com can be traced back to the country’s deep supply chain.

US President Donald Trump has made tariffs on Chinese imports a key plank of his presidency, and they were part of discussions with China’s President Xi Jinping the night Meng was detained in Vancouver.

Despite the rhetoric from both sides, cooler heads have so far prevailed: Americans are still getting their iPhones and Chinese can buy Qualcomm chips.

But increasingly, foreign components are