Facebook Celebrates World Photo Day, Announces In-App Tools To Take And Share Better Pictures

In celebration of World Photo Day which is celebrated on the 19th of August annually, Facebook and Messenger released some insights into how photos are shared by its users around the world.

Photographs have always been an important part of the interactions of users on Facebook-since inception-with millions of people posting, sharing and celebrating pictures on a daily basis.

In the data released by Facebook to celebrate World Photo Day, countries posting and sharing the highest number of photos are USA, Thailand, Egypt, India, Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, and Indonesia.

Facebook and Messenger are sharing data to show how people engage with photos all over the world as well as tips about the latest in-app photo tools that you can use to share better photos on both platforms and ensure a more enjoyable experience.

Facebook Stories and Messenger Day are both new formats that can be used to tell your stories by sharing photos. Both apps allow you share photos and videos of moments throughout your day with your friends, and this stories-which are short format-are designed to automatically disappear after 24 hours.

Facebook and Messenger have also added several in-app cameras that can make your photos better than ever. You now have access to a wide range of frames, masks and style effects that you can use to enhance photos and tell your stories in a faster, simple and more fun way.

Users can also keep all your memories in one place with Facebook’s newest changes to Albums. Now you can share your favorite albums with friends, follow and unfollow specific albums, and collaborate with friends to create an album. Also with the 360 degrees photos, you can capture a  360 degree photo and make your friends feel like they are right in the middle of the experience you’re sharing with them.

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Spectranet Introduces Pebble Mifi, Offers More To Subscribers

As part of its product development agenda to enrich customers’ experience, leading internet service provider Spectranet 4G LTE has introduced the new Pebble MiFi that comes with unique classy features matched with speed and reliable data services

The Pebble Mifi device, an addition to the Spectranet device family, will enable subscribers to connect more to the world and get value; affordability, speed and unbeatable service.

The new Pebble Mifi is artistic and comes with 30GB data for #20,000. It is equally handy and easy to move around for indoor and outdoor purposes and has a long battery life. In addition, customers will enjoy free unlimited night browsing from 1am -7am.

Mike Ogor, Head Marketing, Spectranet 4G LTE, stated that the Pebble MiFi will bring the world closer to the brand’s customers and internet users in Nigeria.

“The new Pebble Mifi is a great addition to our family of devices, offering great internet experience at affordable price. The device will enable our customers to connect more to the world flourishing with possibilities and connections.

“As a customer-centric brand, we are making a bold statement with the Pebble Mifithat more value will be derived from our devices. This device is giving them a lot more data at an affordable rate’’.

The new device can be purchased at Spectranet sales outlets and channel partner shops around you.

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SystemSpecs Releases Full Version Of Remita Mobile App

SystemSpecs has released the full version of its Remita Mobile Application, for both Android and Apple users, to help individuals and businesses manage their accounts across multiple banks, settle bills of various kinds and generally stay in control of their finances.

The release of the full version of the app is coming after its beta version was released on the Android platform in March of this year. With the full release of Remita Mobile App on Google playstore and Apple app store, millions of Nigerians with accounts in any commercial bank can easily access their account balances on one screen, conveniently make and receive payments across various bank accounts, and settle bills to several merchants within the private and public sectors from their mobile phone.

An exciting feature of Remita App is that it allows users, whether individuals or businesses, to request payments from anyone in style. At a click, they can simply share a QR code via email, WhatsApp and other social media platforms. All the payer would need to do is to snap the QR code from their smartphone or tap their device against the biller’s to complete transactions.

For SME owners, they can easily switch between their business and personal profiles and also translate their existing physical process flows into a virtual form. As a result individuals, who for instance play different roles in various organisations as transaction approvers, would be able to play such roles using Remita Mobile App from their mobile phone – without needing to make physical appearances at work.

“Remita App places so much power in the hands of users by making it much easier and faster for them to manage their accounts across various banks and settle bills, on-the-go,” said John Obaro, Managing Director of SystemSpecs.

“It is particularly exciting that so much can be done from the comfort of their mobile device, without needing any other mobile app, any token, or visiting any bank branch.”

In addition to the features earlier made available on the app during its beta release, users of Remita Mobile App will now enjoy a number of new features which would enable them to seamlessly make payments for others, view their payslip, and manage their business and personal accounts.

“As an organisation, we strongly believe that there is no ceiling to innovation. As a result, we are always working to surpass expectations and increase the ease experienced by individuals and businesses. Among other benefits, the power to make more financially intelligent decisions is now at their fingertip,” said Adédèjì Olówè, Executive Director, Products and Services, at SystemSpecs.

The security of access and transactions on the platform has been prioritised through standard industry security measures as well as specific security layers built into the app. Such measures include Personal Security Number, fingerprint authentication and One-Time Password (OTP) verification.

Developed by SystemSpecs, Nigeria’s leading financial technology firm, Remita App is the mobile version of the award-winning Remita payment solution which has for more than a decade helped many individuals and organisations to make and receive payments easily.

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Facebook Introduces More Controls In Audience Network

Facebook will, over the next few months, launch additional controls for advertisers using Audience Network, Instant Articles and In-Stream Ads. It will also make existing controls easier to use.

Ads in Instant Articles and In-Stream Ads on Facebook and Audience Network let advertisers connect with people across several different experiences.

Facebook already provide advertisers with several controls, including the ability to opt-out of Instant Articles, Audience Network and in-stream ads on Facebook. They can also exclude delivery of their ads to sensitive categories, like dating and gambling. If advertisers want to use a more granular control, they can upload block lists of publishers & apps.

The additional controls include:

Pre-Campaign Transparency: Facebook will begin offering upfront, publisher-level transparency across the Audience Network, Instant Articles and in-stream ads on Facebook. For the first time, advertisers will be able to see a list of where their ads could potentially deliver prior to setting a campaign live. Facebook is currently testing this with a select group of advertisers who are running ads on Audience Network within the video views objective. This test will help the company build the right product with the goal of extending it to all advertisers, all objectives, Instant Articles and in-stream ads on Facebook later this year.

Blocking at the Account Level: To make the block process even easier, advertisers will be able to apply their block lists at the account level instead of having to log-in to each specific campaign or set of ads. This will help advertisers make their lists consistent across potentially hundreds of campaigns and thousands of creatives. Starting next month, Facebook will roll out this control to Audience Network and Instant Articles. Later this year, the company plans to extend it to in-stream ads on Facebook.

Choice Over Video Placements in Audience Network: Facebook will start to allow advertisers to specify the types of placements, (e.g. in-stream or native and interstitial), they want their video campaigns to run in through a simple opt-out format. As part of their commitment to businesses, Facebook will continue to provide more transparency, controls and a premium experience across Audience Network, Instant Articles and in-stream ads on its platform.

Facebook looks forward to working with advertisers to build the tools they need to be successful across these placements.

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Media Concepts, Nigeria Police, AMDON Launch Anti-Auto-Theft System In Nigeria

The Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria, (AMDON), has signed an agreement with the Nigeria Police Force for the use of PoliceBCMR, a technological means of attaching an automobile owner’s biodata on a smart card.
At the official signing of the agreement with Media Concepts International Limited, in Lagos last Thursday, the association’s president, Ajibola Adedoyin, said the initiative would help check the incidence of vehicle thefts across the country.
According to him, What has been happening before now, two of our members in the area of buying cars or receiving cars without knowing they were stolen, and before you know it, our members are either chased out of the business or run out of town. That is why we came up with this concept and decide to partner with the Nigeria Police so as to see how we can put a stop to it.
“And this will even reduce the amount of money and resources wasted on trying to get stolen vehicles. With this concept, I can tell you if we follow it well, it will be a thing of the past. At times a vehicle will be brought to you with original documents but it is stolen and if you decide to buy it and sell, you will be in trouble.”
The PoliceBCMR also provides a platform for the centralization of vehicle documents, in order to create and authenticate the much-needed database for police operational use in crime management nationwide.
Ayotunde Omodeinde, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, said the initiative was among the projects the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, approved to combat car thefts in the country as well as protect innocent car dealers.
“Often times, stolen vehicles find their way to car dealers and these dealers end up selling stolen vehicles without their knowledge often times,” said Mr. Omodeinde, officer in charge of Police ICT Department.
Omodeinde noted that the police would work AMDON to ensure that vehicles brought to them can be verified to ensure it’s not a stolen one.
In his remarks, Dr. Babatope Agbeyo, the chairman of Media Concepts International, described the initiative as a giant step to safeguard lives and properties of individuals.  
“People steal because they can use the loot or they can sell it, but if there is a system whereby, it’s difficult for you to steal or enjoy what you have stolen I think you won’t do that. The Police know that the job, security has gone beyond guns and cudgels, it’s now high tech, they are now embracing technology which is making it better,” opined Agbeyo.
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Facebook To Update Safety Check With New Features

In order to build a safe community, Facebook will be announcing today new updates to Safety Check to make it an even more relevant and useful experience in times of crisis.

Facebook’s Safety Check has notified people that their families and friends are safe more than a billion times across the world. As part of their ongoing commitment to build a safe community, Facebook will announce several updates to Safety Check

Introducing Fundraisers in Safety Check: Following a crisis, one way people give and request help is through fundraising. To make this easier, Facebook is introducing Fundraisers in Safety Check.  Within Safety Check, people will be able to create or donate to a fundraiser for charitable and personal causes to help those in need. Fundraising provides a way for people who are also outside of the crisis area to offer help. Fundraisers in Safety Check will start to roll out in the coming weeks in the US.

Expanding Community Help: Since the launch of Community Help earlier this year on iOS and Android, Facebook has been inspired by the offers and requests for help generated by the community and want to make sure that those in need are able to access Community Help through any platform. Community Help will be available in the upcoming weeks on desktop, giving people another way to access the tool. Additionally, Community Help is now available for all crises where Safety Check is activated.

Adding more context with a personal note: After marking themselves safe, people will be able to share additional information to help reassure friends they are safe and provide more context about the crisis. To make this easier, users can now add a personal note to tell their friends more about what’s happening from within the Safety Check tool. This note will appear in the News Feed story that is automatically generated when people mark themselves safe.

Introducing crisis descriptions: When people receive Safety Check notifications, they may have limited information about the crisis. To help provide additional context on crises and make sure people have the information that they need, Facebook has started adding descriptions about the crisis from NC4, a trusted third party global crisis reporting agency.

Helping to keep the community safer means everything to Facebook as it hopes that these updates to Safety Check continue to do just that.

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Facebook Introduces Subtitles On Live To Enhance User Experience

As part of its commitment to making it accessible to everyone, Facebook is enabling users to include closed captions in Facebook Live, helping people who are deaf and hard of hearing to experience Live videos.

Now, if your captioning settings are turned on, you will automatically see closed captions on Live broadcasts when they are available.

Over the past year, daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has grown by more than 4 times, and 1 in 5 Facebook videos is a Live broadcast. By enabling publishers to include closed captions with their Live broadcasts, more people can now participate in the exciting moments that unfold on Live.

Today’s milestone represents the next step in efforts to make content on Facebook accessible to more people. It is already possible to add captions to non-live videos when uploading them to Facebook Pages, and publishers can use Facebook’s speech recognition service to automatically generate captions for videos on their Pages.


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African Union Commissions Internet Infrastructure Security Guidelines For Africa

The Internet Society and the African Union Commission unveiled a new set of Internet Infrastructure Security Guidelines for Africa during the African Internet Summit, taking place in Nairobi 30 May-2 June. The guidelines will help Africa create a more secure Internet infrastructure and are set to change the way African Union States approach cyber security preparedness.

The guidelines – the first of their kind in Africa – were developed by a multi-stakeholder group of African and global internet infrastructure security experts, and are the first step towards building a more secure Internet in Africa. They will help AU member states strengthen the security of their local Internet infrastructure through actions at a regional, national, ISP/operator and organizational level.

Africa’s cyber security environment faces a unique combination of challenges, including a lack of awareness of the risks involved in using technology. Kenya was ranked the 69th most vulnerable country (out of 127) in the 2015 Deloitte Global Threat Index. Some of the main reasons are: low awareness, underinvestment, talent shortage and overload of data.  Deloitte further estimates that Kenya lost $171 million to cybercrime in 2016.

“Africa has achieved major strides in developing its Internet Infrastructure in the past decade. However, the Internet won’t provide the aspired benefits unless we can trust it. We have seen from recent experiences that Africa is not immune from cyber-attacks and other security threats. These guidelines, developed in collaboration with the African Union Commission, will help African countries put in place the necessary measures to increase the security of their Internet infrastructure,” explained Dawit Bekele, Africa Regional Bureau Director for the Internet Society.

This document is launched at a time when the world feels the real and urgent need to build and reinforce structures aimed at tackling the growing cyber threat to the global digital economy. Governments, companies, network operators, universities and organizations across African Union member states are encouraged to take action to implement the Internet Infrastructure Security Guidelines.

“This is another timely milestone achievement given the new security challenges in cyberspace,” said Moctar Yeday, Head, Information Society Division, African Union. “The Commission of the African Union will continue its partnership with the Internet Society on a second set of guidelines addressing personal data protection in Africa,” he added.

According to ITU ICT Facts and Figures 2016, it is estimated that 25.1% of Africans are now online and despite lower Internet access rates vs. other regions in the world, there has been a sustained double-digit growth in Internet penetration over the past 10 years. This is due in large part to an increase of mobile Internet and in more affordable smart phones in the market and Africa’s young, technology-savvy population. However, to continue to improve access and connect the unconnected, people need to trust the Internet.

Symantec, a global leader in cyber security, observed 24 million malware incidents targeting Africa in 2016. As some malware incidents probably go unobserved, the real number of incidents may be much higher. In a 2013 report from Symantec, cybercrime was increasing at a faster rate in Africa than any other region.

As Internet penetration grows in Africa and more business takes place online, implementing security measures against malware incidents to protect Internet users becomes increasingly important.

Offering actions that are tailored to the African cyber security environment and solutions for an ever changing online landscape, the recommendations in the document launched today can play a key role in helping Africa respond to the kind of Internet attacks that recently paralyzed critical public and government services.

A copy of the Africa Internet Infrastructure Security Guidelines can be found at: www.InternetSociety.org/doc/aiisg.

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Presidency Opens Registration For #PEBEHack

The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has on Tuesday opened registration for the first edition of PEBECHack, a series of Hackathons designed to solve problems at the intersection of government processes and regulations, and the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

This was contained in a statement signed by Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, Cordinator, Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES).

The Council after its monthly meeting at the State House agreed to bring together various teams to compete on developing a tool that will promote accountability, performance tracking and transparency among key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) crucial to the success of Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business, at the first #PEBECHack.

“The competing teams would develop a service management solution that will allow citizens monitor, provide feedback, report, make complaints, and ‘blow-a-whistle’ about the quality of service received from key Federal Government Doing Business MDAs or at strategic locations such as airports, seaports and land borders,” the statement said.

Interested #PEBECHack participants can register as individuals or teams on www.ebes.gov.ng/pebec-hackathon between Tuesday May 23 and Tuesday June 6, 2017. The Hackathon itself will hold over two days on June 23 and 24, 2017 in Lagos.

It would be recalled that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who is the PEBEC chair, had announced on May 1, 2017 at an event in Lagos that the PEBEC Secretariat would be bringing together techies in a Hackathon to develop a “solution for tracking reforms and getting public feedback… and enable the public to complain directly about government agencies that are making doing business difficult.”

Similarly, the PEBEC Secretariat has finalized arrangements to conduct a survey in the coming days to gather feedback from the public on challenges related to producing, trading and transporting goods within Nigeria. The survey is focused on capturing feedback for key agencies – SON, NAFDAC, NOTAP, MITI Trademarks office, Police and Customs.

PEBECHack is held in partnership with L5 Lab, Venture Garden Group, Techplus and Microsoft. Media partners are Pulse, Ynaija and Starta.

More information about the Hackathon can be found on www.ebes.gov.ng/pebec-hackathon or on Twitter: @EBESnigeria and Facebook: www.Facebook.com/EBESnigeria. The official hashtag is #PEBECHack.  For enquiries, send email toinfo@ebes.gov.ng.


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Bring Back The Internet: The 7 Countries Where Citizens Are Paying The Supreme Price For Using Internet

By Mercy Abang

We are in the 21st century and it is shocking that activists, advocates and development agencies still continue to agitate for citizens access to the internet – internet accessibility has undoubtedly become a fundamental human right  – but some nations are not allowing the freedom that comes with internet access – there’s been a large-scale government-authorized crackdown or total shutdown of the internet especially in developing nations.

To best describe the Internet in formal terms, it is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP.)   Despite the increasing billions of people accessing the Internet there remain pockets of the world that do not have access; attempt to restrict or control the content that users have access to .Why are developing countries shutting down the Internet? Why the legislation to crackdown users? Why has the Internet become more of a threat?

Participants from over 400 countries gathered in Stockholm to find answers to the foregoing concerns – with the theme, “leaving no one offline” at the just concluded Stockholm Internet Forum (SIF) – from governments to corporate agencies and civil society actors, the argument moved from legislation to economic liberation and users privacy.

To get closure, I decided to enquire from participants from seven countries – (used that number for my sample size) on how they have fared in accessing the Internet, from legislation to affordability and crackdowns, their responses gives a sense of what is obtained in many under-developed nations.

1.     Cameroon

The Cameroonian government recently suspended Internet services for Anglophone areas of the country, (Southwest and Northwest province) after a series of protests that resulted in violence and the arrest of community leaders [from what period to what period]. How many deaths during protests?

“The cost of exposing the state abuse and the state excesses has fallen below the price of data”, says 38-year old Kathleen Ndongmo of the Anghore Group [a risk analysis firm?]. “In any gradation of citizen activism, taking a picture or video is the lowest risk form of engagement – a bullet cost more today than any dissenter”.

Despite being the leader of the country for almost 34 years, President Paul Biya is also to stand for the 2018 presidential election in Cameroon –  a new seven-year term for the head of state is also linked to the severe internet crackdown.

2.     Mozambique

Mozambique, a nation of 26 million people, has a barely sufficient 6% Internet penetration nationwide. 32-year old,Borges Nhamire, with the centre de Integridade Publica says the poor access to Internet is linked to government stringent regulations. “They (government) are not allowing for a free market”, he alluded. “During the 2011 demonstrations against the state of the economy, government shutdown access to internet and all forms of communications.”

Mr Borges says to ensure the crackdown is absolute, much after the restoration of Internet, “the government embarked on an enlightenment campaign, deceiving the population that WhatsApp conversations are monitored – that move reduced the participation of most Mozambicans from civil society activities that may be termed anti-government”.

WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp- messages are secured with a lock, and only the recipient and users have the special key needed to unlock and read messages – but a government manages to deceive its people in a bid to stifle dissent.

3.     Zimbabwe

Another country facing series of crackdowns is Zimbabwe and with elections ahead, speculations are rife. The government introduced a cybercrime and computer crimes bill with unclear definitions “so you could tweet something and they can determine whether you’re a cyber terrorists – and the essence is to curb protests”, says 32 – year – old Munya Bloggo of Magamba Network, a Zimbabwean organization.

Munya said in January 2017, “the government in collaboration with the private sector, allowed a 500% increase in data so it becomes out of reach of the ordinary people which then led to “datamustfall” hashtag.

4.     Myanmar

In far away Myanmar with Aung San Suu Kyi as incumbent State Counsellor and Leader of the National League for Democracy. The popular Section 66(d), seems to be the newest threat to freedom of expression and a tool surprisingly, for the former activist. Persistent repression of criticism through section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law has led lawyers, politicians and activists to suggest that conditions for free speech have continued to deteriorate under the National League for Democracy-led government, despite expectations that the new leadership would usher in an era of freedom.

The government is under mounting pressure from the public and from rights groups to amend its criminal defamation laws after a spate of cases against journalists and bloggers has raised questions about the administration’s commitment to protecting free speech. “Our member posted a satire on his facebook wall and he got six months in jail” Activist Zar Chi Oo tells me. Activists Chi Oo is a member with PEN Myanmar, a pressure group advocating for the law to be abolished says it puts every social media user at risk of arrests or detention. “A supporter of a public figure can just see any post and sue the user and said social media user is immediately detained”.

5.     Tanzania

The Tanzanian government in 2015 also got smart enough to develop a cybercrime bill. The document shrouded in secrecy was “taken to the parliament– citizens were given only 24 hours to review the document with most parliamentarians lacking knowledge of most of its content”, famous activist with the Change Tanzania movement, Maria Sarungi-Tsehai says. “What they were really doing was criminalizing gossip”, she continued – “and that has led to series of arrests of crackdowns as we’ve seen over the last year”.

6.     Pakistan

While other nations give different reasons for the subtle crackdown or total shutdown of the Internet, the Pakistani government blames its intermittent act of shutdowns or blocking platforms like YouTube and Facebook to the prevention of terrorist activities.

Authorities claim users posting blasphemous contents have a tendency of leading extremists/terrorists attacks – the government only recently, also threatened facebook to reveal identity of users. But 24 – year- old Rafia Shaih, a freelance Journalist says “ If you’re shutting down the internet for national security, what is being done is simply attacking the basic human rights of communication”, she argues.

7.     Kenya

Judith Omigar, working with Juakali, an online platform linking young people seeking for jobs in the formal sector says, “The Kenyan government is likely to shutdown the internet ahead of the August general elections”. She said there has been series of arrests of bloggers posting contents against powerful persons in the country and the build up to the election season will likely see to more crackdowns of Internet users.

While the conversation about a free, open and secure Internet that promotes human rights and development worldwide continues. For governments especially in the developed nations, I’d like to share a 2009 report by the World Bank, which clearly states that access to broadband boosts economic growth in all countries, but most especially in developing ones. The study also showed that in developing countries, for every ten-percentage points of broadband penetration, their economies grew by 1.38 per cent -the report, conducted in 120 countries between 1980 and 2006, showed that developed countries’ economies grew by 1.21 per cent. 

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Kirusa Launches Instavoice Channels With Tigo In Rwanda

Kirusa, a global leader in providing telecom and social media solutions, today announced the launch of Celeb and Sports content services on InstaVoice® Channels platform, with Tigo Rwanda, a leading mobile network in the country.

The Celeb content service, which is offered as a part of InstaVoice Channels,brings celebrities and their fans together. Using the voice blogging feature, celebrities express their emotions and share their joyous and challenging moments daily; the voice messages are delivered instantly to the fans, creating a “Voice Twitter” like experience.

With the launch of this content service,Tigo subscribers can receive voice updates from popularRwandan artistslike Comedian Arthur Nkusi, and Prominent Rapper Lil G etc.

Sharing his enthusiasm, Arthur Nkusi said, “I am delighted to be a part of this ‘Voice-Twitter’ community, which is an empowering medium for artistes seeking extensive outreach to their fans. I genuinely look forward to turning on the humor on this all-embracing forum.”

The Sports content service is another component of the unique InstaVoice Channels platform that providesdaily soccer updates, such as team news, pre and post-match analysis, quotes from team players and managers. Users can follow all English Premiere League Clubs, along with UEFA and La Liga. Tigo subscriberscan get alerts on football news, players, matches, goals, penalties and much more.

“We are eagerly anticipating our subscribers’ response to this interactive platform. It truly meets our commitment, which is to deliver entertaining contentto our customers. I am sure oursubscribers will appreciate the versatility of InstaVoice channels and enjoy the continual flow of celebrity and sports updates.” Yaw Ankoma Agyapong, CCO of Tigo Rwanda.

On a similar note, Founder and CEO of Kirusa, Dr. Inderpal Singh Mumick said, “Our partnership with Tigo brings celebrity and sports updates to Tigo subscribers in Rwanda. We are hopeful that the InstaVoice Celeb and Sports services will be well-received in a nation which is ardently passionate about entertainment and sports.”

About Tigo Rwanda

Tigo Rwanda is owned by Millicom, a leading telecommunications and media company uniquely dedicated to emerging markets in Latin America and Africa. It provides mobile, mobile financial, cable and satellite services to over 60 million customers in fourteen countries, primarily under the Tigo brand. Tigo has been operating in Africa since 1993, in Rwanda since 2009, and serves over 26 million customers in Africa.


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