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Trading Forex For Living – is it for real?

Forex Trading
stock market. Photo by Luca Sammarco from Pexels

Forex trading has been growing in popularity over the last couple of years. The great chances are that you have noticed many advertisements on the internet related to the Forex market and Forex brokers, which also grow in number lately. It’s not surprising since it’s about the market that opened its door to the ordinary people, traders without any market experience to offer them the opportunity to make profits.

Thanks to the reliable internet available in every corner of the earth, trading Forex has become available to anyone. If you are pondering on making money, nothing is impossible if you are ready to learn and dedicate your time to explore the market.

Can you trade Forex for a living full-time?

Of course, you trade Forex full-time for a living, but it will require your full dedication. Keep in mind that becoming a successful full-time trader requires determination, patience, many ups and downs before you reach the professional level. Figuring out the best strategies, the best currency pairs for trading, and the best moments perform trades take time.

Therefore if you already have a full-time job, chop and change are not entirely advisable. Even if you are fed up with the current job situation, working from nine to five, or unsatisfied with the salary or working atmosphere, you shouldn’t just quit and venture into Forex. Do it by baby steps. Dedicate several hours a day to the demo trading and learning to make sure it’s the career you want. You absolutely shouldn’t jeopardize the daily budget that serves you for satisfying existential needs or funds dedicated to schooling the children and similar.

The first step for anyone wanting to plunge into Forex trading is to find a reliable broker. Our advice is not to immediately plunge into the trading but to find a broker that will assist you in your trading journey from the beginning. To find one check the broker reviews and find the one that fits your requirements.

Every trader can have its particular requirement regarding fees and assets offered, depending on the initial budget and trading plan. But there are some general standards when it comes to good brokers. Let’s see what it entails.

What’s a good Forex broker, and why do you need one?

Simply put, to become a full-time successful Forex trader, you will need a good platform for trading, meaning a good broker. One of the best perks of a reliable Forex broker is that it enables knowledgeable traders to build their confidence offering them free learning resources. These resources comprise free tutorials, free or paid trading courses as well as mentoring.

Through mentoring, you will have a trader by your side who guides you through the trading process. Mentor can teach you how to determine good trading opportunities. The best part is that there is no need to invest real money as long as you are using a demo account. Whenever you feel it’s a perfect moment to start trading for real, you can switch from the demo to the real account.

There are numerous other reasons to be picky when it comes to Forex brokers. Besides the educational advantage, the good broker will always be transparent and honest regarding the fees and commissions. Meaning there are no hidden fees and additional expenses. Just what is stated in their terms and conditions.

Make sure to always read these. Check with the broker at the beginning if you are on the same page when it comes to trading conditions. You will probably hear that the brokers with the highest leverage offer are the best but beware of this advice. And also, be careful with the leverage. It helps you to increase your chances to earn a lot but also the opposite. Hence, don’t take into account only this aspect but look for transparency, honesty, and efficiency.

Learn About The Main Geometric Figures of a Technical Analysis According to FXGM ZA

FXGM ZA
geometry

The community of stock market analysts uses tools with agreed methods and strategies to study the behaviour of shares, currencies, etc. One of the most popular tools is the technical analysis, which has different levels of complexity in the way of providing the information collected, which makes it possible for both beginners and experts to enter into the use of this type of study. The different types of information are visible in geometric figures, which, in different colours and shapes, provides different types of data. Therefore, the knowledge of the main of these figures is essential for a good use of the tool, and together with the broker FXGM ZA today we tell you more information.

  • Price channel, through this figure the continuation of the trend is registered, which is delimited by two lines: an upper one, which marks the maximum value prices, while the lower one, registers the minimum prices of the values. The shapes that these curves can take are upward (ascending), downward (descending), or not sloping (rectangular).

Investors use this information – explains FXGM ZA – because when the curve is upward, it indicates that stocks are in a bullish momentum, so traders will want to buy when prices reach the support trend line, and look for economic benefits when it reaches the resistance line.

  • Symmetrical triangle is another trend continuation figure. This figure is structured with at least two highs, one lower than gold, and two lows, one higher than the other. During the course of the trading day, these lines appear to join until they finally do, and when they converge, they form a triangle.

The attraction of this figure – explained by the technical analysis specialists at FXGM ZA – is that it has measurement and timing effects. When the figure is completed, price and volume decline before they react sharply and go beyond the boundaries of the triangle. A breakout can occur on either side of the triangle, if the triangle is bullish, the breakout will occur in the same direction as the previous uptrend. On the other hand, if the symmetrical triangle is bearish, the breakout occurs in the same direction as the previous downtrend.

  • Flags and pennants are two consolidation figures. They usually occur in the middle of a large price movement and simply represent brief pauses in a market with a lot of volume.

It is worth noting – they point out at broker FXGM ZA – that they are among the most reliable figures, and rarely produce a trend reversal. Both figures mark a small consolidation of the movement of a stock price.

  • Wedges are also triangular figures, where the two lines have the same direction and have a clear particularity. The ascending wedge (with the two upward lines) has bearish implications and the descending wedge (with the two downward lines) has bullish implications.

These are just some of the most common figures provided by technical analysis, and known individually and jointly, enabling the investor – FXGM ZA concludes – to have very specific and clear information to develop investment strategies and also to anticipate trends, which in themselves are difficult to anticipate, with more knowledge of the economic scenario.

Believe in the Power of Technology

Huawei vice-president Catherine Chen
Huawei vice-president Catherine Chen

Technology holds significant benefits for humanity, and digital technology can be an indispensable tool for helping the United Nations achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This was the view of Huawei senior vice president and board member Catherine Chen, in her keynote speech at the recent Connected for Shared Prosperity Forum, during the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2021.

Technology could be an engine for human progress, and called on individuals and businesses to “think big and act small”, while reiterating her support of the SDGs and building a green, innovative and inclusive world.

Large social changes tend to happen in lockstep with breakthroughs in science and technology. But today, technological advancements are hyped and politicised – as has sometimes been the case with 5G.

5G was in fact a standardised technology defined by its high bandwidth, low latency, and broad connectivity, which could transform traditional industries and benefit all.

Every day, consumers are benefiting from 5G experiences, while industrial use in seaports, mines, and the transportation sector is increasing operational efficiency. Is this a bad thing? I don’t think so.

While there was always the danger that a new technology could be abused, rules could be established to manage technological risks.

Many people are already hard at work creating governance rules for cyber security, privacy protection, and trusted AI that will keep us safe. For the rest of us, it’s time to be confident and open to technological development. 

Huawei was already deploying digital solutions to empower people and meet UN development goals – especially the goals of innovation, reduced inequality and quality education.

In South Africa, for instance, Huawei, non-profit organization Click Foundation and network provider rain teamed up, aiming to connect more than 100 urban and rural primary schools to the Internet. The goal is to boost reading comprehension skills and close the digital gap through technology.

In Kenya, Huawei partnered to build Digitrucks, mobile, solar-powered classrooms that bring digital skills to remote, underserved communities. Equipped with 20 laptops, 20 VR headsets, and built in Wi-Fi, each DigiTruck is a temporary digital school that provides free classes, resources, and materials.

Huawei Smart PV solution is being used in more than 60 countries was already helping to achieve SDGs, and had reduced carbon emissions by 148 million tons.

This is the equivalent of planting more than 200 million trees. In Ethiopia alone, we have helped our customers deploy more than 400 solar power stations, reducing carbon emissions by 2 850 tons. In China, we have also helped build the world’s largest solar stations, dedicated to agriculture and fishing in Ningxia and Shandong provinces.

Huawei and UNESCO have also partnered to launch the Open Schools programme to help schools in Egypt, Ethiopia, and Ghana improve their digital skills through online education.

In all these examples every single connection, every gram of emissions reduced, every watt of electricity saved, could not have been achieved without small advances in tech.

This is the value that tech brings to the world.

Avon Study Reveals Shared Experience Is Key To Women’s Experience

Avon Justine
Mafahle Mareletse, Managing Director of Avon Justine South Africa.

New research from beauty company Avon reveals that women find strength from hearing every day, relatable stories and sharing experiences with others. Nearly a third say these connections help them overcome challenges (32%) and for over a third (36%) it decreases feelings of anxiety or reduces self-doubt.

With fears that the coronavirus pandemic has set the fight for gender equality back decades[1], and the new research highlighting that 41% of women have lost confidence as a result of lockdown restrictions, Avon is launching a campaign to celebrate the achievements and stories of women and men around the world.

Commissioned as part of the My Story Matters campaign, the new research surveyed 8,000 women globally from countries including UK, Poland, Italy, South Africa and the Philippines.

It found that most women (92%), have felt increased pressure during the pandemic due to being unable to see loved ones in person (49%), financial stresses (47%), job security (29%) and home schooling (24%).

Alongside these pressures, half of women (52%) admit they have felt less connected, resulting in feelings of anxiety (44%), isolation (42%), lack of motivation (34%), and self-doubt (20%).

Despite over half (57%) turning to online platforms to feel connected with their peers, over a quarter (28%) of women admit they feel judged when sharing their own struggles on social media sites, 27% don’t believe anyone would be interested to hear their story and 40% don’t like to talk about themselves.

To address these concerns and bring people together in these difficult times, Avon is launching a global gallery for women and men to share their different stories and experiences and connect with others around the world. The My Story Matters Gallery will launch ahead of International Women’s Day, and celebrates stories of strength, grit and determination, from extraordinary triumphs to everyday wins.

The gallery already features a host of stories reflecting the different experiences of women and girls across the world. Stories range from juggling motherhood and a career, to survivors of adversity, including breast cancer and domestic violence. 

Mafahle Mareletse, Avon Justine Managing Director for Africa, Turkey & the Middle East, concurred: “Everyone has a story to tell. Through this campaign, we are giving women a platform to share their lived experiences, celebrate the triumph of the human spirit, inspire others to greater heights, help them to heal and to draw strength and fortitude.

 As a company for women, Avon has always been at the forefront of endeavours that are aimed at empowering women and supporting the causes that resonate with them. We wish to appeal to women from all walks of life to share their stories of triumph over adversity, no matter how small. My Story Matters is another example where Avon uses the power of beauty and its brand to amplify the voice of women and advance women empowerment.”

Angela Cretu, Avon CEO, said: “In a world where our voices aren’t equal, in our everyday life we gather strength from people like us; those that have shared experiences. It helps gives us strength when we hear of another woman struggling with the same things we are.

 “Avon’s mission is to help women overcome the barriers and challenges they face, becoming the most they can be, so this International Women’s Day we’re reclaiming our connections, we’re finding new and judgement free ways to share stories, listen to others and find inspiration in experience. Avon’s My Story Matters Gallery will give women a place to speak up, share their stories and celebrate their achievements. It will collate authentic stories from around the world, showing that women are strong, courageous, and powerful and that we should never be underestimated. The more stories we can gather and the more positive role models we can show, the more impact we will have. To celebrate every story shared, the Avon Foundation will also donate $1 to charities that support women to help create a better world for women, which is a better world for all.”

To share your story on the My Story Matters Gallery, visit www.watchmenow.avon.com.

[1] https://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2020/04/policy-brief-the-impact-of-covid-19-on-women

Andile Ngcaba’s Convergence Partners Buys Ctrack From Nasdaq-Listed Inseego

Convergence Partners
Andile Ngcaba. Image source: Engineering News

Convergence Partners, a leading tech investor in Africa, will buy 100% of Ctrack’s operations in Africa and the Middle East from Nasdaq-listed Inseego Corp for an undisclosed amount.

The deal is funded through Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund (CPDIF), which is its maiden transaction.

Ctrack is a telematics software-as-a-service digital infrastructure platform providing fleet management, insurance and weather telematics solutions and asset tracking solutions to its subscribers in Africa and the Middle East.

The business’ IoT and data analytics capabilities are a vital component of an emerging sector in Africa. They are a good fit with CPDIF’s strategy of identifying high growth market players that build digital infrastructure in the continent.

The agreement is subject to customary conditions, including approval by the Competition Authority of South Africa.

Says Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Convergence Partners, “our interest in the business relates to its proven market leadership in the development of analytics solutions using big data extracted from the cloud platform. We believe that the business is well poised to use its market advantage to further its ambitions in the automotive technology (AutoTech) space by continuing to develop its internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) competencies.

“As the world enters automotive ethernet, Ctrack is well-positioned for vehicular communication systems such as V2V and V2X connectivity and the business will subscribe to 5GAA protocols in the 5.9Ghz band.

Convergence Partners
Ctrack

“We thus believe that our ownership of Ctrack will serve as a catalyst to enhance and accelerate its digital ambitions further.”

ICT industry veteran Ngcaba owns Convergence Partners. It has a proven record of accomplishment of developing new investment opportunities and actively adding value to investments across the lifecycle of ICT assets.

As impact investors, Convergence Partners brings its skills, experience, and capital to accelerate ICT infrastructure development on the continent, focusing on initiatives that increase the availability of communications, broadband services, and new technology offerings to Africa’s people. For more on Convergence Partners, click here.

Convergence Partners
Ctrack

Ctrack Well-Poised to Facilitate Africa IoT Potential

Equipped with IoT-enabling technology, asset and vehicle tracking solutions company Ctrack is ideally primed to help usher in the next revolution in 2017 and beyond. 

The world is currently undergoing a transformation towards an era described as the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” – a revolution that combines the physical, digital and biological realms that will maximise business optimisation and enhance the quality of life.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the Internet of Things (IoT), which involve connectivity, devices, and big data analytics, form a significant part of this next revolutionary phase.

In the transport industry, the “things” mostly refer to vehicles and the people driving them, which can be controlled, monitored and managed via web software and applications.

According to research and industry experts, both Africa as a continent and transportation as an industry are well-positioned to take full advantage of IoT in the upcoming years. In fact, we might even end up leading the Fourth Industrial Revolution globally.

Given that road accidents are currently costing SA’s economy R142.95 billion annually, according to a 2016 study conducted by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and the Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), investing in a full-stack solution like Ctrack is a step in the right direction for the transport industry.

Ctrack considers itself firmly future-orientated and well-poised to make the Fourth Industrial Revolution a reality – not only in Africa, but across the globe.

Also read: Andile Ngcaba’s Convergence Partners Spent R75 Million To Buy More Stake In Channel VAS

Convergence Partners, which is owned by ICT industry veteran Andile Ngcaba, has spent R75 million ($5 million) to acquire an additional stake in fast-growing FinTech Player Channel VAS.

Convergence Partners exercised preferential and exclusive rights to acquire the stake as a result of an intra-consortium rebalancing of the holdings of another member of the Ethos consortium through which Convergence Partners is partially invested.

Last week private equity firm Ethos announced that it has sold its 1.4% stake in FinTech player Channel VAS.

The company said it has sold a 1.4% stake in Channel VAS at a consideration of $5 million (R76.6 million).

Decision Inc. Awarded Qlik Elite Partner Status in Africa

Decision Inc.
Gavin Sheehan

Decision Inc. has become one of only four companies in South Africa to have achieved the Qlik Elite Partner Status, the highest tier available from the multinational business intelligence organisation that develops cloud data integration and data analytics solutions.

“The recognition reaffirms Decision Inc.’s commitment to delivering purpose-built, value-driven solutions that result in a demonstratable business return for our customers across industry sectors,” says Gavin Sheehan, Executive: Data, Information and Analytics at Decision Inc.

“Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown conditions, Decision Inc. has shown its resilience to weather the storm, maintain its strong client focus and it is great that Qlik acknowledges this.”

This award will see the Decision Inc. team of experts enjoy a much closer working relationship with Qlik and ensure the organisation continues to drive customer satisfaction in the region. To be awarded Elite Partner Status, Decision Inc. had to meet specific revenue targets, advanced training, and company-wide certification and accreditation. These must be maintained, and their foundations built on annually.

“This appointment by Qlik is a direct result of our investment in these criteria and how we are positioned to assist customers become truly data-driven businesses at a time of great uncertainty. It is essential to derive meaningful insights from the wealth of information a company has at its disposal. Having such a strong relationship with Qlik ensures that Decision Inc. has the tools and technologies in place to help companies unlock this value proposition,” adds Sheehan.

According to Qlik research, 84% of organisations have launched advanced analytics and Big Data initiatives to bring greater accuracy and accelerate their decision-making. This shift to data management as growth and competitive accelerant creates opportunities for partners like Decision Inc. to strengthen their Qlik practice and sell bespoke solutions targeting unique customer requirements.

“Decision Inc. will remain focused on identifying the best ways for its customers to manage the complexities of their data-rich environments,” said Sheehan.

 

“The ‘new normal’ requires businesses to be more agile and responsive to fast-moving customer expectations. This can only be done with the assistance of data analysis to help guide decision-makers.”

Microsoft Unveils Industry-Specific Clouds To Enable Innovation

Microsoft Cloud
Microsoft Cloud

Microsoft is continuing to roll out more industry-specific cloud packages tailored for specific vertical industries.

“Over the past year, we have experienced dramatic disruption around the world. Companies in every industry have turned to digital technologies for the resilience and agility necessary to survive. The urgency for entire industries to transform at scale has never been greater,” said Alysa Taylor, Corporate vice president of Business Applications and Global Industry.

In response, Taylor said the company has accelerated its efforts to support and co-innovate with customers and partners — both now and long term — with industry-specific cloud offerings that can provide a launchpad for further innovations.

Today, Microsoft announced three new industry-specific cloud offerings: Microsoft Cloud for Financial ServicesMicrosoft Cloud for Manufacturing, and Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit.

“We are also announcing the first update to Cloud for Healthcare, and the public preview timing for Microsoft Cloud for Retail, introduced in January at NRF, said Taylor.

The company has created industry clouds by bringing together common data models, cross-cloud connectors, workflows, APIs, and industry-specific components and standards, with the breadth of Microsoft’s cloud services, including Microsoft 365 and Teams, Azure, Microsoft Power Platform, Dynamics 365 and security solutions.

Through these industry clouds, Taylor said: “We aim to empower everyone to deliver value faster, adapt quickly to changing conditions, build for the future and do all of this with security at the core.”

Designed with industry challenges in mind, these clouds can enable organizations to jump ahead and deliver value at record pace. This is because they provide an on-ramp to the broader portfolio of Microsoft cloud services, enabling customers to begin with the areas where the need for technology transformation is most urgent.

Microsoft industry clouds also provide new opportunities to strengthen and extend for the last mile of industry execution. Partners bring new innovation and expertise to deliver tailored solutions for unique customer needs.

Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services brings together Microsoft solutions, unique templates, API’s and additional industry-specific standards, along with multi-layered security and compliance coverage to deliver differentiated customer experiences, improve employee collaboration and productivity, manage risk and modernize core systems. Using these capabilities, retail banks can create a 360-degree view of the customer with greater insight and suggested next best action, embed digital collaboration into their process workflows to create real-time visibility to status and streamline hand-offs, enhance insights to help reduce fraud — all with the scalable and hybrid deployment options financial services organizations require to modernize their systems.

Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing is designed to deliver capabilities that support the core processes and requirements of the industry. These end-to-end manufacturing solutions bring together new and existing capabilities across the Microsoft portfolio as well as partner solutions that together can seamlessly connect people, assets, workflows and business processes, helping organizations become more resilient.

Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit creates a connected, intelligent platform to empower staff and volunteers to focus on the work that matters most — their mission.

Launching in public preview by the end of June, Cloud for Nonprofit connects the trusted cloud capabilities of Microsoft to the most common nonprofit scenarios such as constituent engagement, program design and delivery, volunteer management and fundraising, all brought together by the nonprofit common data model.

Microsoft Cloud for Retail brings together different data sources across the retail value chain and uniquely connects experiences across the end-to-end shopper journey, using a set of capabilities that deliver more relevant personalized experiences and optimize operations for sustained profitability.

Using this industry cloud, retailers can build more targeted and relevant customer recommendations and notifications, expand their fulfillment options, simplify payment processing and benefit from comprehensive fraud protection. Currently in private preview, Microsoft Cloud for Retail will be available for public preview in March.

With the expertise of partner Avtex, Mary Washington Health System is deploying a solution built on Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare that helps securely connect providers digitally with patients who have canceled or deferred important elective procedures. Solutions like this allow patients to reconnect with their healthcare providers and restart those procedures that have been delayed — while also helping providers recover in a post-pandemic world.

“The complexity of our world is increasing daily, and the lessons of 2020 are showing up as organizations everywhere learn to be more agile and resilient,” said Taylor.

“They are counting on Microsoft to help them master this complexity so they can move faster, innovate thoughtfully and be positioned for success.”

Is Load Shedding An Obstacle To The Adoption of Electric Cars In South Africa?

electric car
The BMW i3 ELECTRIC CAR Urban Suite

South Africa is falling well behind other nations when it comes to the rollout and adoption of carbon saving electric cars technologies, new research has revealed.

An international study by car hire comparison website StreeFreeCarRental.com has ranked the top ten countries in the world when it comes to adopting carbon saving electric vehicles, and South Africa is nowhere to be seen.

Electric cars have disrupted the transportation and technology industries. They have shown how important it is to find alternate sources of fuel and they can positively affect the environment and society as a whole.

But South Africa is falling far behind and is struggling to keep up to speed with global developments in electric vehicles.

The Netherlands was found to be most advanced in the roll-out of electric cars technologies followed by Norway and Sweden with France ranked in fourth place.

Researchers looked at both electric vehicle sales per head of population and state investment in infrastructure and charging points to compile a definitive leader board of the countries showing the way when it comes to electric cars.

The study highlights how much work there is still to be done for South Africa to catch up with other countries in the race to net-zero carbon emissions.

In a new report titled the State of Electric Vehicles in South Africa, out of more than 10-million cars on South African roads, only about 1,100 are electric. This number is growing by only a handful each month. Whereas globally, numbers are growing by up to 40% annually.

To put this into perspective on the global stage, some European countries, such as Norway have over 480,000 EVs on their roads.

South Africa has a population of 58.56 million, which means that for every electric vehicle, there are 53,236 people! In the Netherlands, there are 58 residents for every electric car!

But there might be a deeper routed issue with electric vehicle adoption in South Africa. Electricity load shedding, a deliberate rolling blackout cutting off power to a large proportion of the grid for hours at a time, means that there can be long periods without mains electricity throughout the country. 2019 was the worst year on record for load shedding, with blackouts lasting for a total of 530 hours. The country’s scarcity of electricity represents a major barrier to investment into electric car infrastructure, which in turn makes the short to medium term large scale adoption of electric vehicles look unlikely.

Looking at tax, it seems that South Africa actively penalises buyers of electric cars with an ordinary car attracting an 18% import duty, but an electric one 25%. Current import conditions do not favour electric vehicles and South Africa does not manufacture battery-electric passengers’ vehicles to provide for the mass market. This impacts consumer choice in the switch to electric mobility.

Electric cars

And despite it being a well-known fact that electric cars are cheaper to run than traditional vehicles with engines, South Africans feel the purchase price is a major obstacle to ownership.

But there’s more work to be done for South Africa to reach anywhere near the top ten. In the recent State of Electric Vehicles in South Africa report, the national uYilo eMobility Programme addresses the four focal points of the current standing and future of electric vehicles in the country.

“Air quality, manufacturing, imports, charging infrastructure and government policy, are the main focal areas for electric vehicles in South Africa,” says uYilo.

 

“Each of these must be addressed in order for South Africa to follow the global transition to non-fossil fuel transportation, boost consumer adoption and to remain competitive on the international stage.”

 

A spokesman for StressFreeCarRental.com who compiled the research said: “There is a lot of work to be done by Governments across the world if they are serious about tackling climate change and reducing CO2 emissions.

“Our study shows which countries are leading the world in the race to net-zero vehicle emissions and which are falling behind in the slow lane. And South Africa needs new policies, as well as investment in infrastructure. It may be a while before South Africa breaks the top ten global leaderboard.”

Spotify Launches New Markets in Africa

Spotify
Spotify

Spotify, the global audio streaming subscription service, is now available in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda as of 23 February. With a worldwide community of more than 345 million monthly active listeners, Spotify will offer a world-class audio listening and music discovery experience to listeners.

The Spotify service is available for free or with an upgrade to Spotify Premium, a subscription service that offers an ad-free music listening experience.

Spotify, which is already in South Africa, expands its operations into the rest of Africa with its unrivalled mix of features that have made it the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service, including more than 70 million international and local songs and over 4 billion playlists.

The platform offers everyday new music discovery, algorithmic recommendations personalised to each listener’s audio taste, and the freedom to engage Spotify across a wide range of devices and app integrations with Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Samsung, Tinder, Google Maps, Nike, and more.

“Launching in these new markets is a key next step to fulfilling our ongoing commitment to building a truly borderless audio ecosystem,” said Alex Norström, Chief Freemium Business Officer of Spotify.

Spotify has uniquely tailored its music experience for Africa, expertly curated and updated regularly with more than 100 playlists across some of the most popular genres in the continent.

Listeners will also have access to Spotify’s Afro genre hub that encompasses a wide range of African music, including AmaPiano Grooves, Afropop, African Heat, Phenomenal Woman.

In addition, RADAR Africa, a playlist uncovering the most exciting artists on the rise from the African continent and diaspora, is part of Spotify’s global emerging artist program.

“African creators have always pushed boundaries, innovating and creating incredible sounds and starting from today we are giving them access and the opportunity to connect with a global audience of fans. By bringing in a best in class product and a localised experience made for Africa, we will contribute to boosting the growth of the local streaming ecosystem,” said Phiona Okumu, Spotify Head of Music Sub-Saharan Africa.

“We hope our new listeners are going to love the revolutionary audio experience we are bringing to the rest of the continent.”

 

City of Jo’burg Identifies a Potential Buyer For Its Broadband Network

City of Jo’burg
City of Jo’burg. Image by Gia Conte-Patel from Pixabay

The City of Jo’burg (CoJ) is going ahead with the disposal of its failed broadband network assets to an identified buyer. The bid is worth between R853 million and R1 billion.

The  City of Jo’burg network, which consists of 900km of fibre, covering large parts of Johannesburg, including Orange Farm, Diepsloot, Alexandra and Soweto – is currently housed in the Metropolitan Trading Company (MTC).

MTC is  City of Jo’burg owned entity established in 1999 with no expertise in running the broadband network.

Last June, MTC issued a request for bids for a single buyer who will also serve as a broadband service provider for the CoJ.

In an update today, MTC said after advertising the sale of the asset through the tender on the 20th of May 2019 and public engagements done in all the regions, a compliant service provider has now been identified.

“The preferred service provider responded to the tender for the existing telecommunications network of MTC as stipulated in the request for proposal tender number A34-2018/2019 and entered into an agreement of sale for the intended purchased of the network.”

MTC added that it has now scheduled, as guided by section 33 of the MFMA, a public participation meeting to engage its residents and solicit their input into the Service Level Agreement between MTC and the service provider.

The meetings will commence from the 24th of February to the 26th of February 2021.

“These meetings will be conducted virtually so as to comply with COVID-19 regulations, and it will cover all seven regions of the City of Joburg.”

The public meetings’ main aim was to give insight into the process undertaken to unlock the MTC broadband network’s commercial value.

The service provider will sign a 12-year contract to own the asset, maintain and upgrade it and commercialise the network.

MTC will have a right of first refusal if the service provider decides to sell the network.

The carrying value of the network assets and intangible assets amounted to more than R538 million as of the 28th of February 2019.

The total projected revenue from external customers over the 12 years estimated from R8.5 billion to R13 billion, said MTC.

The primary mandate of MTC around the management of the broadband network asset is to connect the CoJ and enable smart City, thereby bridging the digital divide, and enhance service delivery through E-Health, E-Learning, E-Licencing, E-Property, digitally enable safer communities and other Smart City solutions, plus contributing to social responsibility – through bridging the digital divide, providing free Wi-Fi.

Also read: Vodacom, MTN, Telkom In Race To ‘Buy’ Joburg Broadband Network

History of the COj network

  • In June 2010, Ericsson South Africa was commissioned to Build and Operate a City-wide broadband network for the City of Johannesburg over 15 years. The Broadband Network would be transferred back to the City after the 15 years. Of the 15 years, the first three years contracted for the building of the broadband infrastructure and the following 12 years would be for the service provider to operate and commercialise the Broadband Network to realise its investment with the City and its entities being the primary tenant for the service provider.
  • Ericsson South Africa subsequently ceded the agreement with the City of Johannesburg to Citi Connect Communications to build the Johannesburg Broadband Network. The City of Johannesburg, together with Ericsson South Africa, established B-Wired to operate and commercialise the network for the duration of the Build, Operate and Transfer contract.
  • By the middle of 2013, CCC had built approximately 900 kilometres of the system, and B-Wired had already started operating and commercialising the network. An assessment of the building and operation of the Broadband Network, however, revealed significant breaches of the agreement. The City had to terminate the BOT agreement due to non-performance on CCC’s part and other violations of the contract.
  • The City planned to use the Broadband Network to lower its costs and those of its Municipal Owned Entities and to increase access to telecommunications services by its residents in the City, and in the process stimulate economic development and improve Municipal service delivery.
  • In September 2015, MTC, the MOE established by the City of Johannesburg to take over operations of the Broadband Network, received the transfer from the City of Johannesburg of the Broadband Network as a going-concern telecommunications business with network assets, intangibles and creditors for approximately R1.25 billion, financed by means of a shareholder loan account. – lourie@techfinancials.co.za