Could regional integration make Africa the next big economic success story?

first_imgIt’s by time countries in Africa work as one to better its economy. This means tearing down borders to allow Africans to freely move and trade within the continent. At this year’s WEF Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, regional integration was on everyone’s lips. Attendees of the event wondered if an Africa free of borders would improve the continent’s socio-economic situation. (Image: Youtube)• How can digital technology boost growth in Africa?• Librarian saves ancient African manuscripts in Timbuktu• Fast facts: Africa from A to Z• Rwanda: Marvel of growth and WEF Africa 2016 host• Infographic: African alliances help boost regional prosperity By Mo Ibrahim, Chairman: Mo Ibrahim FoundationIt won’t be long before Africa’s rapidly expanding population bypasses China’s. We are now little more than 100 million people behind. With a young, energetic and increasingly well-educated workforce, it should provide a powerful motor for our continent to emulate China’s stellar performance.There may be concerns – not least in Africa – about China’s economic slowdown. But while its increase in GDP in 2015 may have been the lowest for a generation, it was still 6.9%. It means its growth was the equivalent of adding on the entire economy of Switzerland or Saudi Arabia.Of course, China remains the success story of the last 30 years. But just imagine how different the picture might have been if China was divided into 54 states, each with its own customs rules, its own currency and national infrastructure that rarely linked with its neighbours. Does anyone seriously believe that a China saddled with such divisions could have grown so quickly into the world’s biggest economy?WATCH: The press conference on regional integration held at WEF Africa 2016A globalized worldThe answer explains why economic integration is so critical to our continent and citizens. In a globalized economy, size really does matter. It’s why, in my opinion, a decision by Britain to withdraw from the European Union would be bad for Britain and bad for the countries it left behind. The single market has been Europe’s greatest achievement and breaking it up would be a major mistake.A large internal market provides the strong platform needed to compete across the world, driving industrialization and attracting investment. Yet Africa, which could have a single market with twice Europe’s number of consumers, still finds itself hopelessly divided into fragmented national markets, which are often too small to benefit from economies of scale.We all know the problems these divisions bring. They have, after all, been a major topic of frustration at every Forum meeting in Africa.Trade tariffs in African are 50% higher than in Latin America and Asia. Slow and onerous customs procedures on the continent mean it can take goods three times longer than the OECD average to move over borders. The result is trade between African countries is a fraction the level in Europe or Asia.It helps explain, too, why the continent’s infrastructure, which is already inadequate, is so disjointed. Transport links stop at borders. A failure of imagination and national self-interest has prevented regional answers to energy shortages.There are welcome steps under way to remove the barriers blocking trade, preventing industrial co-operation and discouraging investment. The new Tripartite Free Trade Area aims to create a trading zone from Cairo to Cape Town. Let’s hope the momentum is maintained.WATCH: The discussion “Realising Africa as One Market” at WEF Africa 2016Consumers are leading the wayThe first economic integration initiatives in Africa were launched a century ago. Yet with the odd exception, the formal and informal barriers remain.Too many of our continent’s leaders talk a good game about the need for regional integration but forget what they have promised when they return home from African Union summits. It is too easy to use short-term national interests as a justification for ignoring the need for cross-border infrastructure or to keep in place protectionist barriers.The good news is that consumers are not waiting for government action but are using technology to work around these barriers. Telecoms and financial services are just two of the sectors where innovation is so fast and all-embracing that it has enabled national restrictions to be ignored. New services are being offered faster than old regulation can cope.But while technology and consumer power are important – and increasingly driving change – we can’t afford to wait for their positive impact. It won’t build the regional power infrastructure or new cross-border transport links, or slash tariffs or customs red tape fast enough. We need political leadership. It’s about time we turned rhetoric into reality over regional integration in Africa.last_img read more

The Future of the Facebook iPhone App, According to the Man Who Made It

first_imgTags:#Facebook#mobile#NYT#web Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement marshall kirkpatrick Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfacescenter_img Apple approved the first update to the Facebook app on the iPhone in almost a year yesterday and it was a huge hit. The app was built by Joe Hewitt, whose previous work includes the co-creation of Firefox with Blake Ross. With 12 million downloads, Facebook’s app was the 2nd most popular free app on the iPhone platform in 2008 behind Pandora.I spoke with Hewitt yesterday on the BadHairDay podcast and the following are three three features he identified as next steps on the app’s roadmap.Contact list synchronization between your Facebook friends list and your phone’s contact list. “It’s a Terms of Service thing more than a technical limitation,” Hewitt said.Push notifications. “We are working on push,” Hewitt said last night. “I plan to have it in the next major update, the 3.1. It will be the same kind of notifications you get on the website. I probably won’t right off the bat give you chat notifications. If you’ve ever used Facebook’s SMS notifications, you can have pretty granular control and it will be the same level of notification in terms of whose notifications you see and what categories you see.”Saved, site-wide search. On the Facebook website you can now search across public updates and other items beyond just friends and pages. You can’t do that on the mobile app yet. “I hope but I can’t promise to get that into the 3.1 update,” Hewitt said. “We’re still working on getting that into the API. I’m also hoping to let you save a search to your home screen.”Saved search icons on the beautiful new home screen? Granular control over push notification delivery so you can get immediate news of just your most important updates? Automatic contact synching so your friends’ Facebook avatars appear when they call you on the phone?Those sound like great features. We’re excited to see them implemented with the same attention to user experience that this latest update showed.What would you like to see on the roadmap of the Facebook app on the iPhone? What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Upcoming Film Festival Deadlines (Summer 2015)

first_img  Late Deadline  07/11/2015  $100.00 USD Take a look at the top upcoming film festival deadlines slated for the second quarter of 2015, and get a leg up on when and where to make your submissions.Top Image Courtesy of Leeds International Film Festival.Many of us here at PremiumBeat are filmmakers and videographers, and we occasionally send our work off to film festivals to reach a wider audience. Is this something that you’re interested in doing as well? If so, we’ve got just what you need. After this latest rush of film festival submissions, we felt that we should present our readers with a list of the top film festival deadlines for each quarter of the year.Words of WisdomBefore we get started, we do want to impart some wisdom to our readers, and it has to do with the all-mighty dollar. We all know that being a filmmaker or videographer can be an expensive career choice, and film festivals just add to that cost. Most festivals average around $50 per submission, which really adds up if you’re submitting to several at once. But you really need to be aware of hidden costs if your film is selected to play at one of these festivals.Many film festivals do not accept Vimeo links or DVD copies for final screening. Rather they require HDCAM (High-Definition Video Digital Recording), DCP (Digital Cinema Package) and even 35mm prints — and the transfer rates for each of these is not cheap. Luckily, each festival will inform you of their desired final screening media options as you make your submission. Remember to budget for all of these costs.Image from Tribeca Film FestivalUpcoming Film Festival DeadlinesAs we are currently already in the second quarter of the year, we’ve missed a few deadlines that passed at the end of May, such as Toronto International Film Festival, New York City Independent Film Festival and American Documentary Film Festival.Please read each official festival mission statement below. There are specifics about each one that may fit perfectly (or not so perfectly) with your project.   Earlybird Deadline  05/01/2015  $60.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  04/03/2015  $35.00 USD Music Video, Animation, Web Series & Film Trailer   Late Deadline  08/31/2015  $90.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  04/03/2015  $65.00 USD   Regular Deadline  06/19/2015  $45.00 USD Narrative, Documentary, Animation & Experimental Short   Late Deadline  07/03/2015  $58.00 USD   Extended Deadline  08/15/2015  $150.00 USD   Late Deadline  06/22/2015  $80.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  05/10/2015  $40.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  04/20/2015  $50.00 USD   Late Deadline  07/11/2015  $60.00 USD   Late Deadline  07/11/2015  $60.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  01/15/2015  $45.00 USD   Regular Deadline  04/03/2015  $45.00 USD   Regular Deadline  04/03/2015  $35.00 USD   Regular Deadline  07/31/2015  $30.00 USD SlamdanceStarted in 1995 by a group of writer/director/producers, Slamdance continues to be organized and programmed by active filmmakers. Now in its twenty-second year as a festival that runs simultaneously with the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT, Slamdance has established a unique reputation for premiering independent films by first-time directors working with limited budgets.Narrative & Documentary Feature   Late Deadline  06/01/2015  $60.00 USD   Regular Deadline  09/18/2015  $35.00 USD   Regular Deadline  06/19/2015  $75.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  04/24/2015  $52.00 USD Narrative, Documentary, Animated & Student Short   Late Deadline  08/31/2015  $35.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  07/25/2015  $40.00 USD   Extended Deadline  08/15/2015  $150.00 USD   Late Deadline  06/22/2015  $155.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline 04/24/2015  $56.00 USD   Late Deadline  07/10/2015  $75.00 USD   Regular Deadline  07/24/2015  $75.00 USD   Regular Deadline  07/24/2015  $55.00 USD All Shorts   Late Deadline  10/08/2015  $60.00 USD Short Subjects (Under 40 mins)   Earlybird Deadline  05/10/2015  $35.00 USD Ottawa International Film FestivalOIFF was founded in 2009 and an annual not-for-profit festival that takes place every October. They pride themselves on being regarded as a highly unbiased festival and platform for filmmakers who are seeking to expand their careers to a larger audience. OIFF’s mission is to help develop and promote independent filmmakers and artists that “create outside of the box.”Narrative & Documentary Feature   Regular Deadline  09/18/2015  $15.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  07/25/2015  $50.00 USD   *WAB Extended Deadline  11/20/2015  $70.00 USD   Regular Deadline  05/15/2015  $45.00 USD   Late Deadline  05/08/2015  $60.00 USD   Late Deadline  05/08/2015  $50.00 USD Narrative, Documentary & Animated Short   Late Deadline  08/31/2015  $50.00 USD   Extended Deadline  08/15/2015  $150.00 USD Nashville Film FestivalFounded in 1969 as the Sinking Creek Film Celebration, Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) is one of the longest-running film festivals in the country and one of the most acclaimed festivals in the South. Hosted in Music City, USA, NaFF attracts enthusiastic film lovers from all across the country and has been praised by film-goers and filmmakers alike for its unique combination of big city festival atmosphere and laid back Southern hospitality. With over 290 films from 48 countries, a screenplay competition, web-series competition, innovative industry panels, live music showcases, and parties almost every night, the 2015 NaFF drew over 43,000 attendees and sold out nearly 50 films and events.Narrative & Documentary Feature Competition   Regular Deadline  09/30/2015  $60.00 USD Raindance Film FestivalRaindance showcases features and shorts by filmmakers from around the world to an audience of film fans and filmmakers, executives, buyers and journalists. Along with screenings, there are seminars, workshops, gigs and parties to allow everyone the chance to share our passion for independent cinema. It is also an Oscar and BAFTA qualifying festival, as well as being closely associated with the BIFAs.Narrative & Documentary Feature   Extended Deadline  10/15/2015  $70.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  05/01/2015  $68.00 USD   Late Deadline  07/06/2015  $195.00 USD   Regular Deadline  09/18/2015  $45.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  04/20/2015  $85.00 USD Narrative, Documentary, College & High School Short   Earlybird Deadline  05/10/2015  $50.00 USD Los Angeles International Short Film FestivalLos Angeles International Short Film Festival (LA Shorts Fest) ranks among the most prestigious international short film festivals in the world. The festival is accredited by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.Narrative, Documentary & Animated Shorts   Extended Deadline  07/31/2015  $82.00 USD   *WAB Extended Deadline  06/15/2015  $55.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  06/20/2015  $15.00 USD   Final Deadline  07/15/2015  $65.00 USD Narrative, Documentary & Animated Long Shorts Narrative, Documentary & Animated Short   Regular Deadline  10/16/2015  $45.00 USD   *WAB Final Extended Deadline  07/15/2015  $60.00 USD   *WAB Extended Deadline  07/17/2015  $80.00 USD   Late Deadline  07/06/2015  $145.00 USD   Regular Deadline  07/31/2015  $45.00 USD   Regular Deadline  05/20/2015  $60.00 USD   Regular Deadline  09/04/2015  $50.00 USD Chicago International Film FestivalAcross countries, languages and classes, film has the power to provide us with a release, an escape, a window into new worlds and new possibilities. In 2014, we presented 125 feature films, including 20 feature-length documentaries, and 50 short subject films from more than 55 countries. Many of these films participated in competitive sections, where the highest honor is the Gold Hugo – a standard of excellence in the world of film and a true symbol of discovery.Narrative Feature   Late Deadline  11/30/2015  $20.00 USD   Extended Deadline  06/26/2015  $75.00 USD   Regular Deadline  09/30/2015  $45.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  05/10/2015  $70.00 USD   Regular Deadline  05/18/2015  $55.00 USD   Extended Deadline  10/15/2015  $110.00 USD Narrative Short, Documentary Short & Music Video Want more content on how to gear up for a film festival run? Check out these articles from PremiumBeat.How to Avoid Film Festival Rejection10 Tips for Submitting to Film FestivalsThe Filmmaker’s Guide to Indie Festivals & OrganizationsHave you had success with any of these festivals in the past? Are there any festivals we didn’t cover that we should have? Sound off in the comments below.   Regular Deadline  06/19/2015  $95.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  08/14/2015  $50.00 USD   Regular Deadline  09/30/2015  $30.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  02/20/2015  $25.00 USD   Regular Deadline  06/05/2015  $58.00 USD Competition Shorts Austin Film FestivalKnown as “The Writer’s Festival” since its inception 22 years ago, Austin Film Festival celebrates films built on strong storytelling. AFF recognizes the importance of the creator at the core of filmmaking and screens the highest caliber narrative, documentary and animated films — all of which demonstrate the power of a well-told story. Narrative, Documentary, Dark Matters & Comedy Vanguard Feature New Orleans Film FestivalCelebrating its 26th anniversary this year, the Oscar®-qualifying New Orleans Film Festival has firmly established itself on the regional film fest circuit as one of the most reputable in the country. It was named by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the “50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” in their 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 editions, and it was also named by Premium Beat as one of the “Fifteen Fests You Should Enter.” Born in a city known for its eclecticism and artistic vibrance, NOFF seeks out bold and passionate storytellers. With top-notch programming in one of the world’s most cinematic cities, NOFF serves up a dose of Southern hospitality that’s hard to beat.Narrative & Documentary Feature   Earlybird Deadline  03/06/2015  $40.00 USD   Regular Deadline  05/15/2015  $50.00 USD   Late Deadline  06/05/2015  $65.00 USD   Late Deadline  06/05/2015  $55.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  04/20/2015  $40.00 USD   Regular Deadline  06/10/2015  $50.00 USD Narrative & Documentary Short Competition   Regular Deadline  09/04/2015  $80.00 USD   *WAB Extended Deadline  07/17/2015  $65.00 USD   Extended Deadline  06/26/2015  $70.00 USD   Regular Deadline  06/10/2015  $80.00 USD   Late Deadline  11/30/2015  $30.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  07/31/2015  $35.00 USD   Extended Deadline  07/31/2015  $78.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  06/20/2015  $35.00 USD Screenplay Competition Documentary Feature   Earlybird Deadline  05/01/2015  $38.00 USD FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film FestivalThe Festival is dedicated to the creation of opportunities for artistic interaction and exchange among independent filmmakers, directors, producers and the film-going public. It’s mission is to discover the new voices of independent film.*Without-A-Box DeadlinesAll Animation, Video Games, Feature & Short Film Entries   Earlybird Deadline  05/01/2015  $23.00 USD   Regular Deadline  06/10/2015  $50.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  01/15/2015  $40.00 USD Louis Le Prince International Short Film Competition, Best British Short, World Animation Award, Dance Short Film Competition & Fanomenon International Competition   Regular Deadline  05/17/2015  $40.00 USD   Late Deadline  10/08/2015  $100.00 USD   Extended Deadline  01/08/2015  $40.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  06/20/2015  $25.00 USD   Regular Deadline  07/31/2015  $80.00 USD   Late Deadline  11/30/2015  $60.00 USD Yorkshire Short Film Competition, Music Video & Dead Short Competition   Late Deadline  10/23/2015  $45.00 USD Leeds International Film FestivalLIFF is a portal for audiences to discover the real world of film that exists beyond the limitations of mainstream film exhibition. LIFF primarily supports the work of outstanding, fresh new talent in fiction and documentary filmmaking (in both features and shorts) and in world genre cinema – and work from existing talent that has not received deserved exposure in the UK.Narrative & Documentary Feature   Earlybird Deadline  02/20/2015  $35.00 USD   Extended Deadline  01/08/2015  $85.00 USD   Regular Deadline  06/05/2015  $62.00 USD   Late Deadline  10/23/2015  $55.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  07/31/2015  $50.00 USD CinequestA vanguard organization set in the Silicon Valley, Cinequest’s uniqueness and impact result from being ahead of the curve in the powerful integration of creativity and technology. Cinequest fuses the world of the filmed arts with that of Silicon Valley’s innovation to empower youth, artists and innovators to create and connect – driving transformations and a better tomorrow. Cinequest does this through Cinequest Film Festival and Picture The Possibilities by Cinequest.*Without-A-Box DeadlinesNarrative & Documentary Feature   Regular Deadline  09/30/2015  $20.00 USD DOC NYCDOC NYC, America’s largest documentary festival, is an annual event based in New York at the West Village’s IFC Center, Chelsea’s SVA Theatre and Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas. Voted by MovieMaker magazine as one of the “top five coolest documentary film festivals in the world”, the eight-day fest showcases new achievements in documentary film along with panels and conversations. DOC NYC seeks to make connections that happen “only in New York.”*Without-A-Box DeadlinesCompetition Features   Late Deadline  11/30/2015  $75.00 USD   Late Deadline  07/11/2015  $75.00 USD   Regular Deadline  06/10/2015  $60.00 USD   Late Deadline  06/01/2015  $50.00 USD   Late Deadline  11/13/2015  $65.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  03/06/2015  $30.00 USD   Extended Deadline  01/08/2015  $70.00 USD Screenplay Competition ($250 Cash Prize)   Earlybird Deadline  07/31/2015  $10.00 USD   *WAB Extended Deadline  11/20/2015  $85.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  04/03/2015  $85.00 USD   Extended Deadline  01/08/2015  $30.00 USD   Regular Deadline  05/17/2015  $50.00 USD Teleplay Competition ($250 Cash Prize)   Late Deadline  11/13/2015  $55.00 USD Music Video, Experimental, Puppetry & Pilot Episodes   Late Deadline  07/03/2015  $72.00 USD Narrative & Documentary Short AFI FestAFI FEST presents a survey of the year’s most significant films each fall. Featuring international work from emerging filmmakers, global showcases of films from the great masters and red-carpet gala premieres, AFI FEST brings world cinema to the heart of Hollywood. The audience at AFI FEST has grown to over 75,000 attendees with media impressions in excess of 7 billion worldwide.Narrative & Documentary Feature   Regular Deadline  10/16/2015  $55.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  07/31/2015  $20.00 USD   Late Deadline  10/23/2015  $15.00 USD Atlanta Film FestivalKnown as “The Writer’s Festival” since its inception 22 years ago, Austin Film Festival celebrates films built on strong storytelling. AFF recognizes the importance of the creator at the core of filmmaking and screens the highest caliber narrative, documentary and animated films — all of which demonstrate the power of a well-told story.Narrative & Documentary Feature   Earlybird Deadline  08/14/2015  $40.00 USD   Late Deadline  07/06/2015  $65.00 USD   *WAB Extended Deadline  06/15/2015  $75.00 USD   Regular Deadline  05/18/2015  $110.00 USD   Earlybird Deadline  05/10/2015  $40.00 USDlast_img read more

DoT’s Tarang Sanchar Portal to clear the air over mobile tower emissions

first_imgThe Tarang Sanchar Portal will help clear myths and misconceptions with regard to mobile towers the Department of Telecom (DoT), Ministry of Communications, said on Wednesday following the launch of the web portal in New Delhi. A senior official of the DoT said the portal for sharing information on mobile towers and electromagnetic field (EMF) emission compliances empowers the common man person to know at the click of a mouse the mobile towers in a particular locality and whether they are compliant to the EMF emission norms defined by the government.‘Superior standards’The launch of the portal assumes significance in Goa as people in many parts of the State have been opposing the setting up of towers owing to the risk of health hazards associated with it. A press release issued by the Press Information Bureau here said the DoT has prescribed standards for electromagnetic emissions from mobile towers that are 10 times stricter than the standards prescribed by International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and those recommended by World Health Organization. The Union government has taken adequate steps to ensure that telecommunication service providers strictly adhere to these prescribed norms.Though there is no scientific evidence of any health concerns from low power mobile base transceiver stations, the DoT felt a need to educate citizens about EMF emissions from mobile towers and status of their compliances. DoT hopes the portal will generate confidence among the public about effectiveness of the EMF compliance process in India.The portal has a public interface with a map-based search feature which will help users view the mobile towers in any locality. Detailed information about any tower site will be sent to email to the users on request. Users can also seek information on the EMF emission at a location by paying an online fee of ₹4,000. The tests will be conducted by the local Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) unit of DoT and the report will be submitted.The portal also comprises EMF Overview and Learn sections, which provide rticles, booklets and videos, to educate citizens about EMF and the coverage of telecom services. The public can also access the ‘DoT Initiatives’ section.Additional featuresIn addition to Government to Citizen services, the portal facilitates Government to Business service delivery in a transparent and eco-friendly manner. The portal enables a method of maintenance and retention of end-to- end records, including submission of compliance by Telecom Service Providers and paperless processing by TERM cells. The Tarang Sanchar portal is a unique initiative and is one of the largest and most complex inter-operator databases of its kind in the world. It has the complete collated technical details of over 14.5 lakh base stations spread across the country.last_img read more