This week in tech: Safaricom asked to lower its USSD charges for mobile banking services, and more weekly tech trends


    In case you have been busy admiring Millie’s hairdo that you forgot to stay updated on this week’s tech trends, we’ve got you covered as usual.

    See what’s been happening in the tech world:

    1. Not yet hurray for Uncle Bob

    Safaricom is not out of the woods. At least not for now. This time the harasser is Kenya’s competition watchdog the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK).

    Safaricom is being impelled to cut the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) prices for financial transactions taking place on its network.

    The agreement will also see Safaricom post online fees it charges for USSD services. Good news for customers, bad news for Uncle Bob and company.

    Safaricom has religiously graced our weekly tech trends section for three weeks consecutively, sadly for bad news.

    2. Camon CX is now available for pre-order in Kenya

    This is Camon C9’s successor and Tecno has already sent out a launch invitation for the official unveiling set to be held on the 23rd March 2017.

    That’s next week people so mark your calendar or pre-order.

    3. Uber throws in the towel

    Uber Kenya has finally given in to driver-partner demands and revised fare upwards effective Thursday 16th March 2017.

    It was the wise thing to do anyway since there are other options such as Little Cab. Uber Kenya must have finally realized that our world did not stop spinning. Not for a minute.

    4. Renault KWID sets wheels in Kenya

    Renault KWID wheel has finally arrived in Kenya and you can buy it at only Ksh. 1.29M. The automatic car comes with 1000cc and 68 horsepower.

    You no longer have to depend on the Japanese used cars.

    5. Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) has unveiled CBA Loop

    This is a digital money management and consumer banking service targeting tech-savvy consumers. If you spend a good amount of time online, you must have come across the “Unbank Yourself” tagline.

    If you have not seen it, it only means that you are a little longer in the tooth. Yes, I just called you old.

    6. Nailab Seed Limited (NSL) call for applications

    NSL, an angel fund founded by Nailab and Fair & Sustainable Participations, has called startups to make applications for a chance to win Ksh. 2.5M.

    This is the third round of investment as the fund has already invested in Hiredhelp and Kejahunt. It is always good to see tech trends that deliver great news. Props to NSL.

    7. It’s parents’ time to relax

    With Google’s Family Link, you can monitor your kids’ Android phones.

    All you have to do is download the app, create a dedicated account, and your child will only access children content. It is not easy to control or even monitor what young ones are doing online; hence, this is an innovation that parents should really consider.

    Family Link tells you what apps your kids are downloading and using, their physical location, and enabled you to limit screen time. The app will is in testing but should be in your play store later this year.

    8. Christmas comes early for 290 constituencies in Kenya

    Telecom Kenya Limited has closed a multi-billion deal to roll out Wi-Fi in these constituencies. The company has also been contracted to install incubation hubs.

    This is definitely good news since internet connection is gradually becoming a bonafide member of the Maslow’s psychological hierarchy of needs.

    Times would be really hard if internet connection was cut off from most of us.

    9. Microsoft has revamped Cortina for iOS

    The revamp is seen as a strategy to become a better alternative to Apple’s Siri. The makeover includes a fresh new look and a better user experience.

    Say goodbye to the black-and-white theme and hello to a vibrant purple theme.

    10. Applause! Applause! for one Geoffrey Nyaga

    We end this week on a congratulatory note to one Mr. Geoffrey Nyaga who won the 2017 IATA Air Cargo Innovation Award for a drone management system he developed.

    That’s all we have in our tech trends this week. Have an awesome weekend and if you are plotless, there is an African Rally Championship happening.

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