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“Hack the Mara” competition now open to African creators and developers to tackle last mile payment challenges

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Photo credit Mary Beth Koeth
Photo credit: Mary Beth Koeth

In line with its commitment to inspire developers to “build the future of Africa on Web3”, Mara, the Pan-African blockchain platform, is announcing the launch of the  “Hack The Mara” competition which will take place from 17th-26th of September 2022.

The aim of the Mara Hackathon is to engage participants to create decentralised applications that provide sustainable solutions for last mile payment tracking. The solutions prototyped during the hackathon are expected to strengthen the financial sustainability of ongoing conservation projects in the Mara for better livelihoods.

The competition will take place in five stages, starting online with the final stage completed in person in Kenya. In a world first, the top 8 teams will be invited for a physical hack in the Mara where they will be hosted at Ishara. Located in the heart of the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, Ishara is an immersive experience dedicated to preserving the wildlife, the communities and the land of this globally significant conservation area.

Read Also: 4 Mistakes New YouTube Creators Make and How to Fix Them

While explaining the importance of the competition, Kate Kallot, Co-Founder and Chief Impact Officer at Mara said “Blockchain for social impact is at the heart of everything we do at Mara. Through our non-profit foundation, our aim is to empower problem-solvers to build blockchain solutions which promote long term beneficial, social and environmental change in Africa”.

The hackathon in partnership with Circle, the issuer of USD Coin (USDC) and Euro Coin, will challenge developers to use blockchain via USSD and M-Pesa for payment transparency. “Developers are core to what we do at Circle. We hope to see more technical breakthroughs that make financial services more inclusive, efficient and scalable. We are excited to give African innovators an opportunity to build solutions that may change the world and certainly the world of finance” said Sandra Persig, VP of Developer Relations and Ecosystem Relations and Ecosystem Marketing at Circle.

Global early-stage VC and start-up builder Antler, will offer the winning solution the opportunity to join the Antler Nairobi program to further develop their idea into a business and potentially receive investment. The participants will be evaluated by a panel of judges based on originality, creativity, analytical skills, strategic thinking and practical implementation. The top solutions will also be awarded up to $100,000 in funds and prizes alongside opportunities for follow-on funding by Mara Foundation and or its partners.

“Deployment of these smart technologies is going to be transformative and impactful in many diverse respects, from uplifting and empowering communities to the preservation and conservation of our wildlife and nature. Together with Mara, we are excited to pioneer these efforts. We look forward to welcoming brilliant creators to our camp and enabling them to experience the magic of Ishara and Mara.” Said Azhar Madhani, Co-Founder of Ishara.

Critically, the most promising solutions will have the opportunity to be piloted with local conservancies in the Masai Mara where they can have a real world impact. “We are looking forward to understanding how this technology can make a sustainable use of data and help uncover a sustainable financing solution that can be beneficial to the local communities in addressing environmental challenges,” said Victor Ohuruogu, Senior Africa Regional Manager, at the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. “It’s an honour for us to see African technologists coming together in our dear Masai Mara National Reserve to build innovative solutions, powered by data.”

“Blockchain has the potential to take financial services and last mile payment solutions to new heights.  With a direct focus on solving real local challenges, these innovators may create globally relevant solutions and drive the future of finance” said Chi Nnadi, Co-founder and CEO at Mara.

Registration for the ‘Hack The Mara’ competition will close on the 5th of August. Interested innovators and developers from all over the continent are encouraged to register on the Mara Foundation website marafoundation.org/hackathons.

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People & Lifestyle

AIDEC Consultancies International & Academic City sign MoU to deepen practical AI knowledge

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The teams from AIDEC and ACity in a group photograph

Africa Integrated Development and Communications Consultancies (AIDEC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Academic City University College (ACity) to provide practical knowledge in areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).

The MoU was executed on behalf of the two organizations represented by Mr. Ambrose Yennah, Executive Chairman of AIDEC and Professor Fred McBagonluri, President, and Provost of ACity.

Executive Chairman for AIDEC Consultancies, Ambrose Yennah, said: “the agreement seeks to provide students with practical hands-on-training in Data Science, Machine Learning, Robotics and other advanced technological training in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in areas of STEAM needed to efficiently work in the job market.”

He said the MoU is a private sector initiative between the two organizations to compliment government’s effort at digitalization and will enable them to collaborate with other Consortium Partners for the roll out of several Digital Solutions and Services.

“The agreement will include but not limited to the study and application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, Robotics, Data Science, Machine Learning, Business Process Outsourcing Services (BPO) with specific focus on the health, and Educational Sectors including Executive Training for the Country Ghana and scaling up to the continent of Africa in the near-term,” he added.

President and Provost of ACity, Professor Fred McBagonluri, said the MoU will help in developing ready job skills by providing access to AI programmes that would help student use technology to pursue research initiatives that is focused on solving the needs of the society.

“The MoU, as part of its objectives, agree to establish, implement and create an enabling environment for students to engage in research and practical consulting assignments as a collaboration between industry and other academic institutions for practical, hands-on training, research, and fieldwork for their mutual good,” he said.

The Consortium Partners, he added, will provide top notch business, educational and technology solutions and services including Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platform as a virtual and open educational resource facility to our target customers in the public, private and third sectors.

AIDEC and ACity in collaboration with other Consortium Partners will identify projects ideas and invest in them to generate employment in IT/Digital Solutions and Services and generate income for the Consortium Partners whilst providing an avenue for upgrading the skills and competencies of students with creative and innovative technologies that will expose and prepare them for the job market including Students exchange programs for practical hands-on training, research and fieldwork.

The Consortium Partners agree to work to improve and expand their Institutional capacities in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Data Science, Machine learning including online learning platforms and programs to whip up the interest of students enrolling for higher education for STEAM, SparX leaning Xperience and other competency-based professional training programs for an all-inclusive digital transformation.

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People & Lifestyle

Can you fly with Delta 8 Gummies?

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Considering taking your Delta 8 Gummies on your next trip? But worried if it’s legit or if there are some unknown laws airlines companies have stated somewhere and you have no idea about them. US domestic flights allow flyers to carry delta 8 gummies that are legalized under the Farm Bill. However, this is not the case for overseas flights. Continue reading to know much more. (more…)

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Episode 33 on StudentOfLife Podcast is all about ‘Manifestation’

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Understanding the true laws and principles of it, realising that it is not simply about visualising and saying affirmations, write stuff down and it simply appears with time! It’s deeper than that. Understand the law of energy(chakras), law of vibration and governing your surrounds is key. Akosua Peprah is not telling you what you want to hear, but what you NEED to hear and the hidden truths of manifestation. (more…)

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People & Lifestyle

Top Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Gambling Site

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Gambling sports

Over the past few decades, the online casino market has witnessed a record-breaking boom. Gamers and gamblers alike started to prefer it as a form of entertainment. Since everyone has instant access to mobile technologies, you can access your favorite casino any time of the day. 

Anyone can open a branch or work as an affiliate partner in the gambling industry; it is no longer a restricted industry. As a result of fierce competition, users have to be more careful. They now must watch out for fraudsters and stay away from scam websites. Here is a criterion to help you pick the best online casino.

Pay Attention to User Testimonials

A trustworthy betting site will have a lot of reviews. To determine the platform’s dependability, most reviews must be favorable. The options for gamblers to read reviews and spot a reputable site are plentiful, ranging from a variety of apps to mobile-optimized websites like the featured sites on legitgamblingsites.com. Based on the reviews, one can choose whether to register and start using the platform.

Regulations and Licenses for Online Casinos


Verify the presence of gambling seals of permission to ensure that your chosen platform is regulated correctly. Typically, information about them appears at the bottom of the webpage. Each gaming company needs to be registered and granted a license by reputable administrative bodies to operate in a specific market like;

  •       The UK Gambling Commission
  •       The Alderney Gambling Control Commission
  •       The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority

Before registering, consider a casino’s legislation and ensure they are licensed. 

Read Also: Gambling Laws Across Africa

Adaptability to Your Betting Aim


An online gambling site must satisfy your needs and goals. Check to see if it offers the sports you want to wager on. Knowing which forms of payment the website accepts would also be beneficial. Settle for one that accepts your most convenient payment option. 

Keep an eye out for the site’s policies and procedures and any bonuses that may be available. Checking whether the platform is accessible from a mobile device is an additional factor you should consider. It would be helpful if you could use the platform whenever and wherever you want. Therefore, look for a mobile-friendly platform with a website or mobile application.

Customer Support Center


Once in a while, questions and inconveniences always arise, whether you’re a high roller or a novice. It can be concerning the rules of a particular game, where to find your favorite live casino table, and which payment methods are accepted where you live. Having someone available to help you right away is beneficial.

The top gaming platforms work hard to give their users prompt, efficient support. They even use it in their advertisements to persuade the audience that they deserve their trust.

An absence of live chat or an abnormally low response time could be a red flag. Although it’s not always the case, scammers don’t make significant investments because their income is uncertain.

Final Thoughts
Playing at a reputable casino is truly a unique experience. Players have access to jackpots and great bonuses for more elevated gaming. You can make the best decision for choosing the best online gambling site through the above pointers.  

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People & Lifestyle

How To Make Your Followers Feel Special On Instagram

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gain more instagram followers

Instagram is a great platform when it comes to growth. Whether you’re an influencer looking to build your brand or a business hoping to increase conversions and bring in more customers, you should definitely be using Instagram as part of your social media strategy.

However, it’s not just about “using” Instagram. You’ve also got to find a way to make your Instagram followers feel special; after all, if they feel like you’re treating them poorly or if they don’t feel welcome or valued, then they might decide that you’re not worth the effort in a crowded market. Here’s how to make your followers feel special on Instagram.

Read Also: Instagram Username Ideas For Girls 2022

Engage with them

While it’s perfectly fine to use services like Social Followers Free to net yourself a big Instagram follower count, keeping those followers around is quite another matter. After all, if you don’t talk to your followers, then how can you expect them to feel respected or involved in your process?

That’s why you need to reach out to your followers and engage with them. When you receive comments, make sure to comment back and reply to your commenters. Say something that’s specific to the comment and show interest in your followers’ lives; you’d be amazed at the positive effect this can have.

Ask for engagement

When you post on Instagram, you can make your followers feel special simply by asking them for their opinions on what you’re doing. At the end of every post, ask a specific question that pertains to the content you’ve created and involves your followers in some way.

For example, let’s say you’ve just posted something about gaming-related equipment. At the end of your post, you could ask something like “what’s your favourite mechanical gaming keyboard? Let’s talk about it!”. This will incentivise your followers to reply to you and talk to you, thus making them feel more valued and special.

Show them the real you

As a platform, Instagram has come under very understandable fire for what many commenters have described as a lack of reality. Influencers will make themselves look unrealistically attractive or wealthy in order to shore up followers and create an aspirational aesthetic, when this isn’t how they really live.

As such, you can make your followers feel special by showing them who you really are. Don’t change the way you behave or the way you live “for the ‘gram”; don’t pretend to be richer than you really are, and don’t heavily rely on filters and airbrushing when you’re posting pictures. This will make your followers feel like they’re really talking to you and not a social media construction.

Hop into your followers’ comments

Nothing makes a follower more delighted than when they see a comment from you popping up on one of their posts. If your followers are active on Instagram, then why not check out their content and post comments on it? This will encourage them to comment back, and it will make them feel like you really do care about them.

Some of your Instagram followers may even be budding influencers themselves, and if they are, then it’ll boost their profile even more to comment on their stuff, especially if you’re more well-known than they are. There really is no downside to checking out some of your followers’ content and commenting on it.

Create content with your followers

Following on from the above, if some of your followers are budding social media influencers, then why not reach out to see if they want to create some content with you? If their style and goals align with yours, then it could be a very rewarding exercise – both creatively and in terms of followers – to create content with them.

Of course, you should make sure you’re picking the right collaborators before you decide to create content with them. Check out their content first to make sure it works alongside your style. Everyone’s doing their own thing on Instagram, so if your vibe doesn’t work with someone else’s, it doesn’t mean anything about the content you’re both creating.

Listen to what your followers are saying

It’s always a good idea to keep your ear to the ground when it comes to comments your followers are making on your content. If you notice certain trends in what they’re saying – if they’re making suggestions about what kind of content they want to see from you, for example – then you should be listening to those trends.

You don’t need to let comments and followers dictate what you do entirely, though. After all, if you only did what others told you to do, then you’d stand to lose the thing that made you special in the first place. Finding a healthy balance between pleasing your followers and making sure you’re happy in yourself is the ideal when it comes to content creation.

Hold contests and giveaways

Hey, everyone likes free stuff, right? One of the best ways you can make your Instagram audience feel special is to hold contests and giveaways offering them the chance to win things. If you’re an influencer partnered with brands, then why not work with those brands to coordinate a giveaway for your followers?

Conversely, if you’re a brand looking to shore up an authentic following on Instagram, then holding giveaways and contests is an excellent way to do that. It shows that you have a lot of faith in your product and that you’re happy for people to try it out and see for themselves how high-quality it is.

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People & Lifestyle

Video Of Visual Display Network Celebrating TV Personality Selly Galley On Her Birthday Goes Viral

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On the 25th of September 2022, Ghanaian Actress and TV Personality, Selly Galley celebrated her birthday which she dubbed the “Sellybration”.

Digital Marketer Gorbachev Awuah and his team at the Visual Display Network (VDN) surprised her with some meals and products from some of their Clients and Brands they represent.

The Visual Display Network (VDN) Team wanted to “Sellybrate” her and another year under her belt. Clients and Brands that VDN has and affiliates with all came through to make the day a wonderful one.

Kasapereko Company Limited provided some packs of Stormz Energy Drink as well as some Puma Drinks and Awake Mineral Water. Kubs Original Provided a box of their well knows Boffrot puff puff mix. Perfect Touch Restaurant, Porkytos, Liquid & Grills Restaurant, and Tempo De Dio all also provided the best meals on their menu.

Selly Galley and her husband Prayetiatia showed so much appreciation to Visual Display Network (VDN) and all their Clients and Brands they work with and also stated that they made their day.

The video of Digital Marketer Gorbachev Awuah and his Team delivering the meals and products to her has since gone viral.

We applaud the Visual Display Network (VDN) Team for the great work they’re doing in the industry.

Instagram – @vdngroup

TikTok       – @vdngroup

Twitter      – @vdn_group

Facebook – @vdngroup

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