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Skin deep

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Sitting at the junction of health and beauty, Skin-Deep explores the relationship between the two and provides a practical guide for skin care and general wellness.

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Coding for kids: A necessity for basic knowledge

Coding for children should be part of every teaching curriculum, or at least an extra class to be prioritized by savvy parents

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Coding for kids: A necessity for basic knowledge | News Central TV

Equipping children with the knowledge and an understanding of coding is arming them for everyday life. In this age, technology is a basic necessity. This is why coding for children should be part of every teaching curriculum, or at least an extra class to be prioritized by savvy parents.

Coding in itself boosts problem-solving and analytical thinking. Learning coding techniques help children develop critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities that are not only important in computer science but in life generally. This ‘procedural literacy’, which is the ability to think about and understand processes in the world, will be an invaluable asset to them.

Some nations have made great strides in making coding a part of a child’s education. In Nigeria, there are programmes for children that teach them to code in fun and engaging ways. One such institution is the 9jacodekids Academy, a STEM education institute that provides coding and robotics programmes for children aged 4 to 16 years.

Since 2016, the Academy has taught more than 1,500 students from across Nigeria to develop core coding skills in web design, mobile app design, game design, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

Recently, two of the academy’s students, Fathia Abdullahi and Tobiloba Owolola, were featured on BBC Africa for building robots that solve everyday problems.

Fathia built a robot that folded T-shirts, while Tobiloba built a robot that senses objects and removed them.

Coding is not for the future; it is part of the present.

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DR Congo’s Josephine Uwase Ndeze wins Miss Geek Africa competition

Her mobile platform that enables expectant mothers to monitor their progress

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DR Congo's Josephine Uwase Ndeze wins Miss Geek Africa competition

Josephine Uwase Ndeze of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the winner of Miss Geek Africa 2019, the third edition of the competition.

She is a Congolese innovator who clinched the award for her mobile platform that enables expectant mothers to monitor their progress, check any symptoms they might be experiencing and connect them to their healthcare providers in case of an emergency.

She received the award at the closing ceremony of the fifth Transform Africa Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. According to The New Times newspaper, the platform is connected to a smart bracelet which checks the woman’s vital signs and sends them to an emergency service provider in real time. This allows expectant mothers to monitor their progress and check up on symptoms if any are present. It will also connect them to their healthcare providers should the result necessitate an emergency response.

Owing to her contribution to bringing down maternal mortality, Ndeze will receive Rwf3 million in cash, a certificate and a technical membership in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). As a member, she can access essential technical information and networking opportunities globally.

Other winners on the day included the first runner-up, Gladys Wairimu of Kenya, who received Rwf2 million for her drone surveillance technology that seeks to tackle illegal poaching in game parks, and second runner-up Ndeye Fatou of Senegal, who received Rwf1 million for SOS Sang, a web platform that links healthcare providers with blood banks to ensure that they have efficient access to blood.

The contest was created to inspire girls in Africa to solve challenges on the continent using technology and to encourage them to pursue careers in technology, science, mathematics, and engineering.

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Facebook clamps down on fake accounts

Among the countries victim to these spam accounts include Nigeria, Senegal, and Angola

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Facebook Clamps Down on Fake Accounts

Facebook has geared up to shut down all fake accounts and root out all the bots and election influencers. The goal of this exercise is to stop misinformation and root out fake news. In a statement today, the social media giant disclosed that it has removed hundreds of Facebook and Instagram accounts, and Facebook Pages and Groups, involved in “coordinated inauthentic behavior,”

The said accounts Facebook opined, were used to share content, including election-related news and criticism of targeted politicians, and “artificially increase engagement” while presenting themselves as locals and local news organizations. The X-marked accounts spent around the region of $800,000 and had garnered 2.8 million followers since April, 2012.  

Among the countries victim to these spam accounts include Nigeria, Senegal, and Angola. And upon investigation, it was discovered that accounts originated from Israel, with activity focused on audiences across African nations.

Israeli actors seem to have a penchant for being involved in a fake news-related scandal in African politics. Reports in 2018 showed data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica was hired for $2.8 million to orchestrate a fake news campaign in Nigeria against President Muhammadu Buhari, the leading opposition candidate at the time.

Fake news is a type of yellow journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate disinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional news media or online social media. One too many times, it has formed the catalyst for decisions affecting millions. Today, Facebook plays its part to bring it to an end.

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