Multimillion-dollar boost for small business as more African countries join MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme

Johannesburg, Nov. 23, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — November 2022 – Following the success of the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme, which secured $16 million (USD) of funding for six emerging businesses last year, the programme has been expanded to eight more countries across Africa.

Many more small businesses in Africa’s technology sector now have the chance to benefit from the 2023 programme, which provides the skills and opportunities needed to attract transformative business funding.

“We’re really excited to be expanding the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme to more African countries,” said Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice Group CEO, announcing the launch. “It’s part of our long-term commitment to growing and multiplying Africa’s technology potential, which is critical to our future growth.”

The MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme, which kicked off during Global Entrepreneurship Week,  is aimed at established start-ups and small enterprises in specific technology sectors – healthtech, agritech, fintech, edutech, the circular economy and the creative industries.

“There is such incredible business talent across Africa,” said Mawela. “MultiChoice Africa Accelerator is an opportunity for investors and small enterprise to collaborate to multiply the impact of this talent and scale it across Africa.”

Having started in South Africa in 2021, the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator is expanding to Ivory Coast, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Angola and Ethiopia. The initiative equips emerging entrepreneurs to secure funding and scale up their businesses, and also provides opportunities to pitch to international investors.

African Development Bank President Dr Akinwumi Adesina has previously noted that, “the private sector is Africa’s growth accelerator”, and several African nations have backed small-business development as part of their economic strategy. The MultiChoice Africa Accelerator dovetails with these development objectives.

The MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme is an initiative of the MultiChoice Innovation Fund, in collaboration with Dubai-based business incubator Companies Creating Change (C3), which gives entrepreneurs access to the tools, skills and financial support to grow their business. MultiChoice has also partnered with EOH, a tech services company who will bring their expertise to the table especially in terms of tech advisory, development sprint and technical support.

The first phase of the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme sees public and private-sector partners in each country nominating businesses or entrepreneurs for the programme. From there, 29 of the start-ups embark on an intensive virtual training course. The initiative is aimed at established businesses that are already operating and looking to scale up by attracting further investment.

“Start-up founders get to learn everything from how to properly research your business sector and your market, to how to create a niche for your business,” says Boitumelo Monageng, of Swypa, one of last year’s finalists. “During the workshops we were encouraged to dig deeper and I realised that we have the potential to compete on a much larger scale.”

The virtual training course takes place over several weeks, teaching start-up owners media skills, how best to market their businesses to investors, how to create attractive business plans, and to know what investors are looking for.

Later, the entrepreneurs will come together at a finals event, where 11 start-ups will be selected for the final pitch phase. They will attend a dedicated C3 boot camp to learn how to shape their story for international investors, and to get “pitch ready” before their big presentations.

“We believe SMEs in the technology, sustainability and creative sectors will be fundamental to the next phase of Africa’s growth,” says Mawela. “The MultiChoice Africa Accelerator is geared to finding the most promising start-ups, and empowering them to play this critical role.”

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Elizabeth Ferreira
MultiChoice Group Ltd
0834825241
fourie_elizabeth@yahoo.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8702451

OKX users can now verify that their assets are backed 1:1

OKX Proof of Reserves Page

OKX has launched a Proof of Reserves web page

  • OKX is rolling out both a Proof of Reserves page on its website that shows its latest reserve ratios and a Self-audit tool that allows users to verify that their assets are backed 1:1
  • The exchange is also launching an Independent Custodial Wallet that allows institutional clients to secure their assets separately from its reserves and hold the keys to their funds

VICTORIA, Seychelles, Nov. 23, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OKX, the world’s second-largest crypto exchange by trading volume, has launched three new leading offerings that are granting its retail and institutional users greater visibility into their assets, and what is backing them, as well as greater control over their funds.

OKX today launched the new Proof of Reserves (PoR) page on its website. OKX has always maintained 1:1 reserves, and this page demonstrates that fact and explains why PoR is important. In addition to providing information on how proof of reserves works, the page provides instructions including how users can verify that their assets have become a “Merkle leaf” in the Merkle tree data structure. The page also provides information on OKX’s PoR audits and its latest reserve ratios across tokens.

To take transparency and user empowerment even further, OKX will this week be launching a self-audit feature that allows users to verify that their funds are backed by reserves based on data provided by the most recent snapshot. Currently, the self-audit feature supports Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Tether (USDT), with more assets set to be added over time. OKX will conduct regular proof of reserves audits to update its reserve balances and the status of user assets within its reserves.

OKX is also set to become the first exchange to launch an Independent Custodial Wallet service for institutional and high-net worth clients1. In the coming weeks the company will roll out an independent custodial wallet that will allow users to secure their assets separately from its reserves, view and track their wallet balances in real-time, and hold the private keys to their funds. This will give users greater visibility and control over their assets.

Lennix Lai, Director of Financial Markets, OKX, said: “Our new proof of reserves page and self-audit feature give users the ability to verify that their assets are 100% backed. Third-party audits are also being conducted to provide additional reassurance on top of this. We believe that a far greater degree of transparency needs to be brought to our industry to allow us to build back stronger after recent events.”

OKX’s number one priority is to ensure that the funds of its 20+ million customers worldwide are safe and secure at all times. It has always maintained 1:1 reserves and prides itself on its long-standing reputation for best-in-class security.

For further information, please contact:
Media@okx.com

About OKX
OKX is the second biggest global crypto exchange by trading volume and a leading web3 ecosystem. Trusted by more than 20 million global customers, OKX is known for being the fastest and most reliable crypto trading app for investors and professional traders everywhere.

As a top partner of English Premier League champions Manchester City F.C., McLaren Formula 1, golfer Ian Poulter, Olympian Scotty James, and F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo, OKX aims to supercharge the fan experience with new financial and engagement opportunities. OKX is also the top partner of the Tribeca Festival as part of an initiative to bring more creators into web3.

Beyond OKX’s exchange, the OKX Wallet is the platform’s latest offering for people looking to explore the world of NFTs and the metaverse while trading GameFi and DeFi tokens.

To learn more about OKX, download our app or visit: okx.com

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1
Eligibility criteria apply

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/7963fd20-7a8e-4558-a6ea-483b8c0c5bfc

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8702631

LambdaTest launches support for Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 phones on its continuous testing platform on the cloud

Users can now seamlessly run real-time and automation testing of the newly-launched series on real devices or emulators

San Francisco, Nov. 23, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — LambdaTest, the leading continuous quality testing cloud platform, has launched support for testing on Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 phones. Users, through real devices or emulators, can run real-time and automation testing on the latest series and ensure that they cover all bases and provide the best customer experience.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 phones are among the latest phones out of the Samsung stable. Their unique design has already captured the minds of tech-savvy users, however, for digital enterprises, testing on these phones isn’t as straightforward as compared to the other phones.

“The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 phones have become very popular among digital-savvy customers. However, for digital businesses, testing on these devices throws up unique challenges due to their design. One needs to think from a customer’s perspective and test a variety of new scenarios depending on the use case,” said Mayank Bhola, cofounder and head of product, LambdaTest. “We, at LambdaTest, are deeply committed to ensuring that we have the latest offerings— be it a new phone, OS, or browser version—ready for our customers to test on as soon as possible.”

LambdaTest has also recently launched HyperExecute, a next-gen smart test execution and orchestration platform that helps testers and developers run end-to-end automation tests at the fastest speed possible.

To know more, visit: https://www.lambdatest.com/test-on-galaxy-z-fold-4

About LambdaTest

LambdaTest is a continuous quality testing cloud platform that helps developers and testers ship code faster. Over 10,000+ customers and 1+ million users across 130+ countries rely on LambdaTest for their testing needs.

LambdaTest platform provides secure, scalable, and insightful test orchestration for customers at different points in their DevOps (CI/CD) lifecycle:-

Browser & App Testing Cloud allows users to run both manual and automated tests of web and mobile apps across 3000+ different browsers, real devices, and operating system environments.

HyperExecute helps customers run and orchestrate test grids in the cloud for any framework and programming language at blazing-fast speeds to cut down on quality test time, helping developers build software faster.

For more information, please visit, https://lambdatest.com


For further information please contact the LambdaTest press office: Bilal Mahmood on press@lambdatest.com or +44 (0) 20 3640 7759 and +44 (0) 771 400 7257.

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8702453

Families, Food Banks Feel Pinch of Inflation This Thanksgiving

Skyrocketing food prices due to soaring inflation are taking a bite out of this year’s feast on Thanksgiving, a national holiday in the United States on November 24. People traditionally share a big meal and give thanks for their blessings.
Thanksgiving dinner often includes turkey and trimmings, such as cranberries, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.
A survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation indicates Thanksgiving dinner costs are up 20% from last year. And the cost of a turkey alone is up 21%.
Some people say they plan to pare down their big holiday feast.
“I will not have as much food this year. I used to have too much food anyway,” said Cynthia Walsh, who lives in Alexandria, Virginia, outside Washington. “What is more important is that my family is together to appreciate what we have.”
For those in need, food banks across the country are lending a hand. But with donations down, and a huge influx of clients, they are feeling the pinch.
Millions of people are reaching to the food banks for help.
Among them is Marguerita Vicencio, who came to the U.S. from Chile six years ago.
“My husband just lost his job, and this is the first time I’ve come to a food bank for help,” she said as she picked up supplies at Food for Others in Fairfax, Virginia, a Washington suburb.
Her 11-year-old son, Tomas Arancibia, said his family combines their Chilean roots with American Thanksgiving traditions.
“We’re going to celebrate with a turkey and the food we get here with my brothers and sisters and friends of our family,” he said.
Annie Turner, executive director of Food for Others, told VOA that high food prices are making it challenging for the nonprofit to support the clients.
“We’ve not only seen an increase in our food costs, but our donors are giving less money, so we have to buy more food ourselves,” she said. “Meanwhile, the number of families that are coming here has increased 60% over this time last year.”
“We get many families who come to get food for Thanksgiving, and we hand out stuffing, potatoes and other fresh produce,” she added. “Instead of providing a turkey, we give them a gift card to buy food, so they can get a turkey or other food they would prefer.”
In the Midwest, food service organizations in cities like Chicago and St. Louis are also getting inundated with clients.
“The number of people turning to our food programs is up 42% compared to last year,” said Greg Trotter, director of marketing and communications at Nourishing Hope, a social services group in Chicago. “Our donations have not been enough to keep pace with the increase in the number of people we serve, which includes a lot more families with children.”
“Even though we had to pay twice as much as we did for turkeys this year, we try to provide turkeys and other holiday food to anyone who comes in the door,” he said.
At the St. Louis Area Foodbank in Missouri, the organization is holding their “Thanksgiving Together” for the fifth year.
“We are distributing Thanksgiving meals to over 4,000 families, the highest we’ve ever planned for,” Meredith Knopp, the president and CEO of the foodbank, told VOA. “Since this area has such a diverse population, which includes people from Afghanistan and large Bosnian and Asian populations, we are also providing foods that they are more accustomed to since not everybody celebrates Thanksgiving.”
In Los Angeles, the second-largest city in the U.S., the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank through its partner agencies reach 800,000 people every month.
Michael Flood, the CEO of the food bank, said a major problem is “we’re having supply issues getting enough turkeys for Thanksgiving.
“Besides turkeys, we’re bringing in truckloads of chickens for people during the holiday,” he said.
At St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix, Arizona, the number of people who come in continues to skyrocket, said Jerry Brown, the director of public relations.
“We’ve had twice as many people than this time last year — 7,000 of them came to our two main locations in one week, which we’ve never had happen before,” Brown said. However, “donors are cutting back, so we’re spending more money on food and we’re giving out more food than we ever have before.”
Despite the obstacles, Brown said the food bank is determined to give families a good Thanksgiving.
“We’re anticipating we will be able to send 12,000 people home with food boxes before Thanksgiving,” Brown said. “We have prided ourselves at St. Mary’s for decades that the last car leaving us before Thanksgiving will have a turkey in the back seat.”

Source: Voice Of America

Thanksgiving Travel Rush Is Back with Some New Habits

The Thanksgiving travel rush was back on this year, as people caught planes in numbers not seen in years, setting aside inflation concerns to reunite with loved ones and enjoy some normalcy after two holiday seasons marked by COVID-19 restrictions.
Changing habits around work and play, however, might spread out the crowds and reduce the usual amount of holiday travel stress. Experts say many people will start holiday trips early or return home later than normal because they will spend a few days working remotely — or at least tell the boss they’re working remotely.
The busiest travel days during Thanksgiving week are usually Tuesday, Wednesday and the Sunday after the holiday. This year, the Federal Aviation Administration expects Tuesday to be the busiest travel day with roughly 48,000 scheduled flights.
Chris Williams, of Raleigh, North Carolina, flew Tuesday morning with his wife and two kids to Atlanta, Georgia, to spend the holiday with extended family.
“Of course, it’s a stressful and expensive time to fly,” said Williams, 44, who works in finance. “But after a couple years of not getting to spend Thanksgiving with our extended family, I’d say we’re feeling thankful that the world’s gotten to a safe enough place where we can be with loved ones again.”
Although Williams said the family’s budget has been tight this year, he’s capitalized on the opportunity to teach his kids some personal finance basics. His youngest, 11, has been learning how to budget her allowance money since March and is excited to buy small gifts for her friends on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. “Probably slime,” she said, “with glitter.”

The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 2.6 million travelers on Monday, surpassing the 2.5 million screened the Monday before Thanksgiving in 2019. The same trend occurred Sunday, marking the first year that the number of people catching planes on Thanksgiving week surpassed pre-pandemic levels.
“People are traveling on different days. Not everyone is traveling on that Wednesday night,” says Sharon Pinkerton, senior vice president at the trade group Airlines for America. “People are spreading their travel out throughout the week, which I also think will help ensure smoother operations.”
AAA predicts that 54.6 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home in the U.S. this week, a 1.5% bump over Thanksgiving last year and only 2% less than in 2019. The auto club and insurance seller say nearly 49 million of those will travel by car, and 4.5 million will fly between Wednesday and Sunday.
U.S. airlines struggled to keep up as the number of passengers surged this year.
“We did have a challenging summer,” said Pinkerton, whose group speaks for members including American, United and Delta. She said that airlines have pared their schedules and hired thousands of workers — they now have more pilots than before the pandemic. “As a result, we’re confident that the week is going to go well.”
U.S. airlines plan to operate 13% fewer flights this week than during Thanksgiving week in 2019. However, by using larger planes on average, the number of seats will drop only 2%, according to data from travel-researcher Cirium.
Airlines continue to blame flight disruptions on shortages of air traffic controllers, especially in Florida, a major holiday destination.
Controllers, who work for the Federal Aviation Administration, “get tested around the holidays. That seems to be when we have challenges,” Frontier Airlines CEO Barry Biffle said a few days ago. “The FAA is adding another 10% to headcount, hopefully that’s enough.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has disputed such claims, saying that the vast majority of delays and cancellations are caused by the airlines themselves.
TSA expects airports to be busier than last year and probably about on par with 2019. The busiest day in TSA’s history came on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2019, when nearly 2.9 million people were screened at airport checkpoints.
Stephanie Escutia, traveling with four children, her husband and her mother, said it took the family four hours to get through checking and security at the Orlando airport early Tuesday. The family was returning to Kansas City in time for Thanksgiving after a birthday trip to Disney World.
“We were surprised at how full the park was,” said Escutia, 32. “We thought it might be down some, but it was packed.”
She welcomed the sense of normalcy and said her family would be gathering for Thanksgiving without worrying about keeping their distance this year. “Now we are back to normal and looking forward to a nice holiday,” she said.
People getting behind the wheel or boarding a plane don’t seem fazed by higher gasoline and airfare prices than last year or the widespread concern about inflation and the economy. That is already leading to predictions of strong travel over Christmas and New Year’s.
“This pent-up demand for travel is still a real thing. It doesn’t feel like it’s going away,” says Tom Hall, a vice president and longtime writer for Lonely Planet, the publisher of travel guides. “That’s keeping planes full, that’s keeping prices high.”

Source: Voice Of America

Gov’t meeting adopts key documents, highlights commitments to solving national issues

The Government members stated at its monthly meeting, held on Nov 21-22, that it is necessary to continue to attach importance to translating into concrete actions the results of the 5th National Meeting on Political Ideology and deepen the implementation of the outcomes of the 5th Plenary Meeting of the 11th Party Central Committee with detailed action plans.
Chaired by Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh, the meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Ministers, ministers and representatives of line ministries.
The cabinet members noted that it is also necessary to prioritise deepening the implementation of the results of the review meeting on patriotism and development movements, political grassroots building, rural development and poverty reduction and three-build work and the revision of 10 laws that the government will present at the fourth Ordinary Session of the National Assembly.
They approved in principles draft amendments to a decree on the definition of micro, small and medium enterprises, a decree on the SME Promotion Fund, and a draft decree on taxpayer identification numbers.
They called on the Ministry of Finance to work with relevant authorities to revise the content of the decree according to the recommendations of the government to ensure the management of businesses and that taxation is made in a transparent and effective manner.
The meeting also approved a draft decree on dressing and stated that the government always encourage all Lao people to protect and conserve the fine traditions and customs of the nation and its ethnic groups.
Also approved at the meeting included a draft national strategy on civil servant management 2030 and the 1oth periodical national report on the implementation of the UN’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
The meeting also called on relevant authorities to ensure peaceful celebration of the inscription of the Plain of Jars as UNESCO’s World Heritage, 46th anniversary of National Day, the holding of the 11th National Games in Xieng Khuang, and other national events.
The government also urged the continued strict and effective implementation of the Prime Minister’s decision on strengthening the management of state revenues and revenue leakage, his decree on thriftiness and anti-extravagant lifestyles, and Decree on State Vehicles.
Relevant authorities were asked to continue to reform state enterprises according to the government’s Resolution No. 10 (2021) and address unemployment issues, improve labour skills of Lao workers to meet the requirements of domestic and overseas labour markets.
The meeting also agreed to continue to implement in a timely and effective manner the achievements made at the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits, and agreements reached between leaders and their counterparts from neighbouring countries, and prepare comprehensively for the official visit of Vietnamese Prime Minister who will attend the conclusion event of Laos-Vietnam Solidarity and Friendship Year 2022 and the 45th Meeting of the Laos-Vietnam Cooperation Committee.

Source: Lao News Agency