UBER INTRODUCES APP UPDATES FOR DRIVERS AND PASSENGERS
Uber is speeding up the features its Kenyan drivers can access.
The global ride-hailing company will be introducing new app features for drivers. One of them will allow Uber drivers to choose a route or vicinity where they want to operate, and another will allow riders to use the Nairobi Expressway.According to Uber’s head of East Africa, Imran Manji, the features will be piloted in a month.
What is so cool about these updates?
Uber drivers being able to choose a route or vicinity where they want to operate is definitely good news. The feature offers more flexibility to people who work other jobs as they drive routes that they’re more familiar with.
This feature is yet another way Uber is making driving safer for its African drivers. In South Africa, it recently organised trainings for its drivers in South Africa in partnership with the South African police. Some of them had been harassed and beaten by their passengers. With this feature, Kenyan drivers can choose to not operate in areas where they do not feel safe.
The other feature gives passengers the option to use the Nairobi Expressway instead of being stuck in heavy traffic along the road that links Mlolongo to the Nairobi-Nakuru highway. If a passenger chooses to use the toll road, the ensuing toll charges will be passed to the passengers and reflected on their fares.Currently, motorists are paying between Ksh121 ($1.04) and Ksh1,823 ($15.55) to use the toll road. That’s a fair price to pay for moving to and fro the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) faster, right?
The features that have been announced so far sound like game changers for everyone involved—Uber drivers, Uber passengers, and Uber which might land a good blow on its competitors in the country if the adoption does drive sales, as expected.
Innovation is always a great way to gain competitive advantage. Will this human-centred approach to business change drivers’ perception of Uber and make them drop the case against the ride-hailing company in court?
ETHIOPIA TO DIGITISE HEALTH RECORDS IN MARGINALISED AREAS
The Ethiopia Ministry of Health, Mastercard, Gavi, and John Snow, Inc (JSI) have partnered to implement Mastercard Wellness Pass in Ethiopia. The goal is to increase access to critical healthcare and ensure that it is delivered in an efficient and effective manner in the most marginalised communities.
What is a Wellness Pass?
The Mastercard Wellness Pass is an offline portable healthcare credential launched by Mastercard. It was designed for digitising vaccination records and bringing efficiency to COVID-19 vaccine deployment in marginalised communities. The cards ensure that regardless of connectivity, vaccination records are available any time through participating health facilities to verify vaccinations and adherence to vaccination cycles.
In Ethiopia, their use will be extended to ensure the digitisation of patients’ medical data to ensure general healthcare continuity
How does it work?
The card is issued to patients by participating health facilities when they get their first vaccine or health service. It will be used for healthcare tracking and offline portability of health records.
The first phase of the implementation of the Wellness Pass technology will be focused on COVID-19 vaccination tracking. Deployed at health facilities throughout the country, including both urban and rural locations, the solution will be piloted over a 15-month period.
Upon the success of that, the use of the Wellness Pass will be scaled across multiple health care programs which will be determined in partnership with the Ministry of Health.
This initiative by the Ministry of Health is a part of the Information Revolution Agenda, a component of the Health Sector Transformation Plan that seeks to improve the availability, accessibility, affordability, and quality of primary health care, thereby improving the health and wellbeing of the Ethiopian population.
A turbulent horn
This nascent transformation is birthing in the midst of a political storm raging in the Horn of Africa region. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed executed a military operation against rebellious Tigrayan leadership. He said it would be a swift and bloodless victory, but it has dragged on since 2020. Guerrilla wars, ethnic-based violence, inflation, and a strained relationship with the US endangers thousands of civilians including children in rural and mountainous areas. Road access to places such as Tigray has been blocked.
Will these citizens be excluded from the Mastercard Wellness Pass and, consequently, the Information Revolution Agenda of the country?
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ALMOST EVERYONE SIGNS UP FOR EU’S NEW DISINFORMATION RULES
Last week, the European Union announced a new “strengthened” anti-disinformation code to push down against fake accounts and fake news.
The new Code of Practice on Disinformation is an update to the EU’s 2018 Code of Practice on Disinformation, and unlike it’s predecessor, the new Code will be enforceable by the new Digital Services Act (DSA) which was enacted in April, 2022, and prescribes fines of up to 6% of a company’s annual revenue for non-adherence.
If you’re wondering why they’re updating the Code, it’s because of the spread of rampant disinformation during the pandemic where most social platforms allowed users to post misleading and harmful information about COVID and the vaccine.
What’s the update on this new Code?
The new Code has 44 commitments targeted at stemming disinformation. Operators of online platforms like Facebook and Twitter will have to adhere to these commitments. These include commitments to create searchable libraries for political adverts, demonetise fake news sites by removing their advertising revenue, and give researchers “better and wider access to platforms’ data”.
Who has signed up?
Almost all of the big players in the social media space. Meta, Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Twitch, and TikTok have all agreed to adhere to the new Code, as some of them already practice what’s in it.
Apple and Telegram, however, are yet to respond.
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