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‘Tell Me Something Good’ is Google’s new app to keep users feeling optimistic

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Google, in the face too many troubling news that make more people vulnerable to anxiety and a negative outlook, has launched a new app to keep a user’s day brightened.

Researchers at Yale University had coined the concept “the hope gap” -to describe when people are more focused on a problem rather than the solution thus causing even more stress.

“Good news is happening every day. We just don’t always hear about it. Right now, people are working to solve big problems in scalable ways – curing diseases, creating equal opportunities, reinventing education, making neighborhoods safer.

“And some smart folks have surfaced heaps of data showing that the world is actually getting better in lots of ways,” said Google in its demo video.

“Hearing this kind of good news can do us all some good. It helps bridge the hope gap, inspiring us to be more proactive in dealing with the threats we face. Good news sparks dialogue, not just about what’s wrong but how it could be better.

“It’s called solutions journalism and there’s a whole network of journalists dedicated to publishing it. Because research shows that hearing news focused on solutions can nudge us out of survival mode and into problem-solving mode, building more trust in each other and our communities,” it further said.

Read Also: 4G services will be available in 78% African countries by year end 2018

The Google Assistant helps users feel more optimistic. The feature can be activated by saying “Hey Google, tell me something good” to Google Assistant. Google responds by showing results with good news featuring solutions to real-world problems.

Examples that Google provided include how Detroit residents are creating jobs by turning abandoned lots into sustainable bee farms and how Iceland was able to curb teen drinking through the use of nightly curfews and coupons for extracurricular activities.

These news stories are curated through Google’s solutions journalism partners at the Solutions Journalism Network. And this feature is also being overseen by Google’s Creative Lab team.

Google is rolling out the “Hey Google, tell me something good” feature through Google Assistant on the Google Home and Google Home Mini in the U.S. now. And it should be integrated into the Google Assistant apps on smartphone devices soon after.

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ADB launches mapping project for African women entrepreneurs

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The African Development Bank (ADB) has launched a mapping project targeting 160 women entrepreneurs’ associations in 16 African countries.

The mapping project which is supported by the Bank Group’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative and Gender Equality Trust Fund (GETF) will strengthen the associations’ visibility, improve their institutional capacities, and facilitate access to financing, according to ADB’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Beth Dunford.

In a statement issued by the Bank, the initiative is an important step in its commitment to supporting African women entrepreneurs, promoting women’s economic empowerment and boosting inclusive growth in Africa.

Dunford who officially launched the project at a ceremony in Abidjan which was attended by several associations, umbrella organizations and coalitions of women entrepreneurs, alongside about two hundred others who joined virtually, said it was the ADB’s plan to promote collaboration and networking with women entrepreneurs in the continent.

“The African Development Bank’s Action Plan for Engaging with Civil Society 2024-2028 illustrates our commitment to inclusivity, transparency and accountability,” stated Dunford.

Also speaking at the launching, Zeneb Touré, head of the Civil Society and Community Engagement Division at the Bank, said:

“Associations of women entrepreneurs are catalysts for reforms and innovations that support female entrepreneurship and facilitate women’s access to the economic resources they need to realize their full potential.”

Ms. Dagou Yvonne Nivine Gadji, representing the SEPHIS Foundation which facilitates access to Bank funding for women-led SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa, emphasized that the associations identified for the mapping project would be “catalysts for reforms, a boost to women’s empowerment and a crucible for building the capacity of several other networks of women entrepreneurs.”

“We are truly concerned about the issue of access to funding. However, it’s very difficult in Africa, because most women don’t have a guarantee for raising the funds they need.

“There are microfinance organizations that support women, but their interest rates are very high. We think that the AFAWA programme, through the Gender Equality Trust Fund (GETF), can help us,” she said.

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Bolt Kenya launches new campaign to celebrate its drivers

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Bolt Kenya has announced the launch of a new reward campaign dubbed, “Drive for a Prize”, aimed at celebrating its top-performing drivers in the country.

The campaign is part of an innovative Driver Reward Scheme designed to enhance driver engagement and empower the driver community by recognising and celebrating their outstanding contributions.

Bolt Kenya Country Manager,
Linda Ndungu, who made the announcement, said the reward campaign came following the success of a similar campaign last year, adding that the company is committed to making this year’s event even more memorable by “partnering with esteemed brands such as Oraimo, Total Energies, Naivas Supermarket, and Samsung Kenya to offer great benefits and rewards to the drivers.”

“Oraimo will offer top drivers premium phone accessories; Total Energies will provide fuel vouchers; Samsung will give them access to phones and Naivas will provide shopping vouchers for all the winners of the campaign,” she said.

“We are excited to launch the second edition of the “Drive for a Prize” campaign. Drivers are the heart of our operations, and it’s vital that we recognise and reward their dedication and hard work,” Ndungu said.

”We believe that initiatives like this will motivate our drivers to work harder, thus enhancing the quality of service for riders. This creates a win-win situation for both the drivers and the business as a whole.”

According to Ndungu, the campaign, which kicked off at the end of June, is set to run for eight weeks until the 23rd of August, during which drivers will have the opportunity to earn points based on their performance.

“The top performers will be feted at an award ceremony, where they will receive their well-deserved prizes and recognition,” she added.

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