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Ugandan Students Produce First Set Of Electric Buses – Kiira EV



KAMPALA – Sunday, May 24, 2020/ – A group of 25 Ugandan students from Makerere University’s College of Engineering, Art and Design have built Uganda’s first electric buses, the Kiira EV. Makerere University, Kampala is Uganda’s is the largest and oldest institution of higher learning, first established as a technical school in 1922. It became an independent national university in 1970.

This is the first electric bus 100% black , 100% SA and founded by black South African. Initially designed in 2009, the fabricated car was taken for a public test drive last week. The core body and combustion system were designed and built locally.

The 12-meter-long bus is front-wheel drive and supported by an aluminum-alloy chassis that supports up to 200 kilograms of cargo weight. It is powered by lithium-ion batteries and the controls are run by a software system.

The bus can reach up to 200 kilometres per hour and runs for 80 kilometres before it needs to be recharged. Recharging requires a simple, 13 amp house current and takes about 4 hours to be fully charged. If a stronger power source is available, the battery can be fully recharged in about an hour.

During the test drive, the buses reached 65 km per hour and were able to successfully climb a 55-degree incline. Before the vehicle is ready to hit the streets, several adjustments need to be made. It remains a bit jerky when gaining speed and the current prototype does not include a horn or power steering.

Funding challenges led to a long stall between the initial concept design and the making of the actual prototype. Mr Paul Isaac Musasizi, the Project Manager of the Vehicle Design Mission at Makerere University, told the Daily Monitor, “It was not easy; all we had was faith and no money but luckily in December 2011, President Museveni gave us a grant and we immediately started the work. Getting people onto the project was not easy either.” Students faced a lot of bureaucratic hurdles in the process of buying certain parts.

Lead project investigator, professor Sandy Tickodri-Togboa estimates the car will cost between $10,000 to $15,000 when produced commercially, about a third the cost of electric cars in the United States. The car will be officially launched by Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni on November 18th.

The team’s next project will be to design and build a line of electric buses. As one of the main modes of transport, the buses have the potential to greatly reduce the country’s reliance on oil and offer a greener source of transportation to the majority of Ugandans.

Tech & Innovation

LG Officially Launches The World’s First Rollable 4K Television



LG has officially launched the world’s first rollable TV, following two years of teasing and hinting at the technology coming to market. However, the device will only see a limited release in South Korea for now.

The LG Signature OLED R (model RX) is able to mechanically roll up into its base and disappear from view.  LG announced that it will go on sale at seven retail outlets in South Korea and cost the equivalent of US$87 000.

Besides its ability to roll up, the TV boasts a 4K 65-inch OLED display.

Owners can retract the TV either full or partially into its base.  As such, the TV also comes with three different aspect ratio modes: Full View, Line View, and Zero View.

“LG’s exquisite creation liberates users from the limitations of the wall, enabling owners to curate their living environment without having to permanently set aside space for a large, black screen that is only useful when turned on,” LG said in its launch announcement.

According to LG, each LG Signature OLED R unit will have options for customisation. Customers can choose between four colours for the speaker covers — Signature Black, Moon Gray, Topaz Blue, or Toffee Brown. They can also customise the aluminium base with a personalised engraving.

LG first debuted a rollable TV model back at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 in Las Vegas. It was a rather rocky road for the model as it took more than two years for it to eventually reach the market despite a Bloomberg report detailing plans to launch in 2019.

However, LG would bring the model back for showcasing at CES 2019, with more functionality. This included displaying pictures, playing music, and having a small display for a digital clock.

While there isn’t word yet whether the Signature OLED R TV will be making its way to South African customers, this latest model from LG should pique interest from avid TV viewers and buyers alike.

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Sarkodie Tours Silver Star Auto Limited Showrooms



Sarkodie; 2019 BET Best International Flow Artiste, on Tuesday October 20, paid a visit to the Graphic Road and Silver Star Towers, Airport City showrooms of Silver Star Auto Limited – the leading automotive distributor in Ghana.

He was ushered in by the Sales Manager for Mercedes-Benz brand, Mr. Rabie Agha who took the rapper on a tour around the airport city branch of the establishment to preview the 2020 models of GLE SUV, GLC SUV and the E-Class Saloon.

He was also offered the opportunity to test drive a range of Silver Star vehicles such as Citroen C4 Cactus, C5 Aircross, Berlingo Van and Citroen Jumper. At the Peugeot Showroom, he was taken around to see the New Peugeot range of vehicles which includes 301 Saloon, 3008, 5008 SUV’s and the workaholic Pickup.

However, according to speculations, the rapper is set to secure and ambassadorial deal with the automobile distribution firm.

Silver Star Auto Limited is a leading automobile firm in Ghana that has been synonymous with luxury for over 20 years. We started our operations in 1996 and now have branches in Accra, Tema and Kumasi to cater to all your sales and servicing needs. As the authorized distributors of Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot and Citroën brands of vehicles in Ghana, our product line covers the full spectrum of automobile needs including saloon cars, SUVs, vans, trucks and buses.

They also deal in the sale of genuine spare parts, and are authorized distributors of Energizer Batteries, Power Oils and Motul Oils in Ghana. They guarantee reliable after-sales service support, including body and paint repair works.

Photo Credit: Rob Photography

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YouTube Sets Up $100m Fund To Support African Creatives From Nigeria, Kenya And South Africa



Dubbed “Black Voices Fund”, YouTube has set up a global $100m fund which will, over the next three years, offer support and amplify the work of Black artistes and creators and from African countries namely Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, in addition to Brazil and the United States so that they can thrive on YouTube, according to reports by Between 10 and 5.

According to the American video streaming service provider, promoting the diversity of their creators and artistes community is crucial to making sure that YouTube is inclusive and equitable, hence the need to setup a fund that will be used to acquire and produce YouTube Originals programming focused on the Black experience, and to directly support Black Creators and Artists.

Speaking about the launch of the Black Voices Fund, Alex Okosi, Managing Director of Emerging Markets at YouTube, says the following:

“Our goal is to expand funding to more countries over the course of the next three years. Additionally, we hope to provide a consistent drumbeat of educational training, workshops, and community events to Black creators and artists globally…

Along with our commitment to amplify marginalised voices on the content side, we are also investing in product and policy changes that will continue to advance YouTube’s mission of giving everyone a voice and showing them the world.”

Nairametrics also reports that over the next three years, YouTube’s Black Voices Fund will be used for original programming and ensuring Black creators thrive on the social media platform. To apply for the funding, click here.

Since various lockdowns were enforced across the world as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the entertainment and creative industries have been hardest hit with artists and creatives attempting to find new ways of making money and staying afloat in the absence of live performances and gigs.

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Tech & Innovation

“Hum To Search” The Latest Google Feature That Can Figure Out A Song You Want To Remember



Imagine you want to play or remember a song and you didn’t know who composed that music or you cannot even get a line from the lyrics. Worry not my music lovers because Google’s got you all on this one. Google now is adding to its search a new “hum to search” feature. This feature will allow you to identify a song by just humming or whistling the song that is stuck in your head. It then uses machine learning techniques to try to identify it.

The new feature is available today in the Google app on both iOS and Android, or in Google Assistant. All you need to do is ask Google “What’s the song” or tap the newly added “search a song” button, and then hum that song away. Results based on how likely a match Google thinks it is will be shown for you to choose which song you are looking for.

The new hum to search feature is available today in English on iOS and in more than 20 languages on Android, with plans to add more in the future.

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