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In the past few months, technology has been in the forefront of almost every event and debate. It has also been used to solve various problems and minimize the loss of lives. Yes! Technology has affected our lives in more ways than we can imagine. Here are some of the ways tech was useful in April:   1. Tech and South Africa’s xenophobic attacks The xenophobic violence that swept South Africa has made the news across the world but less publicized has been the technological response to it. iAfrikan partnered with mapping company, Ushahidi to  launch a tool, Report Xenophobia, a real time mapping feature that allows users to submit reports and alerts of xenophobic incidents in their areas.   2. Global players ramped up their activities It was a typically busy month in terms of global companies stepping up their activities in Africa especially in the startup/SME sector. Samsung partnered with Ghanaian incubator, the Meltwater Entrepreneur School of Technology (MEST) to provide more opportunities, resources and tools to West African entrepreneurs. Microsoft had a busy month as well, launching online portal, 4Afrika, which looks to provide SMEs with access to information and an online community for entrepreneurs. The company also announced a partnership with Kenya’s ICT Authority, with the arrangement looking to bring 10,000 SMEs online within three years, train 50,000 working professionals in ICT and distribute 1.2 millions devices to schools by 2016. Netflix signed a deal with Nigerian company, iRokotv; to allow it showcase African movies on its streaming service. In another revelation, an article by TechCentral said Apple had quietly re-established a South African office, which it had not had since 1999. One Africa Media (OAM) pushed up its ownership in Nigerian jobs site, Jobberman to 100 percent after Australia-based Seek invested an additional $10 million into OAM.   3. An increasing number of Incubators and Accelerators Finally, the month saw some new additions to the growing list of African tech startup incubators. A Dutch non-governmental organization, Spark and partners launched the African House Business Incubator and Entrepreneurship Development centre in Hargeisa, Somalia and Nigerian incubator, iDEA opened applications for early stage or growing startups looking to take part in its incubator programme.     About the Writer: Osakwe Richard is an avid follower of tech news and developments around the globe and a Scrabble aficionado.

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This article was first published on 12th May 2015

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