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Founders Factory & FMCG giant Reckitt Benckiser to invest in global startups in the homecare & hygiene industry

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RB and Founders Factory have launched Founders Factory Hygiene and Home, a JV to back global startups in the homecare and hygiene industry.

According to Rob De Groot, President, RB Hygiene Home: “We’re excited to work with disruptive start-ups and talented entrepreneurs who can bring disruptive thinking to our business and help us serve consumers in exciting new ways.”

RB is Founders Family eighth corporate partner and the JV will give see it use its scale, share expertise in homecare and hygiene and collaborate with this exceptional talent pool to bring the next generation of technology-driven solutions to its consumers.

Co-founded by Brent Hoberman, Henry Lane Fox and George Northcott in 2015, Founders Factory ​has built and scaled over 100 start-ups from its hubs in London, Johannesburg and Paris hubs via its unique corporate-backed accelerator and studio model.

Henry Lane Fox, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Founders Factory said: “We are very excited to partner with RB to help the most ambitious entrepreneurs build and scale new startups within the hygiene and home sector. Our 70 strong team of digital operators together with the experts at RB, will provide unparalleled opportunities for entrepreneurs exploring new technologies that create cleaner and safer home environments.

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Founders Factory has received investment from L’Oreal, easyJet, Guardian Media Group, Aviva, Holtzbrinck, CSC, Marks & Spencer and Reckitt Benckiser. It’s full-time team of 70 specialists provide founders with the best platform to launch or scale their startup.

Founders Factory creates 15 new startups every year and invests in 40 ​startups every year. To date it has backed and built over 90 companies and aims to reach over 220 within five years.


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Nyandarua County moves to secures medics in Coronavirus prevention – KBC

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The safety of medical workers dealing with the global pandemic Coronavirus within Nyandarua County has been assured with the delivery of a consignment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) Wednesday morning.

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The items, procured through the government agency, Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) at a cost of over Ksh. 3 million, includes over 300 pieces of PPEs, gloves, surgical and protective masks, and other protective clothing designed to keep medical and non-medical staff working in the health facilities safe from contracting the virus.

The kits, over and above the Coronavirus specific items, also include other supplies designed to protect even staff not directly in contact with the patients suspected of the virus, but working in the facilities.

Other measures include setting aside a secure isolation facility for health workers; budget for special allowances for medical personnel involved in the Coronavirus exercise; continued training of all health professionals across the County on prevention and, importantly, on their safety even as they handle suspected or confirmed cases; and, deployed 40 medical interns to boost the existing workforce and improve on County’s preparedness.

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More medical staff to be recruited should the need arise.

The items were received by the County Executive Committee Member for Health Services Hon. (Dr.) John Mungai among other staff.

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Uber to temporarily suspend accounts of users exposed to COVID‑19

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Uber may temporarily suspend the accounts of users, drivers exposed to COVID‑19 in Kenya. The firm has also adjusted its systems to work according to the 7 pm to 5 am curfew set up by the Kenyan government in bid to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“In accordance with the measures announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta on 25 March 2020 to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, ” the firm announced. “We are temporarily pausing our services in Nairobi and Mombasa between 6:00 pm and 5:00 am, until further notice. The health and safety of our community come first, and we will do our best to support drivers during these unprecedented times.” said an Uber spokesperson.

Uber Kenya has also introduced safety recommendations within the app to help raise awareness about suggested travel restrictions and social distancing with “travel only if necessary” in-app messaging.

Uber is providing safety information to drivers and riders in line with public health authorities guidance. This includes messages in-app, email and on social media channels.

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The firm has also set up 24/7 support team working with public health authorities in their response to the pandemic. Working with them, Uber may temporarily suspend the accounts of customers and drivers confirmed to have contracted or been exposed to COVID‑19.

Drivers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in individual quarantine by a public health authority will receive financial assistance for a period of up to 14 days.

Uber has distributed hand sanitisers to drivers. Those who did not receive and who have purchased surface sanitizers will receive a one-time reimbursement to cover the expense.


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Africa CDC, Cc-Hub Partner to Sensitize the Continent on COVID-19

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Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is collaborating with the Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB), to launch a call, for innovative communication projects on COVID-19 based on indigenous African languages targeted at the semi-urban and rural population across Africa.

The communication projects are expected to help counter disbelief and misinformation, catalyse citizens actions and solidarity as well as combat stigmatization.

The collaboration will focus on projects delivering vetted critical information from Africa CDC to Africans in remote areas using innovative and culturally sensitive messaging.

This involves educating the public and ensuring fact-based information reaches even remote locations through such approaches like comics, animation, illustrations, infographics, interactive SMS, Mobile apps etc.

The selected teams will be supported with grant funding of up to $5000 for research and design support. Proposed projects can be focused on one African country or multiple countries across the continent. Africa CDC Joins Forces with Co-Creation Hub to use Smart Ways to Educate and Sensitize the Continent on COVID-19

Dr. Benjamin Djoudalbaye, Head of Policy, Health Diplomacy, and Communication at the Africa CDC stated that the collaboration is to “enhance efforts of the Africa CDC towards educating the public and ensuring that the right information reaches even remote locations across the continent to avoid unnecessary panic and misinformation.”

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With a track record of collaborating with key players to explore the application of technology to solve Africa’s systemic problems in Public Health, Education, Governance in the continent, CcHUB through its internal research and development unit, CcHUB Design Lab, based in Kigali, Rwanda, will collaborate with innovators to provide technical support using innovative digital and non-digital methodologies to ensure the mass messaging on Coronavirus reaches the semi-urban and rural population across Africa.

Bosun Tijani, CcHUB’s Co-founder and CEO, said “This is a critical time where tech in Africa should be used in smart ways to ensure broader citizen awareness and understanding of COVID-19 response strategies and precautions”.

This collaboration is supported by the Joint African Union – German Cooperation on Citizens Engagement and Innovative Data Use for Africa’s Development programme implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). A Call for Projects- Solve for Coronavirus (COVID-19) for creative teams working on a project or have an idea, with the capability to build out the solution could be accessed through the link: bit.ly/solve-for-covid19.


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