Monthly Archives: July 2019

A nurse failed to mention a disabled womans near

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first_imgA nurse failed to mention a disabled woman’s near-fatal asthma attacks, accidental overdoses and repeated blackouts, in one of the clearest examples yet of a dishonest benefits assessment report, secret recordings have revealed.A video recording of the assessment also shows that the nurse lied about the way disabled activist Catherine Scarlett made her way from a stairlift to a reclining chair to begin the assessment.Scarlett had been so distrustful of the personal independence payment (PIP) system that she made both video and audio recordings of her face-to-face assessment, which was carried out at her home in Yorkshire in May.She says the recordings and assessment report prove she was right to do so.They show how the nurse – employed by the government contractor Atos Healthcare – repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of what she was told by Scarlett.This allowed the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to lower her entitlement from the enhanced rate to just the standard rate for the daily living element of PIP, although she was allowed to stay on the enhanced rate for mobility.At one point, Scarlett is heard on the recording telling the nurse that on several occasions she had accidentally double-dosed the powerful opioid pain medication Tramadol, but the nurse translates that in her written report as “occasionally forgets to take her medication”.Scarlett also tells the nurse that she cannot read for long periods “because I black out”, but this ends up in the report as “she can read although she doesn’t read for long due to concentration”.When Scarlett describes how she has previously experienced “near-fatal asthma attacks”, the nurse writes this up in her report as episodes of being “wheezy and short of breath”, which “comes and goes”.And when the nurse asks her if she has ever thought of taking her own life, Scarlett tells her that she has felt like ending her life “lots of times” and that she experiences “impulsive urges to commit suicide and things like that”.This is translated as “she has had thoughts of not wanting to be here”.Scarlett is also furious that the nurse suggested that she did not need to carry out a physical examination if that meant she would be “wiped out for the week”.When Scarlett agreed and said she was “not really” keen on having the examination, the nurse was able to use her decision to decline the physical tests to justify relying instead on an inaccurate description of how she claimed she saw Scarlett “grip and operate a crutch in each hand” as she was walking from a chairlift to her seat, in order to play down her need for support for bathing and dressing.DWP later admitted – when it eventually overturned its original findings – that she lacked the necessary grip and strength in her right hand and arm “to be able to dress yourself reliably and in a timely manner”.The video clearly shows Scarlett walking with a stooped posture, leaning heavily on the crutches, and flopping into the chair, but not touching its arms.But the nurse writes this up as: “She walked from the bottom of the stairs to her specialist reclining chair using a crutch in each hand. She walked very slowly with normal posture.“She lowered herself into the chair by putting her hands on the chair and lowered herself into it.”Scarlett believes that her case, and many others she has been passed by other disabled people through social media, show that DWP is “colluding” with Atos in order to cut people’s support.She said: “I have been shocked at the effect on my mental health and the thoughts it has brought up for me and can understand why it pushes so many people completely over the edge.“I’m lucky to have strong family, friends and professional support that keeps me going but so many people aren’t as lucky and so are very vulnerable to devastating mental health deterioration and the consequences of that.“The whole system needs fully investigating and changing to protect those people.”Following the decision to reduce her support, a mandatory reconsideration (MR) – DWP’s own internal review process – endorsed that decision, although the department finally agreed last month to return her daily living to the enhanced rate when she appealed against the MR decision.In that decision, DWP accepted that Scarlett did after all need help to dress and take a bath.For technical reasons, DNS was not able to share the video recording with Atos and DWP, but the audio recording was shared with their press offices.DNS originally agreed to omit the allegations connected with the video recording so that DWP would comment on the evidence provided solely by the audio recording.But this morning, after agreeing to this and asking for extra time to produce a response – the audio recording was originally sent to DWP and Atos on Tuesday afternoon – a DWP spokeswoman failed to comment on any of the evidence contained in the audio recording.Instead, she merely pointed out that Scarlett’s PIP entitlement was eventually restored, after she appealed, to the daily living enhanced rate.She also repeated previous DWP statements about the “strict quality standards” required of assessment providers, and the “on-going quality audits” that assessors are subjected to, as well as mentioning the complaints procedures available to PIP claimants.An Atos spokesman refused to comment on the evidence at all.He said: “We’re informed we won’t have access to the video which accompanies the audio without which the points raised cannot be looked into as verification is simply not possible.”Scarlett’s case is one of 22 that have been passed to Labour MP Neil Coyle (see separate story), who has pledged to take up concerns about allegations of dishonest assessment reports when parliament returns from its summer recess next month.Disability News Service (DNS) has been investigating since last November claims that healthcare professionals working for Atos and Capita have been lying in their assessment reports.DNS has now compiled more than 200 cases in which PIP claimants say their assessors produced dishonest reports.The investigation shows that assessors – most of them nurses – have repeatedly lied, ignored written evidence and dishonestly reported the results of physical examinations.But DWP, Capita and Atos have all refused to launch inquiries into the claims of widespread dishonesty.Picture: Scarlett flops into her seat at the start of the assessment, watched by her husbandlast_img read more

SUPER League is delighted to announce that it has

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first_imgSUPER League is delighted to announce that it has agreed a new five-year contract with Sky Sports that will have a transformational impact on Rugby League as the sport enters an exciting new era.The new contract comes into place from 2017 and will extend Rugby League’s hugely successful partnership with Sky Sports into a fourth decade.As part of the deal, Sky Sports will provide enhanced coverage of the whole sport, including the resumption of live Championship action from 2015 when Rugby League embraces the exciting new league structures that see two divisions of 12 teams split into three groups of eight in the closing stages of the season.Super League and RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood said: “I am delighted that we have been able to agree a new contract with Sky Sports that will extend our hugely successful partnership until the end of the 2021 season.“The association with Sky Sports has enabled Rugby League to realise many of its ambitions over the last two decades and this new contract will allow the whole sport to grow still further as we enter an exciting chapter in our history.“Throughout our negotiations it was clear that Sky were genuinely excited by the league structures that we are putting in place from 2015 onwards.“Whilst the new contract does not come into effect until 2017, it allows for the return of live Championship action to Sky Sports from next year which will complement their first class coverage of the First Utility Super League and capture the thrills and drama of new-look competitions where every match matters.“Following on from the success of Rugby League World Cup 2013, the forging of significant commercial partnerships around the First Utility Super League and the decision by the clubs to embrace the new league structures, this is another momentous day for the sport.“This really is a fantastic time to be a Rugby League supporter.”Sky Sports Managing Director Barney Francis said: “This new deal is great news for Sky Sports and our customers, who will enjoy at least eight more years of live Rugby League and an exciting new structure for the sport in the UK.“This new deal will take Sky’s partnership with the RFL to 30 years, 26 of those between Sky Sports and Super League. Now, at the dawn of an exciting new era for Rugby League, we’re thrilled that the premier competition in the UK will continue to be available only on Sky Sports until at least 2021.“We are also pleased to be bringing even more live coverage, with over 80 matches in 2014 and over 100 a season from 2015 onwards.”As well as a new contract from 2017 to 2021, the RFL has agreed a number of changes to the current deal with Sky Sports that runs to the end of the 2016 season. These include regular live action from the Kingstone Press Championship in 2015 and additional coverage of Catalan Dragons home games from 2014.last_img read more

First round of states agriculture disaster checks headed to farmers

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first_imgNC farm flooded during Hurricane Florence (Photo: Mary Junell / U.S. Army / (CC BY-NC 2.0)) RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced Wednesday that the first round of checks from the state’s $240 million Agricultural Disaster Relief Program of 2018 have been sent to farmers.“More than $15.2 million in payments were mailed today, and a second batch will go out Friday, Feb. 1,” Troxler said. “By week’s end, we anticipate having around 2,000 applications processed.”- Advertisement – Nearly 7,000 applications for assistance were submitted to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as part of the program. The N.C. General Assembly unanimously approved funding in response to more than $1.2 billion in estimated agricultural losses from Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael. Gov. Roy Cooper signed the legislation into law.The applications are being processed randomly and are not being done on a county-by-county basis. Complete applications, not missing any information or documentation, are being processed first. Applications missing information will require follow-up calls in order to be verified and approved.“This is the most important thing I have worked on since becoming Ag Commissioner,” Troxler said. “Agriculture is the backbone of our economy and it was absolutely pummeled in 2018. Many farmers are hurting and may not be able to secure funding to start the 2019 growing season. While this money does not come close to making whole the crop losses, I hope it will help farmers get financing for the coming year and help jump start the economies of rural North Carolina.”Related Article: Free meals, volunteer opportunities available on ThanksgivingA total of 70 of the state’s 100 counties received a presidential or secretarial disaster declaration, qualifying farmers for the program.The federal government shutdown created some delays in getting applications processed, but work is continuing to verify and approve the remaining applications.Applicants had to submit the Farm Service Agency form 578 with their applications, which includes acreage being grown.Other information considered in determining payments includes the five-year average price for commodities, the county average yield and the county estimated losses, which were determined by an ad-hoc committee made up of county FSA officials, cooperative extension agents, forest service staff and soil and water conservation district staff.Checks will continue to be processed weekly as they are verified and approved.last_img read more

Former Carolina Beach town manager cites political dynamics following termination

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first_img Earlier this week, the town’s Police Advisory Committee had accused the Narain of lying to a police department candidate. Narain later fired back in defense, refuting their claims.Narain did not attend Tuesday night’s council meeting.He provided the following statement:“Hi, my name is Lucky Narain. Most recently I served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Town of Carolina Beach, North Carolina. As a Town Manager and a public servant, I was dedicated to doing the best I could to benefit the public, manage a staff approximately 120 employees, and oversee a near 25 million dollar budget. Sometimes the vision of those individuals who appoint us into office change. Sometimes political dynamics create riptides. It’s all part of the process and the profession.There was no failure here. No laws were broken. No deadlines were missed. No policies were violated. The budget was still in process and was on a positive track. Various Council Members told me so and it was clear from the Council meeting a couple of weeks ago that we were extremely close to passing a budget. With the proposed budget no money was allocated to be taken away from the General Fund to pass the budget, as in years prior to my arrival. In fact, the Council was still deciding on very few elements to refine the balanced budget. These elements included, for example, presenting me the exact amounts for employee compensation (COLA/merit percentages) and how much to return into the General Fund.At issue were political dynamics. Specifically, the dynamics involved in addressing concerns with a police department that has experienced tremendous difficulties in recent years. These were present long before I joined the Town. My short tenure was not enough to make the positive difference I had hoped for. For example, I participated in the comprehensive selection process to fill numerous police officer vacancies. We chose to recruit four superiorly qualified candidates. Unfortunately, from a lesser qualified candidate I experienced harassment, slander, and a negative media campaign that I imagine Town Council was not able to ignore.Serving on the Town Council is a tremendous responsibility and I have grown fond of the Council. I have come to value and respect their drive, determination, and passion for public service. I applaud them for the work they do and empathize with the pressures they deal with and the riptides they navigate through.To the extent that I am able to assist the Town of Carolina Beach in the future, I look forward to doing so.”Related Article: NC Senate approves bill to allow the sale of alcohol in college stadiumsThe Town of Carolina Beach hired Narain in January. He started in late February. He took over as town manager after Michael Cramer was fired in September.Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin will serve as interim manager until a replacement can be hired. CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The Town of Carolina Beach is looking for a new town manager.On Tuesday night, Carolina Beach Town Council terminated the employment contract with Town Manager Lucky Narain during their meeting.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Chief Justice tours court facilities in Burgaw

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first_img Beasley says she’s working with lawmakers to get the ‘court’ back into the building, but architects say the process could take a year. She says she was concerned there was no real plan in the county, so she had to come see for herself.Beasley says the state and courts have to work together for a successful legal system for both the employees and the public.“Seeing it, being in the environment and really being able to talk with people who work in the environment every single day, I think is helpful in terms of understanding the extent of the damage, the extent of the recovery efforts and how best we can play a part in all of that,” Beasley said.Related Article: Gov. Cooper weighs in on storm debris pile up in rural areasShe says her next step is to discuss her finding with the team of administrative staff of courts to see how they can assist in streamlining the process. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley got an up close look at damage to the Pender County courthouse. It still remains damaged from Hurricane Florence.Pender County Court Clerk of Superior Court Elizabeth Craver led the tour through the Biberstein Annex, the county’s temporary space to house the clerks. They also toured the judicial annex, where clerks drew attention to several cases of ‘sick building syndrome’ in April.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Birżebbuġa murder What do we know up to now

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first_img SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Local news reports are treating the murder on Sunday as a drive-by shooting. This means that the perpetrator passed by using a car when they shot on the victims.READ: Updated: Man murdered and two injured in BirżebbuġaThe Malta Independent said that the shots were shot from the passenger’s side of the car. According to the Times of Malta, the police are still searching for the perpetrator and the car that was being driven, which is allegedly a white Toyota Scarlet.The case occurred on Saturday night, at around 11pm in Triq tal-Ġebel in Birżebbuġa. The road leads to Ħal Far, and is known for frequently being used by immigrants who are going to Ħal Far open centre.Those involved:The victim: Lassibe Souleymane, who was 42 years old from Ivory Coast. According to The Malta Independent and Orrizont, he was killed by a shot to his head.A 22-year-old man who lives in Ħal Far, is suffering from serious injuries. The Malta Independent stated that the man is from Ghana.A 45-year-old man who was originally said to be from Georgia. However the police stated that his identity is not yet confirmed.Both the Times of Malta and The Malta Independent said that one of the two surviving victims underwent an operation in the lower part of his body yesterday. TVM said that both men were shot during the incident.The Malta Independent reported that the police went on site following a phone call from a person saying shots could be heard in their area. Some reports also said that one of the victims called the police. The police saw the two bodies on the ground and an ambulance was called immediately. Afterwards, they also sighted the other body, but he was certified dead on the spot.Orrizont says that there is no connection between the victims besides the fact that they were walking down the same road. According to in-Nazzjon, the Police suspects that one of the concerned persons is related to a different criminal group organisation. The Times of Malta reported that this could have been a racial incident, such as an immigrant who was run over in alleged by a hit and run incident.The Police is investigating footage from security cameras around the area. A magisterial inquiry led by Magistrate Rachel Montebello was initiated.This was the third murder in 2019, since a few weeks ago; Joseph Bonnici allegedly killed his mother Marija Lourdes Bonnici, and his sister Angele Bonnici in a bloody murder.WhatsApplast_img read more

Constitutional Reform Committee holds first meeting since Vella became President

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first_img SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> The Constitutional Reform Committee has met for the first time after George Vella became president.READ: Watch: Special moments of President George Vella’s inaugurationREAD: George Vella is set to be the new PresidentThe meeting under his chairmanship was held on 22 May at San Anton Palace.In a statement the Office of the President said that the meeting was held in other to continue with discussions on the constitutional reform. President Vella thanked the members for their contribution while he expressed his hope of having further constructive dialogue.According to the statement, during the meeting the committee discussed the way forward and the methods by which a wider popular participation in this process can be achieved.WhatsApplast_img read more

The Top 40 startups in DEMO Africa

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first_imgAdvertisement DEMO Africa has announced the chosen top40  tech startups that will launch their product on the DEMO Africa stage in September 2014.There were more than 400 applications received which proved that there is great ambition in the local tech scene.The finalists came from all over the continent with 14 startups from Nigeria followed by Kenya, Ghana and Egypt. – Advertisement – Below is the list of the chosen startups.Shamba Technologies —  Design domestic power products for the 115 million families in Africa without power. (Tanzania)Mergims – An online platform that will enable African immigrants, around the world, to pay tuition fees, airtime and utility bills for their loved ones back home. (Rwanda)Prepclass –  an education technology company that uses the latest web technologies to ensure that relevant local content such as past questions, class notes, flashcards are available to students on their digital devices. (Nigeria)SmartPesa –  Allows merchants to accept credit card payments using a mobile phone. Comprising a low cost card reader, App and server-side processing. (South Africa)Kitiwa – Kitiwa helps ordinary Africans send and receive money, cheaply, instantly, using the bitcoin technology. (Ghana)Cube – Cube enables anyone (whether individual or business entity) to accept card payments in person with their existing phone (even a basic phone), anywhere, anytime, real-time without the internet (and can also work with Internet, if preferred). (Nigeria)LocName – A web and mobile application that enables people to find businesses easily using their LocNames. (Egypt)TrafficBytes – An end-to-end solution allows mobile operators and telecom vendors to leverage existing big data and provide realtime accurate roads traffic information. (Egypt)Oradian – The cloud based core banking system for microfinance. (Nigeria)MyeCampus — An online teaching and learning platform. (Ghana)Nerve –  Delivers cost-effective, higher quality & mobile convergent smart devices & services to inspire greater productivity in next billion people in emerging nations. (Nigeria)SokoNect – An agribusiness solution designed to shorten the distribution channels of agricultural produce while facilitating fast trade between farmers and their prospective buyers. (Kenya)IroFit – A developed mobile card payment system. (Nigeria)NiKweli – A mobile-to-web job matching platform that connects employers and job seekers for lower skill, “blue collar” type positions. Job seekers register their standardized mini-CV through SMS. (Tanzania)MobileJobs (mjobs) powered by SOMTEC — A web and mobile job alert and recruitment services that allows job seekers to get information about job vacancies and helps employers to get the right candidate immediately. (Ethiopia)Online Hisab —  A cloud-based accounting package for Ethiopian SMEs, who are looking for an affordable and easy to use accounting solution. (Ethiopia)PieRide –  A ridesharing technology platform offering monthly subscription transportation service for daily commuters. (Egypt)Hutbay – A platform that helps real estate consumers find and share vital information about real estate, mortgages and connect with real estate professionals in Nigeria. (Nigeria)VOTO Mobile — A mobile phone notification and survey platform removes the barriers to insightful mobile communication between citizens worldwide and the organizations that serve them. (Ghana)ASiM – An integrated tool with Quickbooks and SAP Business One to produce rich, real-time business intelligence. (Kenya)Feedbackplus – Feedbackplus lets customers give feedback to different organizations online or through a mobile app either on the spot as each event is taking place or later at each customer’s convenience. (Nigeria)SpacePointe – An e-commerce marketplace which focuses on the African retailer. (Nigeria)VIGO – A fully responsive website building tool allowing African entrepreneurs and business owners to create their own beautiful websites from any device, including a feature phone. (South Africa)Valuraha Group —  A platform that simulates the African Financial Markets enabling one to interact with various investment instruments, under actual market conditions, using virtual money. (Kenya)Cribpark –  A platform that provides people with all the information about housing, catalogue of home designs to choose from, shop to buy their housing items and a project section to offer design and construction project management services. (Nigeria)Saisai – A wireless mesh network consisting of free access wireless hot-spots in public areas and public transportation. (Zimbabwe)Chura – Allows interoperability between different mobile networks in a multi-SIM environment. (Kenya)Matibabu – A Phone Application for early, non-invasive malaria diagnosis with a custom piece of hardware (Matiscope). (Uganda)Paysail – A simple way for businesses and accountants to better manage payroll. (Ghana)Integrated Medics — A web based application package to computerize any large scale hospital, while putting into consideration the complexities involved in the medical industry. (Nigeria)Connect Finance —  A software which allows companies to track their finances, create invoices, quotations, sales orders, way bills, payments etc. (Nigeria)MuZik –  A virtual assistant which makes mobile phone subscriber’s life more eaier, by providing the right music or information , automatically grabbed on Internet, for feature mobile phone. (Cameroon)What’sIn – Mobile application platform service allows consumers with chemical allergies to instantly find the correct information when they scan a product UPC. (Tunisia)Foodstantly – An online marketplace which provides customers with fresh and cooked food and also offers home delivery services. (Nigeria)Telecosys – Delivers innovative software solutions for Tech-based service providers including Telecom operators, Internet Service Providers, Cloud-based service providers, and pay TV. (Egypt)The Pearl Dream Inc. — Digital Collection of African Stories for Kids and eCommerce retail site for animation inspired items. (Kenya)InstaCare – Makes access to healthcare services as easy as visiting ATM by enabling real-time verification & authentication of beneficiary’s health insurance subscription and, reconciliation/settlement of bills & invoices between HMOs & healthcare providers. (Nigeria)Credit: VBlast_img read more

SoundCloud has launched its own music subscription service

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first_imgAdvertisement Yesterday, SoundCloud rolled out an app update which adds a new subscription service.SoundCloud Go is free for you to try for 30 days, after which you will part with $9.99 a month per month.The subscription service enables you to enjoy ad-free experiences and the ability to enjoy your favorite music when offline. – Advertisement – For those who want free streaming, you will have to get used to the advertising.You can update or download the android app, though the service still has one limitation: It appears to be only available in the U.S.last_img read more

Pivot East 2016 Challenge Call for Applications Open

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first_imgAdvertisement The organizing team is excited to officially announce the open call for applications for the PIVOT East 2016 edition.PIVOT East is Africa’s biggest startups competition and conference held annually since 2011. The competition comprises of a series of activities that will culminate in the finalists conference which will be held on 15th November 2016. The conference is organized by m:lab East Africa and initiative of the iHub.Set to be held on 15th November 2016, PIVOT East aims to catalyse the growth of startups, so as to amplify and consolidate the gains of East Africa’s digital entrepreneurship ecosystem. The key objective for this year’s event is “to facilitate discovery of the next wave of high potential startups in the region”. – Advertisement – Startups from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Burundi, Somalia and DR Congo can submit their applications at pivoteast.com/apply2016 before September 8 2016. Just to be sure your startup qualifies, check more info here but the judges are looking for startups which describe the customer pain, the startups solution, revenue streams, team composition and commitment, market traction, short-term projections and milestones among other aspects.[related-posts]CategoriesThe competition has five categories which are; Finance, Enterprise, Entertainment, Utilities and Society and Governance. Each category will feature five finalists who will pitch to an audience of Investors, Development Partners, Government Representatives, Telecom Operators and other key stakeholders from East Africa. The 25 finalists will receive training and coaching on how to pitch to investors.RulesStartups that reached final 25 lists of the previous editions may not compete with products/services previously submitted for the competition. The judging panel will have discretion to disqualify entries in breach of this requirement. Companies that entered the competition but did not make it to the finals can compete with the same product.The deadline for submission of applications is on 8th September 2016. Applicants are encouraged to start building and curating their startup profiles early as they might need to research or source some of the information required widely.Applicants are also required to upload a short (max 5 mins) video of the founders expressing the mission and strength of their startups on their VC4Africa profile.last_img read more