Category Archives: ideaexchange

BAKE – Kenya Blog Awards 2017

The Bloggers Association of Kenya – BAKE Kenya Blog 2017 Awards are on again. The nominees,  in 22 different categories, were announced on April 3. Nominees include long time great reads and past winners like Moses Kemibaro, Owaahh, iHub, Mutua Matheka, Niaje, Wandia Njoya,  Mummy Tales, Mzalendo, and Graduate Farmer, with lots of interesting new blogs as well – such as Magunga, Otherwise Podcast,  Daniel Ominde, Penstrokes, and Kenyan Wall Street. The short-listed blogs came from 10,000 submissions, an increase from 4,800 the year before, and the winners will be announced on May 13 in Nairobi.

Voting runs up to May 9, and the 2017 awards are sponsored by, among others, Safaricom, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford, Xpose, EatOut, Vivienne Tea, and the Kenya Human Rights Commission. Please vote for Bankelele in the best business blog category.

Idea Exchange: Blog, Fintech, Food, scholarships, SGR, Bellagio, Uber opportunities

Africa Food Prize: The preeminent award that recognizes outstanding individuals or institutions that are leading the effort to change the reality of farming in Africa from a struggle to survive to a business that thrives. Now in its second year, the US $100,000 prize celebrates Africans who are taking control of Africa’s agriculture agenda. It puts a bright spotlight on bold initiatives and technical innovations that can be replicated across the continent to create a new era of food security and economic opportunity for all Africans. The Africa Food Prize began as the Yara Prize, and was established in 2005 by Yara International ASA in Norway to honor achievements in African agriculture. The deadline for nominations is 05 June 2017 and the winner will be unveiled at a high-profile gala dinner at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), 4-8 September 2017 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

ACF is an innovative US$7 million financial support mechanism designed to provide local power project developers and originators with project development support, technical experience, expertise and funding required to bring their renewable energy projects to life. Now in its third year,  ACF 2017 is a financial support mechanism designed to provide local developers and entrepreneurs with the technical expertise and funding required to bring their renewable energy projects to life edit

BAKE Awards:  Since 2012, the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) Awards first run in 2012, has recognized and awarded exceptional Kenyan bloggers in different categories every year. You can now submit your blog, or even a blog you like, in the BAKE Awards 2017., in 22 different categtors including technology, photography, creative writing, business food, governance , best new blog, corporate sports, travel etc. Deadline is 10th March

BBC: Komla Dumor Award 2017: The BBC is seeking a future star of African journalism for the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award, now in its third year.Journalists from across the continent are invited to apply for the award, which aims to uncover and promote fresh talent from Africa.The winner will spend three months at the BBC headquarters in London, gaining skills and experience. Applications close on 15th March 2017 at 23:59 GMT.

British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA):  The (GIGA) Institute of African Affairs (IAA) is looking to fund a limited number of research projects by doctoral students and early career researchers in economics, political science or other social sciences based at research institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular in South Africa.edit

Centum 2017 graduate program runs from 10th to 31st  March 2017 edit

Citi Tech For integrity Challenge:  Citi and its Allies are proud to present the Citi® Tech for Integrity Challenge (T4I), a global initiative to invite and encourage technology innovators from around the world to create solutions to help public sector entities increase transparency and promote integrity. Tech innovators can now apply to the challenge by submitting an application form and one-page document explaining their solutions. Applications are reviewed by Citi and allies for the Accelerator program. edit

EcobankFintech: Developers, programmers and fintech innovators all over Africa are joining forces with Ecobank, the continent’s biggest banking ecosystem to transform finance through technology and innovation. Ecobank is challenging Africa’s new generation of entrepreneurs to find lasting solutions to the continent’s most pressing banking issues. Submit entries in one or more of our key areas of interest for your Chance to win up to $500,000 funding. Deadline 14th April.

EJEA III – The 2017 edition of the Energy Journalism Excellence Awards competition is open to Kenyan based professionals, those directly employed or freelancers, reporting about Kenya through print, broadcast or digital media. edit

Google: If you’re in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa (for Africa), apply now to Launchpad Accelerator.  Apply here by 9 April 24, 2017 for training at Google HQ (that) includes intensive mentoring from 20+ Google teams, and expert mentors from top technology companies and VCs in Silicon Valley. Participants receive equity-free support, credits for Google products, PR support and continue to work closely with Google back in their home country during the 6-month program.

GrowthAfrica is looking for ambitious, committed and innovative entrepreneurs in Kenya and Uganda to be part of GrowthAfrica’s Accelerator Programme. The program will equip participating entrepreneurs with skills and knowledge on business and growth strategies, business models, and access to investments. The programmes will be led by experienced facilitators who are carefully selected from GrowthAfrica’s vast pool of industry specialists, who understand the dynamics of running a business and can provide valuable insights to the selected entrepreneurs. The application deadline for Kenya and Uganda is March 12th at midnight 2017.

IFC: Offers a wide variety of financial products for private sector projects in developing countries. To be eligible for IFC funding, the project must: be located in a developing country that is a member of IFC;Be in the private sector; Be technically sound;Have good prospects of being profitable; Benefit the local economy. Also IFC does not lend directly to micro, small, and medium enterprises or individual entrepreneurs, but many of our investment clients are financial intermediaries that on-lend to smaller businesses.

IFRA-Nairobi is offering fieldwork grants to masters and doctoral students to conduct their research in 2017 in one of the five East African countries covered by the Institute: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.IFRA’s main research themes include: political dynamics, culture and society, economy and land issues. The following topics are IFRA’s priority areas: Elections in Kenya (2017) : mobilization, devolution, culture & technologies, Violence & security : police violence, daily security practices, Informal trade and rural-urban linkages, Social inequalities, morality and authority. edit

Interswitch Group: Pan-African payments company Interswitch Group has announced the extension of a US$10 million ‘ePayment Growth Fund’ (KSH 1 Billion) to East Africa.  The company is looking to collaborate with African entrepreneurs and startups that are developing innovative products that empower Africans to participate in emerging payment ecosystems. The fund is open to any African startup at growth stage that has come up with disruptive concepts within the digital commerce payments industry in Africa. edit 

Mbugua Rosemary Foundation – Young Entrepreneurship Program: The Foundation selects and supports a group of extraordinary emerging-market entrepreneurs who have the potential to transform themselves and their communities through an in-depth training program. It is a resourceful set of classes designed specifically to help you develop a solid plan and learn what it takes to build a thriving business. This program also aims to nurture creativity and develop the participants into socially responsible business leaders and entrepreneurs to support the local economy. The individuals selected will have a strong and viable start-up idea or a business that has been running for a maximum of 3 years. edit

Orange: Call for candidates for the 7th Orange Social Venture Prize in Africa and the Middle East. The OSVPAM will be awarded to innovative projects which make use of information and communication technologies to improve living conditions for the peoples of Africa and the Middle East in fields such as health, finance, education and agriculture. In addition to national prizes, the three international winners will receive 25,000 euros, 15,000 euros and 10,000 euros respectively, along with support from professionals in start-up creation and funding.OSVPAM is open to any student, employee or entrepreneur over the age of 21 whose initiative is less than 3 years old and who lives in Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Niger, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Tunisia, Jordan, Liberia or Burkina Faso.

(The) Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, is seeking applications for data-driven journalism projects related to land rights and property rights..We are seeking data-driven stories that utilize the tools of the trade—satellite imagery, 360° cameras, drones, sensors, data visualizations, and interactive maps/graphics ..They will award three grants for a total of $75,000. Apply by May 1, 2017. edit

Rockefeller Foundation BellagioCenter 2017/2018 Academic Writing Residency Program. The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, through a combination of conferences and residency programs, supports the work of scholars, artists, thought leaders, policymakers, and practitioners who share in the Foundation’s pioneering mission to “promote the well-being of humanity around the world. The Academic Writing residency is for university and think tank-based academics, researchers, professors, and scientists working in any discipline.Successful applicants will demonstrate decades of significant professional contributions to their field or show evidence of being on a strong upward trajectory for those earlier in their careers. Applications are available on the online application portal along with detailed instructions and further information on applying to the Bellagio Residency Program http://www.opportunitiesforafricans.com/rockefeller-foundation-bellagio-center-20172018-academic-writing-residency-program/. Application Deadline: May 1, 2017

Sage: The Sage Foundation launches $1 million Enterprise Fund to inspire innovation and change in Africa. The new $1 million fund is open to non-profits in Africa with enterprising ideas to help improve the lives of military veterans, young people or women and girls. The $1 million will be split between two rounds of $500,000; with the second round ready for release in July 2017. Applications for the first round are open until April 5; grants between $5,000 and $35,000 will then be awarded to successful applicants.

SGR Photography Competition: China Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC) presents SGR photography competition, the 2017 edition, an artistic project to nurture creativity and use photography to tell stories.

Stanford Seed Transformation Program:  The Stanford Seed Transformation Program is a 12-month, intensive leadership program for established business leaders which includes four, week-long immersive sessions spread over a six month period. Designed specifically for business owners, the program is delivered in-country (Nairobi, Kenya) and led by Stanford Graduate School of Business faculty. The ultimate goal: to create a detailed action plan to help you grow and scale your company. Take advantage of a world-class curriculum from Stanford GSB and the innovative thinking that has shaped some of the most successful companies in Silicon Valley. Target is founders and senior leaders of for-profit companies, across all industries, with annual revenues between US$150,000 and USD $15 million and that are headquartered, legally registered, and currently operating within East Africa.

WCSJ News Thanks to generous support from foundations, science and media organizations, and individual donors, WCSJ2017 is excited to offer travel fellowships for professional and student attendees from the U.S. and abroad. These fellowships are intended to enable those who otherwise could not attend to join us for the conference in San Francisco, October 26-30, 2017. The grants will provide full or partial support to cover economy airfare, accommodation for the duration of the conference, and reasonable ground transport, up to a maximum amount based on the traveler’s location and circumstances. Fellowship recipients will receive complimentary meeting registration.

World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator: The United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) and Singularity University have teamed up to launch the [on/su.org/foodgic]Global Impact Challenge – Food in Emergencies, a contest open to social innovators and entrepreneurs worldwide keen of solving the issue of providing sustainable sources of food in emergencies. The challenge runs over about two months, since the official launch by the Executive Director in Davos at the World Economic Forum last month until the 10th March. Apply for the 2017 Global Impact Challenge

Yale University initiatives support African students:  The path to a university education in the United States has become smoother for African school kids thanks to the introduction of Yale University’s Young African Scholars Program (YYAS).The idea of the program to help talented secondary school pupils in Africa discover academic opportunities in the U.S. came from African undergraduates studying at Yale. In partnership with the HigherLife Foundation and Yale University, YYAS is free of charge to participating pupils and the application is open until March 16, 2017. http://www.your-bizbook.com/en/Club-Africa-News/yale-university-initiatives-support-african-students

Recent Ones (Now Closed)

Andela: Every month we receive applications from talented aspiring developers interested in joining the Andela Fellowship Program. In 2016 alone, we hired 70 developers in Kenya, 30.5% of whom were female. You may be asking, with such great success why an all female cohort? Why an all female cohort? Having an all female cohort encourages women to venture into tech as it counters the narrative that tech is a male dominated field. The only requirements are that the candidate is female, hardworking, detail oriented and has a passion for technology. The application submission deadline is February 15, 2017. Applications are at http://bit.ly/AndelaCohortXVI

Blackbox  The Blackbox Connect Female Founders Edition is an exclusive cycle for high potential female entrepreneurs. The target is to bring at least 17 female founders to the Silicon Valley for a two week immersion program where they will have the opportunity to live and collaborate with like-minded entrepreneurs from all around the world and take part in an intense agenda of meetings and workshops with entrepreneurs, investors, experts and executives. The Blackbox Connect, Female Founders Edition is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs The application is officially LIVE and will be open until March 8, so get those nominations finalized as soon as possible!

Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF):  Africa’s largest business incubator is now accepting applications from African entrepreneurs, with business ideas that can transform Africa. Successful applicants will join the third cycle of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, TEF’s 10-year, $100 million commitment to train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs in every African country. Since inception in 2015, the Programme has assisted nearly 2,000 entrepreneurs and created hundreds of jobs across the continent.

#UberPITCH Powered By Mettā:  Uber and Mettā in conjunction with Nairobi Innovation Week are giving entrepreneurs a chance of a lifetime. We’re giving you the opportunity to have your ideas heard. On March 6, startup heroes, CEOs and investors will listen to your ideas, all in the back of an Uber through #UberPITCH powered by Mettā Nairobi and the rides won’t cost a thing. The theme of this year’s UberPITCH powered by Mettā will be ‘Innovation to solve pressing local and global challenges’. The top teams will be invited for a special event with some of Kenya’s leading investors and business leaders. Find out more and submit your application → http://t.uber.com/pitch254 We are teaming up with Uber during Nairobi Innovation Week 2017 to give entrepreneurs the chance of a lifetime! On March 6, request an UberPITCH and pitch your idea to an investor. For more information, visit t.uber.com/pitch254

 

TED Idea Search, Nairobi, February 2017.

TED Global is returning to Arusha in August 2017 (August 27-30), ten years after initial African TED Global. They were seeking new speakers, so last Wednesday, TED held auditions in Nairobi. After the TED team put up a call, 200 applied and 20 were selected to speak at an audition, before an audience in Nairobi.

(Pic by Africa Knows)

Some of the fascinating new speakers included fresh talks from a diverse group including   storytellers using photography and podcasts, using robotics, stem cells, and mining techniques tor rebuild human bodies, and conservation specialists who advocated new ways to create new interest in insects, birds and mammals, such as by getting people to track elephants instead of Pokemon.

Others talks were on facilitating the rise of African development through improving the business climate, anticipating & mitigating urban architecture problems that will come from rapid African urbanization, and using blockchain to tackle land corruption.  Some of the talks will get on the TED online platform and some speakers will be invited to present at TED Global in Arusha.

(Pic from Africa Knows)

The last time they had auditions in Nairobi they discovered young school boy Richard Turere who is considered the inventor of the lion light.

TED Global also has a fellows program which is open to enable others to attend at Arusha at reduced prices or even free if they are worthy but genuinely can’t afford to pay the attendance cost. The deadline for applications is February 17.

Make Innovation the Centre of your Business and Job or Face Disruption

These were the words of Brett King, a futurist and bestselling Author spoke about disruptive innovation to guests at a business forum at the Capital Club, Nairobi. He had been invited by KCB Group, Kenya’s largest bank, which he is advising on a digital finance strategy.

He said that companies that are based on innovation and technology ( E.g Google, Facebook, Alibaba, Baidu, have ten times more profit (~$500,000 per employee) than traditional companies of ($30,000 per employee) or banks ($50,000 per employee)  as they are more efficient at converting production to profits

Other comments:

  • Historically technology that is cool but disruptive ,is resisted and he compared Luddites who smashed factory machinery in England in 1812, to taxi drivers smashing Uber cars in France 200 years later.
  • He expected more contextualization of financial service a based on location and behaviour: e.g. walk into an Apple Shop and you get a finance offer on your phone about a new device you have been longing to buy.
  • Bitcoin’s ability to be a currency is hampered because owners of the coins are hoarding them like gold so they appreciate in price (which is now $1,000). They are not using the bitcoins to make payments which are what currencies are meant to do.
  • There’s a bright future for peer to peer (P-2-P) insurance (more than P-2-P lending).
  • The service jobs there today will be replaced by automation/robotics. But this creates even newer service jobs (every job lost to technology create 2.6 others), and students considering careers should ask themselves how they will compete with Artifical Intelligence (AI) or work in jobs that enable the future e.g. solar adapters.
  • Entrepreneurs should create businesses that take advantage of AI. The mid-2030’s will be an exciting time as there will be more energy from renewable sources than fossil fuels and more robots than humans.
  • On Kenya’s revolutionary M-pesa, which had facilitated the fastest financial inclusion shift in history, he said it was clunky as it was designed for feature phones.

Idea Exchange: Agri, Bellagio, GSMA, Stanford

New, and ongoing, opportunities to apply for, including..

EDIT Chivas Regal announced  the first Kenyan edition of Chivas, The Venture, a  $1 million global search to find and support the next generation of social enterprise start-ups. 32 countries across 6 continents are taking part and only the most promising from each country will be selected as a global finalist. It is open to any for-profit-start-up that creates both financial value and a positive impact on the lives of others. Deadline for Kenyan social entrepreneurs to make submission is 30th November 2016. Kenya’s very own WEFARM, a farming information platform came 2nd at last year’s finals, securing $200,000 for their social enterprise.

EDIT Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa Executive Training Program: Intake 4 is now open. This prestigious program has been developed for mid-career journalists, financial professionals with an interest in financial journalism; government professionals responsible for public policy, communications and finance portfolios; and development practitioners and civil society professionals with an interest in African development and financial and economic data. The program value is $22, 000 USD, but Bloomberg Philanthropies with support from the Ford Foundation are generously funding each successful candidate on a scholarship basis. Scholarships include tuition, class materials, lunch and refreshments. The deadline for initial applications is 25 November 2016. Applications will be reviewed and places awarded on a first come first served basis. The BMIA Executive Training Program will begin in January 2017 and will be offered in Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi.

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EDIT Stanford SEED, which enables East Africa business owners to lead their regions to greater prosperity. The Seed Transformation is a comprehensive year-long program that includes six months of immersive general-management training in Nairobi, Kenya, led by Stanford GSB faculty and supported by trained local facilitators. It is targeted at founders and senior leaders of for-profit companies who want to grow and scale their companies. Deadline 31 October.

Vote in the OLX Social Media Awards  up to September 22.

TED Fellow: Apply to the TED Fellows program, that aims to find a new class of extraordinary thinkers and doers who are aged 21 to 40. The next cycle is from October 4 to November 13.

 EDIT Also  TEDGlobal is returning to Africa at Arusha in August 2017.

YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa (RLC EA) is merit-based and open to young East African leaders.

EDIT  The Africa Region of the World Bank Group (WBG) is relaunching its fellowship program for Ph.D. students who are Sub-Saharan nationals. The program will increase the diverse workforce that is a priority for the Bank and its clients.

EDIT AIA, one of the world’s largest insurers, has created the AIA Blockchain Challenge, a virtual challenge that concludes with the chance to secure a pilot contract and a sizeable development grant of up to US$50,000.. (in) claims process, customer information and regulation, risk management & treasury efficiency, digital health..Applicable top entries will receive paid pilot opportunities. Submission deadline is November 20 (source)

EDIT  Apply for a 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship, as the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is looking for 1,000 African leaders! Applications closes on 26 October. (source)

EDIT Recruiting AkiraChix class of 2017:  Every year for the last 5 years, AkiraChix has the pleasure of welcoming a group of young, hopeful, young girls from all over Kenya for our one-year training program. This program has continued to be offered at no cost to the students with classes in Web Design, Mobile application design, Graphic Design, Hardware design, Life Skills just to mention a few. If you or someone you know is interested in joining next years class please apply

EDIT Apply to join the next MasterCard Start Path Global – #StartPath program.  MasterCard partners with startups from around the world to help scale their businesses. The program enables companies to gain access to MasterCard’s global ecosystem and to break new markets through relationships with MasterCard and our customers. Some key features include: 6 month virtual program (take part from your home location),  2 immersion weeks at different cities and  no upfront equity in exchange for participation. Deadline is October 11.

EDIT  The Chezo Game Jam Competition is here. Chezo Gaming is an initiative to support the creation of games to address local challenges. The competition will take place from the 30th of September 2015 to the 2nd of October 2016. Winning teams (3) will receive a cash award of € 2,000 (US$2,200) and additional mentorship for up-to 3 months. Find out more here.

EDIT  The 5th edition of the  Pillars of Africa celebrates the extra-ordinary achievements of the young people of Africa, and is open for nominations in entrepreneur,  humanitarian, arts & clulture, business icon and sports categories, up to  October 28  (via @pillarsofafrica on twitter; or Facebook page Pillars of Africa).

EDIT The African Leaders of Tomorrow (ALT) Scholarship Program commemorates the late Nelson Mandela’s commitment to social justice and equity. It supports young African professionals to become leaders in public policy and administration. The ALT Scholarship Program grants full scholarships based on merit to women and men from sub-Saharan Africa to pursue a Master’s degree in public administration, public policy or public finances in Canada. Application deadline is October 14 2016

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Adansonia, a unique pan-African opportunity, gives one the tools to be part of a wide network of similarly minded ambitious entrepreneurs from Ghana to Uganda, from Nigeria to South Africa or Kenya through an intense one-week course by  Bocconi Business School, and  international pitching event.

Africa Business Fellowship places talented American professionals within leading African companies for a minimum of 3 and up to 6 months. Through this joint partnership, Econet (founded and led by Strive Masiyiwa, and also the Fellowship’s benefactor), Africa Leadership Network and MLT will offer this unparalleled opportunity for American professionals to gain invaluable insight and hands-on experience in African businesses. Apply by November 1.

Appsafrica Innovation Awards recognise innovation and excellence in African mobile and tech. Supported by Mobile Monday, the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF), Uber and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) winners will be announced at the awards party on November 14th, 2016 in Cape Town. Entries will be charged $60 per category that is entered. Start-ups who are less than 12 months old will not be charged subject to approval and can contact us for a discount code. Deadline is September 20.

creative

Africa Tech Challenge has 15 teams from Technical Vocational Education and Training institutions (TVETs) in Kenya, Zambia, Ghana and Uganda competing for Ksh 200,000 ($2,000)  as well as full scholarships to study for their Masters’ in top engineering universities in China. AVIC says the Africa Tech Challenge has armed over 290 students with technical skills.

At the AGRF 2016 in Nairobi in September 2016, commitments were made to fund African agriculture with $30 billion, including $24 billion from the African Development Bank, $5 billion from the Gates Foundation and $3 billion from the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Advance Africa has several opportunities including British Chevening scholarships for international students to study in UK.

Government of Kenya scholarships to study in the UK, China, India, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Oman, Hungary, Cuba, Slovakia, Egypt, Korea, Morocco, Ireland etc.

GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund is now open for applications from start-ups in Africa and selected Asian countries, offering funding: grants of between  £100,000 and  £ 250,000. Applicants must provide a matching of at least 50% of the amount of funding requested Deadline is 18 September.

Heva Fund: HEVA is ready to receiving applications for its investment cycle,  investing between KES 100,000 and 1,000,000 to help creatives grow their businesses.

Advance Africa has several opportunities including Mo Ibrahim Foundation fellowships for young Africans.

Apply to Pitch AgriHack to win investment for your e-agriculture start-up! The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the support of partners including the Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (CABI) and m:lab East Africa, is launching the pilot edition of Pitch AgriHack, a new component of its AgriHack Talent Programme. The entrepreneurs should be owners of an already developed e-agriculture/ICT4Ag application or platform. Two categories are available: Early stage platform and Advanced platform. Winning teams will receive a cash prize of up to €15,000, as well as promotional support, additional capacity building and networking opportunities. For More.

Rockefeller – Africa Centre,  Artists In Residence (Bellagio) program is seeking applications from high calibre African artists, in different stages of their career development (from emerging to late career), who are provocative, innovative, and are stretching the boundaries of their artistic practice. The residencies are available to composers, fiction and non-fiction writers, playwrights, poets, video/filmmakers, curators, visual and performance artists. Application deadline is September 30.

$1 = KES 101, £1=133, €=113

What other opportunities are out there? Share in the comments section