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No Quick Remedy for Africa's Internet Gap

Prior to the 2010 South Africa World Cup, submarine fibre optic cabling was laid to improve the speed and reliability of broadband. Despite this, Internet World Statistics reports that only 11.4 percent of Africans have internet access, far below the global average of 30.2 percent. Considering that a World Bank study suggests every 10 percent of broadband penetration increases developing countries' per capita GDP growth by 1.38 percent, the scarcity of Africa's online network has significant economic repercussions.

MTN could open development labs to public

MTN’s annual Business App of the Year awards takes place on the 27th of August and the aim is to promote apps that can transform the way people live and conduct business. The event will also be used to encourage further creation of apps.Nomalanga Nkosi, Executive for MTN within the company’s Enterprise Marketing division, said that MTN became involved two years ago in order to change the way business apps function. “This is the second year that we have had the awards, and I think that we’ll be a long-term investor. We believe that they create an opportunity for technology to be used as a change-agent for social development

South Africa's internet Exchanges grow traffic to 8Gbps [Global Data Point]

Global Data Point Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) South Africa's ISPs peering at the Internet Service Providers' Association's Johannesburg and Cape Town Internet Exchanges are sharing over 8Gbps of traffic at peak times, MyBroadband reported. This is according to the latest ISPA INX traffic stats. The ISPA's figures show that the ISPs share around 6.5Gbps of traffic at the Johannesburg Internet Exchange (JINX) during peak times. The latest Cape Town Internet Exchange (CINX) stats show that service providers share 2Gbps of traffic at this exchange. Graham Beneke, network engineer at Neology and chairman of ISPA's INX working group, said that the strong growth comes on the back of increased bandwidth use in South Africa.

African Leaders among Twitter's 'most conversational leaders'

Africa is home to some of the most conversational leaders on Twitter, according to the latest Twiplomacy report - a leading global study on world leaders using Twitter. The tweets of Ugandan Prime Minister @AmamaMbabazi, Rwanda’s President@PaulKagame and Rwanda’s Foreign Minister @LMushikiwabo are almost exclusively @replies to their followers. Seventy-one percent of African leaders are on Twitter but they are currently not that well connected, either among themselves or with other world leaders, says the report.

Grindstone accelerator launched for tech companies in South Africa

A new scale-up accelerator is being launched for technology businesses in South Africa by Cape Town-based fund manager Knife Capital. Grindstone claims to be the first of its kind in South Africa and will focus on strengthening the management skills and support structures of chief executive officers (CEOs) to make their businesses more viable and increase their investment potential. Networking and attracting external investment through contacts of Knife Capital will also be a key part of the programme.

We are watching you! Tech helps Africans hold governments to account

With hundreds of millions of Africans owning mobile phones, citizens are becoming increasingly well connected. This is providing a powerful opportunity for citizens to access critical information about their parliaments and to report on human rights violations, corruption and poor service delivery. These interventions are amplifying the voices of marginalized communities and helping citizens to hold governments to account. For citizens to actively participate in democracy, it is critical that they are able to access information on parliamentary proceedings and elected representatives. MySociety is contributing to this process,it has partnered with local organizations across Africa to build sites

Africa’s green revolution could be championed by Biotechnology

Africa missed the Green Revolution, which helped Asia and Latin America achieve self-sufficiency in food production, missed the Industrial Revolution, but Africa cannot afford to miss another major global ‘technological revolution’, which can help boost our agricultural sector. Africa is often described by derogatory remarks such as the “dark continent, the hungry continent, the disease-plagued continent” and these remarks are further reinforced by scaring statistics produced by global bodies such as the World Health Organisation and UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, which rate Africa as the continent with the highest disease burden and mortality from malnutrition, absence of protein and non-availability/shortage of food

Microsoft introduces the 4Afrika Scholarship program

In recognition of International Youth Day, Microsoft Corp introduced the 4Afrika Scholarship program, as part of its 4Afrika Initiative, through which it will provide mentorship, leadership and technical training, certification, university-level education and employment opportunities for promising African students. Mentorship will be provided by Microsoft employees from around the world and employment opportunities will include internships and both part-time and full-time jobs within Microsoft as well as with the company’s more than 10,000 partners across Africa.

ABB wins USD 32 million order in Zambia to power Africa copper mine

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth around USD 32 million from Kansanshi Mining PLC, a subsidiary of Canadian mining and metals company First Quantum Minerals Limited for the construction of a new substation and upgrade of an existing one.The facilities will help to provide reliable power supplies to Africa’s biggest copper mine, being built in the northwestern province of the country. The order was booked in the Q2. Global demand for raw materials is one of the main growth drivers in Africa. The Zambian economy is highly dependent on the copper mining industry, which accounts for around 80% of the country’s gross domestic product.

From FDI to Africans investing in Africa

INVESTORS from Europe, Asia and the US are not the only ones chasing growth opportunities in Africa these days — Africans themselves are waking up to the potential across borders in their own backyard. The same trends that have lured foreign capital to the continent — rising wealth, sustained economic growth and a swelling young population — are attracting investors in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and even Namibia.

AFRICA INVESTMENT-From FDI to AIA: Africans investing in Africa

Investors from Europe, Asia and the United States are not the only ones chasing growth opportunities in Africa these days - Africans themselves are waking up to the potential across borders in their own backyard. The same trends that have lured foreign capital to the continent - rising wealth, sustained economic growth and a swelling young population - are attracting investors in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and even Namibia.

300 Technology Startups Apply to Launch At Demo Africa

A record 300 technology startups from 24 African countries have applied to launch at DEMO Africa Conference, the first Pan-African launch pad for emerging technologies and trends, to be held in Nairobi in October. Speaking after the official closing of the three-moth application period, Harry Hare, the Executive Producer of DEMO Africa noted that 2013 had seen 100 more companies register than in 2012 when 150 startups applied for the top 40 positions to launch at the DEMO Africa stage.

Impact of Internet On Development of Societies Highlighted

Internet plays a key role in the process of socialisation of people and provision of services such as health and education, said Tuesday in Luanda the executive secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Cecilia Mamelodi Onyadile. The SADC official was speaking at the opening of the 2nd Forum on Internet Governance in Southern Africa. Cecilia Onyadile stressed that internet can also offers development opportunities for the economy to appears as an instrument to be taken into account in the draft, operation and evaluation of policies and exchange of information

Africa: New Initiative Addresses Issues Concerning in-Country Data

A new initiative aims to publish stories and promote discussions that will help improve the ways in which in-country data is collected, interpreted and used in situations such as national strategic planning and concept note development for the Global Fund to Fights AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The "Where There Is No Data" initiative was established by a group of researchers and consultants. Currently, the initiative is hosting a website, a Facebook page and a twitter feed.

Tanzania: “Internet to be made unaffordable”

Amendments to Tanzania’s recently passed Finance Bill 2013 has ushered in a 14,5% excise duty on all mobile airtime, mobile services, as well as landline and wireless telecommunication services.The country’s Internet Service Providers argued that the new tax would make internet services unaffordable. “Implementation of the imposed duty will automatically slow down our members’ ability to roll out internet services in rural areas… internet development especially in the rural areas would be adversely impacted,” Tanzania Internet Service Providers Association (TIPSA) said in a statement

Ten African Internet Millionaires To Watch

Africa may not yet have an Internet billionaire, but there are a handful of savvy African entrepreneurs who’ve built 7- and 8-figure fortunes by identifying and taking advantage of the opportunities on the continent’s web space.Here’s a basic truth: In the next five to seven years, there’ll be an unprecedented explosion of Internet millionaires.

Satellite technologies for Africa - a user perspective

In today’s ever-developing technology environment, characterised by the daily introduction of new technologies and services, users have become accustomed to continued upgrade and replacement programs. The iPhone 5 replaced the iPhone 4 and Windows 8 replaced Windows 7 (or maybe not quite). The general expectation is that anything new today is an improvement on what was there before. However, there are areas of technology where this thinking doesn’t apply, particularly when we are dealing with natural and limited resources, where we are forced to utilise that which is available and must still be used going forward, says Dr Dawie de Wet, CEO at QKON.

Zambia: Connect Africa, Likusasa want rural linkup

Zambia’s rural telecommunications and service solutions company Connect Africa has unveiled a partnership with Zambian engineering and construction firm Likusasa Zambia, which is part of the Likusasa Africa Group.The alliance underpins the companies’ bid to connect rural communities to existing mobile network operator’s networks through the deployment of innovative cost-effective base stations that enable rural communities to share in the mobile boom that is sweeping through Africa.

The Tech Trailblazers Awards strengthens African ties with AfriLabs Partnerships

The global enterprise tech startups awards, The Tech Trailblazers (@techtrailblaze)recently announced a partnership with AfriLabs (@Afrilabs), a pan-African network of technology and innovation hubs promoting the growth and development of the African technology sector. AfriLabs believe that by working together, individual labs improve the chances of success and create greater opportunities for its members. With 20 accelerators and hubs in 13 countries across Africa and an active social media following, AfriLabs is the largest tech hub network in Africa and in the perfect position to support a partnership that reaches across multiple countries on the continent.

Google floats idea to get Internet to underserved areas

Google is attempting to bring Internet service to remote parts of Africa, Asia and other underserved regions through a series of balloon-like contraptions that carry wireless transponders and other gear.Richard DeVaul, a Google engineer and chief technical architect for the company's Project Loon, so named in part because even Google concedes the idea sounds a little crazy.

But after a trial run in New Zealand earlier this year, DeVaul and other engineers on the project say they believe a global network of low-cost, high-altitude balloons could carry enough wireless transponders to beam Internet connections to remote parts of Africa, Asia and other developing regions.