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Latest update: dotAfrica Launch Plan approved, Sunrise Phase commences on 4 April, 2017

New online trade and wholesale retail platform launched in South Africa

SOUTH African-born Paul Greenberg‚ founder of DealersDirect Group‚ Australia’s largest online retailer‚ has partnered with black economic empowerment group Amabubesi to launch Going.co.za‚ an online trade and wholesale platform‚ the company said on Thursday.The website provides a platform for selling excess inventory‚ returned items‚ refurbished goods and other hard-to-sell products‚ featuring products such as electronics‚ stationery‚ clothing‚ toys‚ and a variety of other categories.

SA internet users grow by two million

The Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA) and Echo Consultancy collaborated for a research project called the All Media Products Survey (AMPS), also validated by Effective Measure (EM).Findings revealed internet users in the country have hit the 14 million mark, with 39 per cent of South Africans having access to internet. South Africa’s internet population has increased by almost two million adults within the last year, indicating a rise in online media consumption

Intel boss advises tech entrepreneurs to think beyond mobile money

Tech entrepreneurs in Kenya have been advised to look beyond mobile money innovations. The success of M-Pesa, the revolutionary mobile money transfer service, has inspired many startups in East Africa. Speaking to How we made it in Africa, Danie Steyn, the East Africa general manager for Intel (the world’s largest semiconductor maker), said technology entrepreneurs and developers should widen their horizons and focus on other sectors where needs are yet to be met.

Google Not the Only Company Testing Wireless Access by High-Altitude Balloons

Oceus Networks Inc., a mobile 4G LTE broadband networking provider, recently demonstrated the efficacy of a deployable 4G LTE solution on a high-altitude balloon platform, which can be used to rapidly provide broadband coverage and communications services to first responders within the first 72 hours following an emergency or natural disaster.

How to Manage and Secure Big Data

Several developments are coming together in cloud computing that are creating shockwaves throughout society and in the economy. Over the last five years we have seen the debate about cloud computing hotting up. There was the hype around the new development at the same time as warnings regarding security and privacy, and for a while the market seemed subdued about the new development.

Easy Taxi, Rocket Internet’s Latin American Hailo, Comes To Africa With Another $10M In Funding

Easy Taxi, a Brazil-based Hailo-like app incubated by the Samwer brothers’ Rocket Internet, is today announcing a $10 million round of funding and plans to tackle a whole new market: Africa, along with more expansion also in Asia and the Middle East. It is starting first in Nigeria, a country of 180 million people and one Africa’s the biggest in terms of economic growth. The announcement follows news from last week in which Rocket Internet itself got an injection of $500 million, specifically to help build out its startups in emerging economies.

Kenya and Nigeria account for over half of Sub-Saharan Africa’s internet users

The World Bank’s African Development Indicators has released its 2012/2013 report, showing 62 per cent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s internet users are from Nigeria and Kenya. The report gives a detailed collection of data in Africa ranging from national fiscal and external accounts, millennium development goals, private sectors goals, trade and integration.The data also includes macroeconomic, sectoral , information communication and social indicators for 53 countries.

The state of SA’s Internet revealed

The average measured speed of Internet connections in South Africa has improved by 16% in the past year, new research from Akamai suggests. However, the country is placed a dismal 80th worldwide, well behind top-ranked countries such as Korea and Japan. According to Akamai’s latest State of the Internet Report, for the first quarter of 2013, South Africa fairs even worse, coming in at 126th worldwide, for average peak connection speeds.

Bytes lands R400m Absa IT deal

Altron subsidiary Bytes Technology Group has landed an IT services contract with banking group Absa worth R400m.Bytes division Bytes Managed Solutions won the deal to provide services to Absa and parent Barclays across the territories in Africa where the financial services giant operates. The contract involves supporting more than 63 000 users in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent. South Africa makes up the bulk of the deal, with Bytes expected to support 46 000 users across 1 351 branches and campus sites.

Vodacom Tanzania acquires Helios Towers Tanzania network

Helios Towers Africa (HTA), an independent telecoms towers company in Africa, announced over the weekend that its Tanzanian subsidiary, Helios Towers Tanzania (HTT) has reached an agreement with Vodacom Tanzania Limited, to acquire 100% of its existing tower network in the country for stock and cash in Vodacom Group’s first ever towers transaction.The partnership between HTT and Vodacom involves the transfer of 1,149 existing telecoms towers from Vodacom to HTT and a commitment to an ambitious, short-term rollout which will see a significant increase in points of service owned by HTT and more than doubles HTT’s existing presence in Tanzania.

Mali Becomes First African Nation To Give Domain Names For Free

Mali has become the first African nation to give its domains for free. Presenting at the ICANN meeting in Durban, South Africa, the Point ML Registry opened up its website to allow registrants worldwide to register a free .ML domain name. Point ML – the Mali domain name – is operated by the Agence des Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication (AGETIC) as a generic, unrestricted, clean and global TLD focusing on individuals and businesses in- and outside Mali.

SAP rolls out IT training programme for Africa

SAP aims to train up to 3,000 graduates, matriculants and entrepreneurs across five African countries including South Africa in the next five years as part of its multimillion rand skills investment, the software group said last week.Nigeria and Kenya would also be among the five.

Smile rolls out LTE networks in Africa

The delay in issuing radio frequency spectrum licences in South Africa has prompted companies such as Smile Communications — founded by businesswoman Irene Charnley — to look elsewhere on the continent for 4G or long-term evolution (LTE), network opportunities. LTE enables ultra-high-speed internet access with connection speeds many times higher than 3G, translating into faster downloads and stutter-free video.

USPF aims for 5,000 new rural base stations

Conceding that it was not happy with its performance in meeting Nigeria’s earlier Strategic Management Plan (SMP), the country’s Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) says it will meet targets this time.USPF Secretary Abdullahi Maikano disclosed this in Lagos this week, at a stakeholders’ forum to discuss the new operating model for the key area - implementation of connectivity, which includes connectivity and access to ensure sustainability of the rural access.

World's Energy Future Could Lie in Africa if You're Patient

Africa could be a major player in the world’s energy future but investors need patience and the knowledge to tap the right niches, panelists said at a Wharton Africa Business Forum, according to a report in knowledge@whartontoday. Each day, panelists said, there are stories of energy finds in places like Mozambique, Kenya or Tanzania, all of which are more accustomed to dealing with European or Western business models than Chinese.About 25 times more is invested in energy in Nigeria than in all of East Africa.

Workplace skills are learnt in classrooms

A CLOSE relationship exists between the evolution of the classroom and that of the workplace. But it is not a pleasant relationship. Neither has evolved in more than 100 years.There are glowing exceptions: workplaces that are held up as models of motivational environments and classrooms that combine the best learning methods with the best teaching technology. But the vast majority reside somewhere in the 19th century.

Apple Buys Nigerian Entrepreneur’s Online Mapping Startup

Apple has acquired HopStop.com, an “online city transit guide” and mobile application founded in 2005 by Nigerian tech entrepreneur Chinedu Echeruo.Echeruo’s company, HotStop.com was acquired by Apple in a move to bolster the tech giant’s plan to upgrade its map offering, following Google’s recent $1.1 billion acquisition of Israeli mapping startup, Waze, which draws similarities with its new acquisition.

NetApp Regroups To Take On Africa

“We’re not pulling out of Africa… quite the opposite.” Those were the words of NetApp Director MEEA (for the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa), Konstantin Ebert, who together with other senior executives of from the global flash memory and storage service provider, explained the launch of an enhanced African growth strategy yesterday in Johannesburg.

SA eager to host .africa domain name

INTEREST groups including cities, continental bodies and religious groups are competing to secure internet domain names at the Internet Conference in Durban.With the rapid development of cyber activity, domain names have become much sought after. ICANN is meeting this week in Durban to begin a major expansion of domain names.

Global Internet bodies aim to improve DNS business in Africa

The global Web policy organization Internet Society, domain registry and Domain Name System service provider Afilias, and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) have joined efforts to support and improve the DNS business in Africa. ICANN and the Internet Society have been involved in technical training at various levels, but that has not necessarily resulted in more DNS-based business. The growth of DNS business involves registry activities, hosting and other Web services.