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Latest update: Apply for your .africa domain name during General Availability with these Domain Registrars (Open to anyone)

Web-connected libraries for Africa: the dream of digital knowledge for all

New venture Librii is seeking to set up self-sustaining libraries with internet access in poor and isolated communities. A decade ago, Brewster Kahle, philanthropist and founder of the Internet Archive, created the first digital bookmobile: a complete printing press in the back of a car. With a power source, satellite internet connection, printer and binder, the vehicle and its descendants subsequently printed thousands of public-domain books where they were needed most, such as in rural areas without internet connection, including schools and refugee camps across Africa.

New Hope for Better Internet Access in Africa

A non-profit technology company based in Kenya has created a wireless Internet router that it says will help people living in places where electricity is spotty and Internet service is unreliable. Founded in early 2008, Ushahidi is known primarily for its open-source software applications, but is now launching its first piece of hardware, called the BRCK. One of the BRCK's designers says the "backup generator for the Internet" was created for anyone looking for reliable Internet use and will be particularly useful in Africa and other underdeveloped places.

ICANN expects 646 new TLD applications to be withdrawn

66 applications for new top level domain names have been withdrawn as of today. For budgeting purposes, ICANN projects that number will explode to 646 before everything is said and done. The number was disclosed in ICANN’s proposed operating plan and budget for the 2014 financial year, which begins in July 2013. The number is up from a previously budgeted 545 applications withdrawn.

Africa Technology On The Rise Say Tech Demo Delegates

Africa is unique and home to seven of the ten fastest growing economies globally and, from a mobile point of view, exhibits the second fastest growth outside of Asia. Decision makers across ICT businesses on the continent have gathered on the first day of ITNewsAfrica’s Tech Demo Africa 2013 to endorse the message that Africa’s growth will reach a level to rival that of Europe.

MTN Ranked As Highest African Brand

South African mobile operator MTN has topped the list as the highest ranked African brand in the prestigious Millward-Brown Brandz Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2013 survey, released today. This year’s listing shows that MTN moved up an impressive nine places to position 79th, with an overall increase in brand value of 23%. MTN debuted at position 88 in the survey last year.

A leading emerging market mobile operator, and one of the world’s largest, MTN is again the only African brand in the 2013 survey. “The Millward-Brown BrandZ Top 100 Global Brands 2013 listing is particularly exciting and timely, as we embark on our new vision to lead the delivery of a bold, new Digital World to our customers,” says Jennifer Forrester, Executive for Group Marketing, MTN.

Green light for .durban domain

The dotDurban domain is expected to be launched before the end of the year, after it passed the initial evaluation phase of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The dotDurban Top Level Domain (TLD) project is one of the recent collaboration efforts between the .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA), ZA Central Registry (ZACR) and the Department of Communications (DOC). Other collaborations include the dotCapeTown and dotJoburg TLDs. Funding comes from ZACR using revenue generated over time from .co.za operations and other investments.

 

Related news snippets:

 

"dotDurban domain one step closer"
MyBroadband, 15 May 2013
http://mybroadband.co.za/news/internet/77884-dotdurban-domain-one-step-closer.html

"Durban's domain name a step closer to reality"
BDLive / Business Day, 16 May 2013
http://www.bdlive.co.za/business/technology/2013/05/16/durbans-domain-name-a-step-closer-to-reality

"dotDurban passes first ICANN hurdle"
Bizcommunity, 16 May 2013
http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/16/93442.html

 

Africa Domain Name System Forum to be held in Durban, South Africa, 12-13 July 2013

The Africa Domain Name System (DNS) Forum will be held on 12 - 13 July 2013 in Durban, South Africa. The event aims to establish a platform for the DNS community across Africa and to advance the domain name industry and domain name registrations on the continent. Over the years, the Internet Society, AfTLD, and ICANN have supported the continued development and growth of Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) in Africa through capacity building and technical support. Despite the support, the growth and sustainability of African ccTLDs and adoption of new technologies remains very low as compared to other regions of the world. To identify the bottlenecks that are keeping the industry from growing and the actions that can catalyze its growth, the three organizations determined the need for a forum to discuss these regional DNS issues.

Burger King to use SA as platform for African growth

BURGER King’s debut in the sub-Saharan Africa market is part of the group’s strategy to become the best and most profitable quick-service restaurant business globally, according to José Cil, president of Europe, Middle East and Africa for Burger King Worldwide. Mr Cil said in an interview on Tuesday that the group’s first outlet, opening in Cape Town on Thursday, was "an important opening for us" given the size and growth of the South African market and the ability to use South Africa as a platform to expand into the rest of the continent.

ICANN has opened registration for ICANN-47 in Durban

ICANN has opened links for hotel booking and conference registration for its upcoming 47th Public Meeting to be held in Durban, South Africa from 14-18 July 2013. The meeting site will be the International Convention Centre. ICANN holds three public meetings each calendar year in different regions of the globe. Usually comprised of more than 200 different sessions, these week-long meetings are the focal point for individuals and representatives of the various ICANN stakeholder groups to introduce and discuss issues related to ICANN policy. Participants may attend in person or remotely. Meetings are open to everyone and registration is free.

Display tech: can Africa compete with the East? ‘Yes it can’ says PVision

African hardware startups are in the minority. Instead, as capital barriers are low, the continent is seeing a boom in online ventures. That doesn’t mean however, that hardware manufacturing success is exclusive to the East. Since 2003, PVision, a South African manufacturer of LED and LCD displays, has been rolling out locally manufactured products which include commercial displays, lite commercial displays, nano displays, touchscreen technology, mounting solutions and back-end architecture. PVision CEO, David Ross, sees South Africa’s increasing engagement in the development and manufacture of high-end technologies, as a driver of economic change. It’s a specialised market, one that isn’t usually associated with the emerging markets of Africa.

Innovation in Africa is alive and well: IPA announces its 2013 finalists

The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) is a big deal. The joint initiative between the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF), awards a first prize of US$100 000 for the best African innovation with the greatest social impact and clear business potential.

The finalists for 2013 has been announced and looking at this year’s crop, one thing is abundantly clear, there is no shortage of innovators in Africa. Entrepreneurs developed ten practical solutions to some of the continent’s most intractable problems. Chosen from more than 900 applications from 45 countries, the finalists for the IPA 2013 provide practical examples of Africa’s investment potential. Because of the social impact criteria, the finalists do not have traditional consumer facing commerce products. Instead, the entrepreneurs are using technology in innovative ways to solve pressing African problems. From Tunisa to South Africa, the IPA 2013 finalists are leaders in the areas of agriculture, environment, health, ICT and manufacturing.

The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) is a big deal. The joint initiative between the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF), awards a first prize of US$100 000 for the best African innovation with the greatest social impact and clear business potential.

The finalists for 2013 has been announced and looking at this year’s crop, one thing is abundantly clear, there is no shortage of innovators in Africa. Entrepreneurs developed ten practical solutions to some of the continent’s most intractable problems. Chosen from more than 900 applications from 45 countries, the finalists for the IPA 2013 provide practical examples of Africa’s investment potential.

Because of the social impact criteria, the finalists do not have traditional consumer facing commerce products. Instead, the entrepreneurs are using technology in innovative ways to solve pressing African problems.

From Tunisa to South Africa, the IPA 2013 finalists are leaders in the areas of agriculture, environment, health, ICT and manufacturing.

Tuluntulu’s ARTIST ‘World First Technology’ For Africa

A new technology that facilitates streaming video at 24kbps, called ARTIST and developed by a South African consortium, has been launched to the African market. Over the past few years a consortium funded by TIA (Technology Innovation Agency) consisting of CSIR South Africa, UCT (University of Cape Town) and ECA (East Coast Access) developed specialized technology known as ARTIST that allows streaming video to be viewed on mobile devices, in low bandwidth or congested environments. The consortium approached Pierre van der Hoven, a media expert, to commercialize the technology and a new company called Tuluntulu (meaning “stream” in Zulu) was recently launched.

Mahindra Comviva To Exploit Africa’s Infotainment Growth

Mahindra Comviva, a global provider of mobile solutions beyond VAS, is rapidly expanding its mobile music offerings in Africa. Over the last 12 months the comp any has become one of the largest music aggregators in the African continent, having collaborated with over 70 partners including local and international content providers/copyright bodies/ local artists and production houses in the region.

Mobile Money Services On The Move In Africa

With the pervasive power of mobile technology, continuous rollout of solutions and undeniable influence of broadband connectivity in commerce, it is unsurprising that the finance sector has emerged as a strong example of just how far technology has transformed traditional processes and procedures. Today, the convergence of mobile technology and personal finance has resulted in the high-growth industry that is mobile money service – and Africa, it seems, has taken to the technology and concept rather well.

More U-Touch Digital Centres On The Cards For Africa

U-TOUCH, a globla social enterprise that transforms lives by bridging the global digital divide, announced that it will discuss its sustainable expansion plans for Africa at the upcoming Business4Better (B4B) Conference in Anaheim, CA, May 1-2, 2013. The initiative wants to engage with NGOs, businesses and philanthorpic organisations and indviduals across the continent to assist in the rollout of its expansion plans.

Africa’s Cloud Adoption Challenges And Opportunities

In Africa, an emerging information technology industry is betting its future on serving customers and businesses through cloud based applications. At the same time, governments and non-governmental organisations are betting that cloud-based technology can help transform their economies and societies, spurring improvements in education, public health, and the environment.

ICANN To Open Istanbul Hub, Covering Africa

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) President and Chief Executive Officer Fadi Chehadé today announced the organization will open its first hub office in Istanbul, Turkey. ICANN) President and Chief Executive Officer Fadi Chehadé. The announcement marks a significant moment in the evolution of ICANN as it prepares to spread its operational functions across three global headquarters – Los Angeles (current location), Istanbul and Singapore. “ICANN is becoming increasingly international in terms of our outlook, policies and the makeup of our staff. Now our global hub strategy will take our internationalism to an improved operational level,” said Chehadé. “These hub offices will become part of the core fabric of ICANN.”

GAC advice on gTLDs not binding – ICANN

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is not obliged to implement government wishes about Internet domain names, according to board chair Steve Crocker. Speaking in a video interview last week in response to Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) demands to kill off at least two generic top-level domain (gTLD) bids, Crocker said the recommendations were not binding. “The GAC communiqué (and more generally advice from governments) carries quite a bit of weight,” he said. “Equally, it is not the end of the story... We want very much to listen to governments and we also want to make sure there is a balance.”

SKA Scientist Receives National Order

South Africa’s Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom congratulated three South African scientists upon receiving their National Orders from President Jacob Zuma on Freedom Day, 27 April 2013. Prof Glenda Grey, Prof Quaraisha Abdool Karim and Dr Bernie Fanaroff received National Orders for their outstanding contributions to the country, and also for their revolutionary work in science. “The three scientists, who will have the country’s highest honour bestowed on them, rank among the best in the world. They have demonstrated exceptional professional achievement and commitment to service. As the Department of Science and Technology, we are proud to be associated with them,” said Minister Hanekom.

Five Great African Tech Innovations

Africa is filled with innovative solutions, from making life just a little bit easier in rural areas, to actually saving lives in the most dire of situations through science. While Africa is slowly catching up to the technological marvels of Westerns nations, there is definitely no shortage of creative and aspiring minds on the continent. IT News Africa took a look at some of the innovations and inventions that have been developed on home soil...