Microsoft’s bi-annual TechEd Africa 2013 took place recently and the relevance of the local market, in terms of ICT growth, was a key theme. JJ Milner, MD and Chief Cloud Architect at Global Micro shares the highlights of TechEd Africa 2013 with ITNewsAfrica and his opinion about the opportunities and challenges that face the local IT industry.
Ericsson has announced the semi-finalists for the annual Ericsson Application Awards with TeamKenya from Kenya, Team Trokxi and Team Nimdee Mobile from Ghana among the semi-finalists. TeamKenya and Trokxi are nominated in the student category and Nimdee mobile is nominated in the company category.
The country that gave the world two groundbreaking innovations in technology: M-Pesa, a mobile banking system, and Ushahidi, a platform for crowdsourcing information during disasters, is now taking its technological talents to new heights. The East African nation of Kenya has just started construction on a 5,000-acres piece of land in Konza, about 60km south of Nairobi, to turn the savannah area into “the most modern city in Africa”.
SciDev.Net reports on a newly developed data platform, called the Open Data for Africa Platform, funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB), that has been established as a source of readily available information and statistics across the continent. The Platform is reported to have been put in place to “improve evidence-based decision-making, policy formulation and overall good governance” states SciDev.Net.
It has also been established to provide members of the public with easy online access to official data. Charles Lufumpa Leyeka, director of the statistics department of AfDB, is quoted as saying that the initiative is an opportunity for African countries to implement international statistical standards “for greater comparability of data at regional and international levels”.
A landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) and the African Top Level Domains Organisation (AfTLD) at ICANN's 46th Public Meeting in Beijing, People's Republic of China.
Dubbed the "Beijing Agreement", the MoU is the foundation of the relationship between AfTLD - the representative of African country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) managers - and ZACR - the registry that is set to be awarded the right to operate the new dotAfrica (.africa) registry by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers).
Fast growing Africa could be a dominant force in the world's economic landscape for decades to come if the continent gets its act together, top Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill said on Tuesday. Africa was "one part of the world that has got a very high growth rate that is accelerating," said O'Neill, the firm's asset management chairperson, pointing to a forecast of 6% growth this decade. But to harness the boom, African leaders must improve technology, education and the rule of law, including reducing corruption, he said. "If all of those things happen, this is going to be Africa's decade," he told an African Venture Capital Association conference.
he ZA Central Registry says it expects the three new South African city domains and .africa to be available in September. South Africans can expect the launch of three new city domains, .joburg, .capetown and .durban, before the end of the year. TechCentral first reported on the new city domains in 2012. It appears likely that the .africa domain, which was contested by a Mauritius-based company, will be available at the same time as the new city domains.
eCommerce is growing in Africa. The eradication of traditional barriers to entry, including internet access, cost of technology and access to mobility, means that ecommerce has become a reality for any sized operation. According to Mark Chirnside, CEO of payment gateway PayU, a South African online payment service provider, from a local point of view, ecommerce is growing at a rate of 30% per annum. And by all accounts, 2013 is going to be a bumper year for ecommerce across the continent. As the second fastest growing mobile market, Africa heralds a clear opportunity for retailers, merchants and other businesses to trade online.
Uniforum ZACR est l’opérateur du registre central de l’Afrique du Sud. En 2011, suite à un appel d’offre international, la Commission de l’Union Africaine a sélectionné Uniforum ZACR pour être l’opérateur technique du registre continental dotAFRICA (.AFRICA), le premier nom de domaine de premier niveau africain en cours d’accréditation par l’ICANN, l’organisation qui coordonne le système global d’Internet. Koffi Fabrice DJoSSoU Liaison Afrique de UNIFoRUM ZACR, fait le point.
The 10th annual Innovation Africa Digital Summit was recently concluded in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. One of Africa’s largest ICT gatherings, the summit’s goal is to promote digital connectivity across all spectrums to the benefit of Africa as a whole.
It is generally viewed as an opportunity for ICT players, governments and other stakeholders to share their best ideas, learn about the latest developments and to form powerful partnerships. The theme of creating sustainable national and international ICT ecosystems is a powerful concept which will ultimately transform the global socio-economic environment.
One of the key talking points at this year’s event was the widely anticipated introduction of the .dotAfrica (.Africa) top level domain (TLD) and the benefits it will offer the continent. It is anticipated that once the continent has established its own unique online identity, companies and organisations operating in Africa will be able to proudly highlight their commitment and engagement with the African community.
Business Sweden, Ericsson and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs have together launched a two-year ICT venture in Sub-Sahara Africa with the aim of establishing a networked society in Africa. Business Sweden has joined the country's government and Ericsson in a venture to establish a networked society in Africa. One of the core objectives of the venture is to champion the rollout and application of ICT to help connect key aspects of society within African countries, including commerce, learning, health and governance. The venture also aims to share knowledge, increase collaboration and trade between key countries and Sweden in order to strengthen the African ICT sector. Workshops and seminars will be hosted in ten African countries, some of the fastest growing markets in the world.
The term business Incubation continues to be heard in the hallways of science and technology operators across Africa. Innovation Hubs and other tech focused communities are playing a key role in lifting Africa's technology global appeal. Entrepreneurs are using technology to develop ideas to introduce products and services to compete within the continent’s burgeoning ICT marketplace. With the level of challenges that operators (particularly startup ventures) face in competing within the broader technology space, business incubation, funding and other resources have emerged as focal points for industry regulators and governments.
Addis Ababa. An Egyptian engineer, Prof Mohamed Sanad has been selected as the overall winner of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), bagging $ 100,000 in prize money for inventing the first small internal integrated micro strip antennas for mobile phones. Sanad, a professor of engineering at Cairo University, developed a low-cost, lightweight, low wind-load, foldable/deployable, multi-broadband base station antenna; using dual parabolic cylindrical reflectors with novel small size broadband resonant feeds. The second prize, with $ 50,000 in prize money, went to Zeinu Adelyamine from Algeria who developed an environmentally friendly insecticides and rodenticides.
AfPIF 2013 accorded High Patronage by the Minister of Industry, Trade, and New Technologies
[Washington, D.C. and Geneva, Switzerland] – The fourth annual African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF), organized by the Internet Society, will be held 3-5 September 2013 in Casablanca, Morocco. A unique regional forum, AfPIF facilitates discussions on African Internet infrastructure challenges, including terrestrial capacity issues, national and regional Internet Exchange Point (IXP) development, local content development, measures to lower connectivity costs, and international peering. The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and New Technologies of Morocco has accorded his High Patronage on this event.
South Africa’s government has vehemently objected to a London-based organisation's application to manage the .zulu internet domain name. An organisation called Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd. (TLDH) - which says it is a publicly traded holding company on the London Alternative Investment Market - has applied to ICANN for the .zulu gTLD. ICANN, though, is undergoing the evaluation of all applications, reaching the stage in the process where bodies such as governments can voice their objections to proposed names. And the South African government has hit out at London’s TLDH in an objection note lodged with ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC’s) early warning system. The GAC provides advice to ICANN on issues of public policy, and especially where there may be an interaction between ICANN's activities or policies and national laws or international agreements.
During the heyday of the domain name business in the late 90s, entrepreneurs snapped up attractive .com domains for cheap. Like real estate, the value of these domain names would balloon over the years as businesses rose to claim not only the smartest word combinations, but also their online identities. Buying and selling domain names turned out to be a very lucrative business for some. Domains like sex.com and insure.com would go on to hold jaw-dropping price tags of US$14-million and US$16-million respectively.
In February 2013, AFNIC published a report following an extensive study in 2012 of the world’s top 50 domain name extensions. The industry report reveals information regarding the performance of the 50 TLDs, in relation to each other and historically; the average growth rate was 7%, a 2% drop compared to 2011.
Evidence of Cape Town’s flourishing ICT software design and development sector has been translated into an investor pitch document, in what is viewed as a positive sign for the Western Cape economy as a whole. Entitled ‘Digital gateway to Africa’, the document on Cape Town’s Creative Software Design and Development sector was conceptualised and driven by Wesgro in collaboration PwC and funded by the City of Cape Town.
It is the first cohesive look at the business segment, and contains information on the key start-up companies and their investors and details what deals have already been implemented. The publication is intended to be used as a catalogue by developers, buyers and investors.
The Innovation Hub, Africa’s first fully accredited Science and Technology Park and a full member of the International Association of Science Parks (IASP), has confirmed its partnership with ITNewsAfrica, Africa’s premier provider of ICT news, to co-host Tech Demo Africa 2013.
Tech Demo Africa 2013 is an industry platform that offers businesses throughout Africa the opportunity to showcase their products and services. Tech Demo targets key international industry influencers, business leaders, IT vendors, government dignitaries, venture capitalists and developers, as well as local and international media.
Carlson Wireless has announced the launch of the first TV White Space (TVWS) trial in South Africa. Led by Google, the trial will test TVWS wireless broadband in ten schools across the Cape Town area. Carlson, the project’s equipment vendor, Google and other project partners will attempt to show that broadband can be offered over white spaces without interfering with licensed spectrum holders.
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