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

Africa needs more technical, engineering hands-on skills

Most technical and engineering graduates do not fit standards required by the job market, says Samsung Electronics East Africa, which has opened academies across Africa to fill the gap. In its endeavour to develop critical technical and engineering skills across Kenya, the company on Wednesday churned out 98 graduates from the Nairobi-based Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy. The class of 2013 is the second cohort to graduate from the Academy that was opened in 2012, being part of the Samsung Electronics broader goal to develop skilled electronics engineers across the continent. Speaking at the graduation ceremony held at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies in Nairobi, Samsung Electronics East and Central Africa Vice President, Mr. Robert Ngeru, said that the company had invested close to Ksh21.7 million (US$250,000) in the setting up of the academy at Nairobi Westlands area, and spends more than Ksh16 million (US$185,000) annually in taking the students through the program.

Africa’s technology hubs on the rise

The just ended International Association of Science and Technology Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP and AIs) Conference has set pace for the crosscutting desire for African countries to tap into the available recourses for the development of technology on the continent. This was according to the vice president of Botswana, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, who officiated at the conference. Kedikilwe said he appreciated IASP and AIs for having acceded to Botswana Innovation Hub’s bid to host this prestigious conference which brought a global focus on Africa’s efforts towards expanding its economic frontiers through the establishment of Science and Technology Parks and Areas of Innovation. The World Bank Reimbursable Advisory Services Report on Economic Diversification and Competitiveness indicates that there are more than 20 known economies with Technology Hubs across Africa.

Wireless internet for Northern Cape schools

South Africa's Department of Science and Technology has launched the Northern Cape phase of its Wireless Mesh Network project, providing broadband internet access at 56 public facilities, including 52 schools, in the province's largely rural JT Gaetsewe District. Funded by the European Union and implemented by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's Meraka Institute, the initiative - part of the wider Broadband4All project - aims to establish alternative information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure in rural areas countrywide. Speaking at the launch at Learamela Special School in Kuruman on Thursday, Deputy Science and Technology Minister Michael Masutha said it was now "common knowledge that ICT has a positive impact on people's lives". He said the government's national broadband policy aimed to make broadband "universally accessible by 2030, at a cost and quality that meets citizens' needs, including formal and informal business and the public sector". Read more: http://www.southafrica.info/about/social/internet-140414.htm#.U0v3sSM3NOx#ixzz2ysBqoiGU

South Africa’s dark telecoms past

On 31 March 2014, the South Gauteng High Court ruled that the 2014 Call Termination Regulations were unlawful and invalid, vindicating Vodacom and MTN’s argument that the regulator did not follow the proper processes to reach its termination rates. Icasa should have expected this challenge. It is certainly not the first time that the telecoms regulator’s procedures and processes were questioned when its findings does not suit a company. In fact, this has been happening since the regulator started operating.

eLearning Africa Conference kicks-off end of May, to focus on innovation

In an effort to unite developers, researchers, techies and teachers, the eLearning Africa Conference will be taking place from 28 to 30 May in Kampala, Uganda. An annual event, this year the conference will run with the theme of Opening Frontiers to the Future to focus on some of the incredible innovations happening in the field of education and learning on the African continent. Some of these innovations we’ve come across in recent years, and include startups such as Daptio and Serio.me or social projects such as the Maendeleo Foundation’s solar-powered ICT class rooms. The same organisation behind the event, eLearning Africa Group, is also responsible for an annual report that found interesting and crucial stats, such as 30% of students use tablets in elearning and that 40% of practitioners create local content.

NITDA Endorses Digital Africa for Local Technology Development

The National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has endorsed Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition 2014, stating that its theme and content are timely and topical. NITDA is the agency of the Federal Government tasked with the development and regulation of the country's emerging information and communication technology industry for sustainable development. Receiving the Digital Africa Team during a working visit to NITDA, the Acting Director General of NITDA, Dr. Ashiru Daura, said: "In the last decade, rapid churn out and mass production of information and communication technology innovation have changed the world as we know it. To ensure alignment and adherence to best practices, public and private sector institutions in Nigeria have spent so much money on technology innovations and solutions."

Nigeria: African Technology Exhibition Holds Symposium, Exhibition for 50, 000 Participants

African Technology Exhibition (ATX), an offspring of Technology Exhibition Africa Limited (TEA), will in August this year, bring together, technology companies from across Africa to showcase their latest technology products in Lagos. ATX has over the years, become a global technology platform for showcasing technology companies. It provides a unique and central platform to showcase new technology products, solutions and services in Africa. The exhibition is expected to attract over 50, 000 visitors and the organisers are partnering with different hotels and airlines for discounted rates and services, so as to reduce cost on the visitors during the period of the event.

20 years after the Rwandan genocide, technology is transforming Africa’s future

Twenty years ago today the country of Rwanda was cleaved apart after the Presidents of Burundi and Rwanda were killed in an air crash. Hours after their plane was shot down, revenge killings began in the capital Kigali with Hutus murdering the minority Tutsis. One hundred days later, more than a million people had been killed; one more African tragedy in a continent seemingly constantly benighted. In the past 20 years, Africa has changed beyond recognition. Now more than 80 per cent of Africans have mobile phones, IBM has staked the company on its Project Lucy initiative in Africa and life expectancy in Rwanda itself has doubled.

Verisign’s Latest Report – Domains By The Numbers

Verisign have released their quarterly “brief” on the state of the domain name industry and have produced a very interesting graphic to accompany it. The number of domain names registered is growing and no, we aren’t going to “run out” of them:

dotAFRICA, dotCAPETOWN, dotDURBAN and dotJOBURG – Africa’s new gTLDs are here

Applications to register domain names ending with .africa, .joburg, .capetown. and .durban open 1 May 2014. It is envisaged that these new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) will exemplify Africa’s growth and development, presenting an opportunity to identify the African continent and the main South African cities online.

Emerging markets best avenue for African startups

The opportunities in emerging markets in Africa and Asia are so large startups no longer need to expand to the United States (US) and Europe in order to scale, according to 88mph managing director (MD) Kresten Buch. Speaking to journalists as the 88mph accelerator programme in Cape Town unveiled its seven startups to the media, Buch said emerging markets in Africa as well as the likes of India and Indonesia were where opportunities lay for investment funds and the startups they put money into. “Emerging market opportunities are very big and it doesn’t come with the same competition you would have if you went to the US or Europe,” he said, adding he would rather startups 88mph invests in in South Africa expand to other African countries or Asia. “Being in South Africa and having a network in Nigeria and Kenya, you can more easily expand up there than into the US.”

Nigerians, Kenyans believe internet access fosters freedom

Internet users in Nigeria and Kenya lead the world in terms of believing internet access fosters freedom, feeling safe to express their opinions online and feeling free from government surveillance online, according to a new study. According to the study conducted across 17 countries by the BBC, over 75 per cent of Nigerian and Kenyan respondents said they believe internet access has brought greater freedom – two of the highest positive responses globally. More than half of respondents in the two countries also said they feel safe to express their opinions online, as compared to the majority of global respondents – with 52 per cent of global respondents saying they feel unsafe online. Similarly, while one in three global respondents said they fear government surveillance online, the majority of Nigerian and Kenyan respondents do not share this fear – 63 per cent of Nigerians and 60 per cent of Kenyans said they feel free from government surveillance online.

Facebook, Google most popular internet services in Africa – Opera

Social media platform Facebook and internet search giant Google are the two most popular internet services in Africa, according to mobile software provider Opera. The company published a study, entitled State of the Mobile Web, documenting the ten most popular websites in African countries. “Facebook is four times as prevalent in the top spot of most accessed domain for African Opera Mini users, with 41 top placements, compared to Google’s nine places,” the company said. HumanIPO reported this year Facebook had over one billion users and has set its sights on Africa for further acquisitions.

AUC Press release on dotAfrica registry agreement

Addis Ababa-Thursday, 27 March 2014 - On the 26th of March 2014 the Registry Agreement was signed in Singapore – in the presence of the African Union Commission (AUC), by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) representative, Mr. Akram Atallah, (President, Global Domains Division), and the representatives of the technical operator appointed by AUC – ZA Central Registry (ZACR) CEO, Lucky Masilela and COO Neil Dundas.

7 Africans win social entrepreneur of the year award

The Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 awardees are leading 30 organisations operating in more than 20 countries that are pioneering solutions for social and environmental challenges including urban revitalisation, renewable energy and unemployment. The African winners are Gbenga Sesan of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (Nigeria), Patrick Awuah of Ashesi University (Ghana), Ashifi Gogo of Sproxil (Nigeria), Martin Kariongi Ole Sanago of Institute for Orkonerei Pastoralists Advancements (Tanzania), Jay Kimmelman and Shannon May of Bridge International Academies (Kenya), and Allen Wilcox of VillageReach (Mozambique).

.Africa Signing Ceremony held at ICANN49

At ICANN 49 in Singapore today Akram Atallah, president of ICANN's Global Domains Division (GDD) and Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZA Central Registry (ZACR) participated in a symbolic signing ceremony that allows the new gTLD ".Africa" to proceed to delegation. This marks the first Registry Agreement signed between ICANN and an African gTLD registry operator. A contingency representing the African Union Commission, dotAfrica, and ZADNA (domain name authority of South Africa) were in attendance, as well as several ZACR and ICANN staff members....

“.Africa” New gTLD Signing Ceremony Held at ICANN 49 in Singapore

At ICANN 49 in Singapore today Akram Atallah, president of ICANN‘s Global Domains Division (GDD) and Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZA Central Registry (ZACR) participated in a symbolic signing ceremony that allows the new gTLD “.Africa” to proceed to delegation. This marks the first Registry Agreement signed between ICANN and an African gTLD registry operator. The Registry Agreement was signed at the Raffles City Convention Centre in Singapore, by ICANN representative, Akram Atallah (President, Global Domains Division), and ZA Central Registry (ZACR) representatives, Lucky Masilela (CEO) and Neil Dundas (COO).

dotAfrica domain deal signed

The May 2014 commercial launch of dotAfrica is now confirmed, the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) announced in a press statement today (Tuesday, 26 March 2014). According to the ZACR, the final outstanding paperwork was siged at the 49th meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) in Singapore today. Today’s agreement outlines the contractual terms according to which the ZACR will launch and administer the dotAfrica generic top-level domain (gTLD), starting as early as May 2014.

dotAfrica documentation signed to pave way for launch

The outstanding legal documentation relating to the launch of the dotAfrica generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) was signed at the 49th meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today, paving the way for the first phase of dotAfrica domain applications beginning in May. ICANN representative Akram Atallah and representatives of the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) Lucky Masilela and Neil Dundas signed the outstanding Registry Agreement today, detailing the contractual terms under which ZACR will launch and administer the dotAfrica gTLD as of May. “The drive to establish Africa’s own space on the worldwide web began many years ago, but officially commenced with the submission of a formal application in February 2012,” said Alice Munyua of the African Union Commission (AUC) and ZACR dotAfrica initiative.

ICANN designates ZACR as registry for dotAfrica gTLD

The May commercial launch of dotAfrica has been finalised after outstanding paperwork was signed at the 49th meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) in Singapore on 26 March. The deal sets the terms under which the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) will launch and administer the dotAfrica gTLD. The agreement specifies that the Top Level Domain to which it applies is .africa (dotAfrica) and states that ICANN has designated ZACR as the registry operator for the TLD.