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

ICANN, ZACR sign landmark dotAfrica agreement

The May 2014 commercial launch of dotAfrica is now a fait accompli after the final outstanding paperwork was inked at the 49th meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) in Singapore today. 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). The ZACR and African Union Commission (AUC) are partners in the drive for Africa to have its own space on the Internet though the dotAfrica geographic Top Level Domain (gTLD).

ZACR and ICANN sign .africa agreement

Representatives of South Africa's ZA Central Registry (ZACR) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) have signed an agreement that would see the launch of the .africa internet domain name. The agreement outlines the contractual terms by which the ZACR will launch and administer the .Africa geographic top-level domain (gTLD) starting in May this year, according to a statement. - See more at: http://www.itwebafrica.com/ict-and-governance/267-south-africa/232624-zacr-and-icann-sign-africa-agreement#sthash.ldrm3v8l.dpuf

ICANN AND ZACR SIGN LANDMARK DOTAFRICA AGREEMENT

The May 2014 commercial launch of dotAfrica is now a fait accompli after the final outstanding paperwork was inked at the 49th meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) in Singapore today.

African investment in mobile banking pays off – report

Efforts made by African banks to invest in mobile banking in the past few years are finally paying off as more people take to banking through their phones, which now is now second only to online banking as an electronic channel, according to a survey carried out by audit firm Ernst & Young. In its report, titled “Winning through Customer Experience”, Ernst & Young said customers are coming to trust mobile banking more as the quality of customer care of banks waned. Out of the 502 customers included in the survey 21 per cent admitted to using their mobile service provider as their primary banking option. “I see more competition, I see the mobile providers providing some of that and engineering in some aspects of retail excellence,” Steve Osei-Mensah, partner at Ernst & Young, said during the launch of the report.

Dark Fibre Africa’s last-mile fibre plans

Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) recently announced the acquisition of last-mile fibre optic company Conduct, but has said in a follow-up e-mail interview that it is not at the point of offering fibre connectivity to consumers. However, DFA said it foresees that there will be suitable economies of scale in multi-tenant residential environments that could enable a residential fibre-based offering. “DFA plays a role in potentially building a consumer solution at a passive network layer,” the company said. “We can therefore only have an impact in one component of the value chain that ultimately the [Internet service provider] will deliver to the consumer.” Asked whether there are Internet service providers that already offer DFA and Conduct’s fibre services, DFA confirmed that there are, and pointed us to the Conduct website for information on coverage.

Tech Trends 2014: The business impact of evolving technology

Professional services firm, Deloitte, today launched its fifth annual Tech Trends report highlighting 10 trends that could have an impact on South African companies across industry sectors over the coming 18 to 24 months. “At their core, these trends inspire disruption by having the potential to reshape organisations, business models, and even entire industries in South Africa and beyond. While some of these technologies might seem far-fetched for some, the reality is that the evolving competitive landscape means they can provide companies with a distinct business advantage,” says Kamal Ramsingh, Technology Leader for Africa at Deloitte.

ITU: Broadband can solve global development gap

Access to broadband could be the universal catalyst that lifts developing countries out of poverty and puts access to health care, education and basic social services within reach of all, according to the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development, which met in Dublin this weekend. The Commission reiterated its call to International community to recognize the transformational potential of high-speed networks and ensure broadband penetration targets are specifically included in the UN post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. It also urged governments and international financing bodies to work to remove current barriers to investment. Globally, as much as 95% of telecommunications infrastructure is private sector-funded, but better incentives are urgently needed if investment is to expand in line with the coming exponential growth of connected users and so-called ‘Internet of Things’ data streams. In the world’s 200 biggest cities, the number of connected devices is forecast to increase from an average of 400 devices per square kilometre to over 13,000 devices per square kilometre by 2016.

.London Just Added to the Root Zone

.London was just added to the root zone.The new gTLD is expected to have a huge succcess, especially after .Berlin has become quickly the second top-selling TLD . Considering that London has twice the population of Berlin and that the new gTLD .Berlin has become quickly the second selling TLD in just one day, .London is expected to have a huge success. A survey revealed that one in four businesses in London want to have a .London domain name. Half of them want to register a .London domain name because they are porud to be a London business, 41% said that they want a .London domain name because it would help customers to find them more easily and 27% said that owning a .London domain would definitely help generate more sales.

Six tech trends that will be big in 2014

Technology is without a doubt one of the fastest-changing sectors in the world, and many investors are trying to position themselves to cash in on new trends in the industry. But where are the opportunities for those with a desire to make some money? According to consulting firm, Accenture, in its recently released report, From Digitally Disrupted to Digital Disrupter, there are six key areas to watch this year, and while this has traditionally been the domain of smaller, nimbler businesses, there is a major shift happening globally. Accenture told clients: “Big companies are back in the digital game. Procter & Gamble, Tesco, Disney, GE – these are just a few of the global 2 000 that are now in a race to become digital. Those that get there first will be able to disrupt their existing markets and penetrate new ones. They will be in control of their new digital destinies.”

Tech Trends 2014: The business impact of evolving technology

Professional services firm, Deloitte, today launched its fifth annual Tech Trends report highlighting 10 trends that could have an impact on South African companies across industry sectors over the coming 18 to 24 months.“At their core, these trends inspire disruption by having the potential to reshape organisations, business models, and even entire industries in South Africa and beyond. While some of these technologies might seem far-fetched for some, the reality is that the evolving competitive landscape means they can provide companies with a distinct business advantage,” says Kamal Ramsingh, Technology Leader for Africa at Deloitte. Ramsingh says that the disruptive technologies highlighted in the report can challenge CIOs to anticipate the impacts that these forces may have on their organisation.

Micrososft's Redemption song in Africa: Catalyzing tech revolution on the world's least connected continent

The enormous youth population in Africa is driving the rapid growth of mobile technology and broadband internet access, which means they are fairly tech-savvy, yet underemployed and under-educated. Approximately 2 million people will enter the labor market from now until 2015, although right now, the youth make up 60 percent of Africa's unemployed, according to the International Labor Organization. Nearly one in three people in sub-Saharan Africa, or about 297 million people total, are between the ages of 10 and 24. By 2050, that number will double to about 561 million, according to the Population Reference Bureau. But, they are creative, innovative, and determined to affect change. And most importantly, they are often connected to the rest of the world through social media.

ICANN : 175+ New gTLDs Delegated

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced at ICANN 49 in Singapore that the number of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) that have been delegated now tops 175. Recently delegated gTLDs include .NYC, .Cologne, .trade, 机构 (Chinese for "agencies/institutions"), .webcam and more. View a video to learn more about the "new dots." View a video to learn more about the "new dots." This announcement was sourced from:http://www.icann.org/en/news/announcements/announcement-24mar14-en.htm

Free WiFi for Cape Town

Project Isizwe and the Western Cape Government’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism have outlined plans to provide free Wi-Fi to open public spaces in key hubs in the Western Cape Province. Project Isizwe is a non-profit organisation with the stated goal of bringing free Internet to Africa. It claims to be the first Provincial free Wi-Fi project in South Africa, and forms part of the Western Cape’s R1.3 billion plan to connect all residents to broadband. Alan Knott-Craig Jr, former head of Mxit and World of Avatar (and before that iBurst), is the founder of the initiative.

Technology as a Viable Tool in Africa's 21st Century

Raheem Akingbolu, who attended the 2014 Social Media Week in Lagos, captures the thoughts of experts on the role technology plays in driving the youth market in the 21st century. Time Zones may differ but the reality is still the same. Technology has indeed made the world a global village, considering the way information travels to various corners within seconds. Like other markets of the world, Africa, with its huge population and economic potential, is striving to be part of the new trend. The recently concluded Social Media Week which held in Lagos, Nigeria, showed how the continent is waking up to the reality as well as showcasing the benefits of technology in today’s world. The week-long event, which brought together over 500 young technology start-up companies, focused on education, gaming, interactive and networking apps, amongst others, all geared at solving social and economic issues as well as driving home the possibilities of technology in Nigeria in particular.

eLearning a focus for Africa

More than ever before, Africans are turning to ICT-supported learning to grow their economies. In 2013, the eLearning Africa Report found that 40% of African technology-assisted learning professionals were using ICTs specifically for skills training, up from 18% the previous year. The benefit of ICT-supported learning is that it allows employers to provide vocational training to a great number of workers for little cost. This year’s eLearning Africa, 28th – 30th May in Kampala, Uganda, will explore how technology is revolutionising learning and training across the continent, under the theme “Opening Frontiers to the Future”.

Here's What The Internet Could Look Like In 2025

Charlie Chaplin once said that cinema was just a fad. In 1936, The New York Times wrote that a "rocket will never be able to leave the Earth's atmosphere." In 1955, Variety magazine stated that rock n' roll would be gone by June of that year. Predicting the future of technology is a fool's errand. But that certainly hasn't stopped us from doing it. On Tuesday, the Pew Research Internet Project and Elon University’s Imagining The Internet Center tried to cast light onto what online life will look like in 2025 by publishing a series of predictions about the Internet from academics and scientists

The six tech trends that will fly in 2014

Technology is without a doubt one of the fastest-changing sectors in the world, and many investors are trying to position themselves to cash in on new trends in the industry. But where are the opportunities for those with a desire to make some money? According to consulting firm, Accenture, in its recently released report, From Digitally Disrupted to Digital Disrupter, there are six key areas to watch this year, and while this has traditionally been the domain of smaller, nimbler businesses, there is a major shift happening globally.Accenture told clients: “Big companies are back in the digital game. Procter & Gamble, Tesco, Disney, GE – these are just a few of the global 2 000 that are now in a race to become digital. Those that get there first will be able to disrupt their existing markets and penetrate new ones. They will be in control of their new digital destinies.”

Key internet trends in SA for 2014

Cape Town - That technology is moving at speed is a given, but a report has indicated the top tech trends that is likely to have an impact in South Africa for 2014. According to a Cisco Tech Radar Report 2014 report, data will play a key role in technology going forward. But while people may assume that data will be driven by personal communications, the report highlights that machine communication will play an increasing role. "IT organisations need to prepare for the Internet of Everything (IoE), and what we are now seeing is the emergence of an Application Economy where the focus will no longer be simply on the hardware, but also on supporting a larger number of applications on all connected devices," said Alpheus Mangale, Managing Director for Cisco in South Africa.SA is not immune from international trends despite the lack of mobile spectrum to roll out true fourth generation broadband, and it is expected that the country will follow developments, even if the pace is muted.

(OPINION) Women in Africa need ‘a tough skin’ to succeed in the tech industry

Women in Africa should “build up a tough skin” to succeed in the male-dominated technology industry. Ugandan technologist and social entrepreneur Evelyn Namara says female participation in technology in Africa is increasing, but gender stereotypes abound. Evelyn Namara, xxx Evelyn Namara, founding member of Girl Geek Kampala Namara is the East Africa regional manager for tech company Beyonic and a founding member of Girl Geek Kampala, a forum that seeks to erase stereotypes against women in technology. “When I started my career in 2003 we had about 15% women representation in the industry. In my class we were about four or five ladies and so pursuing that career and then getting into the workplace where I was questioned on why I was going to a place to fix a server because I am girl, really encouraged me to find out why there were fewer women in the space and how that can change.”Africa’s technology revolution has inspired many young entrepreneurs, but women remain under-represented. It is the same in the US’s Silicon Valley where women make up just 6% of CEOs of the top 100 tech companies and 22% of software engineers at tech companies, according to National Center for Women and Information Technology research. Another study shows women make up only 8% of venture-backed tech startups.

South Africa’s internet in pictures

‘The internet’ is a term which most people associate with visiting websites, watching YouTube videos, doing Google searches or buying a product online. The “magic” which makes this possible is a global system of fibre networks and connected computers. Wikipedia describes the internet as “a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to serve several billion users worldwide”. “It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks, of local to global scope, that are linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies.” CNN recently published an article titled “This is what the internet actually looks like: The undersea cables wiring the Earth”, giving an overview of the global internet. “The information age is powered by thin fiber-optic cables buried in the sea bed, spreading between continents to connect the most remote corners of the planet,” the article stated.