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March 2011 African ICT News (A-G)

March 15, 2011  »  NewsNo Comment
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The African tech scene keeps advancing

Tracking ICT progress on a granular level across the African continent is a time-consuming process, and even then certain stories go unnoticed. It is especially difficult to keep up with national news from nations with a smaller online media presence. Recently, social disruptions in North Africa have overshadowed many developments across the rest of Africa. Still,the momentum behind ICT advancement has not faltered, even in Algeria where the leading telecom company has issued lofty goals for 2013. Burundi has 3G to look forward to; and Ethiopia could have a scintillating ICT hub within a year. Eritrean Internet freedoms remain in question but nonetheless provide a rare platform for expression.

Algeria:

  • Algeria Telecom hope to increase its international capacity to 100 Gbps by the end of the year. The goal is to encourage new business and to sell Algeria as a gateway between Africa and Europe. {IT News Africa}
  • By 2013 the number of broadband users is expected to increase six-fold. {Ennahar Online}

Burundi:

  • Thanks to handheld computers, food surveys will be more accurate and efficient. A 3G network will be operational by the end of the year. A 1,000km fibre-optic project is in the works thanks to World Bank funding. {IPS}

Cameroon:

  • The nation (well, MTN Cameroon) bans mobile Twitter in an attempt to limit protests. {TechSpot}
  • A Global Voices blog post on why the block of Twitter will only create new obstacles. {Global Voices}

Eritrea:

  • Eritrea is considered ‘under surveillance’ by Reporters Without Borders and was the final African nation to go online (in 2000). They cite 250,000 Internet users (3.5% penetration rate), and a cost of $1 US for an hour of Internet access at a cyber cafĂ©, plus dozens of other interesting facts. {RSF.org via Asmarino.com}
  • The acting head of communications services division in the Ministry of Transport and Communications says he is focused on building infrastructure, including a broadband connection across the Red Sea. {Shabait.com via allAfrica}

Ethiopia:

  • Book flights online for your next flight on Ethiopian Airlines (a profitable airline). {Supply Chain Digital}
  • An ICT hub/city is under construction near Addis Ababa and will provide innovation for a growing tech industry. {Addis Fortune}

Ghana:

  • An online trade fair opened in Ghana, encouraging business to go online and connect with potential customers. {Ghana News Agency}
  • Google Trader accounts for 8% of web searches in Ghana. {Bloomberg}
  • Mobile networks appear congested, possibly due to a monthly 2.2% gain in mobile penetration. {GBN}