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Recent African ICT news roundup

June 6, 2011  »  NewsNo Comment

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. The majority of stories indexing for ‘Africa ICT’ or ‘Africa Internet’ revolve around broad themes of undersea cables, foreign investment, regional conferences. Moreover, South Africa, East Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria tend to steal the show. Here is an attempt to gather a variety of stories that have been left out of weekly oAfrica news posts. There are 26, to be exact:

africa ict news stories may 2011

Stories missed the first time through

Algeria:

  • A “one computer per family” initiative is in the works, as are a telemedicine network, training centers, and efforts to connect rural and mountainous areas. {IT News Africa}

Angola:

  • The government withdrew legislation that would make illegal the sharing of electronic information that could “destroy, alter or subvert state institutions” or “damage national integrity or independence”. {BBC News}

Botswana:

  • The Sesigo project will bring libraries online and will support free Internet access as well. {Mmegi Online}
  • Botswana’s government has committed to spend US$76 million for e-government over the next 5 years. {Coastweek}

DRC:

  • Social media is being used to spread the word about rape in the Congo. {Huffington Post}

Egypt:

  • Former government officials have been fined for the imposed Internet outage in January. Additionally, the government will pay telecoms operators for lost revenue. {Bikyamasr}
  • The government had explored an Internet blockage as early as April 2008. {Abram Online}

Gabon:

  • Better Internet connections are needed before the January 2012 African Nations Cup. {The Nation}

Gambia:

  • The Information Technology Association of The Gambia (ITAG) in collaboration with Google held a business forum focused on Google Apps. {West Coast Radio}

Ghana:

  • Ghana considers national branding to attract potential investors over the Internet. {GhanaWeb}

Malawi:

  • The Gateway Communications project with connect the nation to SEACOM and EASSy cables. {BizCommunity}

Mali:

  • Ségou Villages Connection will link rural villages with larger cities. {Rising Voices}

Mozambique:

Niger:

  • A Libyan telecom will hold a 51% share in Sonitel and Sahel Com for 10 years. The deal is similar to one in 2009 between a Chinese-Libyan consortium. {Financial Tech Spotlight}

Nigeria:

  • Tech startups in Nigeria through the eyes of a Silicon Valley journalist. Quite a few are listed. {TechCrunch}
  • An in-depth look at the evolving Nigerian scam scene. The author is impressed with the intelligence and ingenuity of the criminals, but nonetheless, it is an article about Nigerian cyber-crime. {TechCrunch}

Sierra Leone:

  • Wireless Internet is now available at the international airport. The service will be free for 3 months. {allAfrica/Concord Times}

Somalia:

  • Mogadishu’s Internet service was down for at least 2 days in May as the result of fighting between Al-Shabab and the government. Equipement and lines have been damaged by shelling. {Horseed Media}

South Africa:

  • SA’s data customers have increased 34.6% to 9-million. Operations in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Lesotho increased the total customer base 24.4% to 17-million. {BusinessDay}

Tunisia:

  • A court-order will mean a return to Internet censorship in Tunisia. Adult sites are to be blocked once again. {Digital Trends}

Zambia:

  • Zamtel launched mobile Internet, along with a new handset. {Afrique en ligne/Times of Zambia}

Zimbabwe:

  • Zimbabwe’s government suggests that financial and retail sectors need to strengthen if e-commerce is going to take-off. {The Standard}
  • Zimbabwe prepares for tech growth. Entrepreneurs and developers need to team up; incubators are needed. {TechZim}
  • Zimbabwean journalists and attendees of ICT conferences are urged to showcase the successes of Zimbabwean tech. The President of the Computer Society has reminded the country that simply showing off laptops and mobile phones is not the solution. {The Zimbabwean}
  • A local directory site launched in Zimbabwe along with a series of apps. {The Zimbabwean}
  • Econet Wireless, with a 69% market share, claims 1.8 million mobile Internet subscribers. The company is in the process of rolling out 3G services. {The Zimbabwean}