A little over a week ago, we posted some interesting stats from a report published by Opera, makers of the popular Opera Mini mobile internet browser. Opera also included some tips on optimizing internet usage on mobile devices and we thought you would find them handy. Most of us have limited data plans and buy expensive internet bundles from the mobile operators so these tips can help save a few dollars.
A press release by Kenyan SevenSeas Technologies (SST) has announced a new joint venture between the company and Zimbabwe’s Twenty Third Century Systems (TTCS). The joint venture between the two companies will see the founding of a SAP business solutions firm called Twenty Third Century Systems Kenya (TTCSK)
ECONET Wireless has launched a campaign that enables its customers to send desperately needed aid relief to famine-stricken Somalia via SMS. The “Save a Life” SMS campaign will raise funding to support an international aid effort in Somalia, where a combination of the worst drought in 60 years and armed conflict has left an estimated 3.7 million people in desperate need of food aid.
On Saturday, we posted information revealing that the hacking of the ZSE website that happened last week was at the application level. We have since received more details of the hacking incident itself and it appears the ZSE website was used by the hackers to host viruses and a phishing website.
Orascom Telecom Holdings is a global telecoms operator based in Egypt and is now majority owned by Vimpelcom Group. The company is part of Orascom Holdings, Egypt’s biggest conglomerate and the commercial vehicle of Africa’s wealthiest family.
So, we’re also shocked by Econet’s move to gag Alpha Media and its partners over Econet stories deemed defamatory. We’re shocked because we didn’t expect this from Econet of all companies. And we’re also shocked because, whatever Econet articles were written by Alpha Media, we somehow didn’t see the defamatory side of the story. We don’t even remember which articles these were, save for one by the Zimbabwe Independent about shareholder activism. We didn’t find it particularly defamatory, but we’re not Econet so…
At the qualifying Startup Challenge event, held last week alongside BarCamp Zimbabwe on 3 August, only 2 startups, Mukela Travel and Sadomba-Mahari, managed to make it to the finals. The target was 5 startups to battle for the collective prizes totaling $25,000 - sponsored by Zimbabwe Online (ZOL).
MTN Group- Africa’s biggest telecommunications firm; has introduced an Africa and Middle East focused app development contest. According to an article by Business Day South Africa last week, the company has begun the challenge as part of a build up to the launch of its own app store. It is inviting software developers across its operating markets and beyond to submit innovative applications that are built on or address African and Middle Eastern experiences.
According to a survey conducted by African Business Panel and echoing the sentiments of 800 business professionals across Africa, Zimbabwe is expected to be among the continent’s top 10 ICT hubs out of a total 53 states in the next five years. The report was released in Amsterdam last month and pinpoints South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya at the top of the rankings. South Africa has traditionally been a gateway to Africa for most international ICT firms and has of late been losing its glow to Kenya which among other things is Africa’s first nation to have an open data policy.
We just got more information about the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange website hacking that happened 3 days ago. A source close to the issue says so far it has been established that the hacking happened at the application level of the website architecture. The nature of the hacking itself is not clear as the website has been shut down and the url (www.zse.co.zw) is` redirecting to the hosting company’s website.
As indicated in the last article we posted on the new “spiritual recharge cards” by a church leader in Harare, there’s some controversy building behind the service. The day after the launch was made, we were contacted by 3 individuals; a team comprising of a developer (James Ndukwane), a motivational speaker (Pascal Nyasha), and an investor (Hillary Chindodo), who basically claimed Makandiwa had stolen their concept.
According to a document known as The State of Mobile Report, published by Opera (the world’s leading mobile internet browser) and containing information for June 2010-June 2011; Zimbabwe was consistently ranked in the top 10 mobile internet users in key ranking categories along with Morocco.
Wow! Wednesday was a great day to reflect on for us here at Techzim. BarCamp Zimbabwe; the country’s first grassroots ICT event finally came together. The event was made possible through the support of ZOL and other sponsors like Byers Design, Matamba Anonaka Technology Holdings, Webdev and Zimbojam. It was also the work of great individuals in the organizing team, notably; Joseph Manzungu, Lennex Zinyando, Christine Dube, Chengetai Chikwanha, Richwell Phinias, Richard Mberi, Larry Kwirirayi and many other people who helped leading to the event.
When judgment was handed down last week against Econet in the Econet Vs Trustco case, the Namibian mobile firm was quick to announce to the market that it would be business as usual in Zimbabwe. It appears Trustco was keen to assure shareholders the mess in Zim had cleared up, or maybe they just believed Econet would give up the fight this early.
Yesterday, a total of 15 startups pitched at the Startup Challenge, held alongside BarCamp Zimbabwe. It was quite an experience seeing the 15 teams, one after the other present their ideas and solutions. We have quite some talent and ingenuity among us. This was the first tech pitching event for a lot of people present and, there was a lot to learn for everyone; organisers, startups and we’re sure, even the judges.
Yesterday, we spent the day at BarCamp Zimbabwe. It was busy day and we had a blast. We loved every minute. The Startup Challenge went well too. Unfortunately we couldn't fill the 5 finalists slots we had. Only two were taken and the rest will have to be at another event. Here are a couple of photos from the event.
As Techzim we are obliged to promote debate and dialogue. We were surprised to read an article in this morning’s Daily News (A Zimbabwe daily) that we believe was not generous with facts. The article’s opening shot begins by describing Trustco as “a company that appears to talk very big about itself”, and proceeds to stage a series of assaults on the company, most of it factually incorrect and misleading.
We too saw last week’s story on spiritual recharge cards by a Zim church leader, Emmanuel Makandiwa. We too found the story somewhat confusing and were eager to find out more so we could write a short ‘explanation’ of how it works, technically. Yes, just the technical side of things; it’s not our place to try to understand and explain the spiritual side.
Preparations for ICT Africa 2011 have begun. The event is organized by the Computer Suppliers Association Zimbabwe (COMSA), and invites ICT businesses to exhibit their latest tech services and products.
A lot of startup applications have been coming in for the US$ 25, 000 Startup Challenge which is being run alongside BarCamp Zimbabwe 2011. Since an event of this nature has not happened in Zimbabwe before, the following practical pointers can bring applicants and prospective entrepreneurs up to speed on the elements found in a good pitch:
Yesterday, Southern Africa’s incubator for mobile startups, mLab Southern Africa (SA), opened up for membership applications. mLabs SA announced that the incubator’s head office in Pretoria will be opening in officially on 15 September.
It’s not everyday that a startup based in Silicon Valley; the home of Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and just about every significant technology platform-eagerly looks to hire local talent. Well this is not just any startup, its Zimride! According to Logan Green; the startup’s co-founder and CEO, they are currently seeking to hire talent from around the world and Zimbabweans would be a great addition to the team…
Earlier today, we posted news of yesterday’s Zim high court judgment ordering Econet to restore the Ecolife relationship with Trustco and to “refrain from undertaking and implementing a competing, infringing service” to Trustco’s. So far, Trustco has announced that it’s business as usual in Zimbabwe for Trustco Mobile. This may not be the case. It’s more of court battles in Zimbabwe it appears.
No sooner had we posted the news about the interim order the high court issued against Econet yesterday, than we got a press release from Trustco on the issue. The press release has a celebratory tone and seeks to assure shareholders that the mess in Zim has cleared up.
We’ve just received news that the High Court of Zimbabwe handed down an interim order against Econet in response to Trustco’s application for an interdict last month. The interdict sought to enforce Econet's compliance with the Ecolife contractual obligations and to prohibit the company from infringing on Trustco’s intellectual property apparently by deploying the same concept. Econet itself had indicated they were working on their own Ecolife system to replace Trustco’s.
Yesterday, the undersea fibre cable system operator, SEACOM, announced it has invested some US$14.7 million in terrestrial fibre infrastructure in South Africa. The investment is mainly in equipment and fibre links connecting SEACOM’s landing station in Kwazulu Natal and some Point of Presence in Gauteng. The fibre links have been purchased from Dark Fibre Africa, a South African dark fibre provider owning a network of carrier neutral, dark fibre infrastructure for the transmission of metro and long haul telecommunications traffic.