In rejoicing for Zero rated content, Facebook & WhatsApp bundles, let’s worry about net neutrality

Locally, perceiving zero rated content packages, Facebook specific and WhatsApp specific bundled internet as anything less than positive feels like looking a gift horse in the mouth. It’s like pouring cold water over something that should be celebrated. But let’s have the net neutrality conversation for a minute. These zero rated websites and app specific bundles create an internet that is uneven. Right now, in […]

14 Jun 2014

The Internet Hall of Fame: Are these the top internet companies in Africa?

An organisation called World Startup Report (WSR) has released research data they call the “Internet Hall of Fame” which is essentially a report on data from the top 3 biggest Internet companies from some 50 countries around the world. There’s a lot of interesting information about internet companies in general so do go through it, but a few things about emerging and […]

13 May 2014

Liquid Telecom to spend US $200m in fibre rollout in the next 18 months

Nick Rudnick, the CEO  of Liquid Telecom Group, announced last week that his company intends to spend about US $200 million in fibre cable roll out in sub-Saharan Africa in the next 18 months. According to a report by BDlive, the cable network roll-out will involve extending the fibre network to 3 more countries outside the Southern African region. […]

9 Oct 2013

Press release: StartupBus Africa: Five-Day Hackathon from Harare to Cape Town

First the US, then Europe and now for the first time a StartupBus tours in Africa Interested entrepreneurs can apply until October 15th Crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to boost financing Berlin, September 19th 2013 – From 17th to 21st November the first StartupBus tours in Africa, departing in Zimbabwe and setting off to Cape Town, […]

19 Aug 2013

Nigeria’s Spark incubator raises 2 million to invest in local startups

One of the few locally owned and NGO-free incubators on the African continent, Spark, announced last Friday that they have raised $2 million to invest in Nigerian startups. The incubator, which the co-founder – iROKOtv founder Jason Njoku – actually says is more a conglomerate of companies than a traditional companies invests amounts $50,000 and $250,000 in startups which are then “incubated” as part of the Spark companies.

6 Jun 2013

Zambia to host African Internet Summit

Zambia will this year host the African Internet Summit, an annual conference organized by the African Network Information Center (AFRINIC), which is basically Africa’s internet registry. The event will see regulators, operators and other internet connectivity stakeholders on the continent come together for two weeks to discuss promoting access, policy and regulation of the industry. The […]

14 Feb 2013

Microsoft wakes up to new Africa, reacts with youth empowerment initiative

To Microsoft Africa has traditionally been a place to sell its enterprise software products. Through local partners yes, but the continent was primarily a place to push products to. I imagine they were not making much owing chiefly to the piracy of its products on the market and so far it looks their concern about this was just as low. Whatever volume of products they were pushing sufficed. In that era Microsoft ruled computing both in the enterprise and at home and could take its sweet time postponing understanding and helping its market grow.

17 Jan 2013

CABS & mobile money; An interview with managing director, Kevin Terry

As alluded to earlier today, we had the opportunity recently to talk to CABS Managing Director Kevin Terry, about their mobile banking service, Textacash. We discussed how they introduced the new mobile phone (and card) based banking product in a radically changed financial sector. We also how they are reaching the unbanked and briefly touched on the role of mobile operators and the regulators. Below is an edited transcript of the interview.

14 Jan 2013

Why not use Free and Open Source Software

I am inclined to think that VLC media player is the most popular software in Zimbabwe. Few people outside the tech circles know, however, that it is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Even fewer people know what FOSS is let alone its advantages especially to SMEs and Startups with their tight budgets. I am still to meet anyone who does not love the player; it is robust, has a simple interface, extensive functionality, a trivial learning curve and modest memory footprint – beauty in code.

14 Jan 2013

Fellow Africans, if you want to be called developers, start writing code

There was a time back in the late 90s when knowing some HTML and CSS secured a techie a place in his country’s web development talent pool. The web in general placed emphasis on the display of nice stuff with content hard coded into html pages so web design – as opposed to development – mattered more than any other skill on the web. But soon enough the game started to change.

13 Dec 2012

Is starting a tech startup just too costly for us?

I usually argue on the side of “lack of funding is just an excuse”. If you work hard enough, if you’re solving a real problem, if you’re passionate enough, if you think outside the box etc… But sometimes I wonder if the problem is lack of funding, or if it’s more an issue of young people having so much more to lose if they decide to take the startup route and its high risks. More to lose compared to their counterparts in, say, Europe, the US or Cape Town.

15 Oct 2012

Predictably, developing countries register highest mobile growth globally

Last week, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) released the Measuring Information Society report, a report that details the state of the telecommunications industry globally. The report shows that developing countries have registered the most dynamic growth in mobile in the year 2011. According to the ITU, the trend is evidence that many developing countries are […]