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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
Even though Africa’s population accounts for 14% of the world population, its internet users are only 6% of the world’s. Africa’s country code top level domains (the country specific domains in the fashion of a .co.zw, or .co.za etc…) are even much less; only 1% of the world’s. These are not rare stats to come [...]
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 [...]
Today I read an article that noted something we discuss often with colleagues here. It’s also an issue that I find a lot of people strongly disagree with; the issue around donors awarding money to young entrepreneurs for the impact prospects of the startups’ businesses. Even with limited knowledge of the Kenya tech company ecosystem, [...]
MultiChoice’s DStv is probably the most popular pay TV service in sub-Saharan Africa but subscription payment is not as convenient as most people would like. In Zimbabwe, it used to be that to make payment you had to do it at one specific bank; one called Interfin. Then, later, MultiChoice added more banks to their DStv [...]
Kenyan mobile operators will start switching off “fake” cell phones from their networks in accordance with a government directive. They are scheduled to begin the exercise at midnight, 30 September. The switch-off process will involve blocking a handset that bears a fake International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number from accessing a mobile operator’s network. The [...]
What has been will be again, What has been done will be done again; There is nothing new under the sun – Ecclesiastes 1:9 I doubt that King Solomon could have imagined the technological strides that mankind would go on to make when he wrote those words, but part of his wisdom still applies today. [...]
Yesterday, we posted an article about a report that Opera released recently which basically says Facebook.com is the most visited website in Africa via the Opera Mini web browser. But what most people looking at the information immediately ask is ‘just how much of the total mobile internet traffic in Africa does the Opera browser [...]
We just got the latest mobile network and fixed line operator subscriber stats from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) for March. The stats cover the year’s first quarter. There are two notable changes since the last time POTRAZ released the country’s telecoms subscriber stats: the tele-density has risen to 78.8% and [...]
The other day I received a tweet that made me fall off my chair, it claimed Chrome had overtaken Internet Explorer as the world’s most used browser. After regaining my composure I followed a few links and despite the much vaunted displacement realised that Chrome’s (all versions) triumph was over Internet Explorer 9, however IE [...]