Last time there was an election here it took an entire 3 weeks to get the results. Three weeks of uncertainty, fear and nail biting anxiety as people wondered.
The Herald reports today that the Government of Zimbabwe has raised the operating license fees for mobile network and fixed telephone operators from the current US $100 million to $180 million. The change comes as Econet Wireless and Telecel Zimbabwe prepare to renew their operating licenses in June this year.
Econet has announced through adverts in the press the ‘reduction’ of tariffs of its mobile money transfer service, EcoCash. The move follows a directive from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and general pressure from the market to review the charges. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, in his 31 January Monetary Policy Statement, issued a directive to mobile operators to review their charges by end of March 2013.
Earlier this week, we posted that feature phone friendly app platform biNu had made the Zim constitution draft available via mobile. Looks like they ignited the creation of similar apps as Zimbabwe’s referendum to decide the constitution nears.
Recently I accompanied a sick relative for a medical checkup at one of our government hospitals. It took over five minutes for the on call nurse to find her name in the register book and verify her appointment.
“Copac needs US$500 000 to print more copies” went yesterday’s headline in Zimbabwe’s most read Sunday paper, The Sunday Mail. That article was pointed to us by biNu Zimbabwe representative, William Chui, when he notified us of a new app on their platform created to alleviate that distribution problem.
Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), has released the December 2012 (4th quarter) mobile phone and fixed telephone subscribers statistics. According to statistics that we received from the regulator, Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration is now 97%, up from 85% in June 2012.
Today was the first of the two day Culture Shift Ideation, an event to get software developers, designers, creative arts people and entrepreneurs to find solutions to problems in the arts sector that can be solved by technology. It was great having individuals and organisations from the arts side get to learn of the possibilities tech platforms avail locally.
Pastel Software Zimbabwe will on March 12 launch Sage Pastel My Business Online, a cloud‑based accounting programme designed for start-up and small businesses that enables them to do their accounts online from anywhere in the world. This web-based business software solution can be accessed from anywhere using a computer, iPad, smartphone or even an iPhone, as it has an iPhone application.
While Free and Open Source Software owes its birth to the fact that people wanted an open source platform that they could modify, it owes its success to the fact that more often than not the software is given gratis. It is doubtful that people would have been drawn to Linux in droves if it was sold for a $300/per machine license.
Microsoft officially launched the latest version of its operating system, Windows 8, in Harare today. The company also introduced Windows Server 2012, Office 13 and the Microsoft 4Afrika initiative among other things. The launch was officially opened by Zimbabwe’s ICT Minister Nelson Chamisa.
Several weeks ago (now months actually) we received the GTel A707 Infinity smartphone from GTel, a local mobile devices company. I was at their Harare HQ for some other business when the CEO of the company, Chamunorwa Shumba, offered that I take the phone with me, use it for a while, and possibly write our opinion.
It’s not every day that we come across globally competitive quality work and skill locally. But when we do encounter some impressive stuff every now and again, we like to share it. Spectrum Studio’s work is such. Especially the explainer animation stuff, a service we know that lots of tech companies (internet startups especially) should employ for the products.
A lot of startups simply stuck their heads into the sand and launched e-commerce sites with a credit card based checkout and no wonder they failed. Whilst at it, it needs to be mentioned that people hate writing cheques and banks hate issuing cheque books even more. www.gtel.co.zw seems to have mastered the art of doing e-commerce in Zimbabwe: it includes Ecocash in its checkout options something most startups need to start doing in addition to adopting and adhering to local customs. Why is there no Miss Zimbabwe app so you can vote for your favorite lady? Why is Ubuntu Shonastill failing?
The Research Intellectual Expo (RIE) is a Zimbabwean initiative by the ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, set up to showcase research and intellectual work by Zimbabweans both in the diaspora and at home.