Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


Zimbabwe: The Pirate’s Bay?

pirate-bayWe have all known it for a while now that Zimbabweans are some of the worst pirates of software on the planet, that we have an IT skills shortage, that we flunk maths, that we are always lagging behind in technology when compared to the best nations, that we have a negligible online market. Last week the World Economic Forum availed the numbers as proof.

The Global IT Overall rankings place Zimbabwe, which has a score of 3.17 on position 114, which is ten places up from last’s year’s 124. The ranking includes 143 countries and Zimbabwe does not fare well on the list until it comes to the piracy category. We took the prize hands down this year.

So are we the worst/best pirates in the world? Well the answer is ‘sort of’. Despite their pretensions, close to 92% of the people in this country knowingly use at least one piece of pirated software on their device which translates into lost revenue of US $4 million dollars. Notwithstanding the ranking, we are not really the worst offenders in the world dollar wise. For example whilst 1 in 3 people in neighbouring South Africa use Pirate software, a mere 35%, their transgressions cost software developers and vendors a whopping $564 million dollars.

It is reported that this past year piracy cost the software industry close to $64 billion; a record. The table below shows the top five contributors to this list. Americans being well known for the philanthropist activities topped the list. So if you are wondering whodunit, Russians, Chinese, Indians and the Brazilians. These countries pirated more software in value terms than they bought.

It hurts my pride to think that our $4 million is a drop in the bucket. But hey you know where to point the fingers.

# Country Percentage of Pirated Software Value of Pirated Software

(in USD millions)

1 United States 19 9,773
2 China 77 2,659
3 Russia 63 1,895
4 India 63 2,930
5 Brazil 53 2 526


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28 thoughts on “Zimbabwe: The Pirate’s Bay?

  1. Buying legitimate software makes legal, as well as, moral sense but will keep on using pirated software(s), buying Windows for US$364.73 is expensive for us, we do not have any other option.

  2. Kickasstorrents all the way!! If they wanna stop us pirating software maybe they should let us use paypal to actually buy the software or make their legitimate download servers “slow internet friendly” so that they wont always time out and you are forced to use torrents which you can resume anytime anywhere!

      1. I’ve got a Debit Card. Its great! Its got the distinguished Master card & VISA logo’s. I can buy stuff from a minority of online websites & even pay my online courses as well, which is cool. I would be content with that, except a vast majority of websites solely use paypal to facilitate payments. Zimbabwe is exempt from opening accounts, (unless one falsifies their nationality, which is a serious cyber-crime). A scenario which effectively reduces all Zimbabweans to either being thieves, or “the guys from Africa without paypal accounts”.

        1. Paypal has the option to pay by credit card. I recently opened a paypal account using a a computer o the telone network, and used a zimbabwean address. Most major websites accept credit cards especially for software purchases. So that argument doesnt hold water

          1. purple The FBC master card is not yet accepted by Paypal I dont knw about other cards from Zimbabwe but most payment cards have a country code somewhere which means they are likely not to be accepted.

            Timmins Langeveldt Get a Payoneer mastercard it is accepted by Paypal all you need to do is to load it using your Zim Mastercard and since Payoneer uses a US bank it will be accepted.

            NB. The next problem is likely to be shipping stuff into Zim. Most retailers dont. This can be easily solved by using

        2. I was just wondering… what card do you have that has both Mastercard and Visa logo’s seeing as these are different issuers with different card numbers etc. For instance, a stanchart visa is different from a kingdom mastercard.. i have never heard of a card that carries both issuers.

    1. You actually have a valid point there. I know Zimbos in the diaspora would not agree but this is the way it is in the country.

      On a sidenote, if we take all the students at the UZ who have laptops… You are most likely to come up with a figure close to 99% who have pirated software. Even some of the lecturers have pirated software; we see this everyday when they make PPT presentations using office 2013 with red ticker on top sayin’ “your product is not activated”. And who cares? No one!

  3. My isp recently blocked kickass, piratebay, etc because of court order, and within minutes there was over thousand ways of accessing them.

  4. In a fast moving & rapidly developing Global Village. Time spent crying over the spilled milk of “Revenue lost to piracy” is simply more money wasted. (Errm, time is money guys). Another waste of time, is the bitter resentment by large corporations of the Open source software revolution. Which apparently is bankrupting tight fisted software development firms world wide. If you like a pirated software. You should support the developers and buy it!!! (When you’re ready lol) Viva la Open Source! viva la freeware viva la donationware! viva la Shareware! viva la Piratebay! Viva la Linux!? (ok that sounded funny)… uhm oh yeah and VIVA LA ZIMBABWE. TIRI MA-NINJA’s pano!

  5. “that we have an IT skills shortage, that we flunk maths, that we are always lagging behind in technology when compared to the best nations, that we have a negligible online market.”

    thats rather self-hating dont you think? Negative as usual. Sorry you flunked too.

    1. I dont know abt you but a pass rate below 20% should ring alarm bells: it is Chernobyrl.

        1. We are terrible at Maths the results over the years have more than proven it. Streetwise yes, Literate Yes, Resourceful Yes, Good with numbers yes, Science No.

          1. Speak for yourself dude. Neglecting all modesty, in my circles, we are sharp in all ways!
            Work on your esteem

  6. If we are so behind on IT then what the hell are we using for “pirating”?……..Typewriters?

  7. Compare this to paying commercial top dollar on ARV drugs. I can’t provide answers but the whole industry needs to be rational about this. Our GDP per capita sits at $500 and we are number 228 the world over. Given that we also have a right to software, how then do we justify over $300 on the OS before productivity software.

  8. its not like we have been given options of getting anything on the internet. try getting anything even a $3 item you will only be met with a “not allowed in this country” rubbish even if you have the mastercards and visas. all “renowned” gateways are not readily open to zimbos.

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