Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

Is JAM TV the future of TV?

At the recent JumpStart Challenge event Collin Franco, Utande’s CTO quoted an interesting stat, based on research that he had conducted about a year ago. He stated that 98% of Zimbabwe’s Internet traffic was from outside Zimbabwe. The paucity of ‘local content’ online is not unique to Zimbabwe. Ory Okolloh has noted before that of […]

A user’s review of the uMAX service

This review is written by someone who has used virtually every ISP in Zimbabwe since the year 2000 and has the battle scars to boot. This is not so much a technical review of the product but a user’s review of how the product delivers. This is deliberately so because at the end when all […]

World Links bridging the digital divide

We have been profiling efforts by various Zimbabwean parties in providing access to ICT. We caught up with the folks at World Links Zimbabwe who have setup Telecentres, provide hardware to schools and train educators to incorporate ICT into their pedagogy. World Links is based at the Minstry of Education complex in Mt. Pleasant. The […]

Google’s umbono and 88mph join forces

We recently received an email from Google’s Umbono program indicating that they have entered into a partnership with 88mph. Neither Umbono or 88mph have provided us with details as to the nature and structure of the partnership. But judging from our previous communication with 88mph, they planned adding Cape Town as a site for their […]

GrafxTV offers professional free online graphic design tutorials

We recently caught up with Augustine Makachemu or simply Mak a graphic designer who is the brains behind GrafxTV a web service that is dedicated to teaching graphic design. The service which Mak hopes will be the graphic design equivalent of the Khan Academy is available via a YouTube channel and was borne out of […]

Econet promo slashes cost of international calls by up to 50%

In the latest salvo of the mobile network subscriber battle Econet  sent the following sms to their subscribers: “As part of our 14th anniversary celebrations we have reduced international rates to $0.24/min to major destinations. Enjoy the lowest international rates”.  They have also flighted print ads to that effect. Judging by the flags highlighted in […]

Raising money for your Startup, some options

Whenever we have a conversation with entrepreneurs and techies the number one question is “How can I get funding?”. We’ve touched on this issue before but due to the frequency of the questions we felt it useful to provide an update about what options are available in the market right now. There is no easy […]

88mph to invest $200,000 in up to 15 tech startups

In an exciting development, seed investment fund 88mph seeks to invest US$200,000 in up to 15 tech startups. The seed investment fund, 88mph, is betting on the high growth mobile/web markets in Africa. Last year it invested $180.000 in 7 Kenyan startups. It will now run Africa’s first intense 3 month accelerator program – inspired […]

ICT policy, thoughts of Harare workshop

We have noted before that we are supportive of the MICT’s (Ministry of Information and Communication Technology) exercise to draft a new National ICT policy. It is our hope that the policy document produced is not just a statement of intent but a commitment to specific deliverables. More ambitiously it can even be some kind […]

10 Cool iPhone Apps

The great thing about a smartphone is access to the plethora of apps that do everything from making you more productive (Evernote) to making your more reproductive (Sprout). The sheer number of apps makes it daunting to think about what really is the best app for your particular need. Sifting through the duds probably heightens […]

eLearning Solutions implementing govt ICT policy

eLearning Solutions a Zimbabwean company setup in the year 2000 is the government’s implementing partner in the Presidential elearning Program. The company which started out as a research and development outfit is now a significant commercial provider of education solutions. The company is involved at the Chogugudza Primary School site which was the first to […]

Footballzone bringing local football to a browser near you

The advent of the Internet has brought about a Gutenbergian revolution to the world of publishing of which the whole blogging phenomenon bears witness. Sports like a myriad other interest areas has seen an explosion in sports blogs. If you are interested in Zimbabwe football there is a glaring vacuum in football content. If you […]

IT Professionals in Manicaland pioneer tech adoption in province

Secondary school students using computers in Harare, Zimbabwe (file photo) Recently President Robert Mugabe unveiled the latest school to benefit from the Presidential High Schools e-learning programme Landa John Nkomo High School at Manqe in Tsholotsho District. The school became the first in Tsholotsho to have a fully equipped computer laboratory, designed to bring e-learning. […]

Across Africa MTN celebrates Madiba day

South African based telecoms company MTN Group marked Mandela Day by conducting various acts of goodwill in some of it’s operations across Africa and the Middle East. The 18th of July has been officially adopted by the United Nations as “Nelson Mandela International Day”. Mandela Day marks the birthday of South Africa’s first democratic president […]

MobileNEWS introduces more convenient pricing

The Herald’s MobileNEWS service is now available for US 88c per week. The new pricing option is advertised in today’s (18 July 2012) copy of the newspaper. Earlier we reported that The Herald’s Mobile News service had managed to sign up 5,000 subscribers after it’s first month of operation. This was based upon statements released […]

Will MTN be snookered by deepening bribery scandal?

The bribery scandal involving the MTN Group and its Iranian associate MTN Irancell is gathering momentum following the suspension of Yusuf Saloojee, South Africa’s ambassador to Oman. Saloojee is the former SA ambassador to Tehran and is among government officials named in the Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetlera AS lawsuit documents citing bribery in the awarding of […]

mTutor marches towards commercial launch on Econet network

After their success at the FMNA ZeTXT Apps Challenge we caught up with the team behind the winning app mTutor to see how much progress they have made to commercialise their product. mTutor the brainchild of developers Prince Kaguda and Douglas Chifetete was a case of second time lucky as they had participated in last […]

Update on MICT policy consultation schedule

Last week we published the schedule for the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology’s (MICT) consultative review workshops. Unfortunately there were some errors in the original schedule we received. Some of our readers had wondered if the Ministry would conduct a consultation session in Masvingo. To our knowledge this was done on the 5th of […]

Africom in aggressive network expansion

In a sign of the increasing excitement in  Zimbabwe’s Internet industry, news reaching us is that Africom is aggressively expanding their network. Africom a major player in Zimbabwe’s telecoms industry offers voice and data (fixed and mobile) products using the wireless CDMA EV-DO Revision A standard. The company whose roots are in the enterprise sector […]

6 suggestions for Zim’s ICT policy

It is noble that the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) is drafting a national ICT policy document. But what will this policy achieve? Government policy documents run the same risk as corporate strategy documents. Management invests a lot of time and money into the process of consultation, drafting and formulation including creative offsite […]

ICT Policy Review, the Roadmap

The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) has embarked on a 2 month long process to craft a new ICT Policy. The current ICT Policy was produced in 2005. At a press conference prior to the review process, ICT Minister Nelson Chamisa explained the rationale for the review saying “it has been six years […]

ZOL drops internet bombshell

I remember the early days of email when I had a Yahoo and Hotmail account with a 5MB mailbox which I thought was totally great even though I was constantly deleting emails and when Gmail threw 1GB on the table that was the end of my Yahoo and Hotmail experience. I had the same sensation […]

B-Connected pioneers mobile marketing product

Tech entrepreneur Smauel Dzinotyiwei believes Zimbabwe is ready for a mobile marketing revolution. He expressed this sentiment to Techzim as he finalises the official launch of his product B-Heard. His company B-Connected has offices in Glen Lorne, Harare and is launching new mobile advertising products which Samuel believes due to their uniqueness will offer an […]

Econet Solar’s home power station. Some thoughts

Econet Wireless recently announced Zimbabwe as the first commercial site for its highly acclaimed solar powered ‘Home Power Station’ (HPS), this according to a report on the mobile phone company’s website. The announcement is welcome news in a country characterised by chronic load shedding and power failures. Econet’s Corporate Communications Manager Ranga Mberi confirmed to […]

Has South Africa resorted to cyberwarfare after cricket defeat?

UPDATE: After the flurry of comments to this article, Tweets and Facebook comments, we’d like to clarify issues around the article.  The beauty about blogging and social media unlike traditional media is immediacy. Sometimes the feedback is uplifting sometimes not so much but whichever direction it takes it’s all relevant and useful. It was interesting to […]

Open Letter to Prof. Heneri Dzinotyiwei

After the government launched the Second Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STI) with great fanfare which included speeches by the country’s top leaders President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, we thought ‘WOW!’ with such political backing this is surely a big deal and it would be a good thing to get our hands […]

Utande launches new WIMAX broadband service

This morning Utande Internet Services (Pvt) limited, a subsidiary company of Dandemutande Investments a company in Zimbabwe’s telecommunications industry launched its broadband WIMAX service under the uMAX brand. The Financial Express notes that uMax is currently available in Harare at a 95 percent coverage rate joins other broadband internet providers-who include Africom, Econet, and Spiritage’s […]

Supersport does 1st HD Broadcast in Zim

Zimbabwe’s cricket match against Bangladesh (17 June 2012) was a happy occasion not only because the hosts won by 11 runs, but it also marked a significant broadcasting milestone as it was the first time Supersport Africa deployed their new state of the art High Definition Outside Broadcast (HD OB) Van in Zimbabwe. Supersport has for some […]

biNu in explosive growth

biNu the Sydney based startup founded in September 2008 by Gour Lentell and Dave Turner recorded a jaw dropping 112% increase in unique Monthly Active Users (MAUs) for Zimbabwe in nine months. This is based upon stats that biNu has released to Techzim. The startup is on a tear recording similarly impressive growth in other […]

mTutor wins Forgetmenot app challenge

This weekend witnessed the exciting finale to the Forgetmenot eTXT Apps Challenge (16 – 17 June 2012). The finals featured seven teams of developers three of whom had travelled from outside Zimbabwe’s to participate in the challenge, namely from South Africa and Zambia. The challenge which was organised by Forgetmenot Africa (FMNA) who are based […]