Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

Hey Africa: Good Broadband = Good Business

Although Africa’s come a long way in the telecoms revolution, it’s collective broadband adoption rate leaves a lot to be desired. Poor access to Broadband is the 21st century equivalent of poor mobility in the 19th Century. Individuals, businesses and whole nations simply cannot afford not to participate in the knowledge economy, As Strive Masiyiwa […]

ZOL Startup Challenge battle tips #TechzimSurge

7 days are left before Techzim Surge and the epic Zol Startup Challenge. The visual below has 5 tips we believe are important for contestants and even for startups that will not be pitching. Over time, we’ve come to realise that the most important factor for any startup to focus on is preparation. All the best! […]

All set for the Broadband Forum

On Friday 10 May all things Broadband will blend into a giant cauldron of dialogue, knowledge sharing and networking. After a long wait and even longer days of preparation, we look forward to your active participation.

Broadband Forum Preview: How local content fuels broadband consumption

The saying that content is king precedes the internet and can likely be traced as far back as the age of Papyrus. Engaging, enriching and current content is what drives the information age. Once a local flavor is brought to the table, consumption patterns grow at an exponential rate.

Zimbabwe Broadband Forum Preview: How Kencall pioneered Kenya’s BPO sector

The year was 2001 and the world was still recovering from the dotcom crash. Amidst such instability, a Kenyan executive working in America was crafting a plan so audacious that everyone he told dismissed him for a dreamer.

Zimbabwe Broadband Forum: Get your copy of the Financial Gazette

The Financial Gazette is the exclusive print media partner for the Broadband Forum we’ll be hosting on the 10th of May. In keeping with this partnership, tomorrow’s edition of the “pink paper” will have a dedicated feature on Broadband in Zimbabwe.

Announcing Zimbabwe’s inaugural Broadband Forum event

This is one event announcement we’ve been looking forward to making for some time this year. We’ve been working flat out these past few months to make it happen and to do it right: the Broadband Forum is finally here!

Social media lessons from Zimbabwe’s mobile operators (Updated)

A lot can change in a year – especially in Zimbabwe. In 2011 very few of Zimbabwe’s established brands seemed to have a presence on Facebook (Twitter “didn’t exist” yet). Today’s marketing landscape has significantly changed as a number of savvy brands finally understand how and why social media matters to their marketing mix.

6 quick tips for pitching your startup at ZOL Jumpstart Challenge

Pitching is both an art and a science that every entrepreneur needs to master. Even if you possess a rare charm that enables you to sell ice to Eskimos, you still need to focus on articulating critical aspects of your startup. Ahead of this year’s ZOL Jumpstart Challenge, we’ve put together the few pointers below.  Each […]

Iroko Partners pumps up the volume with $8 million in fresh funding

Jason Njoku’s one and a half year old outfit has raised the bar for Sub Saharan African startups. Iroko Partners is charging ahead with its vision to put Nigerian entertainment online. Pando Daily published a post yesterday, revealing that the Lagos based startup had bolstered its war chest by way of two $4 million rounds. The funding came from Silicon Valley and emerging market stalwarts, Tiger Global.

Why mobile operators should consider startup funding in Africa

Paul Graham, Founder of the Y Combinator incubation hub once spoke of the ingredients required to create Silicon Valley. He summed it up as a combination of:

Rich people (angel or VC investors) + Nerds (talent)

You can build a startup in Africa. Here’s how

In 2011 Sarah Lacy, who was working at Techcrunch at the time but is now running a new tech blog known as Pandodaily, did the unthinkable by travelling to Nigeria on a mission to unravel its startup scene.

LinkedIn Africa Stats: Zimbabwe sitting in 11th position

According to statistics published by zoomsphere, a social media analytics platform ,Africa has 5 772 194 registered users on LinkedIn. The information is as of February 27 2012 and digs into each African country’s most active companies by members and activity. Zimbabwe is understood to have 103 400 registered members, making it the 11th biggest Linkedin user base in Africa. The top twenty countries on the continent are as follows:

Why Africa needs more home grown brands

Every year, Interbrand undertakes an extensive probe to determine the world’s top 100 brands. The branding consultancy is among the world’s frontline experts in its field. Along with a parallel ranking conducted by Brand Finance, Interbrand’s top 100 brands survey has become a global standard.

Perspective: Africa’s top 20 startups as ranked by Forbes

The February edition of Forbes Africa has a feature profiling the top 20 startups from the African continent. As expected, mobile played a dominant role with Mxit coming up tops as the most promising startup. In the truest sense of the word startup, Mxit might not qualify as it went through institutional investors and is more than seven years old. Definitions and valuations aside, the geographical origins of the startups profiled serves as yet another call to action for those of us in Zimbabwe.

Africa: The era of collaborative consumption has arrived

A new wave is sweeping across developed countries and can make a big impact in Africa. For those who thought group buying was the last big goldmine in ecommerce, collaborative consumption has triggered a new and sustainable rush. In a world struggling to recover from a rough economic patch and more importantly with waste and global warming; collaborative consumption has come to the rescue.

A vote of confidence for Telecel

Orascom Telecom have ceased their fence sitting ways with Telecel Zimbabwe in a big way. The Independent reported on Friday that the company will pump in $70 million into Telecel Zimbabwe. This move is very significant for the company beyond monetary value as Vimpelcom (Orascom’s parent) has made a commitment to channel its global resources for the benefit of the local unit.

Econet Broadband unleashes Huawei Ideos pair

After we announced the launch of Huawei’s Ideos S7 Tablet in South Africa a few months ago and the company’s stated intentions to conquer Africa with affordable Android devices, Econet Wireless has come out with a double punch. The company has introduced the Huawei Ideos S7 tablet and the Ideos Google phone at $450 and $165 respectively.

Harare City Council suspends fibre optic trenching

Like us, you probably woke up to the news that Tendai Mahachi (Harare’s Town Clerk) announced that the City Council has suspended all fibre optic trenching activities in the city. The reason for this was attributed to a breach of agreement on the part of some telecommunications operators and their contractors.

Africa’s Telecoms Titans: Millicom International Cellular

Tigo Africa is a part of Millicom International Cellular S.A. The company was founded by the Swedish conglomerate, AB Kinnevik and became one of the pioneers of mobile telephony. It began setting up its first network in 1979 in Sweden and went on to become one of the founding members of Vodafone. Over the last two decades, Millicom has evolved into an emerging markets telecoms operator with core interests in Africa, Central America and South America.

Samsung shows the world how to win in Africa

Whether you’re watching ZBC or Supersport the message is the same. Samsung, the Korean consumer electronics and white label goods giant is on a mission to become the top electronics brand across Africa. From the towering Ivorian colossus that is Chelsea’s Didier Drogba to positive images of young Africans marketing their products, Samsung is paying attention to the needs of the world’s last frontier.

Zimbo Jam celebrates 3rd birthday

In November 2008 Fungai Tichawangana set up the Zimbo Jam website ( from his study at home. It is now Zimbabwe’s biggest website covering lifestyle, arts and entertainment with up to 3 million page views and over 100,000 unique visitors every month. The site’s Facebook page has over 5,600 fans and videos posted on its YouTube channel have been known to get up to 5,000 views in a matter of days.

Are women afraid of venturing into ICTs

We came across a lively young lady after yesterday’s Breakfast Briefing on Cloud Computing. While the event was a success, this young lady touched on a few details that could make such events even better. The highlight of her feedback was that there were only four women in attendance at the event and that promoting a more balanced atmosphere is good for the sector.

No, the Zimbabwe government and Apple are not in iPad joint venture

Yesterday’s Newsday reported that the Ministry of Education will be working in conjunction with Apple to introduce solar powered iPads for rural schools. Just reading through the article, it doesn’t take much to see this is not factually correct. The article stems from a post made by Education Minister David Coltart on his Facebook wall after he met officials from the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) in Dublin. Here’s the full text of the post.

A snap summary of EMC Corporation

Next Tuesday, we will be hosting EMC at a cloud computing breakfast briefing in conjunction with Utande. In preparation for the event, we’ve put together the visual below such to provide a better understanding of the company.

Cloud Computing event slated for 1 November

On the 1st of November; Techzim events will be hosting a Breakfast Briefing on Cloud Computing. The event is being held in conjunction with EMC SADC and Utande. It will allow the two partners to inform attendees about their cloud based solutions and also empower IT managers, directors and executives with industry trends and localisation strategies. Along with an increase in mobile connectivity, Cloud computing has become one of the most significant technologies to happen in the last decade and presents significant cost and efficiency advantages.

Understanding Telecel Zimbabwe: The past, present and future (Infographic)

The Russian led Vimpelcom Group took over Orascom Telecom not too long ago, thereby resulting in an indirect majority shareholding in Telecel Zimbabwe. We believe the Vimpelcom deal was the best thing that could ever happen to the company. The global telecoms sector is undergoing a period of consolidation in which larger operators are able to pass on economies of scale and cost advantages to consumers. Africa has witnessed its fair share of consolidation resulting in the emergence of pan-African operators we have profiled here in a Techzim series known as Africa’s Telecoms Titans.

Copied work: The Econet Broadband ad campaign

A very striking similarity between Econet Broadband ads and those Allen Solly (a retail chain in India) recently came to our attention. The Econet campaign was created by Young and Rubicam Johannesburg, which since last year has listed Econet Wireless as one of its major accounts.

Africa’s Telecoms Titans: Etisalat

Etisalat is a global telecommunications company that was founded in 1976 as a parastatal owned by British investors and the federal government of the United Arab Emirates. The company has grown to become one of the biggest full service telecommunications operators in the world with a footprint across MENA (Middle East & North Africa, West Africa, the Indian Subcontinent and Asia. Its services span internet provision, mobile, content, fixed line and infrastructure solutions.

Matchio boldly attempts to conquer the world’s colleges

We first met Tatenda Furusa on the sidelines of Zimbabwe’s inaugural BarCamp early this year. While he briefly mentioned his startup at the event, it only required taking a look at the product to understand just what he is up to. Matchio the kind of product that just feels right, it was after all built in the land that birthed Silicon Valley and a plethora of the world’s greatest internet platforms.