Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

Zimbabwe to host regional startup meetup for DEMO Africa 2017 – here’s how to take part

Saisai, one of the Zimbabwean startups that pitched and won an award at DEMO Africa.  Some good news for local startups looking for exposure and the opportunity to secure investors –  DEMO Africa 2017 is now open for applications with Zimbabwe set to take part on the buildup to the conference. DEMO Africa 2017 is […]

eMAP dispute haunts Dokora as Minister faces US$3.5 million lawsuit for software piracy

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Lazarus Dokora has been sued for US$3.5 million by two Zimbabwean software development firms over the alleged piracy of an online enrolment system. According to the Herald the two companies – Assist Limited and Purple Divine Technology – are owned by a Zimbabwean entrepreneur called Nyasha Matongo. Matongo […]

Econet makes changes to e-learning platform Ruzivo; adds Shona, Ndebele & other subjects & content is free

Plans to hack that away now suggests that perhaps users aren’t cosying up to it even though Econet has said “thousands” of users are signing up. If that’s the case, it would be a damper for Econet which needs all the Over the Top services revenues it can get as a telecoms operator.

YouTube launches US$35 per month live TV service called YouTube TV, furthers disruption of broadcasting

Simply called YouTube TV, the live TV service will be available first in the United States. Subscriptions have been set at US$35 per month which will get you (up to six users per account by the way) 44 channels including access to YouTube Red – the $10 per month ad-free YouTube service that already has some of its own movies.

EcoCash & Mahindra win GSMA award for best mobile payments solution at Mobile World Congress 2017

Vamsi Madhav, VP, MFS at Comviva and Natalie Jabangwe – the General Manager of EcoCash EcoCash, the mobile money service that’s owned by Zimbabwe’s largest mobile network operator, Econet, was recently named Best Mobile Payment Solution at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Global Mobile (Glomo) Awards for 2017. The award was received in partnership with […]

YouTube reinforces its position as the internet’s leading video platform, celebrates 1 billion+ hours of content watched everyday

Who doesn’t like YouTube? Not because of its cat videos, but just how it makes it easy to access a huge vault of just about every type of content. YouTube has shared some insight on just how much people are watching it. According to the Google Alphabet owned company, people around the world are now […]

Frustrated by the WhatsApp Status feature and your disappeared contacts list? Here’s how you can access it

WhatsApp Status, the new feature from the insanely popular Instant Messaging service has received mixed reviews from users. While some people are celebrating a new feature that resembles Snapchat Stories and the sort of engagement it creates (not to mention the “new content”), there are very loud cries about how it’s turning a stripped-down, simple […]

All is set for TechFest – the regional innovation meetup hosted by Bulawayo based hub TechVillage

If, however, you just want to attend the event, soak it all in and perhaps take part in a hackathon or two, tickets are being sold on the TechFest website and through TechVillage as well as through liaison with the organisers via the TechFest Facebook page.

Nokia 3310 officially returns at MWC 2017 as a feature phone without emerging market ambitions

The prices and specs don’t look like they are set for an emerging markets type of device. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with that, though. Nokia is trying to establish itself in markets where it was displaced.

Zimbabwe yet to adopt compulsory infrastructure sharing as model gets pushback from Econet

However, in efforts to maintain a semblance of a fair playing field Econet’s arguments have to be taken seriously. The State isn’t in a position to just force players to share when it doesn’t own the majority of the said infrastructure. Base stations aren’t land.

Your WhatsApp has changed? Here’s how to use that new Status feature

WhatsApp’s new Status feature which was announced earlier this week has finally started showing up on a lot of people’s phones. The feature, which has been automatically rolled out to all users has changed the way WhatsApp looks. If you missed the news and are wondering what the fuss is all about the new WhatsApp Status […]

Strive Masiyiwa to take part in SnapChat IPO? – African telecoms mogul expresses interest in the company’s shares

Commenting on one of his recent blog posts, Masiyiwa recently highlighted the massive value being created by the IPO, particularly against the backdrop of its financial performance. He also expressed his interest in buying shares in Snapchat.

WhatsApp launches feature called Status which copies Snapchat Stories but with encryption

WhatsApp, the hugely popular Instant Messaging platform is continuing on its path to release new service and feature updates. The latest release is a “new” feature called Status which was announced by the WhatsApp team earlier this week. It’s essentially a pimped up version of that Status tab that been previously used for text messages […]

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) extends access to its trading system with new View Only Terminals

Access is only for viewing and subscribers are not able to post any trades or import reports from the VOT. There is an option for the subscriber’s account to be configured under a stockbroker of their choice or directly under the ZSE.

UK money transfer startup introduces international money transfer services on Facebook’s Messenger

TransferWise, a European money transfer startup recently announced the launch of a service that allows Facebook users to make international money transfers through the Messenger platform.

Zimbabwe’s opposition parties plan demos against government’s takeover of Biometric Voter Registration procurement

Zimbabwe’s opposition parties which belong to the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) are planning to hold nationwide demonstrations against the government’s move to take over the procurement of the biometric voter registration (BVR) kits. Recently the Zimbabwe government through the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) stated that it was taking over the procurement of BVR kits from […]

Comexposed, Zimbabwe’s annual comic book & digital arts convention returns in April 2017

Here’s some good news for local animators, gamers and artists; Comexposed, a highlight of Zimbabwe’s animation and digital arts scene is happening again this year and a date has been set. On the 22nd of April 2017, the third edition of Comexposed will be happening at Theatre in the Park in Harare from 9 am to 530 […]

Local startup introduces e-payment app Zapper to Zimbabwe, explores QR codes transactions opportunity

The cash crisis in Zimbabwe has been a sore point for just about everyone who’s trying to handle transactions. If it’s not the frustration of failing to access your money there’s the fact that for all the cashless society talk, sometimes there just aren’t nearly as enough Point of Sale (POS) machines from every retailer. […]

Prophet Walter Magaya’s PHD Ministries adopts Facebook Live as its latest broadcast channel

PHD Ministries, one of Zimbabwe’s most prominent churches most popularly know through the works of its founder Prophet Walter Magaya recently announced that it would be live streaming its services on Facebook Live. Facebook Live is the mobile broadcast video feature from the popular social media platform which allows users to livestream themselves to their friends and followers. […]

Analysts forecast 9% revenue decline in Econet’s results as economy & regulatory involvement take toll

According to a forecast from local equities research and trading outfit IH Securities Research, Econet Wireless – which is the country’s largest mobile network operator with the largest market share – will likely face an 8.9% decline in annual revenue for the 2016-2017 financial year with revenues expected to reach US$584million.

No price increase for DStv Zimbabwe subscribers…for now

MultiChoice South Africa recently announced that the cost of DStv South Africa bouquets will be going up with effect from the 1st of April 2017. The adjustment, which looks like one of the almost regular DStv annual price increases has also raised questions about whether or not the same adjustment will be made by DStv Zimbabwe. […]

Steward Bank launches a Facebook Live “talk show”, joins Zimbabwe’s growing online broadcast trend

The issue, though, isn’t really the Steward Bank show or how big a marketing opportunity for its Square product the bank is eyeing here. What’s striking here is the way Facebook Live has become a thing.

Zimbabwe government takes over acquisition of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits from UNDP

The government of Zimbabwe has taken over the acquisition of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits, replacing the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which had stepped in because of Zimbabwe’s strained resources.

Zimbabwe spent US$45 million on DStv subscriptions in six months

DStv subscriptions and card payments totalling US$206 million were the second highest driver of foreign currency payments between July and December 2016. According to the RBZ Governor about US$45 million of that was for DStv payments.

Mobile money accounts for 81.2% of transactions in Zimbabwe, RTGS leads in transaction value – RBZ

In 2016 mobile money payments in Zimbabwe accounted for 81.2% of all electronic payment transactions maintaining the dominance mobile money services have had in transaction volumes.

DStv subs & card payments are 2nd highest driver of forex use for Zimbabwe, trend is a cause of concern for RBZ

During this period Zimbabwean foreign currency payments for DStv and card transactions exceeded other transactions such as the importation of raw materials for the manufacture of products like cooking oil, maize imports and the allocation for machinery and telecoms equipment.

Here’s the 2017 Monetary Policy Statement from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s Monetary Policy Statement for 2017 has been presented by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Dr John Mangudya. It highlights the steps that the RBZ is taking to regulate monetary policy and activity in the country including measures to deal with the cash crisis in Zimbabwe as well as the foreign currency […]

Zimbabwe processed US$2.9 billion worth of POS transactions in 2016, annual volumes jumped by 260%

Zimbabwe processed Point of Sale (POS) transactions worth US$2.9 billion in 2016 with POS volumes increasing by 260% during the same period. POS transactions are all payments made at swipe machines using plastic money in the form of debit and credit cards. According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe 2017 Monetary Policy Statement, the value of […]

African VOD service & DStv affiliate ShowMax expands footprint, enters Europe with Poland launch

This extends ShowMax’s reach to a totally new region (it launched in 36 new countries, including Zimbabwe, in 2016) and also positions it as a multi-continental VOD service which is betting heavily on the prospect of increased coverage through geographic expansion.

Facebook launches Bots Developer Challenge for Middle East & Africa with cash prizes & mentorship. Here’s how to take part

If you are a developer in Africa or the Middle-East, Facebook has extended a challenge to you. The company is holding a competition to encourage the development of innovative bots for its Messenger platform. Called the Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge it’s been announced as a contest which will recognise and reward developers who are able to […]