Techzim

Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

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Beware: the heat bug

There are two things that I absolutely hate: a slow computer and a slow internet connection. A laptop that inexplicably restarts and shuts down on its own volition is an anathema. It is every geek’s nightmare. If your laptop recently started freezing and restarting on its own this might be because of the sweltering September […]


How graphic design & technology can end taxi chaos in Zimbabwe

Boarding a Taxi or a public bus – while it might seem like a simple enough task elsewhere; In Zimbabwe It has lately become a very dangerous affair. There have been very recent reports of deaths, robberies and police kidnappings involving taxis. But before this article grabs the attention of the UN and the global sanctions machinery, these reports are very few and far between but by no means non-existent.


9 things to expect: Multichoice’s ‘Explora’

For a long time, Digital satellite television hardware technology has remained mostly stagnant in our part of the world. The last big thing in satellite technology was the launch of Multichoice’s PVR decoder which heralded a revolutionary (at least for us) non-linear TV viewing experience; viewers could now pause live television. Since then, a lot has changed.


To Zim parastatals: mum is not the word.

Imagine this: You get home at around 6 pm exhausted from your day at work. Your wife is in the kitchen preparing dinner and you decide to catch on the day’s news on the television in the lounge. As soon as you sit down on the couch, the power goes out.


Zimbabwe desperately needs modern medical equipment

I recently accompanied a sick relative to the hospital. As we were waiting for our turn to receive treatment I could not help notice the stark difference between our local hospitals and the ones that I see in Western movies. Our hospitals look empty in comparison.


Assessing Zimbabwe’s readiness for eCommerce

Over the past 2 years there has been an increasing amount of talk on the readiness of Zimbabwe to adopt e-commerce. A number of articles published either imply or affirm that Zimbabwe is now a ripe market for e-commerce.  Well, the truth is, this is not a simple matter to conclude. E-commerce is a tool […]


Zimbabwean travel and tourism websites you may want to visit.

Zimbabwe is a beautiful country endowed with great sites for sole eyes. Our country simply offers some of the best tourism destinations in the world. With that in mind we decided to go through the internet in search of websites that do justice to Zimbabwe’s beauty and add convenience to a traveller who is planning […]


Local electronics hardware manufacturer, Mukonitronics, hit by Chinese fakes

Mukonitronics, a local electronics manufacturer – one of the few in Africa who design and manufacture industrial and consumer power products – contacted us recently to let us know they are currently fighting off clones from China. The company, whose founder we interviewed on this blog some time back, is known locally for durable surge protectors called M-Tron surge protectors, and according to them, this is the product that’s being cloned in China at a fraction of the cost that makes the genuine product appear needlessly expensive.


The impact of ICT on African politics

We have always known that  ICT has many positive impacts in various spheres of life, we therefore ask the question will it greatly improve African politics. A recent interview on ICT Africa between Nyaradzo Mafolo (a media expert for ICT Africa) and Dr. Jabulani Dhliwayo (an expert in fibre optics and a freedom fighter in […]


Lessons from the Gringo film

On the evening of independence day, 18 April, the Zimbabwean Shona film Gringo the Troublemaker by NAMA award winner writer Enock Chihombori premiered. The 1 hour 50 minutes production was based on the ever popular 1990s series “Gringo”. The reviews were excellent and the movie received a lot of praise from many critics. Yet almost three and half months later the film is still yet to recoup its $48 000 initial cash outlay.


Web and mobile technology tools for the 2013 Zimbabwe elections

We’ve written in the past few weeks on technology tools that have launched to make convenient processes around elections like checking the voter’s roll, finding the nearest polling station, and following the results. As there are a couple more out there that we haven’t covered we thought we could just list them all in one post.


Maybe it will take new generations to embrace the internet

Sometimes I wonder if we get the internet. We, the people that have been lucky enough to see the internet. Do we get how big a shift the internet is? Or are we too early into this new era we have to take it in a bit at a time, lest it throws the balance we’ve built around ourselves off?


Where is Zimbabwe’s technology? Why?

We have all admired the advanced technologies in movies, the hologram computers, the space satellites, the high-tech weapons and we have all redirected our minds back home to reflect on our own world’s position in technology. The result of that always leaves a dulling effect in our minds. Well this is an attempt to assess what is really on ground in terms of technology and whether or not we are really centuries behind the developed world, like they say. Is the word “century” here an exaggeration or a fact?


SABC encryption a welcome development, says ZBC. Now pay your TV license!

An article in the state owned daily The Herald today says the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has “hailed” the encryption of the South African SABC channels a few days ago, which made the channels inaccessible on free to air decoders. The report says ZBC is urging viewers to pay up TV licences as this would enable ZBC to improve the programming.


Satellite TV: South Africa finally encrypts SABC channels

Local TV sucks. Well, ok, that’s too general. But those satellite dishes stuck to walls , housetops and trees even in the lowest income neighbourhoods suggest people are hungry for other content. Maybe it’s in addition to what’s served by the local TV overlords.


The wearable technology craze

Human beings can be crazy when when it comes to technology-or anything for that matter-so much sometimes they subscribe to the weirdest notions. Take for example dog clothes and Doggles that will cost you prices north of $100. Then there are Snuggies and electric blankets.


Why more people should use scooters in Harare

On 22 February this year, I bought a scooter. I have been using it ever since. Well, not every day initially, but now it’s become my primary means of transport. It’s changed how I move around drastically and not a day passes without me thinking to myself; why the hell did I take so long to do this.


ELearning Africa conference to kick off in Namibia this week

The 8th annual eLearning Africa conference will take place in Namibia this week. The event is organised by the ICWE GmbH and is this year hosted by the Namibian government.


Why we need DNA testing in Zimbabwe

Biology has seen to it that one of the least disputed things in life is maternity. If a woman thinks it is her child then in all probability that is the almost always the case. On the other hand men are not so fortunate. In fact a study of Harare magistrate’s court cases in 2011 revealed that in two cases out of three when a man suspected the child was not his, the child was indeed not his.


Sorry for the newsletter mix-ups: here’s how to subscribe again

Over the past week or so, we fumbled clumsily with the migration of our newsletter system from Google to Aweber. Clumsy because we lost some of you, some of you were made to re-subscribe, and the emails you got were not clear about what was happening. We’re sincerely sorry. We should have done this in a much smoother painless way for everyone.


A case for technology in football

It has been a busy week in football as the 2013 season draws to a close and various teams fiercely competed for different accolades both at the local and international scenes. There were accusations of biased referees, offside goals that should have been disallowed, players biting each other, players diving to get penalties, some throwing balls at one another at some high level tournaments.


Shopping safely abroad using debit cards

Most of us have friends and relatives who lost money and valuables either on their way to and back from South Africa. Despite our well stocked shops, there are still some economic reasons for embarking on this perilous journey to shop in towns like Musina and Johannesburg especially if you are looking to purchase some IT related equipment.


With ZESA so unreliable, why aren’t we keen to produce our own power

Something that has always struck me as strange is that no matter how unreliable the national power company’s supply is, there’s just not that many people that consider solar power an alternative. By the urban middle class, solar is regarded either as a rich people’s luxury, or, on the other extreme, a rural village utility.


Zimbabwe’s tech mercenaries

I watched in disbelief as my local transformer blew up in flames for what must surely be the upteenth time in little over a month. I could not fathom the cause for such incompetence as this was also the upteenth new transformer ZESA had installed. My friend however had a perfectly rational explanation as always:


Here’s some great video and animation work by a Zim company

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.


RIE 2013 First Call for Papers: Research Partnerships for Wealth Creation

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.


Bulawayo helicopter man. Here’s to the crazy ones!

We just got pointed to this YouTube video of a Bulawayo man called Barnabas Sibanda who apparently built a helicopter prototype and was raising, back then in 1994, funds to start a helicopter factory.


A Deeper Look at Zimbabwe’s Industrial Policy

At Gideon Gono’s peak, his monetary policy announcements would cause all manner of analysts – great thinkers and charlatans alike to creep out of the woodwork in criticism or praise. Yet the silence that followed the launch of the industrial policy (IP) by Minister Welshman Ncube either shows lack of understanding or enthusiasm for it […]


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 […]


ZINARA implements new license discs but no scanners

With all the recent hullabaloo about the ZINARA (Zimbabwe National Roads Authority) deadline for motorists to upgrade to the new license disc system we decided to have a look at what the fuss was all about (the initial deadline was for 31 May and then extended to 30 June 2012). The new ZINARA license discs […]