Techzim

Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


Evernote looking for Zim tech talent for global app competition

Are you a talented African designer or developer and are looking at showcasing your talent at a global stage? Well Evernote, the company that is helping the world remember everything, is looking for someone like you. By joining forces with the African Technology Foundation (ATF) Evernote has set out on a roadshow to find Africa’s […]


Half year review : There will be no Christmas this year

In my previous macroeconomic review, I forecast 2014 would be a dark year and for the most part I have been proven right. Businesses ( tech or not) have been subjected to indiscriminate power cuts that sometimes last up to 16 hours, a hostile legal and policy framework as well as the infamous liquidity crunch […]


We can make learning code easier in Zimbabwe. Let’s teach each other

After writing the “To learn code, teach code” article last week, I got emails from a few people asking me to teach them code. Some offered to teach me how to write secure code. And most, who had experienced the same, just generally echoed that it’s a great idea. But then sharing my experiences in an article […]


MTN is actually already in Zimbabwe. Just not fighting with their usual weapons

Unbeknownst to most of us, MTN, Africa’s mobile telecoms giant, is actually already in Zimbabwe. They just aren’t fighting on the highly regulated front of mobile telecoms. In Zimbabwe, and other countries on the continent where MTN doesn’t do traditional mobile telecoms business, the company is now operating internet startups such as a newly launched […]


ADSL prices reduced by half for all SMEs?

An amazing and unbelievable deal if I ever heard one myself! – ADSL at half-price for all small and medium scale enterprises in Zimbabwe giving a boost to the vital business subset that’s promoting national economic growth (smiles from startups and ZIMASSET evangelists!). Sadly nothing like this “special offer” or anything close to it has […]


Rocket Internet is bad for the African tech startup ecosystem, says Njoku

Jason Njoku, the Nigerian co-founder of iROKO Partners, speaks his mind. Often enough and candid enough he has enough people criticising him, especially in Nigeria itself. Take this piece he wrote in January this year for example in which he decries the lack of local internet company champions in Nigeria, a problem which, he said, had created ample space for the likes of […]


To learn code, teach code

Some ten years ago, I was employed by a local private college to teach web development at weekends. A few years earlier I had taught myself a bit of PHP, html and css. Enough to build a decent ‘database driven website’, as they were called in those days. But I only knew the stuff I needed for that startup and […]


Man in the mirror: What Econet can learn from being excluded by ZESA

Econet is unhappy about being excluded by ZESA from selling prepaid electricity tokens via the EcoCash mobile money platform. It doesn’t make sense to them how the government won’t let them provide convenience the market needs. The issue has come up in more than half of the conversations I’ve had with Econet executives these past 3 or so months. It’s […]


The decline of Mxit: App loses 25% users in South Africa

I have never really been a user of Mxit. But I have always known that to be more about my age than Mxit’s actual usefulness. School & college going users of the app have clearly had (or now it appears it’s ‘used to have’ ) good use for it for some time. Still, I used to encounter the Mxit […]


Dipleague founder finally speaks out about impostor “leagues”

A while ago we published an article on how local mailing classifieds list Dipleague was being imitated by other “Dipleagues.” These other versions, available on different platforms though mostly social media, have similar names while offering the same service as the first Dipleague. After a lot of varied opinions on the subject were raised in the […]


PIVOT East 2014: Startups in mobile finance category highlights

East Africa’s largest startup competition, PIVOT East has come to life and East African startups have started a battle of ideas and an event being held in Nairobi Kenya. The first category was on Startups in (mobile) Finance which saw five startups, three from Kenya and 2 from Uganda pitching ideas on mobile finance, payments […]


Umuntu shuts down iZimbabwe and others like it. Founder leaves for Gumtree

Recently, we noticed that the Umuntu Media founder, Johan Nel, has moved to Gumtree South Africa (an eBay owned company). Umuntu, if you remember, is the company behind iZimbabwe.co.zw, iZambia, iNamibia and other such news portals. What the startup is known for most is raising US $1 million in 2011 to do country portals that had local news, a […]


What does it take to get a USSD code for your brilliant VAS service?

For every tech entrepreneur angling for the mobile market in ZImbabwe or Africa one option that always presents itself as being lucrative is that of VAS services development. We all want a chance to create and launch solutions that can cater for the millions of mobile users that offer a potential market too big to […]


How’s this for a relevant startup idea – IsThereZESA.com

They say that some of the best ideas are found in the graveyard, buried with their originators. I have had my fair share of dances with hackathons and startup challenges, never seeming to crack the code that leads to winning, funding and eventual IPO! I have had my share of sleepless nights thinking of the […]


I deserve money for my idea: The folly of developers

An advent enthusiast in mobile financial services I was more than eager to hear developers and VAS innovators alike fire away at Econet (Ecocash) for their “reluctance” to open up their network to applications and VAS at the recent Broadband Forum. Not surprisingly was Econet’s calculated responses since they have had to answer to accusations […]


These PIVOT East selection criteria will help your startup wherever you are

It’s just a week before one of Africa’s most watched startup competitions and conference, PIVOT EAST, kicks off in Nairobi. The competition will see 25 startups compete for the top spot in each of 5 categories. The competition is only open to East African startups but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the valuable lessons they […]


The Internet Hall of Fame: Are these the top internet companies in Africa?

An organisation called World Startup Report (WSR) has released research data they call the “Internet Hall of Fame” which is essentially a report on data from the top 3 biggest Internet companies from some 50 countries around the world. There’s a lot of interesting information about internet companies in general so do go through it, but a few things about emerging and […]


Paynow, a new Zimbabwean internet payments gateway. Simplicity at its best

If you tried to buy a ticket to the Broadband Forum event that we held last week, you probably noticed you could buy online, and that we were accepting EcoCash, ZimSwitch Vpayments and even VISA. And it worked seamlessly both for us and the people paying. We were using the new internet payments platform by Webdev called Paynow. The platform has been live for […]


Zim’s VAS & App Ecosystem in the Mobile Broadband Era #ZimBroadband

Many of you have been requesting that we post the presentations from Broadband Forum 2014 here, so here you are. We will post each one separately so they are easily findable after they are buried from our home page. In the next couple of days we will also be posting the videos so it makes […]


How Zimbabwe’s technology sector can realise its full potential

Zimbabwe’s technology sector has seen unprecedented growth over the last 3 years but it is my belief that this falls short of the full potential that Zimbabwe’s technology sector can realize. Zimbabwe has one of the highest literacy rates in the world which makes Zimbabwe best placed to take the crown of the leading technology […]


WordPress, Drupal or Joomla? Choosing the right CMS for the job

Content Management Systems have for a long time made it easy to get into content publishing on the internet, and sometimes can be the quickest way to a rapid solution even for a startup that’s not into hard core publising especially when your coding is not your strongest point. We came upon this comparison of […]


Dandemutande in 3rd year of losses. Hopeful of breakeven in 2014

Masawara PLC, investors in Dandemutande, announced its 2013 financials today revealing that Dandemutande made a third consecutive annual loss in the year. Dandemutande made an EBITDA loss $2.1 million. The loss has however decreased year on year by about 41%, from the $3.6 million incurred in 2012. According to the report Dandemutande is also registering strong growth in business evidenced by 46% growth […]


The Technovation Challenge draws to a close

Yesterday the Technovation Challenge drew to a close with the first prize for the Senior High School category going to Eaglesvale High School’s Technogeeks team for their EagleApp. A two member team called Geek Charming took first place in the Junior School category for their Uripi application. According to an article on Mobile Learning Zone […]


Econet near to launching pay TV service called ipidi

Econet Wireless, it is emerging, will be launching  a new subscription and “pay as you go” TV service called ipidi in the coming weeks to few months. A job advert for a marketing director that the company posted to its website last week Wednesday shows the company is looking to fill the position, in their words, “as soon […]


Mobile operators MTN, Orange, Millicom & Safaricom, see opportunity in tech startups

Yesterday, Orange Telecom, a French owned mobile telecoms company with operations in a number of African countries, announced the launch of a startup incubator in Niger. The incubator is the third the company has launched after similar ones in Niger and Mauritius. Earlier in the month, Safaricom’s CEO, Bob Collymore told Bloomberg TV Africa that they are […]


The DNA of Hubs Part 4 – Ski Hub Bulawayo

Martin Ndlovu, founder of Ski Hub presenting at the Startup Weekend Zimbabwe As we conclude our series on the DNA of hubs we are focusing on Bulawayo’s Ski Hub, established and centred in the city’s local tech institution National University of Science and Technology (NUST). As the only hub outside Harare Ski Hub has managed to […]


Local startup’s Hunter app is a virtual market with IM for users

The recently held Computer Society of Zimbabwe meet up for the Harare Chapter had a focus on emerging ICT entrepreneurs and how these guys are playing a part in the economic turnaround of the economy. One of the presentations that resonated with these themes was made on an virtual market and IM application called Hunter. […]


Lies, damn lies, entrepreneurship and Africans supporting each other

The life of a startup entrepreneurship is anything but easy. Anywhere in the world really. What is considered the normal failure rate is nothing short of scary and alarming. Very close to all startup companies are headed for failure before they can become anything, again, anywhere in the world. The odds are stacked against the entrepreneur so much, any break anyone can […]


Technovation Challenge : video pitches and demos of ideas that came out

Submission of entrants to the oldest global tech competition for girls, the Technovation Challenge official closed a fortnight ago. A total of 18 teams successfully made their submissions. The local leg of the Technovation Challenge was launched in Zimbabwe on 8 February 2014 at Hypercube Tech Hub, where scores of young girls congregated and registered […]


Latest Techzim Podcast: Start-up Weekend, Astro Virtual 2, Zim’s Top 11 Start-ups

Welcome once again to this week’s edition of the Techzim Podcast, in this edition we had Soul Kabweza, Nigel Gambanga & Tendai Mupaso. We discussed the following issues: Start-up Weekend Astro Virtual 2 the new flagship phone  Zim’s top 11 Start-ups WhatsApp making up for 23% of data used. We are looking forward to hear […]