Techzim https://www.techzim.co.zw Sat, 24 Feb 2018 05:10:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 12207343 Instagram Adds New Features To Bolster Security And Send Pictures That Disappear After One View https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/instagram-adds-feature-boost-security/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/instagram-adds-feature-boost-security/#respond Sat, 24 Feb 2018 05:10:14 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886818

Instagram’s latest update focuses on security with a Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) system now available. Instagram also added a ‘One View’ feature to the Instagram Direct messaging service. In a bid to better protect user’s data Instagram will now be offering 2FA option to log into one’s account. As we reported when Whatsapp started offering 2FA, […]

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Instagram Adds New Features To Bolster Security And Send Pictures That Disappear After One View

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Instagram’s latest update focuses on security with a Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) system now available. Instagram also added a ‘One View’ feature to the Instagram Direct messaging service.

In a bid to better protect user’s data Instagram will now be offering 2FA option to log into one’s account. As we reported when Whatsapp started offering 2FA, the feature adds an extra layer of protection in addition to your password. Every time you try to log into your account from a different device you’ll be required to enter an SMS code or security code in addition to your password and email.

After you’ve turned on two-factor authentication, you’ll be able to access backup codes for your account. If you don’t receive an SMS security code during the two-factor authentication login process, you’ll still be able to log into your account by using a backup code. Users must note that you need to have an active mobile phone number since you’ll receive the codes via SMS.

The service is a bit different to the one offered by Whatsapp in that you do not get to chose your own 6-digit code and Instagram also sends you a bunch of backup codes that they encourage you to take a screenshot of (I’m not sure how safe that is).

One downside to the 2FA system is Facebook has recently been sending spam to users once they have entered their number activating 2FA on Facebook. Gabriel Lewis, a software engineer in the US received a notification about posts from other people on the number he had used during the authentication process. I mentioned this Facebook incident because as you may or may not know Instagram is owned by Facebook.

The other new feature I saw when testing out Instagram was the ‘One View’ feature. I’m not sure if that’s the actual name but that’s what I’m calling it until I know what’s what. This feature allows users to send a picture that will disappear from the chat once the receiver has viewed it.

To send a picture/video that disappears after being viewed, open the Direct Camera in your inbox and select the ‘One View’ feature. Users also have an option to ‘Allow Replay’ which enables the receiver to see the contents of that image or video for 24 hours.

The ‘one View’ feature is identical to how images are viewed on Snapchat and it seems Facebook will not rest until they have copied and revised all of the Snapchat features.

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Instagram Adds New Features To Bolster Security And Send Pictures That Disappear After One View

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Beware!!! Scammers Offering Jobs in Exchange For Non-Existent Digital Currency In Bulawayo https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/beware-scammers-offering-jobs-exchange-non-existent-digital-currency/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/beware-scammers-offering-jobs-exchange-non-existent-digital-currency/#respond Fri, 23 Feb 2018 11:34:16 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886800

The current employment situation in our country is ensuring that people are constantly on the lookout for any employment. At times this desperation to secure any form of employment gives thieves the opportunity to hoodwink, bamboozle, lead astray and flat out deceive innocent people trying to sustain themselves and their families. One such scam is […]

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Beware!!! Scammers Offering Jobs in Exchange For Non-Existent Digital Currency In Bulawayo

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The current employment situation in our country is ensuring that people are constantly on the lookout for any employment. At times this desperation to secure any form of employment gives thieves the opportunity to hoodwink, bamboozle, lead astray and flat out deceive innocent people trying to sustain themselves and their families.

One such scam is taking place in Cowdray Park, Bulawayo as an organisation operating under the name Sound Prosperity is offering people cleaning jobs in one of the schools in the Cowdray Park area.  Job seekers are required to sign a form with terms and conditions before being allowed to work. This form outlines that anyone looking for a job is required to pay a non-refundable $5 dollars that will be used to open a SPURT account. The form also outlines that workers will be paid 10SPURT/hour and will be allowed to work a maximum of 2hrs per day.

Once hired workers are required to clean schools. We are not yet sure which school was being cleaned but we will update the article once we have all the information.

The terms and conditions

Spurt is ‘apparently’ a digital currency. I say apparently because when I searched for the currency on Google it did not appear in the ‘News’ tab or even the first 10 search pages, which was the first red flag. In this age of digital currencies, how does a digital currency fail to appear in search results?

The second red flag appeared when I found SPURT’s website which coincidentally has the same logo as Sound Prosperity. If you are still on the fence and you think this may be genuine go take a look at the SPURT website. The site states “One SPURT is equivalent of one U.S Dollar.” “equivalent of,“??? Really? I wouldn’t invest a dime in this kind of an organisation.

Apparently, the people who were employed in this cleanup campaign gathered at the school demanding to get their money back. We reached out to Sihlengeni Primary, and Luveve High School and they both did not know of any such development in the area. The last of the three schools in Crowdray Park, Crowdray Secondary Park could not be reached at the time of writing.

Disgruntled workers

We will update the story once we have all the information.

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Beware!!! Scammers Offering Jobs in Exchange For Non-Existent Digital Currency In Bulawayo

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Can Boot Camps Turn You Into A Software Developer Or Do You Need A University Degree? https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/can-boot-camps-turn-software-developer-need-university-degree/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/can-boot-camps-turn-software-developer-need-university-degree/#comments Fri, 23 Feb 2018 10:00:14 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886798

By Ty Moodley Throughout my career, I have worked with many talented developers who have not had any formal University degrees. I have also worked with people who have attended some of the best Ivy League Universities such as Harvard, Duke, and University of Texas at Austin. The one thing that differentiates the former from […]

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Can Boot Camps Turn You Into A Software Developer Or Do You Need A University Degree?

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By Ty Moodley

Throughout my career, I have worked with many talented developers who have not had any formal University degrees. I have also worked with people who have attended some of the best Ivy League Universities such as Harvard, Duke, and University of Texas at Austin. The one thing that differentiates the former from the latter is a piece of paper.

What some people don’t understand is that technology is constantly changing. If you don’t adapt, then you will fail. If you don’t enjoy learning, then you will become a technology dinosaur and eventually become extinct.

A few years ago, I decided to learn Flex. A flash-based technology that was like WinForms development. It was an easy to use framework. You could simply drag and drop controls onto a canvas and you would have a fully working system ready for production. Eventually they came out with a Rich Internet Application (RIA) version which allowed you to build multi-platform apps for Android, IOS, and Windows.

I decided that this was the technology to learn so I embarked on a 6-month learning journey. Once I became proficient with the technology, Steve Jobs made an announcement that killed the platform. He announced that Flash would no longer be supported on IOS devices. That news ended Flex’s future and I had lost my 6-month investment.

As you can tell, Software Development is not for the faint hearted. If you don’t mind learning something for 6 months and then throwing it away because the industry changes then run. Stop reading this article and start learning accounting or start painting.

The point that I am making is that if you enjoy programming and don’t mind learning a new technology every six months then this might be the right career for you.

What is a Boot Camp?

[Editorial Note: Please do not confuse this with the narrative on the Startup Boot Camp that we have been talking about which is coming to Harare next week Wednesday, February 28th}

Over 60 boot camps have opened in the past 10 years to meet the growing demand for software developers. These programs—usually 8 to 12 weeks long and costing $500 on average—offer hands-on training, career guidance and community support, and the opportunity to work on personal projects you can showcase to prospective employers.

They’re like trade schools for the digital age. Although they can be a great way to become a professional coder, boot camps aren’t for everyone.

Graduates of boot camps surveyed by Course Report had an average 44% boost in income after attending the boot camp. (The survey included 432 graduates from 48 programming schools.) Before attending the boot camp, 48% were employed full-time, and after attending the boot camp, 63% were employed full-time. Most boot camps surveyed offer career services such as resume assistance or internship/apprenticeship placement.

Most importantly, lets remember that Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg don’t have university degrees. Some may argue that they are both geniuses, but the reality is that they don’t have those pieces of paper. Who knows, maybe you will develop the next Facebook but one thing that is clear you need to learn and learn a great deal…

About Guest Author Ty Moodley

Ty was born and raised in Harare Zimbabwe. He went to Prince Edward School where he received a Technology Award at some point before heading to the US for university. He came back in 2004 to found a successful technology company that is still operational in Zim before going back to North America

He has been building software for the past 15 years and has worked for large software engineering firms in Harare, Austin TX, Raleigh NC, Toronto ON, Waterloo ON.

Ty has seen how software can help companies, cities, and governments create efficient processes and save money. He currently works for GHD, a large engineering firm that has over 10000 employees worldwide.  
Prince Edward School

Prince Edward School is a secondary school located at Prince Edward Street. The secondary school offers tuition to male and female students for both ordinary and advanced level. Read More About Prince Edward School

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$25k For Startups Solving Financial Inclusion For Low-Income Individuals In Africa https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/datahack-4fi-enters-second-season-with-25k-pay-out-to-most-innovative-startup/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/datahack-4fi-enters-second-season-with-25k-pay-out-to-most-innovative-startup/#comments Fri, 23 Feb 2018 07:58:40 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886784

With startup culture really accelerating, I think we have to take a closer look at developments that are taking place on the startup scene, especially when things are happening down here in Africa. In line with this focus let’s talk about Datahack for Financial Inclusion (Datahack 4FI). Datahack 4FI is an innovation competition that promotes evidence-based decision-making […]

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$25k For Startups Solving Financial Inclusion For Low-Income Individuals In Africa

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With startup culture really accelerating, I think we have to take a closer look at developments that are taking place on the startup scene, especially when things are happening down here in Africa.

In line with this focus let’s talk about Datahack for Financial Inclusion (Datahack 4FI). Datahack 4FI is an innovation competition that promotes evidence-based decision-making for improved financial service provision to low-income individuals. The competition brings together data enthusiasts and financial service providers (FSPs) to crowdsource data-driven solutions to real-world challenges.

Datahack 4FI’s first season took place last year and Kenyan startup MobiTicket walked away with top honours. Their service allows users to book, pay and get bus tickets to their phone. The platform also enables payments through M-Pesa(‘The’ Kenyan mobile-money platform).

What’s on offer besides $25k?

Datahack 4FI offers participants webinars and mentorship from experts including Safaricom Data Scientist Chris Orwa and Google Senior Industry Analyst Nanjala Misiko. Datahack is also partnering with Liquid Telecoms which provides free ‘high-speed internet access’ to startups at the event. They will also be offering cloud-based services. The list of big name supporters goes on with Microsoft offering data science and cloud experts who are coaching entrants in the competition as well.

This year’s competition will be held in 6 countries – Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana and Zambia – before a group of finalists head to Kigali for a final showdown in May 2018. The startup that is deemed most innovative, will walk away with a lucrative $25 000 in prize money.

Zimbabwe is not part of the countries that can apply but is being considered for entry. Fingers crossed, our startups will be able to participate in Datahack 4FI Season 3 next year.

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$25k For Startups Solving Financial Inclusion For Low-Income Individuals In Africa

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First Undersea Fibre Between Africa & South America (SACS) lands in Brazil https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/first-undersea-fibre-africa-south-america-sacs-lands-brazil/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/first-undersea-fibre-africa-south-america-sacs-lands-brazil/#comments Fri, 23 Feb 2018 03:01:27 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886779

The first internet fibre cable connecting Africa and South America, known as SACS (South Atlantic Cable System), has now landed in Brazil. Angola Cables, which owns the undersea cable, announced that the installation of SACS will be made today (Friday, 23 Feb) in the city of Fortaleza, Brazil. Landing and being installed, however, doesn’t mean it goes live […]

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First Undersea Fibre Between Africa & South America (SACS) lands in Brazil

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The first internet fibre cable connecting Africa and South America, known as SACS (South Atlantic Cable System), has now landed in Brazil.

Angola Cables, which owns the undersea cable, announced that the installation of SACS will be made today (Friday, 23 Feb) in the city of Fortaleza, Brazil.

Landing and being installed, however, doesn’t mean it goes live immediately. The cable is entering its final phase of completion and is expected to go live by September this year.

The cable will have an initial capacity of 40Tbps and will basically provide direct internet connectivity between the two continents and onwards to the US.

Angola Cables says that the cable will reduce latency (the waiting time for a communication to be made via the internet) between the two continents fivefold. Apparently, from about 350 milliseconds to just over 60 milliseconds.

Even though there probably isn’t much existing traffic between Africa and South America right now, there have been suggestions that the cable could also drop latency between Africa and some parts of the US.

Angola Cables is 51% owned by the Angolan government. The company also has ownership in two other submarine cables – Monet and WACS – which connect to North America and Europe respectively.

For a summary of all the cables connecting Africa to the rest of the world, see image below, courtesy of Many Possibilities. Click for a higher resolution.

 

African Undersea Cables

African Undersea Cables

According to Many Possibilities, existing major undersea cables connecting Southern Africa to the rest of the world are:

  • WACS  – 14.5Tbps
  • Seacom – 12 Tbps
  • EASSy – 10 Tbps
  • ACE – 5 Tbps

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First Undersea Fibre Between Africa & South America (SACS) lands in Brazil

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Every Zimbabwean Bank Should Be Very Afraid Of Steward Bank’s Kwenga Or At Least Copy It Faster Faster https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/every-zimbabwean-bank-afraid-steward-banks-kwenga-least-copy-faster-faster/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/every-zimbabwean-bank-afraid-steward-banks-kwenga-least-copy-faster-faster/#comments Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:18:44 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886715

What business are we into? This is an important question every business should keep asking themselves and in answering it they should not assume the easy, lazy and obvious. That doesn’t mean the answer has to be complex though. If you speak to my colleagues they will tell you my preferred solution is the simplest […]

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Every Zimbabwean Bank Should Be Very Afraid Of Steward Bank’s Kwenga Or At Least Copy It Faster Faster

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What business are we into? This is an important question every business should keep asking themselves and in answering it they should not assume the easy, lazy and obvious. That doesn’t mean the answer has to be complex though. If you speak to my colleagues they will tell you my preferred solution is the simplest thing that works. Beyond that, it’s all fat.

Let’s look at traditional banking

Steward Bank was plagued by systems issues not so long ago and some bankers I know were laughing at them and calling them names. The argument against the purple bank has always been that they do not understand how banking works. They have been chided for being aggressive in opening accounts for people on the street who are considered a burden and not a customer by traditional banking.

Traditional banking is about buying and selling money. Get money from depositors and then lend this money to businesses, entrepreneurs and others who can create value and bring back more. In this set up you realise that the person who opens a bank account is not the customer to the bank: no the depositor is a mere supplier. The bank’s customer is the borrower because that’s where their money comes from.

Who’s the customer?

Everyone knows that the customer is king and always right. How about the supplier? Isn’t the supplier a servant and always a replaceable nuisance? It’s wrong but generally that’s how suppliers are treated. Banks behave the same. Have you ever gone to enquire about account opening wakangopfeka imwe iya iya (wearing shabby clothes)?

I have. That’s how I have always interviewed who gets to be my banker. Yes, I always considered my enquiry about opening accounts an interview for the bank because I just can’t give my hard earned money to anyone particularly one who judges me on appearances. Not so many banks would pass my interview.

Standard Chartered Bank has been refusing to open an account for me and my business for 3 years now because they said there is a ‘new’ system implementation going on. For three years? But I know people who work for international donor agencies, embassies and others who were able to open accounts with the bank without any question asked and the systems seemed to work fine.

It bothered me but not anymore. I keep going there to attempt opening an account just to check if systems are still being worked on but I have come to realise that I am not their customer. I’m just a wanna be supplier. What I want to supply, they are not buying. It’s OK. Anyway, I am digressing am I not?

Why were other banks sneering at Steward Bank? Because to a banker’s mindset, Steward Bank was concentrating on recruiting low level suppliers who did not have enough money to supply. I used to sneer together with the rest of the smart clad banker types until I saw what Steward Bank was doing and I wrote about it last year.

Definitely the system outages were inexcusable. I have to say that in case they think I am a fan. I am a fan to business models not to businesses. The Steward Bank business model is fascinating like hell.

Recap Steward Bank’s game plan

Steward Bank decided to transform itself from being a bank to be a platform. A transaction platform to be precise and tech ordinarily became their cornerstone. If you look at them as a bank you will grossly underestimate them. The reason I don’t bank with them is that they are not a bank.

They are a Fintech business, more of a startup for that matter. Like all other platforms, they make their money from fees. They exist to enable transactions and they want to push as many as they can. The low value individuals that are not good suppliers to other banks are valuable customers to the purple fintech startup because they perform more transactions than the high net worth individuals.

It is no coincidence that Steward Bank accounts were and can be opened on the streets. When you are a platform you do not want to spend too much chasing large elephants, you just want to build a trap that traps deers. Elephant hunting is for suits, deers can deal with guys in purple t-shirts.

Comes Kwenga

By introducing Kwenga, Steward Bank is solving a collection problem for its customers. Techzim advised a bigger bank to invest in a kwenga like device years ago but they could not see it. Why? Banks don’t seek to solve problems for suppliers especially low net worth suppliers, why should they?

Fintech companies exist to solve transaction problems for any situation where money changes hands. That’s how they make money. As cash continues to be a problem musika people and other small traders now realise they can’t keep demanding cash. Steward Bank then gave them an affordable solution to accept electronic funds.

No doubt, all banks are making money from the cash crisis at least on the domestic front but there is a difference on how:

Making money by design vs making money by default

Steward Bank is deliberately making money out of transaction fees because they had deliberately determined to be a platform fintech company whether they call it that or not. It was probably easy for them to make these choices because they are owned by a technology company.

The rest of the banks are making money out of transactions because ndozviripo (that’s what’s there). They are dreaming of the return to the bankers’ hey days where they made money through treasury deals.

This brings me to why the banks should be afraid of Kwenga and why they should shamelessly copy it:

Steward Bank will expand into the core banker’s space with Kwenga

The biggest deal about Kwenga is not permitting the cobbler to accept swipe, the cobbler was still happy to accept Ecocash. The big deal is data. Now Steward Bank has data about the economic activity of so called informal traders who constitute 60% of all business in Zimbabwe.

With data comes ability to lend to this group. In fact the Kwenga product already allows the merchant to apply for loans. All the other banks have been concentrating on giving out salary based loans. This isn’t just about your ability to pay back because you have a salary but because receiving your salary in their bank allowed them to have data on you: how much you earn, how you spend it etc.

If you don’t have a salary that comes through their bank or any other bank, banks are asking for collateral. This effectively is a way of showing the finger to the informal trader.

By capturing small traders who come in their numbers Steward Bank has managed to aggregate suppliers to their banking division. The small merchants bring in little but they do so in large numbers. At the same time they have aggregated small customers. Small traders also want to borrow money. They borrow small amounts but they do so in their numbers.

Extra advantage: lending small amounts to a large number of customers lowers the associated risks.

The blindside

What the other banks may not appreciate is that the most profound thing happening is that Steward Bank through Kwenga are recruiting the most important customer for the banker of the future.They are now going into traditional banking. Steward Bank started off by ignoring traditional banking and concentrating on building a fintech platform.

With the increased sophistication of that platform they now have capacity to diversify into banking. Now because they have the mass market they will be able to out-compete any bank because in a few years time Steward Bank will be the most cash rich bank in Zimbabwe (my humble opinion) unless the others copy Kwenga as a matter of urgency. I advise them to do so.

Of course, I have to say it’s very possible that Steward Bank do not see all this themselves. It’s probable that they have just been coasting along and bumping into things and adopting them because they were cool things. If so, they should start being more deliberate with where they are now. No silly mistakes now, no excitability, now they need to deliberately strengthen their business model.

NB: I said no silly mistakes not ‘no mistakes.’ They should of course remain unafraid of mistakes, mistakes come with the innovator territory.

Steward BankEcoCash

Steward Bank, is a commercial bank registered and trading in Zimbabwe. Founded as TN Bank in 2001, it later re-branded in 2013, after majority shareholding was bought by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, becoming the banking partner/platform that EcoCash runs on. Read More About Steward Bank

EcoCash is a mobile money transfer facility which is run by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. The facility has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception and is arguably the largest mobile money transfer agent considering the huge sums of transactions that the platform is said... Read More About EcoCash

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Why I Am Buying The Xiaomi 4K Camera And Why You Should Get It Too https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/buying-xiaomi-4k-camera-get/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/buying-xiaomi-4k-camera-get/#comments Thu, 22 Feb 2018 11:49:19 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886720

So recently I decided to branch into a little bit of vlogging. I have the handsome face for it and a beautiful voice to match. It would be a crime not to share it with the wide world. I also want to rely less on stock images on my main blog. The problem is I […]

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Why I Am Buying The Xiaomi 4K Camera And Why You Should Get It Too

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So recently I decided to branch into a little bit of vlogging. I have the handsome face for it and a beautiful voice to match. It would be a crime not to share it with the wide world. I also want to rely less on stock images on my main blog. The problem is I did not have a camera and had a budget of $100. The hunt was on.

Asking for too much

I wanted a camera:

  • That could take stunning videos preferably in true 4K. 1080P is the new normal in Zimbabwe but it never hurts to be future proof
  • Has an excellent inbuilt microphone
  • That could take decent videos at night and in low light
  • I have a shaky hand so EIS stabilization would be welcome
  • Can take 16:9 photos in decent resolution
  • I wanted to use this as a cheap camcorder so I needed the option to be able to turn fish eye distortion off

  • Importantly I wanted all this for $100 or below

Two winners

For the price it was a no brainer that I ended up settling for action cameras. A lot of so called 4K action cameras under $100 do not record in real 4K. Low scale videos are actually interpolated to 4K and the result can be less than ideal. After weeding out the “lemons” two winners emerged: ThiEye E7 and  Xiaomi Mijia Action Camera both of which are currently selling on Geekbuying for less than $100.

Xiaomi wins again

While both cameras are great the Mijia 4k from a Xiaomi affiliate ticks all the right boxes:

  • It records in real 4K at 30fps
  • It comes with EIS anti shake technology when you are recording in 1080P. It’s not perfect but well ..
  • You can record awesome slow motion videos in 1080P at 100fps
  • You can switch fish eye distortion at a cost of course
  • It can take decent 8MP photos that look respectable especially if you save them in Raw format
  • Ability to take time lapse videos automatically
  • A phone app that allows you to control the camera from up to 10m using inbuilt Camera WiFi
  • More importantly the microphone and night time videos samples I saw are enough to give the GoPro a run for its money.

NB Sample footage can be found here

The Mijia 4K is coming my way

I am an admirer of Xioami products of which I have several so it ended up buying the camera. As always you will need a card that can make international payments which means a Visa/MasterCard which most banks will require you to preload with foreign currency. I would recommend the FBC MasterCard or Steward Visa Card both of which are prepaid.

The camera qualifies for  free shipping and you can expect it to reach you after about 40 days from the date of purchase. You can use this time to look for money to pay the ZIMRA Taxman who will demand his dues. Expect to pay around $70 on this purchase. That might look steep until you start looking for a locally available camera with similar specifications. I am going to put the 40 day delivery period to and turn this whole purchase into a Lay bye of sorts.

Mijia 4K Cons

Mijia 4K is stunning but …

Although I am buying this camera it does not mean it’s flawless awesome as it is.

  • It would have been nice to have stabilization on 4K videos the ThiEye E7 has this.
  • It comes with practically zero accessories, there are no waterproof cases and zero mounts, you have to purchase these separately for the price this is understandable
  • You will need a class 10 memory card or better to use this but then again this is true with all cameras.

You decide.

FBCZIMRA

FBC Holdings Limited (FBCH) is an Investment holding company listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and whose principal activities are in Zimbabwe. The Group offers diverse financial services through subsidiaries that span commercial banking, mortgage financing, short-term insurance, re-insurance, securities trading and micro financing. In... Read More About FBC

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is a government department which is responsible for the collection of state revenue in form of excise duty, customs duty, road tolls, corporate and civil taxes. In addition, it also facilitates trade, offers fiscal advise to the government as well as... Read More About ZIMRA

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Scores Lose Jobs As Standard Chartered Set To Close 7 Branches In Bid To Go Digital https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/stanchart/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/stanchart/#respond Thu, 22 Feb 2018 11:00:42 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886748

Standard Chartered is set to close 7 branches around the country in a bid to cut costs and move to digital platforms. The closures are part of a move by Stanchart to centralise its operations. The affected branches are yet to be specified, but the staff working at these branches will be retrenched. They will […]

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Scores Lose Jobs As Standard Chartered Set To Close 7 Branches In Bid To Go Digital

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Standard Chartered is set to close 7 branches around the country in a bid to cut costs and move to digital platforms. The closures are part of a move by Stanchart to centralise its operations.

The affected branches are yet to be specified, but the staff working at these branches will be retrenched. They will not be leaving empty handed though as one worker who claimed he would be affected told The Financial Gazette:

“We are going to be paid a fortnight’s salary for every year served as part our retrenchment package.”

With computers taking on some of the tasks that we as humans are getting employed for it stands to show that people in this age need to gain new skills in order to stay relevant. When the Industrial Revolution came about back in the day, hand-tools were replaced by machinery and yet society did not descend into chaos. I think the threat of losing jobs is real but as humans, we usually adapt. I also do not think this is a malicious move by Standard Chartered, but just an attempt to move with the times.

Back in 2014 Stanchart also closed 6 branches in a bid to downsize operations and it seems that this could be a similar cost-cutting measure. Apparently, the transaction traffic at local branches had plummeted as more and more customers were shifting to digital services. According to Lilian Hapanyengwi:

As our clients and the world go digital and our branch transaction traffic is decreasing, we are always evaluating how we should reformat our current channels to deliver the most efficient service to our clients.

[Standard Chartered] is leveraging on the growth of digital banking and we are currently investing in and enhancing our mobile and online infrastructure.

This is in-line with StanChart’s recent move to invest $7.1 million in modernisation. There are 12 branches undergoing optimisation that will see new buildings that are lean and save space with a focus on digital touch points. The branches that have already gone through the optimisation include the Robert Mugabe Branch in Harare and branches in Bulawayo and Gweru respectively. The Avondale Branch also relocated, though they are still in Avondale.

 

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Scores Lose Jobs As Standard Chartered Set To Close 7 Branches In Bid To Go Digital

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MBCA Rebrand To Nedbank Finally Underway https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/mbca-rebrand-finally-underway/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/mbca-rebrand-finally-underway/#comments Thu, 22 Feb 2018 09:02:19 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886734

Back in 2014 MBCA Bank announced that it would be changing its name as part of a rebranding initiative. The rebranding has been confirmed to be underway though there hasn’t been a definite timeline given as to when the rebranding will end. MBCA will adopt its parent’s name and will be known as Nedbank Zimbabwe. […]

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MBCA Rebrand To Nedbank Finally Underway

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Back in 2014 MBCA Bank announced that it would be changing its name as part of a rebranding initiative. The rebranding has been confirmed to be underway though there hasn’t been a definite timeline given as to when the rebranding will end.

MBCA will adopt its parent’s name and will be known as Nedbank Zimbabwe. Nedbank (The fourth largest South African bank by market capitalisation and customer numbers) owns a 74% stake in MBCA. Other stakeholders include Old Mutual which owns an 18.30% stake in along with Medio de Credito Finanziaio (Italy) and Rothschild as offshore partners who own 3.25 and 1.05 percent shareholding respectively. Employees also own 0.66%, through a share ownership trust.

The reason behind the rebranding is probably to spur growth as the Nedbank brand is more recognisable. The move makes sense as most people were not even aware that MBCA is owned by Nedbank. I think this change will raise awareness and entice a few customers to the bank. Once the rebranding scheme is over I expect a few people to flock to the service because mazimbo toda zvinhu (we are enticed by new things).

In late 2017 MBCA partnered with Ecocash, to become one of 10 banks that offer Ecocash Wallet services. The deal enabled MBCA customers to take advantage of Ecocash services including utility and other bill payments and an assortment of merchant payment services as well as individual funds transfers and airtime credit payments.

MBCA Bank was Zimbabwe’s first merchant bank incorporated in 1956 as the Merchant Bank of Central Africa. It was then converted into a fully-fledged commercial bank and adopted the name MBCA Bank in 2004. 

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MBCA Rebrand To Nedbank Finally Underway

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UZ To Introduce New Engineering Degree https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/uz-to-introduce-new-engineering-degree/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/uz-to-introduce-new-engineering-degree/#comments Thu, 22 Feb 2018 07:29:49 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886721

The University of Zimbabwe is expected to introduce a new Honours Degree in Automotive Engineering.The program will be an addition to UZ’s School of Engineering which currently offers 7 engineering degree programs which include Civil, Metallurgical, and Mechanical Engineering among others. Why UZ is introducing the program The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Levi Nyagura, indicated the move […]

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UZ To Introduce New Engineering Degree

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The University of Zimbabwe is expected to introduce a new Honours Degree in Automotive Engineering.The program will be an addition to UZ’s School of Engineering which currently offers 7 engineering degree programs which include Civil, Metallurgical, and Mechanical Engineering among others.

Why UZ is introducing the program

The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Levi Nyagura, indicated the move is being made in a bid to reduce the money spent on car-related imports. He noted that the cars assembled locally are way too expensive and out of the reach of most citizens, Especially when compared to second-hand imports from other markets like Japan. So the introduction of this program helps lower costs in the local automotive industry.

Nyagura also said the introduction of the program was made in line with UZ’s vision, which is “to offer top-notch degree programmes that are relevant to the situation in present-day Zimbabwe and beyond.”

When will it be implemented

UZ is yet to announce when the program will actually be introduced. The impact of such a program will obviously be felt in the long-term, maybe even a few years after the first classes to enroll have graduated.

With South Africa and Nigeria automotive industries struggling it will be interesting to see how Zimbabwe, which has significantly fewer people, will fare in the automotive industry as the government has been thinking of banning second-hand imports.

I think the introduction of this degree programme comes as good news to those who harbor an interest in that particular field. What do you make of UZ’s move? Let’s talk in the comments below.

University of Zimbabwe

The University of Zimbabwe is the oldest tertiary institution in Zimbabwe that offers degrees, diplomas and certificates in various disciplines such as agriculture and law. Read More About University of Zimbabwe

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The Move To Banish Kombis From Harare City Centre Could Signal Opportunity For Startups https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/the-move-to-banish-kombis-from-harare-and-bulawayo-city-centre-could-signal-opportunity-for-a-startup-i-met-in-kigali/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/the-move-to-banish-kombis-from-harare-and-bulawayo-city-centre-could-signal-opportunity-for-a-startup-i-met-in-kigali/#comments Wed, 21 Feb 2018 16:57:07 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886670

They have tried this before and it was all chaos. Now they have decided to try again and this time by giving two days notice and by making the first effective date for this new system to be a public holiday, a new public holiday in honour of an ousted president for that matter. Anyway, […]

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The Move To Banish Kombis From Harare City Centre Could Signal Opportunity For Startups

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They have tried this before and it was all chaos. Now they have decided to try again and this time by giving two days notice and by making the first effective date for this new system to be a public holiday, a new public holiday in honour of an ousted president for that matter.

Anyway, I understand why the powers that be don’t want kombis in the city centre, everybody does. However, everybody also knows that their system will crumble for the simple reason that the system is non existent. That is of course, unless the system involves deploying soldiers to man the streets to effect the changes. We will see.

There could be a better way. I met a startup called Yego Innovision in Kigali and they are transforming a possibly more chaotic transport situation into a working system you can envy from wherever you are. Their solution is called Yegomoto. First let me define the moto, the centrepiece of the transport system in Rwanda’s urban centres.

Imagine the chaos

The urban transport system in Rwanda is not manned by kombis, not even mushikashika. Public transport is provided by motrcycle scooters they call motos. Now, the moto can only ferry one passenger at a time.

The Kigali population is not too different from Harare. Now recall how many kombis you see on the streets of Harare. Everywhere you turn you see a kombi. Now imagine each of all the 18 persons in each kombi as an individual passenger on their own respective moto taxi. Imagine how many motos you see.

Added to this frenzy is that there are no fixed rates to fixed locations/bus-stops. You negotiate the fair of each ride.

Enter Yegomoto

Yegomoto simply introduced a digital meter that connects to the internet and has GPS. Instead of haggling with the driver every time over the fair the meter calculates the fair based on the transport regulator rates in Rwanda. Added to this the Yegomoto can be paid for using electronic forms of money particularly mobile money.

That’s not the big deal

The big deal with the Yegomoto is the data it collects in real time. I went to their offices to see for myself what kind of data they have. At any given time the Yegomoto guys can know where each and everyone of the taxis that have their meter is. They know how much they are making, how hard the driver works and how they drive and a great of other stuff.

This data can then be used in formulating policy for this sector which has always been very difficult to formalise in Africa.

This needs money our local authorities don’t have

If Zimbabwean kombis had this kind of ‘big brother spyware’ they would self regulate just like the motos are doing in Kigali. Instead of the cops playing a dance called spiky with kombis they can use a blown up computer screen and follow each and every kombi. This will come at zero risk to passenger lives. Of course this will only work if violations are prosecuted transparently.

There is much too much to Yegomoto and I hope to get time to share with you’all about them. Right now the point I seek to make is that what the city councils of Harare and Bulawayo have announced are weak solutions because they have not been worked out. They need to first invest in research and re-imagine a new system in a totally new way.

This kind of investment they cannot afford right now considering that they are failing to provide clean water. Let them go and solve that higher priority issue first and stop window dressing the public transport system which is functioning on top of a network of pot holes. Come on, after water please work on our road networks.

Yegomoto so far has invested USD5.5 million and they look into investing USD12 million before they spread to other cities and towns in Kigali. That is the scale of investment that is needed to introduce a functioning urban transport system that has buy in from all concerned: commuters, transport operators and city planners.

This investment has gone into developing the meter and the software that powers it biut more importantly it has gone into training drivers on road safety and importance of adherence to regulations etc. Yego does not take on unregistered drivers and they have a strict code. The drivers agree to this because Yego gives them benefits they didn’t have before (will follow this up in another article hopefully).

What data is driving our city authorities’ proclamations?

The bedrock of the Yegomoto solution is software and data. Have our authorities attempted to understand the data before proffering a solution? In the case of Yegomoto, it took them 18 months of research, 1500 rides around the city and more than 1000 interviews with passengers and drivers before they started thinking of a solution.

Ultimately Yego is a payments platform and a transport and delivery platform. But they build to this end layer by layer. I am not convinced our city authorities or whoever is calling the shots know what they are doing. Get out of this space and let startups solve this one.

Would Yego come to Zimbabwe?

An emphatic yes. I did not need to convice the Yego Innovision CEO Karanvir Singh about the opportunity here. As soon as I explained how everything was converging: graduation to cashlessness, a government that is desperate for foreign investment, growing internet penetration etc he was already eager to come in and talk to a few people I thought could be a good starting point.

KombiBulawayoHarare

Kombi is the informal name of minibuses in Zimbabwe. This is usually given to the 18 seater type which are privately owned but used for public transport in the country. They are the most popular form of public transport in Zimbabwe a result of the... Read More About Kombi

Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second largest city. Its location was selected by the last Matebele king, King lobengula. Bulawayo used to be one of the country's most attractive cities and a major transport hub for Southern Africa until Zimbabwe entered a period of economic depression in... Read More About Bulawayo

Harare formerly Salisbury is the capital of Zimbabwe. It is the seat of Government, the industrial hub and commercial centre for Zimbabwe. The city was founded by the Cecil John Rhodes-led Pioneer Column in 1890 and named Salisbury. The name was only changed to Harare... Read More About Harare

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Involuntary Porn Stars, Upskirt And Downblouse Photography: Are They Huge Problems In Zimbabwe? https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/involuntary-porn-stars-upskirt-downblouse-photography-huge-problems-zimbabwe/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/involuntary-porn-stars-upskirt-downblouse-photography-huge-problems-zimbabwe/#comments Wed, 21 Feb 2018 15:24:01 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886708

Written by Joyline Maenzanise Technology – it is helpful and it is also dangerous. On the upside, we can – among many other benefits – easily access information. On the downside, there is the risk of having various forms of information retrieved and/or disseminated without the consent of affected individuals. Earlier today, I came across […]

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Involuntary Porn Stars, Upskirt And Downblouse Photography: Are They Huge Problems In Zimbabwe?

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Written by Joyline Maenzanise

Technology – it is helpful and it is also dangerous. On the upside, we can – among many other benefits – easily access information. On the downside, there is the risk of having various forms of information retrieved and/or disseminated without the consent of affected individuals.

Earlier today, I came across an article published by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on how certain campaigners in the UK are fighting to have a practice known as upskirting listed as a sexual offence. Labeling this practice as a sexual offence is seen to enable the police to actively pursue such crimes and see to it that perpetrators are brought to book.

The article also reported that this practice, which has seen a 10-year-old fall victim to it, often takes places in various public spaces such as clubs, shops or restaurants and mobile phones are frequently used while women are usually the target. It is this story that prompted me to write this article so, hopefully, Zimbabwe(ans) can also engage with the issue.

You may be wondering, what is upskirting and the similar, downblousing?

Upskirting is the practice of taking photographs under an unsuspecting person’s skirt in order to capture an image of their underwear or genitalia. On the other hand, downblousing is the practice of taking photographs down the top of a person’s dress, blouse or other garment, thus capturing an image of their breasts or cleavage.

Where these two practices are concerned, either the person taking the photograph is hidden or it is the camera that is hidden or disguised. Applications that enable one to disguise their screen while taking the image or the ability to turn the shutter noise off on a camera make it easy for the individual to take such photographs without being caught. Being in crowded spaces also makes it easy for one to capture these images.

The camera shutter sound as annoying as it is sometimes is there for a reason. Samsung made it important that all their phones should make a sound when taking photos because this practise of upskirting and downblousing and other similar things were common in the Asian markets particularly Japan and South Korea.

Is this a thing in Zimbabwe?

It is not clear how huge a problem this illicit form of photography is in our country but, it is still important that individuals who are generally targeted become aware of these practices and understand them for what they really are (or, should be regarded as) – sexual harassment.

It is also important that we always remind each other not to use our technology savviness in ways that are unethical and infringe upon other people’s fundamental rights. On that same token, it is a reasonable argument that laws should be set in place that safeguard the dignity of would-be victims and mete out punishment to those found guilty of this sexual crime.

Which brings us to these questions:

What does the law of Zimbabwe say about such practices?

There is no clause in the 2013 Constitution and the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [9:23] that clearly labels these forms of photography as criminal offenses. However, there are clauses that speak towards the gross violation of human rights which are worth knowing and may form the basis for laying charges against perpetrators who are caught.

Section 51 of the Constitution says that “everyone has inherent dignity in their private and public life and has the right to have that dignity respected and protected”. Section 53 adds that “no person may be subjected to physical or psychological torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” while Section 57 stipulates that “every person has the right to privacy…”

Clearly, taking sexually explicit images of people without their consent is a violation of their privacy and dignity.

Where the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act) is concerned,

Section 95 stipulates that “any person who, by words or conduct (a) seriously impairs the dignity of another person; or (b) seriously invades the privacy of another person; shall be guilty of criminal insult if he or she intended his or her words or conduct to have an effect referred to in paragraph (a) or(b) or if he or she realised that there was a real risk or possibility that his or her words or conduct might have such an effect, and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding level six or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or both.

While we may argue about the legality of upskirting and downblousing or even the ambiguity of certain clauses in out statutes, one cannot deny how disrespectful such practices are. We need to respect other people’s bodies and their personal spaces and we need to understand the concept of consent.

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Involuntary Porn Stars, Upskirt And Downblouse Photography: Are They Huge Problems In Zimbabwe?

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Startupbootcamp: What Have They Done Thus Far And Should Local Startups Pay Attention? https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/startupbooycamp-what-have-they-done-thus-far-and-should-local-startups-pay-attention/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/startupbooycamp-what-have-they-done-thus-far-and-should-local-startups-pay-attention/#respond Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:37:59 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886700

A week ago we reported on the Startupbootcamp (SBC) event coming to Harare on the 28th of February. The FastTrack event allows startups to gain insight and feedback from industry experts and other startups at the event. For the skeptics out there you may want more detail about what SBC is about and whether their event […]

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Startupbootcamp: What Have They Done Thus Far And Should Local Startups Pay Attention?

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A week ago we reported on the Startupbootcamp (SBC) event coming to Harare on the 28th of February. The FastTrack event allows startups to gain insight and feedback from industry experts and other startups at the event.

For the skeptics out there you may want more detail about what SBC is about and whether their event is worth applying for.

Firstly, startup accelerators are group-based programs that include mentorship and educational components. The group-based programs lead to a public pitch event or a demo day, with the goal to attract investment.

Startupbootcamp claims attending FastTracks is helpful as it increases chances of finding investors by as much as 20%. Startups also get mentorship from subject experts and learn from fellow startups.

“How has SBC fared thus far and what have been some of the outcomes from the program?” you may ask. Well, let me give you a rundown of some the progress they have made.

What they’ve done so far…

The SBC program has accelerated 581 startups since it’s conception, whilst investing over 330 million euros. Of the 581 startups invested in 72% (418) are still active. SBC state that they have created 2898 jobs in less than a decade as SBC was founded in 2010. If you’re not impressed check out the stats for yourself.

The first ever SBC-African accelerator event was hosted in Cape Town, last year. The event resulted in 32 corporate agreements which included proof of concepts and pilots and the CEO of SBC, Philip Kiracofe, felt the event was a resounding success. “To sign 32 agreements is above average for any Startupbootcamp programme in the network. However, when compared to other first-time programmes, SBC Cape Town is the top performing programme,” he said.

Khoyn, a Zimbabwean startup is one of the startups that benefitted from SBC’s program. They developed a chat commerce platform that allows anyone to sell goods and services via a chatbot on messenger. Khoyn enquires about your business and then creates an optimized bot that can field inquiries about your products and facilitate order processing.

They managed to get funding after last years Cape Town event and they had nothing but positive words to say about SBC’s program. Victor Matibiri from Khoyn said,

“SBC is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to springboard your startup. FastTracks offer you a unique opportunity to meet a passionate team that will give you advice and even help you get into the final programme! Every Zimbabwean startup from East to West should definitely attend. Whether or not you make it into the program you will get incredible insight.’

Khoyn: (From left to right) From left to right: Caleb Bhosha, Tamiswanashe Chipika, Victory Matibiri

If you are involved in a startup and you needed to be convinced, there you have it.

Final thoughts…

Personally, I have never attended Startupbootcamp’s events but I think this is a good opportunity for local startups. Making connections is a vital part of startup growth and events such as the SBC FastTrack offer a platform for startups to learn from one another whilst also gaining guidance from gurus in the field.

Your startup may not necessarily qualify for the accelerator program this year but there are always lessons to be learned from attending such events. The fact that it’s free as well hopefully gives startups more incentive to apply.

SBC FastTrack: Harare applications are still open and will be until the 24th of February

ZimbabweHarare

The Republic of Zimbabwe is a country located in the Southern Africa region. Its capital city is :Harare and the country has 10 provinces. Zimbabwe is 390,580 sq km and is bordered on all sides by other countries (Zambia in the north, South Africa in... Read More About Zimbabwe

Harare formerly Salisbury is the capital of Zimbabwe. It is the seat of Government, the industrial hub and commercial centre for Zimbabwe. The city was founded by the Cecil John Rhodes-led Pioneer Column in 1890 and named Salisbury. The name was only changed to Harare... Read More About Harare

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Uproar Against Grace Mugabe’s PhD And ZIMSEC Leakage Is Hypocrisy. Tell Me How You Got Your Degree https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/uproar-grace-mugabes-phd-zimsec-leakage-hypocrisy-tell-got-degree/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/uproar-grace-mugabes-phd-zimsec-leakage-hypocrisy-tell-got-degree/#comments Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:16:49 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886660

So this is one of those articles that will invite angry people with daggers in their hands out for my blood. I am OK with that. I would rather see debate here than to see the nodding of heads every time. Conversations are what build strong communities and the strongest conversations are those from divergent […]

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Uproar Against Grace Mugabe’s PhD And ZIMSEC Leakage Is Hypocrisy. Tell Me How You Got Your Degree

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So this is one of those articles that will invite angry people with daggers in their hands out for my blood. I am OK with that. I would rather see debate here than to see the nodding of heads every time. Conversations are what build strong communities and the strongest conversations are those from divergent view points.

There has been a lot of noise about Grace Mugabe’s PhD which was awarded by Zimbabwe’s oldest university, the University of Zimbabwe. The noise didn’t start now, it started when the degree was awarded but now there is action that is following the noise including the arrest of the long serving Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Levi Nyagura by the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC).

Again just a few weeks ago, we woke up to the news that Zimbabwe’s most important basic education public examination results were to be withheld and all the candidates were to re-write their English Language examinations. Reason: the English paper leaked and was widely available on WhatsApp before the exam was written. There were other reported leakages of other papers in this and previous exam sessions but they affected a handful of students and education professionals implicated. We all know it ain’t so.

Now there are calls for Zimbabwe’s basic education public examination body, the Zimbabwe School Examination Council (ZIMSEC) to be disbanded or even arrested or whatever other action.

Hold up, are we being sincere here?

I am angry. I am angry that Grace Mugabe got a post grad qualification she didn’t earn. I am angry that ZIMSEC has consistently failed to administer credible examinations. I am also angry that people are angry. The reason I was frustrated by university was that my two options to walk out with the a degree from the University of Zimbabwe were either to cram and regurgitate textbooks verbatim or I had to cheat in exams. I chose to walk out without it.

I didn’t cram because that’s not how my mind is wired, I learn from first principles. If I don’t understand the why then I won’t recall nothing. I didn’t copy because of ethics initially but eventually because my eyesight would not permit it. But that’s copying exams.

For assignments and lab reports all of us- yes everyone in my department copied scripts from students who had gone through our programme before us and the scripts we copied had been copied from scripts that had been copied… There was an unbroken inheritance system. Sad because we were studying to be scientists. Scientists who plagiarised?

Fact that the lab practicals and assignments had remained unchanged for that many years tells you the jokes we were going through really. Even our lecturers read out notes prepared by a Dr Love who had left the university ages back. The stuff they read no longer applied!

My friends in the Engineering Faculty were given past ‘projects’ by academic staff to copy and make their own when their turn to do a required project came. I am not kidding. Tell me with a straight face if this is not the order of things at universities. I expect things have become worse now. Such things spiral uncontrollably.

At one time I had a roommate who would make money from writing assignments for students who were corresponding with the popular University of South Africa (UNISA). These were working people whose idea of adding their level of skill was to get a UNISA Masters Degree they didn’t work for. How many UNISA, ZOU and even theological students attained their ‘qualification’ this way? Yes, I know someone who was ‘working’ for a theological qualification this way.

Heck, let me ask: how did you get the certificate you hung up in your home?

The price is paid somewhere, the price is always paid

I suffer for this system of broken integrity every time I interview people for a job. Some of you might have noticed every time Techzim advertises for a job we explicitly request that no respondent send their CV. Every time someone sends it anyway, we do not respond to them.

The reason is not that we don’t think there are some good folks out there who actually earned their qualifications. We don’t ask for CV’s because whether someone holds qualification x or not is moot because we have to test everyone for the skills and attitude we need. Those with qualifications may have earned them or they may have cheated into them or they may have earned them by being taught irrelevant stuff. Why bother checking qualifications? We can tell if someone is a good fit our own way.

However, this comes at a cost. If the educational institutions were doing a pre-screening for us it would save us a lot of time resources to hire. The cost is even higher for most of our fellow employers who assume that a paper that says first class means anything. Sometimes they get lucky and hire a good one who whether they earned the degree or not, are hard working and apply themselves. I contend that most of the times they are not so lucky and they don’t even know it.

Just yesterday I was interviewing a guy who wanted to be part of our engineering team. I asked him about anything he had built before and he described a programme he had built for some lady who needed it for a college project. I kept probing about this and the poor guy did not even realise the irony of talking about doing something so unethical in a job interview. He helped someone cheat in exchange for money!

That’s the biggest cost now. Our senses have been dulled and we don’t see the problem with cheating or aiding and abating a cheat. So, no, folks ain’t angry because Grace Mugabe cheated her way into being called Dr, they are angry because it is Grace Mugabe! I will call her Dr. Grace Mugabe because to be frank, she earned her PhD just the same way everyone else (the bulk, OK) earned them. If they are Dr. such and such then she is Dr. Grace Mugabe. My problem with her was the Amai part. She ain’t my mama.

What of ZIMSEC exam leaks?

Outcry is hypocritical too. How many parents would have bought any paper especially the math paper if someone from ZIMSEC had approached them selling and that parent could afford it and had a kid sitting for the exam? If you wouldn’t, I assure you, you are in the minority. Most don’t even need it to be their kid. If they come across a leaked paper they will share it on the church intercession group and they will lead with, “Praise God, I came across this paper for all of you saints who have children writing exams.’ All the saints will then say Amen with a very pure and thankful heart!

This is a terrible culture that has crept in. This is where pilferage at work starts and we come up with witty proverbs, “Mbudzi inodya payakasungirirwa (A goat cannot but graze where its leash allows).” The decreasing productivity should not be surprising. If someone only has to bat eyelashes to get a degree or to pass their O levels, we would be foolish to expect them to give their heart and soul into our businesses.

The Dr. Grace Mugabe PhD nonsense happened because it has been acceptable for a long time that all you need is to get a piece of paper that validates you regardless of how you get it. It has been accepted that students can and should use archive (as we called it) or zvitunha (as students from other places called handed down marked assignment scripts). My university tutor told me point blank that I would not pass if I didn’t get my hands on archives.

The ZIMSEC leakages keep happening because we have taught kids that they just need to pass and it doesn’t matter how so long as they are not caught. We even measure out amount of love each child receives based on how well they do in school saka ndizvozvo. It keeps happening because there is a demand for leaked papers among parents and teachers even more than the school kids who don’t have buying power really.

I don’t know how culture is changed but this one has to change. I hope we get to a generation where kids will run away from a leaked paper not because of the possible punishment if caught but because they cannot imagine themselves stooping to become a cheat.

Let’s not raise Dr. Grace Mugabe and Professor Levi Nyagura (am not a fan of his) to a standard we have not taught our kids to be. To a standard we don’t hold ourselves.

Grace MugabeLevi NyaguraZimsec

Grace Ntombizodwa Mugabe (nee Marufu) is a Zimbabwean politician, wife to former President Robert Mugabe and former member of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) political party. She was the Secretary of the Zanu-PF Women's League after her nomination and subsequent election in 2014.... Read More About Grace Mugabe

Levi Martin Nyagura is a Zimbabwean academic who was appointed to be the Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) in January 2003. He was once one of the two Pro-Vice Chancellors of the institution from October 1998 up to December 2002. He is... Read More About Levi Nyagura

The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) is an autonomous parastatal under the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. ZIMSEC was setup as a result of the 1994, Zimbabwe School Examinations Council Act. Amoung other reasons, the examinations were localised to ensure the end of colonial... Read More About Zimsec

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Uproar Against Grace Mugabe’s PhD And ZIMSEC Leakage Is Hypocrisy. Tell Me How You Got Your Degree

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Telecel Smells OneFusion Blood And They Launch Bundlemania To Promote Their Competing Bundles https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/telecel-smells-onefusion-blood-launch-bundlemania-promote-competing-bundles/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/telecel-smells-onefusion-blood-launch-bundlemania-promote-competing-bundles/#comments Wed, 21 Feb 2018 11:18:33 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886682

Nhamo yemumwe hairambirwe sadza is a Shona proverbs that is literally translated, “Another person’s woes are not reason for you to refuse sadza (that’s the staple food around here).” Telecel has just said that to NetOne’s face. They have announced a promotion they are calling bundlemania to promote their WhatsApp, Facebook, Megaboost and WiFi bundles. […]

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Telecel Smells OneFusion Blood And They Launch Bundlemania To Promote Their Competing Bundles

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Nhamo yemumwe hairambirwe sadza is a Shona proverbs that is literally translated, “Another person’s woes are not reason for you to refuse sadza (that’s the staple food around here).” Telecel has just said that to NetOne’s face. They have announced a promotion they are calling bundlemania to promote their WhatsApp, Facebook, Megaboost and WiFi bundles.

So, every time a customer purchases one of those bundles through the Telecel 8480# short code, they earn points for it. They get 1 point for every 50c they spend. The more points you have the higher your chances of winning in a random draw that will be conducted periodically. Prizes include cattle, laptops and cash.

Obert Mandimika, the Telecel Branding and Communications Director says they are doing this to reward their customers who have been buying these bundles so much. I say they are doing it because they see the frustration that OneFusion customers have right now and they are calling all of them to move to the red side of town. Good move.

Mandimika actually says explicitly:

On top of wanting to give current bundle users an opportunity to win some of our many prizes, we are also asking those who have not used our bundles to do so and experience our affordable services while also standing a chance to win

Telecel’s Megaboost bundle is really a direct competitor of the NetOne OneFusion, one of the most popular bundles ever created in Zimbabwe.

OneFusion customers not only have been messed around by the fact that they could not use the bundle the way NetOne promised they would but NetOne has gone on to revise the packages, chopping up the offering. They did this at the wrong time really. POTRAZ of course has ordered them to compensate their complaining custormers

Beware though Telecel

I am very skeptical about promotions as a strategy. Now, with this bundlemania Telecel is going into a double promotion. Megaboost itself is a promotion and one that was not successful when implemented as OneFusion by NetOne. On top of that bundlemania is a promotion for uptake of another promotion.

That can be a costly move. Genius but costly and Telecel have to watch out and not get carried away.

Promotions require the executing business to have a clear exit strategy and a defined exit point in terms of time or mileage reached. the homework becomes how to convert the customers who come to your network for the promotion into brand loyal customers.

This is difficult in a market where Econet has built a moat (an impenetrable body of water around a castle that defends the castle from attack)  around itself in the name of Ecocash. This mobile money product makes Econet a ready option at any given point besides the fact that Ecocash itself is a successful product that brings in good profitability as a standalone. Fact of the matter, a good number of NetOne and Telecel subscribers are Econet subscribers as well just because of Ecocash.

This emphasises the point that a strong value proposition is a more sustainable strategy than a promotion that bleeds you revenue. Econet has done well to stay away from the race to the bottom pricing tactics. The new competitive strength in the age of the internet is business models. You need to invest in defining your business model and you have to keep changing it.

However, bundlemania is a very decisive offensive against NetOne. Telecel is therefore picking one fight at a time. I hope they have a strategy to retain the subscribers who will show up then craft a strategy against the blue boys. Interesting times…

 

TelecelNetOneEcoCash

Telecel Zimbabwe is a telecommunications services provider with most of its services in the mobile cellular network services. The company is owned jointly by the Empowerment Corporation (40%) and Vimpelcom (60%), one of the largest telecoms companies in the world. In Zimbabwe, Telecel is the... Read More About Telecel

NetOne Zimbabwe was the first mobile phone operator in Zimbabwe, the company was launched in 1996. The company is a privately owned company in which the Zimbabwe government has a stake and was formed as a subsidiary of the Posts and Telecommunications. Corporation (PTC). Service... Read More About NetOne

EcoCash is a mobile money transfer facility which is run by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. The facility has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception and is arguably the largest mobile money transfer agent considering the huge sums of transactions that the platform is said... Read More About EcoCash

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Telecel Smells OneFusion Blood And They Launch Bundlemania To Promote Their Competing Bundles

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Got To Peep Into Liquid Telecom, Liked What I Saw Plus My Debt Of Gratitude To Liquid https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/got-peep-liquid-telecom-liked-saw-plus-debt-gratitude-liquid/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/got-peep-liquid-telecom-liked-saw-plus-debt-gratitude-liquid/#comments Wed, 21 Feb 2018 10:05:03 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886667

Image: Tinashe Nyahasha of Techzim with Oswald Jumira of Liquid Telecom When I was in Kigali last week I got to spend a lot of time with a diverse group of people from Liquid Telecom from across the continent. I spoke to Ben, the Group CTO, Oswald the Head of Innovation and Partnership, Hans the […]

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Got To Peep Into Liquid Telecom, Liked What I Saw Plus My Debt Of Gratitude To Liquid

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Image: Tinashe Nyahasha of Techzim with Oswald Jumira of Liquid Telecom

When I was in Kigali last week I got to spend a lot of time with a diverse group of people from Liquid Telecom from across the continent. I spoke to Ben, the Group CTO, Oswald the Head of Innovation and Partnership, Hans the CEO for East Africa, Stanely the CTO for Rwanda and the new CEO for Kenya, Adil Youssefi.

My interaction with these guys afforded me a glimpse into Liquid and to get to see their game plan. I like what I saw and I am bullish about where they will take the market and where the market will take them. To be honest, I had always viewed Liquid as just another telco now that view has changed.

That is not a bad way to view anyone though, lots of businesses envy telcos. It is not an endearing view as well because telcos are generally very arrogant and they don’t see their imminent disruption. It is telco arrogance that makes them position themselves as competition to startups when they need startups more than any other business needs them. Yes, there are some telcos that have embraced startups and most have succeeded in escaping their own gravity as a result. Most telecommunication companies though, remain blindingly arrogant.

In Kigali I realised that Liquid Telecom get it, they understand the long game. The beauty of the long game in the age of the internet is that long actually means a few years from now. Liquid will reap from what they are doing right now sooner than I can say competition.

What is it they are doing?

They are empowering their next big customers. Liquid has created a culture within itself that feels like a startup and therefore they can identify with and understand startups in a huge way.

For Zimbabweans I have to clarify, startup is not equal to museyamwa type business. I will get to write a series of articles that really define what a startup is. Right now all I will say is that a startup is not a small business and not every small business deserves to be called a startup. Startups are scalable businesses that’s why you find most of them being internet businesses because nothing enables scale like the internet does. Examples of startups to give you perspectives are Uber and AirBnB.

Startups don’t start from scale though. What Liquid Telecom is doing is that it is looking for startups before they scale and forming relationships with them and supporting them. Guess whose services the startups will be utilising now and when they then get to scale?

They are being the Amazon of Africa

My favourite global business is Amazon because no other business understands growth, frugality and the long game like Amazon does. When Amazon changed the way infrastructure and software are deployed and distributed, ushering the world into cloud computing through Amazon Web Services, they used the game plan that Liquid Telecom is using in Africa right now.

When startups like Facebook and Netflix (yes they are startups) launched they didn’t have too much money for servers and stuff. Amazon had the right kind of product orientation for that type of business. They could afford to be Amazon’s customers from where they were and as they expanded the service would expand with them. The startups had a huge supplier (a fellow startup really) who had enough capacity to keep adding to their needs.

On the flip side, just by realising the potential of scalability on the internet, Amazon managed to acquire giants of customers like Facebook and Netflix when they were complete babies that the big boys like Oracle and Microsoft cared nothing for.

Liquid Telecom particularly through Oswald Jumira are connecting with pre-scale startups and hubs that house them and offering them support. This may seem so benevolent but it is some real crazy selfish genius there. The startups will feel loyal to Liquid besides the natural inertia to change service providers as they scale. As the Facebook and Netflix equivalents of Africa emerge they will most likely be using Liquid solutions.

Techzim has advised a number of large businesses locally to do this but they just don’t get it, they are telcos… The next big customers on the continent just cannot afford to be customers of the telcos so they will go to Liquid who are bending their backs backwards not to be a supplier but to be a support even with things like mentorship.

My gratitude to Liquid Telecom

So after the Africa Tech Summit Kigali ended on Thursday, I decided to stay in Kigali for a full day on Friday so I could visit the tech ecosystem and startups in that city. I mentioned this to Liquid Rwanda CTO, Stanley Magede who was my lunch buddy that Thursday. He immediately offered to show me around the places I wanted to go.

He got to have meetings on the Friday but he didn’t let me alone with my problems. He sent a driver to my hotel to pick me and to take me around. That was super helpful and helped me cover much more ground than I would have, let alone the saving on taxi rides.

Later on, I met up with Stanley and Oswald after work to visit a few tech hubs, meet some players in the African tech ecosystem. Like a good mannered kid I am I have to thank Stanley Magede from the bottom of my heart and I hope his boss sees this. He’s a good guy.

Liquid Telecom

Liquid Telecom is one of the fastest growing internet service providers in Zimbabwe in particular and Africa in general. It provides state of the art fibre internet which links Zimbabwe and the Southern African region to the outside world. The company is a subsidiary of... Read More About Liquid Telecom

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Got To Peep Into Liquid Telecom, Liked What I Saw Plus My Debt Of Gratitude To Liquid

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Kwese Acquires Stake In iflix In Bid To Bring More Content To Sub-Saharan Africa https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/kwese-partners-iflix-bring-content-sub-saharan-africa/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/kwese-partners-iflix-bring-content-sub-saharan-africa/#comments Wed, 21 Feb 2018 10:03:20 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886677

Kwese has acquired ‘a significant stake’ in iflix, a Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) provider that has millions of subscribers in Asia. This deal promises to bring more content to the Kwese platform. Kwese and iflix already had an existing relationship as we reported last year. iflix is immensely popular in Asia and broadcasts in countries such […]

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Kwese Acquires Stake In iflix In Bid To Bring More Content To Sub-Saharan Africa

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Kwese has acquired ‘a significant stake’ in iflix, a Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) provider that has millions of subscribers in Asia. This deal promises to bring more content to the Kwese platform. Kwese and iflix already had an existing relationship as we reported last year.

iflix is immensely popular in Asia and broadcasts in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia. Whilst offering native content that is more suited to the Asian market it will be interesting to see what kind of content ends up on Kwese’s platforms because of this deal. Alongside this native content, there is also Hollywood and Nollywood content, cartoons, movies, live sports and more.

In an email to Techzim Kwese alluded to the content variety saying, “The deal cements Kwesé’s commitment to deliver premium content through unrivaled TV programming, leading sports, up-to-the-minute news and the latest in entertainment. This coupled with iflix’s vast collection of international and African SVOD content will offer users an unparalleled viewing experience, tailored to meet the needs of Africa’s diverse markets.”

Econet Group Founder, Strive Masiyiwa expressed his delight at the acquisition saying, “We are thrilled to deepen our operating partnership with iflix to lead the transformation of media in Africa. Our companies share a mutual passion for innovation, along with a deep understanding of the culture and evolution of digital businesses. Mobility in content consumption has grown exponentially in Africa and by partnering with iflix Africa we are ensuring that we are not only taking part in the evolution, but are leading the movement.”

This acquisition is an interesting one and we will be looking at the implications of this deal in the days to come.

Kwese

Kwese TV is a Zimbabwean satellite and broadcasting network owned by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, under Econet Media. On 23 August 2017, Econet Media announced that Kwese TV was now available in Zimbabwe and that decoders were available at Econet Shops. However, that very same day... Read More About Kwese

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Kwese Acquires Stake In iflix In Bid To Bring More Content To Sub-Saharan Africa

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Announcing mCoin: The First Inclusive Cryptocurrency Accessible Outside The Domain Of The Internet https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/announcing-mcoin-first-inclusive-cryptocurrency-accessible-outside-domain-internet/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/announcing-mcoin-first-inclusive-cryptocurrency-accessible-outside-domain-internet/#comments Wed, 21 Feb 2018 05:11:03 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886663

mCoin is powered by ONEm’s Global and scalable Platform, which has the ability to reach billions of people around the world even through traditional mobile without the Internet LONDON, United Kingdom, February 20, 2018/ — Introducing mCoin (www.ONEm.com/mcoin), the first cryptocurrency accessible on any mobile. mCoin is a unique first of a kind inclusive cryptocurrency, […]

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Announcing mCoin: The First Inclusive Cryptocurrency Accessible Outside The Domain Of The Internet

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mCoin is powered by ONEm’s Global and scalable Platform, which has the ability to reach billions of people around the world even through traditional mobile without the Internet

LONDON, United Kingdom, February 20, 2018/ — Introducing mCoin (www.ONEm.com/mcoin), the first cryptocurrency accessible on any mobile. mCoin is a unique first of a kind inclusive cryptocurrency, that makes it possible for the 3 billion people around the world who don’t have access to the Internet to take advantage of new kinds of services tied to blockchain technology.

mCoin is powered by ONEm’s (www.ONEm.com) Global and scalable Platform, which has the ability to reach billions of people around the world even through traditional mobile without the Internet.

Unlike other Cryptocurrencies, people will have the ability to trade mCoin securely through their SMS based virtual wallets which is not connected to the Internet. Users will be able to earn mCoins through “Pseudo-Mining” which is a type of “Proof of Work” based on meaningful activities. mCoin is bringing together a community of people outside the domain of the Internet who for the first time will be able to participate in sharing information that will have positive social and economical impact.

Millions of small businesses around the world will have access to mCoin through ONEm’s Sweb for Business, Market Place, mCatalogue and many social applications that use SMS and/or the Internet.

ONEm’s powerful ecosystem can be harnessed by Governments and Organizations to provide valuable services for their citizens who don’t have access to the internet, and in the same vein make use of mCoin’s underlying SMS accessible blockchain technology.

“It is exciting to see so many people who share in our vision for an inclusive Cryptocurrency outside of the domain of the Internet. People from all over the world are participating in mCoin Pre ICO and taking advantage of the attractive bonus packages now available as they see tremendous high growth potential of a cryptocurrency that can reach this very big un-tapped market” said Christopher Richardson, CEO of ONEm.

For more information visit: www.ONEm.com/mcoin

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of ONEm.

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Announcing mCoin: The First Inclusive Cryptocurrency Accessible Outside The Domain Of The Internet

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Whether You See It As A Threat Or An Opportunity, The Internet Is Here To Stay. You Better Be Part Of How It’s Gonna Look Tomorrow https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/whether-see-threat-opportunity-internet-stay-better-part-gonna-look-tomorrow/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/whether-see-threat-opportunity-internet-stay-better-part-gonna-look-tomorrow/#comments Tue, 20 Feb 2018 20:14:24 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886654

I once declared here that the internet is probably the biggest and far reaching invention since the discovery of electricity. In fact I said it had far bigger consequence than the discovery of electricity. Of course the audience here fried me for such ‘unholy’ utterances. Of course without electricity, there would be no internet technology […]

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Whether You See It As A Threat Or An Opportunity, The Internet Is Here To Stay. You Better Be Part Of How It’s Gonna Look Tomorrow

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I once declared here that the internet is probably the biggest and far reaching invention since the discovery of electricity. In fact I said it had far bigger consequence than the discovery of electricity. Of course the audience here fried me for such ‘unholy’ utterances.

Of course without electricity, there would be no internet technology to talk about. Granted. However, if we use the economist’s favourite term and hold everything constant, the internet has changed things by a far bigger magnitude than electricity if the two technologies were independent of each other.

The Zimbabwean chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC) is giving you opportunity to be part of the conversation around how to harness the power of the internet to build communities, businesses and expand the resiliency of the human race. This is an important conversation because without deliberate efforts the internet can be a big threat to civilization as we know it.

ISOC Zimbabwe chapter is holding a conference called Digital Zimbabwe 2018: Getting Ready For The 4th Industrial Revolution. This event will be held on Thursday 22 February 2018 from 0830 to 1600 at B2C Co-working space, Batanai Gardens in Harare. You have to be there.

The word revolution is a serious word. As you know, if a revolutionary does not succeed s/he dies. If our businesses do not succeed in the 4th industrial revolution they are gonna die. If our communities are not prepared for the 4th industrial revolution then they will cease to exist in any relevant form for the rest of the world. To scare you even more: the 4th industrial revolution is already underway.

Let me just give a few examples of how the internet has changed things so far before I talk about the topical issues that are gonna transform the world even further and that will be scary if we are not deliberate. Here’s where we are so far:

Geography

The internet has challenged physical space and won. We get to be friends (not pen pals, friends) with people from as far flung places as Uzbekistan and El Salvador on Facebook. If you’re a gamer, the internet has allowed you to co-create and co-habit a virtual world with people from any spot on the globe

Knowledge

The internet made information ubiquitous. Our school systems have not caught up to this reality yet but as connectivity increases schooling will change from an attempt to teach information because anyone at any time can get the information they need for their very current needs. Knowledge itself has been uberfied.

Culture

Social media came with its own language. SMH, LOL, #… These may seem so subtle but imagine someone who lived in the 70’s suddenly coming across twitter. They will not be able to wrap their head around the speak there. Besides the language, the internet has made the mobile phone the platform for all social interaction really. Have you ever been in a room with three other people and you are all ignoring each other and paying attention to your mobile screens.

Now, what are some of the crazy developments that are giving rise to the 4th industrial revolution?

AI and Machine Learning

We once wrote a really simple to understand article on what these terms mean. Right now all I can say is machines are getting smarter everyday and already the Terminator Skynet doomsday prophecies do not seem unrealistic at all. When you see some of the world’s most known billionaires teaming up to stop the misuse of developments in artificial intelligence, you realise how big a deal this is.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

Already some of us have lost money through cryptocurrencies. There are also issues to do with the usefulness of cryptos in organised crime and terrorism. With all this gloom there is the big opportunity of decentralised monetary systems and infallible registry systems due to blockchain technology.

Big Data

When I read George Orwell’s 1984 last year, I was surprised how a guy who died in the 1950’s imagined a world that has only come to be right now. A world of being tracked by technology. Computers are very powerful and they can process large amounts of data allowing patterns to be observable. This is useful in planning and business but this is also very worrying as it commoditises human beings.

All these and more are problems and opportunities in the 4th industrial revolution. They are even bigger problems when you consider that without making the internet accessible to everyone some will be left behind and be left behind for good. Issues to do with universal design and accessibility of the internet to people with disabilities have to be tackled head on.

We need to map out the skills that people will need to have in the near future given that most of these things that people acquired degrees for will be handled by computers more efficiently and effectively.

I hope I have whet your appetite enough to join the Internet Society in Zimbabwe on Thursday as they discuss some of these issues. All you need to do is show up. No admission fee. They will feed you for the whole day…

The event will have policy makers, entrepreneurs, business execs, activists, media people, academics and random folks attending. You will fit right in. See you there…

 

 

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RTG Introducing Application That Makes Finding Hotels, Events, Restaurants Much Easier https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/rtg-introducing-application-that-makes-finding-hotels-events-restaurants-much-easier/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/rtg-introducing-application-that-makes-finding-hotels-events-restaurants-much-easier/#comments Tue, 20 Feb 2018 13:11:04 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886626

Rainbow Tourism Group has just introduced the RTG Gateway app that acts as a tourism hub.The aim is to make it easy to book a hotel room, a table at a restaurant, buy tickets to events, order gifts for yourself or others. For hotels, there’s an option to pay as you’re booking or pay later (This just […]

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RTG Introducing Application That Makes Finding Hotels, Events, Restaurants Much Easier

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Rainbow Tourism Group has just introduced the RTG Gateway app that acts as a tourism hub.The aim is to make it easy to book a hotel room, a table at a restaurant, buy tickets to events, order gifts for yourself or others.

  • For hotels, there’s an option to pay as you’re booking or pay later (This just confirms your booking and then you pay when you get to check in).
  • The app recommends places that are nearer to you.
  • You can also order liquor online.
  • Bars and pubs section also shows you bars that are currently having promotions. I guess alcohol lovers will need to check this one out ASAP!
  • The gifts section allows you to order a selection of gifts for yourself or someone else.

Restaurants

The Eats section recommends restaurants that are nearby your current location. You can also search for other restaurants around the country. For every restaurant, there is a description of what type of restaurant they are and the foods they offer.The app also gives you options to either book a table or order online.

Gifts

The gift section is more bare bones and allows you to order a gift that will be delivered to you or another person. The gifts menu featured wines mostly but you can also gift someone ‘A Night Out Of Town’ or a fruit basket set.

Hotels

You can make bookings and search for hotels around the country. The Gateway app allows you to pick Check In and Check Out dates depending on availability. You can also book

There are also online auctions for hotel rooms that are in demand. The room being auctioned for will have a timer that shows when the auction ends. There is also a Bid Now and Buy Now option that we didn’t get to test so I can’t really inform you how the auctioning goes.

Other options

There’s also a Liquor Online section that allows users to search for Bars and Pubs in Harare. This section also has a promotions tab that compiles all the promotions on offer at Bars and Pubs on the particular days that you check.

There’s an Events & Venues section which allows you to check spaces available for hire and make inquiries. You can also book tickets to the events on offer.

There is also an Airport Transfer service which allows you to enter a pickup and dropoff address. You can also add the number of guests as well as the date and time you would like to be picked up.

A Room Service feature is also coming soon.

Payments can be made through Ecocash, Telecash, VISA, Mastercard, and Vpayments for now.

Personally, I think the Gateway app is a step in the right direction and makes information more accessible. RTG is embracing tech in a manner that makes services that were out of the reach of many people more accessible.

When we published this article we initially misinformed readers that the app does not support local payment services. That was incorrect and we have updated the article. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Download The RTG Gateway Application on Google Play

 

Rainbow Tourism GroupHarare

Rainbow Tourism Group was established in 1992 and is a major player in Zimbabwe's tourism industry. It has operations in the regional markets through management contracts and strategic alliances. In Zimbabwe, RTG operates The Rainbow Towers, Rainbow Hotels, Touch the Wild and Tourism Services Zimbabwe.... Read More About Rainbow Tourism Group

Harare formerly Salisbury is the capital of Zimbabwe. It is the seat of Government, the industrial hub and commercial centre for Zimbabwe. The city was founded by the Cecil John Rhodes-led Pioneer Column in 1890 and named Salisbury. The name was only changed to Harare... Read More About Harare

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Disrupt Or Be Disrupted: It’s Do-Or-Die For African Telcos In 2018 https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/disrupt-disrupted-die-african-telcos-2018/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/disrupt-disrupted-die-african-telcos-2018/#respond Tue, 20 Feb 2018 11:58:49 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886535

by Mariam Abdullahi, Telco Industry Lead at SAP Africa No industry will remain undisrupted in 2018 and the years to come. But for African telco providers, who have feasted on near-uninterrupted subscriber and revenue growth over the past two decades, the need to adapt is paramount. In a market where the average business lifespan is […]

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Disrupt Or Be Disrupted: It’s Do-Or-Die For African Telcos In 2018

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by Mariam Abdullahi, Telco Industry Lead at SAP Africa

No industry will remain undisrupted in 2018 and the years to come. But for African telco providers, who have feasted on near-uninterrupted subscriber and revenue growth over the past two decades, the need to adapt is paramount. In a market where the average business lifespan is 12 years (compared to 25 years in the last two decades) the objective is not to simply improve that which is already working. African telcos need radical transformation of entire business models in order to become digital supply networks and re-imagine work, resources management, and contingent worker management.

Since the advent of the Internet and the more recent emergence of technologies that include machine learning, IoT, cloud computing, and predictive analytics, businesses with exponential growth models such as Amazon, Uber, Airbnb and MPESA have entirely transformed their industry sectors almost overnight.

Thanks at least in part to these companies, customer expectations have ballooned, with modern consumers demanding personalised, efficient service at low cost and with added convenience. Talented employees have also increasingly gravitated toward these companies, putting further pressure on incumbents who suddenly are outperformed and out-innovated at every turn. “Too big to fail” in today’s market is a near-certain recipe for decline and eventual disaster.

Telco execs heeding the call

Telco executives across Africa and other emerging markets have scrambled to reinvent their business models in the face of shifting customer demands and the arrival of agile, customer-centric competitors. Airtel Africa merged its Ghana operations with Tigo Ghana and sold off operations in Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions. South Africa’s Cell-C is seeking investments into fibre-to-the-home providers to enable its diversification into new service offerings including insurance and media.

Further afield in India, LTE and Voice-over-LTE operator Jio acquired 100 million subscribers in only six months by offering free voice services for life to its customers, prompting a sudden merger between Vodafone India and Aditya Birla Group’s Idea operations to form India’s largest telecoms company.

Kenya’s Safaricom is building on its much-lauded MPESA platform by diversifying into new revenue streams, including Uber competitor Little and e-commerce portal Ma Soko to claim a greater share of its customers’ wallets.

These companies have already felt the effects of declining traditional revenue streams as disruption from the likes of OTT players such as WhatsApp, Skype and YouTube put pressure on what was until recently primary (and highly dependable) sources of revenue. According to PwC, many telco operators globally are seeing revenue drop-offs of as much as 30% in SMS, 20% in international voice, and 15% in international roaming. Incremental improvements and operational changes are no longer enough. Those that can adapt to take advantage of technology megatrends such as hyper connectivity, cloud computing, and IoT are far better placed to reinvent their business models and can further incorporate Software Defined Networks and Network Function Virtualisation to speed up the innovation cycle.

The nature of transformation in 2018

Digital transformation in 2018 is not about cutting costs or optimising existing processes. It is a relook of the entire telco business model. It is asking the hard questions: Am I serving my customers in the right way? Are my operations efficient? Is cost-cutting adequate and sustainable? Am I able to hire the correct staff, attract the best talent, and empower them to contribute to an inclusive and innovation-focused workplace?

Telco executives must ensure their companies’ day-to-day culture drives innovation across the entire business. The aim should be on developing personalised services and to deliver such services in a way to meets the demands of an empowered customer base. The only way to do that is to have access to the correct customer insights – such as data usage and consumption habits, call volumes, area of residence – and to act on such insights in a humane and personalised manner. For this, analytics and data are key, especially when matched to an in-memory computing platform that enables real-time actionable insights.

At a time when telco offerings are highly commoditised and there’s not too much distinguishing one operator from the other, telcos need to simplify their core business operations to allow for the development of a clear unique value proposition for sustainable growth that takes local conditions into account. For example, with so many African countries not yet fully adopting 4G technology, does it truly make sense to invest heavily in emerging 5G technology?

The African telco market has moved away from improvement to large-scale disruption and transformation. Telcos who embark on a process of total business model change underpinned by powerful exponential technologies will be far better placed to withstand and overcome the challenge posed by the new breed of disruptors.

2018 will determine who adapts, maximises on operational efficiencies, leverages innovation for new revenue streams and who relies on old ways of doing businesses that negatively impacts their Go To Market offerings.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of SAP Africa.

For more information, visit the SAP News Center, or follow on Twitter @sapnews

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Disrupt Or Be Disrupted: It’s Do-Or-Die For African Telcos In 2018

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Finally ZIMRA Is Updating System After Losing Millions https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/finally-zimra-is-updating-system-after-losing-millions/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/finally-zimra-is-updating-system-after-losing-millions/#comments Tue, 20 Feb 2018 10:00:10 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886610

ZIMRA’s problematic Asycuda system is finally getting updated. Asycuda(Automated System for Customs Data) is a system that is meant to automate customs processes on the importation/exportation of goods. It also compiles accurate trade statistics. The system is used in over 90 countries but Zimra’s Commissioner-General, Ms. Faith Mazani admitted that the system in use in Zim was 11 […]

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Finally ZIMRA Is Updating System After Losing Millions

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ZIMRA’s problematic Asycuda system is finally getting updated. Asycuda(Automated System for Customs Data) is a system that is meant to automate customs processes on the importation/exportation of goods. It also compiles accurate trade statistics.

The system is used in over 90 countries but Zimra’s Commissioner-General, Ms. Faith Mazani admitted that the system in use in Zim was 11 years behind. Back in December, the system broke down and caused long queues at the Beitbridge border post as Zimra staff had to manually process import and export documents. The downtime also led to losses of about $20 million.

For the guys who are responsible for collecting revenue, this is quite unacceptable. The fact that ZIMRA is looking into fixing the situation is good but it’s a bit shocking that it has taken this long for them to announce when a fix will be in place and not the actual fix.

When is the new system expected to be in place?

The system is expected to be up and running by the 1st of June, 2018. Zimra director of ICT did admit that the 2013 system was rushed and authorities had not followed all of the steps to make sure of efficiency. Hopefully, the promise of diligence is kept before this revised system goes live in order to minimize losses and also ensure there is less frustration for travelers.

Other improvements promised by Zimra…

  • Along with the upgrades to Asycuda, ZIMRA also acquired servers that will work hand in hand with Ascuda. The aim is to boost server capacity whilst also improving maintenance and improving efficiency.
  • Zimra intends to also increase its current stock of Electronic Cargo Tracking System that monitors trucks moving in Zimbabwe.

 

ZIMRAFaith MazaniBeitbridge

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is a government department which is responsible for the collection of state revenue in form of excise duty, customs duty, road tolls, corporate and civil taxes. In addition, it also facilitates trade, offers fiscal advise to the government as well as... Read More About ZIMRA

Faith Mazani is the Commissioner General of Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA). She was appointed in January 2018 and succeded Gershem Pasi. Read More About Faith Mazani

Beitbridge is a Town located in Matabeleland South Province in Zimbabwe. Read More About Beitbridge

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Make Zimbabwe Great Again – A Framework To Transform Zimbabwe Into An Economic Powerhouse https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/make-zimbabwe-great-framework-transform-zimbabwe-economic-powerhouse/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/make-zimbabwe-great-framework-transform-zimbabwe-economic-powerhouse/#comments Tue, 20 Feb 2018 07:53:48 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886604

By Ty Moodley Having studied and worked in the United States I have witnessed companies create wealth by coming up with creative solutions to problems we didn’t know we had. In 1960, South Korea had the same economy as Southern Rhodesia. They were both Agro based economies. South Korea realized that the future was technology, […]

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Make Zimbabwe Great Again – A Framework To Transform Zimbabwe Into An Economic Powerhouse

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By Ty Moodley

Having studied and worked in the United States I have witnessed companies create wealth by coming up with creative solutions to problems we didn’t know we had.

In 1960, South Korea had the same economy as Southern Rhodesia. They were both Agro based economies. South Korea realized that the future was technology, so they invested in their Universities. Today South Korea is an economic powerhouse.

The world has changed. Once we can accept this then we can start adapting to this change. The question is, how and what can we do to succeed in this new world? Some readers are probably saying we don’t have a Samsung or a Hyundai. That is true. We do however, have an Econet.

We need to understand how this new world works. Manufacturing is done in China. It is very difficult to compete with China. They have people who can produce at a fraction of what most countries can.

The next question is what we can do in this new world. The answer is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). I have personally seen jobs being exported to India and now the Philippines. There has been a massive training of programmers in the Philippines. American, Canadian, and Australian companies are sending jobs there because it now costs less money than India.

In my current job, we deal with programmers from the Philippine’s on a daily basis. I have asked them if they would like to migrate to the US or Canada and they have refused saying that they prefer being in their countries. What the government has done is helped to reduce the brain drain.

In 2010, the Philippines was declared the world’s BPO capital
525,000 employees in call centers
$8.9 Billion in revenue generated
Revenues are expected to soar with a five-year compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38%
The country continues to become an attractive location for foreign investor

According to the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), the Philippine information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry employed 776,794 people at the end of 2012, wherein it added 137,066 new jobs. This new intake reflects 21 percent growth from 2011.

In 2012, the BPO attributed 5.4% of the countries GDP. In 2013, revenues climbed to $15.5 Billion employing over 900,000 Filipino’s.In 2016, the BPO industry was projected to generate 1.3M new jobs, with 17% annual growth.

Zimbabwe is blessed with the highest literacy rate in Africa. We have great universities that are graduating software engineers. We also happen to speak English, the international language of business. This is a formula for success. We should seize this opportunity and start planning for the transformation.

Editor’s Note

It’s funny that when Techzim was in Kigali just this past week we noticed how the Rwanda government was creating this kind of environment that Zimbabwe already has but takes for granted. For example Paul Kagame invited the Carnegie Melon University into Rwanda and he subsidises for students to get trained in engineering. Rwanda since 2008 is moving (has moved actually) from French as language of instruction in schools and in business to English. Like it or hate it, English is the language of commerce

About Guest Author Ty Moodley

Ty was born and raised in Harare Zimbabwe. He went to Prince Edward School where he received a Technology Award at some point before heading to the US for university. He came back in 2004 to found a successful technology company that is still operational in Zim before going back to North America

He has been building software for the past 15 years and has worked for large software engineering firms in Harare, Austin TX, Raleigh NC, Toronto ON, Waterloo ON.

Ty has seen how software can help companies, cities, and governments create efficient processes and save money. He currently works for GHD, a large engineering firm that has over 10000 employees worldwide.  
ZimbabweRhodesiaEconet

The Republic of Zimbabwe is a country located in the Southern Africa region. Its capital city is :Harare and the country has 10 provinces. Zimbabwe is 390,580 sq km and is bordered on all sides by other countries (Zambia in the north, South Africa in... Read More About Zimbabwe

Rhodesia was a British colony established in Southern Africa which was established in the early 1890s. The colony was christened after Cecil Rhodes who was the founder of the British South Africa Company (BSAC) which effected the colonisation of the Shona and Ndebele communities of... Read More About Rhodesia

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of Econet Wireless International, is the first and largest mobile network services provider in Zimbabwe. The telecoms giant became popular with its products and services such as Buddie. It has established branches in different corners of the country and enjoys... Read More About Econet

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Is Google Prejudiced Against Jesus? https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/is-google-prejudiced-against-jesus/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/is-google-prejudiced-against-jesus/#comments Mon, 19 Feb 2018 19:35:57 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886588

You may have seen the viral video of a woman asking Google Assistant ‘who is Jesus Christ?’ Google failed to respond and this got the Techzim team thinking whether Google holds prejudices against Jesus. If you haven’t check out the video below In the video, Google seems to be ready to respond when asked about […]

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Is Google Prejudiced Against Jesus?

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You may have seen the viral video of a woman asking Google Assistant ‘who is Jesus Christ?’ Google failed to respond and this got the Techzim team thinking whether Google holds prejudices against Jesus. If you haven’t check out the video below

In the video, Google seems to be ready to respond when asked about the identity of Buddha but not ready when asked about Jesus Christ. This seemed very damned prejudicial and being the geeks that we are we had to see for ourselves.

We tried asking Google Assistant about religion and a few other questions that seemed interesting to us.

In our tests, the Google Assistant could not give an answer to the identity of both Jesus and Buddha. We asked if Google followed a particular religion and the Assistant admitted it ‘wasn’t programmed to be religious.’

Google has no prejudices…

Our tests saw Google give the same response in relation to Jesus and Buddha’s identity. I think this proves Google Assistant has no religious prejudices.

Google probably just understands the fact that religion is a touchy subject. Any response the Google Assistant gives in relation to Jesus Christ or religion, in general, could create a controversy. If Google declared it’s religion as Christianity they would alienate all the other religions and risk losing those customers. Because that’s the case, Google makes sure that responses in relation to such touchy issues like religion/gender/politics are neutral.

Here are some other questions we tried to ask the Google Assistant.

Google’s Assistant tries its best not to step on any toes. The service opts for neutrality on issues that could cause any controversy or a potential loss of customers.

 

 

 

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Full Letter That POTRAZ Wrote To Netone Over OneFusion Data Complaints https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/full-letter-potraz-wrote-netone-onefusion-data-complaints/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/full-letter-potraz-wrote-netone-onefusion-data-complaints/#comments Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:52:31 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886581

As promised when we broke the news that POTRAZ had ordered Netone to compensate customers who had been affected by the flaw in their OneFusion product, we have more detail now. What detail is better than the actual letter written to Netone from POTRAZ? We have taken out the name of the official who wrote […]

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Full Letter That POTRAZ Wrote To Netone Over OneFusion Data Complaints

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As promised when we broke the news that POTRAZ had ordered Netone to compensate customers who had been affected by the flaw in their OneFusion product, we have more detail now. What detail is better than the actual letter written to Netone from POTRAZ?

We have taken out the name of the official who wrote but here it is:

RE: BILLING COMPLAINTS ON NETONE DATA BUNDLES

We refer to the above matter.

The Authority has noted the billing challenges you are facing with the Onefusion product. We have also noted that you have sent a communication to your subscribers advising and admitting the same challenges. Given the extent and magnitude of complaints raised to the Regulator by the subscribers, we hereby direct you to compensate the affected consumers in accordance with the prejudice they endured. This is done in the spirit of promoting the consumers’ right to complain and redress.

Accordingly, you are further requested to provide the Authority with a database of affected subscribers that provides details of the subscriber including the name, number, and the extent to which each of them was affected in monetary terms and the compensation levels extended to the affected subscribers. The database will enable us to conduct an audit trail on whether all affected subscribers have been compensated accordingly. The database should be submitted to the Authority by 28 February 2018. You are also advised to furnish the authority with measures that you have put in place to ensure that challenges of this nature will not recur.

Yours faithfully

All you OneFusion customers, it looks like the regulator has got your back. A level playing field huh?

NetOnePOTRAZ

NetOne Zimbabwe was the first mobile phone operator in Zimbabwe, the company was launched in 1996. The company is a privately owned company in which the Zimbabwe government has a stake and was formed as a subsidiary of the Posts and Telecommunications. Corporation (PTC). Service... Read More About NetOne

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe POTRAZ) is the regulatory authority of Zimbabwe's telecommunications sector and was established in terms of the country's Postal and Telecommunications Act Chapter 12:05. POTRAZ was established in February 2001 Read More About POTRAZ

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Full Letter That POTRAZ Wrote To Netone Over OneFusion Data Complaints

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POTRAZ Orders NetOne To Compensate OneFusion Customers Affected By Data Problems https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/portraz-tells-netone-compensate-onefusion-subscribers/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/portraz-tells-netone-compensate-onefusion-subscribers/#comments Mon, 19 Feb 2018 14:40:18 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886576

Portraz has ordered NetOne to compensate subscribers that were facing challenges with the OneFusion program over the past week. As reported some subscribers have seen their credit run out much quicker than usual. There has also been difficulty accessing media content on Facebook and Whatsapp. NetOne has attributed the problem to a server change on […]

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POTRAZ Orders NetOne To Compensate OneFusion Customers Affected By Data Problems

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Portraz has ordered NetOne to compensate subscribers that were facing challenges with the OneFusion program over the past week.

As reported some subscribers have seen their credit run out much quicker than usual. There has also been difficulty accessing media content on Facebook and Whatsapp. NetOne has attributed the problem to a server change on the part of Facebook. They are yet to offer an official fix and customers have been fuming for a number of days now.

Now PORTRAZ (Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe) has ordered NetOne to compensate the affected subscribers who have been affected by the billing challenges. Portraz will follow this up by auditing the OneFusion database to ensure that NetOne follows the order. 

Here is the official PORTRAZ statement:

 

RE: BILLING COMPLAINTS ON NETONE DATA BUNDLES

We refer to the above matter.

The Authority has noted the billing challenges you are facing with the Onefusion product. We have also noted that you have sent a communication to your subscribers advising and admitting the same challenges. Given the extent and magnitude of complaints raised to the Regulator by the subscribers, we hereby direct you to compensate the affected consumers in accordance with the prejudice they endured. This is done in the spirit of promoting the consumers’ right to complain and redress.

Accordingly, you are further requested to provide the Authority with a database of affected subscribers that provides details of the subscriber including the name, number, and the extent to which each of them was affected in monetary terms and the compensation levels extended to the affected subscribers. The database will enable us to conduct an audit trail on whether all affected subscribers have been compensated accordingly. The database should be submitted to the Authority by 28 February 2018. You are also advised to furnish the authority with measures that you have put in place to ensure that challenges of this nature will not recur.

Yours faithfully

This is a developing story and we are now awaiting NetOne’s.

Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of ZimbabweNetOneZimbabwe

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe POTRAZ) is the regulatory authority of Zimbabwe's telecommunications sector and was established in terms of the country's Postal and Telecommunications Act Chapter 12:05. POTRAZ was established in February 2001 Read More About Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe

NetOne Zimbabwe was the first mobile phone operator in Zimbabwe, the company was launched in 1996. The company is a privately owned company in which the Zimbabwe government has a stake and was formed as a subsidiary of the Posts and Telecommunications. Corporation (PTC). Service... Read More About NetOne

The Republic of Zimbabwe is a country located in the Southern Africa region. Its capital city is :Harare and the country has 10 provinces. Zimbabwe is 390,580 sq km and is bordered on all sides by other countries (Zambia in the north, South Africa in... Read More About Zimbabwe

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POTRAZ Orders NetOne To Compensate OneFusion Customers Affected By Data Problems

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Telecel Predictably Welcomes Mobile Money Interoperability https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/telecel-predictably-welcomes-mobile-money-interoperability/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/telecel-predictably-welcomes-mobile-money-interoperability/#comments Mon, 19 Feb 2018 12:41:31 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886564

The ministry of ICT and Cyber Security, yesterday, ordered all MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) to make their mobile money platforms work together seamlessly. Techzim reached out to all the operators and Telecel was the first to respond. Francis Chimanda, Telecel’s PR, CSR, and Sponsorship manager answered a few of the questions we had about the […]

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Telecel Predictably Welcomes Mobile Money Interoperability

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The ministry of ICT and Cyber Security, yesterday, ordered all MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) to make their mobile money platforms work together seamlessly.

Techzim reached out to all the operators and Telecel was the first to respond. Francis Chimanda, Telecel’s PR, CSR, and Sponsorship manager answered a few of the questions we had about the order given.

We asked Telecel a few questions about the order from the ministry. Here is the statement containing Telecel’s position in relation to the directive given to all operators by the Ministry of ICT and Cyber Security.

What do you think about this?
Telecel through the Telecash brand welcomes interoperability which will help our customers and the nation enjoy increased convenience while using mobile financial services from us and other operators. The banking community has adopted interoperability through the use of integrated platforms like Real Time Gross Settlement and ZimSwitch and there is no reason mobile financial service providers cannot do the same.

Is the deadline achievable?
Meeting the deadline is a function of the interoperability model that the sector decides to adopt. In our view, the most feasible and fastest way to achieve interoperability is through a national switch. As of now, Telecash and one other mobile network are on the ZIPIT platform and if all the three players were to join that platform then interoperability will be achieved.

Did you have a heads up?
As an industry, interoperability has always been a topical issue. The coming in of government into the discussion will certainly help in pushing for a speedy solution.

How will you respond?
Positively, as Telecash, we have always been interoperable – being on the ZIPIT platform for bank to wallet and wallet to bank transactions from day one. We also launched our own Telecash Gold Card in 2014 which is a debit card on the ZimSwitch platform.

Are operators in a position to work together?
We are not able to speak authoritatively for the entire industry but from the industry wide forums and platforms the desire to work together seems to be there when it comes to interoperability.

As indicated when we covered the interoperability order yesterday, we felt Telecel and NetOne would be in agreement with this move as Telecash and OneMoney had a combined market share of about 2.02% (as of Oct 2017).

Telecel seems to be welcoming the move by the ministry but they do seem to be making suggestions on how they would prefer to go about this. They think adopting ZimSwitch’s ZIPIT platform would help ensure the deadline is met. ZIPIT would probably be beneficial because all mobile operators would be tapping into an already existing platform. This would lessen the work needed to get Ecocash, Telecash, and OneMoney working in unison.

Telecel’s statement also seems to suggest the operators were not blindsided as they highlighted that the issue has ‘always been topical.’ If the operators were aware of this beforehand then this order may come at a time when all three operators are ready to work together in relation to mobile money solutions.

Econet and NetOne are yet to respond and we will cover their response’s as they come through…

TelecashOneMoneyEcoCash

Telecash is a mobile money transfer facility that is provided by mobile network phone operator, Telecel Zimbabwe. The product offers great convenience to customers by allowing them to send money across all networks and make payments. When the product was launched, it was said that... Read More About Telecash

OneMoney formerly known as OneWallet is a money transfer facility which is operated by a government telecoms company NetOne Zimbabwe. The facility runs on NetOne lines only and offers services such as Zimswitch-enabled debit card, money payments, mobile banking and airtime top-up. Read More About OneMoney

EcoCash is a mobile money transfer facility which is run by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. The facility has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception and is arguably the largest mobile money transfer agent considering the huge sums of transactions that the platform is said... Read More About EcoCash

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Telecel Predictably Welcomes Mobile Money Interoperability

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$3,500 From YouTube For Zim Internet Commedians, Bustop TV. Not Much But They Have A Good Business Going On https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/3500-from-youtube-for-zim-internet-commedians-bustop-tv/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/3500-from-youtube-for-zim-internet-commedians-bustop-tv/#comments Mon, 19 Feb 2018 09:28:55 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886539

The monetization of the popular YouTube comedy channel Bustop Tv resulted in the guys making $3500. With a subscriber base of almost 22 000 people, it makes sense that Bustop TV decided to monetize their YouTube channel. The monetization program has been going on for a while and enables uploaders of content to make revenue […]

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$3,500 From YouTube For Zim Internet Commedians, Bustop TV. Not Much But They Have A Good Business Going On

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The monetization of the popular YouTube comedy channel Bustop Tv resulted in the guys making $3500.

With a subscriber base of almost 22 000 people, it makes sense that Bustop TV decided to monetize their YouTube channel. The monetization program has been going on for a while and enables uploaders of content to make revenue on their channel by allowing the presence of ads on their page. The $3500 was obtained from monetization of videos from 2016-2017.

Bustop did not have a problem qualifying for monetization since they have the required 1000 subscribers and +4000hrs of watched content. This monetization criterion is also a recent update and it’s ensuring that Bustop TV is facing less competition from pirates who would download content on their page and harvest seeds they did not sow. The old monetization setup only required 100 subscribers so it was easy for pirates to compete with the originators of the content.

Bustop TV founder Lucky Aaroni had this to say to The Sunday Mail:

We monetised our YouTube channel in 2016. Unfortunately we knew about monetising a bit late and it is only when a friend, Munya Blogo told us about the whole process that we then monetised the channel. During our days of ignorance regarding this money making idea, I believe we lost a lot of revenue as many people who were aware of how to make money from YouTube were busy uploading our content on the channels whilst we were celebrating resounding views on Facebook. After monetising the channel and the subscribers were increasing on a daily basis, we realised that there was need to jealously guard our content from people who were uploading on their channels. To curb losing revenue from the pirates, we made it a policy that each week we would reserve time to hunt the pirates down and report them, resulting in their channels being shut down if they had ignored the warnings from YouTube. The most viewed skit in 2017 had over 200 000 views but the money was an accumulation of all the videos we uploaded from 2016 when we monetised.

The problem content creators face in Zim

$3500 for all those views and all that time is not much though. This is the predicament that content creators face in Zimbabwe. The way YouTube revenue works mean local creators are always at a disadvantage as adverts that are on their page are usually irrelevant.

Local advertisers have not embraced digital marketing fully so there are rarely any ads from local guys on YouTube. The domino effect here is that lack of relevant ads leads to less interaction from viewers, which in turn leads to less revenue for content creators.

Bustop TV is, however, making money from other avenues as they are now a registered, fully integrated production company that ‘caters for all aspects of creative audiovisual communication.’ Aaroni also mentioned they are developing ‘a number of new concepts and among them is a collaboration with PO Box Reloaded and Dream State Pictures.’ The income from YouTube is probably just a welcome addition to their revenue sources.

Bustop TVLucky AaroniZimbabwe

Bustop TV is a Comedy video show published on social media. The show was co-founded by Luckie Aaron. It was initially named P.O. Box. Bustop TV currently features comedians, Sharon Chideu (Maggie), and Samantha Kureya (Gonyeti) and is produced by Luckie Aaron. Guest comedians that... Read More About Bustop TV

Lucky Aaroni is a Zimbabwean filmmaker and photographer. He is most known for the Internet comedy show P.O. Box (now renamed to Bustop TV) which he co-founder with co-founders Admire Kuzhangaira and Rolland Lunga. He has produced, edited, written a number of short films. He... Read More About Lucky Aaroni

The Republic of Zimbabwe is a country located in the Southern Africa region. Its capital city is :Harare and the country has 10 provinces. Zimbabwe is 390,580 sq km and is bordered on all sides by other countries (Zambia in the north, South Africa in... Read More About Zimbabwe

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$3,500 From YouTube For Zim Internet Commedians, Bustop TV. Not Much But They Have A Good Business Going On

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Tech Issue At The Courts May Delay Election Roadmap https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/tech-issue-courts-may-delay-election-roadmap/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/tech-issue-courts-may-delay-election-roadmap/#comments Mon, 19 Feb 2018 08:51:59 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886545

The election roadmap is facing a stumbling block due to a court issue over the software required to ensure legitimacy during the voting process. Laxton Group Ltd won the tender to supply the BVR kits that have been used during the voter registration process. Laxton Group argue that ZECs decision to award the de-duplication tender to […]

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Tech Issue At The Courts May Delay Election Roadmap

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The election roadmap is facing a stumbling block due to a court issue over the software required to ensure legitimacy during the voting process.

Laxton Group Ltd won the tender to supply the BVR kits that have been used during the voter registration process. Laxton Group argue that ZECs decision to award the de-duplication tender to IPSIDY could compromise the fairness of elections and they feel they are in the best position to provide the de-duplication service since they handled the registration that comes before de-duplication. 

We don’t know why ZEC decided to award different companies the respective tenders. Laxton supplied the kits that were used for registration. The next important step has been taken away from Laxton and awarded to a different company Ipsidy. Laxton says this may comromise the new voters’ roll.

Both ZEC and Ipsidy have refuted Laxton’s appeal but the pending court case delays the election roadmap and if one the concerned parties appeal the judgment we could be in for an even longer wait before this vital issue is resolved.

Once the registration using BVR has ended there is supposed to be a de-duplication process which ensures that there are no double-voters who have registered in multiple places. This process is done electronically and will see biographical details(name, DOB, ID number and place of residence) get verified along with the biometrical details(fingerprint & photo).

The de-duplication process requires special AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems) software. This software matches fingerprints of all the registered voters to make sure they do not appear under different identities/names. 

Delays

Even if the outcome is not contested the delays of this initial court case will cause a bump since ZEC will need about 4 weeks to link the existing BVR data to the de-duplicating software and run the process.

The de-duplicating process itself will then be drawn out as each and every registration is compared against every other – making trillions of comparisons.

Another problem is the fact a court date hasn’t even been set so it’s hard to gauge just how long this will take. With the closest possible election date being only 5 months away it isn’t really clear how or if this issue can be resolved in a timely manner.

Until this process is complete ZEC will not be in a position to produce a credible voters roll and without a credible voters roll the elections will not be credible… I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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Tech Issue At The Courts May Delay Election Roadmap

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Why The New OneFusion Makes Sense And Doesn’t Make Sense At The Same Time https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/why-the-new-onefusion-makes-sense-and-doesnt-make-sense-at-the-same-time/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/why-the-new-onefusion-makes-sense-and-doesnt-make-sense-at-the-same-time/#comments Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:41:24 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886527

With NetOne introducing new OneFusion packages it’s only right that we take a look at why they may have made this move and if it actually makes sense. How this began… The uproar around the OneFusion service started about a week ago when subscribers started complaining about airtime running out much quicker than normal. Facebook […]

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Why The New OneFusion Makes Sense And Doesn’t Make Sense At The Same Time

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With NetOne introducing new OneFusion packages it’s only right that we take a look at why they may have made this move and if it actually makes sense.

How this began…

The uproar around the OneFusion service started about a week ago when subscribers started complaining about airtime running out much quicker than normal. Facebook and Whatsapp also stopped working as advertised, with pictures and videos proving hard to access.

NetOne’s lack of a clear response did not help them or their angry subscriber base. Eventually, NetOne released a statement but they didn’t talk about a solution. 22 hours ago they promised to resolve the situation within 24 hours but it is not yet clear if normalcy has been restored (NetOne subscribers are you viewing FB pics and Whatsapp pics without any disturbance now?)

We reported on the new OneFusion packages and now it’s time to take a look at why the packages make sense or why they actually don’t make sense. Remember there’s always two sides to a coin so let me try explain…

Why this makes sense

It’s all about turning a profit, and NetOne hasn’t managed to do so in a while.

Back in January, we reported on the fact that OneFusion may actually have been a failure. Unfortunately, the fact that OneFusion managed to pull in a sizeable (or is it sizable) number of subscribers (over 350 000) did not directly translate to profits for NetOne. In fact, there was a decrease in revenue since the introduction of OneFusion. This is why NetOne finds themselves in this position where they now have to revise the OneFusion package in order for the promotion to become viable for NetOne.

Last year NetOne failed to pay their telecoms license fees and this negatively impacted government revenue. The forfeiture of such fees might have been acceptable to the old regime, but with new sheriffs in town the pressure is on to perform and NetOne may not necessarily be allowed to avoid or negotiate these fees under the new dispensation.

The fact that NetOne is government owned also means that any debt incurred by NetOne is also a debt of the Zim government. In this new Zimbabwe that is being said to be ‘open for business’ the government is probably looking for ways to avoid being ravaged by debt and is probably breathing on the neck of NetOne which may be why they have been forced to revise their OneFusion offering.

In any case, the government as a shareholder wants to reap from whatever investments they have sowed into the telco over the years.

Turning a profit will also be of interest to the government and to NetOne as there are investors interested in them. Obviously, a profitable NetOne will be more enticing than one that is burning a hole in their pocket. Remember the government seems keen to let go of a number of the companies they own. Telecoms companies make sense if they go because they are too capital intensive and the government may achieve more by regulating them more stringently than by owning them.

Why this doesn’t make sense

The new OneFusion packages might lead to an exodus if subscribers don’t like what’s on offer.
An exodus might leave NetOne in a disastrous position and it will be interesting to see how the subscribers react as this will probably have a big bearing on NetOne’s future.

This is always the problem when you want to win market share through promotions

The revision of OneFusion also doesn’t really address the complaints of the subscribers. Judging from NetOne’s response you would think the subscribers were complaining about having too much data, but this is not the case. OneFusion users were complaining about disappearance of credit and inability to view media on Facebook and Whatsapp, as we mentioned at the start of this article. So this move to bring out new packages might be a move that was already in the works and is now being put into place after the catastrophic events that have befallen NetOne.

I know that catastrophic sounds dramatic but in a few years I think you will give me a firm handshake and acknowledge that this was indeed a catastrophe. Personally, I don’t see NetOne coming back from this one anytime soon but I hope they can recover quickly for the sake of competition at least.

They may have to stick through this change actually so that their bouncing back is not a promotion led bouncing back which is not sustainable. Their bouncing back should be a value proposition led bouncing back and that’s going to be harder but more sustainable.

The comments section is always open. Give us your take on the new packages and why they make sense or not.

Articles appeared first on Techzim;
Why The New OneFusion Makes Sense And Doesn’t Make Sense At The Same Time

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How Do Financial Markets Work? Most Of Us Need To Know This, Here’s A Good Place To Do So https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/financial-markets-work-us-need-know-heres-good-place/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/financial-markets-work-us-need-know-heres-good-place/#comments Sun, 18 Feb 2018 16:50:51 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886518

MEFMI, the Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa is running a course on the 26th and 27th of February and you must attend it. Techzim will definitely attend. Here’s why: We Experienced A MEFMI Training Before Last year a good number of our team (I think six people) attended a MEFMI […]

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How Do Financial Markets Work? Most Of Us Need To Know This, Here’s A Good Place To Do So

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MEFMI, the Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa is running a course on the 26th and 27th of February and you must attend it. Techzim will definitely attend. Here’s why:

We Experienced A MEFMI Training Before

Last year a good number of our team (I think six people) attended a MEFMI course on capital markets and we loved it. Let me be more honest, they loved it. I was not there but I have lived to regret it. I regret that I didn’t go and I regret that they went because they never stop talking about how the course was so helpful and some of them now call themselves Equities Analysts just from the blue…

I am being serious, if the feedback from my colleagues is anything to go by then I highly recommend that you attend this course. I was made to believe so much that I struck a deal to publicise this event in exchange for being allowed to send more team mates than Techzim can afford right now. Ndakabhilivhiswa.

Financial Intelligence Is Super Important

I have shared before my experiences as a novice investor on the ZSE. I am convinced the only way out of the cycle of poverty that many of us on the continent find ourselves in is knowledge particularly knowledge about the ‘system.’ Yes, we may one day disrupt the financial markets etc but we can only do so when we understand how they work in the first place.

It’s a no brainer that from whatever level we find ourselves we need to spend less than we earn and save/invest the rest. In fact, the only way we can do this is to practice spending what is left after saving instead of saving what’s left after spending. The latter doesn’t work for the same reason that new year’s resolutions don’t work.

Now you can’t just start calling yourself an investor. You gotta learn what it’s all about and how to play that game. MEFMI is a great place to start from what my team tells me.

You May Need The Training For Your Job And Career

MEFMI says these are the people that may find the greatest value out of this training:

Junior and new entrants working as Foreign Exchange
and Money Market Dealers, Back Office and Operations
Professionals in Investment, Commercial Banks and
Central Banks.
Auditors, Regulators, ICT and Finance Professionals,
Compliance Officers in financial institutions and
Financial journalists.

You better tell your boss to pay the $330 that you need to attend. We are making it easy for you to register: here’s the form.

This is just the first of many MEFMI courses this year. We will let you know about all of them and attend all of them too. In the meantime here is the registration form once more.

See you on the 26th

Articles appeared first on Techzim;
How Do Financial Markets Work? Most Of Us Need To Know This, Here’s A Good Place To Do So

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NetOne Updates OneFusion Packages: Data Has Been Slashed And 30 Days Is Now 21 https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/netone-updates-onefusion-packages/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/netone-updates-onefusion-packages/#comments Sun, 18 Feb 2018 15:35:21 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886519

There has been a picture circulating on social media that contains NetOne OneFusion’s new charges.Apparently, this picture is the real deal. We reached to NetOne and got confirmation that these are the new OneFusion packages indeed. The changes may not be what the OneFussion fans would have wanted though. Take a look at the updated […]

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NetOne Updates OneFusion Packages: Data Has Been Slashed And 30 Days Is Now 21

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There has been a picture circulating on social media that contains NetOne OneFusion’s new charges.Apparently, this picture is the real deal. We reached to NetOne and got confirmation that these are the new OneFusion packages indeed.

The changes may not be what the OneFussion fans would have wanted though. Take a look at the updated OneFusion service below:

We are yet to confirm when these new rates will be put in place but we will keep you notified as the story develops!

So many reductions

It seems the $3 dollar package is the only one that isn’t changing much. The only shift is that now your $3 will get you less OffNet minutes and SMSs. The other packages have shifted dramatically with the $5,$10 and $20 packages now lasting only 21 days compared to 30 days of before. All the packages have seen dramatic reductions of data as well. For example, the $5 bundle has seen Whatsapp data get slashed by 50%, from 750MB to 300MB. NetOne subscribers may have to change their usage patterns with the more stringent data allocations.

Will this solve the problem?

Those who have called the service ‘One conFusion’ in recent days will be proved right the longer this drags on. NetOne’s initial statement, saw them blame Facebook so it is not yet clear if these changes also mean that they will now also fix the issues of disappearing airtime and the loading of pictures on Whatsapp and Facebook. Whether these issues will now be fixed is yet to be seen but for the sake of both NetOne and customers, we hope they can sort out this mess sooner rather than later.

The rates do seem to be cheaper than Econet’s bundles so I guess NetOne users may put up with this blow if the real problem is actually addressed.

What do you think of the new OneFusion rates? Let us know in the comments below

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NetOne Updates OneFusion Packages: Data Has Been Slashed And 30 Days Is Now 21

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Supa Mandiwanzira Tells Econet, Telecel, NetOne To Have Mobile Money Platforms That Work Together… Or Else https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/supa-mandiwanzira-tells-econet-telecel-netone-to-have-mobile-money-platforms-that-work-together-or-else/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/supa-mandiwanzira-tells-econet-telecel-netone-to-have-mobile-money-platforms-that-work-together-or-else/#comments Sun, 18 Feb 2018 12:48:30 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886510

The Ministry of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security has issued an ultimatum to the Mobile Network Operators to find a way to make all their mobile money platforms work together. The statement reads: INTEROPERABILITY OF MOBILE MONEY PLATFORMS The Ministry of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security would like to encourage the Mobile Network […]

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Supa Mandiwanzira Tells Econet, Telecel, NetOne To Have Mobile Money Platforms That Work Together… Or Else

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The Ministry of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security has issued an ultimatum to the Mobile Network Operators to find a way to make all their mobile money platforms work together.

The statement reads:

INTEROPERABILITY OF MOBILE MONEY PLATFORMS
The Ministry of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security would like to encourage the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), who offer digital financial services, to consider making their services completely interoperable.

We have noted with concern that whilst it is possible to send money to an unregistered customer on another network, the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) platforms for operators are not yet fully integrated hence wallet to wallet funds transfer have not yet been integrated.

The lack of Interoperability of the mobile money platforms of the networks is a major barrier to effective competition and stalls further progress in the development of mobile money services. Interoperability also brings convenience to consumers and the ease of doing business.

In the event that there is no interoperability across all networks by the set date of 1 April 2018, the government will take the appropriate measures to enhance compliance.

ENDS///
The Honourable Minister
Ministry of ICT and Cyber Security
7th Floor Bank Chambers Building
76 Samora Machel Avenue
Harare

13 February 2018

Let’s talk interoperability…

Interoperability is the ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information. In essence what this means is that Econet, NetOne, and Telecel are supposed to find a way to make Ecocash, OneMoney (formerly OneWallet) and Telecash work together seamlessly.

The easiest illustration is that customer x will have mobile money they can use on any platform (Ecocash, OneMoney, Telecash…) regardless of which service they signed up for. This will make mobile money simply mobile money and brand becomes nothing more than brand. One customer can then be able to send money from say Ecocash straight into another person’s OneMoney wallet ka1.

Who are the winners and losers?

Telecel and NetOne will probably be overjoyed by this announcement as they stand to benefit most from this move. Telecash and OneMoney are way behind Ecocash in usage but this move means customers may no longer have to flock to Econet solely because of Ecocash in future. With all mobile money platforms working in tandem customers will be able to send money without having to consider whether the receiver is on the same platform.

It will be interesting to hear Econet’s thoughts on this move as they seem to be the only MNO that will be disadvantaged if this ‘interoperability’ does become a thing. Econet had made huge strides and pulled away from Telecel and NetOne when you compare their mobile money platforms.

The fact that Telecel and NetOne are government owned could also mean the government is just doing these two a favor in order to help them catch up to Econet without necessarily putting in the work. Last year OneMoney made losses of 6 million whilst Telecash lost subscribers like no man’s business the year before. The government’s move is a nudge in the right direction for these two ailing products.

The people stand to benefit

Making this work will stand to benefit all Zimbabweans who use mobile phones regardless of which operator they are on. If this gets implemented there will no longer be need for people to have two lines, one for Ecocash and either Telecel or NetOne if you prefer those for other services. Regardless of which network you are on you will be able to send money to another network.

Ultimately…

Though I think it is not fair, this move stands to benefit the country as a whole, and thus I think this move should be pursued.

We have reached out to the MNOs to hear their thoughts on this move by the Ministry of ICT and Cyber Security

Let’s keep the conversation going down in the comments below. Tell us what you think of this move and if it should be implemented.

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Supa Mandiwanzira Tells Econet, Telecel, NetOne To Have Mobile Money Platforms That Work Together… Or Else

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Are You Considering Leaving NetOne Because Of OneFusion? Here Are Your Options. https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/are-you-considering-leaving-onefusion-here-are-alternatives-from-telecel-and-econet/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/are-you-considering-leaving-onefusion-here-are-alternatives-from-telecel-and-econet/#comments Sat, 17 Feb 2018 12:35:21 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886488

Over the past few days, the popular OneFusion product that was being offered by NetOne has caused an outcry due to ‘disappearing data.’ What’s changed? The uproar has come about due to major changes that have caused Facebook and WhatsApp to stop working as advertised under the OneFusion banner. The complaints are Pictures and videos on […]

Articles appeared first on Techzim;
Are You Considering Leaving NetOne Because Of OneFusion? Here Are Your Options.

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Over the past few days, the popular OneFusion product that was being offered by NetOne has caused an outcry due to ‘disappearing data.’

What’s changed?

The uproar has come about due to major changes that have caused Facebook and WhatsApp to stop working as advertised under the OneFusion banner. The complaints are

  • Pictures and videos on these platforms are no longer loading or downloadable.
  • Customers claim they have been running out of credit quicker than usual.

NetOne is blaming Facebook because of changes made to their Facebook and Whatsapp apps. For customers, however, the blame game is not enough and if you’re thinking of shifting to another mobile operator here are your options.

Telecel

Telecel is lagging behind Econet and NetOne in terms of membership but they offer a fairly Megaboost package. These are the bundles on offer:

50c Bundle $1 Bundle $2 Bundle $5 Bundle $10 Bundle
WhatsApp 5 MB 30 MB 60 MB Unlimited Unlimited
Rest of the Internet 20 MB 50 MB 150 MB 350 MB 1GB
Calls to Telecel numbers 10 mins 15 mins 30 mins 60 mins 150 mins
Calls to other networks 2 mins 4 mins 10 mins 15 mins 25 mins
SMS 10 15 30 125 150
Bundle valid for 24 hrs 24 hrs 48 hrs 1 month 1 month

It’s hard to compare the Megaboost service to the dysfunctional OneFusion right now but it seems Megaboost is only valuable at the $5 and $10 mark. The fact that $2 gives you only 60Mb of WhatsApp data (especially when you consider the how often people use the Whatsapp Status feature) is bewildering.

If you’re a big fan of Whatsapp, FB, and Twitter then Megaboost might not quench your thirst. The amount of talk time is hard to gauge because it all depends on your usage patterns as some people rely on Whatsapp for personal calls, and then business calls are left for the network operator.

Opting for Telecel might mean you get to miss out on Ecocash, which might not necessarily be a problem if you weren’t using the service anyway. However with the widespread availability and ease of use of Ecocash if you’re switching services this might be something to ponder upon.

Econet

Econet is the leading mobile network operator in terms of market share and infrastructure. These are the bundles on offer:

Daily Bundles

  • 30c Whatsapp+Twitter bundles get you 20MB WhatsApp + 10MB Twitter (plus 20MB WhatsApp WiFi and 10MB Twitter WiFi on Econet)
  • 30c Facebook+Instagram bundles get you 20MB Facebook + 10MB Instagram (plus 20MB Facebook WiFi and 10MB Instagram WiFi on Econet)

I don’t really know what customers are supposed to do with 10MB data for Instagram(or 20, if you can access Econet WiFi). Instagram is a data hungry app so 10MB would probably just load a few pictures and videos before running out. For Whatsapp, 20MB seems to be ok for one day of use.

Weekly Bundles

On the weekly front, the story is similar:

  • $1 Whatsapp+Twitter bundle gets you 90MB WhatsApp + 45MB Twitter (plus 90MB WhatsApp WiFi)
  • $1 Facebook+Instagram bundle gets you 70MB Facebook + 35MB Instagram (plus 70MB Facebook WiFi)

The story is similar to the Daily Bundles issue. 90MB might last you a week on Whatsapp as long you are not downloading pictures and videos regularly. Viewing Whatsapp Status’ is also considered as downloading so tread lightly.

I use Facebook sparingly so I’m not sure if 70MB can get you through a week but I think if you’re using the Opera Mini browser you might be fine ( those using the Facebook app please inform us of your experience in the comments below). In relation to Instagram, you’ll be lucky if 35MB gets you through a day let alone a week.

Monthly Bundles

If you haven’t noticed the trend then let’s look at the monthly bundles:

  • Whatsapp+Twitter bundle gets you 220MB WhatsApp + 110MB Twitter (plus 220MB WhatsApp WiFi)
  • Facebook+Instagram bundle gets you 220MB Facebook + 110 Instagram (plus 220MB Facebook WiFi)

I am yet to try the monthly bundle services so the guys who have will have to share their experiences in the comments below.

Generally, the Whatsapp 220MB seems ‘ok’. Keep in mind if you share and download a lot of media you may run through this in the course of a week. Also, note if you make calls(both voice and video) you’re likely to reach your limit faster. The 110MB is likely to comfortably last throughout the month on Twitter since these bundles block videos and images.

110MB will not last you a month on Instagram(unless you only visit sporadically) but you might be good for 2 or 3 days. On Facebook, the readers will have to help us out again in the comments, but I know that on Opera Mini 220 MB will last you a month unless of course you constantly view videos.

Before Econet fans call for my head, please recall that I recommended Econet because of the Ecocash service. They also have the widest 4G coverage in the country, which means if you’re in a 4G area your internet probably flies (mine does!). In terms of speed and coverage, I think Econet has you covered. If it’s worth anything, I am also an Econet user.

The reason why OneFusion was so widely celebrated is because they were offering a package that was head and shoulders above the competition (in terms of the data cost at least). Data is generally expensive in Zim so OneFusion had created a package that, until recently, catered for the customers creating a balance between value for money and a more generous portion of data.

You also have to understand that you can’t have your cake and eat it. There is no operator that single-handedly covers every need entirely so you’ll have to choose the operator that best caters to your needs.

NetOne is believed to be launching a fix soon so it might be wise to wait before making a jump to any other service.

You know sharing is caring right!. What network provider do you use, and why? I’m sure other readers would love to hear your views on which service to migrate to. Please share in the comments below.

 

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Are You Considering Leaving NetOne Because Of OneFusion? Here Are Your Options.

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OneFusion Customers Angry Over Depleting Airtime. NetOne Blames Facebook, Continues To Advertise & Sell Faulty Product https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/onefusion-customers-angry/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/onefusion-customers-angry/#comments Sat, 17 Feb 2018 07:28:44 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886480

Over the past several days, NetOne customers have been complaining bitterly about how the once popular OneFusion mobile broadband bundle has been a huge letdown. Data is depleting quickly. Disappearing some say. Pictures and videos on Facebook and WhatsApp won’t load. The complaining has been happening on social media mostly; WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter. NetOne says […]

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OneFusion Customers Angry Over Depleting Airtime. NetOne Blames Facebook, Continues To Advertise & Sell Faulty Product

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Over the past several days, NetOne customers have been complaining bitterly about how the once popular OneFusion mobile broadband bundle has been a huge letdown. Data is depleting quickly. Disappearing some say. Pictures and videos on Facebook and WhatsApp won’t load.

The complaining has been happening on social media mostly; WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter.

NetOne says it can’t do anything about it at the moment. It’s Facebook’s fault, the company keeps telling customers mechanically. Apparently, Facebook made some changes to the WhatsApp and Facebooks apps, and those changes have compromised the OneFusion bundle.

Here’s the NetOne message:

Good day <Customer>,

We sincerely apologize for the failure to download or playback media on Facebook (or WhatsApp) using the social media bundle. Just to put you into perspective, Facebook, who are also the owners of WhatsApp, have made some critical changes to their new mobile app to the extent that while content (video, image or audio) may appear to be residing on the Facebook or WhatsApp, it is in actual fact saved on Google or Amazon cloud services.

This we discovered through preliminary investigations carried out by our technical team in conjunction with our other partners. That said, the effect of such file architecture is that while in our system we only configured the IPs provided by Facebook as whitelist, IPs from Google and Amazon to which such download sessions are being redirected are not, thus, making them inaccessible unless you have pure data or real money on your account.

Put simply, when you try to access the media file you are being redirected to either Google or Amazon cloud services and the only way to download the media is have real data on your phone. The complexity of the matter is that these IPs change all the time, making it very complex for us to come up with a long term solution to the issue. In that regard, we really appeal for your patience while a more sustainable solution is being worked out. Once again we apologize for the inconvenience caused by this development.”

But customers won’t have it. Especially because NetOne is basically sending this complicated message to anyone that enquires without bothering (at least based on what we see on Facebook) to engage each customer individually who has been affected.

One Fusion Bundles Complaint

Angry Netone Customers complain about OneFusion bundles. Click image to open on Facebook

What is really surprising and frustrating to customers is that, even with the full knowledge of the product being faulty due to the claimed changes, NetOne continues to advertise and sell OneFusion bundles. It’s as if NetOne management feels it’s enough to apologise, explain the problem, do nothing to fix while continuing to take the money. It’s not just NetOne that’s failing its customers. The regulator too, is failing.

What NetOne’s message basically says is that Facebook and WhatsApp content is now served from Google and Amazon servers and that their Deep Packet Inspection tools used to meter data based on the bundle bought, have been rendered useless.

On the surface, it’s surprising that so that it looks like NetOne’s the only company affected by this change. The reason could, of course, be that Telcel and Econet do not use the same vendor that NetOne uses. If that’s the case, NetOne needs to find a new vendor pronto.

This is a huge problem for the company and NetOne risks losing customers it has worked so hard to get (with little benefit to their bottom line so far). It would really be great and NetOne would gain some points with customers if they at the very least did the following:

  • Do an airtime refund to everyone who bought a OneFusion Bundle in the last 30 days
  • Stop selling the OneFusion bundle
  • Stop advertising OneFusion
  • Issue a simpler explanation of what is going on and circulate it widely in press statements

For its part, the regulator, POTRAZ, needs to intervene. When there’s a public outcry like this POTRAZ needs to start an investigation instead of waiting for individual customers to formally write letters of complaint. In such situations, even a regulatory fine should be considered to deter MNO from such practices.

NetOneWhatsAppPOTRAZ

NetOne Zimbabwe was the first mobile phone operator in Zimbabwe, the company was launched in 1996. The company is a privately owned company in which the Zimbabwe government has a stake and was formed as a subsidiary of the Posts and Telecommunications. Corporation (PTC). Service... Read More About NetOne

WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows mobile phone users to exchange messages without having to pay for Short Message Services costs. WhatsApp Messenger application is compatible with different mobile phone models such as iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia. The... Read More About WhatsApp

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe POTRAZ) is the regulatory authority of Zimbabwe's telecommunications sector and was established in terms of the country's Postal and Telecommunications Act Chapter 12:05. POTRAZ was established in February 2001 Read More About POTRAZ

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OneFusion Customers Angry Over Depleting Airtime. NetOne Blames Facebook, Continues To Advertise & Sell Faulty Product

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Multichoice SA Announces Price Increase. Zim DSTV Prices Will Stay The Same. https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/multichoice-sa-announces-price-increase-dstv-zim-confirms-prices-will-stay/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/multichoice-sa-announces-price-increase-dstv-zim-confirms-prices-will-stay/#comments Fri, 16 Feb 2018 18:31:37 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886472

Multichoice SA has announced it’s annual price adjustment and subscribers will have to fork out more from April 1, 2018. The majority of the packages are seeing a price increase with the only exception being the DStv Access and Easyview packages. Updated SA prices Packages 2018 Price 2017 Price % Increase DStv Premium R809 R789 2.5% […]

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Multichoice SA Announces Price Increase. Zim DSTV Prices Will Stay The Same.

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Multichoice SA has announced it’s annual price adjustment and subscribers will have to fork out more from April 1, 2018. The majority of the packages are seeing a price increase with the only exception being the DStv Access and Easyview packages.

Updated SA prices

Packages 2018 Price 2017 Price % Increase
DStv Premium R809 R789 2.5%
DStv Compact Plus R509 R489 4.1%
DStv Compact R385 R365 5.5%
DStv Family R249 R235 6.0%
DStv Access R99 R99 0.0%
DStv EasyView R29 R29 0.0%
DStv Select R249 R235 6.0%
M-Net analogue R409 R389 5.1%
Add-ons 2018 Price 2017 Price % increase
Access fee R90 R85 5.9%
BoxOffice PVR rentals R35 R35 0.0%
DStv Indian & Portuguesa (add-on) R239 R229 4.4%
DStv Indian & Portuguesa (standalone) R375 R360 4.2%

What does this mean for Zimbabwean customers?

We contacted DSTV Zimbabwe to confirm if the price increases could be coming to Zim as well and a spokesperson said:

While we can confirm that Multichoice South Africa will increase DSTV prices in South Africa, it’s worth noting that Multichoice Africa is a seperate business unit that operates independently. In the past two years, we haven’t increased DSTV subscription prices for our customers in Zimbabwe – and in fact, we’ve decreased some package prices and added exciting premium content across various packages as part of our priority to put customers in the heart of everything we do. Should there be any changes to DStv subscription prices in Zimbabwe, we will inform our customers accordingly.

Regards

Liz Dziva

This is great news as an increase would have put subscribers in a tight spot. With subscribers paying in US$ and considering how hard it is to obtain cash an increase might have been suicide. With the pressure being applied by Kwese, Multichoice Zimbabwe’s move to maintain their prices lessens the possibility of disgruntling customers and causing them to switch to Kwese.

Multichoice ZimbabweZimbabweDStv

Multichoice Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwean operation of the South African headquartered company Multichoice Africa. Multichoice Zimbabwe operates as a franchise and is registered under the name Skynet Pvt Ltd. The local company is the one in charge of the DStv pay TV operations in the... Read More About Multichoice Zimbabwe

The Republic of Zimbabwe is a country located in the Southern Africa region. Its capital city is :Harare and the country has 10 provinces. Zimbabwe is 390,580 sq km and is bordered on all sides by other countries (Zambia in the north, South Africa in... Read More About Zimbabwe

DStv is a Pay TV service owned by South African company, Multichoice. DStv provides a broad spectrum of entertainment, news and information channels subscribed to via bouquets. Bouquets have a pre selected number of channels. In Zimbabwe, the DStv service is provided by Multichoice Zimbabwe,... Read More About DStv

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Multichoice SA Announces Price Increase. Zim DSTV Prices Will Stay The Same.

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Dr Dish Tables $3.5 Million Offer For Zim PSL Rights https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/dr-dish-tables-3-5-million-offer-zim-psl-rights/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/dr-dish-tables-3-5-million-offer-zim-psl-rights/#comments Fri, 16 Feb 2018 10:15:12 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886454

According to the Herald today Dr. Dish has submitted a $3.5 million bid to acquire the PSL’s top-flight broadcasting rights. This comes after the PSL’s 5-year partnership with Supersport ended recently. Apparently, the $3.5m is believed to be higher than the ended Supersport deal. The article says the PSL will get a $750 000 payout every year […]

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Dr Dish Tables $3.5 Million Offer For Zim PSL Rights

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According to the Herald today Dr. Dish has submitted a $3.5 million bid to acquire the PSL’s top-flight broadcasting rights. This comes after the PSL’s 5-year partnership with Supersport ended recently. Apparently, the $3.5m is believed to be higher than the ended Supersport deal.

The article says the PSL will get a $750 000 payout every year for these rights.

In terms of why DR Dish is bidding for soccer rights, the article quotes an unnamed source (who is probably just Dr Dish themselves):

The leadership at Dr Dish believe interest in Zimbabwean football is very high throughout the country with thousands, if not millions, of people following what happens at our stadiums every weekend with religious interest.

They believe, if well-packaged, and with a lot of matches being covered, there is a market out there that has an appetite for content that is generated from the local Premier League and which a lot of people want to see on their televisions at home, in the bars or in the offices.

Of course, the decision rests with the PSL leaders and let’s see how it pans out but clearly this is far more money, which has been put on the table, than what the PSL were getting from their previous deal with SuperSport.

We have no idea how much the PSL was getting from the Supersport deal (if you do please comment) so it’s hard to gauge if this is a good or not. We are not sure just how many broadcasters are interested in securing these rights.

If Kwese is officially not interested, then it comes down to 2 other players; ZBC and Supersport. How much are they prepared to pay for these rights?

Is Dr Dish looking to outdo Kwese with this move?

The offer was reportedly tabled on the 7th of February (interestingly just 2 days after Kwese announced they weren’t interested in the rights).Will acquiring these rights really entice customers into signing up for Dr Dish when they launch? I highly doubt so and personally think Dr Dish is trying to garner favor with the public and embrace the league that was recently shunned by Kwese. Whether this favor will translate into actual sales is yet to be seen.

Dr Dish was in bed with Kwese but that relationship ended on a sour note apparently due to Dr Dish’s political ties that were not in line with Econet’s vision. Econet – and thus Kwese by association – would rather distance themselves from any political issues.

Anyway…

I could be wrong and Dr Dish could just be willing to supporting our local sports. If this is the case, I think it is a positive step that will hopefully inspire other players in the broadcasting field in future. At the end of the day, it might not even matter what Dr Dish’s intentions are as the PSL – and hopefully, the players – just stands to benefit either way.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this move by Dr Dish. Let’s engage in the comments below!

Dr DishKweseEconet

BOSTV Blue Ocean Satellite Television is a free to air satellite TV channel which is 100% Zimbabwean owned.The channel brought back some of the popular South African soapies like Generations, Muvhango, Rhythm City as well as other entertainment, that were lost when South African brodcaster... Read More About Dr Dish

Kwese TV is a Zimbabwean satellite and broadcasting network owned by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, under Econet Media. On 23 August 2017, Econet Media announced that Kwese TV was now available in Zimbabwe and that decoders were available at Econet Shops. However, that very same day... Read More About Kwese

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of Econet Wireless International, is the first and largest mobile network services provider in Zimbabwe. The telecoms giant became popular with its products and services such as Buddie. It has established branches in different corners of the country and enjoys... Read More About Econet

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Dr Dish Tables $3.5 Million Offer For Zim PSL Rights

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Techzim Reviews: Black Panther After The Post Credits Scene #PotentialSpoilerAlert! https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/potential-spoiler-alert-black-panther-post-credits-scene/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/potential-spoiler-alert-black-panther-post-credits-scene/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:46:02 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886461

Again before I begin I have 2 disclaimers. First off this might be a potential spoiler so tread carefully. Secondly, this is my own encounter of the movie so just in case you feel burdened with glorious purpose to skin me alive then the comments are our Colosseum. As some of you might know yesterday […]

Articles appeared first on Techzim;
Techzim Reviews: Black Panther After The Post Credits Scene #PotentialSpoilerAlert!

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Again before I begin I have 2 disclaimers. First off this might be a potential spoiler so tread carefully. Secondly, this is my own encounter of the movie so just in case you feel burdened with glorious purpose to skin me alive then the comments are our Colosseum.

As some of you might know yesterday was the premier of the critically acclaimed Black Panther movie. Probably the most hyped up movie since Captain America Civil War. So what was it like?

Proper Emotional Rollercoaster

Yup. It’s a concoction of highs and lows. You get moments where you laugh like there is no tomorrow and before you can recover you are teleported to desperate lows that make you slump in your seat in despair.

But as much as the emotions are a combination of 2 extremes the delivery is clinical and symphonic. It’s the right amount where you want it and when you want it. It properly gives you the fizz.

The Villain

Well hmmm…how best to put it without being a complete spoiler…

This aspect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been one that has pretty much left me wanting until we were graced with Loki in the Avengers followed up by Hela in Thor Ragnarok. Again this is my own point of view, critics are welcome.

With a villain, I want one that challenges me to start loving them as much as I love the hero or even more. And with the Black Panther Marvel really worked hard here. As much as the guy is just a bad guy you listen to his background and you…understand why he is doing it.

You say yes it’s bad at face value but surely using context here the bad guy has a couple of solid points. Yup, I’ll stop here. Moving on!

 

Engaging?

Oh, you bet your arm rests it is!! It’s an emotional roller coaster and enough of the time, breaths will be held and gasps will be heard.

Definitely is a properly engaging piece of work that movie. I’m properly sad that it wasn’t longer because you just want to see 5 more minutes at every moment. How I wish it was 4 hrs long

 

Lasting impression stuff?

A day later and I still properly feel the fizz. You know it’s left a pretty decent impression when the lights are on and people still want an end of credits scene.

And then go to the lobby and group up and relive the moment. It’s 2230hrs and peeps are standing at the door yelling “You Froze!!” and whatnot, you know they came out satisfied.

Maybe it’s because it’s an all-black cast. Maybe because the tech was just out of this world. Or maybe I have a thing for big cats. But one thing I do know is when you are alone with no one watching, you have an inner 5-year old in you that takes the wheel for a sec or three. That inner kid took over last night. Probably the kid is writing this article right now.

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Techzim Reviews: Black Panther After The Post Credits Scene #PotentialSpoilerAlert!

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How To Use The Africom ECG Dongle https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/how-to-use-the-africom-ecg-dongle/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/how-to-use-the-africom-ecg-dongle/#comments Fri, 16 Feb 2018 08:20:24 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886381

We recently tested Africom’s ECG Dongle, which we stated identifies problems with the heart, such as heart disease, heart failure, and cardiomyopathy etc. Now, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to actually use the device. How to take an exam with the ECG Dongle. Download and install the ‘ECG Dongle’ application from the Google Play Store or […]

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How To Use The Africom ECG Dongle

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We recently tested Africom’s ECG Dongle, which we stated identifies problems with the heart, such as heart disease, heart failure, and cardiomyopathy etc. Now, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to actually use the device.

How to take an exam with the ECG Dongle.

  • Download and install the ‘ECG Dongle’ application from the Google Play Store or Apple Store.

  • Attach the electrodes to the wires

  • Place the electrodes on the body according to the color-coded scheme

  • Connect the wires with the electrodes to the ECG Dongle device.

  • Connect the device to the micro-USB connector on your mobile device using the provided OTG-cable, or directly to a USB connector, if one is present.(The device only works ONLY on mobile.)

  • If the mobile application ECG Dongle is not started automatically, run it.
  • Take a comfortable position, relax and wait for stabilization of the isocline on the screen (signals vary relative to their respective the horizontal lines, do not jump and do not float on the screen).

 

  • Click on start <<Start recordings>>.

  • After 30 seconds or more you can complete the record. Follow the mobile application instructions and send the data to a physician via the cloud service. (A service analysis is paid. The result is a detailed opinion of a specialist on the state of the cardiovascular system, which is sent to the email address provided in the form.)

  • The result of the research can be saved in a PDF format(available for Android 4.4 or later versions) to show to your physician and keep in a private archive.

This article will be updated with a video of Techzim testing the device in the coming days so keep on the lookout for that.

 

Africom

Africom is a Zimbabwean Internet Service Provider which also provides mobile network services. It has been often reported that the company provides both data and voice calls at very reasonable prices compared to other players. Read More About Africom

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How To Use The Africom ECG Dongle

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Lunar New Year deals from Chinese shops https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/lunar-new-year-deals-chinese-shops/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/lunar-new-year-deals-chinese-shops/#comments Fri, 16 Feb 2018 08:13:48 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886453

In case you are so wrapped up in your own culture and didn’t know: Today 16 February is the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year. The year of the dog. The day is celebrated in various Asian countries as well. Why should you care? Well because like all holidays it means massive deals […]

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Lunar New Year deals from Chinese shops

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In case you are so wrapped up in your own culture and didn’t know: Today 16 February is the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year. The year of the dog. The day is celebrated in various Asian countries as well. Why should you care? Well because like all holidays it means massive deals from Chinese shops something on par to Black Friday Discounts.

Being the good person I am I have compiled a list of some of the deals you might find compelling. As always you are free to visit any of these shops and find your own deals.

PayPal

If you use PayPal to checkout of GearBest you are going to receive a sweet 8% discount on your order. Just visit the GearBest website and add whatever you want to buy to cart. During the checkout process enter the promo code PAYPALGB8% to your order and like magic the discount is applied. To take advantage you need to pay using PayPal which is something I would recommend anyway if you want to shop safely online.

Deals from GearBest

GearBest is offering a lot of deals but here are my picks:

NB Despite the temptation never ever buy clothes from these stores it is never worth the hustle. First ZIMRA will hit you with a punitive duty for buying outside SADC, then there is the size issue. Chinese clothes tend to be either too small or too big.

Deals from Geekbuying

While we have been talking about Gearbest since like forever Geekbuying is another awesome Chinese shop. I recently made a purchase with them and so far everything seems to be going smoothly. My friends have also had excellent experiences from Geekbuying. I would be writing my review on them based on my personal experiences with them in due course.

In the meantime here are some deals from them. I have taken advantage of some of them personally.

  • ThiEye E7 Real 4K Action Camera which comes with Electronic Image Stabilization at $90
  • Xiaomi Mi A1  4G Smartphone which has 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM for only $219
  • ZTE Nubia Z17 Lite with 6GB RAM and 64GB ROM at only $259. This amazing phone comes with 4K recording and playback capabilities. In my book it is the best mid-priced out there, the very pinnacle of Chinese engineering.
  • 64GB Samsung memory card for only $23. We will look at this in the future but not all memory cards are the same. There are memory cards from Gulf Complex and then there are those from Samsung

Is it really worth it buying stuff online

Here is a fact. The people who sell these phones locally have gone through the process of importing them at prices near equivalent to these. They don’t import these phones out of the benevolence of their hearts they do it as a business. You can be sure local prices are higher than the prices of importing the phone yourself.

How to pay for these deals

You need a Visa/MasterCard that can make international payments. Most banks these days require you to preload these with foreign currency. I recommend the FBC MasterCard and the Steward prepaid Visa. The later comes with higher limits compared with the usual $500 daily limit of the former.

Possible delays

Due to the Chinese New Year beware that your order might ship after the holiday i.e. next week. This is especially true for goods that are in Chinese warehouses. You order will most likely be shipped after people come back from the holidays.

ZIMRAFBC

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is a government department which is responsible for the collection of state revenue in form of excise duty, customs duty, road tolls, corporate and civil taxes. In addition, it also facilitates trade, offers fiscal advise to the government as well as... Read More About ZIMRA

FBC Holdings Limited (FBCH) is an Investment holding company listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and whose principal activities are in Zimbabwe. The Group offers diverse financial services through subsidiaries that span commercial banking, mortgage financing, short-term insurance, re-insurance, securities trading and micro financing. In... Read More About FBC

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Lunar New Year deals from Chinese shops

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ZB Financial Holdings Profits Up 36%, More Takeaways In Stellar 2017 Financial Results https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/zb-financial-holdings-profits-36-takeaways-stellar-2017-financial-results/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/zb-financial-holdings-profits-36-takeaways-stellar-2017-financial-results/#comments Fri, 16 Feb 2018 03:38:35 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886442

Techzim was in attendance as ZB Financial Holdings held an analysts and media briefing where their financial results for the year ended December 2017 were released. Upon reaching the venue we were pleasantly surprised when we were asked to pull out our smartphones to register. We connected to their Wi-Fi network and proceeded to register […]

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ZB Financial Holdings Profits Up 36%, More Takeaways In Stellar 2017 Financial Results

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Techzim was in attendance as ZB Financial Holdings held an analysts and media briefing where their financial results for the year ended December 2017 were released.

Upon reaching the venue we were pleasantly surprised when we were asked to pull out our smartphones to register. We connected to their Wi-Fi network and proceeded to register on their portal.

On that portal we got to see a snapshot of the program and were advised that we would also be able to post questions for the speakers right on the portal even as they gave their presentations. We did just that. We were also able to download copies of the financial statements soon after the Chief Executive’s presentation from that portal.

That whole process was not just some random show of what technology can do, some hiccups with the system being a testament to how technology sometimes refuses to be tamed. No, it was a statement meant to reiterate ZB’s commitment to going green, to going paperless.

The Chief Executive, Mr Mutandagayi reminded us of how their front offices went paperless, footsteps the middle and back offices will be following in.

You will also recall that in the last quarter of 2017, ZB Bank discontinued manual RTGS and internal transfer application processing, instead advising their customers to register for online banking. This too was in line with their paperless strategy.

During the year 2017, ZB invested in additional system resources to stabilize its banking systems. This was in response to system outages in the first half of the year owing to exponential increase in transaction volumes. There is to be further investment in 2018 to enhance customer experience even further. This is the price of going digital and paperless, a price ZB is willing to pay.

At the briefing there were even trees which guests could grab to go plant. This was an exclamation mark on the ‘we have gone green’ statement.

The highlights in ZB’s audited financial results for the year ended 31 December 2017

Net profit after tax was up 36%, from $11.4m in 2016 to $15.5m in 2017. This impressive increase was as a result of the strong performance of non-funded income, otherwise known as fees and commissions or bank charges.

Banking fees, commissions and other income increased by $6.2m, from $35.3m to $41.5m. This was driven by the increased usage of the electronic banking platforms and the resultant increase in commissions on electronic transactions. This was the silver lining to the cash shortages in the country which led to a decreased use of cash and promoted the use of ‘plastic money.’

This shortage of cash however led to minimized borrowing from customers which in turn led to the net earnings from lending and trading activities decreasing by 15%, from $17.5m to $14.8m. This was after taking account an impairment charge of $3m. Lending activities (interest on loans) are the traditional revenue earner for banks, not non-funded income and the Chief Executive acknowledged this.

However, if the impairment charge of $3m is set aside, net income and related income (gross interest income less related interest expenses) increased by 6%, from $16.7m to $17.8m. This was despite the gross income decreasing by 10%. The net income interest increased because the related interest expenses decreased by 35%.

Mr Mutandagayi said the challenges in the economy greatly reduced interest income as explained above. However, the gross loan book increased by 12% in 2017. The outlook for 2018 is positive however; manufacturing and construction loans are expected to perform well. Interest income is thus expected to contribute more to group revenues in 2018.

Other highlights:

  • Total assets were up 20% – from $439.3m to $527.1m
  • Total capital and reserves were up 13% – from $89.4m to $101.1m
  • Return on equity was up 3% – from 13.44% to 16.28%
  • Liquidity ratio was up 2% – from 75% to 77%
  • Cost efficiency ratio improved by 6% – from 76% to 70%

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ZB Financial Holdings Profits Up 36%, More Takeaways In Stellar 2017 Financial Results

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Rejoice Chrome Users, Your Browser Will Now Have An Ad Blocker Pre-Installed . This Is How It Will Work https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/rejoice-chrome-users-browser-will-now-ad-blocker-pre-installed-will-work/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/rejoice-chrome-users-browser-will-now-ad-blocker-pre-installed-will-work/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 03:35:43 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886430

If you use the Google Chrome web browser you have reason to celebrate. Chrome will now block ads that don’t live up to Better Ads Standards. Not all ads will be blocked… The service will not be similar to other ad blockers such as AdBlock Plus or uBlock Origin, which block every ad a page […]

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Rejoice Chrome Users, Your Browser Will Now Have An Ad Blocker Pre-Installed . This Is How It Will Work

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If you use the Google Chrome web browser you have reason to celebrate. Chrome will now block ads that don’t live up to Better Ads Standards.

Not all ads will be blocked…

The service will not be similar to other ad blockers such as AdBlock Plus or uBlock Origin, which block every ad a page loads. Chrome’s Adblock feature will specifically target publishers who are reported to have annoying ads. These publishers will be given 30 days by Google to take off the offensive ads. If they don’t comply all ads are removed from their site, even the ones that are not offensive. Chrome’s ad blocking will also differ from the ad blockers used in browsers such Opera that you can turn on/off.

Google will also police ads from their own ad networks (AdSense & DoubleClick). This means if a site is guilty of foul play, AdSense and DoubleClick ads will still be blocked.

Targeted Ads

The move to target a certain type of ads has been in the works for a while now and last year we covered how this might end up affecting Chrome users. I personally hope this leads to better performance as Chrome is already “popular” for using up too much memory.

We are yet to really see how this works but if this turns out to be the end of the page hijacking ads or autoplaying video ads, I’m sure Chrome users would welcome this move with open arms.

The feature is coming to Chrome on all platforms (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux).

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Rejoice Chrome Users, Your Browser Will Now Have An Ad Blocker Pre-Installed . This Is How It Will Work

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Zim Bitcoin exchange, Golix, goes down for hours https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/zim-bitcoin-exchange-golix-down-several-hours/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/zim-bitcoin-exchange-golix-down-several-hours/#comments Thu, 15 Feb 2018 08:38:13 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886402

Golix, Zimbabwe’s only cryptocurrencies exchange went down for several hours today. It was down since early hours today (we found out at 5AM) and has just been restored. We’ve reached out to Golix CEO, Tawanda Kembo and he’s told us they were having an issue with their hosting provider. “We were offline  because we had […]

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Zim Bitcoin exchange, Golix, goes down for hours

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Golix, Zimbabwe’s only cryptocurrencies exchange went down for several hours today. It was down since early hours today (we found out at 5AM) and has just been restored.

We’ve reached out to Golix CEO, Tawanda Kembo and he’s told us they were having an issue with their hosting provider. “We were offline  because we had a problem with our hosting provider earlier but it’s now resolved now.”

Kembo added:

In a startup with a fail-fast culture such as ourselves, disruptions will happen here and there. Some of our customers will note that this is not the first disruption, but the time it takes to come back online is getting shorter each time. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting there.

The platform has suffered a few service disruptions the past several weeks, with majors ones (lasting several hours) around 7 December and 23 January.

Golix recently disclosed it now has some 45,000 customers. The platform so far enables customers to trade USD with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dash and Ethereum (as well as trading cryptos with cryptos).

The current price of Bitcoin on Golix is $14,000 a decent rise from around $11,000 two weeks ago. Internationally, the Bitcoin price is currently about $10,000, also on a recovery trend.

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Zim Bitcoin exchange, Golix, goes down for hours

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Startups Seeking Funding Need To Check Out Goodwell Investments https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/1886396/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/1886396/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 07:24:19 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886396

Last month Goodwell Investments raised 20 million euro from over 30 investors for investments in Sub-Saharan Africa. What is Goodwell Investments? Goodwell Investments is an investment firm focused on financial inclusion, fintech, and inclusive growth in sectors providing goods and services along with income generating opportunities to the underserved. Their target is to provide capital […]

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Startups Seeking Funding Need To Check Out Goodwell Investments

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Last month Goodwell Investments raised 20 million euro from over 30 investors for investments in Sub-Saharan Africa.

What is Goodwell Investments?

Goodwell Investments is an investment firm focused on financial inclusion, fintech, and inclusive growth in sectors providing goods and services along with income generating opportunities to the underserved. Their target is to provide capital and management support to companies that focus on fintech, inclusive growth in sectors providing basic goods and services and income generation opportunities to the underserved.

Since 2006 they have raised 5 funds with over $100 million in capital. Goodwell has invested equity in early-stage businesses in financial services and technology companies in India and Africa. They have invested in classical microfinance to mobile payments, rural banking, affordable housing finance to merchant payment networks and public transport technology.

Who can get funding?

The startups that receive investment from Goodwell Investments normally have to give up an equity stake that is dependant on the particular role Goodwell Investments will take as an investor. They do tend to acquire minority stakes as their intention is NOT to ‘take the role of the entrepreneur.’ However, exceptions can be made depending on the development stage and financial position of a startup.

Half of the 20 million they plan to invest will be used to fund in fintech(financial technology). The rest will be allocated to agriculture, health, and sanitation, energy, transport, and education.

The marketing and communications director, Nico Blaauw told Ventureburn that they:

“currently cover Western Africa with teams in Ghana and Nigeria, Southern Africa with a team in Cape Town and we are close to having our dedicated team for Eastern Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.”

How to apply for investment

For a startup to be considered for funding they have to fill a form on Goodwell’s site. The form asks questions related to the startup such as

  • How YOUR business models fit with the investor’s mandate,
  • The startups current traction.
  • Amount of funding raised.

There does not seem to be a deadline for these applications but keep in mind the early bird gets the worm.

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Startups Seeking Funding Need To Check Out Goodwell Investments

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The Decades Mugabe Stole From Zimbabwe. Africa Tech Summit Kigali Reminded Me Of The Sad Truth https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/decades-mugabe-stole-zimbabwe-africa-tech-summit-reminded-sad-truth/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/decades-mugabe-stole-zimbabwe-africa-tech-summit-reminded-sad-truth/#comments Thu, 15 Feb 2018 06:54:11 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886393

I expressed excitement and a lot of expectation for what the Africa Tech Summit in Kigali would deliver before the event started last morning. As you know, expectation sets you up for disappointment. Not this time. The summit started off very well. The discussions were all very relevant not just to the techie/startup type person […]

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The Decades Mugabe Stole From Zimbabwe. Africa Tech Summit Kigali Reminded Me Of The Sad Truth

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I expressed excitement and a lot of expectation for what the Africa Tech Summit in Kigali would deliver before the event started last morning. As you know, expectation sets you up for disappointment. Not this time. The summit started off very well.

The discussions were all very relevant not just to the techie/startup type person but to the African continent and context. I am still excited to consume Day 2. I however, have much too much to share on Day 1 experiences. I need to share what startups are building across the continent. The thing I don’t have though is time. Hold me to this, I am gonna write about all this exciting stuff in the coming days. As soon as I can.

So, it’s funny that a tech summit would remind me of Robert Mugabe but it did. The opening remarks to the summit were given by some Rwandan government guy responsible for a unit that’s in charge of ICT innovation or something like that. I usually don’t remember government type people let alone in Rwanda.

What struck me though is how much he articulated the government’s position on ICT. I know Zimbabweans are used to eloquence from bureaucrats and it means nothing but this was different. He shared how his government was in the middle of implementing a 20-year vision for Rwanda.

What is their vision? To become a knowledge-based economy. Yes, simple like that. Beautiful like that. For all his eloquence, tell me a succinct 20, 10, 5 or 1-year vision Mugabe ever put forward… If a national vision needs me to read 230 pages excluding tables, diagrams, and the foreword, then it is useless to anyone including the person who wrote it.

The impressive thing is not that this guy articulated this vision well and broke it down well. It’s his job to do so and of course, he had time to prepare to speak. What really impresses me is the belief that every Rwandan I have met has in where their country is going and their conviction to contribute there. That’s what a simple vision does. You can see it, smell it, touch it. Rwanda people do smell it, see it and they are gonna touch it.

I spoke to a charming young lady, a coder. She was not in when the address by the government suit was delivered but she sounded as if they had shared notes. She was so excited about what she does and the problems she wants to solve. I am always looking for such kinds of people in Zimbabwe and I don’t meet them often. I don’t know if I am such myself even.

Rwanda is still a long while off but you know they are on the right track when a government dude not only knows about IoT, AI and robotics but clearly understands how these are tools that have a specific place within the context of his country and how they are applying these technologies to solve real problems.

Talk of technology in Zimbabwe government circles is always merely at the level of ’empowering the youth’ (what does that even mean?) or more worryingly about how to allocate spectrum and how to get more out of telcos.

Anyway, I still have hope, lots of hope. And I really need to go to the conference now…

Robert Mugabe

Robert Mugabe is the former President of Zimbabwe. He was the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe from 1987 to November 2017. Prior to this, he was the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe since the attainment of independence in 1980. Mugabe resigned from his presidency on... Read More About Robert Mugabe

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The Decades Mugabe Stole From Zimbabwe. Africa Tech Summit Kigali Reminded Me Of The Sad Truth

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Startupbootcamp Capetown Hosting Event In Harare On The 28th Of February https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/startupbootcamp-hosts-harare-event/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/startupbootcamp-hosts-harare-event/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 03:39:17 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886390

Startupbootcamp Cape Town has confirmed it’s hosting a Fasttrack in Harare on the 28th of February. Startupbootcamp Cape Town is a leading accelerator focused on startups in blockchain, supply chain, e-commerce, analytics, and insurtech among others. They are backed by leading corporate sponsors who include Old Mutual, Nedbank, and Woolworths Financial Services. Amazon Web Services […]

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Startupbootcamp Capetown Hosting Event In Harare On The 28th Of February

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Startupbootcamp Cape Town has confirmed it’s hosting a Fasttrack in Harare on the 28th of February.

Startupbootcamp Cape Town is a leading accelerator focused on startups in blockchain, supply chain, e-commerce, analytics, and insurtech among others. They are backed by leading corporate sponsors who include Old Mutual, Nedbank, and Woolworths Financial Services. Amazon Web Services and Cisco are among global sponsors.

What is a FastTrack?

According to the Startupbootcamp site:

Startupbootcamp FastTracks are informal events that we host all over the world to meet the most suitable early-stage companies interested in joining our program. For each FastTrack, we invite the top 10 startups who apply to receive instant feedback from a panel of industry mentors, network with our investment team and find out more about the program. Teams that attend a FastTrack are 20% more likely to be invited to the final selection days.

Details…

Venue: Steward Bank
Date: 28 February
Time: 0800 -1730

Who is this for?

Any startup operating in Fintech(Financial Technology), InsurTech(Insurance technology) and CyberSecurity. They are specifically looking for companies that work on;

  • Payment Solutions
  • Big Data & Analytics
  • Data & Behavioural Analytics
  • Insurance & Cyber Insurance
  • Financial Inclusion
  • Commerce & E-commerce
  • Payments
  • Identity & Authentication
  • IOT(Internet of Things)
  • P2P Lending
  • Cross-Border Transactions

How to apply

Complete the short form on their website. Registration will be open until the 24th of February. There are only 10 spots available for the day, so the earlier you apply the higher your chances of being invited.

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Startupbootcamp Capetown Hosting Event In Harare On The 28th Of February

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Black Panther Tickets Get Sold Out! https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/black-panther-tickets-get-sold/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/black-panther-tickets-get-sold/#comments Wed, 14 Feb 2018 14:13:54 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886358

Imagine that. At $12 a pop Sterkinekor Sam Levy in Harare has managed to sell out on all its tickets for the Black Panther movie premier. Even Captain America Civil War with how how impressive it was has been trumped by the all black cast Black Panther. The movie will be premiering tomorrow the 15th […]

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Black Panther Tickets Get Sold Out!

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Imagine that. At $12 a pop Sterkinekor Sam Levy in Harare has managed to sell out on all its tickets for the Black Panther movie premier. Even Captain America Civil War with how how impressive it was has been trumped by the all black cast Black Panther.

The movie will be premiering tomorrow the 15th of February which is tomorrow so you can buy a ticket from Sterkinekor Bulawayo and take a flight after work to The City Of Kings just in time  for the 6pm premier.

Check out what some critics are saying about it!

Virtually everything that distinguishes “Black Panther” from past Marvel pics works to this standalone entry’s advantage.-Variety

Like Taika Waititi before him, Ryan Coogler gives the Marvel template a bold auteurist twist with an African extravaganza that packs a muscular intensity and challenges as much as it exhilarates.-Empire

Boseman, who strides through “Black Panther” with unforced, charismatic ease, assumes almost Shakespearean levels of doubt as his character is challenged by an unexpected rival.-Washington Post

A jolt of a movie, Black Panther creates wonder with great flair and feeling partly through something Hollywood rarely dreams of anymore: myth.-The NYTimes

Biggest local interest has arose from the presence of Danai Gurira as one of the stars of the show being seen as the crown jewel of Zimbabwe. Whose going to watch it with me?

 

Danai GuriraSam Levy

Danai Gurira is an actress, playwright and a producer who is based in the United State of America (USA) who rose to fame in 2004 when she starred in a drama series Law and Order: Criminal Intent. From then onwards, Danai has been a force... Read More About Danai Gurira

Sam Levy was a businessman and property developer who constructed the popular Sam Levy Village, an upmarket shopping mall in the northern suburb of Borrowdale that resembled an English town setting. He was counted among the richest in Zimbabwe at the time of his death.... Read More About Sam Levy

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Black Panther Tickets Get Sold Out!

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Africom Introduces New Device To Help Identify Heart Problems https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/africom-intros-new-device-to-help-identify-heart-problems/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/africom-intros-new-device-to-help-identify-heart-problems/#comments Wed, 14 Feb 2018 11:42:10 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886369

Africom is launching a new health-focused ECG(Electrocardiography) Dongle, which identifies problems with the heart, such as heart disease, heart failure, and cardiomyopathy etc. The device allows one to check their heart rate from the comfort of their homes.  The ECG dongle is being launched on 3rd of March in Bindura. February also happens to be Heart […]

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Africom Introduces New Device To Help Identify Heart Problems

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Africom is launching a new health-focused ECG(Electrocardiography) Dongle, which identifies problems with the heart, such as heart disease, heart failure, and cardiomyopathy etc. The device allows one to check their heart rate from the comfort of their homes. 

The ECG dongle is being launched on 3rd of March in Bindura. February also happens to be Heart Disease Month. Africom says the launch of this device is part of their social mission: which is providing accessible and affordable health services through technology. Most people cannot access these services because the costs are too prohibitive, but at $45 the ECG Dongle is a great product that will keep you updated on the status of your heart.

What is ECG?

ECG stands for Electrocardiography and the device can:

  • check your heart rhythm
  • See if you have poor blood flow to your heart muscle (ischemia)
  • Diagnose a heart attack.
  • Check on things that are abnormal, such as thickened heart muscle.
  • Low heart rate
  • Stress levels

The device is very small, which makes it possible to carry it with you whilst you travel. Africom is trying to ensure that people can monitor their heart rates from the comfort of their homes. The initiative is focused on helping people monitor their health without incurring the prohibitive costs of GP’s.

How does it work?

The dongle comes with:

  • The dongle that records data
  • An OTG-cable that connects the device to smartphones and tablets(equipped with micro-USB)
  • Electrodes which connect to the device via a cable.
  • 4 reusable electrodes to place on the body and record biopotentials.
  • A smartphone companion app that gives you a PDF of the results of your test.

The ECG Dongle

The wires connected to the electrodes

The Electrodes

The complete setup

Africom said there is a second phase in the works, that will be powered by artificial intelligence. This will analyze trends based on your body type and age to output more accurate data in relation to the condition of your heart.

Where can you access the ECG Dongle?

Africom is offering free testing until the end of February and they will be working in conjunction with local clinics around the country to demo the device. The app is compatible with Android(4.2 and later) and iOS. However, saving the results to PDF is only available on Android 4.4.

The device will be available for $45 from Africom stores around the country. Africom is in negotiations with pharmacies as well.

Let us know what you think about the ECG Dongle in the comments below.

AfricomBindura

Africom is a Zimbabwean Internet Service Provider which also provides mobile network services. It has been often reported that the company provides both data and voice calls at very reasonable prices compared to other players. Read More About Africom

Bindura is a Town located in Mashonaland Central Province in Zimbabwe. Read More About Bindura

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Give something other than flowers this Valentine https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/give-something-flowers-valentine/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/give-something-flowers-valentine/#comments Wed, 14 Feb 2018 08:02:21 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886345

Everyone likes flowers, they are err … the word is nice, they smell nice, they look nice everything about them is nice. The truth though is unless you are a cheap bastard and opted for plastic flowers by the end of this week whatever flowers you bought will be in a bin. Valentine is essentially […]

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Give something other than flowers this Valentine

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Everyone likes flowers, they are err … the word is nice, they smell nice, they look nice everything about them is nice. The truth though is unless you are a cheap bastard and opted for plastic flowers by the end of this week whatever flowers you bought will be in a bin. Valentine is essentially a flower murdering spree.

What you should have done

You should have listened to me last month when I wrote about Gearbest and found the perfect gift for him/her and had it delivered in time. You can still buy your loved one a belated gift and while they may rant, rave and sulk you will earn your forgiveness once the perfect gift arrives and you explain yourself.

Digital Gifts are the way to go

Instead of being a flower serial killer or risking yourself being killed for not buying a gift you can simply buy a digital gift instead. There is no need to wait once you buy it, it is instantly delivered and you might even get a chance to boast. Hey you can even pretend you had it all planned and under control.

You can thank me later for being a life saver but here I my suggestions:

  1. Gift them a Udemy course, they are going for $10.99 (Valentine’s sale of course) if you follow this link. If you know what your loved one has always wanted to learn e.g. Drawing. Just go to the course and click on “Gift This Course”. You get a chance to send them a personalized message telling them how much you love them. I would be careful not to give a gift that might well be taken as an insult. Now is not the time to gift your wife the Kitchen Basics course no matter how much she needs it.
  2. An iTunes Card– now that Apple Music is available in Zimbabwe get them a iTunes gift card so they can enjoy 45 million songs beyond the 3 month trial. There is an option for every budget from $10 to $50. Normally this requires a U.S PayPal account but you can buy from my favorite re seller store and use any Visa/MasterCard
  3. A Google Play Gift Card– I am a Google Music man myself and have used it for close to a year now. The gift card can also be used to purchase premium apps, movies, songs etc. Your loved one will no doubt appreciate Google’s simple elegant designs that will put Spotify or Apple Music to shame. While Google Music is not officially available in Zimbabwe you/they can simply open a South African premium account for $5/month that will work anywhere.
  4. PlayStation US 90 day and 1 year membership– if you loved one is into gaming you can get them a 90 day Playstation membership for $26 or give them a full year at $65
  5. Xbox Gift Cards– if they are Microsoft through and through you can pick a gift card according to your budget here
  6. Assasins Creed Unity-if you are shamelessly frugal you can still have them playing Assasin’s Creed for a measly $3.Yes three dollars.
  7. Or FIFA 17- for those dry weekends when there is no FA action going on.
  8. Assorted Ubi Games Gift Card– Ubisoft is a gaming powerhouse and you can choose your loved one’s poison from an extensive list and according to your budget.
  9. PC Games-there are a lot of PC games out there just cast a lot and choose the perfect gift.
  10. Steam Games– steam is another name out there.

So there you go, 10 perfect gift ideas to get back in good graces instantly. You really don’t have to murder flowers in order to make your loved one happy. You will note however that all these items require you to have a Visa/MasterCard or/ and PayPal account.

If you don’t and are broke I guess you might have to do this old school the hard way. Go out into the forest and start picking some wild flowers. I hear Lantana Camaras are in full bloom this time of the year. Those are the only free items(flowers or not) you are going to get or you can always use “it’s the thought that counts as your excuse.” Good Luck.

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Give something other than flowers this Valentine

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Greetings From Kigali And Why Techzim Is Excited To Be Part Of Africa Tech Summit Kigali https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/greetings-from-kigali-and-why-techzim-is-excited-to-be-part-of-africa-tech-summit/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/greetings-from-kigali-and-why-techzim-is-excited-to-be-part-of-africa-tech-summit/#comments Wed, 14 Feb 2018 07:28:11 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886346

So the title betrays where I am but for the benefit of slow coaches, I am in Kigali Rwanda for the Africa Tech Summit Kigali. This is the third time this annual event is running BUT this is the first time that it is on the African soil. The previous two editions were in London […]

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Greetings From Kigali And Why Techzim Is Excited To Be Part Of Africa Tech Summit Kigali

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So the title betrays where I am but for the benefit of slow coaches, I am in Kigali Rwanda for the Africa Tech Summit Kigali. This is the third time this annual event is running BUT this is the first time that it is on the African soil. The previous two editions were in London where the chief organizer, Andrew Fassnidge is based.

Andrew is not new to the African tech ecosystem nor indeed to the Zimbabwean version of it. He lived and worked in Zimbabwe sometime back. Anyway, as much as I like Andrew, this article is not about him. We may have to write about him some other time over some interesting stuff he’s doing, right now: the Africa Tech Summit Kigali.

The first reason I am excited is that this event is on the continent for the very first time. I wasn’t too chuffed about a conference on Africa’s next big thing being held in a European capital. It just drew too much parallelism to the infamous Berlin Conference.

The reason why it was in London though was that the summit is really about getting global capital to understand the huge potential and investment opportunity that tech startups in Africa present. The event was thus hosted close to the bulk of that global capital. Now it’s in Africa because nobody needs to be convinced about the African startup potential anymore. All they need now is to see what is being built on the continent.

The London version of the event is still happening though. It is also important to get startups in Africa to visit other markets especially capital markets so they get to know what’s out there and how they can position themselves in a global sense.

Second reason we are excited to be here is that the event is in Kigali. Rwanda has been celebrated as a shining example of the rebuilding of African economies through investment in tech and an understanding of the centrality of connectivity and associated technologies to the creation of new value that is not dependent on extractive sectors. I was happy to see an infomercial at Kigali International airport that said the whole of Rwanda was covered by 4G.

I strongly believe Zimbabwe and a lot of other countries on the continent have a lot to learn from Rwanda. I wish our government officials were here. I am appreciative of how they have declared Zimbabwe to be open for business and all but one thing that has stuck out so far in this old brand new administration is that just like the old administration, they do not understand tech very much. When they speak of it it’s spoken in terms of ‘youths’ and in Zimbabwe, the word youth is a derogatory  term for any young person who is not a ‘youthie.’

There are some Zimbabwean companies here and some which are not exactly Zimbabwean but have a solid presence in the Zimbabwean market. That is exciting to me. We need more and more Zim businesses to ‘get it.’

The third reason we are excited is that the Africa Tech Summit is biased towards startups and what they are building. Now, there is a lot of misconception about what a startup is. In Zimbabwe, people think a startup is any ‘upstart.’ No boss, NOT EVERY NEW BUSINESS IS A STARTUP.  And NOT EVERY STARTUP IS A NEW BUSINESS. This makes me long even more that the government were here. There is a ministry dedicated to SME’s, I wish it was instead dedicated to startups.

Anyway, I am looking forward to interacting with African startup success stories like Andela and iRoko. If I get the time to write at all during my stay in Kigali it will be most likely about these interactions and how they could inform the path that Zimbabwe is about to embark on.

Anyway, I slept at 4 am and was up at 6 so I could be on time. I have to end this so I meet that objective. Catch up with you’all when I have the detail to share otherwise watch our social media… Next time I want to come with at least twenty of you!

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Greetings From Kigali And Why Techzim Is Excited To Be Part Of Africa Tech Summit Kigali

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Bulawayo City Council Promises To Start Live-Streaming Council Meetings. https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/bulawayo-city-council-will-begin-live-streaming-council-meetings-significant-think/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/bulawayo-city-council-will-begin-live-streaming-council-meetings-significant-think/#comments Tue, 13 Feb 2018 17:48:59 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886339

The Bulawayo City Council(BCC) plans to live-stream it’s monthly chamber meetings, events, and other functions. The town clerk Christopher Dube feels that social media’s impact gives citizens a voice they did not have before. The council intends to use not only the live-streams but also Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to interact with residents. A […]

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Bulawayo City Council Promises To Start Live-Streaming Council Meetings.

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The Bulawayo City Council(BCC) plans to live-stream it’s monthly chamber meetings, events, and other functions. The town clerk Christopher Dube feels that social media’s impact gives citizens a voice they did not have before. The council intends to use not only the live-streams but also Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to interact with residents. A date has not been set but they intend to start doing this in the near future.

Why are they doing this?

BCC wants to embrace a culture of openness and accountability. This also gives citizens a simple way to inquire about products, report faults along with good and bad service.

A positive step

The initiative seems to be a step in the right direction.The general feeling around the country for a long time has been that the councils do not make any efforts to connect with their citizens. Live-streaming is council meetings is a good move. The move by the BCC will certainly increase the interaction between citizens and their council. Hopefully, it will also increase efficiency and accountability within the BCC.

 

Hopefully, this encourages other councils to imitate this move and adopt similar technologies in order not to be left behind. I’m sure all citizens will be willing to have better platforms that enable them to reach their respective councils. We would love to hear what you think about BCC’s move in the comments below.

BulawayoN.T.M

Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second largest city. Its location was selected by the last Matebele king, King lobengula. Bulawayo used to be one of the country's most attractive cities and a major transport hub for Southern Africa until Zimbabwe entered a period of economic depression in... Read More About Bulawayo

N.T.M is a Zimbabwean Musician. He has a style of art that he calls hip hop yechitema or HYC which is an attempt to diverge from mainstream commercial Zimbabwean Hip hop as he seeks to establish Shona as the primary music language. He believes that... Read More About N.T.M

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Apple Music Student comes to Zim. Students get half price. https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/apple-music-student-comes-zim-students-get-half-price/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/apple-music-student-comes-zim-students-get-half-price/#comments Tue, 13 Feb 2018 14:34:12 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886331

  All the University/College students who use the Apple Music streaming service have reason to celebrate. Apple Music has extended its Student Membership to 82 new countries, including Zimbabwe. Right now the Student Membership is available in 79 countries. The other 3 countries will get the feature on the 26th of February. So, what’s the […]

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Apple Music Student comes to Zim. Students get half price.

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All the University/College students who use the Apple Music streaming service have reason to celebrate. Apple Music has extended its Student Membership to 82 new countries, including Zimbabwe. Right now the Student Membership is available in 79 countries. The other 3 countries will get the feature on the 26th of February.

So, what’s the deal?

You can also use Apple Music on trial before committing to a paid plan. University Student plan allows students to halve their subscription. The membership drops to $2.49 per month from the standard $4.99. The student discount is also available for 48 months which is the duration of a 4-year degree. Eligibility is verified through UniDAYS, a student validation service that confirms if you’re enrolled in a University/College.

The other African countries supported include Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, Mozambique, and The Gambia.

If you are currently not on Apple Music it’s advisable to use the service on a trial basis for 3 months before committing. You can also check out other music streaming apps before committing. Keep in mind with the current foreign currency situation, it might be difficult to pay for these services locally.

Are you currently on any streaming platform or planning to join? Let us know your experiences in the comments section down below.

 

 

Zimbabwe

The Republic of Zimbabwe is a country located in the Southern Africa region. Its capital city is :Harare and the country has 10 provinces. Zimbabwe is 390,580 sq km and is bordered on all sides by other countries (Zambia in the north, South Africa in... Read More About Zimbabwe

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The Apps That Hog Your Storage And What To Do. https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/1886324/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/1886324/#comments Tue, 13 Feb 2018 07:09:19 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886324

  Videos and Photos taken on one’s mobile device are usually the major culprits when it comes to storage issues. There are also applications that are infamous for how much storage they take up. According to Sensor Tower, App demand has grown by over 1000% over the past 4 years. Sensor Tower, the leading app analytics platform, […]

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The Apps That Hog Your Storage And What To Do.

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Videos and Photos taken on one’s mobile device are usually the major culprits when it comes to storage issues. There are also applications that are infamous for how much storage they take up.

According to Sensor Tower, App demand has grown by over 1000% over the past 4 years. Sensor Tower, the leading app analytics platform, released a list of apps that are storage hungry. The 5 major storage killers are Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Snapchat, and Uber. Though Zim users don’t have to worry about Uber, the other four apps on that list are commonly used in the country.

Other apps that are in the habit of hogging storage are Instagram, Spotify, YouTube, Google Maps, and Netflix.

 

How to avoid storage struggles…

If possible buy phones with 32GB+

If you’re currently shopping for a smartphone I urge you to AVOID 16GB internal storage at all costs. Especially if that phone has no SD Card slot, to bolster storage externally.

 

If you already have a 16GB or less smartphone there are steps you can take to ensure your storage isn’t sieged by the apps mentioned above

 

Install Lite versions of apps

Over the past few weeks, we covered some of the lite versions apps. Google has Maps Go and Youtube Go. Facebook also has a Lite version for both it’s main app and the messenger version.

Twitter Lite also cuts down on storage concerns. Another plus of using these lightweight alternatives is they also use considerably less data than their more fleshed out versions. It’s important to note that these lightweight apps lack some features. Messenger Lite, for instance, has no video call feature.

 

Use the Native Email App

Google is reportedly working on Gmail Go, but until that app is available it may be best to avoid using the Gmail App. Most phones have native email apps, so you can resort to those instead of Gmail’s app. The native email app differs from phone to phone but is usually pre-installed so you don’t have to worry about downloading it externally.

 

Are there any other apps that cause storage problems that we didn’t mention? Let us know some of your experiences in the comments below.

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The Apps That Hog Your Storage And What To Do.

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The Geotel G1 from TomTop is a perfect phone for the Zimbabwean market https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/geotel-g1-tomtop-perfect-phone-zimbabwean-market/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/geotel-g1-tomtop-perfect-phone-zimbabwean-market/#comments Mon, 12 Feb 2018 12:45:31 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886270

Geotel’s G1 reminds one of the Nokia 1100. It is in essence what an Android Nokia phone ought to have been. At $ 89.99 from Tomtop a Chinese online shop it is  cheap, it comes with a massive battery that would last for days, a main camera that takes decent photos and when you drop […]

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The Geotel G1 from TomTop is a perfect phone for the Zimbabwean market

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Geotel’s G1 reminds one of the Nokia 1100. It is in essence what an Android Nokia phone ought to have been. At $ 89.99 from Tomtop a Chinese online shop it is  cheap, it comes with a massive battery that would last for days, a main camera that takes decent photos and when you drop it, you can pick it up and continue with your phone conversation as if nothing happened.

Who and what is Tomtop?

When it comes to online shopping and China the buyer is always spoilt for choice as there are many stores. Tomtop is one of those many stores but it isn’t just another store. They are among the top 3 cross border e-commerce sellers in China, have been involved in the E-Commerce game for 13 years and have numerous awards from Aliexpress, Amazon and Ebay to show for it.

Now that “Zimbabwe is officially open for business” the country and region as a whole is in their sights.

The G1 ticks all the boxes

Despite its entry level pricing the G1 packs a punch. This is a rugged phone which means it’s designed to withstand extreme handling. The casing is made out of a metal alloy that is encased in rubber making the phone drop resistant. The screen is also covered with a protective material thus making it scratch resistant.

All this comes with a 5 inch screen and a massive 7500mAh battery that comes with 27 hours of call time and up to 32 hours of music time. The battery goes from 0-100% in about 4 hours and can last for days under normal usage conditions. The phone also has 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM. Here is a table of the specifications:

ColourBlack, Orange
Network3G WCDMA
RAM2GB
ROM16GB
OSAndroid Nougat 7.0
Screen5.0″HD LCD (1280*720)
CameraMain Camera 8.0MP
Secondary Camera: 2.0MP
WiFiYes
BluetoothYes
OtherProximity sensor, 3.5mm ear phone jack, powerbank function, micro-usb charger, up to 32GB external memory, GPS and FM radio

Price and how to buy the phone

As already pointed out the phone currently costs $89.99 on Tomtop. To buy you simply need to visit the site, click on add to cart, create an account during the check out process, shipping to Zimbabwe costs $10.94 which will be factored into the cost once you enter your address. You can pay using PayPal, Visa or MasterCard. Delivery takes 20-30 days which is faster than most stores.

NB Once the phone arrives at your local Post Office you will be required to pay import duty on it. These can be paid using Eocash or other local forms of payment.

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Social Networks Like Facebook May Lend Legitimacy To Cryptocurrency Market, Says GlobalData https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/social-networks-like-facebook-may-lend-legitimacy-cryptocurrency-market-says-globaldata/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/social-networks-like-facebook-may-lend-legitimacy-cryptocurrency-market-says-globaldata/#respond Mon, 12 Feb 2018 11:40:55 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886316

Despite hogging headlines everyday the cryptocurrency market is yet to make much progress towards becoming a mainstream currency. However, the foray of social networks/messaging providers may give some legitimacy to this market, says leading data and analytics company GlobalData. With subscriber growth and active users continuing to be a cornerstone of monetization, social networks/messaging providers […]

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Social Networks Like Facebook May Lend Legitimacy To Cryptocurrency Market, Says GlobalData

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Despite hogging headlines everyday the cryptocurrency market is yet to make much progress towards becoming a mainstream currency. However, the foray of social networks/messaging providers may give some legitimacy to this market, says leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

With subscriber growth and active users continuing to be a cornerstone of monetization, social networks/messaging providers are finding that the traditional road to growth and revenue is bumpy due to geographical preferences and lack of scale compared to a behemoth like Facebook.

As a result, social networks/messaging providers are embarking on some very non-traditional strategies including cryptocurrencies for revenue and product enhancements. They hope that cryptocurrencies will create self-sustaining economies that might even one day exceed the value of advertising or value-add services.

In September 2017, Kik Messenger became the first mainstream company to announce plans to raise money by issuing a cryptocurrency–KIN–in an initial coin offering (ICO). It raised nearly US$100m from accredited investors and the public.

Cloud-based instant messaging service Telegram has even more ambitious aspirations than Kik. It wants to use a payment platform that uses multi-blockchain architecture to compete with Mastercard and Visa. It is reportedly gearing up for its own cryptocurrency and could raise as much as US$500m in the pre-ICO sale.

Not to be left behind, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has also indicated that the company will research the feasibility of incorporating cryptocurrency into its services. With more than 2billion monthly active users, the company could drive mass adoption of a cryptocurrency in a big way.

Lynnette Luna, Telecom Analyst at GlobalData, comments, “The blockchain, which cryptocurrencies operate on, lends itself well to this type of strategy because the technology does not require a third party, such as a bank or even a social network, to settle the transaction. The blockchain-steered social network model allows users to wield more commercial ownership of their data and also get paid directly for their user-generated contributions.

“It’s a good time for a strategy re-think – the Social Network is trying to go back to its roots of connecting friends and family by de-prioritizing public content and content from publishers. The key for both Kik and Telegram are to find ways to encourage their respective ecosystems to freely spend their currencies rather than hoarding them for speculative purposes, concludes luna.”

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Social Networks Like Facebook May Lend Legitimacy To Cryptocurrency Market, Says GlobalData

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New App Gives Zim Citizens Ability To Report Faults, Potholes And Such Throughout The Country https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/citypin-gives-zim-citizens-ability-report-faults-incidents-throughout-country/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/citypin-gives-zim-citizens-ability-report-faults-incidents-throughout-country/#comments Mon, 12 Feb 2018 10:05:08 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886296

A recently released application, CityPin allows users to post and track faults and incidents within metros. The app description reads: Bring a change to your community. Simply pin it. CityPin reconnects people by using the power of mobile technology to allow concerned citizens to make each other aware of issues and problems in the place […]

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New App Gives Zim Citizens Ability To Report Faults, Potholes And Such Throughout The Country

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A recently released application, CityPin allows users to post and track faults and incidents within metros.

The app description reads:

Bring a change to your community. Simply pin it.

CityPin reconnects people by using the power of mobile technology to allow concerned citizens to make each other aware of issues and problems in the place they are living, working and cultivating. CityPin is about you the citizen.

This app is a product of KURB KINGS. KURB KINGS wants to help you make a difference. One city at a time. We specialize in creative solutions for everyday problems through a variety of approaches. We are most geared towards nurturing/encouraging meaningful and effective community engagement.

 

Features…

Users have either an anonymous account or the option to sign in using their Email address. Users can report :

  • Power Outages
  • Faulty Power Lines
  • Burst Pipe
  • Faulty traffic lights
  • Potholes
  • Traffic congestions
CityPin Download Link

 

The Map where all the pins containing faults appear

CityPin Menu

Pin reporting the pothole situation along Seke Rd

This application is a positive initiative and hopefully, city councils throughout the countries will use the application to attend to the complaints of Citizens.

Tell us what you think of this app in the comments

* The CityPin App appears to only be available on the Android Store at this moment

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Digital Presence And Exposure To Cyber Criminals –  The Enigma Of Establishing A Digital Marketing Footprint https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/digital-presence-exposure-cyber-criminals-enigma-establishing-digital-marketing-footprint/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/digital-presence-exposure-cyber-criminals-enigma-establishing-digital-marketing-footprint/#respond Mon, 12 Feb 2018 10:01:08 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886293

Reading through one of my friend’s profile on the LinkedIn platform worked as a setup for me to discover a world that I at no time thought I would find myself reading or writing about; Digital Marketing. Indeed, digging into his activity you encounter a young man enthusiastic about his marketing work and full of […]

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Digital Presence And Exposure To Cyber Criminals –  The Enigma Of Establishing A Digital Marketing Footprint

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Reading through one of my friend’s profile on the LinkedIn platform worked as a setup for me to discover a world that I at no time thought I would find myself reading or writing about; Digital Marketing. Indeed, digging into his activity you encounter a young man enthusiastic about his marketing work and full of a passion for creating a modern day alignment between business and ICT. The man has left no stone unturned as he delves into the world of business and technology alignment.

Several companies in our Zimbabwean business environment have embraced technology and set themselves on a path to harness the benefits of this mutable world of technology. Among the functions that have seamlessly and successfully integrated their operations into this phenomenon are the marketing and sales teams. Spurred by the available free platforms and applications, countless have hedged on the technical abilities of their content creation personnel to produce the best, heart-warming advertisement material.

Digital marketing in its simplest only comes as simple as email exchange and website content uploads. The use of social media platforms has in some way disrupted and redefined the concept of content marketing. These platforms have integrated the interaction of business leaders, their marketing teams and their target customers allowing corporates to insert themselves into the feed of their clientele further reinforcing the impact of ads in the perceptions of the customer.

In spite of all the benefits associated with the concept of digital marketing, marketers themselves cannot afford to ignore the growing threat of cybercrime. With an estimated financial cost of more than 400 billion USD annually, cybercrime is proving to be a tempting industry for many would be criminals. Despite the increase in cyber policing activities globally, cybercrime continues to attract countless professionals due to the high return and low risks associated with it.

In the entire business spectrum, electronic data processing has taken over the mode of transacting and it is in this approach of doing business that trust becomes essential. Customers are able to trust and transact knowing that they are protected from any kind of criminal activity and once that trust is broken, the financial catastrophe could be disastrous as consumers vote with their dollars.

Cybercriminals have been known to pry on the transactional activity of customers there by successfully breaching the security of platforms. This potential disaster hence calls upon Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Information Officers to closely interact in order to build an exciting, safe and secure customer experience in this transformative information age. So what strategies are available for the transformative, tech savvy manager to arm themselves with?

Identifying security to be the foundation and centre of your digital marketing strategy

With customers growing more fearful of internet scams, fraud and cyber terrorism as these have become more material, it is imperative that CIOs and CMOs drive customer protection to be the core of the digital marketing strategy. Customer experience is primarily built on trust which hinges on the ability of the firm to safeguard and protect customers’ transactions. Where trust is lost so is the brand and when the brand is lost then the corporate loses its ability to influence and drive demand for its products.

Creation of Synergy between security and marketing strategies

Gone are the days when ICT used to be a “back office” service department which only came into action to support what were called then core business services and functions. Through innovation ICT has transformed itself into being part of the core business services. It has become a medium of delivery of value to clients and a point on which countless entities have leveraged on it for competitive advantage.

CMOs concern themselves primarily with customer acquisition and customer retention which are the fundamental activities in the construction of brand loyalty and driving sales revenues. However, in the CIOs perspective at each of these points lies intrinsic danger posed by marauding cyber thugs. CIOs and CMOs ought to work together to eliminate these risks in spite of the medium which the consumer may use to access the desired services.  CIOs and CMOs need to create an environment characterised by open communication which is key in the initiation of risk based conversations that are aimed at collaboration in digital marketing.

Read, Communicate and Innovate!!

CIOs and CMOs should realise the importance of investing time in keeping abreast with technological trends and changes. The accelerated rate of technological transformation is at its peak and management can no longer afford to entertain the cost associated with being left behind. By investing time in apprising their knowledge, they are able to communicate system breaches to consumers and act on them and in the process being able to assure consumers of continued safety.

It would be desirable for CIOs to be the initiators of such communication rather than for consumers to get the information from public media. Through solid communication channels CMOs are able to create robust protection protocols for consumers enhancing brand value in the process. Brands drive sales revenues and profitability in firms, however management ought to invest more in protecting consumers so as to safeguard their continued existence in the business ecosystem.

Business-consumer relationships operate on the basis of trust and as such managers need to work harder to develop such relationships and sustain them. The enterprise wide appreciation of cyberattacks remains key in all organisations in Zimbabwe, cyberattacks are here and perhaps here to stay as more and more incentives are derived from this activity.

The business-technology alignment strategy needs to take centre stage in the highest echelons of business leadership in order for this initiative to be efficient. Training needs to be offered to all so as to build the much needed protection of consumer experiences in accessing services.

Guest Author George Chirenda is a computing professional who has studied business studies. He wants to see businesses leverage ICT for competitiveness

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Foreign Investors Interested In NetOne, Telecel And TelOne According To Mandiwanzira https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/investors-interested-netone-telecel-telone/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/investors-interested-netone-telecel-telone/#comments Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:21:02 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886292

According to ICT Minister Supa Mandiwanzira, there are foreign investors that have tabled bids to buy shareholding in state-owned mobile operators NetOne, Telecel as well as fixed operator TelOne. The offers are for both the controlling and majority equity stakes in the companies. The bids come in at a time both companies are in need […]

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Foreign Investors Interested In NetOne, Telecel And TelOne According To Mandiwanzira

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According to ICT Minister Supa Mandiwanzira, there are foreign investors that have tabled bids to buy shareholding in state-owned mobile operators NetOne, Telecel as well as fixed operator TelOne. The offers are for both the controlling and majority equity stakes in the companies.

The bids come in at a time both companies are in need of capital injection if they are to compete with the market leader, Econet in any meaningful way. According to Mandiwanzira, NetOne and Telecel combined need in excess of US$500 million in fresh capital injection for network expansion and other purposes.

TelOne has requested the government to take over it’s $347 million legacy debt. The debt is said to be deterring potential investment in the company.

Mandiwanzira’s Statement in the Standard:

Yes, there is an interest in people to buy stakes in NetOne, Telecel, and TelOne. As you know, the president is saying we are open for business and we will look at every proposal, on its merits and demerits and make a decision on that basis. But of course, this is not a decision that can be made by me as a minister. I have to take it to the cabinet, my principal and a decision is made at that end. We have had inquiries on buying equity, interest in government-owned networks, with some offering to buy entire shareholding and some offering to partner with the government and inject capital for the expansion of those networks. But as far as I’m concerned we are open for business and we will look at every proposal we receive. We will look at the money being offered and obviously make a decision based on that. That’s the general attitude and we are open for business. Being open for business does not mean that you close any offers but when you receive offers you can then determine whether it’s worth it or not to sell the asset or is the asset that they want worth selling at this stage. There is a huge investment that could come into Telecel in terms of expansion of the network; anything between US$30 million to US$100 million would do the company very well. NetOne would require an investment of not less than US$400 million for it to be really in a position to compete with its peers in the market and of course there is a huge investment required in TelOne to finish its national backbone that it has a responsibility to build.

If the government does accept an offer for Telecel they would have made good on their promise. At the time Telecel was bought by government Mandiwanzira indicated that the government would be looking to sell the company within two years.

It will be interesting to explore what impact foreign investment will have in the state owned telecoms entities if it does happen. Maybe we will speculate on that a little….

 

TelOneNetOneTelecel

TelOne is one of the several Telecoms companies operating in the Zimbabwean telecommunications and technology industry. Its main core business revolves around voice, data and internet products and services. "TelOne owns a wide range of telecommunications equipment, varying from various exchanges located in strategic areas,... Read More About TelOne

NetOne Zimbabwe was the first mobile phone operator in Zimbabwe, the company was launched in 1996. The company is a privately owned company in which the Zimbabwe government has a stake and was formed as a subsidiary of the Posts and Telecommunications. Corporation (PTC). Service... Read More About NetOne

Telecel Zimbabwe is a telecommunications services provider with most of its services in the mobile cellular network services. The company is owned jointly by the Empowerment Corporation (40%) and Vimpelcom (60%), one of the largest telecoms companies in the world. In Zimbabwe, Telecel is the... Read More About Telecel

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[PRESS RELEASE] Zororo Makamba Bounces Back With A Point Of View https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/press-release-zororo-makamba-bounces-back-point-view/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/press-release-zororo-makamba-bounces-back-point-view/#comments Sun, 11 Feb 2018 19:53:26 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886287

Talk-show host and producer, Zororo Makamba, ends his on-screen hiatus after announcing his return to television with a new political show called, Point of View (POV) with Zororo Makamba, set to debut on the 26th of February, 2018.  In the 3 years Makamba was off air, he graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in […]

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[PRESS RELEASE] Zororo Makamba Bounces Back With A Point Of View

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Talk-show host and producer, Zororo Makamba, ends his on-screen hiatus after announcing his return to television with a new political show called, Point of View (POV) with Zororo Makamba, set to debut on the 26th of February, 2018.  In the 3 years Makamba was off air, he graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Producing, in Los Angeles, and spent the last year working at UTA, a global talent agency in New York.

In an interview on Capitalk FM Makamba said, “There is a need for a smart, informative and well researched show on our politics in this country. As elections near, Zimbabwean’s will be looking for fair and balanced coverage and POV promises to deliver that.”

POV will analyse political events of the week, critique media coverage and breakdown policy. “Zimbabwean political parties will soon be releasing their manifestos. POV will challenge these policies and interpret what they mean for voters”.

Makamba pioneered the current wave of online talk shows with Tonight with Zororo (TWZ) back in 2015. After a successful launch on Youtube and Facebook, TWZ was licensed by MNET channel, Zambezi Magic and went onto to win the NAMA for Outstanding Screen Production (Television) in 2016.

POV will be available across all social media platforms, every Monday at 6pm.

Zororo MakambaCapitalk FM

Zororo Makamba is a radio and TV show host based in Harare. He is the son of entrepreneur, James Makamba. Makamba is known mostly for hosting several radio shows on ZiFM Stereo which include Impact and the Telecel Chit Chat show. Makamba was also a... Read More About Zororo Makamba

Capitalk FM (also referred to as Capital 100.4 FM) is a commercial talk radio station broadcasting to the Harare city. It is owned by the Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers). The station was launched in 2016. The station was initially known as KE100.4FM. The name changed later... Read More About Capitalk FM

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[PRESS RELEASE] Zororo Makamba Bounces Back With A Point Of View

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Do You Want To Be Part Of Techzim? We Are Recruiting Writers https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/want-part-techzim-recruiting-writers/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/want-part-techzim-recruiting-writers/#comments Sun, 11 Feb 2018 15:49:11 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886283

We are looking for driven and curious young people who are crazy about the stuff we are crazy about: tech and business. As promised at the end of last year we intend to grow much more this year and we will. This growth will be driven by good quality writers who are passionate about technology, […]

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Do You Want To Be Part Of Techzim? We Are Recruiting Writers

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We are looking for driven and curious young people who are crazy about the stuff we are crazy about: tech and business.

As promised at the end of last year we intend to grow much more this year and we will. This growth will be driven by good quality writers who are passionate about technology, technology products, the business of tech and the influence of tech in business and the broader economy.

If you think you are such a person get in touch with us on hey@techzim.co.zw.

All you need to do is tell us in one paragraph why you are a good fit for Techzim. Then write three paragraphs on the impact of the government decision to scrap off the 5c tax on electronic transactions below ten dollars.

Please don’t send us your CV, we hate CV’s. All the best…

 

PS: This is a full time position

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Masiyiwa Invited Back Home By The Mnangagwa Government, But Why Now? https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/masiyiwa-invited-back-home-now/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/masiyiwa-invited-back-home-now/#comments Fri, 09 Feb 2018 18:20:22 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886262

The Zimbabwean government has invited Strive Masiyiwa back into the country. They want him to attend a National Dialogue forum being organized by the National Economic Consultative Forum in March. This is an interesting development since Masiyiwa had been in ‘exile’ for the better part of the last two decades. Most of the country was […]

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Masiyiwa Invited Back Home By The Mnangagwa Government, But Why Now?

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The Zimbabwean government has invited Strive Masiyiwa back into the country. They want him to attend a National Dialogue forum being organized by the National Economic Consultative Forum in March. This is an interesting development since Masiyiwa had been in ‘exile’ for the better part of the last two decades.

Most of the country was waiting to see how the relationship between our government and Strive would go forward after the ‘coup-not-coup’. It seems we have an answer now as he is expected back in the country next month. We reasoned that the government had to make the first move. It seems that they’ve taken initiative by inviting him.

Why now?

Personally, I think the government is trying their best to distance themselves from the Mugabe regime by reversing some of the unpopular decisions made back then. The government clearly knows the general public holds Masiyiwa highly and this move could be one to win people over as we head towards elections. Even though the move could be political I personally think it’s still a positive one.

The immediate impact of this invitation…

Strive is expected to present on “The role of innovation and entrepreneurship in the new Zimbabwe” at the National Dialogue forum draft programme. If he does end up making the presentation there is no doubt the event will be packed as business leaders try to pick Masiyiwa’s mind.

There is value in Masiyiwa coming and speaking at such events as it may give aspiring and local business owners much needed exposure. Obviously, the chance to interact with Masiyiwa will excite many business minded people. I mean, after all, the guy is a role model for many and considered one of our brightest exports.

In summary…

I think the invitation sends a message to diasporans and other foreign investors as well. It hammers home the idea that “Zimbabwe is open for business” as the president has been saying. However, just because they invited it doesn’t mean he will accept.

March is a few weeks away. For a man with a schedule such as his, is it sufficient notice? Will he consider the invitation to be sincere? Will he want to give the current government some kind of political mileage by showing face?

We definitely hope he comes. We formally declare that if he does come we want to interview him. Why not?

 

ZimbabweStrive Masiyiwa

The Republic of Zimbabwe is a country located in the Southern Africa region. Its capital city is :Harare and the country has 10 provinces. Zimbabwe is 390,580 sq km and is bordered on all sides by other countries (Zambia in the north, South Africa in... Read More About Zimbabwe

Strive Masiyiwa (born 1961) is a Zimbabwean born entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the founder and chairman of Econet Wireless International a global telecommunications group. In 2002, Masiyiwa made it to the Time Magazine List of Most Influential People, and in March 2014, he was... Read More About Strive Masiyiwa

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You Can Now Add “Cartoons” In Videos Thanks To Google https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/motion-stills-by-google-update-adds-ar-mode-to-enable-users-to-create-short-augmented-reality-videos/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/motion-stills-by-google-update-adds-ar-mode-to-enable-users-to-create-short-augmented-reality-videos/#comments Fri, 09 Feb 2018 11:00:27 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886241

Google has followed in the footsteps of Facebook in adding an augmented reality mode in its Motion Stills application. Motion Stills is an app that enables you to take short videos and transform them into GIFs and fast-forward videos with an advanced stabilization feature. The app is basically a GIF camera with fancy software tricks. In the default […]

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You Can Now Add “Cartoons” In Videos Thanks To Google

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Google has followed in the footsteps of Facebook in adding an augmented reality mode in its Motion Stills application. Motion Stills is an app that enables you to take short videos and transform them into GIFs and fast-forward videos with an advanced stabilization feature. The app is basically a GIF camera with fancy software tricks.

In the default mode, you can capture a three-second looping clip. The app has really powerful stabilization software, which ensures videos taken through the app is not bumpy and constantly  . The app also has an interesting Fast-Forward mode. In this mode, you can record up to a minute of fast forward footage.

Default Mode

In Default Mode users have an option to save footage as either GIFs or videos

Yes, the video is a bit bumpy but that’s mostly because software stabilization is no match for Zim roads.

Testing The Fast-Forward Feature

 

AR Mode

More excitingly, Google just introduced AR Mode. Users can now insert animated 3D objects into the real world before recording. The app then sticks the animated 3D object on any surface, even moving ones e.g your hand or head. Motion Stills isn’t as advanced as Facebook AR Studio which allows users to create 3D Objects they can then use in their own videos.

Yes, even aliens like Techzim

Office printer was under attack

Motion Stills works on any device with Android 5.1(Lollipop) and above. The phone also has to have a working gyroscope sensor. Let us know if you’re an augmented reality fan who will be using Motion Stills to create awesome videos.

 

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A lighter Version Of Google Maps Is Now Available For Testing https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/maps-go-is-now-in-beta/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/maps-go-is-now-in-beta/#comments Thu, 08 Feb 2018 18:48:54 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886228

Google Maps Go, the lightweight version of Google Maps is targeted at developing countries. The app works on devices with memory limitations and on less reliable connections without compromising speed, and accuracy. The introduction of Maps Go is in tune with Google’s recent approach of introducing lite apps for lower-end devices. We covered Youtube Go and now take […]

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A lighter Version Of Google Maps Is Now Available For Testing

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Google Maps Go, the lightweight version of Google Maps is targeted at developing countries. The app works on devices with memory limitations and on less reliable connections without compromising speed, and accuracy. The introduction of Maps Go is in tune with Google’s recent approach of introducing lite apps for lower-end devices. We covered Youtube Go and now take a look at the lighter version of Maps and what it offers

Maps Go features

Now it’s being reported that a beta version is available for testers in the US. The app enables users to :

  • Get location updates
  • Real-time traffic updates
  • Directions
  • Save places of interest (Restaurants, Hotels)

Current location

 

Directions

 

search

 

The app is not yet available to download from the Zim Google Play Store yet however, an option is available to download the APK from the link below.

 

Google Maps Go APK download link

 

Applications such as Maps Go are really important in the African market as they enable the bulk of people with entry-level devices to access features that were out of their reach. Hopefully, Google continues this trend of offering low-power alternatives of their Apps. I’m looking forward to a Gmail Go app soon ;-)!

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Now You Can Ecocash ZIMRA. Long Overdue If You Ask Me https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/now-you-can-ecocash-zimra-long-overdue-if-you-ask-me/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/now-you-can-ecocash-zimra-long-overdue-if-you-ask-me/#comments Thu, 08 Feb 2018 09:43:01 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886220

In September last year I went to Botswana with some colleagues. We went via road. We did not have any cash on us except some hard currency we would use in Botswana if our bank debit cards failed for any reason. Using hard currency in Zimbabwe is never an option. It’s funny that just a […]

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Now You Can Ecocash ZIMRA. Long Overdue If You Ask Me

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In September last year I went to Botswana with some colleagues. We went via road. We did not have any cash on us except some hard currency we would use in Botswana if our bank debit cards failed for any reason. Using hard currency in Zimbabwe is never an option.

It’s funny that just a few months ago ordinary bank debit cards issued in Zimbabwe still worked outside our borders (albeit with crazy limits)- now most banks have disabled their cards from processing international payments. If you want to transact online or outside Zimbabwe then you have to apply for a special card which you pre-fund with real USD.

I wonder why our bank statements declare that we have USD in our accounts when really the bank itself acknowledges the RTGS money and USD to be night and day just by having a pre-funded card product. Anyway, I digress…

On our way to Botswana we decided to try out the then new Ecocash to;ll gate payment facility. It worked smoothly and allowed us to take less time at the toll gate than would be possible if swiping or even paying cash if change would be involved. On our way back we stuck to using Ecocash for toll gates not because we were still testing but because it was smooth and fast.

On our way back is when our lack of bond cash really inconvenienced us. We had bought a few items and had duty to pay as well as the other little fees that were due to ZIMRA. Unfortunately on that day our bank (at least the account that had money) was having ‘system challenges.’ We thought, oh good thing we have money in Ecocash. That was not a good thing, ZIMRA and Ecocash were not talking to each other.

At that time ZIMRA and Ecocash were not integrated. We ended up taking longer at the Plumtree border although it was literally empty, no queues whatsoever. We had to call the office to have people move money from some other account to another account via another account just so we could swipe for the duty with some other bank card we had on us.

ZIMRA Now Accepts Ecocash

It’s a good thing now that ZIMRA and Ecocash are now integrated. I don’t know who was being a hot head between the two of them but that hot headedness sure inconvenienced us on that day. Ultimately, I place the responsibility on ZIMRA because we are their clients (they call us clients). We are more than clients really, we are people who are parting with portions of their income because those with the powers to make laws declared that we should.

Paying taxes is a painful thing particularly when you see your money being abused to buy cars for chiefs for example who are nothing but the continuance of a repressive colonial institution. ZIMRA then has to make sure that fulfillment of this painful obligation is as smooth as possible. It’s good to know that they have done the sensible thing and integrated with Ecocash.

Why Is It Sensible To Integrate With Ecocash

The cash crisis has forced Zimbabwe to go electronic when it comes to transactions. The RBZ reports that more than 96% of transactions in Zimbabwe are now being done electronically. In terms of number of transactions, mobile money is the biggest thing. It accounts for above 75% of the transactions. Ecocash dominates the mobile money space with a share of above 90%. It’s crazy kuvharira Ecocash panze (shutting Ecocash out).

Zimbabwe is predominantly an informal economy. If ZIMRA wanted to capture revenue from this informal sector then they could not ignore Ecocash. It seems they now want that informal money In many ways, Ecocash has replaced cash as the medium of exchange in the informal space. The only thing currently that could dent this is the recently launched Steward Bank Kwenga which makes it affordable for someone with a musika (stall) to accept swipe.

Even with kwenga in the mix, Ecocash will remain strong because much more people have Ecocash than those that have a debit card to swipe with.

EcoCashZIMRARBZ

EcoCash is a mobile money transfer facility which is run by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. The facility has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception and is arguably the largest mobile money transfer agent considering the huge sums of transactions that the platform is said... Read More About EcoCash

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is a government department which is responsible for the collection of state revenue in form of excise duty, customs duty, road tolls, corporate and civil taxes. In addition, it also facilitates trade, offers fiscal advise to the government as well as... Read More About ZIMRA

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is the central bank of Zimbabwe. Its offices are located at number 80 Samora Machel Avenue in Harare. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe operates under the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act, Chapter 22: 15 of 1964. The Act provides... Read More About RBZ

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Udemy Is Running A Month Long Promotion This February https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/udemy-running-month-long-promotion-february/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/udemy-running-month-long-promotion-february/#comments Thu, 08 Feb 2018 07:38:30 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886208

I still remember the first time I tried to learn programming. I was a University accounting student with a passion for everything ICT and I had finally decided to learn Java. After consulting the classifieds I ended up in some rundown downtown college where they promised me I would be a Java ninja in 3 […]

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Udemy Is Running A Month Long Promotion This February

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I still remember the first time I tried to learn programming. I was a University accounting student with a passion for everything ICT and I had finally decided to learn Java. After consulting the classifieds I ended up in some rundown downtown college where they promised me I would be a Java ninja in 3 months.

Long story short I parted with the equivalent of $400 – it’s really difficult to say the exact amount for Zimbabwe has had so many currencies since then. In about 5 minutes I discovered that my lecturer knew diddly squat about Java. It took him 3 days to install the Java SDK and set up the Path environment and 4 more days to create a working Hello World Program. I never bothered to return for the second week.

If only Udemy had been around those days. The website is perfect for those who want to acquire specific skills on a dime. The site is replete with all manner of short courses from photography to Ruby programming. Want to learn the Go programming language, no problem, you want to brush up your Photoshop or After Effects skills the site has you covered.

Udemy is running a $14.99 promotion on all courses

Normally instructors get to charge whatever amount they want and courses can be expensive in Zimbabwean terms but still a bargain considering the $400 amount I paid for nothing. Besides most of these courses are created by people with experience and knowledge in their various fields which is more than I can say for my stupid would be Java tutor.

Currently Udemy is running a $14.99 month long promotion. To take advantage of this you have to subscribe via any one of our links within this article including clicking here. If you visit the site directly you will not be able to get the discount. If you visit Udemy via any of the links all course prices will change to $14.99

Is Udemy any good?

I have been finally learning JavaScript using the platform  and I think I am finally getting what it is all about. One thing I have learnt is you will do well to stick with bestseller courses for the popular topics like Python, Javascript, Ruby, Java, Go, PHP, Web Development etc. Look at the qualifications of the tutor, access the introduction videos to get a feel of what the tutor is like and you will never go wrong.

I tried to learn JavaScript using free places like CodeAcademy and struggled to get the hang of things. Udemy’s videos and paced learning including projects have allowed me to master a lot about the language. I have learnt more in 3 weeks than I did in years using free sources. Oftentimes free is not the best.

Courses you might like

You are always free to click this link and searching for your own courses but here are some of the courses you might find interesting:

How to pay

Udemy accepts Visa/MasterCard as well as PayPal. You can thus pay using the FBC prepaid MasterCard or Ecobank and BancABC’s prepaid Visa as well as the Steward Bank Visa. These require you to pre-load your card with real Forex but at $14.99 all the courses are pretty affordable even if you have to hunt for the USD and end up paying a premium.

As a reminder if you want to take advantage of the discount you have to follow one of our links or click here to visit Udemy otherwise you will end up paying the full price.

FBCSteward Bank

FBC Holdings Limited (FBCH) is an Investment holding company listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and whose principal activities are in Zimbabwe. The Group offers diverse financial services through subsidiaries that span commercial banking, mortgage financing, short-term insurance, re-insurance, securities trading and micro financing. In... Read More About FBC

Steward Bank, is a commercial bank registered and trading in Zimbabwe. Founded as TN Bank in 2001, it later re-branded in 2013, after majority shareholding was bought by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, becoming the banking partner/platform that EcoCash runs on. Read More About Steward Bank

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Is OPPO Really Offering Value For Money? https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/oppo-really-offering-value-money/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/oppo-really-offering-value-money/#comments Wed, 07 Feb 2018 18:30:27 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886188

Oppo recently introduced a selection of new devices at their local store. This is a good move since local consumers have more devices to choose from, however we have to check if OPPO is really offering potential customers value for money.   OPPO A37 The A37 is the OPPO device for those on a budget […]

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Is OPPO Really Offering Value For Money?

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Oppo recently introduced a selection of new devices at their local store. This is a good move since local consumers have more devices to choose from, however we have to check if OPPO is really offering potential customers value for money.

 

OPPO A37

The A37 is the OPPO device for those on a budget , and it has decent specs such as a HD Display, 2GB RAM, and an 8MP Camera. In the OPPO shop it retails for $360.

 

Competition for the A37

Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime

The Galaxy J5 Prime is another entry level device that costs $350, and similarly has an HD screen as well as 2GB RAM and a more up to date version of android than the A37. It also has a higher pixel count on the camera with a 13MP offering. Another feature the J5 Prime has over the OPPO A37 is fingerprint recognition.

Sony Xperia XA

The Sony Xperia XA is another alternative which offers true bang for buck as it offers a better processor, camera experience and software all for $280. The design of the Xperia XA is also more unique (although beauty lies in the eye of the beholder so you may beg to differ)

Nokia 5

Lastly the Nokia 5 seems like the best value smartphone with similar specs and more up to date software. The Nokia 5 also has a really neat design with a 2.5D curved display. It also has a fingerprint sensor , which the OPPO doesn’t have.

 

OPPO A57 & OPPO A71

OPPO A71

OPPO A57

The A71 & A57 are more of midrange offerings that retail for $469 and $509. Both have HD displays, and 3GB RAM. The A57 has a better, 16MP selfie cam compared to the A71’s 5MP unit. The A57 also has a fingerprint sensor whilst the older A71 does not. The only advantage in the A71’s favour is that it has a slightly larger battery than the A53.

 

Competition for the A57 and A71

S6 Edge

The Galaxy S6 Edge retails for $400. It has more processing power than both the A57 and A71. Personally I think the design is leaps and bounds ahead of OPPO’s offerings. The display is qHD resolution which is also better than OPPO’s offerings whilst being cheaper.

 

LG G5

The G5 is another $400 smartphone which offers a qHD display, 4GB RAM , and a dual camera setup on the back(16MP+8MP). It also supports modules that increase battery, add speakers and camera lenses though that feature proved to be less exciting than LG anticipated.

 

iPhone 6

At $500, the iPhone 6 is more expensive than the A71 but is still less than the A57. The iPhone 6 offers better build quality,a better processor, fingerprint recognition, stellar image quality and the ‘status’ of having an Apple device.

OPPO F3

The OPPO F3 is positioned as the flagship and priced accordingly at $719. The F3 is positioned as the phone for selfie lovers and has a dual front camera setup which sees OPPO pair a 16MP and 8MP camera on the front, while on the back there is a 13MP camera. It also has a healthy 4GB RAM, a Full HD display and the largest battery among OPPO devices being offered in Zim.

 

Competition for the F3

HTC U11

The $600 HTC U11 offers a breathtaking glass design,6GB RAM, dust/water resistance, a qHD display and a 16MP selfie camera.

 

LG G6

LG’s G6 offers dust/water resistance, a qHD edge to edge display, dual camera setup and a metal unibody design all for $550. It will probably last longer than the F3 as it has a slightly larger battery.

 

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

$620 gets you Samsung’s flagship from last year. Features such as water/dust resistance, a great 12MP camera and a qHD display which flows onto the edges of the device make the S7 Edge offer a superior experience for $100 less.

Briefly…
Most if not all of the phones competing with A37, A57, A71 and F3 seem to be from more reputable brands that offer better specifications for a lesser price and this does not really make sense as there is no reason to buy their devices right now. OPPO isn’t offering much in the way of value for money and unless they change their approach, it is unlikely their brand will grow in the Zim market.

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The Framework Of Effective Digital Marketing https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/the-framework-of-effective-digital-marketing/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/the-framework-of-effective-digital-marketing/#comments Tue, 06 Feb 2018 17:34:28 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886169

I was sitting in the boardroom of a respectable business recently when the boss said, ‘Trust, I want you to make sense of these digital things you’ll screaming about! Where is the money?’ At that point, the room was silent and everyone zoomed on me! You know that time when sweat is triggered from everywhere […]

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The Framework Of Effective Digital Marketing

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I was sitting in the boardroom of a respectable business recently when the boss said, ‘Trust, I want you to make sense of these digital things you’ll screaming about! Where is the money?’

At that point, the room was silent and everyone zoomed on me! You know that time when sweat is triggered from everywhere especially the palms. I was excited they were asking about this.

While is it not disputable that the digital age is here and we all need to embrace it, just like anything new, digital marketing basics are not well understood. It is important to remember the ‘why’ of some things.

When it comes to digital marketing – since we said marketing – the goal is one – making money. There are many exciting numbers you will meet in digital marketing, just remember that none of them replace the business goal, that is making money.

To do well in digital marketing it is important to understand the basic framework of any digital marketing campaign or activity.

Digital marketing framework

Ideally, if your digital marketing efforts don’t include some or all these elements, there is room for improvement.

  1. Traffic generation
  2. Lead generation
  3. Lead nurturing
  4. Conversions
  5. Measuring

Let me explain each of these briefly.

Traffic generation

In traditional marketing, any channel that reaches many people is good for marketing. Billboards on busy expensive roads costs more than those on rural deserted roads. What are they using to determine the costs? Traffic!

If you are doing digital marketing in any form, the first thing to solve for is traffic. Many people are disappointed with their digital marketing efforts because they just created the platform (Facebook Page or Website etc.) but did nothing to get many people to see it.

All digital marketing efforts must include traffic generation strategies to make the campaign successful.

Lead generation

I remember chatting with the founder of one the most visited blogs in the country. He was excited about the number of people who were coming to read their stories daily – big numbers. With a sad look, he said “But we are failing to make money off this thing”. That is exactly what happens when businesses are started with a flawed revenue generation plan.

For the usual business where services or products are sold, it is very important to have a lead generation plan. Of the many people who are visiting your website, how do you plan to convert them to customers? The commonest answer is – they will call us if interested. That is flawed.

When people come to your digital channel (website, Facebook Page etc.), they could be in any of the four stages of buying – discovering the need, choosing between options, taking the action or looking for support services. Lead generation is making sure that you capture people before they take action (buying) – these are tomorrow.

Invitation to training.

Doing digital marketing effectively is not a matter of budgets but skillset. As Afrodigital Skills Training, we are inviting you to our Basic Digital Marketing Training, which is happening in three cities in Zimbabwe (Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare – hoping to add more soon).

Harare – 10 February 2017
Bulawayo – 17 February 2017
Mutare -03 March 2017

This three-hour training aims to give everyone attending a solid base in digital marketing. The trainer you will meet there is an experienced digital marketer who has applied the things they will be training you on.

Among many things, you will also learn how to put your business on Google via Google My Business and how to become visible for your career using LinkedIn.

Our aim as Afrodigital Skills Training is to over deliver. The last time we surveyed our training attendees, they said that the training was worth $300 or more. You do not want to miss this!

You can get more details on the training on this website.

 

BulawayoHarareMutare

Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second largest city. Its location was selected by the last Matebele king, King lobengula. Bulawayo used to be one of the country's most attractive cities and a major transport hub for Southern Africa until Zimbabwe entered a period of economic depression in... Read More About Bulawayo

Harare formerly Salisbury is the capital of Zimbabwe. It is the seat of Government, the industrial hub and commercial centre for Zimbabwe. The city was founded by the Cecil John Rhodes-led Pioneer Column in 1890 and named Salisbury. The name was only changed to Harare... Read More About Harare

Mutare is the name of Zimbabwe's third largest city after Harare and Bulawayo. Popularliry referred to in Zimbabwe as Kumakomoyo, this word depicts the city’s mountainous terrain giving it a unique distinction which makes it different from the rest of other cities in the country.... Read More About Mutare

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Bitcoin Drops To Less Than $6,000 After Highs Of $20,000. Why? https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/bitcoin-drops-less-6000-highs-20000/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/bitcoin-drops-less-6000-highs-20000/#comments Tue, 06 Feb 2018 14:22:51 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886164

We will remember 2017 as the year of the cryptocurrencies. In that year, especially in the last quarter, Bitcoin and the other virtual currencies saw exponential growth unlike anything that had ever been seen before. In the fourth quarter of 2017 Bitcoin grew by almost 500% internationally, the price of one Bitcoin rising from $4000 […]

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Bitcoin Drops To Less Than $6,000 After Highs Of $20,000. Why?

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We will remember 2017 as the year of the cryptocurrencies. In that year, especially in the last quarter, Bitcoin and the other virtual currencies saw exponential growth unlike anything that had ever been seen before.

In the fourth quarter of 2017 Bitcoin grew by almost 500% internationally, the price of one Bitcoin rising from $4000 and crossing $20,000 on some exchanges. In Zimbabwe where Bitcoin trades at a premium, the price crossed the $30,000 mark.

What goes up must come down apparently, and how the mighty have fallen. Cryptocurrencies are full of drama, the exponential growths have been followed by dramatic declines. In January when the international price of  bitcoin dropped below $10,000 we wondered whether the bubble had burst.

Since that time, the downward trend has continued. The rate of decline has been especially heavy in the last 24 hours. Internationally the price reached $5,947 but has risen to $6,172 at the time of writing. If we work with the current $6,172, bitcoin has fallen around 22% in the last 24 hours. [At the time of publishing the price has risen to $7,084, pricing by CoinDesk.]

On Golix, Zimbabwe’s sole cryptocurrency exchange, bitcoin is trading at around $10,000 at the time of writing. It reached a low of $9,500 in the last 24 hours however. This is a far cry from the $30,000 it reached back in December. [Price now $11,400 at this time of publishing]

What is the reason for the decline?

We covered the reasons in the article, Why Did Bitcoin Fall By 50% And Is It Proof The Bubble Has Burst? We won’t go through all of it again but we will consider what has changed since then.

Governments vs cryptocurrencies

The South Korean government has come out to say it has no plans to shut down cryptocurrency trading. This came as welcome news. However, China and India have stepped up efforts to block cryptocurrency trading. In China, they want to block local investor access to cryptocurrency exchanges anywhere in the world, not just in China.

These efforts by these governments have a profound effect because it was the Asian investors who were responsible for bitcoin’s meteoric rise in the first place. By the end of November 2017, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam were responsible for about 80% of all bitcoin trade. Rumours and reports around Asia that bitcoin trading was to be banned is probably the biggest reason bitcoin prices are falling.

Trading with cryptocurrencies

We covered how mobile payment systems giant, Stripe no longer accepts bitcoin and since that time Microsoft, Steam and other e-commerce operators have followed suit. This all came after Visa ended its relationship with WaveCrest, a cryptocurrency credit card provider.

I almost let out a laugh when I heard the North American Bitcoin conference announce they will not be accepting bitcoin any longer.

These institutions made these decisions in response to bitcoin’s price volatility which was mostly caused by the cracking down happening in Asia. However, the decisions to stop accepting bitcoin added to the pressures driving its price down.

Banks

It is no secret that banks, like governments, have always been opposed to cryptocurrencies. They got the excuse they needed to drop bitcoin and send a message to the world – only their system can stand.

Bank of America, JP Morgan, Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland and many other banks have banned their customers from purchasing cryptocurrencies on the exchanges.

Again, these moves, work to weaken bitcoin. They may be reactionary but they worsen the problem.

Is it the end for cryptocurrencies?

Looking at the governments working towards banning cryptocurrencies, retailers refusing payment and banks banning cryptocurrency purchases by credit card holders, it will be interesting to see how the cryptocurrencies come out of this one.

In my humble opinion, bitcoin will rise again. This is not the first time there have been wild price fluctuations in its history. The previous fluctuations were actually worse. An example would be when in 2011, the price went from $29 in June to $2 in November, that’s a 93% decrease. These fluctuations come with the cryptocurrency package but in the long run there is an upward trend.

coindesk-bpi-chart

If you are looking for short term gains, you are playing a very dangerous game but if you are looking to cryptocurrencies to preserve value in the long term then you might just strike gold.

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Could Black Panther’s Kingdom, Wakanda, Have Been Inspired By Great Zimbabwe? https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/could-black-panthers-kingdom-wakanda-have-been-inspired-by-great-zimbabwe/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/could-black-panthers-kingdom-wakanda-have-been-inspired-by-great-zimbabwe/#comments Tue, 06 Feb 2018 09:57:35 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886142

The Black Panther movie no doubt has been getting some raving reviews all over. Going through the internet fueling my hype has made me come across some very interesting videos and articles. In this video the guy tries to explore the inspirations of major aspects of the movie and link them to the present African context. […]

Articles appeared first on Techzim;
Could Black Panther’s Kingdom, Wakanda, Have Been Inspired By Great Zimbabwe?

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The Black Panther movie no doubt has been getting some raving reviews all over. Going through the internet fueling my hype has made me come across some very interesting videos and articles.

In this video the guy tries to explore the inspirations of major aspects of the movie and link them to the present African context. The part that completely got me hooked is when he mentions Great Zimbabwe Monuments being the inspiration of the Wakanda Kingdom’s design and its impressive technology.

Great Zimbabwe is a National Heritage site located in the southern part of Zimbabwe. What’s impressive about this ancient city of stone is that it is the largest stone structure built south of the Sahara and constructed with no mortar to hold the stones together.

To be able to pull this off the natives of this area had to be impressively advanced architects due to the fact that it still stands since its inception in the 11th century! If you were looking at the trailer you might have noticed how the Kingdom of Wakanda is hidden by a holographic enclosure of sorts in a mountainous area.

Similarly, Great Zimbabwe is surrounded by a series of mountains with the Grand Enclosure being the highlight of the ruins. It is quite a prevalent assumption on the internet that the technological aspect depicted in the Black Panther movie is strongly inspired by our very own Great Zimbabwe ruins.

The waterfall in the trailer could be inspired by Victoria falls too? That gorge and those cliffs? Looks pretty darn similar if you ask me. It would be interesting to get a comment from Marvel Studios on where they got the inspirations that they incorporated into the Black Panther movie.

I’m sure the greater part of Africa had something borrowed from the local cultures that they can relate to in the movie in the form of greetings or face paintings and body piercings to battle cries and Armour and mention of what was borrowed were would properly get us chuffed!

I’ll leave it here before I get to be a spoiler but just some food for thought. What do you think?

ZimbabweVictoria FallsGreat Zimbabwe Monuments

The Republic of Zimbabwe is a country located in the Southern Africa region. Its capital city is :Harare and the country has 10 provinces. Zimbabwe is 390,580 sq km and is bordered on all sides by other countries (Zambia in the north, South Africa in... Read More About Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls is a resort town located in the Matabeleland North province of Zimbabwe. The town is located on the eastern border which separates Zimbabwe from Zambia. Before the colonization of Zimbabwe by the British, present-day Victoria Falls was home to the Tonga community. The... Read More About Victoria Falls

Great Zimbabwe Monuments is a tourist resort/attraction located in Masvingo in Masvingo Province of Zimbabwe. The place hosts local, regional and international tourists who visit the country to have a realistic grasp of the country's diverse and heartening natural environment. Read More About Great Zimbabwe Monuments

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Could Black Panther’s Kingdom, Wakanda, Have Been Inspired By Great Zimbabwe?

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Review: The SCISHION V88 is a decent $25 TV Box https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/review-scishion-v88-decent-25-tv-box/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/review-scishion-v88-decent-25-tv-box/#comments Tue, 06 Feb 2018 08:52:30 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886132

A long time ago I wrote about how you could turn your dumb TV into a smart TV using a T.V Box. It was a brilliant idea that I somehow never got to implement mostly because my laptops have an HDMI port . At some point however the pain of having to fumble with an […]

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Review: The SCISHION V88 is a decent $25 TV Box

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A long time ago I wrote about how you could turn your dumb TV into a smart TV using a T.V Box. It was a brilliant idea that I somehow never got to implement mostly because my laptops have an HDMI port . At some point however the pain of having to fumble with an HDMI cable everytime you want to watch something gets to you.

So I made the choice to finally buy my first T.V box. I hoped into a kombie and went into town and got the shock of my life. None of my favorite techstores had TV boxes in stock even though they were stocking every Chinese phone under the sun.

I decided to try Dipleague groups and classifieds sites and got another nasty surpise. Several individuals were selling boxes from several years ago with 512MB of RAM and other rubbish specs for prices north of $100! Some of these boxes come with Android 4.2.2 to match.

Gearbest to the rescue

I decided to wait for the Black Friday sale and pounced on the cheapest box I could find. I got the SCISHION V88 for $22  on promotion and paid $1 in shipping costs you will not find a cheaper device than this. The device comes with the following specs:

OSAndroid 6.0
CPURK3229 (RockChip QuadCore)
GPUMali-400
RAM1GB
ROM8GB
Maximum Extended Support32GB
Decoder formatsH264 and H265
Video QualityUp to 4K 30fps scaled to up to 1080P output
USB Ports4 USB 2.0 ports
SD Card Slot1
Power5V
WIFIYes 2.4G
Ethernet Port100Mbps
OutputHDMI

The device comes with an infrared remote control but you can use an air keyboard and mouse combo if you want. You can get these for $9 from Gearbest.

The Good

The device supports YouTube videos up to 720P. I have a 1080P T.V so my work around if I need a higher resolution is to use youtube-dl. The device comes with a custom version of Kodi called RKMC which thankfully does not come with any illegal addons as has become the norm these days.

You also get a Netflix app, GMail and Facebook apps. While the first one is a must for some it’s hard to do email and Facebook on your TV unless you have the aforementioned keyboard. I quickly uninstalled these apps. In my tests the TV box could indeed play videos up to 4K at 30fps. Basically this means this box can handle most of what you can throw at it including 3D movies.

I had my concerns about the 1GB RAM but it never became a problem as you will not really be multitasking much on your TV. My SmartDNS Proxy VPN and DNS apps installed like a charm. I could even install and use Korean Drama on it. Since I have managed to wean my wife from African Movies I did not dare to install iRokuTV and risk her relapsing. Google Play Movies also works like a charm.

The Bad

I could not get the Hulu app to work on this TV Box and I think I have an idea why. It is also the same reason why you cannot install the stock version of Kodi from the Google Play Store. This device comes with a Rockchip processor and while that works almost all the time there are some caveats.

While this is an ARM processor it uses a non standard video API which  complicates development. To reduce bugs Kodi have decided to abandon all custom patches. Rockchip have their own version of Kodi called RKMC but this is a fork of the ancient version 16 RC which means addons such as subtitle downloaders will not work. Newer versions of Rockchip now use a standard API which means they do not have the problem but the 3229 CPU which comes with this box is one of the old ones.

While I could never get Hulu to work there was an easy fix for Kodi. I simply downloaded FTMC a patched version of Kodi that is more modern. To be fair the preinstalled RKMC is an excellent player that is elegant until you want to use the latest Kodi addons which will not work. Those who want to play videos and such will find it capable. You can also install MX Player from the Play Store and get excellent results.

VP9 problems

The second hurdle I encountered was that the box will not play videos encoded using Google’s VP9 codec. The only way a box with such humble specs can play HD content is through hardware decoding and this box does not come with the VP9 decoding support. When you attempt to play such a video the box attempts to use software decoding and the results are horrible. It’s like listening to a drowning cat.

This should not be much of a problem as you are unlikely to encounter VP9 videos in the wild. The only place you are going to find them is on YouTube and that is unlikely to be a problem for you as YouTube offers multiple encoded streams anyway. The YouTube app will automatically select the supported encoding for you.

When dowloading videos using using youtube-dl use the following command:

youtube-dl --no-overwrites --continue --restrict-filenames --verbose --verbose --print-traffic --write-sub --format 'bestvideo[height<=1080][ext=mp4]+bestaudio[ext=m4a]' URL

Make sure to replace URL with that of the video you want to download. This will download videos up to 1080P plus the best m4a audio. It is a useful command even if you are not using the box. You can tweak it to suit your needs for example replace 1080P with 720P.

To buy or not to buy

This is the cheapest box around and it comes with excellent video playing support. You can play music or video from your SD card or USB stick. You even get 4GB of ROM to work with. If you get the keyboard you can have a lightweight computer for less than 30 bucks so yeah you should be buying this.

A similar device can be bought locally for $100 at least. So even if you are paying premium for the USD you are going to be making massive savings. I paid $6 duty on my device so in any case you are not going to pay more than $40 for this device. So it’s a no-brainer for me. To fully enjoy this device you need a TV with an HDMI port obviously.

Please click here to buy the V88 and get 8% discount. Also for $28 ($3 more) you can get the V88 Mars which comes with Android 7.1 to boot. The later also comes with VP9 support.

Black FridayKombi

Black Friday refers to the day that Zimbabwe's currency, the Zim Dollar crashed in valued, losing 72% against the United States dollar on 14 November 1997. The day kicked of economic collapse and a depression that Zimbabwe is yet to recover from. The crash of... Read More About Black Friday

Kombi is the informal name of minibuses in Zimbabwe. This is usually given to the 18 seater type which are privately owned but used for public transport in the country. They are the most popular form of public transport in Zimbabwe a result of the... Read More About Kombi

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Review: The SCISHION V88 is a decent $25 TV Box

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We’re Currently Not Interested In Zimbabwe Football TV Rights At All, Says Kwese TV https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/1886127/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/1886127/#comments Mon, 05 Feb 2018 20:12:31 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886127

Speculation & rumour that Kwese TV is negotiating a deal for PSL TV rights, it seems, won’t die. This, despite the fact that the PSL itself already denied any such negotiation is going on. The current rumours, apparently, are that Kwese TV has submitted a bid for the TV rights to Zimbabwe’s Premier Soccer League. Econet […]

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We’re Currently Not Interested In Zimbabwe Football TV Rights At All, Says Kwese TV

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Speculation & rumour that Kwese TV is negotiating a deal for PSL TV rights, it seems, won’t die. This, despite the fact that the PSL itself already denied any such negotiation is going on.

The current rumours, apparently, are that Kwese TV has submitted a bid for the TV rights to Zimbabwe’s Premier Soccer League.

Econet Media has today released a statement, essentially to say the company has not submitted any bids the TV rights and that it’s not interested in them at all in the ‘near’ term.

Here’s the statement in full:

Our attention has been drawn to various reports linking Kwese TV, an entity of Econet Media, to bids for Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League (PSL) television Rights. Econet Media wishes to make it clear that it has not submitted any bids nor entered into any negotiations for the said Rights and does not plan to do so now or in the near future.

As part of its strategy in Zimbabwe, Kwese has entered into arrangements with a number of local sports federations and will continue to develop further relationships with sports organisations. However the PSL tender does not fall under the Company’s current rollout of products, programmes and activities.

In the meantime, it is important to highlight that a critical part of Kwese TV’s current rollout programme includes the establishment of comprehensive in-country infrastructure directly and in collaboration with selected partners to support production of local sports and entertainment programmes.

Econet Media acknowledges with gratitude the enthusiastic and overwhelming support it has received and continues to receive from Zimbabweans and will continue to build on its strategy to bring top quality entertainment at affordable prices whilst creating employment for entrepreneurs and young people.

EconetPremier Soccer League

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of Econet Wireless International, is the first and largest mobile network services provider in Zimbabwe. The telecoms giant became popular with its products and services such as Buddie. It has established branches in different corners of the country and enjoys... Read More About Econet

Football in Zimbabwe cannot be fully understood without mentioning the Premier Soccer League. The Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League is the country’s top flight football league which runs every year with about 16 teams from different regions of the country. The football initiative which is the... Read More About Premier Soccer League

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We’re Currently Not Interested In Zimbabwe Football TV Rights At All, Says Kwese TV

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Solutionism And Zimbabwe’s New Dispensation https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/solutionism-zimbabwes-new-dispensation/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/solutionism-zimbabwes-new-dispensation/#comments Mon, 05 Feb 2018 19:36:46 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886122

Solutionism is the idea that every possible human and real world problem can be solved by technology. This idea is at the core of most of the innovation in Silicon Valley and is the reason why we have so many apps on the Google Playstore and the Apple App Store. Solutionism is the reason why […]

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Solutionism And Zimbabwe’s New Dispensation

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Solutionism is the idea that every possible human and real world problem can be solved by technology.

This idea is at the core of most of the innovation in Silicon Valley and is the reason why we have so many apps on the Google Playstore and the Apple App Store.

Solutionism is the reason why we have Uber, why we have AirBnb, etc.

In the western world they have a cliche that goes like this, “…there’s an app for that…” Basically, what this means is that most of our human tasks and activities can be digitized and managed by technology somehow.

The list just doesn’t end with internet-based technology services and platforms. If you look at the way we do banking nowadays, there is usually a smartphone app somewhere, or an ATM that can do most of what we want to do with our money. The classic debit or credit card that we swipe with is a good example. We have talking and smart speakers these days which can tell you the weather or the news for the day.

Zimbabwe is a country that is undergoing a major transition and most of us have heard it in the media as the “new economic dispensation”. Most of us just translate this to mean that the country is ready to move forward and to prosper once again. Cool right?

Technology is one aspect of this new dispensation that must be a vital part of the transition.

In the new Zimbabwe, we must reject mediocre processes and systems and embrace cutting-edge technology that solves the daily problems that are faced by the ordinary man.

The new electronic voter registration is a good start that I personally applaud. It’s a good move in the right direction. But there’s a whole lot more that we need to do to make things easier and better.

Imagine a Zimbabwe where you don’t need to wait long queues in a passport office because the systems just work and everything can be done electronically.

Imagine a Zimbabwe where you can request for an Uber (or a version of Uber customized to Zimbabwe’s environment. There should be a better way of doing the ‘go-faster’ transportation method right?).

Imagine a Zimbabwe where applying for university is not a pain and where graduates don’t have to physically move from one town to another dropping CVs to prospective employers.

Imagine a Zimbabwe where you can buy airtime at 12 midnight from any bank to any network.

Imagine a Zimbabwe where a farmer can forecast their crop output and control their crop yield via technological machinery.

Imagine a Zimbabwe where commuting to work isn’t a nightmare anymore.

Imagine a Zimbabwe where you can view your actual water usage on some portal and manage your consumption.

Imagine a Zimbabwe where hospitals and clinics use innovative technology to diagnose and administer treatment as well as manage patient records.

The new president has declared that Zimbabwe is “open for business” it is probably time for venture capitalists all over the world to start funding technology hubs such as B2C, and so forth.

But above and beyond, the major point to note and the reason for this article is that the locals themselves and Zimbabweans themselves should start dreaming and embrace the idea of solutionism.

We must endeavour to make the world a better place and it starts in our own backyard. We must dream of better ways of working, better ways of schooling, and better ways of managing our homes and things around us.

Let us come up with innovative technology that will solve the common problems that are faced by the ordinary man in the community.

Solutionism is a mindset we must adopt and once we do, we start seeing solutions for every problem we face and we start making lives better for ourselves and for everyone else.

Not only will life become better, solutionism creates a digital economy and that means that job creation is guaranteed as well as improved systems and processes that improve the quality of life for the ordinary Zimbabwean.

This guest article was authored by James Ritala, a software engineer living in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ritala helps companies build amazing software products that improve their business processes as well as make it easier for their customers to conduct business with them.

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Solutionism And Zimbabwe’s New Dispensation

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YouTube Go Officially Available In Zimbabwe, This Is A Bigger Deal Than You Might Think https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/youtube-go-officially-available-zimbabwe-is-big-deal/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/youtube-go-officially-available-zimbabwe-is-big-deal/#comments Mon, 05 Feb 2018 15:07:55 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886113

YouTube Go was launched last year with India being the first to get the app. After it proved to be popular it was launched in 14 other territories, including some African countries. The response was encouraging and now YouTube Go has been expanded to over 130 countries, Zimbabwe appears to be one of them. We […]

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YouTube Go Officially Available In Zimbabwe, This Is A Bigger Deal Than You Might Think

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YouTube Go was launched last year with India being the first to get the app. After it proved to be popular it was launched in 14 other territories, including some African countries. The response was encouraging and now YouTube Go has been expanded to over 130 countries, Zimbabwe appears to be one of them.

We covered YouTube Go when it was launched but in short it is YouTube for the third world and so is available on Android. The main draw is the ability to download videos which can then be watched offline. The user can then share that video with someone else and they do not need to have internet access to do that.

YouTube Go screenshot 2

A user gets to decide how much data they are willing to spend on a video. A user can either stream or download videos in three qualities; basic, standard and high quality. The exact amount of data each option uses is shown. One is also shown a preview of the video to help users decide if it’s the one they are looking for.

YouTube Go screenshot

When it launched we had some workaround to get the app to work in Zimbabwe but now it is available on the Play Store for everyone, no tricks needed.

Why YouTube Go is a big deal

It is easy to dismiss this development as trivial. Most think of YouTube as the silly viral video platform where one can go watch presidents slipping and falling or parliamentarians hitting each other with chairs.

300 hours of content is uploaded every minute and a sizeable chunk is of no educational value but of those 432,000 hours uploaded every day, the useful content is still more than one could possibly watch.

There are billions of hours of educational content on YouTube, one is not short of How-Tos and DIY videos. I taught myself how to play guitar on YouTube, I know some who taught themselves how to code on the platform. There is a lot of helpful content if you search for it, whatever you may want to research is probably available.

There is also the YouTube Edu, the official YouTube #Education channel which has thousands of educational videos, including those from partners like Khan Academy, Stanford, and TED-Ed.

The only problem in the third world is that data is expensive and so most are not able to fully utilize YouTube. YouTube Go aims to help with that by allowing the downloading and sharing of videos.

YouTube mentioned a startup in Indonesia called Mapan which trains low-income communities and families in rural Indonesia using YouTube Go. They download playlists of videos related to starting and running a small business; they then share these videos with each other using YouTube Go’s nearby sharing function.

Use case in Zimbabwe

I know that some have been downloading YouTube videos using some shady tools. This official and completely legal method is one that even organisations can support. Data can be availed for the downloading of the videos just the one time and then they can be distributed offline.

We covered how POTRAZ will be establishing Community Information Centres (CICs) which are public places where people can access computers, the Internet and other digital technologies that enable them to gather information, create and learn. With YouTube Go, users can download educational videos for further studying when they leave the CICs.

Internet Access Providers

All this is well and good for the Zimbabweans who wish to learn. The internet access providers, however, will not be too excited about YouTube Go. If we all share videos instead of each person watching the same videos online separately, this will reduce our data consumption. Reduced data consumption equals less money spent on data, which means less for the internet access providers.

Voice revenue for the telcos like Econet and NetOne has been falling and they are banking on data to resuscitate revenues. YouTube Go works against this.

For POTRAZ, however, YouTube Go could not have come at a better time. The data requirements at the CICs can be reduced if the app is utilized.

POTRAZEconetNetOne

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe POTRAZ) is the regulatory authority of Zimbabwe's telecommunications sector and was established in terms of the country's Postal and Telecommunications Act Chapter 12:05. POTRAZ was established in February 2001 Read More About POTRAZ

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of Econet Wireless International, is the first and largest mobile network services provider in Zimbabwe. The telecoms giant became popular with its products and services such as Buddie. It has established branches in different corners of the country and enjoys... Read More About Econet

NetOne Zimbabwe was the first mobile phone operator in Zimbabwe, the company was launched in 1996. The company is a privately owned company in which the Zimbabwe government has a stake and was formed as a subsidiary of the Posts and Telecommunications. Corporation (PTC). Service... Read More About NetOne

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YouTube Go Officially Available In Zimbabwe, This Is A Bigger Deal Than You Might Think

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Itel S32 Is The Impressive Budget Smartphone You Have Never Heard Of! https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/itel-s32-impressive-budget-smartphone-never-heard/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/itel-s32-impressive-budget-smartphone-never-heard/#comments Mon, 05 Feb 2018 14:35:03 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886053

Bold claim indeed but even I was shocked by this Itel S32 smartphone. It is an upcoming smartphone brand with some pretty humble specs but a really impressive build. Let’s crack it open and see what we are dealing with. The following is a technical review of this device. For a simplified summary scroll down […]

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Itel S32 Is The Impressive Budget Smartphone You Have Never Heard Of!

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Bold claim indeed but even I was shocked by this Itel S32 smartphone. It is an upcoming smartphone brand with some pretty humble specs but a really impressive build.

Let’s crack it open and see what we are dealing with.

The following is a technical review of this device. For a simplified summary scroll down to the ‘In a nutshell’ section at the bottom of the review.

Unboxing

Box-Contents

The box looks pretty standard, almost flamboyant considering it’s price range too. None the less the presentation is very appealing with accessories grouped in boxes that make good use of the limited space in the box. I know you don’t buy a phone for its box but i’m just a person that appreciates a decent unboxing experience.

x1 Itel S32 smartphone

x1 hard plastic case

x1 battery (Yes its a removable one!)

x1 charger head

x1 microUSB cable

x1 pair earphones

Its a starter pack folks the pure essentials to kick things off. You even get a pre-installed plastic screen protector. Interesting part was the total lack of any literature apart from whats on the box.

Exterior

Interesting things are going on with this phone. It is a very light phone. This is mostly thanks to the extensive use of plastic in its construction. But the build and finish somehow just works.

Itel-S32-front

On the front we have a 5.5 inch HD IPS LCD display which again is a very decent display. Colours are rich and vibrant and as much as 1280 x 720 is a stretch for a 5.5 inch footprint it does fare well at normal viewing distances. Even the blacks of the panel at max brightness were surprising for a phone of this price range.

Above it are some sensors, a selfie flash, a long grill housing the earpiece and a tiny but intense notification LED as well as 2 selfie cameras. One is a 2MP normal angle lens and the other an 8MP wide angle one. Yes this dual selfie camera is becoming a thing now.

Below the display we have some navigation buttons which i personally prefer off the actual display. Thumbs up there Itel…but. Number 1. The recent apps button and the back button are just dots which takes a bit of practice to know which is which.

Number 2. the keys are not back-lit and thus its a hit and miss affair in poorly lit environments.

The top of the device is home to the 3.5mm headphone jack. The left side is completely bare. The right side has the volume rocker and the lightly textured power button. The bottom has the primary mic, the USB port and the loudspeaker.

The back is plastic with a faux brushed aluminium finish which is very immune to fingerprints. There is also a black strip with a silver accent right at the top which is not so immune to them fingerprints.

This black strip is also were the 8MP rear camera is located accompanied by a dual LED flash. Below it is a fingerprint scanner which again is not common in this price range.

The whole back is removable giving you access to a 3000mAh removable battery, 2 sim slots and a micro SD slot as well.

Camera

Let’s start with the rear camera. Its not going to knock your socks off with some superior imaging skills but this 8MP is no slouch either. Give it some healthy lighting and you can easily snap some very pleasing photos. the photography experience is even complete with with a manual mode to milk the most out of your photos.

The photos do suffer a big hit on dynamic range when taking a mix of very bright and very dark scenery. Either the bright parts are well exposed with the shadows almost pitch black or the shadows look good but the highlights look like solar flares.

Low light is definitely a problem because in trying to brighten things up it increases ISO and lengthens the shutter speed. This makes the pictures pretty grainy and also blurry if you are taking a photo of anything that is not perfectly still.

The Flash does help a lot with the grainy part but does introduce the slightest blue tint to the pictures. You also get a pro mode with a couple of manual setting like manual focus, shutter speed, iso, exposure and white balance.

The selfie cameras again suffers from poor lighting to the same extent too. The normal mode is a mere 2MP which makes it more of a gimmick than an actual usable camera. It is too much of a low resolution to work with and detail suffers quite a bit.

The wide angle 8MP camera come to rescue the day and it does so with about 4 times more pixels to work with. Give it some healthy lighting and the selfies you can pull off are pretty amazing. The face beautify does throw in a warm tone to the picture which is pleasing to look at. Its not accurate color though but i’m not complaining.

Audio

Starting off with the loudspeaker you get pretty respectable volume levels. For the most part the audio is pretty balanced overall. There is a slight hint of distortion especially in the mids were some high pitched tones tend to overshadow the mids a bit. Bass is just enough and we  would have loved a little bit more.

Connect a pair of headphones and the experience is surprisingly present. Distortion drops drastically to provide a pretty clean audio experience.

If I were to start nitpicking it would be my personal preference of just a bit more volume and yes you guessed it, a bit more bass. Overall audio performance is surprisingly good.

Connectivity

The Itel is a dual sim device with sim 1 being a micro sim slot and sim 2 a full sized macro sim. It supports GSM up to 3G with no support for CDMA or LTE. The plus side is that you don’t have to choose between a second sim and storage expansion.

Battery

It has been quite a while since we reviewed a smartphone with a removable battery it really brought back fond memories. The battery is a 3000mAh unit capable of keeping the device alive for just about a day of average usage.

Of course we put it through our multimedia torture test and it got a 52% dent on battery after an hour each of video streaming, video recording and gaming. Yes its a bit of a drinker which could be as a result of the vast display size.

Topping it up takes quite a while especially if you do not use the supplied charger with charging via a laptop being the only other option that charges relatively quickly.

This is a completely artificial test which allows us to provide a uniform test environment for all of our devices for purposes of comparison.

Performance

Performance is pretty entry level. You have a 1.3GHz quad core Mediatek MT6580 CPU backed up by 1GB of RAM. Internal storage is 16GB with about 10 of that available to the user. It is running Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box with a very colorful skin ontop

Navigation of the UI it satisfyingly smooth and fluid but the limited RAM shows its dark side when you try to open an app. The media apps like the camera, gallery and music player do take their sweet time to open which can be annoying at times.

The benchmark scores also preach the same gospel confirming that this phone is not for a power user. The performance is for the casual user who is interested in a phone that just covers the bare smartphone basics.

Spec Sheet

O.SAndroid 7.0 Nougat
CPU1.3GHz Quad Core Mediatek MT6580
GPUMali-400
Display and Protection1280x720 HD IPS LCD
Main Camera8MP
Autofocus
Face Detection
LED Flash
Full HD 1920x1088
Secondary Camera8MP + 2MP
Wide angle
Face beautify
Selfie Flash
Storage1GB RAM
16GB Internal Storage
microSD slot
ConnectivityGSM, 2G, 3G
Bluetooth
WiFi
SensorsAcceleration
Proximity
Light
Battery3000mAh
Endurance52% battery drain after an hour each of
Continuous video streaming
Continuous video recording
Continuous gaming
Antutu 5 Score22 796
Price $197
Loudspeaker Loudness74dB (Good)

Extras

Comes with a feature that disable the touch feature if it detects that it was unintentionally unlocked. It also comes with a Carl Care 12 month warranty just in case an unfortunate event occurs and you need a repair or diagnosis.

In a Nutshell

+ Gorgeous looking display with rich colors

+ Solid build and pleasant design

+ Very pleasing audio quality

+ User replaceable battery

+ Wide angle lens

+ Selfie flash

+ $197 is a very reasonable price

+ Fast, accurate and always on fingerprint scanner

– Cameras could use some work especially in poor lighting

– 1GB of RAM is too little making some apps take a while to load

– Battery life could have been better given the hardware

– Performance is entry level

– Charging is quite a long process

Anyone know the Huawei-Honor relationship? For all those that do not know, Honor is a branch of Huawei that turns it down a notch on the premium materials that are on the Huawei devices. Internals remain for the most part unchanged thus offering the same performance of a Huawei smartphone but at a much less trouser troubling price.

Itel here is the Honor of Tecno and throughout the S32 you can sense some relation to the Tecno W5. Itel might be a new brand in the streets of Zimbabwe and some of you might wondering were to place it on your list of familiar brands. Hope you have a bit of an idea now.

The Itel S32 is a midrange smartphone with entry level performance. It has some proper hits but also a fair share of misses. But one thing is for certain, the $197 price point is a seriously tempting offer. Thinking of getting one, you can visit Zack’s Electronics.

 

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Itel S32 Is The Impressive Budget Smartphone You Have Never Heard Of!

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52.3% Of Zimbabweans Say Social Media Is Their Source Of News https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/52-3-percent-zimbabweans-say-social-media-source-of-news/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/52-3-percent-zimbabweans-say-social-media-source-of-news/#comments Mon, 05 Feb 2018 00:13:56 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886088

If you were wondering just how it is that fake news spreads so much in Zimbabwe, wonder no more. The latest poll by Voices of Zimbabwe has revealed that most Zimbabweans get their news from WhatsApp. The poll asked people where they get information about events in the country from. A hefty 42.8% said they […]

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52.3% Of Zimbabweans Say Social Media Is Their Source Of News

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If you were wondering just how it is that fake news spreads so much in Zimbabwe, wonder no more. The latest poll by Voices of Zimbabwe has revealed that most Zimbabweans get their news from WhatsApp.

The poll asked people where they get information about events in the country from. A hefty 42.8% said they get it from WhatsApp, more than the 40.5% who said they get it from local newspapers and news websites. Twitter came in third at 7.1%.

Let’s paint the picture further, 52.3% of Zimbabweans get their news from WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook (this is what we call social media in Zimbabwe.) We know this is so because of the data bundles which make access to these platforms cheaper.

When the same people were asked which source of news is the most reliable, 17.5% said WhatsApp, 10% said Twitter whilst 5% said Facebook. That means 32.5% of Zimbabweans think social media is a reliable source of news.

The takeaways, 52.3% of Zimbabweans get their news from social media and 32.5% think it is a reliable source of news.

What this means is that we need to be responsible when sharing information on social media. Before you forward anything, make sure you verified that it is true. It is your duty as a Zimbabwean citizen. Some will not be able to verify anything due to limited internet access. Some don’t think there is anything to verify, if it’s on WhatsApp it is true.

So before you tell people that microwaved food is killing them or that EcoCash wallets are not secure you need to think about the impact that news will have.

There is a new tool which can help with this problem of ours – WhatsApp Business. This new application allows businesses to have verified accounts, indicated by a tick. Zimbabweans can be educated to look out for the verified accounts of both government institutions and private companies. As a rule, people can be told to assume news is fake if the concerned organization has not confirmed so through its WhatsApp Business account.

The first step however is for all businesses; big and small; private, public and State-owned to have verified accounts. This way we can have a directory of verified business accounts and have that circulated on WhatsApp. Once people know the verified accounts they know exactly who to ask to verify any news they receive.

Zimbabwe is not alone in fighting the scourge that is fake news. It is a problem the world over. There have been deaths and disputed election results owing to false information circulating. Is this a battle that can be won? There won’t ever be complete victory but we need to do every little thing that we can to fight the fake news problem.

WhatsAppEcoCash

WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows mobile phone users to exchange messages without having to pay for Short Message Services costs. WhatsApp Messenger application is compatible with different mobile phone models such as iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia. The... Read More About WhatsApp

EcoCash is a mobile money transfer facility which is run by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. The facility has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception and is arguably the largest mobile money transfer agent considering the huge sums of transactions that the platform is said... Read More About EcoCash

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52.3% Of Zimbabweans Say Social Media Is Their Source Of News

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NMB Customers Get Ready For Four Days Without Some Services As They Upgrade Their Systems https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/nmb-customers-get-ready-four-days-without-services-upgrade-systems/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/nmb-customers-get-ready-four-days-without-services-upgrade-systems/#comments Fri, 02 Feb 2018 10:12:57 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886064

NMB Bank  have sent out a notice to their customers advising of a systems upgrade that will see customers unable to access some services. If you are their customer and somehow you missed the notice, here it is published for you. Or maybe you are owed money by their customer, you may want to scrutinize […]

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NMB Customers Get Ready For Four Days Without Some Services As They Upgrade Their Systems

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NMB Bank  have sent out a notice to their customers advising of a systems upgrade that will see customers unable to access some services. If you are their customer and somehow you missed the notice, here it is published for you. Or maybe you are owed money by their customer, you may want to scrutinize the announcement too:

NMB statement

NMB Bank

NMB Bank Limited is a registered commercial bank in Zimbabwe. It is the principal subsidiary of NMBZ, a Zimbabwean based investment holding company. The bank was founded in October 1992 by James Mushore and others. The bank's group has a dual listing on the Zimbabwean... Read More About NMB Bank

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NMB Customers Get Ready For Four Days Without Some Services As They Upgrade Their Systems

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No EcoCash Transaction Can Complete Without A PIN https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/no-ecocash-transaction-can-complete-without-pin/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/no-ecocash-transaction-can-complete-without-pin/#comments Fri, 02 Feb 2018 08:21:50 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886063

In times like these you wonder, ‘what’s the point of social media?’ It is the convenience and cost savings we seek out but the package seems to come tied in with those who delight in causing panic. Like the joker, some people just want to watch the world burn. For most who read the ‘news’ […]

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No EcoCash Transaction Can Complete Without A PIN

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In times like these you wonder, ‘what’s the point of social media?’ It is the convenience and cost savings we seek out but the package seems to come tied in with those who delight in causing panic. Like the joker, some people just want to watch the world burn.

For most who read the ‘news’ on social media that people can access other people’s EcoCash wallets without PINs, it was clear that it was fake news from the onset. Problem is that quite a good number did believe the fake news. They panicked, as they were wont to do.

Econet and various other news outlets assured people that they had nothing to worry about. The fake news continued to spread regardless. Econet has had to make statement after statement trying to convince people that a PIN is required for any transaction. The latest statement reads,

Kindly note that the short code on social platforms is false. Please disregard it as EcoCash does not allow access to people’s accounts without asking for a pin code. The *151*# EcoCash menu allows customers the convenience of instantly accessing the top level menu. Please note that all transactions on EcoCash cannot complete without a pin. A transaction cannot be successfully made using *151*#. It gives you an error message that reads General fail exception at the end. As long as you keep your PIN private there is no need to worry because with EcoCash your funds are always secure.

On Twitter EcoCash Zimbabwe has had to pin the following statement,

Econet's statement on EcoCash

Seeing as the fake news spread on social media it makes sense that Econet would repond on social media. The only problem is that for some reason, fake news spreads faster and farther than true news. The true account is yet to reach some which is where I think Econet can do better.

They should have sent out SMSs assuring people that there was nothing to worry about. That way they would make sure every single Econet subcriber got that message.

It could be that they did but those SMSs got lost in the clutter. Any Econet customer will tell you that getting multiple SMSs a day comes with the priviledge of owning an Econet line. You could unsubscribe to those SMSs but most have severe cases of ‘Fear Of Missing Out.’ It is times like these that you realise Econet has to change its SMS policy.

EcoCashEconet

EcoCash is a mobile money transfer facility which is run by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. The facility has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception and is arguably the largest mobile money transfer agent considering the huge sums of transactions that the platform is said... Read More About EcoCash

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of Econet Wireless International, is the first and largest mobile network services provider in Zimbabwe. The telecoms giant became popular with its products and services such as Buddie. It has established branches in different corners of the country and enjoys... Read More About Econet

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No EcoCash Transaction Can Complete Without A PIN

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Did Steward Bank Rush The Launch Of Kwenga? https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/steward-bank-rush-launch-kwenga/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/steward-bank-rush-launch-kwenga/#comments Thu, 01 Feb 2018 15:34:23 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886052

We were in attendance when Steward Bank launched Kwenga, an affordable and portable Point of Sale (POS) machine crafted especially for small businesses. The Kwenga products There actually are two Kwenga machines, one requires the user to have a smartphone and costs a mere $35. The Kwenga device and the smartphone then connect via Bluetooth. […]

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Did Steward Bank Rush The Launch Of Kwenga?

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We were in attendance when Steward Bank launched Kwenga, an affordable and portable Point of Sale (POS) machine crafted especially for small businesses.

The Kwenga products

There actually are two Kwenga machines, one requires the user to have a smartphone and costs a mere $35. The Kwenga device and the smartphone then connect via Bluetooth. Most Zimbabweans, in the urban areas at least, have smartphones, that Android phone of yours qualifies, so that’s not really a problem.

The larger Kwenga device costs $200 and does not require the user to have a smartphone.

Up to five people can share a device meaning a user might only have to fork out $7 for the cheaper device if they join forces with others.

Events after the launch

It was then no surprise when all over the internet praises were showered Steward Bank’s way after the launch. Kwenga is a very good product. So much was the interest however that people wanted the product that very day.

People started calling Steward Bank to find out where they could purchase their own Kwengas. People from all over the country wanted to jump on this innovation.

Those who did call were left a bit disappointed. Not only were they told that the Kwenga machines were not yet available, there was no definite date given for when that would be. What made it all worse was that the Steward Bank employees themselves did not seem to know much about the product.

This was confusing for people because at the launch Steward Bank explicitly said the products were being launched that day, not that they were coming. The impression was that one could get one for themselves not that they should be on the lookout for the products.

So Zimbabweans being Zimbabweans, they took to social media to voice their concerns over the launched-but-not-really-launched Kwenga. Now these were people who had gotten their interest roused only to have their hope dashed and so they were not kind in their predictions and proclamations.

Some people mentioned the system challenges Steward Bank has faced in the past and wondered if they had been fixed well enough for the system to cope with the increased demand Kwenga would no doubt bring. Valid concerns if you ask me.

People have a tendency to be overly sensational on social media so it’s difficult to know exactly what people think. We talked to a few people, a small sample not representative of the whole of Zimbabwe, and the sentiment was made clear – they were not too impressed. The products were good but they were questioning whether Steward Bank could actually deliver.

Some people in places like Masvingo were claiming that they were told at Steward Bank branches they would have to travel to Harare get a Kwenga of their own. Today some are saying they were told the device would be ready in four to five days but they haven’t gotten anything yet. At this point it has become harder and harder to tell what is true and what is fake news.

The rushed launch stole Kwenga’s thunder

I reiterate that some of the concerns were legitimate but this whole situation came from people being given time to stew over the products before they could purchase or try them out themselves. Had the products been available at launch, some of the negativity could have been avoided.

It can be said that in some way Steward Bank stole its own thunder. The hype they were supposed to tap into began to die down before they could capitalize on it. One wonders what would have happened if they had waited, say one more week, trained their employees and launched a product that was available to purchase at launch.

Do not get me wrong good people. The Kwenga products themselves are good products, it is one of those ideas that sounds so obvious when you hear it you wonder why no one thought of it before. It is that good as an innovation. (Some banks actually had such an idea pitched to them in the past but lack of foresight saw the idea disregarded.)

It is the launch that could have been done better because as you know, launches can make or break products in some cases. The folks over at Steward Bank are progressive thinkers and were probably too eager to launch, a trait not uncommon with forward thinkers. That’s not to say Kwenga is doomed though.

I think Kwenga will succeed and we might even get some of the other banks launch their own low cost POS machines. I guess Steward Bank were intent on being first to market with such a product they rushed just a little bit. I do not think any of the other banks are anywhere close to launching their own version, I doubt they were even thinking along those lines. Steward Bank could have waited.

What do you think about all this? If you applied for your own, have you received your device yet? If not what were you told about the delay and when can you expect to get the device?

Steward BankMasvingo

Steward Bank, is a commercial bank registered and trading in Zimbabwe. Founded as TN Bank in 2001, it later re-branded in 2013, after majority shareholding was bought by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, becoming the banking partner/platform that EcoCash runs on. Read More About Steward Bank

Masvingo is one of Zimbabwe's smaller cities which is located on south eastern part of Zimbabwe. It is the capital of the Masvingo Province. The city is known mostly for it's proximity to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, an ancient city located about 28 kilometers away.... Read More About Masvingo

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Did Steward Bank Rush The Launch Of Kwenga?

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Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa Speaks on Bitcoin, Calls It Utopian. https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/minister-of-finance-patrick-chinamasa-speaks-on-bitcoin-calls-it-utopian/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/minister-of-finance-patrick-chinamasa-speaks-on-bitcoin-calls-it-utopian/#comments Thu, 01 Feb 2018 14:37:11 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886041

During the World Economic Forum in #Davos, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Patrick Chinamasa was asked if he’d buy Bitcoin at all. Well, his response was quite… interesting. Watch the video below by Business Weekly. If for some reason, you can’t, worry nay, I’ve quoted his response in this article as well. So, […]

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Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa Speaks on Bitcoin, Calls It Utopian.

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During the World Economic Forum in #Davos, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Patrick Chinamasa was asked if he’d buy Bitcoin at all. Well, his response was quite… interesting.

Watch the video below by Business Weekly. If for some reason, you can’t, worry nay, I’ve quoted his response in this article as well.

So, his response to the question “would you buy Bitcoin?” was:

No, no, no that is out of the question. That is still very much of an academic issue. let’s always situate ourselves in our own reality and our own reality is as we speak we don’t even have our own currency. Now to talk about cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin which as you know has not even received the blessing of the IMF.

And as you know cryptocurrency, Bitcoin are something in the terrestrial realm and not something that you can touch. So I think it’s still out of the way for us at the moment. Let’s focus and see how we can get to the position when we have our own currency and we have already again and again spelt between ourselves and The Reserve Bank that we must address of a macroeconomic fundamentals.

We must build Reserves, we must address the issue of the fiscal deficit, we must address the issue of the trade deficit, we must also address the issue of the current account deficit. We need more investments. We must address the issue of production and so on. When all those are done and and we are comfortable that there is trust and confidence in the growth of the economy, then we can start talking about our own local currency and I would not want to be distracted by talking about very as of now for us in Zimbabwe utopian discussions on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

Well, there’s a lot to take home from what he said but generally, what I get from the response is a “forget about Bitcoin we have more pressing matters at hand”.

The problem with such a stance is it shuns away the possibility of the government even considering this as a solution. Maybe the word solution there is a bit too ambitious, but I’m personally convinced that Bitcoin has the potential to alleviate us from these harsh conditions presented by the economic crisis we’re in.

No doubt that we have a cash crisis; a serious shortage of both the valuable forex as well as our not-so-valuable bond notes….but guess what? This is where Bitcoin (or cryptos in general) come in.

From the top of my head, here are some of the ways in which Bitcoin has helped so far in Zimbabwe. The use of Bitcoin has enabled people to have access to more affordable remittance services such as Bitmari and Study263. Also, Bitcoin has made the hustle of making international payments slightly easier.

So to say cryptos are far-fetched in Zimbabwe is actually far-fetched. Bitcoin can be or rather is relevant in Zimbabwe, we just need to figure out how to best leverage it while we build our economy and secure our own currency. I don’t dispute that cryptos may (key word: may) be a bubble, but the thing is we cannot totally stay away without even considering them. Disruptive technology is like that, it never ‘feels’ a 100% safe. So if we’re to move with it as the government has professed to do in future, then we need to be ready to look into innovations as they come, otherwise we’ll miss out on more than we can imagine.

Nonetheless, in essence, instead of just waiting for “IMF to approve”, we need to do a thorough research of our own. After all, unlike most countries in the IMF, we have much more pressing matters than they and therefore can’t afford to slack on the issue.

Patrick ChinamasaBusiness Weekly

Patrick Anthony Chinamasa is a Zimbabwean politician and a member of the ruling Zanu-PF party. He is the current Minister of Finance and Economic Planning .He was reappointed to the ministry after President Emmerson Mnangagwa had appointed his cabinet in November 2017.Chinamasa is former Minister... Read More About Patrick Chinamasa

Business Weekly is a weekly business publication in Zimbabwe owned by Zimpapers. The publication was launched on 10 July 2017 in Harare by the CEO of the group, Pikirayi Dekete. Read More About Business Weekly

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Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa Speaks on Bitcoin, Calls It Utopian.

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ZSE Finds New Revenue Source But Website Issues Persist https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/zse-finds-new-revenue-source-website-issues-persist/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/zse-finds-new-revenue-source-website-issues-persist/#comments Thu, 01 Feb 2018 11:55:33 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886024

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) has refreshed its website. They have gone for a more modern design which is easier to navigate. Upon visiting the site, one is welcomed by four large tabs. The tabs are clearly labeled; Corporate Announcements, My ZSE (Analytics,) Daily Price Sheet and FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions.) The information provided once […]

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ZSE Finds New Revenue Source But Website Issues Persist

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The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) has refreshed its website. They have gone for a more modern design which is easier to navigate.

Upon visiting the site, one is welcomed by four large tabs. The tabs are clearly labeled; Corporate Announcements, My ZSE (Analytics,) Daily Price Sheet and FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions.)

The information provided once one clicks on those tabs is more or less the same as it was before. It is just easier to get to, especially the analytics information.

Clicking on the Daily Price Sheet tab however, one is advised that they will have to pay for that information. This information was free before.

ZSE website screenshot: Daily Price Sheet now for sale

Looking from the outside in, this doesn’t seem like a viable revenue source for the ZSE. It has been a running joke just how ineffectual the official ZSE website is and so it is hardly used. From the outside looking in, it looks like the ZSE is scrounging for scraps here.

In recent years as Zimbabweans have warmed up to capital markets the number of people looking for that information must have increased though. When one also considers the events that transpired in November 2017 in this country and how foreigners have been active on the ZSE, such information must be in higher demand than before.

Right now the ZSE is not performing too well. Since the turn of the year, market capitalization has fallen to around $8.6 billion from just under $10 billion. However, analysts expect that there will be increased activity after the elections as most investors have adopted a wait and see attitude.

As investors, both domestic and foreign, wait to see which direction the nation takes they however are monitoring the ZSE. The ZSE realized they have a monopoly on certain information on the listed counters and as such would make sure they got something for that information. So it may seem like they are scrounging for scraps but it kind of is a smart decision.

The refreshed website

What it is not smart however is the rush in refreshing the ZSE website. A lot of tabs are broken, some information is missing (a good portion of market commentary is nowhere to be found for example), the pages are misaligned and the scrolling is janky. Some text is supersized and some graphs have no labels, which defeats the purpose of the graphs.

ZSE Website screenshot 1

A lot more is wrong on this website, lack of API integration support being a big one. This feature allows third-party websites to extract and analyse data. This might be by design though and not oversight. That information has to be subscribed for now. Maybe such third-party websites will be required to subscribe for that priviledge in the future.

One assumes work on the site is ongoing but it never should have been released to the public in its current state. What is frustrating is that this is not the first time the ZSE has gotten it wrong when it comes to its website.

Back in 2011 the ZSE website was hacked and it stayed down for about two years. The experts we talked to say this was down to the ZSE’s choice of website vendor. After that hacking, the ZSE engaged Big Law as website and data vendor and we all applauded the move. That deal technically involved the ZSE’s content being displayed on Big Law’s website. That union did not last too long though.

After firing Big Data, the ZSE went on to invite website vendor applications in 2016. A new website was launched which to be frank was inferior to the Big Law one. It is that website which has been refreshed/replaced/upgraded. It is not clear if it is the same website vendor responsible for both.

In late December 2017 the ZSE website was hacked again except that time it was their host which was hacked. It was after that hacking that we noticed some market commentary information missing. One could also wonder if the choice of website host needs to be revised too.

I think the ZSE is placing too much weight on the strength it has emanating from having a monopoly on some information on listed companies. They are not too worried about the experience for visitors to their site as evidenced by their website vendor decisions. They figure you will come anyway as they are the sole source of that information. It is quite a dangerous position they have taken.

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange is the country's local bourse which has over sixty trading companies listed. The stock company is based in the capital city Harare and has evolved through various stages in its evolution. Read More About Zimbabwe Stock Exchange

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ZSE Finds New Revenue Source But Website Issues Persist

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WhatsApp Business Now Available In Zimbabwe https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/whatsapp-business-now-available-zimbabwe/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/whatsapp-business-now-available-zimbabwe/#comments Thu, 01 Feb 2018 10:38:52 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1886005

WhatsApp Business is finally in Zimbabwe and we’re still figuring it out, but here’s what we know: Only Available for Android devices, you can download it here You cannot use the same number you use for WhatsApp Messenger to register for WhatsApp Business. If you submit the same number you use for WhatsApp Messenger to register […]

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WhatsApp Business Now Available In Zimbabwe

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WhatsApp Business is finally in Zimbabwe and we’re still figuring it out, but here’s what we know:

  • Only Available for Android devices, you can download it here
  • You cannot use the same number you use for WhatsApp Messenger to register for WhatsApp Business.
  • If you submit the same number you use for WhatsApp Messenger to register for WhatsApp Business, you will automatically be migrated to WhatsApp Business and be removed from WhatsApp Messenger.
  • If you then re-submit the same number you used for WhatsApp Business to gain access to your  WhatsApp Messenger, you will (again) be automatically migrated to WhatsApp Messenger and removed from WhatsApp Business.
  • You cannot change your profile name once entered for registration on WhatsApp Business.
  • You can restore chats from WhatsApp Messenger onto your WhatsApp Business account and vice-versa.
  • You can run both WhatsApp Messenger and WhatsApp Business on the same device.
  • You cannot set up WhatsApp Business with the same number on more than one device.
  • WhatsApp Messenger and WhatsApp Business are two different applications.
  • Although you can see the restored chats from W.Messenger on your W.Business after setting up (that’s if you choose to restore the chats during setting your account up), you cannot continue a conversation from W.Messenger using W.Business as they will appear as two different conversations to the person you’re sending the message to.

Here’s how to register for WhatsApp Business:

1. Download WhatsApp Business from the store (see link above)

 

2. Open WhatsApp Business

3. Enter and verify your business phone number

4. Enter the name of your business

And you’re in!

You can read more on WhatsApp Business here. Here are more screenshots of the App

<We’ll continue to update the post as we learn more>. However, if you discover something we haven’t, feel free to share it in the comments section.

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WhatsApp Business Now Available In Zimbabwe

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Samsung Ventures Into The Mass Production Of Cryptocurrency Mining Chips https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/samsung-ventures-into-the-mass-production-of-cryptocurrency-mining-chips/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/02/samsung-ventures-into-the-mass-production-of-cryptocurrency-mining-chips/#comments Thu, 01 Feb 2018 09:35:50 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1885985

While some are shunning out cryptos (cryptocurrencies) as we’ve seen Stripe and somewhat Facebook do, some are amassing resources in order to invest in it. However, considering how controversial the technology is, this is quite expected. The South Korean multinational electronics company, Samsung Electronics has revealed that it has ventured into the mass production of cryptocurrency mining chips. The chips […]

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Samsung Ventures Into The Mass Production Of Cryptocurrency Mining Chips

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While some are shunning out cryptos (cryptocurrencies) as we’ve seen Stripe and somewhat Facebook do, some are amassing resources in order to invest in it. However, considering how controversial the technology is, this is quite expected.

The South Korean multinational electronics company, Samsung Electronics has revealed that it has ventured into the mass production of cryptocurrency mining chips. The chips known as Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) are being specifically designed by Samsung to perfectly suit cryptocurrency mining.

Cryptocurrency mining is simply the validation of cryptocurrency transactions. Well, the definition is simple but that doesn’t mean the process is too. The validation of these transactions involves solving some complex mathematical problems in order to prove the authenticity and legitimacy of a transaction. Once successfully solved or validated, the miner gets some reward in form of cryptocurrency as well.

This move by Samsung obviously poses some serious threat to the already existing cryptocurrency mining chip manufactures, particularly Bitman. So far, Bitman is the leading cryptocurrency mining chip supplier, speculated to be supplying about 70% of the world’s bitcoin ASICs. However, due to Samsung’s size and reputation, this might change soon.

Samsung also sees a bump in its revenue in the near future due to this new development considering how much of a craze cryptocurrency mining has become. However, there is still the risk of cryptos being ‘bubbles that might burst anytime’ which Samsung needs to look out for. But hey, Samsung is big enough to take care of itself…literally.

Also, this should affect the price of cryptos seeing that a big company like Samsung is investing in them. The more such investments are made, the more confidence people have in cryptocurrencies and just like with fiat currencies, the greater the value thereof since the demand for them also increases.

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Samsung Ventures Into The Mass Production Of Cryptocurrency Mining Chips

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GTeL X6 Plus. 4 Cameras, Tall Display, Gorgeous Looking Shade Of Blue https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/01/gtel-x6-plus-4-cameras-tall-display-gorgeous-looking-shade-of-blue/ https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/01/gtel-x6-plus-4-cameras-tall-display-gorgeous-looking-shade-of-blue/#comments Wed, 31 Jan 2018 18:59:50 +0000 https://www.techzim.co.zw/?p=1885818

So from the pleasing X5 from last year we take a look at GTeL’s latest offering. The GTeL X6 Plus. From the title you may have already gotten an idea of what we are dealing with here. Oh and the blue just looks amazing in the sun. Very amazing. Let’s get on with the details […]

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GTeL X6 Plus. 4 Cameras, Tall Display, Gorgeous Looking Shade Of Blue

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So from the pleasing X5 from last year we take a look at GTeL’s latest offering. The GTeL X6 Plus. From the title you may have already gotten an idea of what we are dealing with here.

Oh and the blue just looks amazing in the sun. Very amazing. Let’s get on with the details now shall we.

The following is a technical review of this device. For a simplified summary scroll down to the ‘In a nutshell’ section at the bottom of the review.

Unboxing

Gtel x6 unboxing

The contents of the box are pretty generous as you would expect from a high end smartphone. Big boxes usually translate to lots of goodies inside and the GTeL X6 Plus box is right there on the bulky side.

  • x1 GTeL X6 Plus smartphone
  • x1 microUSB cable
  • x1 charger head
  • x1 pair of earphones
  • x1 sim ejector tool
  • x1 user manual
  • x1 transparent rubber pouch
  • x1 warranty card
  • x1 pre-installed plastic screen guard
  • x1 tempered glass screen protector
  • screen protector accessories

Our review unit also came with a 16GB memory card pre-installed. Not too sure if retail units will come with those as well.

Exterior

With the X6 Plus, GTeL has gone with the times and adopted the taller displays with 18:9 aspect ratio or 2:1 for all those nitpickers out there.

GTeL-X6-Plus-front2

The display is an HD LCD unit of a resolution of 1440×720. That resolution is spread on a spacious 6 inch footprint which takes a toll on the sharpness of the display. The taller display does make the phone feel like its all screen. Bezels look much smaller than they were on previous models.

The glass panel covering the face is also curved at the edges and its quite a looker. The display does protrude from the body of the phone just like it did on the X5 raising some durability questions. Good thing they included a tempered glass and rubber pouch in the box.

GTeL-X6-Plus-frontscreen

Above the display from the left you have an 8MP wide angle selfie camera perfect for some group shots or just your face and some landscape in the background.

Next to it is a 20MP selfie camera good for some seriously sharp portraits. Next to it is the earpiece followed by some sensors and the front flash.

Below the display is a completely barren chin. Yes we have on-screen navigation buttons on this one.

The top edge of the phone is bare as well, the right edge has some volume buttons and a very very welcome textured power button.

GTeL-X6-Plus-top

The left edge is where you get the hybrid sim slot. It takes either a micro sim and nano sim combo or you can sacrifice the nano sim for a memory card. A dual sim plus dedicated memory card slot offering would have been a welcome option but hey you can never always have what you want right?