Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

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Press Release: Pastel announces dates for Evolution upgrades

Pastel Software Zimbabwe will launch two upgraded versions of Pastel Evolution this year. Version 6.60 will be launched in Zimbabwe in July and Version 6.70 in October, participants in a series of seminars held in Harare were told.

The seminars, which focused chiefly on Pastel Evolution and various applications of Evolution, such as Branch Accounting, Retail Point of Sale and Municipal Billing, were held on March 8 and 9.

Umbono, Google’s first technology incubator in Africa is launched

South African tech entrepreneurs today just got a huge opportunity to have their startups jump started by Google. The global tech giant has announced the launch of its first technology startup incubator in South Africa. The incubator is called Umbono and is based in Cape Town.

Google is working with Silicon Cape Initiative, a community of South Africa tech entrepreneurs and the Bandwidth Barn, a Cape Town based ICT business incubator. Umbono is open to all South African residents and is currently open to applications for its first round of incubation.

Here are some excerpts of the Google blog post:

Zimbabweans and Mozambicans Googling Libya

Zimbabweans and Mozambicans, according to Google Insights for Search, are searching for the term “Libya” a lot more than other search terms on Google.

Google Insights for Search is a tool to analyse the search trends on Google domains world over. The tool computes the number of searches done for given search terms relative to the total number of searches done on the popular search engine over time.

More information revealed on the Nhava Scandal

On the first day of this month, a local daily NewsDay called out Nhava Global for duping Zimbabweans into thinking they design and manufacture netbooks. We posted our thoughts on what is now officially the Nhava scandal. Today, the NewsDay published a follow-up on the article titled “Nhava Global saga rages on”.

Google launches Gmail SMS in more African countries

Google has announced through its Google Africa blog that it has launched Gmail SMS in Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi. In Uganda Google is working with MTN, Uganda Telecom and Orange, in Tanzania with Vodacom and in Malawi with Airtel and TNM. Gmail SMS has been around for some time in Africa. The service is currently supported in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Zambia.

Basically, Gmail SMS enables Gmail users to chat with mobile subscribers on any mobile phone capable of SMS, which is about every mobile phone out there.

NetOne’s OneWallet running on Gemalto’s mobile money transfer solution

Gemalto, an international digital security company, announced today that NetOne is deploying a Gemalto mobile money transfer solution called LinqUs for the OneWallet service.

The OneWallet service was launched by NetOne to stakeholders in January this year becoming the second mobile money transfer service in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile operator, Telecel, launched the first mobile wallet service in December last year.

POTRAZ licenses Zimbabwe’s fourth mobile operator, TelOne

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has revealed through Zimbabwe’s state owned daily, the Herald, that it granted TelOne a GSM mobile phone license late last year.

TelOne is Zimbabwe’s only fixed line operator and is owned by the government. TelOne becomes the country’s fourth mobile operator. The other three are Econet, Telecel and the state owned mobile operator, NetOne.

New Econet service powered by eTXT. SMS to Email, Chat and Facebook

Today, an email tip pointed us to a new product to be launched soon by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. We’re not sure what the product will be named but it can be found right now on and it’s already active.

The service allows you to use SMS to communicate seamlessly with Email, Instant Messaging (Gtalk, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, Facebook Chat) and social media networks like Facebook. It’s powered by a ForgetMeNot Africa application called eTXT.

Introducing our Question & Answer site, Techzim Answers

Sometimes people visit a site like Techzim because they’re looking for some specific information. Sometimes they find it, sometimes they don’t. We see it all the time from the Google search terms that land visitors on the site. Some visitors even email us their questions. “How can I get internet in Chipinge?” for example.

Review: A solar powered mobile phone

Last month, we attended the Econet Energy launch in Harare. At the event Econet gave out some solar powered ZTE-G S316 mobile phones to everyone attending. For us it was a convenient opportunity to review the solar powered mobile phones and provide our general opinion on them.