It happens all the time but this is definitely extreme. South African tech blogs reported that a web development company actually charged the South African government at least R97 million for a website. The website is basically just WordPress (free) and a WordPress theme (about $40) that they clearly didn't modify much. Here's a screenshot of the theme.
Recently I accompanied a sick relative for a medical checkup at one of our government hospitals. It took over five minutes for the on call nurse to find her name in the register book and verify her appointment.
"Copac needs US$500 000 to print more copies" went yesterday's headline in Zimbabwe's most read Sunday paper, The Sunday Mail. That article was pointed to us by biNu Zimbabwe representative, William Chui, when he notified us of a new app on their platform created to alleviate that distribution problem.
We were recently in touch with Simukayi Mukuna, one of the two co-founders of a new pay-per-view video streaming service called Wabona. The service was launched in beta in November last year, and the Wabona team has since been accepted into a 88mph startup incubator in South Africa. it was great opportunity therefore for us to hear out their perspectives and plans withe the service.
BiNu, the smartphone in the cloud company has hired former ForgetMeNot Africa CEO, Jeremy George, to help grow biNu users and usage in Africa. We met with George last week in Harare and he discussed their strategy on the continent going forward, the sum of which is to grow content and users.
Yesterday, we posted that Telecel's $30 3G modem was the latest and greatest modem deal out there. Not quite true, commented an Econet staffer seconds after we hit the publish button!
It's now March 2013, a whole year and 7 months after the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange website was taken down after a hacking incident. For a reason only the ZSE would know, it's still down.
Last week, Telecel launched what the company may consider to be their biggest product launch of this year; Telecel Red. The product is basically an attempt to attract subscribers to post-paid contracts – the contracts 95% of Africans are known to shy away from.
Econet Wireless customers will soon be able to borrow money from a facility set up at TN Bank by the cell phone company to buy high end smartphones and tablets. Customers will be able to upgrade their phones, which they can get from Econet Shops.
Telecel announced early today via an SMS to subscribers the reduction of its 3G modems price from US $45 to $30. Subscribers will also get 300mb of data along with a new modem. We’re told it’s a promotion, which means the deal has an expiry date.
Their mission is clear, and 25,000 Facebook fans in just a few months is testament to the need for the service: Helping students excel in school by providing useful revision tools and information. And they couldn't have launched at a better time.
Agribank has become the latest Zimbabwean bank to integrate with the EcoCash mobile money transfer system. The announcement was made today at a press conference jointly held by the bank and Econet Wireless today in Harare. The integration is basically the same as that which Econet has secured with 3 banks so far i.e. to allow EcoCash customers to transfer money between their Agribank account and their EcoCash wallet, and the ability to do that even when they are out of the country.
The internet has been described as a global system of interconnected computer networks that makes use a suite of protocols to serve billions of users worldwide.
Econet just sent out a press release today to basically say they’d like to go back to their founding roots when the majority of the company’s shares where in the hands of ordinary people, and that to do that they will be splitting the company's shares 10 to 1.
Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), has released the December 2012 (4th quarter) mobile phone and fixed telephone subscribers statistics. According to statistics that we received from the regulator, Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration is now 97%, up from 85% in June 2012.
Sometime in 2009, after quenching my thirst with (Ubuntu) Linux for two years I decided it was time to give back to the community. I am not a very talented code writer, I know that much, nor did i see any reason to wast whatever few talents I had on the oversubscribed international Ubuntu Community so I jumped to join the Local Ubuntu team.
Yesterday, Econet made an announcement via a release to assure the market that issues (these, issues) have been resolved with “virtually all banks” and that if everything works according to plan, all banks that want to be connected to EcoCash, would be integrated by end of March 2013. According to the release Econet is apparently responding to fears by some financial institutions that they’ll lose customer to EcoCash integrated banks.
Day 2 of the Culture Shift Zimbabwe ideation was held yesterday. The main purpose of the day was for teams of techies and cultural people to form teams based on solutions that they want to work on. It was really great watching the ideas come together, additional features suggested and lumped into the solution, then stripped off, simplified.
Today was the first of the two day Culture Shift Ideation, an event to get software developers, designers, creative arts people and entrepreneurs to find solutions to problems in the arts sector that can be solved by technology. It was great having individuals and organisations from the arts side get to learn of the possibilities tech platforms avail locally.
Pastel Software Zimbabwe will on March 12 launch Sage Pastel My Business Online, a cloud‑based accounting programme designed for start-up and small businesses that enables them to do their accounts online from anywhere in the world. This web-based business software solution can be accessed from anywhere using a computer, iPad, smartphone or even an iPhone, as it has an iPhone application.
I thought it wise to start with a disclaimer: This is not a Windows vs. Linux article. God knows enough of those have been written much to the chagrin of penguin lovers. It just seems to me like Linux is slipping it terms of their bug swatting vigilance.
Just a week after announcing the hire of former FNB executive to head its newly acquired bank, Econet disclosed today (somewhat inadvertently) the hire of another banker, Cuthbert Tembedza, to fill a newly created position of EcoCash CEO.
Appfrica announced today the winners of the 2012 Apps4Africa business app challenge. The three winners of the 3rd edition of the challenge are startups from Nigeria, Uganda and Ghana. Each of the three will get US $10,000. The winning startups were selected from a list of 30 finalists announced 3 weeks ago.
Today, Telecel launched its Telecel Red product, which is basically a fixed payment plan platform meant to attract subscribers back to the post-paid plans (contract lines). We posted a press release from the company earlier. The product is targeting the middle to upper income bracket customers, who according to information so far, will get preferential treatment as customers in terms of support.
Telecel has introduced a new fixed payment platform and is offering existing and potential customers new attractive fixed payment contract packages that allow unlimited local calls and bonus text messages and data.
We’re just from a press conference where Econet Wireless and Stanbic Bank announced the integration of Econet’s mobile money transfer platform, EcoCash, with Stanbic’s banking system allowing EcoCash subscribers to transfer money from and to their Stanbic accounts. Selected branches of Stanbic will also act as EcoCash Super Agents allowing EcoCash agents and customers to do EcoCash transactions.