Mukela.com: Selling the Dream

This post is by Mukela co-founder, Tawanda Sibanda, was originally posted on Launching Tech Ventures. It contains Mukela's experience selling their idea to Hotels locally. Some great advice in there for tech start-ups. Mukela won the the inaugural ZOL Start-up Challenge in September this year.
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Connectivity

Zimbo Jam celebrates 3rd birthday

In November 2008 Fungai Tichawangana set up the Zimbo Jam website (www.zimbojam.com) from his study at home. It is now Zimbabwe’s biggest website covering lifestyle, arts and entertainment with up to 3 million page views and over 100,000 unique visitors every month. The site’s Facebook page has over 5,600 fans and videos posted on its YouTube channel have been known to get up to 5,000 views in a matter of days.
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Startups

Are women afraid of venturing into ICTs

We came across a lively young lady after yesterday’s Breakfast Briefing on Cloud Computing. While the event was a success, this young lady touched on a few details that could make such events even better. The highlight of her feedback was that there were only four women in attendance at the event and that promoting a more balanced atmosphere is good for the sector.
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Connectivity

Innov8 launches online bookshop. An interview with Milton Kamwendo

Book readers in Zimbabwe can now shop for books online on Innov8’s newly launched online bookshop. The launch of the new site was announced by Innov8 founder, Milton Kamwendo, on Twitter and can be visited on the address www.innov8bookshop.biz. We held an interview with Milton Kamwendo to discuss Innov8’s new service, its chances of success in a country of low internet penetration and payment processing for the online bookshop. We post below the questions and answer we had with him.
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Connectivity

The EMC Cloud Computing breakfast briefing (Pictures)

Today, we spent the morning at the Cloud Computing breakfast briefing , which we organized together with EMC and Utande. The few hours of cloud talk was quite interesting for us and for a lot of attendees we talked to, helped demystify the technical issues to do with using cloud based services locally.
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Connectivity

ZISPA & web entrepreneurs, here’s how we can simplify domain registration

Why don’t we link the domains to mobile phone numbers? We’ve spoken to the Zimbabwe Internet Service Providers Association (ZISPA) about the difficulties of registering a .co.zw domain name. In an interview, Troy Prinsloo the current ZISPA chairman explained to us that they are working to address one of the main problems with domain registration in Zimbabwe, which is that it takes too long. Two to three days, even more sometimes.
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No, the Zimbabwe government and Apple are not in iPad joint venture

Yesterday’s Newsday reported that the Ministry of Education will be working in conjunction with Apple to introduce solar powered iPads for rural schools. Just reading through the article, it doesn’t take much to see this is not factually correct. The article stems from a post made by Education Minister David Coltart on his Facebook wall after he met officials from the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) in Dublin. Here’s the full text of the post.
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Connectivity

ZimSwitch to provide internet payment gateway for Zimbabwe

As you may already know, ZimSwitch revealed these past few weeks a mobile money platform called ZimSwitch Mobile that’s already being used by a couple of local banks. ZimSwitch has signed up a total of 12 banks to their shared services platform and the 12 make up about 85% of Zimbabwe’s banked population. We recently communicated with ZimSwitch business development manager, Adam Roscoe, and he disclosed some news that will no doubt excite internet entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe. ZimSwitch is working to launch an internet payment gateway.
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Connectivity

A snap summary of EMC Corporation

Next Tuesday, we will be hosting EMC at a cloud computing breakfast briefing in conjunction with Utande. In preparation for the event, we've put together the visual below such to provide a better understanding of the company.
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UN Broadband Commission sets broadband targets for 2015

At the ongoing Broadband Leadership Summit, the UN Broadband Commission endorsed today new broadband targets for countries to implement by 2015.
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Connectivity

HMetro website down, again

For the second time this month, the HMetro website is down. The state owned tabloid famous for sensational articles and photography of Harare’s social life has been down for some several days now. The Website is just the online version of a popular print newspaper.
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Why Zimbabwe needs more .co.zw domains

Speaking to the many tech entrepreneurs we meet locally, they all tell you they prefer registering .com domains over .co.zw. It is way easier, cheaper and faster the argument goes. “Why do I need to wait a couple of days just to get a domain registered?” is the question that follows.
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Connectivity

Webdev to launch a Facebook for Zimbabwe

Webdev, the internet company behind Zimbabwe’s most successful online classifieds will be launching a social networking website in the coming weeks. So far the website is called simply Social but we’re told there may be a change of name. Visiting the website’s address on social.co.zw loads a ‘launching soon’ banner and some points about what the network will be:
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Connectivity

12 banks implementing ZimSwitch Mobile. Platform to be mobile network neutral

We met ZimSwitch business development manager Adam Roscoe this week to discuss the newly unveiled ZimSwitch Mobile platform. Roscoe disclosed in the interview that a total of 12 financial institutions are either live, performing tests, or starting implementation of ZimSwitch Mobile. The platform enables all financial institutions connected to ZimSwitch (currently 19 Institutions) to offer […]
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Trustco & Econet to resume Ecolife pending Supreme Court determination

Today, we received communication from Trustco today confirming that they have been allowed to execute judgement as handed down by the High Court in July. The Trustco contact we communicated with says the court order was served to Econet today and all things [Ecolife that is, will be] back to normal shortly.
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Connectivity

Cloud Computing event slated for 1 November

On the 1st of November; Techzim events will be hosting a Breakfast Briefing on Cloud Computing. The event is being held in conjunction with EMC SADC and Utande. It will allow the two partners to inform attendees about their cloud based solutions and also empower IT managers, directors and executives with industry trends and localisation strategies. Along with an increase in mobile connectivity, Cloud computing has become one of the most significant technologies to happen in the last decade and presents significant cost and efficiency advantages.
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Press Release: Chips Computing launches Sage ERP X3 Standard Edition

Chips Computing Services, which represents Sage Enterprise Software in Zimbabwe, officially launched the latest version of Sage Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) X3, Standard Edition, at a function held in Harare last Friday (14 October).
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Connectivity

Understanding Telecel Zimbabwe: The past, present and future (Infographic)

The Russian led Vimpelcom Group took over Orascom Telecom not too long ago, thereby resulting in an indirect majority shareholding in Telecel Zimbabwe. We believe the Vimpelcom deal was the best thing that could ever happen to the company. The global telecoms sector is undergoing a period of consolidation in which larger operators are able to pass on economies of scale and cost advantages to consumers. Africa has witnessed its fair share of consolidation resulting in the emergence of pan-African operators we have profiled here in a Techzim series known as Africa’s Telecoms Titans.
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Broadband

Copied work: The Econet Broadband ad campaign

A very striking similarity between Econet Broadband ads and those Allen Solly (a retail chain in India) recently came to our attention. The Econet campaign was created by Young and Rubicam Johannesburg, which since last year has listed Econet Wireless as one of its major accounts.
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Connectivity

Google launches classifieds website in Kenya

Today, Google announced that it has launched Google Trader, a classifieds service, in Kenya. Here’s the address: google.co.ke/africa/trader. According to a post on the Google Africa blog, thousands of businesses have already posted tens of thousands of classifieds listings on the site and the content is growing.
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Miscellaneous

I’m investing in Zim Agriculture, says African award winning telecoms exec

Last week, we received a press release on the winning of a Global Telecoms Business award by Norman Moyo, an exec at Tanzanian mobile operator called Zantel. We posted the story here. Moyo has worked for Celtel in Zambian and Nigeria, Econet Wireless in Zimbabwe and Zain in Bahrain. He was recognised as one of the top 40 global executives under the age of 40 in the telecoms industry. For the article, we asked Moyo what he is investing in back home. His response was something we found quite interesting. Here's an extract:
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Broadband

Of Facebook penetration, privacy and security

I had always heard/read about the exponential growth of Facebook users over the past couple of years, but it really didn’t quite sink in. The problem was I was seeing the same old faces I knew and a few surprises here and there, so much that it got to a point where I wasn’t really motivated to log on. So I took a break. Now, upon coming back a few months ago, I really experienced that growth.
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