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Holiday Greetings from Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative!

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Holiday Greetings from Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative!

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Listen to an interview about Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative

Botswana, like many African countries, has a strong history of traditional tribal leadership and administration. Kheira Belkacem from the eGovlab at the University of Stockholm is leading the Botswana Speaks project to enable citizens, traditional leaders and local kgotla assemblies in four constituencies of Botswana to use digital tools to share their views and policy concerns with their elected representatives. Gov 2.0 Radio has just released the interview with her, it’s now live at http://gov20radio.com/2012/12/botswana-speaks/ as well as featured on Gov 2.0 Radio homepage at http://gov20radio.com.

Gov 2.0 Radio has been called “the podcast of a movement.” Founded in early 2009 by Adriel Hampton in San Francisco – supported by Steve Ressler, GovLoop founder – it has quietly grown to be one of the preeminent Internet sources on all things “connected government”… e-gov, gov 2.0 and open gov.

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1st Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative Newsletter Issue – posted on ePractice blog!

Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative released its 1st Newsletter Issue.
A relevant post has been uploaded on ePractice blog – find it out here.

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1st Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative Newsletter Issue – just released!

The 1st Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative Newsletter Issue is just released including a lot of project news, relevant news to the project as well as various, interesting upcoming events.
Find out it here and enjoy reading!
For any comments please contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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1st Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative Newsletter Issue – just released!

The 1st Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative Newsletter Issue is just released including a lot of project news, relevant news to the project as well as various, interesting upcoming events.
Find out it here and enjoy reading!
For any comments please contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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1st Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative Newsletter Issue – just released!

The 1st Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative Newsletter Issue is just released including a lot of project news, relevant news to the project as well as various, interesting upcoming events.
Find out it here and enjoy reading!
For any comments please contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Tanzania: Access to Smart Phones Still Low Despite ICT Growth

Despite high mobile penetration, access to smart phones remains extremely low, at less than 15 per cent, due to prohibitive prices. Yet, smart phones enable users to access internet, thereby promoting the much needed development, especially in the rural areas. According to Blycroft Publishing, a global telecom market research firm, mobile phone market penetration stands at about 70 per cent across Africa, but smart phones penetration remains at between 10 and 15 per cent.

Huawei Technologies (Tanzania) Managing Director, Mr Bruce Zhang said this also applies to Tanzania despite good strides made on tele-density and investments to bridge the digital gap. "Huawei has embraced this opportunity by bringing into the market the less than 100 US dollar (about 160,000/-) smart phones for ordinary people to enjoy broadband," Mr Zhang said on Monday.
He added: "The rapid drop in smart phone pricing will play a major role in bringing Internet connectivity to Africans (and Tanzania) over the next five to 10 years."
Going by the Blycroft's data, the country's tele-density at the end of June, this year reached slightly over 28 million subscribers, meaning only 4.2 million or 15 per cent users possess smart phones.
Mr Zhang said his firm believes that the availability of cheaper mobile broadband and affordable devices will promote the development of localized applications. "(And) that will solve every day problems in the areas of agriculture, health, road safety and education, among others," Mr Zhang said in an interview.

Find out the full version of this article here.

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Nigeria: Microsoft Launches Program for Regional SMEs

The global software giant, Microsoft has announced the launch a new program focused on providing support, benefits and tools for the small and medium businesses (SMB) segment in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.The online program, titled 'Keep Your Business Moving' was designed to assist the MEA region's budding entrepreneurs as well as provide advice to SMB owners already in operation.The program's website will provide information in English, French, Arabic and Turkish.The program is expected to help entrepreneurs start a business, will support SMB owners to take actions to grow their business, increasing their profitability and expand their reach into new markets.Through this initiative, Microsoft will help businesses by providing an online hub for business advice, and up-to-date information on products and solutions specifically available for SMBs.

Speaking about the program, Hennie Loubser, General Manager, West, East, Central Africa andIndian OceanIslands, said that, "Studies indicate that SMBs in the Middle East andAfricaare boosting regional GDP - in Sub-Saharan Africa, they contribute to over 50% of African employment and add 20% to the continent's gross domestic product. With industry experts also forecasting rapid growth in IT spending in MEA in the next few years, we want to provide this innovative community with the tools and support they need to grow.

"There's no doubt that SMBs are increasingly competing in a global market, but they also come from diverse geographies and have very different needs, resources and goals. Cloud computing, mobility, big data and social technologies are key growth drivers in MEA, and Microsoft's advice and solutions will help SMBs take advantage of these trends and become the industry leaders in their region."

According to Loubser, the regional SMB segment has always been a key focus area for Microsoft. "With this exclusive program, we reinforce our commitment to equip small and medium businesses with the best of intellectual capital, ICT solutions, tools, resources and best practices to maximise their return on ICT investments," he adds.

You may find the full article here.

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Growth markets show the biggest rises in usage – 95% of mobile media users engage in South Africa

MEF’s annual Global Consumer Survey surveys mobile media users worldwide to understand changing mobile content and commerce behaviours and trends worldwide. It gives unprecedented data and intelligence into mobile engagement and purchasing habits.
The 2012 study digs deep into consumer trends and attitudes, providing insight and analysis on their wider industry impact with mobile content and commerce broken down into three distinct activities:

  • Purchase – digital or physical goods
  • Research – using the phone to support product/purchase research
  • Banking – transaction or accessing bank accounts

Authored by Tim Green, editor-in-chief Mobile Money Revolution, the survey was carried out by On Device Research and questions 9,50. mobile media users in ten countries, namely: US, UK, China, India, Qatar, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
The report delivers insight that can help both mobile specialists and those who are new to mobile to develop targeted mobile strategies and fully exploit the rich opportunities that mobile provides.

Find more at: http://www.mefmobile.org/activities-and-analytics/analytics/global-consumer-survey-2012

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South Africa: Germany, South Africa Work Together in Science

The German-South African Year of Science is halfway through. The initiative, which runs from April 2012 to April 2013, is aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two countries in the areas of science, technology, innovation and research.
This is the first time South Africa has partnered with Germany in the European country's ongoing series of scientific cooperation years with what it calls "strategically important partner countries". Previous partners include Egypt (2007/2008), Israel (2008/2009), China (2009/2010), Brazil (2010/2011) and Russia (2011/2012).
The initiative arose out of the science and technology agreement signed between South Africa and Germany in 1996, which has seen the establishment of a joint fund that promotes research projects in areas that affect all people on the planet, including life, health, earth and agricultural sciences.
The year of science was launched by former science and technology minister Naledi Pandor and her counterpart Dr Annette Schavan, the German minister of education and research,under the theme Enhancing Science Partnerships for Innovation and Sustainable Development.
"We are proud of our technological heritage, and we've made a disproportionate contribution to technological innovation worldwide, considering our relatively small economy," said Pandor at the launch.

Find the full article published at: http://allafrica.com/stories/201211201156.html

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South Africa: Western Cape Education Department Launches Online, E-Recruitment System

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has introduced a new online system that will make it much easier for teachers to apply for jobs in the province. The online application system was piloted in 2011 for the filling of promotion posts. Learning from and analysing the findings of the pilot, the WCED has since created a new e-Recruitment System. Teachers will be able to use the system on the WCED's web site from 1 December 2012.
We want to recruit the best while reducing the stress and paperwork involved in applying for a teaching post. The e-Recruitment System allows teachers to capture and store their CVs online. They will also be able to edit and update their CVs using the system.
Teachers can then apply for posts online, linking their latest CVs to their applications. The system will immediately generate a letter acknowledging receipt of an application for a post.
Applicants will not have to make copies of documents for each application submitted. They will not have to pay postage costs nor stand in queues to submit applications before closing dates.
The system will allocate a unique identification number to each teacher profile. The department has urged teachers to start compiling their CVs on the e-Recruitment System from 1 December 2012 because they will have to submit all applications online from 1 January 2013.
The new system reflects ongoing innovation by the department as it seeks to improve the way in which it recruits staff.

Find the full article at: http://allafrica.com/stories/201211200917.html

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South Africa: Telkom Plans to Reduce Cost Base

Telkom plans to reduce its cost base, which could affect jobs, in a bid to improve profitability, it said on Monday (19 November).
The company reported a 64.5% drop in basic earnings per share to for the six months to September to 30.2 cents. Group profit before tax declined 48.9% to R547m, largely dragged by the legal impact for the penalty imposed by the Competition Tribunal, higher employee expenses due to annual salary increases and lower fixed-line revenue.
Revenue declined by 1.5% to R16.1bn. Operating expenses increased 1.6 % to R15.6bn.
Chief financial officer Jacques Schindehütte said Telkom was unlikely to continue operating under the current conditions and environment especially given that total expenses were almost the same as revenue. He said the costs base would have to be reduced and employee costs "will come into play".
"We are trying to reduce costs in property and anything related to procurement, labour costs and cost of providing services to rural areas will also receive attention," he said.
But its decision on cost reduction will be determined by the government's strategy related to broadband roll-out in which Telkom is expected to play a key role given that it has the largest infrastructure compared to its competitors. The government recently unveiled its proposed broadband roll-out plans, which are aimed at providing high speed internet services to every citizen by 2020.

To view the full article click at the following link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201211201066.html

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Africa: ITU Ranks Rwanda High in ICT Development

Rwanda has been ranked among six developing countries in the world that are most dynamic performers when it comes to ICT development. This emerged in the latest report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for 2012. The annual report titled "Measuring the Information Society 2012", rank the Republic of Korea as the world's most advanced ICT economy, followed by Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland. The new figures released on Thursday show that ICT uptake continues to grow worldwide, spurred by a steady fall in the price of telephone and broadband internet services. "The most dynamic performers are primarily from the developing world, and include countries from all regions," the report says. Rwanda, Bahrain, Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia are the developing nations with strong dynamic ICT markets because they are catching up quickly in efforts to bridge the so-called 'digital divide'.

To view the full article click at the following link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201210130064.html

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Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative presents its dissemination materials!

Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative presents its dissemination materials!

Find then out here and share with us your comments:

 

- Project Leaflet

- Project Leaflet - printable version

- Project Factsheet

- Project Factsheet – printable version

- Project Poster

- Project Poster – printable version

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[email protected] “My way” is a TEDx event, November 17th, 10am-6pm

[email protected] “My way” is a TEDx event for youth organized by youth. Speakers chosen by highschoolers will share their ideas, dreams and accomplishments in a variety of fields. It’s a day full of great talks, conversations and activities, to inspire you to think, dream and take action and find your own way and place in the world. It will take place at Rocca al mare School (Vabaohumuuseumi tee 8, Tallinn, 13521) in Tallinn, Estonia. Vasilis Koulolias, founder of Gov2u and Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative partner, is a confirmed speaker to this event.

Please find more information related to the event at the following link: http://www.ted.com/tedx/events/6123

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[email protected] “My way” is a TEDx event, November 17th, 10am-6pm

[email protected] “My way” is a TEDx event for youth organized by youth. Speakers chosen by highschoolers will share their ideas, dreams and accomplishments in a variety of fields. It’s a day full of great talks, conversations and activities, to inspire you to think, dream and take action and find your own way and place in the world. It will take place at Rocca al mare School (Vabaohumuuseumi tee 8, Tallinn, 13521) in Tallinn, Estonia. Vasilis Koulolias, founder of Gov2u and Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative partner, is a confirmed speaker to this event.

Please find more information related to the event at the following link: http://www.ted.com/tedx/events/6123

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Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative: Leaflet online

Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative has a new leaflet explaining its objectives and inviting people to get involved. See the online demo.

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Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative: Check out our factsheet online!

Who are the project participants? What is the project’s mission? How to get involved? All questions answered here.

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Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative: Do you like our new poster?

See our poster here and tell us what you think!

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