Botswana Speaks blog

830 cases on the Botswana Speaks platform!

Since April 2013, constituents from Nata/Gweta, Boteti North, Maun West and South East South have been using the Botswana Speaks platform (U-Speak) to share issues, opinions or to request information from their Members of Parliament.
Botswana Speaks gave a chance to Members of Parliament from those four constituencies to receive input and to reply directly to them via the online platform or via SMS! At the end of the pilot (March 2014) there were 830 cases on U-Speak!

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Key lessons learnt from the evaluation of the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative

Success factors:

The pilot phase of the project was initiated as scheduled in April 2013. Since then some interesting outcomes have emerged from the pilot phase in line with the overall objectives of the project:
•    Citizens have shared their views with their MPs;
•    Parliament has made bills and motions available to the public early in the decision-making process (April 2013);
•    Some MPs responded to their constituents’ via the platform;
•    Constituency meetings took place regularly to present the project;
•    Capacity building enhanced throughout the pilot phase;
•    Initiative was very well received at international events.

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“Inclusive Innovation in Governance: Critical reflections from Botswana” to be presented @ UKAIS 2014 Conference

An analytical paper on the Botswana Speaks project titled “Inclusive Innovation in Governance: Critical reflections from Botswana” by Somya Joshi, Kheira Belkacem, Vasilis Koulolias and Vasso Zalavra was accepted for the 19th UKAIS Conference on Information Systems in Oxford, UK. It will be presented by Somya Joshi on 9 April. 

This paper will be reworked in line with peer-reviewed comments and additional end user data that has come in during March 2014, to be submitted to a top journal in the field of ICT4D.

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Ready to use toolkit

A ready to use toolkit was created following the validation of the platform. It includes:

·      A version of the latest software used, ready for installation.

·      General documentation for the software.

·      Training modules on Initiative Planning / Initiative Implementation.

·      Training material on Marketing, and relevant promotional material in editable versions.

 

Image courtesy of Keerati / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This tool kit aims at interested local, regional, national African institutions that plan to initiate, implement or finance initiatives to foster participative models towards decision-making who can use it to evaluate, plan and manage those initiatives. 

The link to the toolkit will be available soon.

 

 

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U.S. Investments Surge For African Tech Entrepreneurs

According to an article published on TechCrunch, from the largest technology companies to early stage investors, American high tech companies and venture capitalists are increasingly supporting startups across the African continent.

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Angola, Namibia, Nigeria Fastest Growing Countries In Africa

According to an article published on Ventures Africa, Angola, Namibia and Nigeria are the fastest growing countries in Africa in terms of wealth per capita, according to a report by New World Wealth.

The countries were ranked by wealth growth between 2000 and 2013. Angola recorded a percentage growth of 527 percent, Namibia had 289 percent and Nigeria recorded 275 percent growth. Zimbabwe came last on the list, recording a negative growth rate of 10 percent.

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Kenya: ICT Firms to Showcase Latest Innovations At Digital Fair

ICT stakeholders are set for a major digital exposition, aimed at bridging the huge gap between the rate of innovations and their adoption, which threatens the fast developing local industry.

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Nigeria: Three Nigerians Among Top 10 Finalists in Google's 'Africa Connected' Competition

According to an article published on allAfrica.com, Google, Friday, announced that three Nigerians were part of the top 10 finalists in its Google "Africa Connected" Competition.

In a statement, Google said that the three Nigerian finalists were Eric Obuh, a social crusader; Eseoghene Odiete, a fashion designer; and Mayowa Adegbile, a philanthropist.

The organisation said that the top 10 finalists also include two Kenyans, a Senegalese, a South African, a Zimbabwean and a Ghanaian.

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Nigeria to seek accelerated African tech transformation

According to an article published on IT NEWS AFRICA, the UN Economic Commission for Africa in collaboration with the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the Ministry of Communications Technology (FMCT), and Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) will hold a high level policy dialogue on the theme: Science, Technology, and Innovation and the African Transformation Agenda, on 24-25 March 2014 in Abuja.

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Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative to be rolled-out to all constituencies

Hon. Odirile Motlhale, Chairman for the Committee on Communications, Works, Transport and Technology, and Member of Parliament (MP) involved in the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative, has announced during a Committee meeting on 5 February 2014 that the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative will be rolled-out to all constituencies. Since April 2013, constituents from Nata/Gweta, Boteti North, Maun West and South East South have been using the Botswana Speaks platform to share issues, opinions or to request information from their Members of Parliament. Project partners from eGovlab (University of Stockholm) and Gov2u met with the partners of the Parliament of Botswana in Gaborone to evaluate the initial results of the pilot phase and decided that the pilot would be extended until the end of March 2014 in order to allow more participation and encourage more young people to be involved.

Trying out the platform in Gweta

Botswana_Speaks_Press_Release_20022014_English.docx

Botswana_Speaks_Press_Release_20022014.docx_TRANS.docx

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Announcing EduNet 2014 to be hosted by Obafemi Awolowo University

EduNet 2014 is hosted by ICT Centre of Obafemi Awolowo University and the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Development Studies (IFEDS) of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife Nigeria in Partnership with Tel Aviv University Entrepreneurship Centre (StarTAU), Israel.

Theme: Fostering Technology Entrepreneurship in Nigerian Universities

Date: May 20-22, 2014

Venue: Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

The three day event will look at issues around building Technology Entrepreneurship Ecosystem within the Nigerian University Community with key examples from the Israel Technology and Innovation Ecosystem.

Oren Simanian, Founder of Tel Aviv University Entrepreneurship Centre and his team from Israel will lead discussions on How Nigeria can create Technology Entrepreneurship Ecosystem with lessons from Israel -the Start-up Nation.

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SA mobile data traffic to grow eight-fold

According to an article published on IT Web AFRICA, mobile data traffic in South Africa is forecast to increase almost eight-fold over the next five years and as the segment grow twice as fast as fixed IP traffic in the country.

This is according to networking technology firm Cisco, which further predicts that mobile traffic growth in the country could be double that of fixed line traffic.

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7 Reasons Why Libraries Are the New Telecentres

According to an article published on ICTworks, as those, who have been in and around community-based ICT/Internet access (community informatics) initiatives well know, the primary dilemma for these activities (e.g. Telecentres) is how to ensure sufficient sustainability, organizational stability and programmatic flexibility to allow for survival once the immediate round of funding which helped them launch, runs out.

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Mobile data is ‘black gold’

According to an article published on BizTechAfrica, digital trends specialist Tomi Ahonen believes mobile data is the black gold of 21st century, and it remains the next sure frontier for companies.

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Fresh in from Kampala…

According to an article published on the eLearning Africa News Portal,  few months from now, delegates from all over Africa and the world will convene in Kampala, Uganda, to discuss and share the very best in African ICT, education and innovation at eLearning Africa.

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UN suggests statistics development goal

According to an article published on SciDev.Net, a UN agency is advocating for improved capabilities in gathering and using statistics as a central aspect of the post-2015 global development agenda to help governments make more effective decisions based on quality data.

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) emphasised the need for significant investments in statistical capacity building — especially among developing countries — during the release of the ESCAP Statistical Yearbook for Asia and Pacific 2013 last month (3 December).

 

Image courtesy of domdeen / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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A new horizon for African-European research links

According to an article published on SciDev.Net, for scientists across Europe, last month marked the official start of a fresh wave of funding opportunities from the European Union (EU). On 11 December, the European Commission finally released the detailed topics and budgets available for the first two years of Horizon 2020, the EU’s eighth research and innovation funding package, worth nearly €80 billion (around US$110 billion) in total from 2014 to 2020.

 

Image courtesy of xedos4 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Mobile East Africa 2014 opens in Nairobi, Wednesday

It is all systems go for the fourth Mobile East Africa, which gets underway on Wednesday.

According to an article published on BizTechAfrica, Former Kenya’s Permanent Secretary of Information and Communication Dr. Bitange Ndemo and mobile expert Tomi Ahonen will grace the three-day interactive mobile-focused meeting which opens in Nairobi on Wednesday.

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Africa and Middle East in Need of High Performance Wireless Connectivity Technologies

According to an article published on allAfrica.com, the lack of robust technologies that can maintain their high performance even in harsh climate has been cited as the cause poor services to customers according to wireless manufacturer Cambium Networks.

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Kenya: Teachers in Kwale Get Laptop Skills

According to an article published on allAfrica.com, the county director of Education in Kwale, Juma Mwatenga, has said 39 primary school teachers are being trained at Matuga School of Government on how to use laptops.

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