News & Events

Our blog is where you'll find all our project updates,highlights and achievements, as well as other news and events related to Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative.

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Botswana Speaks highlighted at the World e-Parliament Conference 2014, Seoul

The opportunities and risks of using social media was the red line running through the conference. Members on every continent are grappling with ways to make effective use to social networks to engage citizens in authentic conversation about the issues that matter to them.

The presentation by Hon. Motlhale from Botswana was a great demonstration of how parliament can use SMS messages to listen to the people.

More details here

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Angola: Govt Announces Creation of ICT Offices in Ministerial Departments

Angolan government has decided to create the information and communication technologies offices in all ministerial departments and private networks to ensure development of various services.

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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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South African Apps Teaching Kids to Be Creative With Technology

According to local artist and entrepreneur Danielle Orkin, the adoption of technology for entertainment, learning and developmental assessment amongst children is expected to increase in South Africa significantly because of the rise of smart device usage in the country.

Orkin is the developer of South Africa's first of its kind locally developed edutainment app for children, Monster Moogle, which was recently launched by Colormeclever Digital Kids, a partnership formed between Orkin and tech start up accelerators Fontera Skunk Works (a division of Fontera Digital Works) and SeedEngine.

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Rwanda Media Hub: the first incubator for digital media and media production enterprises in East Africa

The Rwanda Media Hub, the first incubator for digital media and media production enterprises in East Africa, will today be launched by the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR).

The media incubator with $450,000 (about Rwf301m) in seed funding will support local media entrepreneurs with access to seed grants, office space and mentoring to help foster a vibrant media in the country.

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Microsoft taking lead on e-learning in Africa

According to the article published on IT News Africa website, Microsoft yesterday co-chaired a roundtable discussion on the need for private and public partnerships (PPPs) to deliver relevant, sustainable and scalable solutions that will promote e-learning in Africa.

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South Africa's ICT is becoming more accessible to women

According to an articled publised on IT News Africa website, South Africa's Information Communications Technology (ICT) industry is becoming more accessible to women. Over the past few years, a number of senior female executives have moved up the ranks, but the numbers, compared to male counterparts are still low. Kgabo Ralebepa, Associate Director in the IT Audit division at SekelaXabiso believes it is up to her female counterparts to turn these figures around.

Women should focus on developing their business and leadership skills which will enable them to take up leadership roles within any organisation. This can be done by further developing their management skills and getting involved in other areas of their respective businesses.

Image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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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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4-Day ICT4D Conference opened in Nairobi, 25 March 2014

The ICT for Development (ICT4D) conference organised by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) kicked off on March 25th, 2014 in Nairobi, the second time the meeting comes to Kenya. The theme of the 4-day meeting is "Building Resilience through Innovation."

The conference was aimed at showcasing the use of ICT in relief and development efforts and will focus on the ways in which technology enables resilience by supporting developing communities to reduce vulnerabilities and coming up with ways that promote the health and well-being of its members.

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Uganda will host the 9th E-learning meeting for Africa

Uganda will host the 9th E -Learning African conferences on information and communication Technology for the development, Education and training.

The meeting which is scheduled to commence on the 28th - 30th May in Kampala, Uganda at the common wealth resort Speke Hotel Munyonyo on the shores of Lake Victoria, will explore how technology revolutionizing learning and training across the continent can led to the improvement in the trainings being conducted by the various training institutions in Africa , the eLearning Africa 2014 will bring together policy experts, educational professionals and business leaders to tackle this and other topics.

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Business expectations of IT higher than ever before

CIOS and IT managers are faced with higher expectations from their businesses than ever before - which thry must with tighter budgets.

The balance of power between IT departments and the rest of the business has shifted decisively in the past few years. Users are no longer prepared to take IT’s word for it about what is and isn’t possible. The new generation of virtualised modern data centres needs to meet exceptionally high expectations for round-the-clock availability and reliability.

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Nigeria: ICT Infrastructure - African Governments Not Spending Enough Money, IBM

Nairobi — The Chief Scientist of IBM Research Africa, Dr. Uyi Stewart has said that African governments are not spending enough money in building Informationa Communication Technology Infratsructure to leapflog into the information age which is the most valuable commodity.

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Africa: Wikipedia Expands Free Access in Developing Countries

The Wikimedia Foundation is on the quest to expand its content and access to it for users in developing nations.

As part of its 'Wikipedia Zero' initiative the foundation is trying to make mobile access to Wikipedia free of internet data charges and to develop content in local languages.

"We started Wikipedia Zero because we [perceived] the trend that Wikipedia usage is shifting to mobiles, and [for it to] grow and expand in developing countries, we needed to [do more to] support the service on mobile," says Carolynne Schloeder, director of mobile programs at the Wikimedia Foundation.

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Big 7 African telcos enter landmark agreement

As a result of high-level meetings at this year's Mobile World Congress, seven major mobile operators across Africa and the Middle East have developed a roadmap to cooperate on network infrastructure sharing initiatives.
“We are greatly encouraged by the shared vision of mobile operators and the common urgency to find solutions that will drive down the cost of mobile and Internet services and help connect the unconnected,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA.

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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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This is how Africa tweets

Twitter activity in Africa during the last quarter of 2013 peaked on the day of Nelson Mandela’s death, according to How Africa Tweets, a new study analysing Twitter activity on the continent.

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eLearning Africa Report: eLearning a focus for Africa

According to the article published on ITNews Africa website, more than ever before, Africans are turning to ICT-supported learning to grow their economies. In 2013, the eLearning Africa Report found that 40% of African technology-assisted learning professionals were using ICTs specifically for skills training, up from 18% the previous year.

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Nigeria: Demo-Africa 2014 Set for Nigeria in September

DEMO-Africa has released the dates for the third annual DEMO Africa to be held between September 22 - 26, 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria. The series of events will be hosted in collaboration with the Nigeria Federal Ministry of ICT, the [email protected] Partnership, VC4Africa, and Nigeria's National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

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