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.

Free Wi-Fi areas for South Africans – Zuma

According to the interesting article published on ITNewsAfrica website, on the topic of connectivity in South Africa, Zuma highlighted that the government would invest heavily in broadband. “We will invest in a comprehensive plan to expand broadband access throughout the country and substantially reduce the cost of communication,” he said.

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Broadband a ‘win-win’ for governments

According to an article published on BizTechAfrica, how broadband could improve economics and create a win-win situation for governments was the fulcrum of a presented by the Chief Executive of Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), Engr. Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai at the  recent e-Nigeria conference on local content hosted by Nigerian IT Development Agency (NITDA) in Abuja.

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Africa: Investment in ICT Will Reduce Africa's Poverty, Says Itu Boss

According to an article published on allAfrica.com, he private sector should invest more in the information communication technology (ICT) industry to increase Africa's connectivity that will help transform the continent, create jobs and reduce poverty.

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Focus on ICT in South Sudan

The Republic of South Sudan, formerly known as Southern Sudan, is located in East-Central Africa and forms part of the United Nations sub-region of Eastern Africa. Although a recently formed state, and still in the process of building its economy, there is already a significant amount of activity within the country’s ICT sector, particularly efforts to expand broadband connectivity and mobile services. Towards the end of 2012, it was reported that much is expected from the country’s pan-African e-Network Project to develop numerous projects using technology and e-government as the basis for infrastructure development across Africa.

Read the full original article here

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South Africa: Devices in Schools - How a South African School Uses Tablets

Mark Elkins describes his experience visiting the Sunward Park High School, Sonskyn Rd, Sunward Park, Boksburg (Johannesburg). The school has recently embarked on a one tablet per child project.

The School is an old Model-C school. Teachers are generally white or Indian and the learners are about 90 percent black. It is by no means a rich school. There are about 1250 children - excluding the matric learners (matric learners are those students in their final high school year before joining university). There are three double storey blocks of classrooms and a further block which houses administration and a school hall. Classes are usually just under 40 learners.This school has achieved some interesting goals. They have a very active soccer program with an on-site dormitory for 20 or so learners.

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Mobility, connectivity and the cloud – trends driving ICT

Eckart Zollner, Business Development Manager at Jasco ICT Solutions, writes an interesting article in ItNewsAfrica.com commenting on the several factors that have driven the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) market, creating shifts in the way businesses operate.

Zoller explains that these trends include the explosion of the smartphone and tablet market, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) revolution and the emergence of cloud computing locally as a truly viable technology in a host of different areas. All of these trends however are driven by one overarching megatrend – increased connectivity and a move towards always on, always connected technology.

To view his original full article click here

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Microsoft gives internet access to rural areas in Africa

An interesting article featured in "HoWeMadeItInAfrica.com" explains that ICT in Africa is a blooming industry, but internet penetration on the continent was at about 11.5% in 2011. Even with the laying of new submarine cables, the continent lags behind the rest of the world in broadband development and requires innovative solutions to its Africa-specific problems.

One of the continent’s challenges that needs to be addressed surrounds the issue of providing underserviced rural areas – that are often not even connected to an electrical grid – with internet access.

A solution to this can be seen in a pilot network in Kenya that makes use of solar-powered towers that tap into unlicensed “white space” frequencies. This initiative was launched by Microsoft in February, in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communications; Indigo, a Kenyan internet service provider; and US-based wireless startup, Adaptrum.

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Botswana expects cheaper internet rates and faster services

John Churu writes in Biztechafrica.com an interesting article about the developments in internet services in Botswana.

When an undersea fibre optic cable, in which Botswana has invested USD37.5 million (P281 million), goes live in the first half of May 2013, internet users in Botswana are expected to reap the proceeds of improved internet services, in the form of cheaper rates and a faster service.

The West Africa Cable System (WACS) which carries data and telephony services links Europe to 15 landing stations along the west coast of Africa, including South Africa. Since Botswana has no direct link to the sea, government partnered with Namibia to each raise USD37.5 million (P277.5 million at current rates) to "buy into" the project with other countries.

The two countries own 9.2% of the project, which will be operated on an open access policy with other stakeholders. Due to be launched in Swartkopmund, Namibia in mid-May, WACS will become the latest submarine cable system Botswana since the East Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy).

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Seacom restored services for the majority of Southern and Eastern Africa

Chris Tredger, Online Editor of ItNewsAfrica.com wrote an interesting article concerning the disruption to Internet connectivity between Africa and Europe as a result of damage to Seacom undersea cable infrastructure. The company has issued a statement saying that “it had been able to add significant capacity to the network and as a result, has restored services for the majority of customers across Southern and Eastern Africa.”

Seacom has also stated that over the last 36 hours it has been able to augment the IP network to relieve congestion.

According to Seacom all customers whose services are restored are being contacted directly to advise them of the circuits now in service.

This latest development follows a statement by the company, released on Sunday, stating the company’s ongoing effort to restore transmission customers across the Mediterranean Sea and that “optimisation of the IP network is also going to relieve congestion …”

It is not clear as to when repairs will be completed and transmission services fully restored. On Monday South African internet services provider Internet Solutions notified clients that repairs could take till April.

In an email dated 23 March, Internet Solutions responded to a service request by saying that the impact of the current cut and subsequent repairs will be increased latency from South Africa, and “Repairs to be completed ETA 05 April 2013”.

 

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