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.

Seven sub-Saharan African countries are among the states with the fastest average growth in human development over the past 12 years

According to a blog post by the Guardian, US falls 13 places in development rankings once inequality in society is taken into account – while sub-Saharan Africa ranks second only to south Asia for average growth.

 

 

 

 

                                                                          Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

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Africa's IGDP to Reach Five Percent By 2025

According to an article published by AllAfrica Global Media, Africa's internet contribution to overall GDP is set to reach 5 percent by 2025 from the current 1.1 percent largely as a result of increased internet penetration and a growing number of tech savvy youth.

 Image courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Africa’s growth under discussion at Innovative Africa Forum

Innovative Africa Forum in the format of a roundtable discussion on the 27th November 2013 in Kampala, Uganda. Participating will be leading experts driving innovation in Africa including Su Kahumbu, Founder of iCow, Simon Rweyongoza, of Center for Creative Leadership, and Kyai Mullei, Co-Founder of M-Changa. The Forum will be opened by The Rt Hon. Amama Mbabazi, Prime Minister of Uganda.

Innovative Africa Forum - Image source: ic-events.net

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Nigeria grows subscribers to 121m

Nigeria’s mobile phone subscriber base has grown to 121 million, with internet user numbers up from 45 million two years ago, to 48 million.

This is according to President Goodluck Jonathan, whose message was delivered in Bangkok this week at the opening of Nigeria’s Pavilion at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World 2013.

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Internet Can Boost Africa's Economies by Billions

Senegal and Kenya are the African countries where the internet is having the biggest economic impact, according to a new report. Moreover, on November 21st, 2013 Google announced Project Link, an initiative to connect more people in Kampala, Uganda to the Web through a super-fast, high-capacity fiber network to enable any local mobile operator or Internet service provider (ISP) to connect more people in Kampala to a faster, more reliable Internet.

A number of relevant articles for the internet fast growth in Africa can be found here.

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GSMA report reveals that Africa has a leading role in mobile growth

Mobile telephony is an economic booster in Africa and would create 6.6 million jobs in the region by 2020, a new GSMA report reveals. Released today, the report, “Sub-Saharan Africa Mobile Economy 2013” shows that mobile contributes over six per cent of the region’s GDP, higher than any other comparable region globally, and this would rise to over eight per cent by 2020. Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer at GSMA, said despite the significant impact of the mobile industry in Sub-Saharan Africa in recent years, even greater opportunities are ahead.

According to the report, Sub-Saharan Africa’s unique mobile subscriber base has grown by 18 per cent annually over the last five years, making it the fastest growing region globally.

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South Africa Report 2013: Understanding What is Happening in ICT in South Africa a supply- and demand-side analysis of the ICT sector

While the South African information and communication technology (ICT) sector continues to demonstrate dynamic growth, particularly as driven by the mobile sector, the growth has not met the national objective of affordable access to the full range of communication services. Access to mobile services continues to grow, however,broadband access (particularly access to fixed broadband) remains very low in comparison to other lower-middle-income countries, and the prices of all communication services remain high by both African and global standards.

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Local Internet advertising is estimated to grow

South African Internet advertising revenue will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.4% in the next five years. This is according to PwC's latest South African entertainment and media outlook, which shows SA's Internet advertising market is growing at nearly twice the global rate.

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Nigeria: ICT Will Promote SMEs' Growth, Says Okafor

The Chief Executive Officer of connectnigeria.com, Mr. Emeka Okafor, has declared that Nigeria will witness the growth of many Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the coming years as a result of fast-growing technology in the country.

Okafor, who made the disclosure recently while announcing Nigeria's first ever e-business fair to be hosted by the company, said many businesses would reach vast and diverse markets using electronic and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) tools to leverage their operations.

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The African Development Bank SME Program Approval: Boosting Inclusive Growth in Africa

According to an article published on the African Development Bank(AfDB) website,the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved today the Africa Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Program, a four-year, US $125-million funding program combined with a US $3.98-million technical assistance package granted by the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA), aiming at supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Africa. The program will provide standardized lines of credit (LoCs), mostly in local currency, and technical assistance to targeted financial institutions, predominantly in low-income countries spread over all five African regions. The SME Program will avail important longer-term resources to thousands of SMEs including women and youth, thus contributing to job creation, poverty reduction and inclusive growth on the continent.

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SatCom Africa fits the growing demand for communications and internet access

With South Africa being one of the fastest growing countries in Africa it seems only fitting that the demand for communications and internet access is growing at a rapid rate.

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Africa – The next investment frontier

According to an article published on The African Business Review, there is an increasing international perception that Africa is standing now at a turning point. It has become one of the world’s top growth areas (5.6% per annum) thanks to the structural reforms being put in place and its demographic dividend for the next 40 years.

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Africa Demos Forum, an online network of democracy and policy analysts to promote growth, democracy and security in Africa

Richard Joseph, the John Evans Professor of International History and Politics at Northwestern and founder of the forum, has advised President Barack Obama and former President Jimmy Carter on U.S.-Africa policy. He hopes the forum will help inform and inspire Obama to be more proactive on Africa. The initiative is well timed in advance of the president’s upcoming trip to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.

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Africa technology keeps progressing

Africa is unique and home to seven of the ten fastest growing economies globally and, from a mobile point of view, exhibits the second fastest growth outside of Asia. Decision makers across ICT businesses on the continent have gathered on the first day of ITNewsAfrica’s Tech Demo Africa 2013 to endorse the message that Africa’s growth will reach a level to rival that of Europe.

Tech Demo Africa 2013 is an industry platform that offers businesses the opportunity to showcase their products and services, and is targeted at key industry influencers, business leaders, as well as local and international media.

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Will Digital Education Improve Employment In Africa?

While digital technology is growing at an exceptionally rapid rate, the continent is engaging in educating people to meet the need for skilled employees and to tackle unemployment, a major problem in most African countries.

Watch the interesting video and read some interesting articles related to the topic here

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Aspiring Africa: a welcome transformation, but still incomplete

Celebrations are in order on the poorest continent. Never in the half-century since it won independence from the colonial powers has Africa been in such good shape. Its economy is flourishing. Most countries are at peace. Ever fewer children bear arms and record numbers go to school. Mobile phones are as ubiquitous as they are in India and, in the worst-affected countries, HIV infections have fallen by up to three-quarters. Life expectancy rose by a tenth in the past decade and foreign direct investment has tripled. Consumer spending will almost double in the next ten years; the number of countries with average incomes above $1,000 per person a year will grow from less than half of Africa’s 55 states to three-quarters.

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UN MDGs: how mobile phone access promotes gender equality in education

Goal three of the UN's MDGs is to promote gender equality and empower women, including in education. A UN fact sheet from 2010 reveals that gender inequality in education access persists, and while some progress has been made in boosting girls' enrolment at the primary and secondary levels, a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, western Asia and Oceania are in danger of missing the 2015 deadline for gender equality.

The same three regions have experienced phenomenal levels of growth in mobile phone access since 2000. While women's and girls' access to mobile phones generally lags when compared to men, gains are being made as costs of ownership fall. But where do gender parity in education and access to mobile phones intersect?

In many of the places where gender parity in education is most unequal, school systems are plagued by a lack of trained (female) teachers, a scarcity of up-to-date educational materials (especially in mother-tongue languages), and demands placed on the time during the day women and girls are expected to contribute to helping run households and/or businesses for their families. Although mobile phones may not be able to resolve all of these challenges, they could provide assistance.

Mobile phones are increasingly affordable for women and girls in developing countries, offer additional freedom in deciding when and where to use them for learning, and can provide on-demand access to voice- and text-based instructional materials. These characteristics of mobiles, when leveraged appropriately, can help increase gender equality in education by offering training opportunities to prepare additional (female) teachers to enter classrooms, facilitate free access to resources such as Wikipedia for women and girls, as well as enable a degree of flexibility for the time and places that learning can occur.

Yet with all the hype surrounding mobiles for development (M4D), mobile-based learning opportunities devised with women and girls as the intended beneficiaries are surprisingly rare. One reason for this could be that central to an intervention's perceived success is the length of time it takes to register positive outcomes. I believe that this is one of the main factors that stymie the potential of the emerging field of gender, learning and mobiles, especially when operating within an aid context where donors expect large-scale benefits – within months instead of years – with the lowest possible upfront costs to yield these benefits.

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Significant technology trends and developments to shape Africa’s commercial landscape in 2013

ItNewsAfrica.com published an interesting article about the top technological trends that will have impact in Africa in 2013.
The ICT sector will play a major role within global commerce in 2013. Africa has an opportunity to leverage off these trends, possibly even leapfrog, and elevate its international ICT profile.

So what are the trends that businesses must look out for? What are the disruptive/ enabling technologies that will impact existing and emerging markets throughout the continent?

The following list presents the most significant technology trends and developments that will shape Africa’s commercial landscape this year:

1. Growing interest in e-Commerce and online trade

2. Enter the business incubator

3. International tech funds focussing on Africa 

4. Impact of mobility on the workplace 

5. Cloud build-up over markets 

6. More broadband for long-term growth

7. Social media as Africa’s news source

 

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SMEs should integrate IT-based Solutions to enhance operations

According to the relevant article published in allafrica.com, government in Rwanda urges small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) to integrate IT-based solutions to enhance their operations as states the ICT director general, Didier Nkurikiyimfura.

Nkurikiyimfura said new IT innovations were vital in running businesses today since they ease operations and, hence, boost enterprise growth, who was recently speaking during the launch of business software, Cumulus, which will enable businesses handle different aspects of operations at the same time.

Cumulus is powered by Rwandan-based IT firm, Twenty Third Century Systems (TTCS) and SAP, the world's leading business solutions software company.

TTCS Rwanda has partnered with local Rwandan IT companies, including the government-owned Broadband Systems Corporation, on the project.

"This new system will enable our SMEs streamline their operations and increase business insight, reduce IT cost and increase business agility," Nkurikiyimfura said.

"Having one system allows you to manage your business from any angle. Businesses, especially when they are growing, need to be competitive," explained Pankaj Pema, speaking on behalf of Cumulus.

 

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Let's Harness the Potential of ICTs

The advent of information communication technology growth, which has extended the tentacles of globalisation with unprecedented rapidity, has been met with apprehension in some quarters and embraced as an opportunity in others.
 
The rate at which we adopt the ICTs and gradually adapt to the new reality of the interconnectedness of the world where it is no longer possible to ignore what is happening miles away in terms of technological advancement, will determine how quickly we better serve our different constituents by harnessing the potential of ICTs.
 
Zimbabwe is one country that has to a large extent, brought the use of computers and related communication technology aboard its many processes, with results beginning to show though largely in the private sector.
 

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