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.

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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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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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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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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Times of Zambia: The Darkside of Social Media

According to the analysis made in the article published in Times of Zambia, the question about the darkside of social media is what is a child exposed to on social media? How often do people chat and share information with people they barely know?

It is a fact, that social networks are really hot right now. Teens are spending a great deal of time on sites like MySpace, Facebook and others. While social network sites do have merit, they allow people from all over the world to connect.

People can connect with friends and family who live far away. They can socialise and keep in touch with friends, share pictures, music and videos and play fun games. But there is a dark side to social networks. This is something that every parent with a social network surfing teen should know.

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Top 10 internet countries in Africa

Internet access has yet to reach more than 50% of Africans, but the continent’s connectivity levels are nevertheless growing very quickly. US-based networking solutions company Mushroom Networks has compiled a graphic that illustrates Africa’s top ten internet markets. The data has been compiled by various sources including the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and Internet World Stats.

And below is the list of the top ten African countries..

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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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Kenya's IT Sector Will Hit Sh85 Billion in Two Years

According to an article published on allAfrica.com, Kenya's Information Technology market is expected to be worth Sh85 billion in the next two years compared to Sh64 billion by the end of 2013. According to Technology, Media and Telecommunication Predictions report by Deloitte, this was highly driven by continued investment in the market and rise in demand for IT solutions.

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iMENTORS Newsletter: Use, re-use and combine data.Plus: trade ideas and information

iMENTORS, that begun in April 2012 by Stockholm UniversityandGov2u, launched version three in December 2013 and is one step closer to mapping the majority of e-infrastructure (resources, tools and data supporting community research and development) of the past five years in Sub-Saharan Africa in order to lay a foundation for better services, encourage research and connect cross-continental progress. Click here to read the latest issue

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How African businesses can overcome the technology adoption gap

According to an article published on BizTechAfrica, IBM  announced the results of a new study entitled ‘Setting the pace in Africa: How IT leaders deliver on the potential of emerging technologies’, which found that while nearly 87 percent of African IT leaders rank new technologies such as analytics, cloud, mobile and social media as being critical to business success, only 53% are pushing forward with adoption.

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87% of CEOs in Africa to take on technology this year

According to an article published on IT NEWS AFRICA, almost 90% of CEOs in Africa plan to increase investment in technology in 2014 and position technology amongst the top three considerations, claim media reports covering research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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Sanitation wins at the MEST-UNICEF Hackathon

According to an article published on TechyAfrica, for those who have been following tech events in Ghana over the past week, you are aware of the MEST UNICEF Hackathon, which happened at MEST from the 15th – 17th January. It was the largest gathering of techies I had seen since the DevCongress conference. You couldn’t tell whether it was for social good, since it was a UNICEF collaboration, or for the GHC 5000 cash prize.

Over the next 3 days, it was all about forming teams, coming up with ideas, hacking and finally pitching the solutions.

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IT engineers, Students, Researchers, Users, Providers...the third version of iMENTORS is for You

 

iMENTORS, that begun in April 2012 by Stockholm UniversityandGov2u, launched version three in December 2013 and is one step closer to mapping the majority of e-infrastructure (resources, tools and data supporting community research and development) of the past five years in Sub-Saharan Africa in order to lay a foundation for better services, encourage research and connect cross-continental progress.

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African e-Learning service providers at the top of their class

According to an article published on IT NEWS AFRICA, with South African media reports claiming that space is limited at public tertiary education institutions, the reality facing many who have matriculated is that whilst their efforts may have earned university exemption, they may not necessarily have secured a place.

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Botswana: new power payment channels successful

According to an article published onBiztechAfrica, Botswana Power Corporation says new payment channels such as the internet and mobile have improved service delivery and customer satisfaction in Botswana.

The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has largely achieved its pre-paid electricity project’s objective of improving accessibility and bringing services closer to the customers, says BPC marketing and communications manager Spencer Moreri.

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87% of CEOs in Africa to take on technology this year

According to an article published on IT NEWS AFRICA, almost 90% of CEOs in Africa plan to increase investment in technology in 2014 and position technology amongst the top three considerations, claim media reports covering research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

PwC’s 16th Annual Global CEO Survey reveals that the perception of technology amongst senior executives is that it is an easy enabler of agility and growth because it helps with risk management and skills development and retention.

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Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative pilot phase extended!

Although the pilot phase of the initiative was originally scheduled until 10th December 2013, it has been extended until the end of February 2014. Moreover, a final workshop will be organised with eGovlab, Honourable Member of Parliament and the Team in the Parliament in Gaborone in February 2014 to gather impressions and feedback from the pilot phase, and to discuss the sustainability of the project after the pilot.

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You can be part of Botswana Speaks platform and participate online!

Constituents from Nata/Gweta, Boteti North, Maun West and South East South, can use U-Speak to share an issue, an opinion or request information to their Member of Parliament (MP)!

 

Login now and submit an issue to your MP via the online platform or via SMS and let your MP know your concerns!

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If you are a citizen of another constituency, you can give your opinion on issues that concern you and legislation that is currently discussed in the Parliament.

Sign in on the Speak4yourself platform and send your input to the MPs who participate in these debates!

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