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.

72% Of Kenyans Lack Internet Access

Accoridng to an article published on VENTURES AFRICA, more than 72 percent of Kenyans lack access to the internet, while 11 percent also lack telephone access, according to Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK).

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Innovation Dinner: Big data, big ideas straight to the cloud, 4th June 2013, South Africa

The ITNewsAfrica Innovation Dinner Series is a bi-monthly event designed for senior ICT executives. The event offers a great opportunity for networking, acquiring information and strategic planning.

Once every 2 months, industry players meet in an intimate, relaxed environment, over good food and wine to create new relationships and promote their organizations.

The theme of the Innovation Dinner held on 4th June 2013 is "Big Data Cloud & the African Enterprise". Find more information at: 

The next Innovation Dinner in Nigeria will be held on 26 June, 2013.
If you would like to attend the Nigeria event as a guest, Click Here to register.

Learn more ...

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Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) 2013: Call for Participation

Theme: ‘‘Internet Governance for Empowerment, National Integration & Security through Multi-stakeholders’ Engagement’’-Featuring - Exclusive Business Opportunities in the Internet Industry for the Youths

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Internet: a "tremendous force for economic growth and social change" in Africa

A new report issued by Dalberg Global Development Advisors, supported by Google Africa, indicates that the Internet is a tremendous, undisputed force for economic growth and social change in Africa. The study focused on the current and potential impact of the Internet in four countries: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal.

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Batswana free education through the use of computers and internet

Accoring to an article published on Daily News, Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture has approached Bill and Melinda Gates in the United States of America to assist in bringing library services in Botswana at par with the information technology era.

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Botswana improves in global ICT ranking

An authoritative World Economic Forum report on the global state of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has ranked Botswana sixth in Africa, up from tenth in the 2011 edition of the report. Released last week, the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Information Technology Report (GITR) is among the most respected research periodicals on the level of ICT readiness worldwide. The 2012 edition of the report has grown to 142 countries from 138 last year, which in total accounts for 98 percent of the world's Gross Domestic Product.

In this year's GITR, Botswana scored highest for its political and regulatory environment, where it was ranked 40th in the world of the 142 countries assessed.

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Ethiopia: Ericsson launches school broadband project

Global telecommunication services operator Ericsson has launched a new school broadband project in Ethiopia aimed at boosting Internet services for local schools in an effort to increase infrastructure and services for the younger generation.

It said that it will bring “voice and data communications to the Millennium Village Project (MVP) in Koraro in a remote part of northern Ethiopia as a way of increasing understanding and access to Internet for schools. With access to 3G connectivity more than 4,000 students and their teachers at two schools involved in the Connect To Learn initiative will now have access to modern learning and teaching resources through Ericsson’s cloud-computing platform,” Ericsson said in a statement released on Thursday.

Read here the whole original article

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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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Any problems in South Africa's broadband access could risk economic growth

Charlie Fripp, Consumer Tech Editor in ITNewsAfrica explains that south africa's broadband could jeopardise its economic growth. Moreover, the World Economic Forum highlights in its annual  Global Information Technology Report 2013 that countries such as South Africa are at risk of damaging their economic growth if they fail to tend to the currently problems of broadband access.

On the list of 144 countries, in terms of broadband access South Africa ranked only 70th, with fellow BROCS nations Russia is coming in at 55th, China ranks 58th, followed by Brazil (60th), India (68th), and then South Africa.

“The BRICS economies, led by Russia continue to lag behind in the rankings. The report suggests that their rapid economic growth may be in jeopardy unless the right investments are made in ICT, skills and innovation,” the WEF wrote.

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Nigeria to Host Forum on Local Internet Content Development

The Internet eXchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), is collaborating with the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), managers of Nigeria’s country code Top Level Domain, .ng, to organise Local Internet Content Forum.
According to statement signed by Muhammed Rudman, managing director and chief executive officer, IXPN and Opeoluwa Odusan, chief operating officer, NIRA, the two day forum scheduled for last week of April, 2013 will hold in Lagos.
The two-day Forum with the theme: “*Sustaining Local Internet Content, the way forward for Nigeria”*, seeks to facilitate increased Nigerian content on the Internet, the hosting of such content, locally, and an increased adoption of .ng as the domain name of choice, particularly among Nigerians.

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Microsoft gives internet access to rural areas in Africa

An interesting article featured in "" 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 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 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”.


Original article

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Internet Corporation President: “Africa will not wait”

The President of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said he is moving ahead immediately with plans to have six new ICANN representatives on the African continent.

“ICANN used to say if you want to participate in Internet governance come to ICANN,” said Fadi Chehadé. “We’ve changed that, now ICANN is coming to the stakeholders. We’re not waiting for you to come. We’re coming to you.”
Chehadé made his comments during a two-day Africa Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance meeting of Internet leaders from across the continent, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“We will have ICANN staff, at least one, in each of the six regions of Africa. North, South, East, West, Central and the Indian Ocean,” said Chehadé. “I want African on-ramps into the ICANN structures. I will give you the on-ramps, but you need to climb them.”
The ICANN leader also said he would like to see a dramatic increase in the number of accredited Domain Name Registrars on the African continent.

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Botswana Telecommunications Corporations (BTC) reduces the internet prices

According to a statement from BTC, the prices of dedicated internet to its business customers have been reduced by up to 46 percent depending on capacity and contract duration. Retail ADSL Broadband connection service - direct sales to businesses and residential customers - has been reduced by up to 27 percent.

In August last year, BTC slashed its wholesale internet bandwidth prices by 59 percent due to the commissioning of the West Africa Cable System (WACS) undersea cable. The cable links South Africa with the United Kingdom (UK) along the west coast of Africa, covering a distance of 14,000km.

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How Mobile Phone Penetration is Driving Internet usage in Africa

A research commissioned by mobile advertising network, Twinpine has given fresh insight into the unprecedented growth of the African mobile market, revealing that mobile penetration is driving internet usage across West Africa and playing a fundamental r ole in fuelling economic growth. The study – An analysis of Mobile Technology in West Africa: The Case Of Nigeria, Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire was carried out in conjunction with Kenya-based iHub Research   and analysed mobile usage across Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

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45% fewer women in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to the Internet than men

It comes as no surprise that a recent report released by Intel Corporation finds a huge Internet gender gap in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the report, 45% fewer women in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to the Internet than men. Moreover, one in five women in Egypt believes the Internet is ‘not appropriate’ for them. Such sentiment seems counter-intuitve considering the Internet is regarded as a tool of empowerment. However, internalized gender norms and traditional family expectations limit Internet adoption in many regions and households.

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