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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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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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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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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SA mobile data traffic to grow eight-fold

According to an article published on IT Web AFRICA, mobile data traffic in South Africa is forecast to increase almost eight-fold over the next five years and as the segment grow twice as fast as fixed IP traffic in the country.

This is according to networking technology firm Cisco, which further predicts that mobile traffic growth in the country could be double that of fixed line traffic.

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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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Mobile data is ‘black gold’

According to an article published on BizTechAfrica, digital trends specialist Tomi Ahonen believes mobile data is the black gold of 21st century, and it remains the next sure frontier for companies.

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Mobile East Africa 2014 opens in Nairobi, Wednesday

It is all systems go for the fourth Mobile East Africa, which gets underway on Wednesday.

According to an article published on BizTechAfrica, Former Kenya’s Permanent Secretary of Information and Communication Dr. Bitange Ndemo and mobile expert Tomi Ahonen will grace the three-day interactive mobile-focused meeting which opens in Nairobi on Wednesday.

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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'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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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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48% of Kenyans pay utility bills via mobile money

According to an article published on IT Web Africa, almost half of Kenyans are using mobile money to pay their utility bills. This is according to a survey commissioned by the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) in conjunction with Think Business. Survey results indicate that 48% of Kenyans use mobile money to pay for utilities such as electricity and water. Meanwhile, 60% of Kenyans use mobile money for financial and banking services, according to the survey.

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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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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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Nigeria: Five Habits of Nigerian Mobile Users

According to an article published on allAfrica.com, if there's any country that has experienced the digital revolution in its entirety, it is Nigeria. The GSM boom from 2001 changed the face of technology. But it didn't end there; it birthed a new culture for the Nigerian people, creating funny habits, language and traditions. Perhaps it might be imperative to give insight on some of them.

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Rwanda: Technology and Its Amazing Changes in Our Lives

Does anyone know what happened to letter writing, telegraphs and fax mail, as means of long distance communication? Remember that time when the post office was the only place the whole town converged to communicate? What about the dependency on pagers for texting and a walkman for music?

According to an article published on allAfrica.com, technology has been experiencing rapid change in recent years; gadgets have gotten smaller, more powerful, and more efficient. They are everywhere and play increasingly greater roles in the lives of almost everyone. Rwandans have not been spared.

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Surging mobile internet demand straining African telecom networks

Telecom companies in the Middle East and Africa could face growing quality of service (QoS) issues in future because of a rise in internet usage fueled by more affordable smart mobile devices.

Mahmoud Samy -- area head Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan at Arbor Networks -- told the Trade Arabia publication that the Mideast and Africa could see a 31% traffic leap on consumer internet by 2017 from a 10% growth level in 2012.

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10 exciting African gaming start-ups to watch

There is no doubt that the worldwide gaming industry is huge – so large in fact, that it generates more revenue than Hollywood. According to an article published on IT NEWS AFRICA, while development studios in the rest of the world have been producing mobile, PC and console games for many decades, Africa seems to be the youngest player in the market.

With that in mind, IT News Africa profiles the leading players on the African gaming scene.

1. Kunle Ogungbamila – Kuluya

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Major Tech Trends of 2013 and how they shaped the Technology Ecosystem in Nigeria

According to an article published on Techtrendsng, the year started on a very high note and we anticipated that it would be a great year for technology development in Nigeria. Several Tech events took place which brought about some level of awareness in global tech trends and also paved way for projections into 2014.

The major Tech Trends of 2013 that did motivate great change in Nigeria’s tech scene are based on Increased eCommerce adoption, several Broadband development plans by government, Big Data and Cloud Computing Awareness and implementation, Increased Digital Marketing, Adoption of Social Commerce, increased Mobile penetration and  in the use of smart phones, increased number of Startups, Support for App Development initiatives.

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Predictions for 2014 and trends that will impact the industry

According to an article published on IT NEWS AFRICA, with the year wrapping up and companies looking toward 2014, Jay Kidd, Chief Technology Officer and senior vice president at NetApp, gives his predictions for 2014 and the trends that will impact the industry including flash, cloud, and software-defined. He also takes a look back at 2013 and the predictions that came true.
Kidd believes the key themes that will emerge in the upcoming year include The “Parting of the Clouds” into a Hybrid Cloud of clearly distinguished IT service offerings, and the acceleration in adoption of technologies that have emerged in the past two years.

 

Image courtesy of hyena reality at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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