Computer News - In Brief

- Makerere University's Faculty of Computing and Information Technology (CIT) last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Computer Board of Mauritius and the country's investment authority, Invest in Mauritius. The understanding has laid the basis for over 300 Ugandans going to Mauritius for employment.

- The Kano state government of Nigeria has distributed over 2,000 laptop computers worth over N200million to the academic staff of six government owned tertiary institutions in the state.

- In Tanzania, Citibank has launched online treasury interactive trading platform. The trading platform allows clients to reduce the cost and time involved in executing deals. It is a flexible system which removes language and logistical barriers.

- The Information Technology (Industry) Association of Nigeria (ITAN) recently launched an initiative called OldSchool Computer-in-School Initiative, (OS-CISI.) The objective is to deploy computers with educational materials to Old Students' (OS) primary/secondary schools at the first level and then to OS nominated schools at the second level. The third level is to deploy PCs to randomly selected schools across the six geo-political regions of Nigeria. The OSCISI initiative is projected to be executed in three phases over a period of 7 years (2008 - 2015) and it is to deliver more than 1,000,000 PCs/laptops (brand new/ fairly used) during the period.

- In Algeria, VAT on laptops’ sales has been reduced from 17% to 7%, according to the provisions of the 2008 Supplementary Finance Act made public Thursday by the Directorate-General of Taxation. This reduction is effective till 31 December 2009, according to Article 24 of the 2008 Supplementary Finance Act.

- Software developer Red Hat has opened an office in SA in a bid to woo more companies from brand name software to free-to-use open-source systems.

- The Fedora project announced the release of Fedora 10 alpha, the first step towards the release of Fedora 10, codenamed Cambridge, in October. The alpha release represents a sanitised snapshot of rawhide, Fedora’s development branch, which undergoes rapid changes before becoming the next major release.

- A South African team participating in the Tall Ships’ Race this month will be using XO laptops to log their progress. The team has been sponsored by the One Laptop Per Child project and will use the low-cost machines to write up their daily progress.

- Yousuf Gabru, MEC for Education in the Western Cape, opened the first solar-powered school computer laboratory in the province. The Khanya Project of the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) installed the laboratory at Bernadino Heights Secondary School in Kraaifontein.

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