Issue no 617 10th August 2012

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Top story

  • Africa’s thirst for social networking seems insatiable and homegrown products to meet this thirst, like MXit and 2go, have really got traction. It’s a mixture of flirting, free messaging and meeting real people that draws people in. With the current numbers, advertisers will begin to use mobile as a media and support their development. Russell Southwood spoke to Marc Herson, 2go about how it will seek to expand.

    2go is a mobile social network where people can use IM to chat with their friends for free and meet new friends in its chat-rooms. In total, it has over 20 million registered users, of which 3-3.5 million use it on a daily basis. Over the last 30 days there have been 8 million active users. Its biggest market is Nigeria (61% of total) which has 12.5 m users, followed by South Africa(31%) with 6.5 million users, followed by Kenya (4%) and Other (4%).

    It’s continuing to grow at between 40,000-60,000 registered users a day. All this has been achieved with virtually no marketing and lots of word of mouth. When users sign up, they can send notifications to their friends to join.

    The users are young: 74% are 15-24 year olds in South Africa and 60% in Nigeria. The gender balance is almost equal in South Africa with 49% women but slightly more male in Nigeria with 64% men:”In South Africa, it’s the women cleaning our office and the person trying to sell me a prepaid mobile at the corner-store. In Nigeria, users are more educated and sophisticated.”

    It is a profitable start-up launched by two South Africans, Alan Wolff and Ashley Peter, while they were studying at Wits University several years ago. Currently it’s self-funded but it may look for VC funding in the future. As Herson (part of whose background is in VC funding at Softbank) told us:”I’ve only recently joined 2go and I’m their first non-technology executive hire. I’m also a minority, equity stakeholder in the business.”

    It’s focused on giving users a light application that will work on low-end phones:”We are totally focused on creating the most nimble and lightweight technology. A great deal of users in Nigeria have feature phones so it’s easy to use Java-based applications. You simply download it, answer a few questions like your age and you’re ready to go.”

    It supports around 1,000 different feature phones (J2ME), Blackberry (with BIS integration) and Android. Better still, its messaging integrates with Gtalk, Facebook and MXit Chat so users don’t have to choose between these applications.

    The messaging is free but there are premium elements, primary paid chat rooms. The key source of income is Go Credits, which the user buys within the application and users use to get messages in chat rooms. 2go also offers three premium advertising formats: 1) A clickable full screen advert when the users logs in to the app; 2) goFriends; and 3)  sponsored chat rooms. 2go is pitching to advertisers that click-through and user engagement rates are between 5-35%. It is also offering market research through sending polls to its considerable user base. They have also had advertising from big brand names like McDonalds in South Africa. Herson doesn’t want 2go to overload the simplicity of what it does:”AOL and Yahoo tried to be everything to everybody. If you’re everything to everybody, you lose your focus. We need to make sure that users know why they’re there, chat and meet. It’s got to be simple and fun.” That said, it has also added on little pieces of content, things like text-based jokes.

    In geographic terms, it wants to focus on those places where it’s already got a foothold rather than tearing off all over the globe. This means building its offer, market share and revenues in its two key markets.

    The 2go team, has also soft-launched another company with an app called Friendura, ten days ago that offers private chat and instant sharing of photos and text up-dates. Unlike 2go, which enables anonymity in a public chat environment, Friendura conversations are limited to only people in the network. Herson says that sign-ups over the two weeks have been brisk and describes it as giving the user “instantaneous sharing of personal moments.”

    Mobile Entertainment Africa returns to Cape Town on August 29th and 30th. Building on the success of the critically acclaimed and sold out inaugural event, MEA2012 will once again feature a superb format, top notch 5* venue and a best-in-class speaker faculty. Mobile Entertainment Africa is firmly established as Africa's leading event focussing on the mobile entertainment ecosystem and the 2012 edition is on track to exceed the achievements of last year's event. Key contributors include Marc Herson (2go), Peter Matthaei (MXit), Emma Kaye (Bozza), Mike Sharman (Retroviral), Lynne Gordon (Brandtone), Michael Ugwu (iROKING), Michelle Atagana (Memeburn), Lelany Sommers (Research in Motion), Russell Southwood (Balancing Act), Marie Lora-Mungai (Buni Media) and Eric Edelstein (evly.com). For more information on Mobile Entertainment Africa 2012 visit the websit here:

    To follow the exchanges about this news, you need to be on Twitter. Follow us on @BalancingActAfr

    A bumper crop of video clips this week on Balancing Act’s You Tube channel:

    Envir Fraser, Convergence Partners
    on investment opportunities in ICT

    Tayo Oviosu, CEO, Paga on the mobile money market in Nigeria

    Nigerian ICT blogger Loy Okezi
    e on Nigeria's online successes

    Victor Dibia, CEO, Denvycom.com
    on his games portfolio and plans to monetize

    Oluseye Soyode-Johnson, consultant to Maliyo Games
    on the business model

    A special for Balancing Act readers:

    Kristine Pearson shows how the Lifeplayer, an MP3 player for rural education, works


    Mobile learning Steve Vosloo on how m-learning can support teaching

    Steve Vosloo on edutainment and interactivity in mobile learning, the Yoza mobile story project and other examples of m-learning in Africa

    South African Niall Murphy, Marmalade on multi-platform software distribution for apps based on the ARM chipset

telecoms

  • SkyVision Global Networks Ltd., a global provider of IP connectivity over satellite and fibre optic networks throughout Africa – last week announced that it had acquired Afinis Communication SA from Monaco Telecom SAM, a subsidiary of Cable & Wireless Communications Plc.

    Afinis is a provider of connectivity solutions in francophone Africa, specializing in direct sales to corporate markets such as energy, mining, finance, telcos and international Institutions.

    Afinis has local offices and licensing in Burkina Faso, Guinea and Senegal. Each of these entities will now be owned by SkyVision and will carry the SkyVision brand. Afinis will bring complementary and valuable capabilities to SkyVision, providing immediate benefits to its potential and existing customer base. Afinis’ strong presence in Africa’s French speaking countries is complementary to SkyVision’s market leading position in Nigeria, East, Central and Southern Africa. This transaction will further reinforce SkyVision’s strategy of developing a continent wide local presence.  With the strong influence of Afinis’ local offices, licensing and support abilities, SkyVision will be able to lead these and surrounding markets.

    "Afinis is a leader in the francophone market where it has built a strong market presence and a deep understanding of corporate market requirements. Our vision is to leverage Afinis’ extensive knowledge, particularly in Oil & Gas, mining and financial services. We look forward to welcoming the Afinis team into SkyVision and to continue offering customers the superior service they are accustomed to.” said Doron Ben-Sira, CEO of SkyVision Global Networks. "Following our recently established subsidiary, SkyVision South Africa, the acquisition supports SkyVision's goal of firmly establishing the company as one of largest satellite operators in emerging markets offering true Pan-African coverage and presence."

    Denis Martin, CEO of CWC’s Monaco & Islands business, said:
    "I'm delighted about the prospects for Afinis as part of the SkyVision Group. SkyVision has built a good reputation for satellite communications in Africa, and Afinis customers will benefit from the combined business' increased scale and strong customer service."

  • All Amber, the organiser of premier mobile-related events in Africa, last week announced that iROKO Partners, the world’s largest distributor of Nigerian entertainment, will be the Gold Sponsor at this year’s Mobile Entertainment Africa conference taking place on August 29th and 30th at the 5 star One&Only Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. The partnership represents iROKO Partners’ first time to ever sponsor an African event.


    iROKO Partners is the fastest-growing Internet company in Nigeria and the largest licensee of Nollywood movies, with more than 5,000 titles in its library. It is YouTube’s biggest African partner, boasting over 152 million views in 2011, and has secured distribution deals with Dailymotion, iTunes, Amazon and Vimeo. Since its launch in January 2012 iROKOtv, the on-demand Nollywood movie service, has streamed over 11 million hours of movies across 200 countries.

    The company’s music platform, iROKING, is Africa’s largest distributor of digital music with a catalogue of over 35,000 songs. Across all of its entertainment channels, iROKO Partners has seen over 4.5 million unique visits.

    As part of the sponsorship agreement, Michael Ugwu, CEO of iROKING, will deliver a keynote presentation at Mobile Entertainment Africa 2012. He commented: “iROKO Partners is pleased to be sponsoring Mobile Entertainment Africa. We attended the inaugural event last year and were extremely impressed by the quality of the presentations and the pedigree of the attendees. It was an awesome opportunity to celebrate Africa’s exciting and burgeoning tech scene and I’m sure it will be bigger and better this year. Our vision of bringing Nigerian and African entertainment online meshes perfectly with the premise of the event.”

    Matthew Dawes, Managing Director of All Amber added: “I am absolutely delighted that iROKO Partners has committed to supporting Mobile Entertainment Africa. iROKO’s products are helping to make African entertainment content available to Africans both on the continent and in the Diaspora while simultaneously acting to curb piracy, which is currently a major challenge in the industry. Mobile entertainment is a crucial component of the mobile revolution in Africa and iROKO’s pivotal role in transforming the African entertainment ecosystem is undisputed.” 

  • A South African government tribunal has fined Telkom SA US$54.8mn following allegations that the company used its monopoly to “bully” competitors

    The Competition Tribunal of South Africa, which looked at Telkom’s business practices from 1999 to 2004, found that the company charged its competitors high prices for using its Internet services, while charging much lower fees to its subsidiaries and its customers.

    The tribunal concluded that Telkom had used its upstream monopoly in the facilities market to advantage its own subsidiary in the competitive, value-added network market. “Telkom’s conduct caused harm to both competitors and consumers alike and impeded competition and innovation,” read the tribunal’s decision.

    A spokesman for Telkom said the company had no immediate comment about the ruling. The commission described Telkom’s practices as "bullying". The case began in 2002, with Internet service providers alleging Telkom charged them excessive fees for accessing its bandwidth.

  • The government of Equatorial Guinea recently launched the first telecommunications infrastructure company, GITGE (Management and Maintenance of Telecommunication Infrastructures organization in Equatorial Guinea), to optimize the national telecommunications service with the installation of fiber optics that currently link the capital city of Malabo and Bata.

    "GITGE is a great addition to Equatorial Guinea's telecommunications sector as we continue to serve the rapidly developing country's communications needs," said President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. "It will advance our communications' reach and take us to a new level of telecommunications."

    This investment aims to significantly improve the quality of communications in the country. Through GITGE's management, the operators will be able to process information in a much more efficient way, such as through the use of fiber optics.

  • The Nigerian Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS) has called for the speedy revival of the rural telephony project. NATCOMS president Deolu Ogunbanjo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the demand is necessary to address the dire need for telecommunications services in unserviced and under-served communities. He said that the revival of the service would bridge the telecommunications divide between rural and urban settlements.

    The government suspended the National Rural Telephony Project (NRTP), which began in 2001, because of poor execution. The first phase of the project was to cover 218 local government areas and provide over 636,256 CDMA lines in all the council areas.

    The NATCOMS president said that inadequate basic telecommunications penetration in the rural areas was adversely affecting the quality of life of the rural population.

  • South Africa-based regional mobile operator MTN Group’s Liberian subsidiary, MTN Liberia (trading under the Lonestar Cell brand), has become embroiled in allegations that it may be a financial vehicle for convicted warlord Charles Taylor. An unconfirmed newspaper report from City Press writes that MTN Liberia’s chairperson Benoni Urey has been named by the United Nations (UN) as an accomplice of the former Liberian president and war criminal Talyor. Last week the UN Security Council delisted a number of former Taylor associates from its so-called ‘assets-freeze’ and ‘travel-ban list’, but did not strike off Urey’s name from the list. The MTN Liberia official’s name remains in a UN-compiled report into human rights violations in the 14-year civil war.

    The UN has withdrawn its travel ban and asset freeze on Emmanuel Shaw, Urey’s shareholder and partner in PLC Investment Limited which owns a 40% stake in MTN Liberia, but crucially, not for Urey. A spokesperson for the cellco told City Press that the bans have been in place for several years and do not materially affect the carrier. The remaining 60% of MTN Liberia is owned by MTN Group through its Dubai-based subsidiary, Investcom. It is understood that PLC Investment has been asked to submit its shareholder structure and open up its books to UN investigators amid suspicions that MTN Liberia is in some way providing financial support to Taylor. UN officials believe the war criminal may own 40% of PLC, giving him an indirect link to Lonestar Cell, Liberia’s leading mobile operator by subscribers.

internet

  • Rebel military group the M23 movement has made headlines by entering into open conflict with the Congolese army, but it is not stopping at armed conflicts on the ground; the rebels have also gone on the offensive on the Internet and social networks.

    They have created a website and a Facebook page where they publish numerous pieces of information on the security situation in the province of North Kivu and about their goals.

    The website, M23 Congo RDC, explains the cause that M23 is defending [fr]:

        M23 is demanding complete application of these agreements and began to go underground in April. But the conflict is more complex than that. The spark that ignited the cause was lit by Kinshasa when he decided, under pressure by the international community, to arrest Bosco Ntaganda, an ex-CNDP [National Congress for the Defence of the People militia] and a member of the regular army who had been made a general at the 2009 peace accords.

    Reactions on M23’s Facebook page were as follows:

    M23’s Facebook page [fr] currently has 754 members and many of them have reacted to the rebel group's media offensive. Many show how disappointed they are with the war currently going on in the eastern part of the DRC; Ayache Andre tells us:

        The Congolese are victims of their hospitality. We should chase out the M23 terrorists with their accomplices. It’s a matter of life and death.

    Patient Enzo Kadima writes:

        Since when do we have Congolese Tutsis? Go back home to Rwanda we don’t want you here

    Decker Malela responds to an M23 statement:

        ‎@Cokotracy Mirindi: you bloodthirsty people always use the same talk. Self-defense, self-defense….A pretext for revenge and killing the Bantus. As if only you Tutsis should defend yourselves.

    The international community continues to pressure Rwanda to stop supporting M23. Another topic of discussion online is the decision of the United States to suspend aid to Rwanda [fr] following their support of M23:

        The US government has decided to suspend its military aid to Rwanda due to the African country’s support of an armed uprising in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) next door. This aid, a sum of US$200,000 (164,000 euros) was intended to sponsor a Rwandan military academy for noncommissioned officers. “The United States government is gravely concerned by the evidence that Rwanda is involved in providing support to Congolese rebels, including M23,” stated Darby Holladay, a spokesperson for the State Department.

  • Gilat Satcom, a communication solution provider offering satellite and fiber-based connectivity services in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, has announced its donation of a VSAT communication system to connect a regional school for expansion of educational opportunities using the Internet.

    Paynesville Community School in Joe bar, Liberia educates 1500 children. Using its well-equipped computer lab, the school provides modern education facilities. Gilat Satcom’s donation of a VSAT system enables the school to hook-up to the Internet and opens an enormous wealth of education opportunities to the faculty and students.

    The excitement in the school is palpable. The teaching staff can’t wait to integrate the new opportunities into their curriculum. The students are eager to use the school’s computers to access all sorts of eLearning capabilities made possible by the donation.

    “We are honored to make this contribution to education in Liberia. We are bringing world-class eLearning capabilities right into the computer lab where 1500 students will benefit,” said Alex Petropouliadis, Gilat Satcom’s VP Sales Africa.
    Gilat Satcom teams with providers of eLearning content and delivery to promote eLearning opportunities especially in remote and underserved communities. This donation of a VSAT system promotes education and Internet access.

  • Internet Gabon has announced in Libreville the project Triple Net, in cooperation with SES and Hughes. Communications minister Blaise Loembe attended the event, reports Africa Info.

    The USD 12 million project aims to bring satellite internet services to rural areas across French-speaking Africa. Services should be available from XAF 50,000, with a simple installation of equipment. Internet Gabon already provides Vsat services in Gabon, serving over 500 sites in the region. The service will launch at the start of next year.

  • Ugandan Billionaire, Ashish Thakkar has launched the beta version of Mara.com, Africa’s first online mentorship ‘social network’.

    The goal of the network is to help connect young, budding African entrepreneurs to reputable and successful enterprises and businessmen across Africa for mentorship and guidance.

    According to Thakkar, Mara.com will be a transformational project and will nurture an ecosystem for African entrepreneurs and youth while improving skills and emerging talent.

    The mentor’s network would offer insight and expertise into a wide spectrum of industries, access to networks, funding, infrastructure and will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experience in order to grow ideas into sustainable businesses.

  • The spokesperson of the Libyan Transitional Government  has announced that Libya will soon allow private local companies to provide internet services to subscribers throughout the country.

    This is the first initiative of its kind that the Libyan government has ever offered. During the Gaddafi era, the Internet was monitored and controlled by the state. The public company “Libya Telecom and Technology” monopolized the field, guaranteeing government control over information traffic.

    Since licenses have not been allowed to private companies since the Internet first came to Libya in 1999, this recent step shows the development and the openness of Libya’s new information sector. “This is a new step for private companies to enter the local market of internet,” added Manaa.

    The number of internet users in Libya reached 353,900 in 2009. However, according to the Libyan Minister of Communications, Anwar Abu Bakr Alfitouri, “Libya is still facing major challenges in developing the diverse framework required to provide its citizens e-services, such as online banking, payments, and commerce,” he explained.

    The decision to open the Internet field to private companies was welcomed by commentators and observers of the Libyan government. Tahani Chrif, a political commentator said, “We hope that the private sector gets involved in the country’s economy, and that all the companies compete fairly.”

  • The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Nexpedience have entered into a deal to bring quality broadband access to rural Africa

    According to ITU, Nexpedience, which is a supplier of proprietary point-to-multipoint broadband infrastructure, will provide 180 new Expedience base stations worth a total of US$1mn, to be deployed in six nations across the continent.

    The Wireless Broadband Network in Africa project will aim to implement wireless broadband connectivity that will provide free or low-cost digital access for schools, hospitals and under-served populations in remote areas across Africa.

    The first nation to benefit from the new infrastructure will be Burundi, with deployments also planned for Djibouti, Burkina Faso, Mali, Rwanda and Swaziland.

    According to a report on Telecompaper, the base stations will be planned for rural deployment, designed to withstand extreme meteorological conditions and capable of providing up to 32km of sector coverage.

    At the signing of the agreement in Geneva, director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) Brahima Sanou, emphasised the need to make developing countries part of the global broadband revolution.

    Sanou said, “This partnership represents an important element in ITU’s efforts to bring broadband technology to the world – even in the poorest nations. This will accelerate broadband uptake right across the African continent, bringing the power of high-speed connectivity to users everywhere.”

    Nexpedience chief executive officer Kiriako Vergos said, “Giving access to broadband technology to underserved populations in Africa is of great importance to us. There are enormous benefits to be derived from a broadband-seed deployment strategy.”

computing

  • Zimbabwe has received solar-powered computers from India, one of the fastest growing economies, even as several parts of the country are off-grid.

     The computers have already been distributed in three provinces of Matabeleland, Harare and Manicaland in a piloting phase, as they are considered where majority of the citizens have no access to computers or electricity supply.

    Indian ambassador to Zimbabwe Shri JK Tripathi was quoted by ItWebAfrica as saying installations of the solar powered computers have already started in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare and hope to cover the whole country.

    "We are aware that Zimbabwe is moving towards total e-learning and chose to install these computers as a way of support,” Tripathi added.

    The solar-powered computers will be able to connect the users to the internet via cellphone mobile networks, provided by Econet Wireless, Telecel Zimbabwe and NetOne.

    This comes even after Zimbabwe is reportedly going to experience persistent power cuts for the next 10 years, due to aging equipment that keep breaking down, hence the many power disruptions.

    "By 2022 that's when we will be able to generate enough power for domestic and industrial power," Patson Mbiriri, secretary for energy and power development, told an annual congress of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries.

    The solar-powered computers are seen as a way to go around the problem, and help the country achieve its ambitious ICT plans, before the power issue can be resolved permanently.

  • The Uganda government is planning to implement cloud computing in order for its citizens to attain access to information on government ministries, agencies and departments

    NITA-U (National Information Technology Authority) has been driving the initiative in Uganda and said that the technology would provide more affordability, security, features and accessibility of information across a number of Internet-enabled devices.

    James Saaka, executive director of NITA-U, said, “The technology supports infrastructure sharing and access to information, which is a key to development.

    “Once this is implemented, any citizen can access information about the government and departments at any given time.”

    Sector experts have said that as the government moved into e-governance, it could do away with paperwork, which was riskier than other modes of information storage.

    It remained unclear how much the service would cost, but other state departments such as Uganda’s Revenue Authority have already implemented cloud computing. The department launched an e-tax system for taxpayers to make use of the Internet to apply for any type of license.

  • Freedom of speech is elusive in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Alain Wandimoyi chooses to make his voice heard in cyberspace. His mission: to denounce the inequalities and injustice he sees taking place in his country. His blog, Picha Na Mazungumzo, is very popular - not least among Congolese politicians.

    The information junkie spends his days at his computer or out on the streets of Goma looking for stories that matter. Wandimoyi says that those who want to speak the truth in the DRC are always silenced.

    "Even in the case of newspapers, journalists are not allowed to work freely by editors who are often politically biased towards the government or the opposition," he says. But on his blog, Wandimoyi is his own editor. He says: "I speak my mind without any fear of censorship."

    Wandimoyi started blogging in 2008. The blog has proven very popular and made him famous in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province. Even though the medium is not widely used in the DRC, he says he chose blogging as an effective way to reach his target group, namely politicians and humanitarians. He writes to vent his frustrations and worries about the various wars and conflicts in North Kivu and the Great Lakes region.

    Also a passionate photographer, Wandimoyi named his blog Picha Na Mazungumzo, which means "photos that speak" in Swahili. He says he originally took up photography because it is a useful means to portray what is wrong in his country.

    Being a free-speech activist in the DRC is not easy. Wandimoyi has received numerous threats in the past, be it for his blog or his photos.

    "I always take pictures that tell a story, stir up feelings and show what is wrong in our country. As a result, I often receive threats," he says. "In December 2011, for instance, I wanted to write about the bad driving of certain motorists who drive whilst drinking alcohol or talking on the phone."

    Wandimoyi took photos of an accident caused by such conduct. It didn't take long before he was assaulted. "A strange man took my camera, my recorder and even my passport. On the same day, I received several threats and was verbally abused over the phone," he recalls. "I don't really know where these threats come from, but I think it's only because some people are upset by my blogs."

    Prior blog entries have upset many, especially politicians. Not long ago, his writing about Congolese soldiers' bad behaviour on the battle field offended an official from the presidency. "As a form of warning, he sent me the portion of my text he did not appreciate," explains Wandimoyi.

    Despite the risks associated with his activities, Wandimoyi is proud of the impact he has. He is delighted with the many followers he has both in the DRC and abroad. And he has no intention of slowing down in his quest for the truth.

    Wandimoyi hopes that in the future he can reach more Congolese citizens in the diaspora. He believes these people have a great influence on those back home as well as on the DRC government.

    "Even though my job has already got me arrested - most recently, just last month - I love doing it because this blog is me," he says. "I can share my vision and thoughts."

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

  • Zambia’s Investrust Bank has launched a mobile banking service branded Invest Mobile.

     While unveiling the service, Investrust Bank’s managing director Friday Ndhlovu said existing customers will first benefit from the service before it is made available to potential customers.

    Ndhlovu explained that close to 1 billion people across the globe lack bank accounts although they have cellphones, leading to mobile money transfer services as the best way of offering banking services in a fast, simple, convenient and effective way.

    The new mobile banking service gives an account summary of the last seven transactions, payment of utility bills, electricity and DSTV-Multichoice product. Mobile phone subscribers who have bank account with Investrust bank will be able to access money transfer services including make deposits, withdraw, check on loan and cheque status.

    While commenting on tha bank’s progress in the last 10 years, Ndhlovu singled out massive investment in information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure courtesy of Lusaka’s Stock Exchange (LuSE) funds collected in 2007.

    He said that there is maximum security after the innovation of chip and pin technology which runs InvestNet, provides online banking and VISA Green Card.

    Africa boasts of the fast technology adoption with an estimated 100 million mobile phone users. According to a research study by Zedfibre, a telecommunications site in the country, more than 2.3 billion people are poor and cannot afford financial services although they have mobile phones.

    Zedfibre’s report further revealed that First National bank Zambia-Celpay, Mobile Transactions Zambia Limited (MTZL), Zambia national commercial bank -Xapit ,Standard chartered bank-  StanChart [Z] and  First National Bank Zambia (FNB) offers mobile banking in Zambia.

  • Africa’s leading tech accelerator 88mph has partnered with technology giant Google in a venture expected to boost the African tech Ecosystem, by providing extended hands-on support for local startups.

     Aiming to ‘fill the gaps’ of the nascent start-up ecosystem in Africa, the two have pledged to offer resources to tech entrepreneurs including mentoring, legal and IP advice, and technical workshops, to take what is already “a buzzing community” to the next professional, business-building level.

    Speaking to HumanIPO, 88mph’s founder Kresten Buch said a huge opportunity for tech people to come to Africa, create businesses, jobs and make money exists.

    “In fact, we would love to see Africans returning to Africa by giving them a landing pad for building their own startups; they can also help boost the local startup talent pool,” he said.

    The partnership will see more support channeled to 88mph's accelerator program and tech hub 88mph Garage Nairobi as well as the launching of 88mph in Cape Town later this year.

    Plans are already underway to setup operations in West Africa by 2013, expected to render 88mph a Pan-African footprint.

    Johanna Kollar, from Google's Startup Support Programs and Ezequiel Vidra, Head of Campus London will join the 88mph Advisory Board. Also in the partnership is an ‘entrepreneur-in-residence' program, which will see  4-6 experienced tech entrepreneurs from around the world work full-time side by side with the startups chosen to join the program.

    “We aren't simply copying the Y-Combinator model as we don't believe it is appropriate in an emerging market context. With Google's support, we are able to provide the extra resources necessary to compensate for a less developed angel and mentor network, which characterizes an emerging market,” Nikolai Barnwell, 88mph Program Manager in Nairobi, said.

    88mph provides the perfect landing for entrepreneurs with guts and a sense of adventure, says Kresten, they offer office space, a great local network, market knowledge, cash and, "a one way plane ticket."

    88mph has also invested in other startups including Tusqee, Ghafla and 6ix Degrees, PesaTalk, Hivi Sasa and Drugs.co.ke. The firm is looking to invest over US$200,000 in more startups before the end of this year. The firm recently launched an accelerator program that will start on September 15 targeted at eight to 15 startups.

    Startups can apply at 88mph.ac. Applications are currently open and close on August 15

  • Kenya's Safaricom is reported to have negotiated a lower sales commission fee with Vodafone, which is also its largest shareholder.

    Safaricom made a 6 percent commission payment to Vodafone for all sales and services that were procured by the Group on behalf of its local subsidiaries. The rationale being that Vodafone Group could secure lower overall costs by bidding on a global basis for goods and services.

    According to a report in the Business Daily newspaper, the 6 percent commission has been replaced with a flat free of Sh412 million, which will rise to Sh618 million next year. The company had made payments of Sh2.1 billion last year, so the new fee is a saving of around 80 percent for the company.

    Safaricom's CEO, Bob Collymore commented: "We have converted from a variable to a fixed rate for greater certainty and to secure a more favourable deal for Safaricom,"

    Vodafone, which owns 40% of the company also earns licence fees on Safaricom's M-Pesa mobile banking service.

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

  • - Vodafone Ghana has extended the welcome period for its mobile internet customers from 60 to 90 days, during which they will get double their internet allowance. The allowance on the 'browser', 'streamer' and 'downloader' bundles has also been increased for existing customers. The company has lowered the cost of its modems to GHC 49, too. This is part of its year-long 'limitless possibilities' campaign aimed at educating Ghanaians about the positive effect that the internet can have on their lives.

    - MTN Nigeria has announced a coverage expansion of its WiMAX network, with local news source Business Day reporting that the operator has extended the network to the cities of Abuja and Port Harcourt.

    - Kenyan telecommunications company Orange, which is part of Telkom Kenya, has launched a 42 mbps network in Nairobi. Telkom Kenya chief executive officer Mickael Ghossein said “The new Orange Internet Everywhere 42 mbps modem will automatically connect to 21 mbps speeds while in a 3G coverage area or switch to EDGE if a user totally moves to a non-3G area. The new plug-and-play device is also compatible with varied Operating Systems,” he said.

Digital Content

  • Websense last week announced a strategic expansion of the company's global footprint in offering cloud-based security as a service (SaaS) solutions to South African companies. This new facility supports cloud and hybrid Web and e-mail security, delivering protection within the region.

    Websense Security-as-a-Service (SaaS) provides a fast and easy deployment path for the Websense Cloud Web and e-mail security products. SaaS shifts security inspection, enforcement, and management processes from the customer's location to globally available data centres 'in the cloud'.

    With this infrastructure, Web and e-mail security services can be deployed across large and small offices located around the world in minutes. Customers gain the benefits of the industry's leading content security solutions, providing sophisticated protection against data-stealing modern malware.

    This announcement supports the company's leadership in cloud-based security, and offers South African customers a highly scalable, fault-tolerant infrastructure with multiple ISP connections, and redundant power and cooling so there is no single point of failure. Each facility meets the very highest security standards, and the cloud security service is independently reviewed and certified to meet the most demanding security accreditation in the industry, ISO 27001.

    Spencer Parker, Group Product Manager, Websense, explains: “South Africa is an important market for us and we are seeing a global increase in demand for our security solutions in the cloud. This supports our Websense TRITON cloud-enabling architecture providing the best protection against modern malware. Our South African customers will benefit from the availability of Websense Cloud providing localised content and speed of service. This also gives them the option to implement a hybrid security solution that enables our customers' security policies to follow them wherever they go.”

  • Social networking site Eskimi has overtaken Internet giants Google, Yahoo, BBC and Goal.com, to become second most visited site after Facebook in Nigeria and Namibia, according to Opera Software monthly report.

     Eskimi’s chief executive Vytas Paukštys said “I am proud that Eskimi became the 2nd most visited site in Nigeria and Namibia managing to overtake Google, Yahoo, BBC, Goal.com in Nigeria and Namibia during last 6 months.”

    With a population of over 130 million people, Nigeria remains Eskimi’s largest market with half of its audience of (over 7 million customers) coming from Nigeria.

    In the report, Eskimi is also in the 10 most visited sits in Kenya (6), Mozambique (6), Zimbabwe (6), Zambia (3), Tanzania (4) and a few more countries.

    Recently, Eskimi launched its money market platform that was aimed at bringing e-commerce to its Nigerian customers via special tools.

    The platform allows Eskimi customers the opportunity to buy and test the new payment option to pay for a host of music, movie and mobile content.

  • App developers in Tanzania have a reason to smile as Vodacom looks to better their lives even before Safaricom employ the same in Kenya. It is just not clear if Vodacom will be promoting the iOS and Android platforms without looking into creating a loyalty on the network.

    “The Vodacom AppStar Challenge has been designed to motivate and reward contestants who develop innovative, creative, functional and original mobile applications,” according to a statement from the operator.  The apps to be submitted in the challenge must aim to solve common problems and challenges facing the public.

    Vodacom Tanzania app challenge winners will be awarded locally before being put in an international challenge pitting the app developers in Tanzania with those in Lesotho, Egypt, South Africa and Qatar where Vodacom has a presence as a brand. The international challenge’s award ceremony will be held in South Africa.

    Some of the categories listed in the challenge include games, social health, entertainment and mobile for good. Each category has a top prize of $2,000 and an entry into the international contest. All submissions into the content will be through the website:

    According to Kelvin Twissa, Vodacom Tanzania Head of Brand Communication and Marketing, the new applications will be uploaded and distributed through Vodacom/Vodafone’s App Store, with individuals allowed to make multiple submissions until the end of the submission period.

    ” Tanzanian developers are expected to register for the competition by the 7th of September 2012. They will have until the 21st of September 2012 to develop and publish their completed app to the Vodacom App Store,” explained Twissa.

    Two winning apps will be nominated for submission through an in-person demonstration and presentation to the panel of judges in South Africa.

    Each of the nominations submitted for the international challenge will be eligible to win the grand prize of USD 20,000.

  • African farming online portal 1.2mn Africa RenewalThe Association for Strengthening Research in Agriculture in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) is set to carry out a US$1.2mn project to establish an online portal where farming research and information can be shared

    Through the creation of an online platform, accessible only to ASARECA members, the collective hopes to improve farming in Africa with regards to both quantity and quality of produce.

    The African Development Bank (AfDB), through the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, is funding the US$1.2mn project.

    ASARECA executive director Dr Seyfu Ketema has expressed the necessity of utilising an online system.

    “Given its reach we must use the internet. The internet has become a major source of information and we cannot afford to ignore it,” Ketema said.

    ASARECA is a non-profit organisation, consisting of 11 member states, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Sudan. It aims to combine the central and eastern nations’ agricultural knowledge in order to develop agricultural-led economic growth.

  • A collaborative project in Ethiopia that has created climate data and tools can be applied in much of Africa, says climate scientist Tufa Dinku.

    Famine in the Horn of Africa is a reminder of how fluctuations in climate can destroy the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable people on the continent, and why the management of climate-related risks is central to sustainable development.

    Incorporating climate issues into development policy, planning and practice is crucial. Making climate information available to users such as development practitioners and researchers is an essential step in improving food security, timing public health interventions and reducing vulnerability to extreme events.

    Such data have largely been absent in Africa, where meteorological observations from weather stations are a fraction of what the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) considers to be even basic coverage. Where records exist, they frequently suffer from gaps and poor quality, and they are mostly not easily accessible outside national meteorological agencies.

    Satellite data have been used since the 1980s to supplement climate station data. While less accurate, they provide complete spatial coverage of variables such as rainfall or temperature on the continent. It is possible to produce complete and good quality climate data by combining surface observations with satellite-derived data.

    Making the data and derived products available through the Internet, and then training the user community to demand, understand and use climate information, are the essential steps towards the better management of climate-related risks in Africa.

    This approach has been implemented in Ethiopia in a collaboration between the country's National Meteorology Agency (NMA), the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Columbia University, in the United States, and the TAMSAT (Tropical Applications of Meteorology using Satellite data and ground-based observations) group at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom.

    Funded by Google.org as part of the health initiative, 'Building capacity to produce and use climate and environmental information for improving health in East Africa', the partners produced climate data — ten daily observations for every ten kilometre grid across the country — that covered a period of more than 30 years. They also created online tools for visualising, querying and downloading information from the NMA website.

    Importantly, the training of staff at the NMA, which was part of the project, has been essential to making the work sustainable. Public health professionals — mainly epidemiologists from regional health bureaus — were also trained to understand and use climate information.

    It has only been a few months since the NMA announced the availability of its new data and services, but they are already being accessed from within and outside the country. Data are being used, for instance, by a university researcher to assess water resources in western Ethiopia, and by health professionals for assessing the effect of climate on malaria intervention efforts in the country.

    The only limitation is Internet access — a critical but diminishing shortcoming on a continent where access to the web, through mobile devices in particular, is expanding rapidly.

    The work could — and should — serve as a template to improve climate services across Africa. Implementing a similar project in another country will now be cheaper and faster.

    As the Ethiopian project is the first of its kind, the team had to obtain and process the raw satellite data spanning 30 years. This took more than a year to complete — but in doing so, data were processed for all of Africa, so this step will not have to be repeated.

    The methodologies and computer codes that are used to produce the data can be easily adapted for any other country. And similarly, the data query and analysis facilities, built on the IRI's data library infrastructure [2] and installed outside the IRI for the first time, can now easily be customised for another country.

    To replicate the work, meteorological agency staff need to be trained to organise and assess the quality of their national data, digitising from paper records where necessary; update data management and web capacities for dissemination; and engage in publicity campaigns to ensure potential users are aware of the opportunities available.

    This first step has already been made in a few countries, including Tanzania and Madagascar, and plans are underway in others. The project in Tanzania is expected to be completed by the end of August.

More

  • Managed Services World Congress 2012
    18 – 19 September 2012, Maritim Pro Arte Hotel, Berlin, Germany
    With Managed Service business models evolving in new and exciting directions, it’s time to reassess the market and your place in it. Managed Services World Congress – the biggest global MS event – is the perfect place to bring leading players together and address these issues. With a 50% operator audience, and 65% CXO / Director level attendance, there is no better opportunity to meet new and existing clients. It’s a must-attend event for anyone looking to maximise the value of their technology, their networks and their brand in today’s evolving MS world. FREE PASSES FOR OPERATORS. For more information visit here:

    Broadband World Forum

    16 – 18 October 2012, Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    The event, now in its 12th year, is the most respected in the regions Telecoms calendar and the comprehensive agenda includes breakfast briefings, 3 co-located summits,  keynote plenary sessions and a choice of 4 tracks for delegates each day as well as the world class exhibition area. For more information please click here:

    AfricaCom 2012
    13th-15th November 2012, CTICC, Cape Town, South Africa

    The digital ecosystem will take centre stage at AfricaCom 2012, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, 13 – 15 November 2012.  Network with over 7000 industry executives at Africa’s largest event embracing all aspects of the continent’s converging telecoms, media and ICT sectors.  Incorporating 11 co-located events all pertinent to future-proofing your business in the digital era, including cloud computing, OTT, apps, broadband and multiplatform content, see and hear how Africa’s communications market is a hotbed for innovation and long term prosperity.
    Contact: Subuola.akinkugbe@informa.com
    For more information please click here:

  • Applications open for Google RISE Awards

    Google last week announced that applications are now open for its RISE (Roots in Science and Engineering) Awards.

     The awards are aimed at promoting and supporting education initiatives in two areas: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) and Computer Science (CS). Google grants awards of $5,000 to $25,000 to organisations around the world working with K-12 and university students in these fields.

    Roxana Shirkhoda who is a K-12 Education Outreach Specialist at the technology giant says that the RISE Awards have expanded to include applicants from Latin America and the Asia Pacific region, bringing the total to six continents (including Africa) and 243 countries.

    All eligible nations are listed on the Google website.

    In the statement, she said: “Our community welcomed more than two dozen organizations from around the world, from Denmark to Uganda and California to Romania. The RISE grants have helped these groups to scale their reach by allowing for more scholarship recipients, to deepen their impact by providing hands on robotics kits, and to ultimately inspire their students by creating a community for CS outreach.”

    With the growing interest in techno-related jobs and businesses, the awards are a commendable effort from Google and will go a long way into encouraging and motivating the next generation of computer scientists across Africa and the world.

    The awards take place once a year.

Edition Française, 9 août 2012 No 188

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Editorial

  • Au début du mois d'août le journal l'Express a interviewé des jeunes malgaches sur leurs comportements vis à vis de l'Internet. Ci-dessous Balancing Act reproduit trois tranches de vie. Selon Isabelle Gross, responsable de recherche à Balancing Act, de plus en plus d'Africains peuvent s'identifier à ces jeunes de Madagascar et cet engouemant va grandissant. Au Libéria, un des pays les plus pauvres en Afrique, la jeunesse ne se comporte pas différemment vis-à-vis de l'Internet que les jeunes de Madagascar. Bien sur il y a d'autres freins à la pénétration de l'Internet et nous y reviendrons à la fin de l'article après avoir laissé la parole à Tifanie, Mialy et Manda

    - Tifanie- « Je dépense AR2,000 (0.70 Euros) par jour pour facebook et les sms »
    L'internet prend une part importante dans la vie de la plupart des jeunes malgaches. Il en est ainsi pour Tifanie qui vient de passer en classe terminale, cette année.

    Il ne se passe pas un seul jour sans qu'elle ne se connecte pas sur facebook depuis son téléphone portable. D'autant plus qu'elle est abonnée à l'offre facebook illimité d'un opérateur en téléphonie mobile.

    « Mon téléphone sert à vérifier les nouvelles des amis sur facebook, et à envoyer des textos. En moyenne, je dépense Ar 2,000 par jour », avoue-t-elle.

    Ce site social devient au fil des ans son favori. La preuve : son compte atteint déjà les 5,000 autorisés. Même si elle n'en connaîet véritablement dans la vie que 500.

    - Mialy - « Mes études nécessitent l'utilisation du net »
    « Le téléphone me sert à la communication avec mes proches. C'est son utilisation basique. À cela s'ajoute une certaine utilisation professionnelle », déclare Mialy, étudiante au Centre national de télé-enseignement de Madagascar.

    En suivant un enseignement à distance, elle se connecte plutôt à l'internet pour ses études, pour la documentation. Comme nombre de Malgaches, le cybercafé est l'endroit idéal pour surfer sur le net.

    « L'internet est un outil indispensable à mes études. La recherche de documents, de cours, de sujets est facilitée grâce à cette technologie. Le temps passé sur le net varie en fonction de mes recherches.

    À cela s'ajoute la consultation des mails. Mais cela ne m'empêche pas de visiter mon compte facebook, le temps de vérifier les nouvelles des amis », continue-t-elle.

    - Manda - « L'internet, c'est pour le divertissement »
    Comment pourrait-elle passer sa vie sans son téléphone Manda ne l'imagine même pas. Elle fait partie de cette génération « branchée » où le langage « sms » intègre sa vie quotidienne. Tout comme les autres, elle se connecte sur facebook via son téléphone ou sur ordinateur.

    « Facebook me tient au courant de tout ce qui se passe autour de moi, et me permet de connaîetre les nouvelles de mes amis », confie-t-elle. « Mes dépenses quotidiennes varient selon les besoins », ajoute-t-elle. D'autant plus qu'elle bénéficie d'une connexion internet chez soi.

    Cette étudiante en management consulte l'internet pour visionner les vidéos ou les tubes qui cartonnent sur Youtube, et bien évidemment pour consulter ses mails. C'est une question de divertissement.

    Divertissements, informations ou communications, ce sont bien ces activités qui nous unissent tous lorsque nous parlons de l'Internet. Chacun y trouve son compte sans doute mais il reste toujours beaucoup à faire en terme d'accès d'une plus grande partie de la population en Afrique à l'Internet.

    Au Libéria, l'opérateur mobile Cellcom qui a lancé son réseau 4G (technologie HSPA+) en juin dernier, a rencontré un vif succès mais pour maintenir cette vitesse de croissance il va lui falloir faire plus. La vitesse de téléchargement de la technologie HSPA+ est de l'ordre de 21Mbps et offre de aux Libérians qui peuvent se le permettre de surfer Facebook et de regarder des vidéos sur YouTube sans interruptions et sans longue attente. Mais qu'en est-il du reste de sa clientèle 2G dont une partie aimerait sans doute expérimenter la 4G? A moins de leur proposer des téléphones 3G à des prix plus abordables (en dessous de 50 dollars US) et des services Internet haut-débit beaucoup moins chers, ils resteront malheureusement sur leur faim.

  • Des experts en télécommunications de l'UEMOA (Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine) se sont réunis la semaine dernière à Niamey, au Niger. L'objectif était de valider une étude sur le modèle harmonisé de calcul des tarifs d'interconnexion des réseaux de télécommunications dans l'espace de l'UEMOA.

    Commanditée par l'Union, cette étude a fait ressortir l'existence de forts écarts (variant de 1 à 4) entre les différents tarifs d'interconnexion des pays membres. Il s'agit à présent de mieux harmoniser ces tarifs afin de rendre l'ensemble des réseaux plus accessibles à tous les utilisateurs grâce à une baisse des communications dans la zone.

    S'exprimant à l'ouverture de l'atelier, le ministre nigérien de la Communication et des Nouvelles technologies de l'information, Salifou Labo Bouché (photo), a indiqué que les autorités en charge de la régulation étaient «interpellées chaque jour par le consommateur sur la cherté de la minute de communication et la non transparence des opérateurs dans la tarification des services de télécommunications».

    L'atelier de Niamey devrait permettre, selon Salifou Labo Bouché, de parvenir à des «tarifs de communications orientés vers les coûts réels».

    Agence ecofin
  • Après avoir implanté avec succès sa technologie pilote « villasol » dans des zones rurales non raccordées au réseau électrique, Schneider Electric Nigeria veut mettre l’énergie solaire au service des opérateurs téléphoniques.

     Marcel Hochet, Directeur de Schneider Electric Nigeria a déclaré lundi 24 juillet à Lagos que sa société travaillait actuellement en partenariat avec Airtel et MTN au développement de l’énergie solaire pour l’alimentation des stations émettrices-réceptrices. Le Nigeria compte 110 millions de lignes de téléphone mobile et l’une des plus mauvaises qualités de service du continent. Les quatre opérateurs MTN Nigeria, Globacom, Airtel et Etisalat Nigeria ont été condamnés en mai dernier à un montant global d’amendes de 1,17 milliard de naïras faute d’atteindre une qualité de services standard minimum.

    Outre une économie de carburant, la fourniture d’une énergie renouvelable permettrait, selon M. Hochet, d’améliorer la qualité du service en regard des exigences de la Commission nigériane de Communications. Il s’est dit prêt à négocier avec d’autres opérateurs. Cette initiative traduit le désir de la société d’accroître sa présence dans le pays et s’inscrit en continuité avec sa volonté de relever le défi de l’électrification rurale grâce à la technologie « villasol ».

    « Au Nigeria, les difficultés d’accès à l’énergie affectent près de 100 millions d’habitants », estime M. Hochet. « Villasol » permettra aux Nigérians à la base de la pyramide d’avoir accès à l’électricité sans dépendre du réseau national.

    Le premier projet pilote, inauguré en septembre dernier dans l’Ogun State, et développé en partenariat avec le CREDC (Communauty Research and Development Center) est une micro centrale composée de panneaux photovoltaïques, d’un onduleur solaire et d’une station de charge de batteries qui fournit 4 MW et alimente en particulier une pompe automatisée pour le réseau d’eau potable.

  • Pour avoir autorisé le prélèvement de 25 francs CFA (0,046 dollar) sur chaque abonné des cinq sociétés de téléphonie mobile opérant au Bénin, pour contribuer à une quinzaine de solidarité nationale, l’Autorité transitoire de régulation des postes et télécommunications et le gouvernement béninois ont été condamnés par la Cour constitutionnelle du Bénin.

    Les prélèvements sur les abonnés avaient été autorisés en décembre 2011, «en l'absence de toute loi en la matière», selon la Cour constitutionnelle qui note qu’elle a imposé aux consommateurs «une taxe en dehors des procédures exigées par la constitution». Les abonnés qui ont saisi la justice ont estimé que «les abonnés GSM n'ont pas été consultés et (que) les prélèvements ont été opérés comme une taxe qui relève normalement du domaine de la loi».

    La collecte de ces prélèvements (0,046 sur chaque abonné des réseaux GSM et 0,18 dollar sur chaque véhicule d'occasion sort du port de Cotonou) avait permis de collecter plus de 20 millions de FCFA (37500 dollars) qui ont été reversés au ministère béninois de la Famille et de la Solidarité, dans le cadre de la deuxième édition de la quinzaine de solidarité nationale lancée la semaine dernière.

    Agence ecofin
  • Pour la seconde fois en l'espace d'une semaine, l'Agence de régulation de la poste et des télécommunications (Arpt) réagit aux observations émises par l'opérateur de la téléphonie mobile Wataniya Télécoms Algérie Nedjma.

    En réponse aux appels de Nedjma pour le rééquilibrage du marché, l'Arpt, par le biais de sa première responsable, Mme Zohra Derdouri, a tenu à faire hier quelques précisions notamment sur sa mission consistant à assurer une concurrence loyale sur le marché.

    Elle est également revenue sur les critères pris en considération dans la régulation du marché à travers le contrôle des produits proposés et dans la détermination de l'opérateur dominant.

    De même qu'elle a dressé le bilan de son intervention à travers le territoire national. D'emblée, Mme Derdouri, citée par l'APS, dira que le terme «rééquilibrage» a été utilisé à «tort» par Nedjma.

    Car, pour la présidente de l'Arpt, l'évolution des parts de marché des opérateurs dépend en premier lieu de «l'élévation qu'imprime chacun des opérateurs à la qualité de service procurée à ses clients, du niveau d'investissement qu'il consent, des innovations de son marketing et de la satisfaction des attentes des usagers en matière de prix et de variétés de son offre».

    «C'est à l'Arpt que revient la prérogative de fixer le seuil des parts de marché à partir duquel l'abus de dominance est constitué», dira encore Mme Derdouri avant de préciser que la mission de l'Agence «n'est pas d'empêcher la dominance, ce qui reviendrait à nier la compétition, mais à réprimer la pratique prohibée de l'abus de dominance». L'objectif de l'Arpt, selon sa présidente, est d'éviter la déstabilisation du marché.

    Ainsi, les produits mis à la vente par les opérateurs sont étudiés au préalable avant de subir des tests et des simulations pour voir si les tarifs proposés peuvent faire du tort ou non aux autres opérateurs.

    Concernant les différentes statistiques, «seule l'Autorité dispose de données officielles relatives au secteur, qui sont consolidées en fin d'année sur la base d'audits de validation auprès des opérateurs», notera dans le même sillage Mme Derdouri, pour qui seules les données de l'Agence sont à prendre en considération pour analyser le marché.

    Une manière d'appeler les opérateurs à éviter l'ingérence dans le travail de l'Arpt Sur un autre plan, la régulation des offres promotionnelles a permis, selon l'Arpt, de mettre un terme à «l'anarchie» que connaissait le marché. Ainsi, le nombre de ces offres a été divisé par trois en quatre ans.

    Il est passé de 99, en 2008, à 27, en 2011. Le nombre de jours de promotion a été réduit de 5 154 jours en 2008 à 519 jours en 2011, soit une diminution de 89,9%. C'est une façon pour l'Arpt de «restituer à l'offre promotionnelle le caractère exceptionnel qui doit être le sien».

    «Vu l'anarchie qui caractérisait ce type d'offres par le passé et après concertation avec les opérateurs, l'Arpt a pris la décision de réguler ces offres promotionnelles, tout en tenant compte de la position de chaque opérateur sur le marché, en fixant des règles d'application», a précisé Mme Derdouri à ce sujet.

    Arpt : 53 opérations de contrôle depuis 2009

    Depuis 2009, l'Arpt a effectué pas moins de 53 missions de contrôle de la qualité de service et étudié et approuvé 100 offres tarifaires et nouveaux services.

    L'Arpt a procédé également à 73 contrôles concernant le respect, par les opérateurs, des conditions sur les offres tarifaires et nouveaux services validés.

    Elle effectue, périodiquement, des contrôles sur le respect de l'obligation d'identification des abonnés.Au-delà des aspects techniques et commerciaux, les activités de l'Arpt s'étendent aussi à des prérogatives réglementaires, telles que l'élaboration de décisions de régulation et l'adoption de normes et standards techniques internationaux grâce auxquels elle a pu agréer des équipements aux fins d'exploitation sur le marché des télécommunications.

    À titre d'exemple, 1 385 modèles d'équipements de télécommunications, dont 629 modèles de téléphone fixes et mobiles, ont été agréés depuis 2009, obtenant le label «Agréé par l'Arpt».

    La Tribune
  • La révolution de la modernité prônée par le Chef de l'Etat a trouvé une réponse positive dans le secteur de télécommunications. Sous peu, la RDC deviendra un village planétaire grâce au lancement de son premier satellite dans l'espace. "Congo Sat 1", tel est le nom du satellite congolais qui sera lancé dans l'espace d'ici 36 mois.

    Le coût global du projet est de USD 400 millions. Après la signature des contrats de partenariat avec les entreprises China international telecom construction corporation (CITCC), China great wall industry corporation (CGWIC) et China telecom corporation (CTC) en 2008 et 2011, le Réseau national de télécommunications par satellite (Renatelsat), un service public relevant du ministère des PT&NTIC, est venu solliciter le concours du ministre de tutelle, Kin-Kiey Mulumba, hier lundi, 30 juillet 2012, pour obtenir des facilités administratives dans le cadre de ce projet. Déjà, ces entreprises chinoises s'activent à implanter les infrastructures de base de télécommunications au sol en RDC. Ce projet, a fait savoir le Directeur Général du Renatelsat, Richard Ashinda, vise également à désenclaver 366 localités congolaises.

    Le lancement du premier satellite congolais dans l'espace offre plusieurs opportunités à la RDC, notamment le transfert technologique, la création d'emplois et le renflouement du trésor public. Ce projet fait partie intégrante du vaste projet de construction d'un backbone national spatial (satellitaire) en RDC qui permettra un accès aux services de télécommunications et applications des TIC. Ce, pour assurer des communications à distance. Le backbone satellitaire est une infrastructure au sol capable de transmettre les signaux des différents opérateurs via le satellite.

    Une station maîtresse sera implantée à Kinshasa et reliera 365 VSAT et les bases terriens à travers le pays. Convaincu de la portée du lancement du premier satellite congolais dans l'espace, le Ministre des Postes, Télécommunications & Nouvelles Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication, Kin-Kiey Mulumba, s'est dit prêt à entreprendre la démarche pour que le Ranatelsat et ses partenaires obtiennent des facilités administratives. Car, a-t-il souligné, le Gouvernement Matata est un gouvernement d'actions et des résultats.

    La Prospérité
  • Les internautes peuvent s'attendre à une baisse des tarifs d'Internet dans un proche futur. C'est le ministre des Technologies de l'information et de la communication (TIC), Tassarajen Pillay Chedumbrum, qui l'a annoncé, ce lundi 30 juillet 2012.

    La compétition dans le secteur des TIC encouragera la baisse des tarifs dans quelques mois. Tassarajen Pillay Chedumbrum, ministre de tutelle, affirme que ce secteur d'activités est de plus en plus dynamique à Maurice.

    « Nous annonçons une baisse des tarifs chaque année. En 2012, il y aura forcément une autre baisse puisque nous avons à présent un nouvel opérateur, en l'occurrence Bharat Telecom, et le câble SAFE n'est plus sujet à un monopole. C'est ce qui va entraîener une baisse des prix », affirme Tassarajen Pillay Chedumbrum.

    La dernière baisse des tarifs remonte au 1er décembre 2011. Le ministre des TIC avait annoncé une baisse de 12 % à 46 % sur les tarifs ADSL Home et de 50 % sur l'ADSL Business. Toutefois, le pourcentage de baisse pour 2012 n'a pas encore été fixé.

    L'Express
  • Les sites Internet à caractère pornographique préoccupent les associations et Organisation non gouvernementale (Ong) qui luttent pour la promotion des droits des enfants. C'est le cas du Fonds africain pour la défense des enfants qui a décidé de faire circuler une pétition pour le blocage des sites pornographiques.

    Une pétition accompagnée d'une lettre aux autorités étatiques pour les inviter à prendre des mesures pour l'interdiction scrupuleuse des sites pornographiques au Sénégal. C'est ce qu'envisage l'Ong Fonds africain pour la défense des enfants (One african children's defense fund).

    Cette organisation juge trop dangereux ces sites pornographiques qui peuvent menacer la stabilité de notre pays. Les responsables du Fonds l'ont fait savoir hier au cours d'une rencontre avec la presse à la salle de la bibliothèque municipale de Guédiawaye.

    «On va faire une pétition qui va démarrer à partir d'aujourd'hui pour le blocage des sites pornographiques sur Internet dans notre pays», a laissé entendre Mamadou Mbaye, président du Fonds africain pour la défense des enfants. Et d'ajouter : «Nous allons nous mobiliser massivement à travers une vaste campagne de sensibilisation pour inciter les populations à signer la pétition pour l'intérêt de toute la communauté.»

    Dénonçant le danger que représentent, selon lui, les sites pornographiques, Mamadou Mbaye cite les conséquences graves sur le tissu social notamment les risques auxquels sont exposés les enfants. Il cite, entre autres, «la sexualité précoce, les viols et grossesses précoces, les avortements clandestins, les infanticides, les infections sexuelles, la perversion...»

    Tout en chargeant, les responsables du site Facedakar qu'il taxe de «site pornographique déguisé», le président du Fonds africain alerte sur les risques qui planent, d'après lui, sur l'avenir des enfants. Aussi invite-t-il les autorités étatiques à prendre sérieusement en compte leurs doléances qui se résument au blocage des sites pornographiques. «L'Etat a les moyens d'arrêter ces sites pornographiques.

    Ce qui reste, c'est un manque de volonté politique car les lois existent pour les sanctionner», dit-il. Avant de citer les articles 256 et 257 du code pénal. Mieux, à l'en croire, «la Sonatel a aussi les moyens de bloquer ces sites devenus dangereux pour nos enfants car chaque jour elle finance la lutte qui entraîene des scènes de violence avec parfois du sang versé».

    Waldadjri
  • Le Conseil de gouvernement a adopté, jeudi à Rabat, le projet de loi n 93-12 modifiant la loi n 24-96 relative à la poste et aux télécommunications.

    L'élaboration de ce projet fait suite à la décision des pouvoirs publics de confier les missions, objet des tirets 6,12 et 13 du 3ème alinéa de l'article 29 de la loi 24-96 relative à la poste et aux télécommunications, à la Direction générale de la sécurité des systèmes d'information relevant du ministère délégué auprès du chef du gouvernement chargé de l'administration de la Défense nationale, a indiqué le ministre de la Communication, porte-parole du gouvernement.

    Ledit projet de loi vise à abroger les tirets susmentionnés, par lesquels l'Agence nationale de réglementation des télécommunications se charge de "proposer au gouvernement la réglementation applicable à la cryptographie et son contrôle, ainsi que les normes du système d'agrément des prestataires de services de certification électronique et de prendre les mesures nécessaires à sa mise en œuvre, d'une part, et d'agréer, pour le compte de l'Etat, les prestataires de services de certification électronique et de contrôler leur activité", a précisé le ministre.

    Libération
  • C'est par des applications concrètes que le directeur général de la Ssic, Allé Diouf, a bouclé la présentation de son nouveau département Réseau et système d'information (Rsi), lors de la cérémonie de lancement.

    Cette innovation est précédée par un diplôme sanctionnant une formation d'ingénieur en téléinformatique à l'Ecole supérieure multinationale des télécommunications (Esmt). À l'image de Jappoo-bac, un concept de management de projet évolué dans une relation banque-assurance, présenté en 2002, le département Rsi s'appuie sur les technologies de l'information et de la communication pour répondre à des besoins latents ou réels des consommateurs. Des applications permettant de sauvegarder régulièrement vos contacts et données de votre cellulaire (téléphone portable) à condition que vous ayez la connectivité, de gérer avec confort votre consommation électrique dans un bâtiment intelligent, ont été présentées. Grâce à un partenariat avec d'autres structures performantes complémentaires, la Société de services d'inspection et de conseil (Ssic) s'est montrée apte à fournir des services innovants avec une assistance personnalisée tout en garantissant la sécurité du système d'information.

    Le nouveau département Rsi de la Ssic est subdivisé en trois sous-départements : Rsi-domotique, Rsi-services et Rsi-solutions. Amadou Thierno Gaye, chef du département informatique à l'École supérieur polytechnique de Dakar qui a présidé la cérémonie, a indiqué qu'Allé Diouf doit être félicité et encouragé pour ses innovations. «Je considère que M. Allé Diouf, par son parcours, mais également par les exemples qu'il apporte, constitue un exemple que j'ai envie de donner aux étudiants», a-t-il déclaré.

    Le Soleil
  • Dans le cadre de la modernisation de l'administration ivoirienne, le gouvernement a lancé le 27 juillet 2012 le prix de la meilleure administration numérique.

    Le lancement a eu lieu en présence du Premier ministre, Jeannot Ahoussou Kouadio, du ministre de la Fonction publique et de la Réforme administrative et du ministre de la Poste et des Nouvelles technologies de l'information.

    Le Premier ministre les a félicités d'avoir initié le projet et remerciés pour leur «engagement à contribuer, chacun dans son domaine, à la réussite de ce vaste chantier portant sur la réforme de notre administration». Il a aussi affirmé que «les technologies de l’information et de la communication, ainsi que l’économie numérique qu’elles sous-tendent, constituent de puissants moteurs de la croissance et du développement des sociétés modernes».

    L’administration numérique vise à améliorer les prises de décision, la visibilité et la planification stratégique, mais aussi à faciliter aux populations l’accès et l’utilisation du service public. Pour le Premier ministre ivoirien, «le gouvernement jouera pleinement son rôle de régulation en vue d’améliorer les performances des services publics». Il a souhaité plein succès à toutes les administrations appelées à entrer en compétition dans la recherche de l’innovation technologique, dans le domaine de la maitrise et de la circulation de l’information.

    Agence ecofin
  • «Il n'y a aucune opération de vente en cours», dixit le président directeur général de Maroc Telecom, qui tient tout aussitôt à préciser que « l'on ne sait jamais ce que l'avenir pourrait nous réserver. » C'est ainsi qu'Abdeslam Ahizoune a choisi de riposter aux rumeurs qui circulent depuis avril dernier, sur une possible cession des parts de Vivendi dans le capital de Maroc Telecom ainsi que d'autres filiales internationales du groupe français comme GVT et Activision.

    Intervenant lors d'une conférence de presse, tenue avant-hier à Casablanca, le PDG d'IAM a indiqué que tous les scénarios sont envisageables et qu'il ne sera pas étonné si l'un d'entre eux se réalise. « Aujourd'hui, Maroc Telecom fonctionne normalement comme auparavant et il continuera », a-t-il précisé.

    Et qu'en est-il des dernières nominations au Conseil de surveillance de Maroc Telecom ? N'augurent-elles pas d'un changement de stratégie ou d'une restructuration de l'entreprise ? « Non, répond le PDG, il s'agit bel et bien d'une simple opération de remplacement de gens qui sont partis ailleurs. Ni plus ni moins ». D'après lui, la stratégie de l'entreprise change tous les jours, vu les évolutions du marché et la volatilité de la clientèle.

    Concernant le plan de départ volontaire lancé dernièrement par l'opérateur historique, M.Ahizoune a indiqué que cette opération fonctionnait à merveille et qu'elle connaissait un vrai succès puisqu'elle serait généreuse d'après lui. En effet, IAM a proposé aux prétendants au départ volontaire une indemnité qui équivaut à 2 mois de salaire par année d'ancienneté, ce qui équivaut à 48 mois pour un salarié qui a 24 ans de service. Le montant de l'indemnité est toutefois plafonné de manière à ce qu'il ne dépasse pas la moitié du volume des salaires correspondant à la durée restante jusqu'à l'âge de la retraite.

    Pourtant, aucune indication n'a été fournie quant au nombre d'employés ayant souscrit au départ ni le coût de cette opération. A ce jour, seuls 800 salariés ont quitté l'entreprise volontairement. « Les chiffres concernant cette opération relayés par certains organes de presse sont faux. Mais, je peux vous affirmer que l'opération sera poursuivie tant qu'il y aura des métiers en déperdition », a-t-il déclaré tout en précisant que le départ volontaire n'est pas automatiquement validé et qu'IAM continuera à recruter notamment parmi les jeunes diplômés.

    S'agissant des résultats financiers du premier semestre 2012, Abdeslam Ahizoune a indiqué que le chiffre d'affaires consolidé du groupe a baissé de 1% pour s'établir à 15,1 milliards de dirham ; cela est dû à la baisse des prix de 28% et à l'augmentation du nombre des usagers de 40%. Une baisse qui aurait pu être plus importante, si ce n'était la forte progression des revenus en Afrique, qui s'accroissent de 21%, compensant les 5,3% de chiffre d'affaires perdus au Maroc.

    Le résultat opérationnel du groupe serait à 5,9 milliards, en baisse de seulement 2,3% par rapport à l'année dernière. Côté exploitation, le résultat opérationnel consolidé enregistre une baisse de 15,4% à 5,1 milliards de dirhams (460 millions d'euros). Ce repli s'explique, selon l'opérateur historique, par la hausse des charges d'amortissement liée à l'important programme d'investissements de l'opérateur, notamment en Afrique, mais également à la provision pour restructuration de 800 millions de dirhams qui doit couvrir les dépenses du plan de départ volontaire initié en fin de semestre.

    Le résultat net part du groupe (RNPG) s'est effrité de 22% à 3,1 milliards de dirhams à la fin juin 2012. Outre la provision pour restructuration, la contribution au Fonds de solidarité nationale y est également pour quelque chose. Instaurée par le nouveau gouvernement marocain, cette taxe qui ne dit pas encore son nom est appliquée depuis mai 2012 à toute entreprise gagnant plus de 100 millions de dirhams (9 millions d'euros), à hauteur de 2,5% de son bénéfice net. Maroc Telecom n'y a donc pas échappé.

    Libération
  • Gabon Telecom vient d'augmenter son chiffre d'affaires de 35% au premier trimestre, il s'est établi à 37 milliards FCFA contre 27,3 milliards FCFA au premier semestre 2011.

    Cette nouvelle stratégie marketing de Gabon Telecom est due à des offres promotionnelles en continu, l'entreprise poursuit sa remontée fantastique.

    Après les fortes baisses des prix enregistrées fin 2010 et qui ont impacté négativement les résultats de l'exercice 2011, le premier semestre 2012 a été marqué par une évolution très positive de ses indicateurs d'activités.

    Le chiffre d'affaire s'est établi à 635 milliards FCFA. Il est en hausse de 35% par rapport au premier trimestre de l'année 2011. Cette embellie, explique Gabon Telecom, est consécutive à des gains de parts de marché dans l'environnement concurrentiel qui se stabilise.

    En effet le mobile a réalisé, à lui seul, la moitié du chiffre d'affaires de l'entreprise +52%. Suite à des efforts marketing soutenus et à l'extension du réseau. Le parc mobile a donc progressé de 59%.

    L'entreprise a enregistré entre juin 2011 et juin 2012, 266 000 abonnées supplémentaires pour porter à 714 000, le nombre total de ses abonnés.

    La part de marché de Gabon Telecom dans le secteur du mobile est passée de 20 à 27% avec un taux de pénétration de 114%.

    En février 2007, suite à un appel d'offres international, l'Etat gabonais avait cédé 51% des actions de Gabon Telecom à Maroc Telecom.

    Africa Info
  • L'Internet est de nos jours, une technologie incontournable pour la promotion des médias traditionnels. Au Burkina Faso, la plupart des journaux ou des médias audiovisuels ont conçu des sites Web pour pouvoir s'adapter à cette technologie qui offre beaucoup d'avantages. Pour en savoir plus, nous avons rencontré des gestionnaires de sites de médias audiovisuels et de la presse écrite.

    Les Technologies de l'information et de la communication (TIC) en général et l'Internet en particulier, prennent de plus en plus une place importante dans divers domaines d'activités. En ce qui concerne le domaine de l'information, les médias utilisent l'Internet pour pouvoir diffuser des nouvelles dans le monde.

    Au Burkina Faso, on assiste depuis quelques années à une émergence de sites Web d'informations créés par les différents médias. Pour le journaliste et manager du portail Web de la Radiodiffusion Télévision du Burkina, Jean-Baptiste Dipama, cela se justifie par le fait que les médias traditionnels cherchent à s'adapter à cette technologie pour pouvoir conquérir les millions d'internautes. « Si on veut vraiment faire de la communication, on ne peut pas ignorer actuellement l'Internet », martèle-t-il.

    En outre, Jean-Baptiste Dipama ajoute qu'il faut permettre à la population d'avoir l'information via les outils tels que les téléphones ou ordinateurs portables. Le journaliste et responsable du site Web de L'Observateur Paalga, San Evariste Barro, quant à lui, précise que la vocation d'un média c'est de diffuser ses informations et d'atteindre le plus grand nombre de lecteurs, d'auditeurs, de téléspectateurs. « Actuellement il faut permettre aux gens de s'informer sur tous les formats et Internet offre cette opportunité », renchérit M. Dipama.

    Si les médias sont sur la toile à cause de ses avantages, cela n'est pourtant pas sans inconvénients. De l'avis de Jean-Baptiste Dipama, l'inconvénient que l'Internet peut avoir est l'insécurité du réseau. « On pourrait attaquer votre site et publier des informations que vous n'aimeriez pas voir, même si cela est peu probable aujourd'hui », précise-t-il.

    Evariste Barro pense de son côté qu'il va falloir que les journaux burkinabè définissent leurs politiques de diffusion pour ne pas tuer le journal papier. « Il faut trouver un système d'équilibre de telle sorte que l'information que vous diffusez sur Internet soit accessible mais, un peu en décalage par rapport au papier. Pour le faire, il faut que les rédactions produisent des contenus spécifiques pour Internet », suggère M. Barro. Malgré le développement des médias en ligne et leurs opportunités, ils restent méconnus au Burkina Faso. Pour le manager du portail Web RTB, cette méconnaissance est due principalement à deux facteurs.

    Premièrement, il y a l'analphabétisme de la population burkinabè qui est un handicap pour l'utilisation de l'outil informatique. « Même ceux qui sont alphabétisés ne maîetrisent pas tous l'ordinateur », ajoute-t-il. Secundo, il souligne que le débit de la connexion au Burkina Faso est très faible. « Il faut améliorer le débit de la connexion au plan national, sinon on ne pourra vraiment pas utiliser le potentiel qu'offre l'Internet », laisse-t-il entendre. Evariste Barro, pour sa part, pense que l'Internet a ses propres moyens de propagande. De ce fait, les médias burkinabè pourraient se faire connaîetre en diffusant des informations sur les réseaux sociaux.

    Sidwaya
  • Tous les pays vont migrer vers le monde numérique d'ici juin 2015. Cette date prise lors du colloque de l'Union internationale des télécommunications risque de ne pas être honorée par certains pays africains, notamment par le Burundi. Ce dernier affiche déjà un retard en ce qui concerne les préparatifs. Au moment où d'autres pays de la communauté est-africaine ont déjà entamé le processus.

    "C'est un changement utile mais qui demande beaucoup de moyens", déclare le directeur de la Radio Publique Africaine. Eric Manirakiza ne cache pas son inquiétude en ce qui concerne cette mutation. "Qui serait derrière tout cela ? Ne serait-ce pas une autre forme de business ?", se demande toujours le directeur de la RPA, une radio locale au Burundi.

    Selon lui, même la Belgique, pays partenaire du Burundi, a annoncé il y a deux mois qu'elle ne pourra pas faire cette mutation qui risque de nuire à certains médias belges. Alors comment le Burundi pourra-t-il y arriver ? Pour Eric Manirakiza, le rendez-vous de 2015 ne sera pas honoré. "C'est impossible que ce processus réussisse sans que les concernés soient associés", déclare le directeur de la radio Bonesha Fm. Patrick Nduwimana demande que des journalistes soient associés à ce projet, car, souligne-t-il, ça ne concerne pas le gouvernement seulement.

    Du côté des responsables des télécommunications, le directeur général de l'Agence de régulation des télécommunications au Burundi dit que la motivation vers cette mutation n'est autre que la gestion des fréquences. "La capacité de gérer les fréquences au niveau des radios et télévisions posent problème et ça a aussi un impact sur l'environnement", précise Salvator Nizigiyimana.

    Selon lui, les avantages sont nombreux, il y aura distribution de plusieurs fréquences, des canaux de distribution et de réception avec un équipement performant. Néanmoins, le directeur de l'ARCT signale que cette mutation est complexe. Selon lui, de gros moyens financiers sont nécessaires pour la réussite de cette mutation, la mise en place des lois en la matière et l'accès facile au décodeur qui sera utilisé par les bénéficiaires.

    Mais d'un autre côté il y a les pays de la communauté est-africaine qui sont en avance en ce qui concerne les préparatifs vers le numérique. Les Agences de télécommunications de la Tanzanie par exemple sont sensibilisées et se préparent aussi financièrement.

    "Les médias de la communauté est-africaine devraient se conformer à la mutation vers le numérique car elle est avantageuse", annonce le directeur de l'Agence de régulation des télécommunications en Tanzanie. John Nkoma dit que la sensibilisation produit de grands résultats dans son pays. D'ici début 2013, la Tanzanie sera déjà dans le numérique. Toujours selon John Nkoma, même les informations faisant état de changement de postes téléviseurs et radios sont fausses. La population sera uniquement informée qu'il faut acheter les décodeurs pour accéder aux différentes émissions.

    "Un changement cher oui, mais qui demande uniquement un ajustement", ajoute John Nkoma. Pour lui, le premier téléphone portable était trop cher sur le marché mais cela n'a pas empêché qu'il soit acheté. La Tanzanie, l'Ouganda et le Kenya sont les pays de la communauté est-africaine qui ont déjà entamé le processus de migration de l'analogique au numérique.

    Le problème qui se pose actuellement pour le Burundi et le Rwanda n'est autre que la fibre optique qui facilite les télécommunications et l'accès à l'internet qui n'est pas encore installé dans ces deux pays. Entre-temps, chaque pays de l'EAC doit établir une feuille de route de cette migration, qui sera présentée avant la fin de 2012.

    RNW
  • CloudCamp Niamey 2012 – 8 septembre 2012
    Les inscriptions sont possibles, ouvertes et libres pour la grande rencontre du Samedi 08 Septembre prochain au http://cloudcamp-niamey.eventbrite.com/

    CARREFOUR D’AFFAIRES ET DE TECHNOLOGIES 2012
    «NOUVELLE TUNISIE, NOUVELLES OPPORTUNITES »

    Tunis, Parc International des Expositions 28-30 Novembre 2012
    Organisé, du 28 au 30 Novembre 2012, par l’Agence de Promotion de l’Industrie et de l’Innovation, en association avec l’Union Tunisienne pour l’Industrie le Commerce et l’Artisanat (UTICA) et en collaboration avec l’Agence de Promotion de l’Investissement Extérieur (FIPA) et le Centre de Promotion des Exportations (CEPEX), CAT 2012 se veut être une réelle plateforme dédiée à l’entreprise, où vont se côtoyer décideurs et leaders de divers horizons, avec leurs offres et demandes dans des secteurs innovants à fort potentiel de croissance:

    Mécanique, électrique et électronique
    Agroalimentaire
    Plastique technique et plasturgie
    Textile technique
    Nouvelles technologies de l’information et de la communication
    Pharmaceutique
    Pour plus d’infos cliquez ici

  • Madame Anne-Rachel Inné  a été nommée directrice d'AFRINIC.

  • Avis de recrutement d’un Expert développeur des Systèmes d'Informations Electoraux.
    Pour télécharger l’annonce cliquez ici

    Appel à participation pour créer un répertoire de groupes de logiciels libres et Open Source par et pour les femmes et les filles

    La communauté pour l’égalité entre les sexes dans les logiciels libres (FOSS) de l’UNESCO est à la recherche de groupes et projets de logiciels libres qui encouragent la participation et la représentation des femmes dans le Libre, afin de créer un répertoire de « groupes et mouvements de logiciels libres par et pour les femmes et les filles ».

    Bien que le Libre ait radicalement changé la façon dont les logiciels sont produits, distribués, soutenus et utilisés, on y retrouve la plupart des problèmes d’inégalités entre les sexes présents dans le reste du secteur des logiciels. Selon des enquêtes menées récemment sur les logiciels libres, les femmes ne contribuent pas activement au développement et à l’utilisation du Libre, et n’ont pas de pouvoir de décision en la matière. Souvent, les études effectuées sur les logiciels libres dans le monde ne considèrent pas, voire ignorent complètement la question de l’égalité entre les sexes. Il est donc urgent de s’attaquer aux inégalités entre les sexes et de promouvoir la participation active des femmes et des filles dans l’ensemble des dimensions (culturelle, économique, politique et technique) du développement et de l’utilisation du Libre.
     
    Le répertoire a pour objectif de :
    - sensibiliser aux inégalités entre les sexes dans le Libre ;
    - accroître la visibilité des groupes de logiciels libres dirigés par des femmes, ainsi que leurs projets et activités, et notamment l’importance de leur rôle de modèles et mentors auprès des femmes et des filles qui ont un intérêt pour le Libre ;
    - mettre en évidence la représentation, le rôle et les réalisations des femmes dans les logiciels libres et dans les activités/projets correspondants ;
    - mettre à disposition une plateforme où différents groupes de logiciels libres peuvent lancer des projets collaboratifs, échanger des informations au travers des ONG, associations et entreprises concernées, ainsi que dans le monde universitaire et le secteur public ; encourager les projets contribuant à la participation et à la promotion des femmes dans le Libre.

    L’UNESCO fait donc appel aux groupes et communautés pour établir une liste complète des Groupes et mouvements de logiciels libres pour les femmes et les filles (en anglais).
     
    Merci de contribuer en nous envoyant un e-mail (foss(at)unesco.org) ou en rejoignant la communauté logiciels libres de l’UNESCO :
     
    1)  Pour les groupes : nom du groupe, portée nationale ou régionale, brève présentation et lien.
    2)  Pour les projets/activités : titre et brève présentation couvrant notamment les objectifs, le statut et les réalisations.

Edition Française, 9 août 2012 No 188

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Editorial

  • Au début du mois d'août le journal l'Express a interviewé des jeunes malgaches sur leurs comportements vis à vis de l'Internet. Ci-dessous Balancing Act reproduit trois tranches de vie. Selon Isabelle Gross, responsable de recherche à Balancing Act, de plus en plus d'Africains peuvent s'identifier à ces jeunes de Madagascar et cet engouemant va grandissant. Au Libéria, un des pays les plus pauvres en Afrique, la jeunesse ne se comporte pas différemment vis-à-vis de l'Internet que les jeunes de Madagascar. Bien sur il y a d'autres freins à la pénétration de l'Internet et nous y reviendrons à la fin de l'article après avoir laissé la parole à Tifanie, Mialy et Manda

    - Tifanie- « Je dépense AR2,000 (0.70 Euros) par jour pour facebook et les sms »
    L'internet prend une part importante dans la vie de la plupart des jeunes malgaches. Il en est ainsi pour Tifanie qui vient de passer en classe terminale, cette année.

    Il ne se passe pas un seul jour sans qu'elle ne se connecte pas sur facebook depuis son téléphone portable. D'autant plus qu'elle est abonnée à l'offre facebook illimité d'un opérateur en téléphonie mobile.

    « Mon téléphone sert à vérifier les nouvelles des amis sur facebook, et à envoyer des textos. En moyenne, je dépense Ar 2,000 par jour », avoue-t-elle.

    Ce site social devient au fil des ans son favori. La preuve : son compte atteint déjà les 5,000 autorisés. Même si elle n'en connaîet véritablement dans la vie que 500.

    - Mialy - « Mes études nécessitent l'utilisation du net »
    « Le téléphone me sert à la communication avec mes proches. C'est son utilisation basique. À cela s'ajoute une certaine utilisation professionnelle », déclare Mialy, étudiante au Centre national de télé-enseignement de Madagascar.

    En suivant un enseignement à distance, elle se connecte plutôt à l'internet pour ses études, pour la documentation. Comme nombre de Malgaches, le cybercafé est l'endroit idéal pour surfer sur le net.

    « L'internet est un outil indispensable à mes études. La recherche de documents, de cours, de sujets est facilitée grâce à cette technologie. Le temps passé sur le net varie en fonction de mes recherches.

    À cela s'ajoute la consultation des mails. Mais cela ne m'empêche pas de visiter mon compte facebook, le temps de vérifier les nouvelles des amis », continue-t-elle.

    - Manda - « L'internet, c'est pour le divertissement »
    Comment pourrait-elle passer sa vie sans son téléphone Manda ne l'imagine même pas. Elle fait partie de cette génération « branchée » où le langage « sms » intègre sa vie quotidienne. Tout comme les autres, elle se connecte sur facebook via son téléphone ou sur ordinateur.

    « Facebook me tient au courant de tout ce qui se passe autour de moi, et me permet de connaîetre les nouvelles de mes amis », confie-t-elle. « Mes dépenses quotidiennes varient selon les besoins », ajoute-t-elle. D'autant plus qu'elle bénéficie d'une connexion internet chez soi.

    Cette étudiante en management consulte l'internet pour visionner les vidéos ou les tubes qui cartonnent sur Youtube, et bien évidemment pour consulter ses mails. C'est une question de divertissement.

    Divertissements, informations ou communications, ce sont bien ces activités qui nous unissent tous lorsque nous parlons de l'Internet. Chacun y trouve son compte sans doute mais il reste toujours beaucoup à faire en terme d'accès d'une plus grande partie de la population en Afrique à l'Internet.

    Au Libéria, l'opérateur mobile Cellcom qui a lancé son réseau 4G (technologie HSPA+) en juin dernier, a rencontré un vif succès mais pour maintenir cette vitesse de croissance il va lui falloir faire plus. La vitesse de téléchargement de la technologie HSPA+ est de l'ordre de 21Mbps et offre de aux Libérians qui peuvent se le permettre de surfer Facebook et de regarder des vidéos sur YouTube sans interruptions et sans longue attente. Mais qu'en est-il du reste de sa clientèle 2G dont une partie aimerait sans doute expérimenter la 4G? A moins de leur proposer des téléphones 3G à des prix plus abordables (en dessous de 50 dollars US) et des services Internet haut-débit beaucoup moins chers, ils resteront malheureusement sur leur faim.

  • Des experts en télécommunications de l'UEMOA (Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine) se sont réunis la semaine dernière à Niamey, au Niger. L'objectif était de valider une étude sur le modèle harmonisé de calcul des tarifs d'interconnexion des réseaux de télécommunications dans l'espace de l'UEMOA.

    Commanditée par l'Union, cette étude a fait ressortir l'existence de forts écarts (variant de 1 à 4) entre les différents tarifs d'interconnexion des pays membres. Il s'agit à présent de mieux harmoniser ces tarifs afin de rendre l'ensemble des réseaux plus accessibles à tous les utilisateurs grâce à une baisse des communications dans la zone.

    S'exprimant à l'ouverture de l'atelier, le ministre nigérien de la Communication et des Nouvelles technologies de l'information, Salifou Labo Bouché (photo), a indiqué que les autorités en charge de la régulation étaient «interpellées chaque jour par le consommateur sur la cherté de la minute de communication et la non transparence des opérateurs dans la tarification des services de télécommunications».

    L'atelier de Niamey devrait permettre, selon Salifou Labo Bouché, de parvenir à des «tarifs de communications orientés vers les coûts réels».

    Agence ecofin
  • Après avoir implanté avec succès sa technologie pilote « villasol » dans des zones rurales non raccordées au réseau électrique, Schneider Electric Nigeria veut mettre l’énergie solaire au service des opérateurs téléphoniques.

     Marcel Hochet, Directeur de Schneider Electric Nigeria a déclaré lundi 24 juillet à Lagos que sa société travaillait actuellement en partenariat avec Airtel et MTN au développement de l’énergie solaire pour l’alimentation des stations émettrices-réceptrices. Le Nigeria compte 110 millions de lignes de téléphone mobile et l’une des plus mauvaises qualités de service du continent. Les quatre opérateurs MTN Nigeria, Globacom, Airtel et Etisalat Nigeria ont été condamnés en mai dernier à un montant global d’amendes de 1,17 milliard de naïras faute d’atteindre une qualité de services standard minimum.

    Outre une économie de carburant, la fourniture d’une énergie renouvelable permettrait, selon M. Hochet, d’améliorer la qualité du service en regard des exigences de la Commission nigériane de Communications. Il s’est dit prêt à négocier avec d’autres opérateurs. Cette initiative traduit le désir de la société d’accroître sa présence dans le pays et s’inscrit en continuité avec sa volonté de relever le défi de l’électrification rurale grâce à la technologie « villasol ».

    « Au Nigeria, les difficultés d’accès à l’énergie affectent près de 100 millions d’habitants », estime M. Hochet. « Villasol » permettra aux Nigérians à la base de la pyramide d’avoir accès à l’électricité sans dépendre du réseau national.

    Le premier projet pilote, inauguré en septembre dernier dans l’Ogun State, et développé en partenariat avec le CREDC (Communauty Research and Development Center) est une micro centrale composée de panneaux photovoltaïques, d’un onduleur solaire et d’une station de charge de batteries qui fournit 4 MW et alimente en particulier une pompe automatisée pour le réseau d’eau potable.

  • Pour avoir autorisé le prélèvement de 25 francs CFA (0,046 dollar) sur chaque abonné des cinq sociétés de téléphonie mobile opérant au Bénin, pour contribuer à une quinzaine de solidarité nationale, l’Autorité transitoire de régulation des postes et télécommunications et le gouvernement béninois ont été condamnés par la Cour constitutionnelle du Bénin.

    Les prélèvements sur les abonnés avaient été autorisés en décembre 2011, «en l'absence de toute loi en la matière», selon la Cour constitutionnelle qui note qu’elle a imposé aux consommateurs «une taxe en dehors des procédures exigées par la constitution». Les abonnés qui ont saisi la justice ont estimé que «les abonnés GSM n'ont pas été consultés et (que) les prélèvements ont été opérés comme une taxe qui relève normalement du domaine de la loi».

    La collecte de ces prélèvements (0,046 sur chaque abonné des réseaux GSM et 0,18 dollar sur chaque véhicule d'occasion sort du port de Cotonou) avait permis de collecter plus de 20 millions de FCFA (37500 dollars) qui ont été reversés au ministère béninois de la Famille et de la Solidarité, dans le cadre de la deuxième édition de la quinzaine de solidarité nationale lancée la semaine dernière.

    Agence ecofin
  • Pour la seconde fois en l'espace d'une semaine, l'Agence de régulation de la poste et des télécommunications (Arpt) réagit aux observations émises par l'opérateur de la téléphonie mobile Wataniya Télécoms Algérie Nedjma.

    En réponse aux appels de Nedjma pour le rééquilibrage du marché, l'Arpt, par le biais de sa première responsable, Mme Zohra Derdouri, a tenu à faire hier quelques précisions notamment sur sa mission consistant à assurer une concurrence loyale sur le marché.

    Elle est également revenue sur les critères pris en considération dans la régulation du marché à travers le contrôle des produits proposés et dans la détermination de l'opérateur dominant.

    De même qu'elle a dressé le bilan de son intervention à travers le territoire national. D'emblée, Mme Derdouri, citée par l'APS, dira que le terme «rééquilibrage» a été utilisé à «tort» par Nedjma.

    Car, pour la présidente de l'Arpt, l'évolution des parts de marché des opérateurs dépend en premier lieu de «l'élévation qu'imprime chacun des opérateurs à la qualité de service procurée à ses clients, du niveau d'investissement qu'il consent, des innovations de son marketing et de la satisfaction des attentes des usagers en matière de prix et de variétés de son offre».

    «C'est à l'Arpt que revient la prérogative de fixer le seuil des parts de marché à partir duquel l'abus de dominance est constitué», dira encore Mme Derdouri avant de préciser que la mission de l'Agence «n'est pas d'empêcher la dominance, ce qui reviendrait à nier la compétition, mais à réprimer la pratique prohibée de l'abus de dominance». L'objectif de l'Arpt, selon sa présidente, est d'éviter la déstabilisation du marché.

    Ainsi, les produits mis à la vente par les opérateurs sont étudiés au préalable avant de subir des tests et des simulations pour voir si les tarifs proposés peuvent faire du tort ou non aux autres opérateurs.

    Concernant les différentes statistiques, «seule l'Autorité dispose de données officielles relatives au secteur, qui sont consolidées en fin d'année sur la base d'audits de validation auprès des opérateurs», notera dans le même sillage Mme Derdouri, pour qui seules les données de l'Agence sont à prendre en considération pour analyser le marché.

    Une manière d'appeler les opérateurs à éviter l'ingérence dans le travail de l'Arpt Sur un autre plan, la régulation des offres promotionnelles a permis, selon l'Arpt, de mettre un terme à «l'anarchie» que connaissait le marché. Ainsi, le nombre de ces offres a été divisé par trois en quatre ans.

    Il est passé de 99, en 2008, à 27, en 2011. Le nombre de jours de promotion a été réduit de 5 154 jours en 2008 à 519 jours en 2011, soit une diminution de 89,9%. C'est une façon pour l'Arpt de «restituer à l'offre promotionnelle le caractère exceptionnel qui doit être le sien».

    «Vu l'anarchie qui caractérisait ce type d'offres par le passé et après concertation avec les opérateurs, l'Arpt a pris la décision de réguler ces offres promotionnelles, tout en tenant compte de la position de chaque opérateur sur le marché, en fixant des règles d'application», a précisé Mme Derdouri à ce sujet.

    Arpt : 53 opérations de contrôle depuis 2009

    Depuis 2009, l'Arpt a effectué pas moins de 53 missions de contrôle de la qualité de service et étudié et approuvé 100 offres tarifaires et nouveaux services.

    L'Arpt a procédé également à 73 contrôles concernant le respect, par les opérateurs, des conditions sur les offres tarifaires et nouveaux services validés.

    Elle effectue, périodiquement, des contrôles sur le respect de l'obligation d'identification des abonnés.Au-delà des aspects techniques et commerciaux, les activités de l'Arpt s'étendent aussi à des prérogatives réglementaires, telles que l'élaboration de décisions de régulation et l'adoption de normes et standards techniques internationaux grâce auxquels elle a pu agréer des équipements aux fins d'exploitation sur le marché des télécommunications.

    À titre d'exemple, 1 385 modèles d'équipements de télécommunications, dont 629 modèles de téléphone fixes et mobiles, ont été agréés depuis 2009, obtenant le label «Agréé par l'Arpt».

    La Tribune
  • La révolution de la modernité prônée par le Chef de l'Etat a trouvé une réponse positive dans le secteur de télécommunications. Sous peu, la RDC deviendra un village planétaire grâce au lancement de son premier satellite dans l'espace. "Congo Sat 1", tel est le nom du satellite congolais qui sera lancé dans l'espace d'ici 36 mois.

    Le coût global du projet est de USD 400 millions. Après la signature des contrats de partenariat avec les entreprises China international telecom construction corporation (CITCC), China great wall industry corporation (CGWIC) et China telecom corporation (CTC) en 2008 et 2011, le Réseau national de télécommunications par satellite (Renatelsat), un service public relevant du ministère des PT&NTIC, est venu solliciter le concours du ministre de tutelle, Kin-Kiey Mulumba, hier lundi, 30 juillet 2012, pour obtenir des facilités administratives dans le cadre de ce projet. Déjà, ces entreprises chinoises s'activent à implanter les infrastructures de base de télécommunications au sol en RDC. Ce projet, a fait savoir le Directeur Général du Renatelsat, Richard Ashinda, vise également à désenclaver 366 localités congolaises.

    Le lancement du premier satellite congolais dans l'espace offre plusieurs opportunités à la RDC, notamment le transfert technologique, la création d'emplois et le renflouement du trésor public. Ce projet fait partie intégrante du vaste projet de construction d'un backbone national spatial (satellitaire) en RDC qui permettra un accès aux services de télécommunications et applications des TIC. Ce, pour assurer des communications à distance. Le backbone satellitaire est une infrastructure au sol capable de transmettre les signaux des différents opérateurs via le satellite.

    Une station maîtresse sera implantée à Kinshasa et reliera 365 VSAT et les bases terriens à travers le pays. Convaincu de la portée du lancement du premier satellite congolais dans l'espace, le Ministre des Postes, Télécommunications & Nouvelles Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication, Kin-Kiey Mulumba, s'est dit prêt à entreprendre la démarche pour que le Ranatelsat et ses partenaires obtiennent des facilités administratives. Car, a-t-il souligné, le Gouvernement Matata est un gouvernement d'actions et des résultats.

    La Prospérité
  • Les internautes peuvent s'attendre à une baisse des tarifs d'Internet dans un proche futur. C'est le ministre des Technologies de l'information et de la communication (TIC), Tassarajen Pillay Chedumbrum, qui l'a annoncé, ce lundi 30 juillet 2012.

    La compétition dans le secteur des TIC encouragera la baisse des tarifs dans quelques mois. Tassarajen Pillay Chedumbrum, ministre de tutelle, affirme que ce secteur d'activités est de plus en plus dynamique à Maurice.

    « Nous annonçons une baisse des tarifs chaque année. En 2012, il y aura forcément une autre baisse puisque nous avons à présent un nouvel opérateur, en l'occurrence Bharat Telecom, et le câble SAFE n'est plus sujet à un monopole. C'est ce qui va entraîener une baisse des prix », affirme Tassarajen Pillay Chedumbrum.

    La dernière baisse des tarifs remonte au 1er décembre 2011. Le ministre des TIC avait annoncé une baisse de 12 % à 46 % sur les tarifs ADSL Home et de 50 % sur l'ADSL Business. Toutefois, le pourcentage de baisse pour 2012 n'a pas encore été fixé.

    L'Express
  • Les sites Internet à caractère pornographique préoccupent les associations et Organisation non gouvernementale (Ong) qui luttent pour la promotion des droits des enfants. C'est le cas du Fonds africain pour la défense des enfants qui a décidé de faire circuler une pétition pour le blocage des sites pornographiques.

    Une pétition accompagnée d'une lettre aux autorités étatiques pour les inviter à prendre des mesures pour l'interdiction scrupuleuse des sites pornographiques au Sénégal. C'est ce qu'envisage l'Ong Fonds africain pour la défense des enfants (One african children's defense fund).

    Cette organisation juge trop dangereux ces sites pornographiques qui peuvent menacer la stabilité de notre pays. Les responsables du Fonds l'ont fait savoir hier au cours d'une rencontre avec la presse à la salle de la bibliothèque municipale de Guédiawaye.

    «On va faire une pétition qui va démarrer à partir d'aujourd'hui pour le blocage des sites pornographiques sur Internet dans notre pays», a laissé entendre Mamadou Mbaye, président du Fonds africain pour la défense des enfants. Et d'ajouter : «Nous allons nous mobiliser massivement à travers une vaste campagne de sensibilisation pour inciter les populations à signer la pétition pour l'intérêt de toute la communauté.»

    Dénonçant le danger que représentent, selon lui, les sites pornographiques, Mamadou Mbaye cite les conséquences graves sur le tissu social notamment les risques auxquels sont exposés les enfants. Il cite, entre autres, «la sexualité précoce, les viols et grossesses précoces, les avortements clandestins, les infanticides, les infections sexuelles, la perversion...»

    Tout en chargeant, les responsables du site Facedakar qu'il taxe de «site pornographique déguisé», le président du Fonds africain alerte sur les risques qui planent, d'après lui, sur l'avenir des enfants. Aussi invite-t-il les autorités étatiques à prendre sérieusement en compte leurs doléances qui se résument au blocage des sites pornographiques. «L'Etat a les moyens d'arrêter ces sites pornographiques.

    Ce qui reste, c'est un manque de volonté politique car les lois existent pour les sanctionner», dit-il. Avant de citer les articles 256 et 257 du code pénal. Mieux, à l'en croire, «la Sonatel a aussi les moyens de bloquer ces sites devenus dangereux pour nos enfants car chaque jour elle finance la lutte qui entraîene des scènes de violence avec parfois du sang versé».

    Waldadjri
  • Le Conseil de gouvernement a adopté, jeudi à Rabat, le projet de loi n 93-12 modifiant la loi n 24-96 relative à la poste et aux télécommunications.

    L'élaboration de ce projet fait suite à la décision des pouvoirs publics de confier les missions, objet des tirets 6,12 et 13 du 3ème alinéa de l'article 29 de la loi 24-96 relative à la poste et aux télécommunications, à la Direction générale de la sécurité des systèmes d'information relevant du ministère délégué auprès du chef du gouvernement chargé de l'administration de la Défense nationale, a indiqué le ministre de la Communication, porte-parole du gouvernement.

    Ledit projet de loi vise à abroger les tirets susmentionnés, par lesquels l'Agence nationale de réglementation des télécommunications se charge de "proposer au gouvernement la réglementation applicable à la cryptographie et son contrôle, ainsi que les normes du système d'agrément des prestataires de services de certification électronique et de prendre les mesures nécessaires à sa mise en œuvre, d'une part, et d'agréer, pour le compte de l'Etat, les prestataires de services de certification électronique et de contrôler leur activité", a précisé le ministre.

    Libération
  • C'est par des applications concrètes que le directeur général de la Ssic, Allé Diouf, a bouclé la présentation de son nouveau département Réseau et système d'information (Rsi), lors de la cérémonie de lancement.

    Cette innovation est précédée par un diplôme sanctionnant une formation d'ingénieur en téléinformatique à l'Ecole supérieure multinationale des télécommunications (Esmt). À l'image de Jappoo-bac, un concept de management de projet évolué dans une relation banque-assurance, présenté en 2002, le département Rsi s'appuie sur les technologies de l'information et de la communication pour répondre à des besoins latents ou réels des consommateurs. Des applications permettant de sauvegarder régulièrement vos contacts et données de votre cellulaire (téléphone portable) à condition que vous ayez la connectivité, de gérer avec confort votre consommation électrique dans un bâtiment intelligent, ont été présentées. Grâce à un partenariat avec d'autres structures performantes complémentaires, la Société de services d'inspection et de conseil (Ssic) s'est montrée apte à fournir des services innovants avec une assistance personnalisée tout en garantissant la sécurité du système d'information.

    Le nouveau département Rsi de la Ssic est subdivisé en trois sous-départements : Rsi-domotique, Rsi-services et Rsi-solutions. Amadou Thierno Gaye, chef du département informatique à l'École supérieur polytechnique de Dakar qui a présidé la cérémonie, a indiqué qu'Allé Diouf doit être félicité et encouragé pour ses innovations. «Je considère que M. Allé Diouf, par son parcours, mais également par les exemples qu'il apporte, constitue un exemple que j'ai envie de donner aux étudiants», a-t-il déclaré.

    Le Soleil
  • Dans le cadre de la modernisation de l'administration ivoirienne, le gouvernement a lancé le 27 juillet 2012 le prix de la meilleure administration numérique.

    Le lancement a eu lieu en présence du Premier ministre, Jeannot Ahoussou Kouadio, du ministre de la Fonction publique et de la Réforme administrative et du ministre de la Poste et des Nouvelles technologies de l'information.

    Le Premier ministre les a félicités d'avoir initié le projet et remerciés pour leur «engagement à contribuer, chacun dans son domaine, à la réussite de ce vaste chantier portant sur la réforme de notre administration». Il a aussi affirmé que «les technologies de l’information et de la communication, ainsi que l’économie numérique qu’elles sous-tendent, constituent de puissants moteurs de la croissance et du développement des sociétés modernes».

    L’administration numérique vise à améliorer les prises de décision, la visibilité et la planification stratégique, mais aussi à faciliter aux populations l’accès et l’utilisation du service public. Pour le Premier ministre ivoirien, «le gouvernement jouera pleinement son rôle de régulation en vue d’améliorer les performances des services publics». Il a souhaité plein succès à toutes les administrations appelées à entrer en compétition dans la recherche de l’innovation technologique, dans le domaine de la maitrise et de la circulation de l’information.

    Agence ecofin
  • «Il n'y a aucune opération de vente en cours», dixit le président directeur général de Maroc Telecom, qui tient tout aussitôt à préciser que « l'on ne sait jamais ce que l'avenir pourrait nous réserver. » C'est ainsi qu'Abdeslam Ahizoune a choisi de riposter aux rumeurs qui circulent depuis avril dernier, sur une possible cession des parts de Vivendi dans le capital de Maroc Telecom ainsi que d'autres filiales internationales du groupe français comme GVT et Activision.

    Intervenant lors d'une conférence de presse, tenue avant-hier à Casablanca, le PDG d'IAM a indiqué que tous les scénarios sont envisageables et qu'il ne sera pas étonné si l'un d'entre eux se réalise. « Aujourd'hui, Maroc Telecom fonctionne normalement comme auparavant et il continuera », a-t-il précisé.

    Et qu'en est-il des dernières nominations au Conseil de surveillance de Maroc Telecom ? N'augurent-elles pas d'un changement de stratégie ou d'une restructuration de l'entreprise ? « Non, répond le PDG, il s'agit bel et bien d'une simple opération de remplacement de gens qui sont partis ailleurs. Ni plus ni moins ». D'après lui, la stratégie de l'entreprise change tous les jours, vu les évolutions du marché et la volatilité de la clientèle.

    Concernant le plan de départ volontaire lancé dernièrement par l'opérateur historique, M.Ahizoune a indiqué que cette opération fonctionnait à merveille et qu'elle connaissait un vrai succès puisqu'elle serait généreuse d'après lui. En effet, IAM a proposé aux prétendants au départ volontaire une indemnité qui équivaut à 2 mois de salaire par année d'ancienneté, ce qui équivaut à 48 mois pour un salarié qui a 24 ans de service. Le montant de l'indemnité est toutefois plafonné de manière à ce qu'il ne dépasse pas la moitié du volume des salaires correspondant à la durée restante jusqu'à l'âge de la retraite.

    Pourtant, aucune indication n'a été fournie quant au nombre d'employés ayant souscrit au départ ni le coût de cette opération. A ce jour, seuls 800 salariés ont quitté l'entreprise volontairement. « Les chiffres concernant cette opération relayés par certains organes de presse sont faux. Mais, je peux vous affirmer que l'opération sera poursuivie tant qu'il y aura des métiers en déperdition », a-t-il déclaré tout en précisant que le départ volontaire n'est pas automatiquement validé et qu'IAM continuera à recruter notamment parmi les jeunes diplômés.

    S'agissant des résultats financiers du premier semestre 2012, Abdeslam Ahizoune a indiqué que le chiffre d'affaires consolidé du groupe a baissé de 1% pour s'établir à 15,1 milliards de dirham ; cela est dû à la baisse des prix de 28% et à l'augmentation du nombre des usagers de 40%. Une baisse qui aurait pu être plus importante, si ce n'était la forte progression des revenus en Afrique, qui s'accroissent de 21%, compensant les 5,3% de chiffre d'affaires perdus au Maroc.

    Le résultat opérationnel du groupe serait à 5,9 milliards, en baisse de seulement 2,3% par rapport à l'année dernière. Côté exploitation, le résultat opérationnel consolidé enregistre une baisse de 15,4% à 5,1 milliards de dirhams (460 millions d'euros). Ce repli s'explique, selon l'opérateur historique, par la hausse des charges d'amortissement liée à l'important programme d'investissements de l'opérateur, notamment en Afrique, mais également à la provision pour restructuration de 800 millions de dirhams qui doit couvrir les dépenses du plan de départ volontaire initié en fin de semestre.

    Le résultat net part du groupe (RNPG) s'est effrité de 22% à 3,1 milliards de dirhams à la fin juin 2012. Outre la provision pour restructuration, la contribution au Fonds de solidarité nationale y est également pour quelque chose. Instaurée par le nouveau gouvernement marocain, cette taxe qui ne dit pas encore son nom est appliquée depuis mai 2012 à toute entreprise gagnant plus de 100 millions de dirhams (9 millions d'euros), à hauteur de 2,5% de son bénéfice net. Maroc Telecom n'y a donc pas échappé.

    Libération
  • Gabon Telecom vient d'augmenter son chiffre d'affaires de 35% au premier trimestre, il s'est établi à 37 milliards FCFA contre 27,3 milliards FCFA au premier semestre 2011.

    Cette nouvelle stratégie marketing de Gabon Telecom est due à des offres promotionnelles en continu, l'entreprise poursuit sa remontée fantastique.

    Après les fortes baisses des prix enregistrées fin 2010 et qui ont impacté négativement les résultats de l'exercice 2011, le premier semestre 2012 a été marqué par une évolution très positive de ses indicateurs d'activités.

    Le chiffre d'affaire s'est établi à 635 milliards FCFA. Il est en hausse de 35% par rapport au premier trimestre de l'année 2011. Cette embellie, explique Gabon Telecom, est consécutive à des gains de parts de marché dans l'environnement concurrentiel qui se stabilise.

    En effet le mobile a réalisé, à lui seul, la moitié du chiffre d'affaires de l'entreprise +52%. Suite à des efforts marketing soutenus et à l'extension du réseau. Le parc mobile a donc progressé de 59%.

    L'entreprise a enregistré entre juin 2011 et juin 2012, 266 000 abonnées supplémentaires pour porter à 714 000, le nombre total de ses abonnés.

    La part de marché de Gabon Telecom dans le secteur du mobile est passée de 20 à 27% avec un taux de pénétration de 114%.

    En février 2007, suite à un appel d'offres international, l'Etat gabonais avait cédé 51% des actions de Gabon Telecom à Maroc Telecom.

    Africa Info
  • L'Internet est de nos jours, une technologie incontournable pour la promotion des médias traditionnels. Au Burkina Faso, la plupart des journaux ou des médias audiovisuels ont conçu des sites Web pour pouvoir s'adapter à cette technologie qui offre beaucoup d'avantages. Pour en savoir plus, nous avons rencontré des gestionnaires de sites de médias audiovisuels et de la presse écrite.

    Les Technologies de l'information et de la communication (TIC) en général et l'Internet en particulier, prennent de plus en plus une place importante dans divers domaines d'activités. En ce qui concerne le domaine de l'information, les médias utilisent l'Internet pour pouvoir diffuser des nouvelles dans le monde.

    Au Burkina Faso, on assiste depuis quelques années à une émergence de sites Web d'informations créés par les différents médias. Pour le journaliste et manager du portail Web de la Radiodiffusion Télévision du Burkina, Jean-Baptiste Dipama, cela se justifie par le fait que les médias traditionnels cherchent à s'adapter à cette technologie pour pouvoir conquérir les millions d'internautes. « Si on veut vraiment faire de la communication, on ne peut pas ignorer actuellement l'Internet », martèle-t-il.

    En outre, Jean-Baptiste Dipama ajoute qu'il faut permettre à la population d'avoir l'information via les outils tels que les téléphones ou ordinateurs portables. Le journaliste et responsable du site Web de L'Observateur Paalga, San Evariste Barro, quant à lui, précise que la vocation d'un média c'est de diffuser ses informations et d'atteindre le plus grand nombre de lecteurs, d'auditeurs, de téléspectateurs. « Actuellement il faut permettre aux gens de s'informer sur tous les formats et Internet offre cette opportunité », renchérit M. Dipama.

    Si les médias sont sur la toile à cause de ses avantages, cela n'est pourtant pas sans inconvénients. De l'avis de Jean-Baptiste Dipama, l'inconvénient que l'Internet peut avoir est l'insécurité du réseau. « On pourrait attaquer votre site et publier des informations que vous n'aimeriez pas voir, même si cela est peu probable aujourd'hui », précise-t-il.

    Evariste Barro pense de son côté qu'il va falloir que les journaux burkinabè définissent leurs politiques de diffusion pour ne pas tuer le journal papier. « Il faut trouver un système d'équilibre de telle sorte que l'information que vous diffusez sur Internet soit accessible mais, un peu en décalage par rapport au papier. Pour le faire, il faut que les rédactions produisent des contenus spécifiques pour Internet », suggère M. Barro. Malgré le développement des médias en ligne et leurs opportunités, ils restent méconnus au Burkina Faso. Pour le manager du portail Web RTB, cette méconnaissance est due principalement à deux facteurs.

    Premièrement, il y a l'analphabétisme de la population burkinabè qui est un handicap pour l'utilisation de l'outil informatique. « Même ceux qui sont alphabétisés ne maîetrisent pas tous l'ordinateur », ajoute-t-il. Secundo, il souligne que le débit de la connexion au Burkina Faso est très faible. « Il faut améliorer le débit de la connexion au plan national, sinon on ne pourra vraiment pas utiliser le potentiel qu'offre l'Internet », laisse-t-il entendre. Evariste Barro, pour sa part, pense que l'Internet a ses propres moyens de propagande. De ce fait, les médias burkinabè pourraient se faire connaîetre en diffusant des informations sur les réseaux sociaux.

    Sidwaya
  • Tous les pays vont migrer vers le monde numérique d'ici juin 2015. Cette date prise lors du colloque de l'Union internationale des télécommunications risque de ne pas être honorée par certains pays africains, notamment par le Burundi. Ce dernier affiche déjà un retard en ce qui concerne les préparatifs. Au moment où d'autres pays de la communauté est-africaine ont déjà entamé le processus.

    "C'est un changement utile mais qui demande beaucoup de moyens", déclare le directeur de la Radio Publique Africaine. Eric Manirakiza ne cache pas son inquiétude en ce qui concerne cette mutation. "Qui serait derrière tout cela ? Ne serait-ce pas une autre forme de business ?", se demande toujours le directeur de la RPA, une radio locale au Burundi.

    Selon lui, même la Belgique, pays partenaire du Burundi, a annoncé il y a deux mois qu'elle ne pourra pas faire cette mutation qui risque de nuire à certains médias belges. Alors comment le Burundi pourra-t-il y arriver ? Pour Eric Manirakiza, le rendez-vous de 2015 ne sera pas honoré. "C'est impossible que ce processus réussisse sans que les concernés soient associés", déclare le directeur de la radio Bonesha Fm. Patrick Nduwimana demande que des journalistes soient associés à ce projet, car, souligne-t-il, ça ne concerne pas le gouvernement seulement.

    Du côté des responsables des télécommunications, le directeur général de l'Agence de régulation des télécommunications au Burundi dit que la motivation vers cette mutation n'est autre que la gestion des fréquences. "La capacité de gérer les fréquences au niveau des radios et télévisions posent problème et ça a aussi un impact sur l'environnement", précise Salvator Nizigiyimana.

    Selon lui, les avantages sont nombreux, il y aura distribution de plusieurs fréquences, des canaux de distribution et de réception avec un équipement performant. Néanmoins, le directeur de l'ARCT signale que cette mutation est complexe. Selon lui, de gros moyens financiers sont nécessaires pour la réussite de cette mutation, la mise en place des lois en la matière et l'accès facile au décodeur qui sera utilisé par les bénéficiaires.

    Mais d'un autre côté il y a les pays de la communauté est-africaine qui sont en avance en ce qui concerne les préparatifs vers le numérique. Les Agences de télécommunications de la Tanzanie par exemple sont sensibilisées et se préparent aussi financièrement.

    "Les médias de la communauté est-africaine devraient se conformer à la mutation vers le numérique car elle est avantageuse", annonce le directeur de l'Agence de régulation des télécommunications en Tanzanie. John Nkoma dit que la sensibilisation produit de grands résultats dans son pays. D'ici début 2013, la Tanzanie sera déjà dans le numérique. Toujours selon John Nkoma, même les informations faisant état de changement de postes téléviseurs et radios sont fausses. La population sera uniquement informée qu'il faut acheter les décodeurs pour accéder aux différentes émissions.

    "Un changement cher oui, mais qui demande uniquement un ajustement", ajoute John Nkoma. Pour lui, le premier téléphone portable était trop cher sur le marché mais cela n'a pas empêché qu'il soit acheté. La Tanzanie, l'Ouganda et le Kenya sont les pays de la communauté est-africaine qui ont déjà entamé le processus de migration de l'analogique au numérique.

    Le problème qui se pose actuellement pour le Burundi et le Rwanda n'est autre que la fibre optique qui facilite les télécommunications et l'accès à l'internet qui n'est pas encore installé dans ces deux pays. Entre-temps, chaque pays de l'EAC doit établir une feuille de route de cette migration, qui sera présentée avant la fin de 2012.

    RNW
  • CloudCamp Niamey 2012 – 8 septembre 2012
    Les inscriptions sont possibles, ouvertes et libres pour la grande rencontre du Samedi 08 Septembre prochain au http://cloudcamp-niamey.eventbrite.com/

    CARREFOUR D’AFFAIRES ET DE TECHNOLOGIES 2012
    «NOUVELLE TUNISIE, NOUVELLES OPPORTUNITES »

    Tunis, Parc International des Expositions 28-30 Novembre 2012
    Organisé, du 28 au 30 Novembre 2012, par l’Agence de Promotion de l’Industrie et de l’Innovation, en association avec l’Union Tunisienne pour l’Industrie le Commerce et l’Artisanat (UTICA) et en collaboration avec l’Agence de Promotion de l’Investissement Extérieur (FIPA) et le Centre de Promotion des Exportations (CEPEX), CAT 2012 se veut être une réelle plateforme dédiée à l’entreprise, où vont se côtoyer décideurs et leaders de divers horizons, avec leurs offres et demandes dans des secteurs innovants à fort potentiel de croissance:

    Mécanique, électrique et électronique
    Agroalimentaire
    Plastique technique et plasturgie
    Textile technique
    Nouvelles technologies de l’information et de la communication
    Pharmaceutique
    Pour plus d’infos cliquez ici

  • Madame Anne-Rachel Inné  a été nommée directrice d'AFRINIC.

  • Avis de recrutement d’un Expert développeur des Systèmes d'Informations Electoraux.
    Pour télécharger l’annonce cliquez ici

    Appel à participation pour créer un répertoire de groupes de logiciels libres et Open Source par et pour les femmes et les filles

    La communauté pour l’égalité entre les sexes dans les logiciels libres (FOSS) de l’UNESCO est à la recherche de groupes et projets de logiciels libres qui encouragent la participation et la représentation des femmes dans le Libre, afin de créer un répertoire de « groupes et mouvements de logiciels libres par et pour les femmes et les filles ».

    Bien que le Libre ait radicalement changé la façon dont les logiciels sont produits, distribués, soutenus et utilisés, on y retrouve la plupart des problèmes d’inégalités entre les sexes présents dans le reste du secteur des logiciels. Selon des enquêtes menées récemment sur les logiciels libres, les femmes ne contribuent pas activement au développement et à l’utilisation du Libre, et n’ont pas de pouvoir de décision en la matière. Souvent, les études effectuées sur les logiciels libres dans le monde ne considèrent pas, voire ignorent complètement la question de l’égalité entre les sexes. Il est donc urgent de s’attaquer aux inégalités entre les sexes et de promouvoir la participation active des femmes et des filles dans l’ensemble des dimensions (culturelle, économique, politique et technique) du développement et de l’utilisation du Libre.
     
    Le répertoire a pour objectif de :
    - sensibiliser aux inégalités entre les sexes dans le Libre ;
    - accroître la visibilité des groupes de logiciels libres dirigés par des femmes, ainsi que leurs projets et activités, et notamment l’importance de leur rôle de modèles et mentors auprès des femmes et des filles qui ont un intérêt pour le Libre ;
    - mettre en évidence la représentation, le rôle et les réalisations des femmes dans les logiciels libres et dans les activités/projets correspondants ;
    - mettre à disposition une plateforme où différents groupes de logiciels libres peuvent lancer des projets collaboratifs, échanger des informations au travers des ONG, associations et entreprises concernées, ainsi que dans le monde universitaire et le secteur public ; encourager les projets contribuant à la participation et à la promotion des femmes dans le Libre.

    L’UNESCO fait donc appel aux groupes et communautés pour établir une liste complète des Groupes et mouvements de logiciels libres pour les femmes et les filles (en anglais).
     
    Merci de contribuer en nous envoyant un e-mail (foss(at)unesco.org) ou en rejoignant la communauté logiciels libres de l’UNESCO :
     
    1)  Pour les groupes : nom du groupe, portée nationale ou régionale, brève présentation et lien.
    2)  Pour les projets/activités : titre et brève présentation couvrant notamment les objectifs, le statut et les réalisations.

Issue no 616 3rd August 2012

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Top story

  • The few attempts to create bespoke devices for education by NGOs and companies have not had a spectacular track record. The Worldspace satellite radio is no more and although One Laptop Per Child is probably more successful than its detractors would allow, the results are at best ambiguous. India periodically spawns very cheap laptops and tablets that get lots of headlines and then disappear. Russell Southwood talks to Kristine Pearson, CEO of Lifeline Energy about its Lifeplayer MP3/radio.

    The Lifeplayer is a rugged MP3 audio player, 5 band radio and recorder. Its recording facility will allow it to record live speech and radio programmes. For the latter, users can record things like Farm Radio and health programmes. The recorded material on the device can be stopped and replayed as much as needed in teaching contexts. With its MicroSD card it has 64 GBs of capacity for audio content.

    The Lifeplay has two main sources of power: a detachable solar panel that can be left in the sun to recharge and batteries. Alongside these, it has a wind-up system for emergency power. The life of the power system is variable and depends on how loud the device is played during use.

    According to Pearson:”The Lifeplayer was created for education and information programmes in developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. The amazing thing about it is the volume of content. 64 GB is literally years of content.”

    The Lifeplayer is currently being used in South Sudan, DRC, Zambia and Tanzania and it is being introduced into Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria. Within a year, it has sold 20,000 units and Pearson believes that there is a market out there for hundreds of thousands of the devices.

    The base price for the unit is US$75-80 but it is a bespoke product and the final price depends on the level of memory, the customization and the written materials and posters that come with it.

    Examples of how it is used included English Language instruction in a programme through the British Council and use in community schools in Zambia at primary level. The devices go out with material for grades 1-7 and also material on early child development.

    “There is a shortage of teachers in these schools so they tend to be run by community mentors who are literate in English and are trained to use the Lifeplayer as a teaching tool. There is research that shows that children in this programme that listen to the radio programmes score 10-15% higher than those who don’t.” There is on-board monitoring software that allows Lifeline to know exactly how each device is being used.

    There are plans to include video in the next generation of the devices:”Video is exciting for health workers, being able to show how to pull a tooth and set a broken arm. It will also be useful for farmers and things like setting up small businesses. The applications of the product are virtually limitless.”

    The Lifeplayer’s development seed capital was covered by one of Lifeline’s Ambassadors Tom Hanks and his friends. The business model is that it is manufactured through a for-profit trading company that generates the profits from sales back to a charity.

    Pearson would like to see an Open Repository for education content on radio covering things like: long distance learning materials, agriculture, democracy training, nutrition, health and hygiene, setting up a business and HIV/AIDS. “Good radio programmes tend to get broadcast and are then lost to the archive afterwards.”


    Video clip interview
    which shows the device working: Kristine Pearson on the Lifeplayer, an MP3 player for rural education

    To follow the exchanges about this news, you need to be on Twitter. Follow us on @BalancingActAfr

    A bumper crop of video clips this week on Balancing Act’s You Tube channel:

    Tayo Oviosu, CEO, Paga on the mobile money market in Nigeria

    Nigerian ICT blogger Loy Okezi
    e on Nigeria's online successes

    Victor Dibia, CEO, Denvycom.com
    on his games portfolio and plans to monetize

    Oluseye Soyode-Johnson, consultant to Maliyo Games
    on the business model

    A special for Balancing Act readers:

    Sean Krepp, Uganda Country Director, Apps Lab on raising farmers income using community knowledge workers with smartphones

    Kobus Roux, CSIR Meraka Institute on getting rural schools connected using local micro-entrepreneurs and Wi-Fi mesh technology

    Two experts discuss the challenges of mobile operators as brands:

    Laine Barnard, Founder, 8Brand - Mobile outlets as "giant waiting rooms" for selling airtime

    Sammy Thuo, Director, Saracen Media on differentiating African mobile brands

telecoms

  • The Mozambican government is studying the viability of unifying the licensing of new telephone operators and Internet service providers, who wish to enter the Mozambican market.

    Interviewed in Friday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias", the Minister of Transport and Communications, Paulo Zucula, said that granting several different licences for the provision of telecommunications services was ceasing to be rational.

    "We are working hard on technological convergence", said Zucula. "Nowadays it is not necessary to have one operator for fixed phones, another operator for mobile phones, and another for transmitting images. Cell phones can work with voice, images and data".

    Currently licences for operating fixed phones, for mobile telephony and for internet service providers are all separate.

    Zucula believed that unifying the licences would save time and money, by reducing the number of procedures companies would have to go through to obtain licences.

    Currently there are three mobile phone operators, and one operator of the fixed phone service. Asked when more operators would be licensed, Zucula said that would all depend on market demand.

    "I can't say when we will have new operators", he said. "But the Mozambican population is growing and, as a result, so is the market. I don't know if we will continue to hold tenders every time a new operator wants to come in".

    But he made clear that he believes the current system of granting telephony licences through public tender is no longer appropriate. However, changing the system to allow a simpler form of licensing will require changes in the law

  • Kenya is set to have its fifth mobile services provider after a Vietnamese mobile operator announced plans to set up its operations in the country, three months after launching in Mozambique.

    Viettel Group, a state-owned mobile network operator headquartered in Hanoi, Vietnam, now targets Kenya as its next destination, something expected to stir up competition in the country's mobile industry already occupied by four mobile operators -- including Safaricom, Yu, Airtel and Orange.

    Viettel Global’s general director Nguyen Duy Tho was quoted by the Nation Newspaper as saying, “We are the only company which has grown from challenges and difficulties, from the lowest level, and we have reached the top level in fierce competitive markets in a short time (two-years). Those are our advantages in the developing markets.”

    Already, Viettel has invested in in six nations — including Cambodia and Laos in Asia, Haiti and Peru in America and Mozambique, where it launched in May. Kenya is set to be its seventh investment location.

    The company’s major investments are in the data markets, heavily investing in fibre-optic, after voice lost its tag as the largest revenue generator for operators. It’s total revenue for 2011 stood at nearly 6 billion dollars, according to Mr. Duy Tho.

    Less than a year since being licensed, Movitel-Viettel’s sister company in Mozambique-has built 12,600km of fibre-optic cable and 1,800 mobile stations in Mozambique, representing 70 per cent of Mozambique’s total fibre-optic cable network and 50 per cent of the country’s mobile stations.

    The company, however, did not disclose when and how it intends to enter the Kenyan market, which presently has an estimated 29.9 million mobile subscribers, according to Communications Commission of Kenya’s (CCK) March 31, 2012 report.

  • Addis International Bank (AdIB), a leading bank in Ethiopia, last week signed an agreement with Reewire ICT Solutions to offer Mobile banking services. AdIB becomes the first bank to launch mobile banking services in the country.

    At the moment, a draft directive is being processed by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) and will determine how the transactions will be carried out. Apart from the systems being set in place for mobile banking services by the bank and its new partner, it recently launched a centralized, online, real-time, electronic banking service.

    This service will allow AdIB customers to send and receive money to both registered and unregistered users, buy airtime, and pay bills. According to the president of AdIB Hailu Alemu, these services are a major leap into serving the unbanked.

    Mobile money services in Africa are touted as a solution to the unbanked population. At the moment there are more than 600 million mobile phones in Africa and any service using mobile phones will reach more people and even more personalized.

    As banks in Ethiopia await the directive of the central bank, there are already service models specified in the country. The first one will allow traditional banks to serve their clients while the second requires that banks hire agents to serve on their behalf.

    Banking on the second model several firms have set up shop in the country to work with banks as sole agents. They include M-Birr, a Dublin-based company which is partnering with ethio telecom to provide mobile banking services to a number of micro financing institutions such as Dedebit, Amhara, Oromia, and Addis credit and savings institutions.

    The firm also hooked to its system the Omo Microfinance SC which has a whopping 3.5 million customers with 1,000 branches across the country. Bellcash Technology, a Dutch firm, has signed up banks like Wegagen, Oromia Cooperative, Bunna International, and Lion International.

    The Addis International Bank is also aiming at the second model of mobile banking services. The bank serves established cooperatives like Ethiopian Airlines, EEPCo, and ethio telecom and hopes to pick agents to do the work for them says Dagnew Gesesse, business development manager at AdIB.

    As the bank readies for the services, it is at the moment raising capital through sale of shares and setting up the system for mobile banking services.

    Hailu told Fortune: “We can get these solutions now and get ready to launch them once the central bank gives the nod”. On the contrary, banks in East Africa launched their mobile banking services more than a year ago with Equity Bank’s Mkesho being the first on the scene.

  • Libercell’s, one of Liberia’s mobile companies was shut down due to tax arrears. Tax Court at the Temple of Justice ordered the company to be closed due to a $1.4-million in tax arrears. The company will also have to pay 6% on the balance of $88, 000 due to Liberian Government.

    The company had committed to pay tax arrears in ten installments from April 30, 2012 to January 31, 2013. According to reports, the company had defaulted on its appeal to the court that it would have made payment on July 23, 2012 since the 25 percent (or US$612, 469.30) payment was done on February 22, 2012.

    Court documents had suggested that after the completion of the payment in 10 instalments in 2013, Libercellwould have paid US$2, 449, and 877.27 to the Liberian government. Libercell subscribers will have to be patient till the situation is settled between the company and the Liberian government.

  • An upcoming tender for Cameroon’s third mobile network operator licence has attracted interest from nine potential bidders, a government committee is expected to draw up a shortlist of the pre-qualified applicants within two weeks, after which bidding for the new licence will be opened.

    The country’s Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Jean-Pierre Biyiti bi Essam, called for expressions of interest for the concession, which includes frequencies for the operation of a 3G network, in May this year. Applicants must not already be active in Cameroon and are required to have equity of at least USD200 million as of 31 December 2011.

internet

  • The Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties and Social Development Matters, Mrs Sarah Pane has said that the negative use of the social media by Nigerian youths is impacting negatively on the country's image adding that denigrating Nigerian leaders through the medium has become a pastime of the youths to the extent that the Nigerian President has become the most insulted in the world. "This is not the type of record we want. Let's use the social media for positive interaction", she posited.

    Pane was speaking at the Discovery Empowerment Programme for NYSC that took place on Wednesday at Alexis Hotel, Jabi, Abuja which had in attendance more than 200 members.

  • The West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) has stated that Internet bandwidth prices in Lesotho have fallen by approximately 67 percent as a result of the region's connection to terrestrial and submarine fibre-optic cable networks
     
    WIOCC has invested in undersea cables along Africa's coastline including the Eassy and SEACOM cables.

    Until recently, all internet access in Lesotho was terminated in neighbouring country, South Africa. As a result, this dictated  how much international bandwidth capacity Lesotho had, according to Chris Wood -- Chief Executive of WIOCC.

    Wood said: “The connection provided by WIOCC terminates in Europe and provides Lesotho with faster and more affordable connectivity. This change will have a significant impact on the daily lives of the Basotho and Lesotho businesses.”

    It is hoped that all telecommunications service providers in Lesotho will benefit from the infrastructure and reduced costs, which should further translate into savings for the consumers.

    “Our extensive network reach also enables international enterprises, ISPs and carriers to terminate their services in Lesotho. This, together with the introduction of reduced wholesale pricing, will open up further opportunities in the region,” Woods added.

  • Telkom South Africa has launched its “latest” Internet Protocol (IP) device brand named SpaceStream Home.

    The device offers Internet access with the speed rate of up to 512kbps while downloading. Telephone lines per single operation can either be one or two Voice over IP with a monthly bandwidth of 1 Gigabyte (GB) connected to the Internet. It will offer small entrepreneurs and residential clients voice and Internet services. 

    The system uses the Ku frequency band (12-18 GHz) space segment and 1.2 meter antenna dish, which is resistant to water thus excellent in rainy or poor weather conditions boosting its reliability.

    Telkom’s Steve Lewis said the company wants to reach out to its customers in regions where accessibility of Internet through wireless or wireline network is not reliable. Clients using manual exchanges, old copper wire technologies and SKA exclusion zones will also benefit.

    He further explained that SpaceStream Home is the company’s latest technology that delivers voice and Internet services to regions, which have poor infrastructure in terms cable connectivity.

    The region has been vulnerable to cable theft while the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is restricted to large radio silence around the antennas thus limiting terrestrial wireless systems and cellular phones. SpaceStream Home however fulfills SKA’s requirements, according to reports.

    According to Lewis, the technology will be useful to farmers who use telecommunication services to manage their business.

    The cost SpaceStream Home is R499 (US$61.03) per month with installation fee of R6,914.24 (US$ 845.24) for both voice and data services.

    To make the service more affordable, according to the company’s website, customers can pay installation fee per month. For 24 months, one will part with R814 (US$99.55) per month while 12-month contract costs  R1,103(US$134.90) monthly.

    Internet connectivity in the country is growing tremendously. A study by World Wide Worx South Africa reveals Internet browsing increased from 33 percent to 41 percent, while the number of mobile Internet subscribers rose by 50 percent since 2010.

  • A debate has emerged over who is to blame for the high rates charged by Vodacom for data usage. Research carried out pointed out that a majority blame Vodacom for Blackberry’s over billing problems, Vodacom in return said it was not a billing issue, but simply the way BIS (BlackBerry internet Service) works in South Africa.

    A number of Vodacom users using blackberry complained about being billed for data, out of normal Vodacom bundle rates. Earlier this year, numerous blackberry consumers complained about the same issue through online platforms, saying that even with un-subscription, or when the BIS is on, they were still being billed. RIM says that Vodacom seemed to be the only operator with these problems, the users should have consulted them instead.

    The Blackberry-maker further responded saying that all mobile operators delivered service suggestions that best suited their customers and that the carriers have detailed terms and conditions on Blackberry that can be looked up on their respective websites.
    Vodacom on the other hand said that their Blackberry Internet services give customers on-device internet browsing, email, and social networking for a fixed monthly fee and that in certain circumstances some applications may include data charges because they make use of billable internet connection and not the BIS connection.

computing

  • Federal Government yesterday granted N20 million to the Nigeria Association of Information Technology Enabled Outsourcing Companies (NAITEOC) as a take-off grant, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said.

    Speaking in Lagos at a stakeholders meeting on the formation of the group of IT enabled outsourcing companies in Nigeria, the Director General of NITDA, Professor Cleopas Angaye, said that the agency has also earmarked an office for the new body apart from the grant.

    The DG who was represented by the NITDA's Director of Software Outsourcing, Dr. Daura Ashiru, said the IT outsourcing is gradually growing and there is need for the sector to be well governed through an umbrella body so as to open doors for job creation, source of revenue for Nigeria and improved performance.

    He said outsourcing of IT products and services is a big market in which only partnership between government and private sector could really exploit the opportunities.

    He explained that the agency's aim of formulating the umbrella body was to effectively facilitate advocacy efforts at advancing the development of outsourcing business in the country, utilise resources meant for outsourcing in the national policy and coordinate the monitoring and evaluation of the outsourcing sector and to have an identity that interfaces with government and the rest of the world.

    Angaye said: "NITDA has already earmarked an office and N20million for take-off of the umbrella body and will subsequently continue to support it.

    "We will also immediately start working with the protem leadership for the planning and execution of the various activities lined up by the agency for the few months ahead. We will also come up with others as outlined in the implementation strategies of the National Outsourcing Policy."

    The DG further noted that the newly formulated NAITEOC will replicate the likes of its counterparts across the globe which have greatly contributed to the national economy.

  • Nearly a year ago, a specialist in software risk management and data storage, Marthinus Engelbrecht, warned that while statistics on violent crimes in South Africa hit the headlines every day because of their severity, cyber crimes were much more common and had a much bigger impact. (The New Age, 14.09.2011)

    Crime analysts and commentators have regularly warned about the insidious nature of cyber crime, and, occasionally predicted an upswing in its occurrence. The build up to the World Cup soccer tournament in 2010, for example, provided a platform for estimates of scale, some of which appeared exaggerated. There are in fact no statistics to reflect what was eventually experienced. However, numerous factors indicate that the risk of South African falling victim to cyber crime has grown immensely.

    There is general consensus that cyber crime is any crime that is committed by means of a computer device which is linked to other computers through the Internet.

    There is general consensus that cyber crime is any crime that is committed by means of a computer device that is linked to other computers through the Internet. At the same time, there is much uncertainty about the full range of such crimes and how they affect our daily lives. In a typical cyber crime situation, the computer may be used either as an instrument by which to initiate the crime, or as the target of the crime, as stated by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Researchers' Joey Jansen van Vuuren and Marthie Grobler in a study done in 2009. The scope of activities which could fall within the definition of cyber crime is potentially quite broad, ranging from purely malicious or intimidatory invasions of privacy, to the theft and abuse of personal identity particulars and the fraudulent manipulation of electronic data to commit theft. At the level of state security, instances of data destruction through electronically transmitted malicious software have been reported. A common thread connecting these activities is the intrusive abuse of computers.

    The primary source of risk is the increase in the number of people sharing information through internet facilitated social networking and the phenomenal growth in the use of computer devices in the form of smart mobile phones. Since 2010, the number of users has grown, partly in direct proportion to the increase in the number of social websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as the Blackberry messenger service, and partly as a result of greater access to smart phones. Figures released in February 2012 showed that global sales of mobile phones had escalated from 1,391 billion in 2010 to 1,546 billion by the end of 2011 (International Data Corporation, February 2012). By that stage there were 5,9 billion mobile phone service subscribers. South Africa, which boasts 4 mobile phone service providers, has around 42, 3 million subscribers. Current figures show that at least 65% of South African households have access to a cellular telephone on contract, compared to only 20% access to a home-based landline. The highest concentration is in Gauteng, with 48% of adults having access. Other provinces fall within the range of 43% for the Western Cape, and the lowest penetration of 24% in the Eastern Cape, according to forensics expert Craig du Plooy.

    The nature of the information transmitted through smart phones appears to be entirely up to the user. There is a high probability that users are not aware of the potential criminal uses of some of the personal information transmitted. Contact addresses and status updates, if intercepted, can be as strategically important to a fraudster as information solicited by, and provided to websites of unverified integrity. Information-stealing malicious software (malware) has become quite common, but is not generally known to smart phone users.

    Ironically, improvements in the speed of accessing the Internet have escalated the cyber crime risk. With the increase in broadband access, greater opportunities for cyber fraud arise. Faster access encourages more use of the internet, but also increases the chances for data interception. The SEACOM cable operator has reportedly increased bandwidth internationally by ten times since its trans-continental network came onto operation mid way through 2009.

    Risk also arises from the use of unprotected computer devices. An unprotected computer which is connected to the Internet is a weak link that exposes the entire system to worm-borne attacks. Unprotected computers in the hands of users with inadequate or no training unwittingly raises the risk of cyber attacks on an unlimited range of other connected computers. It is a risk pertaining not just to smart phones, but also to computers donated to charities or to schools.

    The use of data storage cards, such as credit and debit cards is being encouraged in many economies striving to move away from cash dominated transactions. It is perhaps most common in Africa's tourist hubs. Over the years, cyber criminals have targeted data storage cards as media from which to 'harvest' financial account information. Card cloning is proving to be a resilient form of criminality in South Africa. The statistics on distribution are however scanty. Anecdotes from reported crimes do however show a strong representation of the hospitality sector, especially restaurants in the Western Cape, among the targeted establishments. Analyses by institutions such as the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) highlight the concentric structure of crime networks implicated in card cloning. On the fringes are relatively lowly paid casual workers, mostly serving as waiters or waitresses, recruited by knowledgeable runners who instruct them to collect data from credit and debit cards using portable scanners. The collected data is subsequently transferred to cloned cards for use in commercial transactions or for fund withdrawals. Data capture from compromised auto teller machines is not as common as that which is manually assisted, but it remains an area of exposure.

    Knowledge is vital in pre-empting and minimising cyber crime. In 2010, the South African government declared cyber-security to be a national security priority. The declaration reinforced the official resolve underlying the three main applicable statutes, namely the Interception and Monitoring Prohibition Act (1992), the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (1998) and the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (2002). The legislation is broad enough to penalise unlawful interception and monitoring of e-mail and text messages. While the law might be in place, the reality is that its effectiveness depends on its intended beneficiaries being aware of how to use it and when.

    At this point, awareness of risks and how to mitigate them does not appear to be spreading as quickly as the escalation in the use of cyber-technology. It is largely confined to governments, and the senior levels of larger users of e-technology, such as the financial industry. In 2006 the African Information Security Association (AISA) was established to promote knowledge and create awareness about computer security and cyber crime. The United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI) launched the African Centre for Cyber Law and Cybercrime Prevention (ACCP) in Kampala, Uganda in August 2010 in response to mobile phone banking. The ACCP set itself the ambitious task of monitoring cyberspace abuses and the incidence of cyber crime in Africa.

    More information is required on forms and trends of cyber crime. This might stimulate an improvement in cyber-crime reports, which will enable better databases to be compiled. Enhanced databases can support more pro-active investigation, as well as the identification of crime networks. Given the rapid proliferation of smart phones, it is suggested that all users should be informed of the main risks and realities. Simultaneously, service providers should be required to appropriately secure all devices they distribute.

  • The dedicated portal on the Mxit platform, olympics_sa, has since attracted over 200 000 supporters who have sent messages of support and congratulations to Team SA, according to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

    It is the first time that South Africa’s Olympic team has partnered with a social network for an Olympic event.

    Sphiwe Mahlangu, Spokesman at Mxit, had this to say on the partnership, "We want to be sure that Team SA knows it has the nation behind them and our portal will make sure that they can get messages from their supporters back home."

    Mahlangu further said that the portal is dedicated to Team SA at the London Olympics 2012 and Mxit users can access the portal by going into Tradepost> Sport> Team SA to Olympics.

    In this portal, the social network’s users can access results, daily, what events are next for Team SA, Athletes schedules, send support messages to the team, team news, general olympic news, some facts about the Olympics and behind the scenes look at Team SA.

    Mxit is accessible to all South Africans and users do not need a smartphone to get this information as it is accessible on over 3,000 different mobile phones in South Africa, explained Mahlangu.

    According to SASCOC, the decision to partner with Mxit as giving it the ability to provide the 10 million active users on the social network with regular daily updates on the team’s progress at the Olympic games.

    Tubby Reddy, SASCOC’s Chief Executive Officer said: "In our drive to make sport accessible to all and sundry this is yet another innovative way of getting the message across to sports mad South Africans.”

    “I'm sure this network will be an extremely invaluable tool in accessing sporting communication," he concluded.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

  • The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority says it will spend at least US$21 million from the Universal Services Fund to construct 43 new base stations in under-serviced areas throughout the country.

    The USF is a fund into which the country's licensed telecommunications companies contribute 2 percent of their annual revenue.

    The fund was established to finance the expansion of telecommunications services in outlying areas which are under-serviced.

    Potraz has collected US$41.3 million since the country adopted multiple foreign currencies in 2009. Director-general Charles Sibanda said the process was at the tendering stage. "We have set aside US$24 million for the USF second phase to be used to construct 43 base stations," he said.

    The first phase of the USF project saw at least eight base stations being constructed in under-serviced areas.

    Other purposes of the USF include assisting in the training of personnel in the provision of postal and telecommunication services and contributing towards research and development in the field of postal and telecommunication services.

    Potraz liaises with relevant Government ministries, Members of Parliament and other stakeholders in the postal and telecommunications sectors in identifying least serviced areas in each province for possible funding excluding Harare and Bulawayo.

    Targeted areas are then surveyed with the participation of licensed operators before funds are disbursed for any project that is meant to bring universal access to the public living in under-serviced areas.

  • Four mobile phone companies, Tigo, Vodacom, Airtel and Zantel, have been licensed to carry out financial transaction business, apart from other services they offer such as airtime sales and Internet.

    This was said in the National Assembly by the Deputy Minister for Communications, Science and Technology, Mr January Yusuf Makamba, when responding to a question from Ms Amina Abdulla Amour (Special Seats - CUF).

    Ms Amour was keen to know why some cell phone companies, which have been licensed to offer communication and Internet services by Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) were also doing business similar to that operated by financial banks.

    She wanted to know if the companies (Tigo, Vodacom, Airtel and Zantel) were carrying out financial transaction business legally.

    Makamba told the House that communication technology the world over has eased financial transaction activities as well. In a supplementary question, the questioner pointed out that thefts perpetrated through communication facilities such as mobile phones were becoming rampant.

    The deputy minister said that this was an unfortunate occurrence that would be curtailed. He told the House that TCRA and Bank of Tanzania have agreed to conduct surveillance through the Bank of Tanzania Act. He informed the House that financial transactions worth 6.6bn/- were carried out through mobile phones last year.

    In another development, the National Assembly heard that a total of 2,175 villages in the country have erratic or no mobile phone communication at all. This was said by Mr Makamba when responding to a question from Ahmed Ally Salum (Solwa - CCM).

    Mr Salum had wanted to know when a communication tower would be built in Lyabukande Village in his constituency. Mr Makamba said that in November, last year, a tender was floated for construction of communication towers in 140 villages nationwide. The forthcoming project, the deputy minister said, would take in the communication relay station in Lyabukande village.

  • The Tunisian government has announced that it wishes to sell its stake on Tunisiana, the biggest mobile telecom company in the country.

    The government currently has 25 percent stake in the company that is also owned by Qatar Telecoms through Kuwaiti company, Wataniya.

    Wataniya on the other hand holds a majority share in the company and stands around 75 percent of the share capital.

    Slim Besbess, a director at Tunisia's finance ministry said the offers must come only from financial companies and investment funds by November 2.

    “Investors cannot be operators of telecommunications networks or shareholders in a telecommunications network operator,” Besbess said.

    "We will sell 25 percent of the share capital of Tunisiana. Only financial companies and investment funds can participate in this tender,” he added.

    Just this week, the telecom company, which has over 6 million subscribers, launched its 3G network to major parts of Tunisia.

    Tunisiana is the only private telecom company in the North African state.

  • Japan-based technology group Ricoh is to accelerate its investment in South Africa, spending about R200-million as it looks to expand its presence in a key emerging market.

    "South Africa is viewed as a very important strategic investment opportunity... the gateway into Africa," Ricoh South Africa managing director Richard Pinker told Business Report last month.

    Ricoh South Africa said the growth plans included the launch of Ricoh Capital South Africa, infrastructure enhancements and the creation of an optimised supply chain process.

    The investments would "further enhance Ricoh's direct customer interactions and enable it to stay at the forefront of their document management needs" while creating new employment opportunities in the region, the local unit said in a statement.

    "Our region is an important focus for Ricoh in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and our team is energised to further increase our client services and contribute to the overall Ricoh growth strategy," Pinker said.

    Pinker told ITWeb the initial investment had started in the company's IT unit, where it put in a 60Mb connection to the UK that would provide the local unit with opportunities to expand into sub-Saharan Africa.

    Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group specialises in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services. It operates in more than 200 countries and regions.

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

  • - Airtel Tanzania has launched its cash transfer promotion drive which enables subscribers to send or receive money free of charge. The firm has also introduced a short code to access Airtel money menu to facilitate easy access to users by dialing *150*60#.
    Airtel has decided to introduce the short code to support customers with different types of handset to access the Airtel money Menu easily. Airtel Money service allows customers to pay utility bills, goods and services.

     - MTN South Africa has with reduced its data rates as the country’s operators fight for a piece of the piece of the data market in the country. With immediate effect 500MB data bundle will retail at at R49 from a previous high of R189 (Ksh 1,900) monthly in a two year contract. The offer is bundled with a 14.4Mbps MTN F@stlink E352 modem.
    This is competitive considering that the same bundle of 500 meg goes for R 149(Ksh 1,500) and R69 (Ksh 700) at Cell C while 8ta has only a 650MB data bundle which retails at R150 (1,500) per month. South Africa has close to 30 million mobile subscribers.

    - Airtel Nigeria unveiled a special Ramadan offer for its customers who subscribe to the Voice Islamic Content through the Ramadan season.The subscribed customers will receive daily voice wakeup call service at NGN 0.15/sec as well as tips on Hajj preparation and daily Jummah sermons at a cost of NGN 50 each week. In addition they receive exclusive SMS messages on Douaa, Holy Quran, Hadith and Biography of the Prophet at a cost of NGN 50 per week. They can also take advantage of the Airtel Hello Tunes by downloading or purchasing Islamic tunes or prayers.Exclusive content, including includes wallpapers and videos, for mobile data users on Airtellive.com are also available and downloadable.Various data plans are available including the special 786 plan giving 125MB for N786. To subscribe to these packages, customers have to dial *786# on their mobile phones.

    - Globacom, has re-launched its dynamic tariff plan, Glo Flexi, to give subscribers on the Glo network a discount of up to 40 per cent on calls made to other networks, in addition to the existing discount of up to 99 per cent on Glo-to-Glo calls. Subscribers on the Glo Flexi plan can also enjoy up to 200 per cent bonus on recharges made on their phones.

    - South Africa’s Vodacom, a mobile service provider, has unveiled a handset specially designed for the elderly.The new handset, named Vodafone 155, is affordable and will help the elderly communicate better, says the company.It is suitable for customers with low vision, hearing loss or limited dexterity since for the elderly, reading a text from a mobile phone screen can become hard in the event of loss of sight.

    - Out of 53 African countries, 36 countries more than doubled their Opera Mini user base in one year. Last year, Libya grew the most in every category of Opera mini usage, including users page views and data consumption.Across Africa, data growth seems to outpace page view growth, a good example would be Cote d'ivoire with an increase of 760 percent in data use and an increase of 744 percent in page views, meaning African users are browsing larger pages  and likely using more advanced sites.

    - Rwanda’s government has issued a directive calling for registration of SIM cards electronically, even as the country aims to beat the mid-2012 deadline to have all Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards in East Africa registered.

Digital Content

  • The hustle for long queues to settle parking fees in Kenya could soon be reduced after Airtel and Kenya Airport Parking Services (KAPS) partnered to allow Airtel subscribers to secure the services via Airtel Money.

    Airtel Kenya Managing Director Shivan Bhargava said that the project could help reduce congestion in malls as clients wait to be served.

    Bhargava was optimistic with the scheme and noted that the latest service will transform the sector by making it easier, faster and convenient for our customers in settling parking bills at the Capital Center, Westgate, Yaya Center,  Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Junction Mall and Sarit Center.

    Those willing to embrace in the latest technology should send nine digit codes available on the Kaps parking ticket to 133 then send amount of money to  KAPS available from Airtel Money menu, advised Airtel.

    While other services such as online ticketing can be accessed from the KAPS website.

    Head of Airtel Money Kenya Sidney Ngaru said that the innovation will be beneficial to customers as they will find it more comfortable to make payments without queuing.

    Ngaru added that they are providing an innovative and relevant solution to make life easier for customers by providing convenient and easy ways of using mobile commerce products and services.

    “We will educate our customers on how to use Airtel Money services in facilitating smooth transaction,” Ngaru said.

    The Cellphone money transfer system was introduced in the country early August 2010 and notable project in early March this year was with Faulu Kenya to offer loans to be repaid in 10 to 30 days branded as ‘Faulu Airtel Kopa chapaa Service.’

    According to Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) report released early this month , Airtel money, M-Pesa, Orange money and YuCash  contributed  KSh185.4 billion (US$ 2,195,136,000) in the first quarter.

    This was an improvement from last financial quarter’s 176.8 billion (US$ 2,093,312,000).

  • South Africa-based mobile network operator Vodacom has announced it has teamed up with Primedia Broadcasting to bring 94.7 Highveld Stereo and 94.5 KFM to listeners the ultimate integrated virtual and social media game called Gotcha!

    The game will engage listeners to start a search for a virtual wallet. Users will be required to download an application that they would use to track the virtual wallet. The player who locates the virtual wallet can exchange it for cash.

    “The name of the game is to be as creative as possible in evading other players and hanging on to the wallet for as long as possible. 94.7 Highveld Stereo and 94.5 KFM presenters will keep listeners up to date over the air waves, thus interacting with players on a real-time basis,” Vodacom stated.

    Vodacom's executive marketing manager Enzo Scarcella said that the launch of this competition underlined the fact that smartphone adoption in the country was on the increase.

    There are almost five million smartphones on Vodacom's SA network alone, growing at more than 40 percent annually, he said.

    “Gotcha! SA is a great test case to see whether South Africa has passed the tipping point in terms of smartphone adoption whereby brands fundamentally change their behaviour from broadcasting to consumers to truly interacting with them on a 1:1 basis,” Enzo said.

    The game is available for download for Android, BlackBerry or Apple smartphone and is available for download on Vodacom’s app store. * OneCrier Connects You To Events Happening Near You Via Mobile SMS

    A new startup called, OneCrier wants to connect you to the events you are most interested in attending via SMS on your mobile device.

    The service launched by technology entrepreneur, Ademola Morebise is currently available to users in the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) and uses your mobile number to update you with SMS alerts about the events you are interested in.

    Events such as religious activities, seminars, parties, concerts, sports or tech-based could be chosen to receive alerts. OneCrier claims to be smart as it only alerts you if you are close to the event venue or indicated interest in such type of events.

    Since I’m not based in FUTA, it made no sense to sign up for the service to give it a test, but hopefully, we can get someone based there to provide a review of the service soon.

    The service is Morebise’s latest product coming out of his tech company, Omnific Labs launched last August.

    After building a social media aggregation site called RiRanWo! and launching a growing communication tool called Gistcaster, Morebise’s passion now lies in creating things, useful tools that will add value to people around him and impact on the world’s technology scene.

  • Nigerian healers turning to Effiwe.net for health information Effiwe.net, an academic resource site for African medical personnel, now boasts of a vast database of free online resources for download by registered subscribers. The site is presently stirring the spectre of clinical practice in Nigeria with a number of medical trainees and practitioners logging in for health information resources.

    The site’s resources are rich African content that are relevant to the practice of medicine in Africa, according to the founders.

    It has lecture notes (in different formats), presentations, research material, treatment guidelines that are pooled from different medical institutions across Africa.

    From the user’s point of view, the online medical database is a great educational tool. Its treatment guidelines are direct. The guidelines show the causes of a disease, symptoms, diagnosis and management. The medical students who also take part in recuperation of patients can therefore utilise the portal for prescription and treatment.

    The site, precisely described as a central database of online medical resources, was founded late last year by three medical students from Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife including Nzekwe-Daniel Nnamdi, Owoyemi Ayomide and Ajani Taiwo.

    According to the founders, Effiwe.net is a product of long-time search offering a platform that makes dissemination of lecture notes possible.

    “Medical school is tedious, and the hassle involved with obtaining lecture notes from lecturers and class representatives inspired this idea. We thought, why could’nt there be a central platform where these resources will be uploaded so that other students  can download them at their convenience and voila, we birthed Effiwe,” the founders state.

    Effiwe started as an online archive for for a single class’ lecture resources. It has rapidly enlarged to involve all the classes in the department plus several others, according to Nnamdi.

    “However, after word about the platform spread, we received encouragement to include other classes and other faculties,” he said.

    Presently, it has registered users from a number of African medical schools including in Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

    “We are providing online practical medical content that is relevant in our environment. African medical content is a rarity on the internet. Furthermore, we provide information on how medical conditions are managed in our wards. This is premium stuff,” Nnamdi said.

    Effiwe.net targets medical students and medical personnel -- including doctors, dentists, nurses – as well as whoever requires premium medical resources.

    Presently, a number of sites that provide similar services exist. The sites however contain information that is suited for the western world, with little African relevant content.

    “This is how we stand out. We provide epidemiological data from Africa, treatment and management options from Africa etcetera. We know the medical conditions that are prevalent here and we provide accurate information on them,

    “Also, the credibility of our resources; these are resources created by professors and renowned medical professionals who know their onion. Yes, our resources and content are very reliable,” he says.

    Nnamdi says there are a number of projects in the pipeline mostly concerned with research and development.

    “We are also soliciting for support from investors to enable us grow in the right direction. We will like to be quiet on these upcoming projects. Interested parties can contact us for more information,” he said.

    Effiwe is a Yoruba slang popular among students in SW Nigeria that means ‘a person who loves books’, -- or a bookworm.

More

  • - Ms Anne-Rachel Inné has been appointed Chief Operations Officer of AFRINIC.

    - Alexandra Zagury has been appointed as the managing director for South Africa and Southern Africa by Blackberry-maker Research In Motion (RIM). She will be based in the company’s Johannesburg office and will be responsible for RIM's operations, sales and marketing for the region.

    - Nokia has appointed Bruce Howe as the General Manager for its East African operations covering Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Angola, Zambia and Mozambique.

    - EMC has appointed Servaas Venter (in acting capacity) in place of Inana Nkanza after his death.

    - Suspected al shabaab militia yesterday shot dead a Safaricom employee at Korome, between Arabia and Mandera town, and made away with the vehicle.

  • Managed Services World Congress 2012
    18 – 19 September 2012, Maritim Pro Arte Hotel, Berlin, Germany
    With Managed Service business models evolving in new and exciting directions, it’s time to reassess the market and your place in it. Managed Services World Congress – the biggest global MS event – is the perfect place to bring leading players together and address these issues. With a 50% operator audience, and 65% CXO / Director level attendance, there is no better opportunity to meet new and existing clients. It’s a must-attend event for anyone looking to maximise the value of their technology, their networks and their brand in today’s evolving MS world. FREE PASSES FOR OPERATORS. For more information visit here:

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    16 – 18 October 2012, Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    The event, now in its 12th year, is the most respected in the regions Telecoms calendar and the comprehensive agenda includes breakfast briefings, 3 co-located summits,  keynote plenary sessions and a choice of 4 tracks for delegates each day as well as the world class exhibition area. For more information please click here:

  • * Project Manager – SDLC

    BBD
    Midrand, Gauteng, South Africa

    Job Description

    A Project manager with a proven track record of delivering projects on time. You will be responsible for managing client expectations in a pressured business environment

    Degree / Diploma in Information Technology, Commerce or Engineering or equivalent experience
    5+ years working experience in SDLC
    Ideally have experience in a Java development environment
    Telecoms experience will be an advantage
    Certified PMP or Prince2 Practitioner is an advantage
    Strong interpersonal skills
    Strong & analytical reporting skills

    Apply through the BBD Careers Page

    *MS VB Programmer

    PRR Recruitment Services
    Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

    Job Description

    The junior programmer required:
    Knowledge of MS VB and SQL are essential.
    Net and ASP are of advantage.
    Preferably Johannesburg based.
    Perfect for final year student or new graduate.
    WinScripts is developed using Microsoft Visual Basic 6 with data base using MySQL.
    They plan to introduce Visual Studio 2010 and IdeaBlade DevForce for our next stage development.

    To apply please send a copy of your CV to elsa@prrrecruitment.co.za or phone 011 822 8383

  • * MTN and Ericsson - Nigeria

    Swedish equipment and solutions provider Ericsson has announced that MTN Nigeria has become the first African operator to deploy its SSR 8020 platform for wireless IP core network, helping to boost the operator’s ability to meet its subscribers’ rapidly increasing demand for data services. The Evolved Packet Gateway (EPG) will support MTN Nigeria’s current 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi networks, and will also be able to support future upgrades to Long Term Evolution (LTE). Lars Linden, head of Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa, commented: ‘The flexibility and capacity of the SSR platform will allow MTN Nigeria to introduce newer, smarter functions and capabilities which will enhance the mobile broadband experience for end users.’ This includes traffic management capabilities for quality of service differentiation and improved operator billing and rating options. Ericsson will provide turnkey services, including installation, integration and commissioning of the new SSR 8020 platform as well as support services.

    * SA's Esquire Technologies and LG : Africa

    South Africa’s electronic and ICT products distributor has signed a deal with LG company to distribute its electronic and ICT products in southern Africa.

    Esquire Technologies is one of the major electronics distribution companies in South Africa and was formed in 1999.

    The company has presence in other southern African countries including, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Swaziland.

    This will definitely extend the radius of the distribution of LG products such as phones, LCD screens, sound systems, and projectors.

    Asgar Mahomed, Managing Director of Esquire did confirm this deal through a statement released by the company.

    “We are increasingly looking to add Tier One products to our growing product range, such as the products from suppliers like Kingston and Asus. In this regard, we expect the LG range to be one of our key focal points going forward,” he said.

    The Managing Director also exuded confidence that the partnership will have a big impact on the company’s bottom line. He also said the partnership was extremely strategic and exciting for the company.

    This will also reflect well on LG’s products since Esquire has over 12,000 distributors in the region.  This is due to Esquire’s Virtual Reseller Network.

    “The VRN solution has effectively turned participating resellers into ‘multi-millionaires overnight’ as the resellers have virtual access to the entire Esquire stock holding, which is updated directly to the reseller’s web-site at regular intervals – often as frequently as every three minutes,” the MD said.

    The company says this reseller model is a first in its kind and will see more products being pushed throughout the region.

    * TTCL and NEC – Tanzania

    Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL) has selected NEC Corp of Japan to provide it with ‘last mile connectivity’ communication equipment, local paper The Guardian reports, citing the communications, science and technology minister Prof Makame Mbarawa as saying. In an address to the legislative assembly on Wednesday to present his budget estimates for fiscal 2012/13, Prof Mbarawa said that the contract tie-up had been reached at a recent investment conference for Southern Africa Development Community members held in Japan. The minister informed parliament that TTCL has put measures in place to ensure that there is no repeat of the debt problems the telco experienced when servicing government agencies in the past; the carrier’s collection rate is currently 96% with the aim of hitting 100%, he said.

Issue no 135; 30 August 2012

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  • This event report is the second part of our last article entitled 'BFMA Wrap up: a much larger role for African producers and broadcasters in the future' .

    Set up by Aitec Africa, Broadcast Film and Music Africa conference which took place in Nairobi, Kenya on 10-11 July 2012 was the occasion for African film makers and broadcasters to better understand the state of the market. A few of them shared experience, best practices and explored innovations in audiovisual content sourcing and distribution. Sylvain Beletre of Balancing Act wraps up some of the key BFMA presentations based on Aitec Africa's reporting.

    Manu Savani, CEO of GALA GLOBAL INC of California, USA offered a distributor’s perspective. He has brought more than 1,000 quality feature films and television programs to diverse audiences worldwide including in Africa since 1966. Along the way, he has learnt valuable lessons applicable on the African continent. The most important is that different markets have different tastes. For example, when he acquired the rights for blockbuster “My Fat Greek Wife” he had expected that it would be a major hit in East Africa. However, sales were very disappointing as he posted losses on that deal. However he has also learnt that there are some theme types that better work in Africa. For example, religion, love and tragedy always have good sales.

    Among some of his best performing movies were 'Ten Commandments', and 'Titanic'. There is also content that will sell depending on its proximity to the audience. One such a hit in East Africa was a great historical movie portraying the Ugandan president Idi Amin “Raid on Entebbe.” Savani has expanded his horizons by introducing independent Hollywood films to emerging markets such as East and West Africa. Savani is now concentrating on the emerging and already thriving African markets with feature films and programs whether they be religious, entertaining or football oriented.

    In a similar vein, George Kimani highlighted the key role of content distribution in the development of the African broadcast industry. George Kimani is the Business Development Director of Continental Content Distribution in Kenya. The speaker discounted the old mantra in broadcast that “Content is King,” saying that a few African broadcasters may have great content but have little or no revenue. Most broadcasters have been copying each other in broadcasting Mexican soaps.

    This is because they have not understood their local audiences (or because there is not much local content available). To avoid this duplication and also to turn viewership into money, broadcasters must understand their audiences. This will help them to acquire content that suits their needs. At the same time content developers should know that there is content that broadcasters will not touch while there is content that all broadcasters will scramble for.

    One type of content that works is format programs such Idol or Project Fame. One of the best success stories of format content is “Who is Smarter Now?” which used to run on KTN in Kenya. The program was a good performer in the sense that it was rated highly in viewership surveys. As a result, the program had sponsorship from the beginning to the end. Broadcasters and content developers alike must make a paradigm shift in order to make money.

    They must understand that connection with audience, not content, is king. To do so, broadcasters must position themselves properly in the market. They need to understand viewers needs through research to find out their tastes. This will also help them schedule their programs in line with the preferences of the relevant audience. They will also need to distinguish between content that attracts viewership and content that builds loyalty.

    Some programs like “Cheaters” may be good in attracting viewership but they might not be helpful in building loyalty. Further, the broadcasters must distinguish between content that is entertaining and educational and content that attracts revenue. Formats is the type of contents that can build a broadcaster's revenue. Lastly, broadcasters must begin spending to market themselves. Most broadcasters in Africa do not market themselves and those that do so do not a good job at it. There is need for the broadcasters to know that they are brands and if they do not promote the brands then they will not attract revenue.

    Justine Atkinson, CEO, Aya Distribution is focused on the distribution of African content in new market. Atkinson took the participants through the experience of the company in distribution of African films in Europe, America, Africa and Canada using the example of her company.

    Her involvement with African movies begun when she worked with 'Save the Children' Nigeria. Save the children is an international charity organisation to safeguard children rights. Her moving into Nigeria coincided with the explosion of the Nollywood movie industries. People across Nigeria and the entire Anglophone West Africa were all scrambling for the productions even though the outside world thought the movies were not up to standard.

    Save the Children therefore decided to contract Nollywood producers to shoot a movie on female genital mutilation as part of its campaign to protect the girl child. The movie was a huge success and helped Atkinson harness the potential of the movie industry. When her time to leave Nigeria came, she set up the company opening up distribution channels in US, Canada, Europe and Africa. In her experience, Africa has unique stories that make good sales across the world. The company is currently distributing six titles from various countries. These include award Dabla Excision, a documentary on female genital mutilation. Others are Robert Mugabe: What Happened, Operation Survival, Progress, Gossip Nation and Promise Land. The sales are good because there is demand for such original content.

    Aya distributes content to multiple platforms and in a variety of packaging. The company has screened movies in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, UK and US. The company also distributes to televisions and also provides video on demand. Besides Aya sells in flight content to airlines. Besides selling the content, Aya is also involved in production. Recently, the company got into collaboration with a Nollywood Producer and began working on a movie on female genital mutilation.

    When it comes to innovation, Abubaker Kawenja, Broadcaster, Journalist and Theatre Practitioner in Uganda had a few ideas to share. Kawenja started by pointing out that the major complaint among content producers in Africa is that there is no financing. However producers, especially young ones, need to think around this challenge since funding will always be a problem.

    Mobile cinema can help young producers to supplement their budgets. Mobile Cinema is a kind of survival strategy for young African film producers. This is because the challenges that stand between them and financing are many. Some of the challenges include piracy which means that the producers sales are not guaranteed and poor quality products which means that the premium buys may not be attracted.

    Another challenge is poor distribution channels that means it both takes time to get a film seen and it may not be seen by many people. Furthermore, lack of collateral means that the producers find it hard to get financing from conventional financiers. Other challenges include the tendency of African young producers to work individually thus not benefiting from pooling strengths and talents.

    Mobile cinema therefore provides the avenue where they can begin building their resources to help them do productions that can be distributed through other channels. This channel has its own strengths as well. It ensures that the producer has total control over the product as well as widening the audience in the long run. It also provides the producer with the opportunity to interact with masses and thereby getting deep insights on how to interact with them.

    Despite these various challenges, it seems that satellite will drive the future development of the African broadcasting market. Christoph Limmer, Senior Director, Market Development and Marketing for Africa at SES proved that it can be the case. Broadcasting through satellite will be in the African market for long time.

    This is because the infrastructure for terrestrial network does not cover the whole continent and takes a lot of time to roll out. There is a common notion in the market that satellite is an old and expensive network. However the opposite is the truth in the long run. For example SES has coverage of 99 percent of the world population through 51 geostationary satellites connected to a network of teleports and offices across the globe. Satellite has evolved over time and is now more flexible and versatile because it combines various functionalities. As the world moves to the digital broadcast, broadcasters would do well to think about how they can maximize the benefits of satellite and terrestrial networks. Besides, new triple play offerings via satellite is the new value add that can drive the business of African broadcasters. Some of the triple play service providers such as Zuku are witnessing a remarkable growth in the African multi-play market.

    To make better use of satellite a huge amount of insight is required by broadcasters. Broadcast Content delivery is all about Capex vs. Opex. This is what Steve Rich, Regional Head for Africa at NewSat explained. This will avoid the deaths of satellite broadcasters that have been witnessed in the Africa. If there is agreement that the rate of satellite broadcasters development is slow what can be changed? The place to begin is to understand the business model in broadcast. Currently, Pay TV does almost everything in the business value chain. They do content management and archiving, payout services, encryption services, signal broadcast services, internet services, and also end user equipment sales and distribution.

    Yet to run the business profitably, a broadcaster only requires minimum functionality in the workflow from content to the end user. Business cases have to be built around revenue potential of the market served. Thus, the broadcaster should concern himself with the core needs which in this case are procuring content, packaging the channels, ensuring that there is delivery in the channel, and attracting subscribers.

    A pay TV broadcaster needs to breakdown the silos in the workflow to reduce the costs of delivery. This approach has worked well for Zuku. This includes giving up unnecessary non-core functions without losing the objectives. This will allow the aggregation of resources and economies of scale in the delivery platform. Business is therefore analysed on a per channel basis.

    In the panelist session, Gaethan Donlap Kouanga, Sales Manager for Africa at Eutelsat introduced satellite broadcast as a key communication link not only broadcast transmission, but also in voice telephony through VOIP and internet access, in what is technically referred to as Triple Play. He pointed out that despite the wide deployment of fibre optic cables across Africa, the last mile link still remains a big, expensive challenge, and a major hindrance to universal access to the internet.

    Affordable high quality communications is still unreached across the continent. While most internet and data backbone infrastructure service providers have been in favour of Wi-max as the last mile solution, the reality on the ground is that there is still very little investment in this field on the continent, which leaves the investment in fibre optic cables idle despite the high demand for its services.

    His company, Eutelsat, thus came up to serve the French speaking Western and Central African clientele using the Eutelsat 16A satellite. To make the services accessible even in remote areas, Eutelsat Company launched the "IP Easy" broadband platform, which offers high-speed internet, VoIP and TV broadcast access to homes and businesses across the target regions.

    As Gaethan explained, much of IP Easy's success has been thanks to its set-up, which is so convenient that with just a small receiver dish and a modem connected to a PC, users can connect to the internet irrespective of their location. Hooking up the system to a TV set-top box opens up a whole new world of free to air digital TV broadcast. This is also becoming an attractive platform for various pay TV broadcasters in the region. The service comes with a self-installation feature which enables end-users to autonomously install the complete system with no specific qualification needed or expensive tooling. Having successfully covered French -speaking African countries, Eutelsat is casting its eyes on the wider English-speaking markets of Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Kenya among other to further extend their services across the continent. See the full details in a previous top story.

    Other avenues content providers should explore include mobility. Back in Nov. 2011, we relayed a 26% growth in African Mobile Advertising Market.

    Joel Rao, Business Analyst and Account Manager, InMobi in Kenya explored why brands should be using mobile media: he delivered insights into mobile media consumption in Africa.

    Rao stated that the penetration of the mobile phone is higher than TV sets in Africa. There are approximately 750,000 TV sets in Kenya and over 20 million phones; 49 percent of Kenyans spend time on mobile internet and 53 percent of those who spend the time on mobile internet do so to check sports scores especially soccer when the game is happening.

    Therefore, it is important that brands create mobile content that engages targeted consumers. Further inMobi studies have shown that male subscribers use mobile internet to access sports and news content and 32 percent of women use mobile internet for shopping while 56 percent use the mobile internet to buy music. At the same time, 30 percent buy video. Brand should ensure that their mobile content is search engine optimized. This is because research shows that people do not beyond the first page of the search engine.

    There is such a thing as searchandising. This means selling through the search engines. Brands must understand this art in order to make use of the platform provided by mobile internet. Brands would do well to create mobile internet websites which are search engine optimized. But they must also understand some basics about consumer behavior online. Research shows that 46 percent of people who use the internet for shopping look for product information and availability while 34 percent look for information about sale promotions.

    To gain maximum benefits, Brands should combine social media and mobile internet. Research shows the following trends in drivers of shoppers to retailers; 16 percent by online advertising, 18 percent by outdoor advertising, 34 percent by mobile and 42 percent by social media. Therefore a combination of mobile and social media gives access to 76 percent shoppers. To activate such a linkage, the brands need to facilitate social media media through mobile.

    For Nicole Klassen, Head of Content at Bozza in South Africa, mobile content is emerging in an evolving media landscape. Frustrated by failure to push their content through the mainstream media, a group of South African film makers, poets and musicians set up Bozza to distribute content through the mobile phone. Bozza gets short audio or visual content from artists and uploads it on its website where people can then download through their mobile phones. The consumer then pays through the payment system offered by telecommunication companies in the countries where Bozza operates. However, the business is not yet profitable. Part of this is because the cost of the downloaded content is low and because the people equipped with smart phones which are 3G enabled are few across Africa, but this will change. In the meantime, Bozza is exploring how it can grow revenues by attracting advertising.

    Digital migration in Africa - a recurring topic at recent African broadcast conferences - was not left out. Three presenters - Meredith Beal, Isabelle Kadagor and Nicholas Omondi - shared their views. The session started with an introduction to digital migration in the continent by Meredith Beal.
    He took the audience through the various benefits of going digital, among them being freeing up of the current analogue frequencies for other communication services, opening up opportunities for creative content developers to meet demand from increasing number of broadcast channels, besides setting up the stage for implementation of e-governance across the continent. Nonetheless, Beal explained that there have been a number of challenges towards achieving digital migration.

    Some of these include broadcasters having to do away with their heavy investments in transmission infrastructure and having to retrain their staff for digital technologies, content providers having to upgrade their equipment so as to produce better quality productions with High Definition (HD) being the preferred video format, as well as consumers having to meet the cost of the set-top boxes to enable their TV sets receive digital broadcasts.

    It emerged that although the global deadline for crossing over to the digital broadcast platform is 2016, various countries across the continent have set their own individual deadlines ahead of time in order to give them sufficient time to implement the necessary procedures and systems, and also testing. The audience was taken through the progress status of the migration across the continent, where Mauritius was the first African country to go fully digital in 2007.

    Isabelle Kadagor, the manager in charge of multimedia services at the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) took the session through some of the most asked questions in the digital migration process.
    She explained that the government in February 2012 formally adopted Digital Video Broadcast Technology 2 (DBVT-2) as the preferred format in the country as it offers 30 per cent savings on spectrum, hence more content per channel, among other benefits.
    Isabelle also took the audience through some of the awareness creation activities that the CCK is taking towards ensuring the country goes fully digital by end of 2012. These include campaigns currently running on local TV stations, as well as planned road shows intended to coincide with launching of digital signal receivers in various parts of the country.

    Nicholas Omondi, a senior techie at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, one of the only two currently licensed digital broadcast transmission carriers, took the audience through the separate functions of a modern transmission station.

    He explained that in the new set up, broadcast stations will only serve the function of providing the licensed transmission carriers with broadcast content, and that the stations won't need to invest in individual transmission infrastructure.
    The effect of this will be lowering of the entry barriers for new broadcasters wishing to enter the market. This will also allow the stations to focus more on their core functions of content development and leave transmission to an independent carrier, among other benefits.

    Nicholas also outlined the digital signal reception roll out plan for Kenya, where he said that the initial service commissioned in 2009 by President Mwai Kibaki currently covers a radius of 60Km from Nairobi. Mombasa is also compliant, with tests currently being done in Nakuru, Kisumu and Nyeri and other towns to follow in due course.

    The changing role of the radio business model was also part of the conference; Phil Collins, MD of Clyde Broadcast, UK brought to the audience’s attention the fact that in most cases, a dominant player in the radio broadcast business will most likely have a number of other stations across different geographical regions. A major advantage of this is the ability of the broadcaster to do more with the same content that he has, create wider market for advertisers, and also help clients in different areas reach their neighbourhoods with relevant content about their regions.

    Nonetheless, Phil brought out the challenges that this kind of setup presents the broadcaster. Among them was the fact that most of the content tends to be capital-centric, it becomes too costly for smaller advertisers to afford since they are charged the cost of communicating to an entire country while they only needed to talk to a small specific region, and sometimes the satellite stations tend to compete for business with the main station.

    This notwithstanding, Phil introduced a model that can help the broadcaster achieve the best of the both worlds, and that happens to be a kind of equipment that his company deals in. Using the Clyde broadcast set up, a station can comfortably run nationwide content even on a regional radio station, and automatically override the content with local station jingles and local adverts, and then switch back to the national broadcast.

    Also, the system can provide an opportunity to create wider awareness of the various satellite stations, whereby each station can speak to the national audience on a specific issue of national interest happening in their geographical area. In this way, the overall cost of human resource and training comes down significantly as talents can be used across the entire network. It also becomes easier to integrate local content in broadcasts, thus creating a sense of local ownership of satellite stations.

    Julian Macharia
    , Deputy Programmes Director, Royal Media Services, took the audience through the changing world of radio broadcast, and what broadcasters need to do in order to survive. He explained that the East African radio market is already saturated, yet it continues attracting more players by the day, further segmenting the market and reducing the amount of revenue that a station can earn.

    To illustrate this, he pointed out that more than 10 new radio stations have been licensed in Kenya alone since January 2012.As a result of the fierce competition, the stations are approaching clients directly and cutting deals, in the process reducing the role of Public Relations (PR) and advertising agencies, which earlier handled media buying on behalf of clients.

    As a strategy to survive, Julian told the audience that radio stations have to go beyond voice and offer more value added services to their audiences, such as market research through live call in programmes, production of commercial adverts, as well as organizing road shows, exhibitions and activations on behalf of their clients. Presenters also have to create public presence through new media such as Facebook and tweeter as a way of interacting with their audience.

    The next BFMA event
      will take place on 3-4 July 2013 at the Oshwal Centre, Westlands, NairobiNairobi, Kenya. Aitec Africa welcomes conference papers, sponsors and speakers' applications now. The conference delegate feedback will help build a stronger event and contribute to a more innovative African broadcast industry in 2013.

    To get up-to-the minute news, you need to be on Twitter. Follow us on @BalancingActAfr

    A bumper crop of video clips this week on Balancing Act’s You Tube channel:

    Nyasha Mutsekwa, CEO, Metvafrica.com on its Pan-African VOD service

    Alan Knott-Craig Jr, CEO, MXit on his African expansion plans

    Nigerian Adamu Waziri talks about its childrens' animation, the Bino and Fino Show

    XYZ Show's Gado on its new childrens's show and mobile distribution

    Special for Balancing Act readers:

    British-Nigerian director Obi Emelonye on his latest filmLast Flight to Abuja

    Debra Odutuyo talks about British-Nigerian TV comedy Meet the Adebanjos and its forthcoming UK stage tour

    Congolese director Djo Munga on his next film project Inspector Lu

    Big World Cinema’s Steven Markovitz on a new African cinema - neither homework, nor medicine

    Kenya's Just a Band on their video Makmende going viral globally

  • Adding context and humour to western blockbusters for the local audience, Tanzania's video jockey translators are stars in their own right

    On a gridlocked Tanzanian street, a hive of market vendors are swarming around the cars, unloading boxes of electronics, hauling apple carts, pushing wheelbarrows full of wine glasses and calling out to each over. Kariakoo, Dar es Salaam's busiest street market, is also one of the points where global cinema flows into Africa; Derek Mukandala, who sells VHS cassettes from Hollywood, Bollywood and everywhere else, is a man with a surprising amount of influence on what kind of reception it gets.

    He is Tanzania's first video jockey (VJ): one of the narrators who translate foreign films into Kiswahili, both for live narration over screenings in vibandavya video (public video parlours) and dubbed recordings to sell in shops. They are stars in their own right, each known for their trademark style of patter. Mukandala, 60, has been in the game since the early 1980s, and younger rivals are nipping at his heels these days. He's not too flustered, though: "Most of the people still like my films, because they think the ones that I have translated are much better than the other VJs."

    VJs do more than simply describe the action – they frame the action in a context familiar to east Africans and add their own brand of humour. This is a sample of Mukandala's translation of Titanic, from the scene where Jack is invited to dinner in the first-class quarters:

    (Narrating Jack's internal monologue) "On this party one is supposed to eat ugali [maize dumplings] with twenty different spoons. These are things I would never get accustomed to, stupid, useless things."

    (General narration) "He thought that he would get ugali, spinach, beans and cassava, instead he was served only very small portions of food. That's how it is in a decent place like this. That was not very pleasant. He thought to himself that he would go to bed hungry today."

    Mukandala or "Lufufu" – his nom de VJ (both mean a kind of belt in Kiswahili) – was a naval officer for 26 years, and now he prides himself on keeping his translation in shipshape order. Unlike some of his competitors, he always watches his films before he adds his contributions "to see who are the stars of that film, where the place is the film has been shot, what kind of message we getting from it".

    Birgit Englert, an academic who's written on the VJ phenomenon, reckons that the Lufufu versions are more popular with conservative rural audiences outside Dar es Salaam, while the younger VJ brigade, led by one DJ Mark, have moved in on the capital with trendier, slang-filled commentary. Mukandala is dismissive of some of the newcomers: "Some people can talk good – but they can talk things that are not there in the film. For me it is not like that; I know what I am doing. To say lies is not good."

    All of Tanzania's VJs have a common enemy, though: the law. They add their narration on top of pirated copies of foreign films; originals, at about 30,000 Tanzanian shillings (£12), are too expensive for most locals, and bootlegs cost about 1,500 TZS. The Copyright Society of Tanzania (Cosota) has been clamping down harder on the trade in recent years. The market feels like the kind of place where the rules are regularly bent: taking photographs doesn't win you friends.

    Mukandala seems at a loss about how to handle the new pressures. "I don't understand what I can say to persuade the copyright commission. How can I get connections with them? How can I get connections with Hollywood to allow us to translate these films without any problems?"

    It's not just his livelihood, and that of the other VJs, under threat. The whole VJing practice is a low-cost, enterprising form of private education: VJs often tour their works up-country, bringing foreign culture to audiences who couldn't afford it otherwise, as well as a type of local culture that is cherishable in its own right.

    Matthias Krings at the Johannes Gutenberg University's anthropology department is another academic who has traced VJing's heritage from its modern beginnings in neighbouring Uganda (where Mukandala learned the technical aspects of his job) back to the traditions of oral storytelling.

    Cosota stresses that it is just enforcing internationally binding copyright agreements that protect the works of all authors. But it also admits that it is in an impossible position: demand for Hollywood and Bollywood wares is sky-high, but, as in most of Africa, there are no official outlets because potential profits are still too low. "To take into consideration the rights of the people to enjoy a variety of works, it's important that you license someone [to sell proper copies], even for a small fee, rather than have a vacuum in the market that is filled by any means," says YustusMkinga, copyright administrator at Cosota.

    He says the US embassy has advised him in the past not to bother with seizing American films. This is a pragmatic step that at least acknowledges that Tanzanians will get their fix of the latest superhero one way or another, but probably not what government officials in the developing world who are keen to establish the rule of law want to hear.

    In the meantime, the country's VJing tradition is caught in the middle. "If we could find some way to translate them legally, it would be much better," says Mukandala. For that to happen, Hollywood will need to start taking Africa seriously.

    • Additional reporting by Chris Michael. Thanks to Dr Matthias Krings for supplying contacts.

  • Since 1988, the francophone Fund for audiovisual production of the South is set under the program "Images" of the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF). It has an annual budget amount of 1.3 million divided equally between cinema and audiovisual production. The Fund is jointly managed by the IOF and the ‘Conseil international des radios ettélévisionsd’expressionfrançaise’ (CIRTEF). It provides annual funding for about 100 hours of films and audiovisual programs using the creative skills and techniques of French-speaking countries of the South. This production support is complemented by interventions of the OIF for the promotion, marketing and online exploitation of audiovisual works supported by the Fund.
     
    French audiovisual production fund for the South from OIF supported 42 productions in 2012.

    The two Commissions (Cinema and Television) to Fund francophone audiovisual production in the South who meet up late June in Paris established the first part of their selection for 2012.
     
    No fewer than 42 productions, 21 television programs and 21 films representing 16 countries (including the Democratic Republic of Congo selected in both categories) will receive assistance totaling 880,000 euros.
     
    For cinema, seven members of the Selection Committee of the Fund have selected 21 of the 69 projects that were presented. Seventeen works will be assisted in their production (11 feature films, two documentaries, 4 shorts) while four pieces of works will get assistance in the finish stage for an amount of 580,000 euros.
     
    The Selection Committee of the Fund for audiovisual programs, composed of 7 members - representatives of the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF) and the ‘Conseil international des radios et télévisionsd’expressionfrançaise’ (CIRTEF) as well as five television professionals - has selected 21 projects among the 50 that were submitted.

    Eighteen pieces of work will be assisted in the production (10 documentaries, 2 documentary series, 4 drama series, a magazine and a TV movie) and three programmes (two documentaries and one fiction) for assistance to the finish stage for a total of 300,000 euros. A second session of the audiovisual commission will meet in November 2012.
     
    As a reminder, the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF - www.francophonie.org) has 56 states and governments and 19 observers as supporters.

    List of selected productions:

    For film, click here

    For television, click here

  • Still in search of the new VJ (video jockey or TV presenter) for the youth entertainment channel, MTV Base, talent scouts held auditions in Cape Town and Durban on 14 July 2012 from 9am. Two finalists from each city will go forward to the finals.

    The search was open to South Africans aged between 18-25, who speak fluent English and who have a clean criminal record. Prior presenting or TV experience were not required. Applicants were to be available to participate in the elimination phases of the competition 24-28 July 2012.

    Durban

    Veteran MTV Base VJ SizweDhlomo joined hip hop trio and MTV Base favourites K.O, Ma-E and Ntukza aka Teargas on Saturday 14 July at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping for the first round of auditions in the 2012 talent contest.

    Cape Town

    In Cape Town, hip hop artist, JR, was on hand at the auditions to mingle with the crowd and give them encouragement at the Cape Gate Shopping Precinct.

  • The SABC cutbacks have put producers out of work. As KatlehoRamaphakela, Burnt Onion Productions MD said: "A production company can't survive off one project anymore unless it's a recurring daily show or one of the seven soap operas"
    While the creators of feature films receive incentives from government, the local television production industry is out in the cold.

    Though South Africa's commercials industry has long been a success - it has grown consistently, wins accolades and punches above its weight globally - television production is under severe pressure, mainly because of the financial woes of the public broadcaster, SA's largest commissioner of local content.

    SABC spokesman KaizerKganyago says in 2011, the broadcaster commissioned 142 productions. In November, it released 42 requests for proposals from which it expects 50 productions to be commissioned.

    He says the SABC spent R649m on local content in 2010 and R684m in 2011. The latest proposals for new local content are reportedly worth R200m.

    The broadcaster's spend has been cut from the more than R1bn it spent before it was plunged into a leadership crisis in 2009. Kganyago says investment in local content is based on schedule needs and available funds.

    In response to the SABC crisis, the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO) conducted research to assess the value of the production industry and the amount that broadcasters spent on content. The study found that in 2008 the SABC alone spent R1,1bn on content commissioned from independent production companies. Pay-TV provider MultiChoice spent R200m and free-to-air channel e.tv spent R150m while foreign producers spent R200m.

    The SABC's cutbacks have brought about a serious decline in the industry. In early 2012, producers submitted proposals for new series to the SABC, but so far, not one has received a response.

    The CEO of production facilities provider Sasani Africa, Eileen Sandrock, says the broadcaster's woes continue to cause strain in the production industry. "Several companies have gone insolvent as a direct result of problems at the SABC," she says. "A number of programmes fell away altogether and the SABC continues to squeeze rates."

    One of the most recent closures was that of TOM Pictures, headed by filmmakers Akin Omotoso, Robbie Thorpe and KgomotsoMatsunyane. The company, founded in 2003, produced several large shows including Soul City, Soul Buddyz, A Place Called Home and Nomzamo. However, the lack of new productions meant it could not continue operating and closed earlier this year.

  • Naspers CEO KoosBekker is quoted on Sens as saying his company experienced revenue growth across most of its businesses, including the pay-TV, media and Internet assets Tencent China and Russia's Mail.ru.Internet revenue grew substantially by 59% to R19,2bn, while trading profit increased by 9% to R3.8bn.

    Pay-TV revenue rose 15% with an increase in the subscriber base of 648 000. The subscriber base is now 5.6m.

    Print media revenue grew by 15% to R12.1bn. This was largely due to more printing contracts for the commercial print business, Paarl Media, rather than an increase in its print title circulations, as well as a 10% increase in revenue from the Brazilian-based Abril.

    Consolidated revenue increased by 19%, to R39,5bn, mainly from an increase in revenue from the fast-growing Internet segment. Adjusted operating profit grew only 8%, to R6,3bn, due to consolidated development costs increasing significantly by 87%, to R2,8bn, mainly due to e-commerce. Diluted HEPS grew 15% to R17,89.

    Naspers offers high margins, a return on equity of 16,5%, and its core operations remain cash-generative. It has a diversified portfolio of mature businesses but Tencent and Mail.ru, now responsible for 98% of the group's market cap, remain the key drivers of future growth. Analysts feel the share is fairly valued and recommend it as a hold.

    Avusa has traditionally been a good generator of cash. Operating margins, however, have been in decline for the past few years, affected by technological shifts in the marketplace. Analysts feel the share is fairly valued and that the Richtrau offer is fair.

     

  • Pay TV provider Multichoice has re-vamped its Digital Terrestrial Transmission (DTT) offering in Namibia to the higher picture quality Digital Video Broadcast (DVB-T2) standard.

    Multichoice plans for its Namibian channel bouquet to grow from five to 15 channels on its low-cost GOtv service, as a result of moving the offering over to the DVB-T2 standard, which has a higher frequency band.

    The TV bouquet service is available as an inclusive offer of a decoder and a three months subscription fee of $61. Once the three months subscription fee is up, customers pay a monthly fee of $6 for the service

    “We have decided to re-launch the service to offer the viewer access to many more channels than what was available on the T1 service and as we are also in other countries such as Kenya and Zambia, it only made sense that the best way to do this is to upgrade the T1 infrastructure to the T2 platform for Namibia,” said Willem Hattingh, general manager, GOtv Africa.

  • There aren’t that many media entities owned by minorities but the people behind Dias TV seek to change that. Dias TV officially launched last Sunday during a premiere for one of their movies, The Domino Effect. The event was in Atlanta, GA, and it wasn’t a normal movie premiere. Dias TV’s motto is “celebrating diversity in the diaspora” and they did just that.

    Prior to the showing of the movie, viewers were treated to three performances that reflected the culture of the African diaspora. The first was a steel drum player who did a few selections reminiscent of the Caribbean. The next was a group of American b-boys who delighted the crowd with their moves and tricks. Lastly, Ima dance troupe took everyone back to the motherland with their colorful costumes and fast paced dancing. There was also a banquet after the movie that allowed people to sample cuisine from Africa and the Caribbean.

    Dias TV is setting out to create “Diaswood,” the African diaspora’s version of India’s Bollywood and an answer to the lack of black faces in Hollywood. “We are challenged with barriers in breaking into mainstream film or stage because of our uniqueness; yet it is our uniqueness that makes us stand out, proud and tall above many,” wrote Eve Otaigbe, creator of The Domino Effect and CEO of Afrimedia Entertainment, in a statement. “We are not Hollywood or Bollywood or Nollywood. We are Diaswood. And we intend to create our own industry.”

    The movie, The Domino Effect, was also a display of diversity. Although the movie was written and created by Otaigbe, a Nigerian woman, and the movie followed a format common in Nigerian movies, the actors were from everywhere including Atlanta, Jamaica and Nigeria. In addition to being diverse, the movie was a treat as well. Most Americans aren’t familiar with Nigerian cinema and The Domino Effect is a great introduction to that genre.

  • As Nigeria’s pay television (TV) market is poised for further competition by players in the industry, StarTimes, pioneer in Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) solution in China and Africa, has made bold its resolve to reshape pay TV in the country.

    This it intends doing by providing wider platform and opportunity for local content providers as well as bridge the gap between the rich and the indigent in terms of access to information, education and entertainment, and thereby increasing the interest of other potential investors in various sectors of the country.

    Currently, operational in eight Nigerian cities - Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan, Port-Harcourt, Kano, Kaduna, Benin City and Onitsha - and more expansion plan in few months to come, StarTimes has rolled out plans to celebrate its over 750, 000 subscribers with its N2 million second anniversary promo, and other consolation prizes such as LCD TV, CRT TV, StarTimes Mobile TV, StarTimes GPS Car TV, etc.

    Making this known to BusinessDay in Lagos, Celestine Umeibe, PR/content manager, StarTimes, Nigeria, disclosed that the organisation’s second anniversary promo, which started July 16 and would run till September 8, 2012, was a testimony of the company’s achievement, especially advancing Nigeria to the accomplishment of total digital broadcast migration via rapid expansion and contributing to national growth and development by creating job opportunities for Nigerians.

    While looking forward to Nigeria’s successful migration from analogue broadcasting to digital broadcasting by 2015, Umeibe explained that “the promo is a reward programme mapped out to celebrate StarTimes two years of successful DTT operations and to reward loyal subscribers for their patronage in the country.

    According to him, “To qualify for the raffle draw to win the national grand prize of N2 million and/or other regional prizes, new subscribers are expected to visit any StarTimes outlet, buy and activate any StarTimes product, like decoder, LCD/CRT TV, and other products - only available in Abuja and Lagos- to qualify instantly. New subscribers also stand a chance to win weekly prizes at the regional levels, such as a star prize of N100, 000 and other consolation prizes.”

  • As many as a quarter of South Africa’s video stores closed down last year, with some arguing that the distribution model is as much to blame as piracy.

    Media group Avusa said last week that 25% of SA video stores had shut up shop in the past year. Rather than the usual culprits of piracy, video on demand and the weak economy, one major industry player is laying the blame squarely at the door of Avusa-owned Nu Metro.

    Peter Scott, a director at DVD rental chain Mr Video, says Nu Metro has “monopolised the rental industry by entering into exclusive agreements with the major studios, ensuring that the prices that video rental stores have to pay for movies … are not determined by any competition whatsoever”.

    He says Nu Metro has a stranglehold over which content makes it to the SA rental market, in the process “denying the public from a huge number of other films available”.

    But Fay Amaral, MD of entertainment at Avusa — she oversees Nu Metro Film Distribution, Nu Metro Cinemas and Nu Metro Home Entertainment — says there is a misconception that the company is the sole distributor of content to the rental market and that there are instances where the company only has the rights for DVD and Blu-ray resale and not rental, as is the case with movies from studio 20th Century Fox.

    She says there are other players in the market and potentially room for more, but the barriers to entry are high, particularly because of the distribution challenges in SA, where cities and towns are far apart.

    Though Nu Metro is by far the largest distributor to the rental market, other players include Ster-Kinekor, Next Entertainment and a handful of niche, independent distributors.

    Amaral says that the decline in video-store numbers is due to a “mixed bag of driving factors” and cannot be attributed to piracy, video on demand or economic conditions alone.

    She says services like pay-TV operator DStv’sBoxOffice, a video-on-demand service where users can rent movies via their decoders, is a factor, but its limited selection and availability (it’s only on DStv’s personal video recorders on its high-end subscription package) mean its impact isn’t big.

    DVD and Blu-ray sales, meanwhile, are up over the last year, though Amaral suggests this is also the result of price decreases. “As with electronics, over time the price of formats like DVD and Blu-ray inevitably come down. Again, this is in line with international trends.”

    Video rentals don’t seem to be enjoying the same stability seen by the sales and cinema markets. Scott says Mr Video has experienced “some strain”, though not to the extent of a quarter of its stores being closed down. He says he believes the majority of those that have closed are independently owned stores.

    Scott won’t reveal store numbers or say how many applications Mr Video has received from prospective franchisees. Rival chain Video Spot, meanwhile, says two of its 14 stores have closed in the past 12 months. It suggests closures were kept to a minimum because of Video Spot’s extensive back catalogue.

    Video on demand is having an impact, says Scott, mainly in affluent areas where consumers have DStv Premium subscriptions. However, he says DStvBoxOffice can’t compete with rental stores on price or range of content.

    Piracy remains the primary reason video stores are closing down and government isn’t doing enough to stamp it out, despite making noises about wanting to stimulate the local film industry, Scott says.  — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media

  • Many people believe that he is fulltime police detective and others think he is just a local Shaft (from the 1970s movie of the same name) impressionist.
    But very few would know that Von Tavaziva (pictured above), well-known as Detective Sergeant Chanaiwa, of the popular TV series, Go-Chanaiwa-Go, is actually a film actor, writer, producer and director of his own movies.

    The UK trained Microsoft certified systems engineer's passion for action movies has promulgated into 13 episodes of Season 1 and 2 of the popular anti-crime series on our local television screens over the past few years.
    After the successful launch and marketing of the episodes, a new locally produced full length movie, Simbimbino, is about to hit the screens. The movie is set to make its debut on the big screen at the end of July and would soon be available in DVD format soon afterwards.

    Tavaziva said Simbimbino is the story of a young girl who has hit the hard times and finds the going getting tougher in a big city such as Harare, where there are daily challenges about making, economic hardships, crime, corruption and stressful family life.

    The movie, although low in budget, was shot and produced locally using the barest resources such as HDV cameras and edited at Tavaziva's own company, VT Studios.
    The producer says the main actress, whose name would be revealed once the movie is launched, was picked from an ordinary street in the neighbourhood of Mbare and was coached by the company to become a movies star.

    Tavaziva said this is a very important and unique aspect of VT Studios' movie making business that picks ideas from ordinary people and distributes them back to ordinary Zimbabweans in the form of DVDs. The new film typifies urban life in Zimbabwe and the script is entirely in Shona - quite a departure from the action movies that the producer is known for.

    "With Simbimbino, we're trying to show the world that we can produce other feature movies besides the action films and above all, we are using 99 percent of the Shona dialect and that makes it accessible to several parts of the country, even those within the furthest reach."

    Those who have seen Tavaziva and company selling DVDs in the streets of Harare would probably wonder at the marketing concept behind the whole project.
    Tavaziva says does his own marketing of the DVDs in the streets of Harare and employs other people who help him to distribute the product as one way of fighting piracy.

  • The stage is set for the 30th Olympics in London from 27th July to 12th August where Kenyans are waiting for a rich harvest from their world beating distance running exponents.

    Through Google+ and YouTube this Olympics experience will be brought into the homes, hearts and minds of Kenyans since the country is one of 54 who have the rights to live stream the Games online.

    YouTube has purchased non-exclusive digital rights to stream the 2012 summer edition where viewers can choose to watch each event via a live stream.

    If events are happening concurrently, viewers will be able to choose which stream they want to watch. All videos from the games will also be stored on youtube.com/Olympics making this destination the one-stop-shop for all Olympic content.

    The Kenyan Olympic page on G+ is the place to find rich content pertaining to the team that won six gold, four silver and four bronze medals in Beijing.

    The page is being supported by five experienced local sports journalists who will be on the ground in London with full access to the Olympic stadium and athletes.

    Supporting journalists will develop unique and up-to-date content (in some cases real-time content such as live Hangouts with Olympians) and share this content on the Kenyan Olympic Team's +page.

    "The IOC's live streaming on its YouTube channel will consist of 11 different simultaneous high-definition broadcasts, all with English language commentary.

    "There will be ten live feeds from London 2012, running 9am to 11pm (London time) (on some days, these will start early or finish later based on competition schedule), plus a 24-hour broadcast of the Olympic News Channel, which includes summaries of the latest results, general reports on different events, and interviews with athletes," Stephen Nuttal, Google, Head of Sport, Europe, the Middle East and Africa disclosed.

    "The Olympics have a great unifying effect; we are excited to bring this magic even closer to Kenyans, and to ensure they follow their teams' progress every step of the way," he added.

    While the IOC YouTube channel will allow people to stay up to date with the games, Google+ will enable actual engagement with national sports heroes and between fans.

    Kenyans can now follow their team on the Kenya Olympics Google+ page which is being managed by Samsung.

    Kenya House is a Brand Kenya project promoting the key opportunities or 'pillars' of Kenya; Trade, Export, Tourism, Investment and Sport through a physical location to be situated in London during the Olympic Games.

    A series of events have been developed to promote the 'pillars' of Kenya to tourists visiting London for the games.

    Google have collaborated on this project with the goal of extending the reach of Kenya House beyond its physical location - connecting the events and experiences in the House with an online audience both here and globally.

    A series of Google Hangouts from the London-based Kenya House will be broadcast to the public, where Kenyans will see firsthand the activities from the house in Stratford being used to showcase the most iconic aspects of the country.

    "One of the big bets for this country has been the Olympics; we have such great sporting talent, we have an opportunity to share this talent and Kenyan successes with the world. We have a great opportunity to celebrate our talent and demonstrate our unity," explains Joe Mucheru, Google Kenya Country Manager.

    "We have a huge opportunity to share the Kenyan message online, forging this unity digitally - we want to share these plans with you all and let you know how you can get involved by using the large amount of content being developed with the end goal of supporting Kenya and the Kenyan team.

    The Google Kenya team looks forward to sharing this special experience with everyone, and is looking forward to helping Kenyans share the information they care about with the people they care about.

    "We are happy to provide Kenyans with multiple ways to access and share the magic of the games," Joe concluded.

  • Octagon is excited to use African based video on demand (VOD) service meTVafrica, as the delivery platform bringing viewers across the African continent highlights of the London 2012 Olympic Gamesfree to their mobile phones and desktops for the duration of the Games..

    This comes after the company secured rights to distribute the Olympic Games with partnerships with some of the continent’s leading network operators and ISP’s. All content is free access, meaning the content is openly available in Africa excluding South Africa.

    Octagon is the global sports and entertainment content marketing arm of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG) and a pioneer and thought leader in sports and music and entertainment sponsorship consulting, athlete & personality representation and management, talent procurement, event management and hospitality. The meTVafrica platform is a content aggregation VOD platform that allows for the distribution of professionally made video content on the internet. Octagon says it is committed to providing relevant programming for audiences across the continent on a platform that they can access at the touch of a button. Jonathan Riley, the Head of Sales and Broadcasting Media at Octagon says the IOC has been very supportive through this process.
    “We’re very much looking forward to bringing African audiences the best possible content because we want to ensure that they don’t miss a moment of the riveting highlights from the Games,” said Riley.

    “Every effort will be made to ensure that key sports or disciplines will be featured and the content will focus on a number of sports including, athletics, boxing, football, basketball, and swimming,” he said. He said that this would however be subject to the African sides’ / athletes’ qualification.

    The highlights offer commenced from July 25th and ends on the 12th August. The system to access these packages is “video on demand” and all content will sit on these platforms for the duration of the Olympic Games

  • At a meeting held in Cotonou, film directors from Burkina Faso (photo) and Mali shared their views on the local film and cinema industry.
     
    What is the state of cinema of Burkina Faso?

    HemaDjakaria, General Director of the Burkina Faso National Cinematography: Our cinema is doing quite well. As you know, the African cinema is facing funding and distribution difficulties. We need to meet these challenges in order to gain significant production in Burkina Faso. We developed a policy that focuses on training to support the film industry. This allowed us to create some training centers such as ‘Institutsupérieur de formation à l'imageet au son’ (ISIS). We also created another session that provides senior and middle managers. This session is housed at the ‘Écolenationale de l'administrationet de la magistrature’.
    There are also private training centers that we support, such as the center of Gaston Kabore and ‘Imagine’ which provides tailored training and can help to producers and directors to develop their projects.

    Apart from training, we have a policy to support production that is built around material support and resources to producers. We have a budget for support to film. We also have a support program for cinema exhibition, built around the capacity of movie theaters. We also established a project to renovate 13 cinemas which is in its infancy and in search of funding. With all these activities mixed together, we can now say that the Burkinabe cinema is doing well.

    How many movie theaters are operating in Burkina Faso?

    We currently have 12 cinemas that are active and which schedule regular screenings, including eight in Ouagadougou and four in the provinces. Occasionally, it also happens that some conference rooms are transformed into movie theaters.

    Burkina Faso is a great country for cinema. Is the film industry positioned as a real player for development?

    I will not say that the film industry manages to position itself as a development player, it's in perpetual motion. But gradually the local film industry contributes to the development of the country and especially of its visibility. Burkina Faso is known through its cinema. FESPACO is a window into the country where film actors are organized. There were a lot of production companies that were created through digital technology.

    Can we talk about a film industry in Burkina Faso?

    It is quite complex. We cannot speak of a film industry that produces only three or four movies a year, which only has ten rooms and a small portion of production companies who rely on EU subsidies. A film industry requires large production studios. However, a link to the film industry is being born. I am convinced that we will create a small production unit at the national level.

    How is cinema doing today in Mali?

    MoussaDiabaté, Head of Film Registry at the National Centre of Cinematography in Mali (Centre National de la Cinématographie du Mali -CNCM): The movie industry is doing as well in Mali as elsewhere in West Africa, that is to say moderately well. This is because the resources for film production are limited and that the processes for access to finance is difficult. But this does not preclude creativity. There are plenty of projects that are filed in our office, but there is a lack of substantial funds to support them.

    Mali has a public film production center. How do you work with private producers?

    The National Center is a state institution that renders a service to the public .... To this end, the center covers everything that relates to film and is a legal entity. We support local filmmakers in hardware, but also in human resources. There are many production companies that can approach us to seek our support.

    How many theaters exist in Mali?

    It's a shame there is only one cinema in Mali, that works full time in Bamako. All other cinemas have been closed. But there is hope, especially since there are plans to rehabilitated some as part of Mali’s heritage. Our policy is to encourage private players to come and invest in movies. From this perspective, there are two theaters that are being renovated.

    What are the biggest names in Malian cinema today?

    There are so-called older generation with SouleymaneCissé, CheickOumarSissoko ... There is also the new with SalifTraoré, SidiDiabaté, etc.. There are also young people who are still at their early productions and we are watching very closely to see what they can bring the cinema.

    How many productions on average per year?

    The National Centre for Cinematography produced in 2010/2011 two feature films: "Cobwebs" (Toiles d'araignée) and "Da Monzon" and a television series of 52 episodes and four documentaries. There are also private productions. But the overall production level is still below our estimates, which are about twenty films a year across all categories…I hope this will change in the coming days.

    Interview by Stephanie Dongmo (Africiné) at a meeting organized by the “CinémaNumérique Ambulant Afrique” in Cotonou on 17 and 18 January 2012.

  • The University Teaching Hospital (UTH) Ibadan has agreed to grant Nigerian filmmakers access to professional medical facilities and hospital scenarios that could be recorded in motion pictures.

    In a statement by Dr. Tope Alonge, Chief Medical Director of the hospital, at the commissioning of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) Ibadan Preview Centre, said that the issue of accessing information, the manpower and professional medical scenarios, which hitherto was strained, could now be addressed by the hospital.

    "The health sector is a very delicate and touching issue. No patient will want his or her health information be made public and that is why it is often impossible for us to allow the public access to patients' information."

    Addressing the film makers, Alonge however said, there was now a community liaison group in the hospital directly under his office. "Now, we can provide you the advice, the manpower and access to hospital scenarios. We can help you set up the scenes and also tell you whether they are realistic or not as opposed to having direct information of patients, which can never be divulged. You have every right, once you bring your letter, in areas where you need us to give you our expertise and professional advice, we will be more than willing, on my honour."

    Speaking on the essence of films as a medium of sensitive information and the drift from the norm, he said, "the deviation from the old norm probably began when we excluded civics from our teaching in primary schools though civic education and culture are synonymous."

    He suggested that, "if civic education can be revived, along with what we get from the Nigerian entertainment industry, it will really help in restoring our lost values. It is therefore film makers to address those issues in the concept of their films and movies."

    Highlighting the importance of peaceful coexistence among the filmmakers in the Nigerian film industry, AbiolaLadoja, Commissioner of Arts and Culture, there was the need for the filmmakers to join hands with the Oyo State government to give the industry the needed boost. He urged them to produce films that would encourage peace and meaningful development, whilst also collaborating with the government in their fight against piracy.

    Also speaking, BosunOladele, Commissioner for Information, said in his opinion that following the commissioning of the preview centre, the Oyo State government has found in NFVCB a willing ally and partner in progress. "The relationship was called for given the fact that both the Federal Government and the State Government were working towards sanitizing the Nigerian film industry for mutual benefits."

  • African Metropolis will comprise seven short films from seven filmmakers from seven different cities in Africa. The initiative is presented by executive producer Steven Markovitz and the Goethe-Institut South Africa, with further support from the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival of Rotterdam.

    Each of the directors will each explore their own African Metropolis, the legendary cities of Abidjan, Cairo, Dakar, Johannesburg, Kinshasa, Lagos, and Nairobi.

    Selected from among 40 entries, the seven filmmakers are attending the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) this week and participating in a screenwriting workshop run by renowned script editor Jacques Akchoti, and network with filmmakers from across the continent.

    The completed African Metropolis films will be launched at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam and Durban International Film Festival in 2013.

    African Metropolis traverses the continent, from east to west, north to south. All seven films will reveal unexplored settings in which the drama of life is played out.

    From Nairobi, Jim Chuchu directs A Sun Came, where the end of the world is a good chance to make amends and gives the characters the courage to do the unexpected. Chuchu is a director / photographer from the stylish world of fashion, art and music, as well as a member of Just a Band.

    In Berea, Johannesburg director Vincent Moloi tells the story of the ageing Aaron Zukerman, who is trapped in his dilapidated inner city apartment as the crazy outside world closes in on his memories and happiness. A visit from a beautiful stranger is his last link to the here and now. Moloi is an acclaimed documentary filmmaker and former MIPDOC African Trailblazer.

    Patrick KalalaTujibikila’s Doubtful Client is set in the streets of Kinshasa, where a taxi driver’s unlikely passenger takes him on a wild journey around his own city. Tujibikila’s is an actor-turned-filmmaker whose documentary on freedom of the press in DRC was part of a group of short films, Congo in Four Acts, that premiered at Berlinale 2010.

    From Lagos, director FolasakinIwajomo presents a noir thriller, Noose, about how two women’s chance meeting on a bus leads to planning the perfect murder. A video editing lecturer Iwajomo has won recognition for his short films including being nominated at the DFF 2010, winning best screenplay at the In-Short Film Festival 2011 and winning MTV Shuga one minute short film competition for his film Point Blank .

    Award-winning Egyptian filmmaker Ahmed El Ghoneimy will film The Giza Zoo in Cairo. Here a young boy steals a lion cub as an act of bravado, but can’t imagine the consequences of his actions. El Ghoneimy ‘s short fiction film Bahari won the best short film at the Recontres de l’image 8eme edition in Cairo and the Jury prize at the 28th Hamburg Short Film Festival.

    Abidjan director PhilipeLacote’s short film To Repel Ghosts centres on the celebrated artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who travelled to the Cote d’Ivoire city two years before his death. An exhibition opening turns into a journey through the city to visit a soothsayer - and results in a revelation that he is little prepared for. Lacote has made a number of documentary films and is about to embark on his first feature entitled Run. He was part of the Cannes Film Festival Cinefondationprogramme.

    Senegalese-Martinican filmmaker Marie Ka is the only woman director in the group. Set in Dakar, The Other Woman tells of a 50-year-old housewife who discovers her true self when she allows her husband’s second wife into her home. Ka founded the Picture Box production company in 2005 and also works as a scriptwriter winning awards at Fespaco and the Francophone Film Festival of Angouleme.

  • Nollywood video website, iROKOTv.com, is reportedly suing the makers of a mobile phone application for copyright infringement.Afrinolly, a mobile phone app that showcases Nollywood films, has been asked by iROKOTv to pay N100 million in compensation for ‘using’ its videos without permission.

    iROKOTv, which showcases up to 5,000 Nigerian and Ghanaian-made films, has shot to fame this year for hitting 500,000 subscribers in six months, according to its developers.

    Afrinolly has also experienced success in the last two years, as it won a Google Android developer challenge in 2011.But now the developers of the mobile app are under pressure for alleged copyright infringement.

    “In an industry that is rife with misrepresentation, piracy and copyright infringement, we are left with no option but to begin legal action against Afrinolly, who have been illegally building their business on our content,” said Jason Njoku, the chief executive of iROKO Partners, in a report on Daily Times Nigeria.

    “Afrinolly, since its inception, has never bothered to even discuss with us or other content owners and has definitely not remunerated anyone to date.

    In the meantime, iROKO Partners has also reportedly asked the owners of Afrinolly to remove all ‘illegally’ sourced content from its app.

  • The Tobacco Control Board has warned media houses that air content that promotes tobacco. The board has written to Citizen TV to stop airing smoking session in the popular drama Tahidi High. "Those people who are acting on Tahidi High are actually celebrities of sorts. They are role models. And when young children grow seeing celebrities, the people they actually admire, puffing cigarettes, then actually it's a wrong message to our young children," said the boards' alternate secretary Ibrahim Longolomoi.

    Speaking on the sidelines of a stakeholders meeting on tobacco policy in Mombasa, Longolomoi said they have also written to an FM station based in Nairobi to stop promoting a Sishaparlour in Nairobi. Longolomoi said Sisha is a tobacco product and should not be advertised in Kenya. He said such advertisements is against the the law. He added that tobacco products have no health benefits.

    Board chairman Peter Odhiambo said tobacco farmers have to find alternative cash crops. He said no level of tar or nicotine is acceptable in a human body. "Tobacco farmers in Kenya should know that they are an endangered species in so far as they have no opening or no light at the end of the tunnel to even achieve what they think they should be achieving," said Odhiambo.

  • The minister for ethics and integrity, Rev. Simon Lokodo has asked local media to reduce on the amount of space and airtime spent talking about sex.The minister says the more the media have discussed sex issues, the more promiscuous Ugandans have become, resulting into increased HIV infections.

    "There's wrong propaganda and abuse of the media to sell into the minds of the people the fantasy of sex," Lokodo observed.Speaking to New Vision, Lokodo also said there was need for stern action against pornographic media."Radios, newspapers and TVs keep talking about making sex. Our people have continuously become promiscuous. "

    "Everywhere there's fun- making which involves risky sexual acts. The whole modesty of sexual life has lost meaning," said the minister.He was reacting to the latest revelations which show that HIV infection rates in sub-Saharan Africa are reducing yet Uganda's annual new infections continue to rise.

  • Since VC4Africa launched its new functionalities last month, registered ventures can raise funds through the platform. One of the ventures that are currently in ‘fundraising mode’ is Buni TV, an online platform for high quality videos from and about Africa. Founder Marie Lora-Mungai: ”Theater distribution for local feature films is close to impossible and we believe that mobile is the solution. We will bring the content directly into the audience’s hands.”

    Why is there a need for Buni TV?

    “Buni TV is an offshoot of my first company Buni Media. Buni Media is a multimedia company that is well known in Kenya for producing The XYZ Show, a very popular political satire show now in its 6th season. One of the main challenges we’ve had in our journey to produce the show has been to distribute it. Although we have been pretty good at it so far, as the show reaches 8 million people every month, we are acutely aware that most talented filmmakers on the continent right now don’t have the opportunity to show their work to what should be their natural audience.

    And as far as African viewers are concerned, more often than not they don’t know where to find quality content or how to access it, and yet they have that insatiable hunger for great entertainment.

    With Buni TV we are leveraging Africa’s smartphone revolution to provide a solution to this problem. Our goal is to revolutionize the distribution of high quality African content on the continent by bringing the best videos to new, growing audiences, and creating a sustainable market for filmmakers to thrive.”

    On your website you indicate that the editors select the most interesting content for your visitors. Is there a lot of content to choose from and what are your criteria for selection?

    “There is a lot more content to choose from than anyone would think, and that’s what we want African audiences to discover through Buni TV. Our content editors are combing through film festival catalogs, niche websites, local television stations programming schedules, and film schools’ alumni lists to find videos that are innovative, thought provoking and visually beautiful.

    We don’t compromise on things like image or sound quality. There is this idea out there that African videos are mediocre, but that’s simply not true. As producers of and experts in African content, we believe it’s our responsibility to correct this misconception. There is fantastic work being done by filmmakers in countries from Gabon to Mozambique to Namibia, which speaks to the African experience with elegance and style. There are stories out there that no one has ever seen yet! Bringing them to the world is the philosophy behind Buni TV’s tagline: ‘Watch Africa Rise’.”

    There’s a lot of talk about the need for local (TV) content in Africa. Do you see an increase in the number of productions and quality?

    “Most definitely! And audiences across the continent are clamoring for more. The issue is that the current television system in most African countries is financially skewed towards broadcasters and against content producers. It is still very common for producers to have to pay television stations to put their film or tv-series on the air.

    Theater distribution for local feature films is close to impossible. African filmmakers are producing their work against all odds, and that’s a testament to the strength and extent of their creative thinking abilities. Until filmmakers are able to make money out of their work, the quality and quantity of their output will be limited. We believe that mobile will bring the solution, by making it possible for platforms like Buni TV to bring content directly into the audience’s hands and create new ways to monetize this traffic.”

    Are there similar platforms that have proven the potential of a video-aggregator such as Buni TV?

    “There are several other digital distribution platforms for African content out there. IRokoTV, which specializes in Nollywood films, is doing very well, for example. Buni TV distinguishes itself in two major ways. First, our editorial policy is very clear: Buni TV is very selective. Second, contrary to many other African digital video platforms out there that are primarily geared toward the diaspora, our first focus is on providing content to new and underserved audiences on the continent.

    This is why, along with our website Buni.tv, we have built a light and user-friendly mobile site accessible at m.buni.tv. There are currently 600 million people in Africa who own a mobile phone, and thanks to the advent of affordable devices like the Ideos, more and more are switching to smartphones and tablets. We believe that Africa will jump over cable and satellite and straight into the era of personal entertainment devices. Buni TV is in an ideal position to take advantage of it.”

    Who is your target audience and how are you tackling issues of viewing online video content in Africa with slow connections?

    “We are targeting Africans who have regular access to the web either through a computer, or most likely through their smartphone. Buni TV is built on top of a “video service manager”, which makes it possible to automatically adjust the quality of the video depending on the current speed of a user’s connection. We are also constantly looking for options to improve the service, make it available on more devices, and speed up buffering times.”

    You are currently fundraising on the VC4Africa website. How much are you looking for and how are you planning to spend that amount?

    “We are looking for a minimum of US$500,000 that would allow us to continue to develop our site, add a lot of exciting features and support our video hosting and streaming costs. The other main reason we are fundraising is to have the means to acquire premium content for an upfront fee. Growing our catalog of content is an absolute priority.”

    How are you planning to make money with Buni TV and are content producers also going to benefit?

    “Buni TV operates on a freemium model. For the moment, streaming videos on Buni TV is completely free and ad-supported, both on the web and on mobile. We reverse 50% of the advertising revenue generated around their work to the content producers. Our focus right now is on helping the pan-African audience discover the platform and on growing both our traffic and our catalog of original content. Ultimately, we plan to develop a paid option to give viewers access to premium videos such as full-length feature films. The potential of micro-payments on mobile has already been demonstrated for music in markets like Kenya, and it can very effectively be adapted to premium videos. We are confident that Buni TV will become very profitable in the future.”

    What is your favorite video from Africa?

    “Well, obviously I’m biased, but The XYZ Show is amazing. Everything from the life-size latex puppets to the sleek computer-generated backgrounds are made from scratch by our team in our Nairobi studio. And it is hilarious. Coming up with a new episode every week is a massive endeavor, and I’m very proud of our team’s achievements. You should check it out!”

    Find more information about Buni TV on their profile page.

  • Orange and Gameloft have signed a global partnership to promote usage of mobile games in Africa and Middle East

    In Jordan, Ivory Coast, Mauritius and Madagascar, mobile games offers are already available to customers under the Orange brand, whereas the same offers are available in Egypt under the Mobinil brand

    A strong partnership to promote mobile games in Africa and Middle East

    Orange , which is represented in 22 countries in Africa and Middle East, is teaming up with Gameloft, a leading global publisher of digital and social games, to make mobile games and offers available on smartphones and java compatible devices. This partnership is part of Orange's commitment to provide digital entertainment and multimedia services to our customers.

    The new mobile games offer from Orange and Gameloft will make use of Gameloft's most popular titles such as Asphalt 6 : Adrenaline; Assassin's Creed : Revelations; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2; The Avengers; and more.

    Orange is also an official sponsor of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and is supporting its commitment to African football through the Gameloft partnership by pre-installing Gameloft Real Football 2012on mobile phones for customers.

    Through this partnership, Orange and Gameloft will make more than 300 games available through a dedicated section of the Orange mobile portal. After a successful launch in Ivory Coast, Mauritius, Madagascar and Jordan, this new mobile games offer was also been launched in Egypt on 26 June 2012, and available for 32 millions Mobinil customers.

    Since January 2012 a selection of three Gameloft mobile games have been pre-installed on low-priced smartphones. Thanks to their easy access on the home screen of the device, these games were available through the « Try and Buy » mode which allows customer to test the game before buying it in a few clicks.

    Orange has a commitment to make mobile multimedia and the mobile internet to even more of its customers around the world, and this partnership with Gameloft will allow it contribute to the democratization of mobile multimedia usage in Africa and the Middle East.

  • - A Kenyan journalist and his cameraperson scooped the 2012 CNN African Journalist overall awards as President Michael Sata implored African journalists to play a critical role in marketing Africa as an investment destination.TomMboya and his cameraperson VansonNyaga's 'The African Tribe in India' was selected among the 1,799 entries from 42 nations across the continent.

  • 1 - 11 August 2012
    Open Doors 2012: Francophone Sub-saharan Africa

    Venue: the Swiss-Italian town of Locarno
    The next edition of Open Doors, the Festival del film Locarno’s co-production lab, will be devoted to francophone Sub-Saharan Africa. Application forms for Open Doors 2012 are available on opendoors.pardo.ch.
    The finalist projects will be presented at the co-production lab Open Doors (August 4 – 7), whose mission is to bring professionals from the chosen region into contact with potential, mainly European, partners, in order to bring their projects to fruition.
    For more information on call for entries, click here: 

    1 – 11, August 2012.
    The 65th edition of the Festival del film Locarno

    Venue: the Swiss-Italian town of Locarno
    For more information click here:

    26 – 29 August 2012
    The 14th PAMRO meeting and All Africa Media Research Conference
    Theme: “From Local to Global:  Media Research in a Developing World”
    Venue: Munyonyo, Lake Victoria, Uganda at the Speke Resort & Conference Centre. 
    Updates on media audience research activities from countries from all parts of Africa and the rest of the world will be given. Presentations will address a wide range of subjects such as Television audience research methodologies, as well as the measurement and status of Radio, Print, Internet and Outdoor in Africa
    Contact: PAMRO Secretariat, or visit the website here:

    8-11 October 2012
    Mipcom
    The world's entertainment content market

    Venue: Cannes, France
    For more information click here:

    12-14 October 2012
    13th edition of MEDIMED
    Sitges, Spain

    Organised by Apimed, the event will present again an exclusive selection of documentary projects, and ready made programmes, aiming to enhance the professional and creative exchange between the 12 MEDA countries and the 27 EU countries, encouraging the development, promotion and distribution of European and Mediterranean audio-visual works.
    Click here for more info.

    13th to 21st October 2012
    9th edition of FCAT Córdoba African Film Festival
    Venue: Córdoba, Spain
    Summary: The Spanish city of Córdoba and Al Tarab (the NGO behind FCAT) announce changes in both the host city and dates for the 2012 edition. The Festival, which has been held since 2004 in Tarifa, Spain, will now take place every Fall in Córdoba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, craded of civilizations and cultures for over 2000 years. Call for entries now available on their website. Deadline: May 15, 2012.
    Contact: For more information, contact Marion Berger at Fcat.

    30th & 31st October 2012
    IP&TV ME and North Africa 2012

    The IP&TV Forum MENA 2012 is the main IPTV event in the region.
    Venue: Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai
    For more information click here:

    31 Oct. -2 Nov. 2012
    DISCOP AFRICA 2012

    Venue: the SANDTON CONVENTION CENTER in Johannesburg, South Africa
    Launched in 2008, DISCOP AFRICA is the only pan-African industry gathering strictly dedicated to the production and distribution of multiscreen television content.
    More here

    14th-15th November 2012
    AfricaCast
    Venue: Cape Town Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa
    AfricaCast is a new event organised jointly by Informa’s Com World Series and IP&TV World Series to address the challenges and opportunities in Africa’s broadcasting market.
    More here

    27 - 28 November, 2012
    3rd MYCONTENT

    Venue: Dubai Int’l Convention and Exhibition Centre
    The event will be held Under the Patronage of H.H. Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, and is the leading international entertainment content show in the Middle East & North Africa region.
    For more information click here:

  • East Africa Media Awards 2012 Open for Applicants

    The annual East African Media Awards 2012 are now open for entries from practicing journalists, commentators from the East African Community Partner States (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda).

    This year's EAC-EABC East African Media Summit and Awards ceremony will be held in August 9th to 10th in Kigali, Rwanda. The event will also coincide with the EAC-EABC Media Summit.

    The East African Media Awards, which are organised jointly by the EAC and the East African Business Council (EABC) broadly aim to ensure sustained coverage of the EAC and EABC, and specifically, the various projects and programmes being undertaken as part of the integration project.

    Media personalities in the region have been encouraged to submit the works published or broadcast in the period 19 March 2011 - 20 July 2012. This competition will be in eight (8) categories for the East African Media Awards 2012 but applicants can submit to more than one category.

    The categories include:

    1) EABC Chairman's Award (Business Reporting)

    The Chairman's Award is given for the best news or feature story or series of news/feature stories that highlight the state of the EAC business climate with an eye on improving the trade/investment environment.

    2) Green Award (Environment Reporting)

    The Green Award seeks to reward informed coverage that draws attention to the key environmental issues that have a regional bearing.

    3) Best Reporter (Financial Reporting)

    An award for a news or feature story or series of news/feature articles covering the EAC financial sector especially for reportage focusing on assessing the region's progress on integrating its financial markets.

    4) Best Reporter (Political Federation Reporting)

    An award for a news or feature story or series of news/feature stories covering the EAC peace, security and political spheres and examining how these are influencing or are likely to influence the pursuit for the East African Political Federation.

    5) Best Reporter (Agriculture and Food Security Reporting)

    An award for a news or feature story or series of news/feature stories covering the critical subject of agriculture and food security, particularly critiquing where the region is and how it can enhance these two aspects.

    6) Best Reporter (Higher Education Reporting)

    An award for a news or feature story or series of news/feature stories covering higher education reported from a regional perspective.

    7) Best Reporter (Health Reporting)

    An award for a news of feature story or series of news/feature stories covering the health sector and is reported from a regional perspective.

    EAC Secretary General's Award (Overall Winner)

    The Secretary General's Award is the ultimate prize on offer at the annual East African Media Awards. It goes to the best entry of all entries submitted across the different categories.

    Entries must reach the EAC Secretariat by Friday 20 July 2012. Entries after this date will be automatically disqualified. Submissions by email should be sent to mediacentre@eachq.org CC: eabc@eabc-online.com.

    Journalists can enter a maximum of three pieces per category; active website links for articles published online may be submitted by email, while print articles may be submitted in hard copy or electronically (scanned to PDF). Radio/video clips may be submitted via CD/DVD or online.

    In addition, journalists vying for the Awards are required to complete the Awards entry form where they will provide titles, date(s) of publication and the publishing media house(s) of submitted entries, plus at least ten additional articles/radio/TV works produced within the specified competition period to demonstrate consistency in reporting on EAC integration.

    The Awards are a platform through which the EAC and EABC recognize the efforts of various media houses in the region and celebrate those journalists who consciously and consistently pursue and highlight the EAC story.

    East African Media Awards is the premier regional competition for journalists, editors and commentators covering the East African Community (EAC) integration. The annual event was launched in August 2010 and intended to be an annual event coinciding with the EAC-EABC Media Summit, the inaugural Awards ceremony was held in Nairobi, Kenya in March 2011.

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    Tagged: Central Africa, East Africa, East Africa, Media, Rwanda


    In recognition of the South African – French Season 2012/2013
    which commenced in South Africa from June 2012 and will run until November, the NFVF and the CNC have collaborated on developing two co-production opportunities for South African and French Producers to develop two projects as a co-production.

    Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau Theatres will host the French Film Festival in August 2012, providing audiences with the romance and artistic precision of French cinema.

Edition Française, 27 juillet 2012 No 187

node ref id: 25505

Editorial

  • Comme prévu dans l'appel à manifestation d'intérêt du 28 mai 2012, le Comité de pilotage du projet d'ouverture du marché de la téléphonie mobile, de délivrance des concessions d'établissement des réseaux 3G (troisième génération) et d'octroi des titres d'exploitation des points d'atterrissement des câbles sous-marins à fibres optiques, a examiné le 20 juillet dernier les offres des compagnies qui souhaitent établir et exploiter un réseau de communications électroniques mobiles au Cameroun. Neuf opérateurs de téléphonie mobile ont exprimé leur intérêt pour ce segment du marché camerounais dont l'entrée sera ouverte au mieux disant, a indiqué le ministre des Postes et Télécommunications dans un communiqué de presse signé ce lundi 23 juillet 2012.

    De fait, ce réseau sera celui du troisième opérateur dans le secteur attendu par les consommateurs. Mais l'attente ne devrait plus durer longtemps. Le comité sus-mentionné ayant mis en place une commission d'analyse des offres. Dans quinze jours d'ailleurs, cette commission « devra présenter son rapport », lequel « fera ressortir la short-list des opérateurs pré-qualifiés ». Après cette étape préliminaire, un appel d'offres sera lancé en vue de déterminer le bénéficiaire de la licence envisagée dans cette procédure, précise le communiqué signé de Jean-Pierre Biyiti bi Essam.

    L'avis international à manifestation d'intérêt de mai qui va bientôt produire ses résultats finaux avait formellement pour but « l'établissement et l'exploitation d'un réseau de communications électroniques couplé avec les ressources fréquentielles 3G ». Ce futur réseau qui ne comprend pas l'activité de transport couvrira le territoire national. La 3G ou troisième génération désigne, selon les spécialistes, une nouvelle norme de téléphonie mobile qui suit le Gsm actuellement utilisé par les opérateurs camerounais. La 3G permet de communiquer avec des débits bien plus rapides en comparaison à la génération précédente, le Gsm.

    Le portrait-robot de l'entreprise recherchée avait par ailleurs été dressé par l'avis. Il s'agit d'une société spécialisée dans les communications électroniques mobiles de « réputation internationale ». Naturellement, le futur élu ne doit pas être déjà actif au Cameroun et disposer, entre autres exigences, de 200 millions de dollars (105,4 milliards de F) de fonds propres au 31 décembre 2011.
    Source: Cameroon Tribune

  • L'Agence nationale de réglementation des télécommunications (ANRT) a ouvert un appel d'offres pour le choix d'un conseil qui devrait définir l'option finale du processus d'attribution des licences 4G. Le régulateur a en outre fixé au 23 août de l'année en cours la date limite pour le dépôt des offres.

    C'est une première étape avant la mise en fonction « annoncée » vers la fin 2013. Initiée par Reda Chami du temps où il était aux affaires entre 2007 et 2012 et détenait alors, le portefeuille de l'Industrie, du Commerce et des Nouvelles technologies, la mise en place du 4G risque cependant de ne voir sa commercialisation effective, dans quelques principales villes du Royaume, que durant l'année 2014.

    En effet au vu des infrastructures actuelles, en plus d'une mise à niveau de celles existantes, l'installation de nombreuses autres est nécessaire. Aussi, avant de pouvoir faire bénéficier la totalité du pays, bien des années peuvent s'écouler avant que de couvrir tout le territoire.

    Cela étant, ce n'est que l'automne prochain et une fois les travaux d'études terminés que l'ANRT lancera l'appel d'offres pour l'octroi des licences 4G qu'elle n'accordera qu'au début de l'année 2013.

    L'arrivée de cette nouvelle technologie pourrait faire apparaître un quatrième opérateur, voire plus qui viendraient bousculer au portillon ceux existants déjà, Maroc Telecom, Méditel et Wana.

    En Afrique, jusqu'à présent, seule l'Afrique du Sud a installé des réseaux 4G, le Kenya lui emboîte le pas mais il n'en est encore qu'au stade de l'expérimentation. Le Maroc serait, si tout se passe dans les délais, alors le troisième pays du Continent à s'être équipé de cette nouvelle technologie.

    La question qui taraude l'esprit de l'internaute non averti est bien celle-ci : Que se cache-t-il derrière cette nouvelle appellation ? Que va changer la 4G ?

    Dite technologie de quatrième génération, elle succèdera à la 3G qui, elle-même, remplaçait la seconde, etc. Bien avant d'être une technologie, c'est avant tout un terme marketing car plusieurs autres, bien avant elle, le seraient d'une certaine façon.

    Toutefois la 4G est généralement associée à deux hautes technologies, le LTE et le WiMax. La première (Long Term Evolution) est la plus récente et c'est la suite naturelle des réseaux 3G.

    La seconde est plus relative au Wi-Fi. Il en est une autre, le HSPA+4G à double canaux, que l'on attribue volontiers à un réseau 3G avancé.

    Toutes cependant, permettent aux appareils les utilisant (smartphones, ordinateurs, tablettes, etc.) d'avoir des vitesses maximales théoriques de 150 Mbits/s et offrent des vitesses de chargement des plus accélérées et sans décalage.

    En outre, on pourra à travers notre navigation, télécharger et téléverser en atteignant de très grandes vitesses, jouer avec plus de réactivité, regarder, afficher et diffuser des vidéos et photos de meilleures qualités, participer à des vidéoconférences, avoir la compatibilité des réseaux privés virtuels (RPV) et bien d'autres choses encore.

    Ils ont tout de même quelques petits inconvénients. D'abord le prix, les opérateurs qui s'octroieront la licence, devraient charger quelques gros sous de plus à l'utilisateur, ne serait-ce qu'au début du lancement de la commercialisation.

    En plus du débit à partager et ses désavantages, techniquement, l'utilisation du réseau fait consommer énormément d'énergie, bien plus que les réseaux précédents.

    Mais là, ce sont les performances des smartphones, tablettes et autres ordis concernés qui devraient être améliorés. Gageons plutôt sur cette probabilité.

    Libération
  • La Société nationale d'électricité (SENELEC) dispose de "tous les rudiments" pour s'engager dans l'acquisition d'une quatrième licence de téléphonie au Sénégal, a estimé le syndicaliste Mademba Seck, relevant qu'une licence de téléphonie pourrait aider cette entreprise à résorber son déficit financier.

    "Pour la quatrième licence de téléphonie, je peux dire que la SENELEC a tous les rudiments et les embrayons pour s'engager. Je n'en pense pas moins qu'une telle licence pourrait aider la société publique à faire face à la demande des abonnés", a dit Mademba Sock, dimanche, dans l'émission Grand jury de RFM (privée) dont il était l'invité.

    Secrétaire général du Syndicat unique des travailleurs de l'électricité (SUTELEC), M. Sock pense que si la SENELEC opère dans la téléphonie, elle serait "un fort concurrent" de la Société nationale de télécommunication (SONATEL).

    "Je suis convaincu que la SENELEC a tous les moyens pour être éligible pour une quatrième licence (...). Ainsi elle serait de fait un concurrent sérieux à la SONATEL", a-t-il dit, invitant le Conseil d'administration à soumissionner pour l'obtention de ladite licence.

    "Il appartient au Conseil d'administration de donner à la SENELEC les moyens pour s'engager. La société de l'électricité a des relais surtout avec la fibre optique de Manantali qui est le support essentiel pour la téléphonie, la SENELEC pourrait prendre sa part du marché", a expliqué le secrétaire général du SUTELEC.

    "Le débat s'est posé depuis un certain nombre de temps avec tous les moyens matériels dont dispose la SENELEC notamment sa fibre optique, ses relais, les poteaux. Ceux qui sont compétents en matière de téléphonie ont dit que rien avec son réseau, la SENELEC peut s'engager dans la téléphonie", a-t-il fait valoir.

    Mademba Sock a toutefois évité de faire un rapprochement entre la démission de Cheikh Tidiane Mbaye du poste de directeur du Conseil d'administration et les intentions prêtées à la SENELEC de vouloir soumissionner pour une quatrième licence de téléphonie au Sénégal.

    APS
  • Depuis 2007, Wataniya Telecom Algérie (Nedjma) sollicite l'adoption par l'Autorité de régulation de la poste et des télécommunications (Arpt) de mesures réglementaires destinées à assurer le «rééquilibrage» du marché de la téléphonie mobile, est-il écrit dans un communiqué rendu public.

    Aujourd'hui, Nedjma partage avec Mobilis ses déclarations officielles qui soulignent que l'intervention de l'Arpt est un élément «clé» de sa stratégie globale dans la mesure où elle est indispensable pour pallier au «déséquilibre actuel du marché», y est-il ajouté.

    Le rééquilibrage du marché permettra en effet de garantir les conditions d'une «concurrence loyale» et empêchera «tout abus» de position dominante, position occupée par «Orascom Telecom Algérie depuis 2002».

    Dans une déclaration à nos confrères de l'APS, le Pdg de Mobilis, qui a annoncé deux milliards de dollars d'investissements étalés sur cinq ans, a estimé que cet objectif est possible à atteindre, si l'autorité de régulation (l'Arpt) intervient, comme cela se fait de par le monde, pour «équilibrer» le marché et empêcher «la domination» de l'un des opérateurs de la téléphonie.

    L'opérateur public détient actuellement vingt neuf pour cent (29%) des parts de marché de la téléphonie mobile avec presque onze millions d'abonnés.

    Et il ambitionne d'avoir 45% de part de marché. L'opérateur de téléphonie mobile Nedjma se maintient, lui, autour de 30% de parts de marché. Il a réalisé de bons résultats pendant le premier trimestre 2012.

    Avec 219,7 millions de dollars au premier trimestre 2012, Nedjma progresse de 21% par rapport à la même période 2011 durant laquelle ont été obtenus des revenus équivalents à 181,6 millions de dollars.

    Le nombre d'abonnés est passé de 8,07 millions au premier trimestre 2011 à 8,52 millions à la même période de 2012 alors que les investissements ont augmenté de 178%, passant de 27,3 millions de dollars au 4e trimestre 2011 à 76 millions de dollars au premier trimestre 2012.

    Le chiffre d'affaires mensuel moyen réalisé avec un client (Arpu) est passé de 7,3 dollars au premier trimestre 2011 à 8,5 dollars au premier trimestre 2012, en augmentation de 16%.

    La Tribune
  • Les 50 000 Camerounais ayant souscrit à un abonnement à Set’Mobile depuis décembre 2011 peuvent effectuer et recevoir des appels depuis 8h, samedi 21 juillet 2012. Ils doivent pour cela activer leur carte Sim à Douala ou encore à Yaoundé dans les points de distribution de Set’Mobile, la marque d’ Eto’o Telecom Sa, la société du capitaine des Lions indomptables, Samuel Eto’o Fils.

    Elle a officiellement lancé ses activités au Cameroun hier soir.

    Selon le directeur général de Set’Mobile, Charles Gueret, les premiers abonnés reçoivent gratuitement chacun 2500 FCfa de crédits d’appel. Les premiers abonnés avaient payé 1000 FCfa pour participer au concert de lancement de Set’Mobile à Douala. Ils recevaient de ce fait une carte Sim Set’Mobile. «C’était une promesse. Ce qu’on veut aujourd’hui, c’est de satisfaire nos clients qui étaient au concert. Actuellement, tout se passe bien. Des centaines de clients sont dans nos services pour activer leur Sim. Et c’est avec le sourire aux lèvres que nous les servons», affirme Charles Gueret, joint au téléphone.

    La société qui offre des services à valeur ajoutée de communications électroniques est en partenariat avec Orange Cameroun, car ne disposant pas de son propre réseau. Set’Mobile revendique le titre de premier opérateur mobile virtuel (Mvno) en Afrique. Elle utilise les numéros de téléphone commençant avec le préfixe « 92 ».

    La minute d’appel vers Set’Mobile est de 70 FCfa. Le chrono à la seconde est de 1,4 FCfa, soit 84 FCfa la minute. Pour les appels vers les autres opérateurs, la minute vaut 100 FCfa en option classique, et 1,8 FCfa à la tarification à la seconde, soit 108 FCfa la minute.

    Des tarifs qui ne sont pas aussi bas que l’espéraient de nombreux Camerounais. En effet, les opérateurs de téléphonie mobile existants font déjà des offres et promotions inférieures aux tarifs pratiqués par Set’Mobile.

    Mais, Set’Mobile annonce dès la semaine prochaine des promotions allant vers une réduction substantielle de ces tarifs. «Nous allons avoir des ‘’’bundle’’ proposant 10 minutes d’appel à un coût très réduit. Les directeurs marketing sont en train de travailler dessus», annonce le directeur général.

    Agence ecofin
  • Le Ministre des Postes, Télécommunications et Nouvelles technologies de l'informatique et de la communication, Kin-Kiey Mulumba a eu une séance de travail avec l'Administrateur Directeur Général a.i de la Société Congolaise des Postes et de Télécommunications, ex-OCPT, Placide Mbatika. C'était hier, mardi 24 juillet 2012, en son cabinet de travail. L'objectif est de faire le point des dossiers liés à la gestion de cet opérateur public des télécommunications. Concrètement, les deux personnalités ont fait le point sur l'avancement des travaux de construction de la station d'atterrage de la fibre optique à Muanda.

    En luminaire, Kin-Kiey Mulumba s'est renseigné sur l'état d'avancement de ces travaux. Il ressort que des efforts sont conjugués par la Société Congolaise des Postes et des Télécommunications pour connecter la RDC à la fibre internationale dans le temps imparti. Les travaux de construction de la station d'atterrage de la fibre internationale, a rassuré l'ADG a.i de la SCPT, vont bon train. L'équipementier français Alcatel est déjà à Kinshasa. De ce fait, Placide Mbakadi a sollicité l'intervention du Ministre des PTNTIC pour l'exonération des matériels et appareils devant équiper la station d'atterrage à Muanda. Il a demandé au Ministre de mettre tout en branle pour leur enlèvement d'urgence. Abordant les questions liées à la matérialisation de ce projet qui tend à connecter la RDC au reste du monde via les câbles sous-marin Wacs, le patron de la SCPT a rappelé au Ministre la solde de la quote-part que le Gouvernement congolais doit payer auprès de WACS pour que l'exploitation de la fibre internationale devienne effective. Cette solde est de USD 5 140 000 sur une souscription initiale de USD 25 millions.

    Hormis la connexion de la RDC à la fibre internationale à Muanda, la SCPT s'active également à connecter Kinshasa à Brazzaville ; Kinshasa à Kasumbalesa. Concrètement, il s'agit de construire ou mieux de boucler des rings à l'intérieur du pays. Ce faisant, l'ADG a.i de la SCPT a informé le Ministre de tutelle du lancement, dans deux semaines, des travaux de connexion de la fibre optique entre Kinshasa et Brazzaville. Aussi, est-il prévu, le lancement de la deuxième phase de la mise en oeuvre de la fibre optique en RDC sur l'axe Kinshasa-Kasumbalesa. Par ailleurs, l'ADG a.i de la SCPT a émis le voeu de voir le Ministre de tutelle piloté personnellement le lancement des ces travaux.

    La Prospérité
  • La Société Internet Gabon, a procédé mardi à Libreville, au lancement du projet Triple Net, pour un partenariat avec les Sociétés européenne Satellite (SES) et Hughes Advantage.

    Cet événement a été rehaussé par la présence du ministre gabonais, en charge de l'économie numérique, de la Communiqué et de la Poste, Blaise Loembé.

    Ce partenariat permettra pour les trois entreprises de financer le projet Triple Net dont le montant s'élève 12 000 000 de dollars.

    Le projet Triple Net facilitera l'introduction d'un produit destiné aux zones rurales et grand public pour la fourniture d'accès internet, radio, Tv par satellite et expansion dans la sous région d'Afrique francophone.

    Elargir la gamme de services à valeurs ajoutées tout en abaissant les coûts d'accès à internet. Consolider et étendre la base d'abonnés dans la sous région d'Afrique francophone.

    Selon les responsables de cette entreprise, les frais de services seront réduits à partir de 50 000FCFA, avec un délai de livraison rapide et une installation très simple.

    Premier fournisseur privé de services internet (ISP) au Gabon, Internet Gabon a déjà installé plus de 500 VSAT et 50 équipements BLR.

    Il occupe le premier rang d'opérateur VSAT de la zone CEMAC avec plus de 500 sites installés. Internet Gabon amorcé une stratégie d'extension dans la sous région.

    Africa Info
  • La version localisée du célèbre site communautaire d'hébergement et de partage de vidéos et de contenus (Youtube.sn),a été lancée par le ministre de la Culture et du Tourisme, Youssou Ndour, annonce un communiqué reçu à l'APS.

    Au cours de la cérémonie de lancement à Dakar, Youssou Ndour a lancé un appel aux jeunes artistes, producteurs, créateurs à "accroitre leur présence en ligne, car leur avenir s'y trouve".

    "Plus de trois milliards d'heures de vidéo sont regardées chaque mois sur YouTube, ce qui démontre le potentiel pour les créateurs au Sénégal", a-t-il souligné, selon le communiqué.

    Après l'Afrique du Sud, le Kenya, l'Ouganda, le Nigeria et le Ghana, YouTube fait aujourd'hui ses débuts au Sénégal. L'objectif de ce lancement local de Youtube est de fournir une meilleure visibilité des contenus Sénégalais qui seront désormais plus facile à découvrir sur le domaine "youtube.sn.

    Le Responsable de Google Afrique Francophone Tidjane Dème s'est dit heureux de cette version Youtube.sn. Pour lui, rapporte le communiqué, le contenu local est "un élément clé dans la mission que la structure s'est fixée de rendre l'Internet plus pertinent en Afrique sub-saharienne".

    Sur la version Youtube.sn, les contenus téléchargés, par maison de disques ou par les utilisateurs sénégalais seront mieux mis en évidence.

    En plus de la page d'accueil "youtube.sn", l'interface utilisateur localisée sera en français. Il y aura également une page d'accueil localisée, et une page ou les utilisateurs pourront trouver les meilleures vidéos du Sénégal, précise le communiqué.

    APS
  • Faire des Tic et de l'économie numérique le moteur de la croissance de l'économie sénégalaise à l'horizon 2015, telle est l'ambition du plan d'action 2012-2015 de la grappe «Tic-téléservices» de la Stratégie de croissance accélérée.

    Le Secrétariat permanent de la Stratégie de croissance accélérée (Sca) a organisé, hier, à Dakar, un atelier de validation du plan d'action 2012-2015 de la grappe «Tic et téléservices», réunissant l'ensemble des acteurs du secteur des Tic.

    L'objectif était de formuler une stratégie nationale de développement de l'économie numérique qui prévoit, entre autres mesures institutionnelles, l'élaboration d'une lettre de politique sectorielle, ainsi que la mise en place d'une structure de haut niveau de pilotage et d'un observatoire des Tic.

    Pour finaliser ce dispositif institutionnel et législatif, domaine dans lequel le Sénégal est cité en exemple en Afrique (avec notamment l'adoption, en février 2011, d'un nouveau Code des télécommunications), le directeur de cabinet du ministre de la Communication, des Télécommunications et des Postes, Souleymane Demba Sy, a annoncé que le décret d'application dudit Code sera bientôt signé.

    Le projet de plan d'action prévoit une série de mesures pour améliorer l'environnement concurrentiel du secteur des Tic, d'ici 2015 : faire respecter les règles communautaires sur la concentration économique, renégocier les licences des opérateurs pour les étendre vers une licence globale, finaliser le cadre de référence d'attribution des autorisations d'infrastructures et faire appliquer le principe de la tarification orientée vers les coûts tel que défini dans le Code des télécoms.

    L'accès aux financements sera facilité par la mise en place de fonds d'investissement et d'innovation dédiés au secteur des Tic et téléservices. Il est prévu la création d'une usine d'assemblage d'ordinateur et la réalisation du projet de Cyber village sur le site du Technopôle.

    Le passage à l'audiovisuel numérique, la généralisation des cyber-cases et la mise en œuvre du projet d'installation des points e-gov devront améliorer l'accès aux Tic des populations dans les zones rurales et les zones urbaines à faible revenus.Ces mesures, si elles sont mises en œuvre, devraient faire des Tic un puissant moteur de croissance capable de tirer les autres secteurs.

    Dans cette optique, le directeur de cabinet du ministre de la Communication, des Télécommunications et des Postes estime que le Sénégal dispose déjà d'un environnement législatif et réglementaire propice. Il ne reste plus qu'à accompagner «de manière plus efficace» les initiatives du secteur privé dans le domaine des Tic, dit-il.

    Pour Karim Sy de l'Organisation des professionnels des technologies de l'information et de la communication (Optic), syndicat affilié au Conseil national du patronat (Cnp), qui exprimait la vision du secteur privé, toute stratégie de développement des Tic doit s'adosser à ces axes suivants : identifier les acteurs, encourager les partenariats publics-privés (Ppp) et faciliter l'accès aux financements, etc.

    Le Soleil
  • Les autorités tunisiennes et des associations ont décidé de mettre en place une commission qui va étudier la création d'un technopôle virtuel qui pourrait générer jusqu'à 50 000 emplois pendant cinq ans. Un communiqué du ministère de l'Emploi et de la Formation professionnelle a indiqué que le projet sera institué, après sa phase d'étude, comme programme national engageant les différentes parties concernées.

    Le projet consiste en la création d'un pôle technologique virtuel, couvrant l'ensemble du territoire tunisien. Il sera plus tard transformé en village technologique qui exportera des services d'intelligence à distance. Selon Badreddine Walli, président de l'Association tunisienne pour la communication et la technologie (ATCT), partie prenante au projet, celui-ci ne nécessite pas d'importants fonds de mobilisation et plusieurs pays, tels que le Canada et l'Inde, ont pu développer leurs capacités d'emplois en renforçant ce domaine.

    Badreddine Walli a souligné la faisabilité du projet en Tunisie, du fait de la proximité du pays avec l'Europe et de l'existence de compétences tunisiennes dans les technologies de l'information et de la communication. Les autorités, par la voix du Ministre de l'emploi et de la formation professionnelle, Abdelwaheb Maatar, ont indiqué qu'elles déploieraient les capacités nécessaires pour faire aboutir le projet.

    Agence ecofin
  • Les technologies de l'information et de la communication sont devenues un facteur puissant de développement économique et social, en ce sens qu'elles permettent l'innovation et créent de nouvelles opportunités de développement, notamment dans un contexte de mondialisation. C'est ce pourquoi le gouvernement algérien, conscient de ces enjeux, a mis en place un plan multisectoriel appelé «Stratégie e-Algérie 2013».

    Ce dernier a été élaboré pour définir les objectifs à atteindre et les actions à mettre en œuvre dans les cinq prochaines années. Treize axes principaux constituent l'essentiel de ce plan, et chacun d'eux avec des objectifs bien précis et une liste d'actions pour leur mise en oeuvre. Bien sûr, un état des lieux exhaustif doit précéder ces objectifs. Seulement, de l'avis de nombreux experts et même d'observateurs, ce plan, très ambitieux, tarde à être concrétisé sur le terrain alors que tous les axes ont été mis en place.

    Ceci, et vu les retards cumulés pour sa concrétisation, a amené le ministère des Postes et des Technologies de l'information et de la communication à changer l'appellation, en se contentant d'appeler le projet «e-Algérie», sans échéance retenue. Le premier axe majeur de cette stratégie, rappelons-le, concerne l'accélération de l'usage des TIC dans l'administration publique. L'introduction des TIC et le renforcement de leur usage au sein de l'administration publique engendreront une transformation importante de ses modes d'organisation et de travail. Ceci amènera l'administration publique à repenser son mode de fonctionnement et d'organisation et à servir le citoyen de manière plus appropriée, notamment à travers la mise «en ligne» de ses différents services.

    En effet, les TIC, et en particulier l'Internet, permettent d'établir un «espace de communication indépendant de la localisation physique», affirmant la disponibilité de l'information n'importe où et n'importe quand. C'est pour cela que la gestion de l'information doit être décentralisée là où c'est possible, là où les connaissances sont les meilleures, afin d'améliorer la qualité des processus de prise de décision.

    Des objectifs spécifiques et, parfois, communs ont été fixés pour chaque département ministériel et ont trait au parachèvement des infrastructures informatiques, à la mise en place de systèmes d'information intégrés, au déploiement d'applications sectorielles spécifiques, à l'accroissement des compétences humaines et au développement de services en ligne à destination de tous les usagers, citoyens, entreprises et, bien évidemment, toutes les autres administrations.

    Le second axe repose sur l'accélération de l'usage des TIC au niveau des entreprises. Les instruments de gestion et de gouvernance développés autour des TIC restent aujourd'hui les seuls garants de la survie des entreprises algériennes à l'heure de la mondialisation. Avec l'Internet, le marché est devenu global dans une économie où la connaissance est une valeur principale.

    L'objectif spécifique recherché dans cet axe est de soutenir l'appropriation des TIC par les PME et le développement des applications pour l'amélioration des performances des entreprises, de même que de développer l'offre de services en ligne, le développement des mécanismes et des mesures incitatives permettant l'accès des ménages et des très petites entreprises aux équipements et aux réseaux des TIC. Le processus de généralisation de l'accès à l'Internet doit se poursuivre. En effet, cet accès doit, d'abord, être élargi pour permettre à tout citoyen, où qu'il se trouve sur le territoire national, de bénéficier des services publics en ligne et de l'immense base de connaissances et de savoir qu'est l'Internet.

    Les programmes d'équipements et de développement des connexions haut débit et des contenus multimédias doivent être accompagnés de programmes de formation afin d'accélérer le processus de généralisation de l'usage des TIC. Le processus de généralisation de l'accès à l'Internet constitue donc l'objectif majeur qui se décline en trois objectifs spécifiques, à savoir : redynamiser l'opération Ousratic à travers l'octroi de microordinateurs individuels et de lignes haut débit, l'offre de formation et la disponibilité de contenus spécifiques à chacun des segments de la population, de même que d'augmenter considérablement le nombre d'espaces publics, communautaires : cybercafés, bornes multimédias, technoparcs, maisons de la science etc. L'autre défi que s'assigne le plan e-Algérie 2013 est l'impulsion du développement de l'économie fondée sur le savoir.

    L'objectif majeur fixé pour cet axe consiste en la création des conditions adéquates permettant le développement intensif de l'industrie des TIC, à travers la mise en place de mesures incitatives à la production du contenu. L'autre axe de développement d'e-Algérie 2013 est le renforcement de l'infrastructure de télécommunication à haut et très haut débit pour offrir les capacités nécessaires sur l'ensemble national avec, en plus, une qualité et une sécurité aux normes internationales.

    Il va sans dire que le développement des compétences humaines constitue la pierre angulaire de ce plan, en ce sens que le renforcement des infrastructures et la généralisation de l'accès aux TIC doivent être accompagnés par des mesures substantielles en matière de formation et de développement de ces compétences humaines pour généraliser l'usage des TIC et assurer leur appropriation à tous les niveaux.

    Le renforcement de la recherche et de l'innovation est un autre axe qui repose sur une forte interaction entre la recherche, le développement et le monde économique car l'innovation assure le développement de produits et de services à valeur ajoutée dans le domaine des TIC. La mise à niveau d'un cadre juridique national, la valorisation de la coopération internationale dans ce domaine, la mise en place de mesures organisationnelles et la mobilisation de moyens financiers pour sa mise en œuvre sont les autres axes de cette stratégie. Une stratégie qui, si elle venait à être appliquée sur le terrain, permettra à l'Algérie de rattraper le retard numérique.

    Or, pour le moment, le débit Internet reste faible dans la majeure partie du temps et la mise en place des services en ligne ou encore le payement en ligne, pour ne citer que ces exemples, ne sont pas encore disponibles. Des mesures adéquates doivent être prises pour accélérer la mise en place de ce programme très riche.

    La Tribune
  • Vivendi entre le marteau et l'enclume ? Comparaison n'est certes pas raison, mais le groupe français qui détient dans ses escarcelles, entre autres filiales, Maroc Telecom se trouve depuis peu mis sous la loupe par les trois agences de notation que sont Moody's, Fitch et Standard & Poor's. Le groupe est certes encore bien noté mais ces agences s'inquiètent d'un double mouvement. D'un côté, une hausse attendue de la dette de 12 à 14 milliards d'euros fin 2012 du fait du rachat d'EMI. De l'autre, la baisse, également attendue, de l'excédent brut d'exploitation en raison des déboires de l'opérateur français de téléphonie, SFR.

    La propagation d'une rumeur, qui prétend au nom du président du Conseil de surveillance de Vivendi, Jean-René Fourtou, que Vivendi pourrait céder sa filiale, Activision Blizzard, leader mondial des jeux vidéo, ses titres ont connu une forte hausse qui pourrait inciter les responsables de la firme à accélérer le processus de cession envisagé dans le cadre d'un recentrage imposé par les nouvelles donnes financières.

    Ce qui explique cette sensibilité du marché financier à l'annonce de Fourtou revient en grande partie aux rumeurs non démenties, ébruitées depuis quelque temps, selon lesquelles Vivendi serait sur le point de céder d'autres actifs, en l'occurrence le groupe de télécom brésilien GVT ou Maroc Telecom.

    En revendant l'une de ces filiales, Vivendi pourrait engranger suffisamment de liquidités pour sortir de la morosité qui commence à déteindre sur ses activités. A titre d'exemple, s'il procéderait à la cession d'Activision Blizzard, dont il détient 61 % des parts, Vivendi pourrait ainsi encaisser 6,7 milliards d'euros. Dans le cas où il choisirait de se débarrasser de Maroc Telecom, dont il détient 53% du capital, c'est quelque 3 milliards d'euros qui entreraient directement dans ses caisses. Pour la filiale brésilienne GVT, Vivendi pourrait se procurer 5,7 milliards d'euros.

    Selon plusieurs analystes, de telles cession pourront élargir le marge de manœuvre pour les responsables de ladite firme, mais ces aliénations ne peuvent, en aucun cas, équilibrer à elles seules les comptes financiers du groupe. Même en cédant ses leaders de télécommunications au Brésil et au Maroc, la multinationale n'aura que (6,7+3) 9,7 milliards d'euros, ce qui est loin de sa dette (entre 12 et 14 milliards d'euros).

    Il n'en demeure pas moins que si la filiale brésilienne a affiché un bilan positif sur l'année 2011 puisqu'elle a réalisé un bénéfice net de 420 millions d'euros (soit 4,2 milliards de dirhams) sur l'exercice, Maroc Telecom a accusé, l'an dernier, une contre-performance (recul du bénéfice net de plus de 800 millions d'euros) qui pourrait influencer la décision des dirigeants de Vivendi d'autant plus positivement que l'entreprise marocaine s'est lancée, récemment, dans un plan de départs volontaires visant à réduire ses effectifs de 11%. Une action qu'on pourrait considérer comme préparatoire à une opération de remise à plat avant une éventuelle cession.

    Reste à savoir qui va être le probable repreneur. Les noms de la compagnie Ittissalat des Emirats arabes unies, et «Qtel» du Qatar sont les plus cités.

    Libération
  • Il est désormais possible pour les bacheliers de 2010 et les futurs bacheliers de faire leurs pré inscriptions à l'université via le service Orange money. Le lancement de l'opération a eu lieu, jeudi dernier, à l'immeuble Quartz sur le boulevard Giscard d'Estaing.

    « Orange a signé un partenariat avec le ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la recherche scientifique pour le paiement des frais de pré-inscription pour bachelier », a annoncé Joseph Pitar, au nom du directeur général d'Orange CI. Il a ajouté : « vous nous avez fait confiance, soyez rassuré. Vous ne serez pas déçus ».

    Idriss Camara, au nom du ministère de l'Enseignement technique et de la recherche scientifique, a souligné que, compte tenu du nombre grandissant des candidats aux Bac, il était important de faire appel à tous les opérateurs.

    Ce qui, selon lui, explique cette cérémonie de lancement. Il a dit espérer que les deux parties en tire le meilleur de l'opération.

    Notre Voie
  • Selon Eugene Juwah, vice-président exécutif de la Commission nigériane des communications (NCC), MTN est la seule compagnie de télécommunications qui fait des profits au Nigéria. Il s'exprimait à Abuja, le 17 juillet 2012, lors d'une audience du comité du Sénat sur les communications chargé d'examiner la détérioration des services de communications fournis par les opérateurs.

    S'adressant au comité, Eugene Juwah a affirmé que ses affirmations sont fondées sur les données disponibles. « Les comptes des opérateurs sont audités et c'est sur cette base que nous prenons nos décisions; ce n'est pas sur la base de leurs profits que les fournisseurs de services payent des revenus à la NCC, mais sur la base de leur chiffre d'affaires », a encore déclaré le vice-président exécutif de la NCC, qui a ajouté que le régulateur est juste « privilégié d'avoir accès à leurs comptes ».

    Au cours de la même séance, Eugène Juwah a évoqué les éventuels menaces que feraient courir les stations de base sur la santé des populations, qualifiant ces informations de fausses depuis qu'une étude a apporté la preuve que les stations de base ne constituaient aucune menace sanitaire.

    Agence ecofin
  • Les ministres chargés de l'Audiovisuel se réuniront d'ici à fin décembre, pour approuver une proposition visant à faciliter aux télévisions des huit pays membres de l'Union économique et monétaire ouest africaine (UEMOA) leur passage du système analogique au numérique.

    "Une réunion des ministres sectoriels est prévue avant la fin de l'année 2012, pour entériner la proposition des experts, en vue de la soumettre à l'adoption du Conseil des ministres statutaire de l'UEMOA", rapporte un communiqué parvenu à l'APS.

    Réunis début juillet, à Cotonou (Bénin), à l'initiative de la Commission de l'UEMOA, "ces experts ont, à l'unanimité, proposé que les Etats de l'Union adoptent la norme DVB-T2 pour la diffusion et MPEG-4 AVC pour la compression".

    Les experts du Bénin, du Burkina Faso, de la Côte d'Ivoire, de la Guinée Bissau, du Mali, du Niger, du Sénégal et du Togo ont également élaboré "une feuille de route régionale (...) pour la conduite de la transition numérique".

    Ce plan d'action "marque les grandes étapes des activités (juridique, économique, technique et communicationnelle) à mener pour achever le processus de transition numérique au plus tard en juin 2015", relève le communiqué.

    Selon la même source, "des recommandations importantes ont été faites à l'attention des Etats membres et à l'endroit de la Commission de l'UEMOA, pour la réussite du processus de transition numérique".

    "Les conclusions de l'atelier de Cotonou, poursuit la même source, vont donner un coup d'accélérateur au processus de transition numérique dans les Etats membres de l'UEMOA.

    APS
  • * CARREFOUR D’AFFAIRES ET DE TECHNOLOGIES 2012
    «NOUVELLE TUNISIE, NOUVELLES OPPORTUNITES »
    Tunis, Parc International des Expositions 28-30 Novembre 2012
    Organisé, du 28 au 30 Novembre 2012, par l’Agence de Promotion de l’Industrie et de l’Innovation, en association avec l’Union Tunisienne pour l’Industrie le Commerce et l’Artisanat (UTICA) et en collaboration avec l’Agence de Promotion de l’Investissement Extérieur (FIPA) et le Centre de Promotion des Exportations (CEPEX), CAT 2012 se veut être une réelle plateforme dédiée à l’entreprise, où vont se côtoyer décideurs et leaders de divers horizons, avec leurs offres et demandes dans des secteurs innovants à fort potentiel de croissance:

     Mécanique, électrique et électronique
     Agroalimentaire
     Plastique technique et plasturgie
    Textile technique
    Nouvelles technologies de l’information et de la communication
     Pharmaceutique
    Pour plus d’infos cliquez ici
    http://www.cat2012.tn/

  • - Le Conseil de Surveillance de Maroc Telecom a coopté Monsieur Jean-François Dubos, en qualité de membre du Conseil de Surveillance, en remplacement de Monsieur Jean-Bernard Lévy. Le Conseil a par ailleurs élu, en tant que Vice-Président, Monsieur Jean-René Fourtou, déjà membre du Conseil de Surveillance de Maroc Telecom et Président du Conseil de Surveillance de Vivendi

  • Directeur des technologies de l'information

    Sous l’autorité du Secrétaire Général BRVM & DC/BR , vous avez pour mission : l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre de la politique des systèmes d’information en cohésion avec la stratégie globale de l’entreprise ; la proposition des évolutions organisationnelles et techniques de votre direction ; l’élaboration le cas échéant d’ne politique d’externalisation ou d’appel a des prestations , la proposition (au niveau du comité de direction ) des évolutions métier ou business en s’appuyant sur les technologies nouvelles (E-Business, place de marché)

    Qualification / Formation :
    - BAC + 5 minimum en Management du Système d’informations ou équivalent ;
    - Dix ans d’expérience avérée dans le domaine de la gestion des technologies d’information et du développement de systèmes ;
    - Cinq ans d’expérience en qualité de responsable des technologies d’information et de développement de systèmes.
    - Avoir géré au moins un projet majeur de développement de systèmes.

    Pour plus d’information cliquez ici

Edition Française, 27 juillet 2012 No 187

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Editorial

  • Comme prévu dans l'appel à manifestation d'intérêt du 28 mai 2012, le Comité de pilotage du projet d'ouverture du marché de la téléphonie mobile, de délivrance des concessions d'établissement des réseaux 3G (troisième génération) et d'octroi des titres d'exploitation des points d'atterrissement des câbles sous-marins à fibres optiques, a examiné le 20 juillet dernier les offres des compagnies qui souhaitent établir et exploiter un réseau de communications électroniques mobiles au Cameroun. Neuf opérateurs de téléphonie mobile ont exprimé leur intérêt pour ce segment du marché camerounais dont l'entrée sera ouverte au mieux disant, a indiqué le ministre des Postes et Télécommunications dans un communiqué de presse signé ce lundi 23 juillet 2012.

    De fait, ce réseau sera celui du troisième opérateur dans le secteur attendu par les consommateurs. Mais l'attente ne devrait plus durer longtemps. Le comité sus-mentionné ayant mis en place une commission d'analyse des offres. Dans quinze jours d'ailleurs, cette commission « devra présenter son rapport », lequel « fera ressortir la short-list des opérateurs pré-qualifiés ». Après cette étape préliminaire, un appel d'offres sera lancé en vue de déterminer le bénéficiaire de la licence envisagée dans cette procédure, précise le communiqué signé de Jean-Pierre Biyiti bi Essam.

    L'avis international à manifestation d'intérêt de mai qui va bientôt produire ses résultats finaux avait formellement pour but « l'établissement et l'exploitation d'un réseau de communications électroniques couplé avec les ressources fréquentielles 3G ». Ce futur réseau qui ne comprend pas l'activité de transport couvrira le territoire national. La 3G ou troisième génération désigne, selon les spécialistes, une nouvelle norme de téléphonie mobile qui suit le Gsm actuellement utilisé par les opérateurs camerounais. La 3G permet de communiquer avec des débits bien plus rapides en comparaison à la génération précédente, le Gsm.

    Le portrait-robot de l'entreprise recherchée avait par ailleurs été dressé par l'avis. Il s'agit d'une société spécialisée dans les communications électroniques mobiles de « réputation internationale ». Naturellement, le futur élu ne doit pas être déjà actif au Cameroun et disposer, entre autres exigences, de 200 millions de dollars (105,4 milliards de F) de fonds propres au 31 décembre 2011.
    Source: Cameroon Tribune

  • L'Agence nationale de réglementation des télécommunications (ANRT) a ouvert un appel d'offres pour le choix d'un conseil qui devrait définir l'option finale du processus d'attribution des licences 4G. Le régulateur a en outre fixé au 23 août de l'année en cours la date limite pour le dépôt des offres.

    C'est une première étape avant la mise en fonction « annoncée » vers la fin 2013. Initiée par Reda Chami du temps où il était aux affaires entre 2007 et 2012 et détenait alors, le portefeuille de l'Industrie, du Commerce et des Nouvelles technologies, la mise en place du 4G risque cependant de ne voir sa commercialisation effective, dans quelques principales villes du Royaume, que durant l'année 2014.

    En effet au vu des infrastructures actuelles, en plus d'une mise à niveau de celles existantes, l'installation de nombreuses autres est nécessaire. Aussi, avant de pouvoir faire bénéficier la totalité du pays, bien des années peuvent s'écouler avant que de couvrir tout le territoire.

    Cela étant, ce n'est que l'automne prochain et une fois les travaux d'études terminés que l'ANRT lancera l'appel d'offres pour l'octroi des licences 4G qu'elle n'accordera qu'au début de l'année 2013.

    L'arrivée de cette nouvelle technologie pourrait faire apparaître un quatrième opérateur, voire plus qui viendraient bousculer au portillon ceux existants déjà, Maroc Telecom, Méditel et Wana.

    En Afrique, jusqu'à présent, seule l'Afrique du Sud a installé des réseaux 4G, le Kenya lui emboîte le pas mais il n'en est encore qu'au stade de l'expérimentation. Le Maroc serait, si tout se passe dans les délais, alors le troisième pays du Continent à s'être équipé de cette nouvelle technologie.

    La question qui taraude l'esprit de l'internaute non averti est bien celle-ci : Que se cache-t-il derrière cette nouvelle appellation ? Que va changer la 4G ?

    Dite technologie de quatrième génération, elle succèdera à la 3G qui, elle-même, remplaçait la seconde, etc. Bien avant d'être une technologie, c'est avant tout un terme marketing car plusieurs autres, bien avant elle, le seraient d'une certaine façon.

    Toutefois la 4G est généralement associée à deux hautes technologies, le LTE et le WiMax. La première (Long Term Evolution) est la plus récente et c'est la suite naturelle des réseaux 3G.

    La seconde est plus relative au Wi-Fi. Il en est une autre, le HSPA+4G à double canaux, que l'on attribue volontiers à un réseau 3G avancé.

    Toutes cependant, permettent aux appareils les utilisant (smartphones, ordinateurs, tablettes, etc.) d'avoir des vitesses maximales théoriques de 150 Mbits/s et offrent des vitesses de chargement des plus accélérées et sans décalage.

    En outre, on pourra à travers notre navigation, télécharger et téléverser en atteignant de très grandes vitesses, jouer avec plus de réactivité, regarder, afficher et diffuser des vidéos et photos de meilleures qualités, participer à des vidéoconférences, avoir la compatibilité des réseaux privés virtuels (RPV) et bien d'autres choses encore.

    Ils ont tout de même quelques petits inconvénients. D'abord le prix, les opérateurs qui s'octroieront la licence, devraient charger quelques gros sous de plus à l'utilisateur, ne serait-ce qu'au début du lancement de la commercialisation.

    En plus du débit à partager et ses désavantages, techniquement, l'utilisation du réseau fait consommer énormément d'énergie, bien plus que les réseaux précédents.

    Mais là, ce sont les performances des smartphones, tablettes et autres ordis concernés qui devraient être améliorés. Gageons plutôt sur cette probabilité.

    Libération
  • La Société nationale d'électricité (SENELEC) dispose de "tous les rudiments" pour s'engager dans l'acquisition d'une quatrième licence de téléphonie au Sénégal, a estimé le syndicaliste Mademba Seck, relevant qu'une licence de téléphonie pourrait aider cette entreprise à résorber son déficit financier.

    "Pour la quatrième licence de téléphonie, je peux dire que la SENELEC a tous les rudiments et les embrayons pour s'engager. Je n'en pense pas moins qu'une telle licence pourrait aider la société publique à faire face à la demande des abonnés", a dit Mademba Sock, dimanche, dans l'émission Grand jury de RFM (privée) dont il était l'invité.

    Secrétaire général du Syndicat unique des travailleurs de l'électricité (SUTELEC), M. Sock pense que si la SENELEC opère dans la téléphonie, elle serait "un fort concurrent" de la Société nationale de télécommunication (SONATEL).

    "Je suis convaincu que la SENELEC a tous les moyens pour être éligible pour une quatrième licence (...). Ainsi elle serait de fait un concurrent sérieux à la SONATEL", a-t-il dit, invitant le Conseil d'administration à soumissionner pour l'obtention de ladite licence.

    "Il appartient au Conseil d'administration de donner à la SENELEC les moyens pour s'engager. La société de l'électricité a des relais surtout avec la fibre optique de Manantali qui est le support essentiel pour la téléphonie, la SENELEC pourrait prendre sa part du marché", a expliqué le secrétaire général du SUTELEC.

    "Le débat s'est posé depuis un certain nombre de temps avec tous les moyens matériels dont dispose la SENELEC notamment sa fibre optique, ses relais, les poteaux. Ceux qui sont compétents en matière de téléphonie ont dit que rien avec son réseau, la SENELEC peut s'engager dans la téléphonie", a-t-il fait valoir.

    Mademba Sock a toutefois évité de faire un rapprochement entre la démission de Cheikh Tidiane Mbaye du poste de directeur du Conseil d'administration et les intentions prêtées à la SENELEC de vouloir soumissionner pour une quatrième licence de téléphonie au Sénégal.

    APS
  • Depuis 2007, Wataniya Telecom Algérie (Nedjma) sollicite l'adoption par l'Autorité de régulation de la poste et des télécommunications (Arpt) de mesures réglementaires destinées à assurer le «rééquilibrage» du marché de la téléphonie mobile, est-il écrit dans un communiqué rendu public.

    Aujourd'hui, Nedjma partage avec Mobilis ses déclarations officielles qui soulignent que l'intervention de l'Arpt est un élément «clé» de sa stratégie globale dans la mesure où elle est indispensable pour pallier au «déséquilibre actuel du marché», y est-il ajouté.

    Le rééquilibrage du marché permettra en effet de garantir les conditions d'une «concurrence loyale» et empêchera «tout abus» de position dominante, position occupée par «Orascom Telecom Algérie depuis 2002».

    Dans une déclaration à nos confrères de l'APS, le Pdg de Mobilis, qui a annoncé deux milliards de dollars d'investissements étalés sur cinq ans, a estimé que cet objectif est possible à atteindre, si l'autorité de régulation (l'Arpt) intervient, comme cela se fait de par le monde, pour «équilibrer» le marché et empêcher «la domination» de l'un des opérateurs de la téléphonie.

    L'opérateur public détient actuellement vingt neuf pour cent (29%) des parts de marché de la téléphonie mobile avec presque onze millions d'abonnés.

    Et il ambitionne d'avoir 45% de part de marché. L'opérateur de téléphonie mobile Nedjma se maintient, lui, autour de 30% de parts de marché. Il a réalisé de bons résultats pendant le premier trimestre 2012.

    Avec 219,7 millions de dollars au premier trimestre 2012, Nedjma progresse de 21% par rapport à la même période 2011 durant laquelle ont été obtenus des revenus équivalents à 181,6 millions de dollars.

    Le nombre d'abonnés est passé de 8,07 millions au premier trimestre 2011 à 8,52 millions à la même période de 2012 alors que les investissements ont augmenté de 178%, passant de 27,3 millions de dollars au 4e trimestre 2011 à 76 millions de dollars au premier trimestre 2012.

    Le chiffre d'affaires mensuel moyen réalisé avec un client (Arpu) est passé de 7,3 dollars au premier trimestre 2011 à 8,5 dollars au premier trimestre 2012, en augmentation de 16%.

    La Tribune
  • Les 50 000 Camerounais ayant souscrit à un abonnement à Set’Mobile depuis décembre 2011 peuvent effectuer et recevoir des appels depuis 8h, samedi 21 juillet 2012. Ils doivent pour cela activer leur carte Sim à Douala ou encore à Yaoundé dans les points de distribution de Set’Mobile, la marque d’ Eto’o Telecom Sa, la société du capitaine des Lions indomptables, Samuel Eto’o Fils.

    Elle a officiellement lancé ses activités au Cameroun hier soir.

    Selon le directeur général de Set’Mobile, Charles Gueret, les premiers abonnés reçoivent gratuitement chacun 2500 FCfa de crédits d’appel. Les premiers abonnés avaient payé 1000 FCfa pour participer au concert de lancement de Set’Mobile à Douala. Ils recevaient de ce fait une carte Sim Set’Mobile. «C’était une promesse. Ce qu’on veut aujourd’hui, c’est de satisfaire nos clients qui étaient au concert. Actuellement, tout se passe bien. Des centaines de clients sont dans nos services pour activer leur Sim. Et c’est avec le sourire aux lèvres que nous les servons», affirme Charles Gueret, joint au téléphone.

    La société qui offre des services à valeur ajoutée de communications électroniques est en partenariat avec Orange Cameroun, car ne disposant pas de son propre réseau. Set’Mobile revendique le titre de premier opérateur mobile virtuel (Mvno) en Afrique. Elle utilise les numéros de téléphone commençant avec le préfixe « 92 ».

    La minute d’appel vers Set’Mobile est de 70 FCfa. Le chrono à la seconde est de 1,4 FCfa, soit 84 FCfa la minute. Pour les appels vers les autres opérateurs, la minute vaut 100 FCfa en option classique, et 1,8 FCfa à la tarification à la seconde, soit 108 FCfa la minute.

    Des tarifs qui ne sont pas aussi bas que l’espéraient de nombreux Camerounais. En effet, les opérateurs de téléphonie mobile existants font déjà des offres et promotions inférieures aux tarifs pratiqués par Set’Mobile.

    Mais, Set’Mobile annonce dès la semaine prochaine des promotions allant vers une réduction substantielle de ces tarifs. «Nous allons avoir des ‘’’bundle’’ proposant 10 minutes d’appel à un coût très réduit. Les directeurs marketing sont en train de travailler dessus», annonce le directeur général.

    Agence ecofin
  • Le Ministre des Postes, Télécommunications et Nouvelles technologies de l'informatique et de la communication, Kin-Kiey Mulumba a eu une séance de travail avec l'Administrateur Directeur Général a.i de la Société Congolaise des Postes et de Télécommunications, ex-OCPT, Placide Mbatika. C'était hier, mardi 24 juillet 2012, en son cabinet de travail. L'objectif est de faire le point des dossiers liés à la gestion de cet opérateur public des télécommunications. Concrètement, les deux personnalités ont fait le point sur l'avancement des travaux de construction de la station d'atterrage de la fibre optique à Muanda.

    En luminaire, Kin-Kiey Mulumba s'est renseigné sur l'état d'avancement de ces travaux. Il ressort que des efforts sont conjugués par la Société Congolaise des Postes et des Télécommunications pour connecter la RDC à la fibre internationale dans le temps imparti. Les travaux de construction de la station d'atterrage de la fibre internationale, a rassuré l'ADG a.i de la SCPT, vont bon train. L'équipementier français Alcatel est déjà à Kinshasa. De ce fait, Placide Mbakadi a sollicité l'intervention du Ministre des PTNTIC pour l'exonération des matériels et appareils devant équiper la station d'atterrage à Muanda. Il a demandé au Ministre de mettre tout en branle pour leur enlèvement d'urgence. Abordant les questions liées à la matérialisation de ce projet qui tend à connecter la RDC au reste du monde via les câbles sous-marin Wacs, le patron de la SCPT a rappelé au Ministre la solde de la quote-part que le Gouvernement congolais doit payer auprès de WACS pour que l'exploitation de la fibre internationale devienne effective. Cette solde est de USD 5 140 000 sur une souscription initiale de USD 25 millions.

    Hormis la connexion de la RDC à la fibre internationale à Muanda, la SCPT s'active également à connecter Kinshasa à Brazzaville ; Kinshasa à Kasumbalesa. Concrètement, il s'agit de construire ou mieux de boucler des rings à l'intérieur du pays. Ce faisant, l'ADG a.i de la SCPT a informé le Ministre de tutelle du lancement, dans deux semaines, des travaux de connexion de la fibre optique entre Kinshasa et Brazzaville. Aussi, est-il prévu, le lancement de la deuxième phase de la mise en oeuvre de la fibre optique en RDC sur l'axe Kinshasa-Kasumbalesa. Par ailleurs, l'ADG a.i de la SCPT a émis le voeu de voir le Ministre de tutelle piloté personnellement le lancement des ces travaux.

    La Prospérité
  • La Société Internet Gabon, a procédé mardi à Libreville, au lancement du projet Triple Net, pour un partenariat avec les Sociétés européenne Satellite (SES) et Hughes Advantage.

    Cet événement a été rehaussé par la présence du ministre gabonais, en charge de l'économie numérique, de la Communiqué et de la Poste, Blaise Loembé.

    Ce partenariat permettra pour les trois entreprises de financer le projet Triple Net dont le montant s'élève 12 000 000 de dollars.

    Le projet Triple Net facilitera l'introduction d'un produit destiné aux zones rurales et grand public pour la fourniture d'accès internet, radio, Tv par satellite et expansion dans la sous région d'Afrique francophone.

    Elargir la gamme de services à valeurs ajoutées tout en abaissant les coûts d'accès à internet. Consolider et étendre la base d'abonnés dans la sous région d'Afrique francophone.

    Selon les responsables de cette entreprise, les frais de services seront réduits à partir de 50 000FCFA, avec un délai de livraison rapide et une installation très simple.

    Premier fournisseur privé de services internet (ISP) au Gabon, Internet Gabon a déjà installé plus de 500 VSAT et 50 équipements BLR.

    Il occupe le premier rang d'opérateur VSAT de la zone CEMAC avec plus de 500 sites installés. Internet Gabon amorcé une stratégie d'extension dans la sous région.

    Africa Info
  • La version localisée du célèbre site communautaire d'hébergement et de partage de vidéos et de contenus (Youtube.sn),a été lancée par le ministre de la Culture et du Tourisme, Youssou Ndour, annonce un communiqué reçu à l'APS.

    Au cours de la cérémonie de lancement à Dakar, Youssou Ndour a lancé un appel aux jeunes artistes, producteurs, créateurs à "accroitre leur présence en ligne, car leur avenir s'y trouve".

    "Plus de trois milliards d'heures de vidéo sont regardées chaque mois sur YouTube, ce qui démontre le potentiel pour les créateurs au Sénégal", a-t-il souligné, selon le communiqué.

    Après l'Afrique du Sud, le Kenya, l'Ouganda, le Nigeria et le Ghana, YouTube fait aujourd'hui ses débuts au Sénégal. L'objectif de ce lancement local de Youtube est de fournir une meilleure visibilité des contenus Sénégalais qui seront désormais plus facile à découvrir sur le domaine "youtube.sn.

    Le Responsable de Google Afrique Francophone Tidjane Dème s'est dit heureux de cette version Youtube.sn. Pour lui, rapporte le communiqué, le contenu local est "un élément clé dans la mission que la structure s'est fixée de rendre l'Internet plus pertinent en Afrique sub-saharienne".

    Sur la version Youtube.sn, les contenus téléchargés, par maison de disques ou par les utilisateurs sénégalais seront mieux mis en évidence.

    En plus de la page d'accueil "youtube.sn", l'interface utilisateur localisée sera en français. Il y aura également une page d'accueil localisée, et une page ou les utilisateurs pourront trouver les meilleures vidéos du Sénégal, précise le communiqué.

    APS
  • Faire des Tic et de l'économie numérique le moteur de la croissance de l'économie sénégalaise à l'horizon 2015, telle est l'ambition du plan d'action 2012-2015 de la grappe «Tic-téléservices» de la Stratégie de croissance accélérée.

    Le Secrétariat permanent de la Stratégie de croissance accélérée (Sca) a organisé, hier, à Dakar, un atelier de validation du plan d'action 2012-2015 de la grappe «Tic et téléservices», réunissant l'ensemble des acteurs du secteur des Tic.

    L'objectif était de formuler une stratégie nationale de développement de l'économie numérique qui prévoit, entre autres mesures institutionnelles, l'élaboration d'une lettre de politique sectorielle, ainsi que la mise en place d'une structure de haut niveau de pilotage et d'un observatoire des Tic.

    Pour finaliser ce dispositif institutionnel et législatif, domaine dans lequel le Sénégal est cité en exemple en Afrique (avec notamment l'adoption, en février 2011, d'un nouveau Code des télécommunications), le directeur de cabinet du ministre de la Communication, des Télécommunications et des Postes, Souleymane Demba Sy, a annoncé que le décret d'application dudit Code sera bientôt signé.

    Le projet de plan d'action prévoit une série de mesures pour améliorer l'environnement concurrentiel du secteur des Tic, d'ici 2015 : faire respecter les règles communautaires sur la concentration économique, renégocier les licences des opérateurs pour les étendre vers une licence globale, finaliser le cadre de référence d'attribution des autorisations d'infrastructures et faire appliquer le principe de la tarification orientée vers les coûts tel que défini dans le Code des télécoms.

    L'accès aux financements sera facilité par la mise en place de fonds d'investissement et d'innovation dédiés au secteur des Tic et téléservices. Il est prévu la création d'une usine d'assemblage d'ordinateur et la réalisation du projet de Cyber village sur le site du Technopôle.

    Le passage à l'audiovisuel numérique, la généralisation des cyber-cases et la mise en œuvre du projet d'installation des points e-gov devront améliorer l'accès aux Tic des populations dans les zones rurales et les zones urbaines à faible revenus.Ces mesures, si elles sont mises en œuvre, devraient faire des Tic un puissant moteur de croissance capable de tirer les autres secteurs.

    Dans cette optique, le directeur de cabinet du ministre de la Communication, des Télécommunications et des Postes estime que le Sénégal dispose déjà d'un environnement législatif et réglementaire propice. Il ne reste plus qu'à accompagner «de manière plus efficace» les initiatives du secteur privé dans le domaine des Tic, dit-il.

    Pour Karim Sy de l'Organisation des professionnels des technologies de l'information et de la communication (Optic), syndicat affilié au Conseil national du patronat (Cnp), qui exprimait la vision du secteur privé, toute stratégie de développement des Tic doit s'adosser à ces axes suivants : identifier les acteurs, encourager les partenariats publics-privés (Ppp) et faciliter l'accès aux financements, etc.

    Le Soleil
  • Les autorités tunisiennes et des associations ont décidé de mettre en place une commission qui va étudier la création d'un technopôle virtuel qui pourrait générer jusqu'à 50 000 emplois pendant cinq ans. Un communiqué du ministère de l'Emploi et de la Formation professionnelle a indiqué que le projet sera institué, après sa phase d'étude, comme programme national engageant les différentes parties concernées.

    Le projet consiste en la création d'un pôle technologique virtuel, couvrant l'ensemble du territoire tunisien. Il sera plus tard transformé en village technologique qui exportera des services d'intelligence à distance. Selon Badreddine Walli, président de l'Association tunisienne pour la communication et la technologie (ATCT), partie prenante au projet, celui-ci ne nécessite pas d'importants fonds de mobilisation et plusieurs pays, tels que le Canada et l'Inde, ont pu développer leurs capacités d'emplois en renforçant ce domaine.

    Badreddine Walli a souligné la faisabilité du projet en Tunisie, du fait de la proximité du pays avec l'Europe et de l'existence de compétences tunisiennes dans les technologies de l'information et de la communication. Les autorités, par la voix du Ministre de l'emploi et de la formation professionnelle, Abdelwaheb Maatar, ont indiqué qu'elles déploieraient les capacités nécessaires pour faire aboutir le projet.

    Agence ecofin
  • Les technologies de l'information et de la communication sont devenues un facteur puissant de développement économique et social, en ce sens qu'elles permettent l'innovation et créent de nouvelles opportunités de développement, notamment dans un contexte de mondialisation. C'est ce pourquoi le gouvernement algérien, conscient de ces enjeux, a mis en place un plan multisectoriel appelé «Stratégie e-Algérie 2013».

    Ce dernier a été élaboré pour définir les objectifs à atteindre et les actions à mettre en œuvre dans les cinq prochaines années. Treize axes principaux constituent l'essentiel de ce plan, et chacun d'eux avec des objectifs bien précis et une liste d'actions pour leur mise en oeuvre. Bien sûr, un état des lieux exhaustif doit précéder ces objectifs. Seulement, de l'avis de nombreux experts et même d'observateurs, ce plan, très ambitieux, tarde à être concrétisé sur le terrain alors que tous les axes ont été mis en place.

    Ceci, et vu les retards cumulés pour sa concrétisation, a amené le ministère des Postes et des Technologies de l'information et de la communication à changer l'appellation, en se contentant d'appeler le projet «e-Algérie», sans échéance retenue. Le premier axe majeur de cette stratégie, rappelons-le, concerne l'accélération de l'usage des TIC dans l'administration publique. L'introduction des TIC et le renforcement de leur usage au sein de l'administration publique engendreront une transformation importante de ses modes d'organisation et de travail. Ceci amènera l'administration publique à repenser son mode de fonctionnement et d'organisation et à servir le citoyen de manière plus appropriée, notamment à travers la mise «en ligne» de ses différents services.

    En effet, les TIC, et en particulier l'Internet, permettent d'établir un «espace de communication indépendant de la localisation physique», affirmant la disponibilité de l'information n'importe où et n'importe quand. C'est pour cela que la gestion de l'information doit être décentralisée là où c'est possible, là où les connaissances sont les meilleures, afin d'améliorer la qualité des processus de prise de décision.

    Des objectifs spécifiques et, parfois, communs ont été fixés pour chaque département ministériel et ont trait au parachèvement des infrastructures informatiques, à la mise en place de systèmes d'information intégrés, au déploiement d'applications sectorielles spécifiques, à l'accroissement des compétences humaines et au développement de services en ligne à destination de tous les usagers, citoyens, entreprises et, bien évidemment, toutes les autres administrations.

    Le second axe repose sur l'accélération de l'usage des TIC au niveau des entreprises. Les instruments de gestion et de gouvernance développés autour des TIC restent aujourd'hui les seuls garants de la survie des entreprises algériennes à l'heure de la mondialisation. Avec l'Internet, le marché est devenu global dans une économie où la connaissance est une valeur principale.

    L'objectif spécifique recherché dans cet axe est de soutenir l'appropriation des TIC par les PME et le développement des applications pour l'amélioration des performances des entreprises, de même que de développer l'offre de services en ligne, le développement des mécanismes et des mesures incitatives permettant l'accès des ménages et des très petites entreprises aux équipements et aux réseaux des TIC. Le processus de généralisation de l'accès à l'Internet doit se poursuivre. En effet, cet accès doit, d'abord, être élargi pour permettre à tout citoyen, où qu'il se trouve sur le territoire national, de bénéficier des services publics en ligne et de l'immense base de connaissances et de savoir qu'est l'Internet.

    Les programmes d'équipements et de développement des connexions haut débit et des contenus multimédias doivent être accompagnés de programmes de formation afin d'accélérer le processus de généralisation de l'usage des TIC. Le processus de généralisation de l'accès à l'Internet constitue donc l'objectif majeur qui se décline en trois objectifs spécifiques, à savoir : redynamiser l'opération Ousratic à travers l'octroi de microordinateurs individuels et de lignes haut débit, l'offre de formation et la disponibilité de contenus spécifiques à chacun des segments de la population, de même que d'augmenter considérablement le nombre d'espaces publics, communautaires : cybercafés, bornes multimédias, technoparcs, maisons de la science etc. L'autre défi que s'assigne le plan e-Algérie 2013 est l'impulsion du développement de l'économie fondée sur le savoir.

    L'objectif majeur fixé pour cet axe consiste en la création des conditions adéquates permettant le développement intensif de l'industrie des TIC, à travers la mise en place de mesures incitatives à la production du contenu. L'autre axe de développement d'e-Algérie 2013 est le renforcement de l'infrastructure de télécommunication à haut et très haut débit pour offrir les capacités nécessaires sur l'ensemble national avec, en plus, une qualité et une sécurité aux normes internationales.

    Il va sans dire que le développement des compétences humaines constitue la pierre angulaire de ce plan, en ce sens que le renforcement des infrastructures et la généralisation de l'accès aux TIC doivent être accompagnés par des mesures substantielles en matière de formation et de développement de ces compétences humaines pour généraliser l'usage des TIC et assurer leur appropriation à tous les niveaux.

    Le renforcement de la recherche et de l'innovation est un autre axe qui repose sur une forte interaction entre la recherche, le développement et le monde économique car l'innovation assure le développement de produits et de services à valeur ajoutée dans le domaine des TIC. La mise à niveau d'un cadre juridique national, la valorisation de la coopération internationale dans ce domaine, la mise en place de mesures organisationnelles et la mobilisation de moyens financiers pour sa mise en œuvre sont les autres axes de cette stratégie. Une stratégie qui, si elle venait à être appliquée sur le terrain, permettra à l'Algérie de rattraper le retard numérique.

    Or, pour le moment, le débit Internet reste faible dans la majeure partie du temps et la mise en place des services en ligne ou encore le payement en ligne, pour ne citer que ces exemples, ne sont pas encore disponibles. Des mesures adéquates doivent être prises pour accélérer la mise en place de ce programme très riche.

    La Tribune
  • Vivendi entre le marteau et l'enclume ? Comparaison n'est certes pas raison, mais le groupe français qui détient dans ses escarcelles, entre autres filiales, Maroc Telecom se trouve depuis peu mis sous la loupe par les trois agences de notation que sont Moody's, Fitch et Standard & Poor's. Le groupe est certes encore bien noté mais ces agences s'inquiètent d'un double mouvement. D'un côté, une hausse attendue de la dette de 12 à 14 milliards d'euros fin 2012 du fait du rachat d'EMI. De l'autre, la baisse, également attendue, de l'excédent brut d'exploitation en raison des déboires de l'opérateur français de téléphonie, SFR.

    La propagation d'une rumeur, qui prétend au nom du président du Conseil de surveillance de Vivendi, Jean-René Fourtou, que Vivendi pourrait céder sa filiale, Activision Blizzard, leader mondial des jeux vidéo, ses titres ont connu une forte hausse qui pourrait inciter les responsables de la firme à accélérer le processus de cession envisagé dans le cadre d'un recentrage imposé par les nouvelles donnes financières.

    Ce qui explique cette sensibilité du marché financier à l'annonce de Fourtou revient en grande partie aux rumeurs non démenties, ébruitées depuis quelque temps, selon lesquelles Vivendi serait sur le point de céder d'autres actifs, en l'occurrence le groupe de télécom brésilien GVT ou Maroc Telecom.

    En revendant l'une de ces filiales, Vivendi pourrait engranger suffisamment de liquidités pour sortir de la morosité qui commence à déteindre sur ses activités. A titre d'exemple, s'il procéderait à la cession d'Activision Blizzard, dont il détient 61 % des parts, Vivendi pourrait ainsi encaisser 6,7 milliards d'euros. Dans le cas où il choisirait de se débarrasser de Maroc Telecom, dont il détient 53% du capital, c'est quelque 3 milliards d'euros qui entreraient directement dans ses caisses. Pour la filiale brésilienne GVT, Vivendi pourrait se procurer 5,7 milliards d'euros.

    Selon plusieurs analystes, de telles cession pourront élargir le marge de manœuvre pour les responsables de ladite firme, mais ces aliénations ne peuvent, en aucun cas, équilibrer à elles seules les comptes financiers du groupe. Même en cédant ses leaders de télécommunications au Brésil et au Maroc, la multinationale n'aura que (6,7+3) 9,7 milliards d'euros, ce qui est loin de sa dette (entre 12 et 14 milliards d'euros).

    Il n'en demeure pas moins que si la filiale brésilienne a affiché un bilan positif sur l'année 2011 puisqu'elle a réalisé un bénéfice net de 420 millions d'euros (soit 4,2 milliards de dirhams) sur l'exercice, Maroc Telecom a accusé, l'an dernier, une contre-performance (recul du bénéfice net de plus de 800 millions d'euros) qui pourrait influencer la décision des dirigeants de Vivendi d'autant plus positivement que l'entreprise marocaine s'est lancée, récemment, dans un plan de départs volontaires visant à réduire ses effectifs de 11%. Une action qu'on pourrait considérer comme préparatoire à une opération de remise à plat avant une éventuelle cession.

    Reste à savoir qui va être le probable repreneur. Les noms de la compagnie Ittissalat des Emirats arabes unies, et «Qtel» du Qatar sont les plus cités.

    Libération
  • Il est désormais possible pour les bacheliers de 2010 et les futurs bacheliers de faire leurs pré inscriptions à l'université via le service Orange money. Le lancement de l'opération a eu lieu, jeudi dernier, à l'immeuble Quartz sur le boulevard Giscard d'Estaing.

    « Orange a signé un partenariat avec le ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la recherche scientifique pour le paiement des frais de pré-inscription pour bachelier », a annoncé Joseph Pitar, au nom du directeur général d'Orange CI. Il a ajouté : « vous nous avez fait confiance, soyez rassuré. Vous ne serez pas déçus ».

    Idriss Camara, au nom du ministère de l'Enseignement technique et de la recherche scientifique, a souligné que, compte tenu du nombre grandissant des candidats aux Bac, il était important de faire appel à tous les opérateurs.

    Ce qui, selon lui, explique cette cérémonie de lancement. Il a dit espérer que les deux parties en tire le meilleur de l'opération.

    Notre Voie
  • Selon Eugene Juwah, vice-président exécutif de la Commission nigériane des communications (NCC), MTN est la seule compagnie de télécommunications qui fait des profits au Nigéria. Il s'exprimait à Abuja, le 17 juillet 2012, lors d'une audience du comité du Sénat sur les communications chargé d'examiner la détérioration des services de communications fournis par les opérateurs.

    S'adressant au comité, Eugene Juwah a affirmé que ses affirmations sont fondées sur les données disponibles. « Les comptes des opérateurs sont audités et c'est sur cette base que nous prenons nos décisions; ce n'est pas sur la base de leurs profits que les fournisseurs de services payent des revenus à la NCC, mais sur la base de leur chiffre d'affaires », a encore déclaré le vice-président exécutif de la NCC, qui a ajouté que le régulateur est juste « privilégié d'avoir accès à leurs comptes ».

    Au cours de la même séance, Eugène Juwah a évoqué les éventuels menaces que feraient courir les stations de base sur la santé des populations, qualifiant ces informations de fausses depuis qu'une étude a apporté la preuve que les stations de base ne constituaient aucune menace sanitaire.

    Agence ecofin
  • Les ministres chargés de l'Audiovisuel se réuniront d'ici à fin décembre, pour approuver une proposition visant à faciliter aux télévisions des huit pays membres de l'Union économique et monétaire ouest africaine (UEMOA) leur passage du système analogique au numérique.

    "Une réunion des ministres sectoriels est prévue avant la fin de l'année 2012, pour entériner la proposition des experts, en vue de la soumettre à l'adoption du Conseil des ministres statutaire de l'UEMOA", rapporte un communiqué parvenu à l'APS.

    Réunis début juillet, à Cotonou (Bénin), à l'initiative de la Commission de l'UEMOA, "ces experts ont, à l'unanimité, proposé que les Etats de l'Union adoptent la norme DVB-T2 pour la diffusion et MPEG-4 AVC pour la compression".

    Les experts du Bénin, du Burkina Faso, de la Côte d'Ivoire, de la Guinée Bissau, du Mali, du Niger, du Sénégal et du Togo ont également élaboré "une feuille de route régionale (...) pour la conduite de la transition numérique".

    Ce plan d'action "marque les grandes étapes des activités (juridique, économique, technique et communicationnelle) à mener pour achever le processus de transition numérique au plus tard en juin 2015", relève le communiqué.

    Selon la même source, "des recommandations importantes ont été faites à l'attention des Etats membres et à l'endroit de la Commission de l'UEMOA, pour la réussite du processus de transition numérique".

    "Les conclusions de l'atelier de Cotonou, poursuit la même source, vont donner un coup d'accélérateur au processus de transition numérique dans les Etats membres de l'UEMOA.

    APS
  • * CARREFOUR D’AFFAIRES ET DE TECHNOLOGIES 2012
    «NOUVELLE TUNISIE, NOUVELLES OPPORTUNITES »
    Tunis, Parc International des Expositions 28-30 Novembre 2012
    Organisé, du 28 au 30 Novembre 2012, par l’Agence de Promotion de l’Industrie et de l’Innovation, en association avec l’Union Tunisienne pour l’Industrie le Commerce et l’Artisanat (UTICA) et en collaboration avec l’Agence de Promotion de l’Investissement Extérieur (FIPA) et le Centre de Promotion des Exportations (CEPEX), CAT 2012 se veut être une réelle plateforme dédiée à l’entreprise, où vont se côtoyer décideurs et leaders de divers horizons, avec leurs offres et demandes dans des secteurs innovants à fort potentiel de croissance:

     Mécanique, électrique et électronique
     Agroalimentaire
     Plastique technique et plasturgie
    Textile technique
    Nouvelles technologies de l’information et de la communication
     Pharmaceutique
    Pour plus d’infos cliquez ici
    http://www.cat2012.tn/

  • - Le Conseil de Surveillance de Maroc Telecom a coopté Monsieur Jean-François Dubos, en qualité de membre du Conseil de Surveillance, en remplacement de Monsieur Jean-Bernard Lévy. Le Conseil a par ailleurs élu, en tant que Vice-Président, Monsieur Jean-René Fourtou, déjà membre du Conseil de Surveillance de Maroc Telecom et Président du Conseil de Surveillance de Vivendi

  • Directeur des technologies de l'information

    Sous l’autorité du Secrétaire Général BRVM & DC/BR , vous avez pour mission : l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre de la politique des systèmes d’information en cohésion avec la stratégie globale de l’entreprise ; la proposition des évolutions organisationnelles et techniques de votre direction ; l’élaboration le cas échéant d’ne politique d’externalisation ou d’appel a des prestations , la proposition (au niveau du comité de direction ) des évolutions métier ou business en s’appuyant sur les technologies nouvelles (E-Business, place de marché)

    Qualification / Formation :
    - BAC + 5 minimum en Management du Système d’informations ou équivalent ;
    - Dix ans d’expérience avérée dans le domaine de la gestion des technologies d’information et du développement de systèmes ;
    - Cinq ans d’expérience en qualité de responsable des technologies d’information et de développement de systèmes.
    - Avoir géré au moins un projet majeur de développement de systèmes.

    Pour plus d’information cliquez ici

Edition Française, 27 juillet 2012 No 187

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Editorial

  • Comme prévu dans l'appel à manifestation d'intérêt du 28 mai 2012, le Comité de pilotage du projet d'ouverture du marché de la téléphonie mobile, de délivrance des concessions d'établissement des réseaux 3G (troisième génération) et d'octroi des titres d'exploitation des points d'atterrissement des câbles sous-marins à fibres optiques, a examiné le 20 juillet dernier les offres des compagnies qui souhaitent établir et exploiter un réseau de communications électroniques mobiles au Cameroun. Neuf opérateurs de téléphonie mobile ont exprimé leur intérêt pour ce segment du marché camerounais dont l'entrée sera ouverte au mieux disant, a indiqué le ministre des Postes et Télécommunications dans un communiqué de presse signé ce lundi 23 juillet 2012.

    De fait, ce réseau sera celui du troisième opérateur dans le secteur attendu par les consommateurs. Mais l'attente ne devrait plus durer longtemps. Le comité sus-mentionné ayant mis en place une commission d'analyse des offres. Dans quinze jours d'ailleurs, cette commission « devra présenter son rapport », lequel « fera ressortir la short-list des opérateurs pré-qualifiés ». Après cette étape préliminaire, un appel d'offres sera lancé en vue de déterminer le bénéficiaire de la licence envisagée dans cette procédure, précise le communiqué signé de Jean-Pierre Biyiti bi Essam.

    L'avis international à manifestation d'intérêt de mai qui va bientôt produire ses résultats finaux avait formellement pour but « l'établissement et l'exploitation d'un réseau de communications électroniques couplé avec les ressources fréquentielles 3G ». Ce futur réseau qui ne comprend pas l'activité de transport couvrira le territoire national. La 3G ou troisième génération désigne, selon les spécialistes, une nouvelle norme de téléphonie mobile qui suit le Gsm actuellement utilisé par les opérateurs camerounais. La 3G permet de communiquer avec des débits bien plus rapides en comparaison à la génération précédente, le Gsm.

    Le portrait-robot de l'entreprise recherchée avait par ailleurs été dressé par l'avis. Il s'agit d'une société spécialisée dans les communications électroniques mobiles de « réputation internationale ». Naturellement, le futur élu ne doit pas être déjà actif au Cameroun et disposer, entre autres exigences, de 200 millions de dollars (105,4 milliards de F) de fonds propres au 31 décembre 2011.
    Source: Cameroon Tribune

  • L'Agence nationale de réglementation des télécommunications (ANRT) a ouvert un appel d'offres pour le choix d'un conseil qui devrait définir l'option finale du processus d'attribution des licences 4G. Le régulateur a en outre fixé au 23 août de l'année en cours la date limite pour le dépôt des offres.

    C'est une première étape avant la mise en fonction « annoncée » vers la fin 2013. Initiée par Reda Chami du temps où il était aux affaires entre 2007 et 2012 et détenait alors, le portefeuille de l'Industrie, du Commerce et des Nouvelles technologies, la mise en place du 4G risque cependant de ne voir sa commercialisation effective, dans quelques principales villes du Royaume, que durant l'année 2014.

    En effet au vu des infrastructures actuelles, en plus d'une mise à niveau de celles existantes, l'installation de nombreuses autres est nécessaire. Aussi, avant de pouvoir faire bénéficier la totalité du pays, bien des années peuvent s'écouler avant que de couvrir tout le territoire.

    Cela étant, ce n'est que l'automne prochain et une fois les travaux d'études terminés que l'ANRT lancera l'appel d'offres pour l'octroi des licences 4G qu'elle n'accordera qu'au début de l'année 2013.

    L'arrivée de cette nouvelle technologie pourrait faire apparaître un quatrième opérateur, voire plus qui viendraient bousculer au portillon ceux existants déjà, Maroc Telecom, Méditel et Wana.

    En Afrique, jusqu'à présent, seule l'Afrique du Sud a installé des réseaux 4G, le Kenya lui emboîte le pas mais il n'en est encore qu'au stade de l'expérimentation. Le Maroc serait, si tout se passe dans les délais, alors le troisième pays du Continent à s'être équipé de cette nouvelle technologie.

    La question qui taraude l'esprit de l'internaute non averti est bien celle-ci : Que se cache-t-il derrière cette nouvelle appellation ? Que va changer la 4G ?

    Dite technologie de quatrième génération, elle succèdera à la 3G qui, elle-même, remplaçait la seconde, etc. Bien avant d'être une technologie, c'est avant tout un terme marketing car plusieurs autres, bien avant elle, le seraient d'une certaine façon.

    Toutefois la 4G est généralement associée à deux hautes technologies, le LTE et le WiMax. La première (Long Term Evolution) est la plus récente et c'est la suite naturelle des réseaux 3G.

    La seconde est plus relative au Wi-Fi. Il en est une autre, le HSPA+4G à double canaux, que l'on attribue volontiers à un réseau 3G avancé.

    Toutes cependant, permettent aux appareils les utilisant (smartphones, ordinateurs, tablettes, etc.) d'avoir des vitesses maximales théoriques de 150 Mbits/s et offrent des vitesses de chargement des plus accélérées et sans décalage.

    En outre, on pourra à travers notre navigation, télécharger et téléverser en atteignant de très grandes vitesses, jouer avec plus de réactivité, regarder, afficher et diffuser des vidéos et photos de meilleures qualités, participer à des vidéoconférences, avoir la compatibilité des réseaux privés virtuels (RPV) et bien d'autres choses encore.

    Ils ont tout de même quelques petits inconvénients. D'abord le prix, les opérateurs qui s'octroieront la licence, devraient charger quelques gros sous de plus à l'utilisateur, ne serait-ce qu'au début du lancement de la commercialisation.

    En plus du débit à partager et ses désavantages, techniquement, l'utilisation du réseau fait consommer énormément d'énergie, bien plus que les réseaux précédents.

    Mais là, ce sont les performances des smartphones, tablettes et autres ordis concernés qui devraient être améliorés. Gageons plutôt sur cette probabilité.

    Libération
  • La Société nationale d'électricité (SENELEC) dispose de "tous les rudiments" pour s'engager dans l'acquisition d'une quatrième licence de téléphonie au Sénégal, a estimé le syndicaliste Mademba Seck, relevant qu'une licence de téléphonie pourrait aider cette entreprise à résorber son déficit financier.

    "Pour la quatrième licence de téléphonie, je peux dire que la SENELEC a tous les rudiments et les embrayons pour s'engager. Je n'en pense pas moins qu'une telle licence pourrait aider la société publique à faire face à la demande des abonnés", a dit Mademba Sock, dimanche, dans l'émission Grand jury de RFM (privée) dont il était l'invité.

    Secrétaire général du Syndicat unique des travailleurs de l'électricité (SUTELEC), M. Sock pense que si la SENELEC opère dans la téléphonie, elle serait "un fort concurrent" de la Société nationale de télécommunication (SONATEL).

    "Je suis convaincu que la SENELEC a tous les moyens pour être éligible pour une quatrième licence (...). Ainsi elle serait de fait un concurrent sérieux à la SONATEL", a-t-il dit, invitant le Conseil d'administration à soumissionner pour l'obtention de ladite licence.

    "Il appartient au Conseil d'administration de donner à la SENELEC les moyens pour s'engager. La société de l'électricité a des relais surtout avec la fibre optique de Manantali qui est le support essentiel pour la téléphonie, la SENELEC pourrait prendre sa part du marché", a expliqué le secrétaire général du SUTELEC.

    "Le débat s'est posé depuis un certain nombre de temps avec tous les moyens matériels dont dispose la SENELEC notamment sa fibre optique, ses relais, les poteaux. Ceux qui sont compétents en matière de téléphonie ont dit que rien avec son réseau, la SENELEC peut s'engager dans la téléphonie", a-t-il fait valoir.

    Mademba Sock a toutefois évité de faire un rapprochement entre la démission de Cheikh Tidiane Mbaye du poste de directeur du Conseil d'administration et les intentions prêtées à la SENELEC de vouloir soumissionner pour une quatrième licence de téléphonie au Sénégal.

    APS
  • Depuis 2007, Wataniya Telecom Algérie (Nedjma) sollicite l'adoption par l'Autorité de régulation de la poste et des télécommunications (Arpt) de mesures réglementaires destinées à assurer le «rééquilibrage» du marché de la téléphonie mobile, est-il écrit dans un communiqué rendu public.

    Aujourd'hui, Nedjma partage avec Mobilis ses déclarations officielles qui soulignent que l'intervention de l'Arpt est un élément «clé» de sa stratégie globale dans la mesure où elle est indispensable pour pallier au «déséquilibre actuel du marché», y est-il ajouté.

    Le rééquilibrage du marché permettra en effet de garantir les conditions d'une «concurrence loyale» et empêchera «tout abus» de position dominante, position occupée par «Orascom Telecom Algérie depuis 2002».

    Dans une déclaration à nos confrères de l'APS, le Pdg de Mobilis, qui a annoncé deux milliards de dollars d'investissements étalés sur cinq ans, a estimé que cet objectif est possible à atteindre, si l'autorité de régulation (l'Arpt) intervient, comme cela se fait de par le monde, pour «équilibrer» le marché et empêcher «la domination» de l'un des opérateurs de la téléphonie.

    L'opérateur public détient actuellement vingt neuf pour cent (29%) des parts de marché de la téléphonie mobile avec presque onze millions d'abonnés.

    Et il ambitionne d'avoir 45% de part de marché. L'opérateur de téléphonie mobile Nedjma se maintient, lui, autour de 30% de parts de marché. Il a réalisé de bons résultats pendant le premier trimestre 2012.

    Avec 219,7 millions de dollars au premier trimestre 2012, Nedjma progresse de 21% par rapport à la même période 2011 durant laquelle ont été obtenus des revenus équivalents à 181,6 millions de dollars.

    Le nombre d'abonnés est passé de 8,07 millions au premier trimestre 2011 à 8,52 millions à la même période de 2012 alors que les investissements ont augmenté de 178%, passant de 27,3 millions de dollars au 4e trimestre 2011 à 76 millions de dollars au premier trimestre 2012.

    Le chiffre d'affaires mensuel moyen réalisé avec un client (Arpu) est passé de 7,3 dollars au premier trimestre 2011 à 8,5 dollars au premier trimestre 2012, en augmentation de 16%.

    La Tribune
  • Les 50 000 Camerounais ayant souscrit à un abonnement à Set’Mobile depuis décembre 2011 peuvent effectuer et recevoir des appels depuis 8h, samedi 21 juillet 2012. Ils doivent pour cela activer leur carte Sim à Douala ou encore à Yaoundé dans les points de distribution de Set’Mobile, la marque d’ Eto’o Telecom Sa, la société du capitaine des Lions indomptables, Samuel Eto’o Fils.

    Elle a officiellement lancé ses activités au Cameroun hier soir.

    Selon le directeur général de Set’Mobile, Charles Gueret, les premiers abonnés reçoivent gratuitement chacun 2500 FCfa de crédits d’appel. Les premiers abonnés avaient payé 1000 FCfa pour participer au concert de lancement de Set’Mobile à Douala. Ils recevaient de ce fait une carte Sim Set’Mobile. «C’était une promesse. Ce qu’on veut aujourd’hui, c’est de satisfaire nos clients qui étaient au concert. Actuellement, tout se passe bien. Des centaines de clients sont dans nos services pour activer leur Sim. Et c’est avec le sourire aux lèvres que nous les servons», affirme Charles Gueret, joint au téléphone.

    La société qui offre des services à valeur ajoutée de communications électroniques est en partenariat avec Orange Cameroun, car ne disposant pas de son propre réseau. Set’Mobile revendique le titre de premier opérateur mobile virtuel (Mvno) en Afrique. Elle utilise les numéros de téléphone commençant avec le préfixe « 92 ».

    La minute d’appel vers Set’Mobile est de 70 FCfa. Le chrono à la seconde est de 1,4 FCfa, soit 84 FCfa la minute. Pour les appels vers les autres opérateurs, la minute vaut 100 FCfa en option classique, et 1,8 FCfa à la tarification à la seconde, soit 108 FCfa la minute.

    Des tarifs qui ne sont pas aussi bas que l’espéraient de nombreux Camerounais. En effet, les opérateurs de téléphonie mobile existants font déjà des offres et promotions inférieures aux tarifs pratiqués par Set’Mobile.

    Mais, Set’Mobile annonce dès la semaine prochaine des promotions allant vers une réduction substantielle de ces tarifs. «Nous allons avoir des ‘’’bundle’’ proposant 10 minutes d’appel à un coût très réduit. Les directeurs marketing sont en train de travailler dessus», annonce le directeur général.

    Agence ecofin
  • Le Ministre des Postes, Télécommunications et Nouvelles technologies de l'informatique et de la communication, Kin-Kiey Mulumba a eu une séance de travail avec l'Administrateur Directeur Général a.i de la Société Congolaise des Postes et de Télécommunications, ex-OCPT, Placide Mbatika. C'était hier, mardi 24 juillet 2012, en son cabinet de travail. L'objectif est de faire le point des dossiers liés à la gestion de cet opérateur public des télécommunications. Concrètement, les deux personnalités ont fait le point sur l'avancement des travaux de construction de la station d'atterrage de la fibre optique à Muanda.

    En luminaire, Kin-Kiey Mulumba s'est renseigné sur l'état d'avancement de ces travaux. Il ressort que des efforts sont conjugués par la Société Congolaise des Postes et des Télécommunications pour connecter la RDC à la fibre internationale dans le temps imparti. Les travaux de construction de la station d'atterrage de la fibre internationale, a rassuré l'ADG a.i de la SCPT, vont bon train. L'équipementier français Alcatel est déjà à Kinshasa. De ce fait, Placide Mbakadi a sollicité l'intervention du Ministre des PTNTIC pour l'exonération des matériels et appareils devant équiper la station d'atterrage à Muanda. Il a demandé au Ministre de mettre tout en branle pour leur enlèvement d'urgence. Abordant les questions liées à la matérialisation de ce projet qui tend à connecter la RDC au reste du monde via les câbles sous-marin Wacs, le patron de la SCPT a rappelé au Ministre la solde de la quote-part que le Gouvernement congolais doit payer auprès de WACS pour que l'exploitation de la fibre internationale devienne effective. Cette solde est de USD 5 140 000 sur une souscription initiale de USD 25 millions.

    Hormis la connexion de la RDC à la fibre internationale à Muanda, la SCPT s'active également à connecter Kinshasa à Brazzaville ; Kinshasa à Kasumbalesa. Concrètement, il s'agit de construire ou mieux de boucler des rings à l'intérieur du pays. Ce faisant, l'ADG a.i de la SCPT a informé le Ministre de tutelle du lancement, dans deux semaines, des travaux de connexion de la fibre optique entre Kinshasa et Brazzaville. Aussi, est-il prévu, le lancement de la deuxième phase de la mise en oeuvre de la fibre optique en RDC sur l'axe Kinshasa-Kasumbalesa. Par ailleurs, l'ADG a.i de la SCPT a émis le voeu de voir le Ministre de tutelle piloté personnellement le lancement des ces travaux.

    La Prospérité
  • La Société Internet Gabon, a procédé mardi à Libreville, au lancement du projet Triple Net, pour un partenariat avec les Sociétés européenne Satellite (SES) et Hughes Advantage.

    Cet événement a été rehaussé par la présence du ministre gabonais, en charge de l'économie numérique, de la Communiqué et de la Poste, Blaise Loembé.

    Ce partenariat permettra pour les trois entreprises de financer le projet Triple Net dont le montant s'élève 12 000 000 de dollars.

    Le projet Triple Net facilitera l'introduction d'un produit destiné aux zones rurales et grand public pour la fourniture d'accès internet, radio, Tv par satellite et expansion dans la sous région d'Afrique francophone.

    Elargir la gamme de services à valeurs ajoutées tout en abaissant les coûts d'accès à internet. Consolider et étendre la base d'abonnés dans la sous région d'Afrique francophone.

    Selon les responsables de cette entreprise, les frais de services seront réduits à partir de 50 000FCFA, avec un délai de livraison rapide et une installation très simple.

    Premier fournisseur privé de services internet (ISP) au Gabon, Internet Gabon a déjà installé plus de 500 VSAT et 50 équipements BLR.

    Il occupe le premier rang d'opérateur VSAT de la zone CEMAC avec plus de 500 sites installés. Internet Gabon amorcé une stratégie d'extension dans la sous région.

    Africa Info
  • La version localisée du célèbre site communautaire d'hébergement et de partage de vidéos et de contenus (Youtube.sn),a été lancée par le ministre de la Culture et du Tourisme, Youssou Ndour, annonce un communiqué reçu à l'APS.

    Au cours de la cérémonie de lancement à Dakar, Youssou Ndour a lancé un appel aux jeunes artistes, producteurs, créateurs à "accroitre leur présence en ligne, car leur avenir s'y trouve".

    "Plus de trois milliards d'heures de vidéo sont regardées chaque mois sur YouTube, ce qui démontre le potentiel pour les créateurs au Sénégal", a-t-il souligné, selon le communiqué.

    Après l'Afrique du Sud, le Kenya, l'Ouganda, le Nigeria et le Ghana, YouTube fait aujourd'hui ses débuts au Sénégal. L'objectif de ce lancement local de Youtube est de fournir une meilleure visibilité des contenus Sénégalais qui seront désormais plus facile à découvrir sur le domaine "youtube.sn.

    Le Responsable de Google Afrique Francophone Tidjane Dème s'est dit heureux de cette version Youtube.sn. Pour lui, rapporte le communiqué, le contenu local est "un élément clé dans la mission que la structure s'est fixée de rendre l'Internet plus pertinent en Afrique sub-saharienne".

    Sur la version Youtube.sn, les contenus téléchargés, par maison de disques ou par les utilisateurs sénégalais seront mieux mis en évidence.

    En plus de la page d'accueil "youtube.sn", l'interface utilisateur localisée sera en français. Il y aura également une page d'accueil localisée, et une page ou les utilisateurs pourront trouver les meilleures vidéos du Sénégal, précise le communiqué.

    APS
  • Faire des Tic et de l'économie numérique le moteur de la croissance de l'économie sénégalaise à l'horizon 2015, telle est l'ambition du plan d'action 2012-2015 de la grappe «Tic-téléservices» de la Stratégie de croissance accélérée.

    Le Secrétariat permanent de la Stratégie de croissance accélérée (Sca) a organisé, hier, à Dakar, un atelier de validation du plan d'action 2012-2015 de la grappe «Tic et téléservices», réunissant l'ensemble des acteurs du secteur des Tic.

    L'objectif était de formuler une stratégie nationale de développement de l'économie numérique qui prévoit, entre autres mesures institutionnelles, l'élaboration d'une lettre de politique sectorielle, ainsi que la mise en place d'une structure de haut niveau de pilotage et d'un observatoire des Tic.

    Pour finaliser ce dispositif institutionnel et législatif, domaine dans lequel le Sénégal est cité en exemple en Afrique (avec notamment l'adoption, en février 2011, d'un nouveau Code des télécommunications), le directeur de cabinet du ministre de la Communication, des Télécommunications et des Postes, Souleymane Demba Sy, a annoncé que le décret d'application dudit Code sera bientôt signé.

    Le projet de plan d'action prévoit une série de mesures pour améliorer l'environnement concurrentiel du secteur des Tic, d'ici 2015 : faire respecter les règles communautaires sur la concentration économique, renégocier les licences des opérateurs pour les étendre vers une licence globale, finaliser le cadre de référence d'attribution des autorisations d'infrastructures et faire appliquer le principe de la tarification orientée vers les coûts tel que défini dans le Code des télécoms.

    L'accès aux financements sera facilité par la mise en place de fonds d'investissement et d'innovation dédiés au secteur des Tic et téléservices. Il est prévu la création d'une usine d'assemblage d'ordinateur et la réalisation du projet de Cyber village sur le site du Technopôle.

    Le passage à l'audiovisuel numérique, la généralisation des cyber-cases et la mise en œuvre du projet d'installation des points e-gov devront améliorer l'accès aux Tic des populations dans les zones rurales et les zones urbaines à faible revenus.Ces mesures, si elles sont mises en œuvre, devraient faire des Tic un puissant moteur de croissance capable de tirer les autres secteurs.

    Dans cette optique, le directeur de cabinet du ministre de la Communication, des Télécommunications et des Postes estime que le Sénégal dispose déjà d'un environnement législatif et réglementaire propice. Il ne reste plus qu'à accompagner «de manière plus efficace» les initiatives du secteur privé dans le domaine des Tic, dit-il.

    Pour Karim Sy de l'Organisation des professionnels des technologies de l'information et de la communication (Optic), syndicat affilié au Conseil national du patronat (Cnp), qui exprimait la vision du secteur privé, toute stratégie de développement des Tic doit s'adosser à ces axes suivants : identifier les acteurs, encourager les partenariats publics-privés (Ppp) et faciliter l'accès aux financements, etc.

    Le Soleil
  • Les autorités tunisiennes et des associations ont décidé de mettre en place une commission qui va étudier la création d'un technopôle virtuel qui pourrait générer jusqu'à 50 000 emplois pendant cinq ans. Un communiqué du ministère de l'Emploi et de la Formation professionnelle a indiqué que le projet sera institué, après sa phase d'étude, comme programme national engageant les différentes parties concernées.

    Le projet consiste en la création d'un pôle technologique virtuel, couvrant l'ensemble du territoire tunisien. Il sera plus tard transformé en village technologique qui exportera des services d'intelligence à distance. Selon Badreddine Walli, président de l'Association tunisienne pour la communication et la technologie (ATCT), partie prenante au projet, celui-ci ne nécessite pas d'importants fonds de mobilisation et plusieurs pays, tels que le Canada et l'Inde, ont pu développer leurs capacités d'emplois en renforçant ce domaine.

    Badreddine Walli a souligné la faisabilité du projet en Tunisie, du fait de la proximité du pays avec l'Europe et de l'existence de compétences tunisiennes dans les technologies de l'information et de la communication. Les autorités, par la voix du Ministre de l'emploi et de la formation professionnelle, Abdelwaheb Maatar, ont indiqué qu'elles déploieraient les capacités nécessaires pour faire aboutir le projet.

    Agence ecofin
  • Les technologies de l'information et de la communication sont devenues un facteur puissant de développement économique et social, en ce sens qu'elles permettent l'innovation et créent de nouvelles opportunités de développement, notamment dans un contexte de mondialisation. C'est ce pourquoi le gouvernement algérien, conscient de ces enjeux, a mis en place un plan multisectoriel appelé «Stratégie e-Algérie 2013».

    Ce dernier a été élaboré pour définir les objectifs à atteindre et les actions à mettre en œuvre dans les cinq prochaines années. Treize axes principaux constituent l'essentiel de ce plan, et chacun d'eux avec des objectifs bien précis et une liste d'actions pour leur mise en oeuvre. Bien sûr, un état des lieux exhaustif doit précéder ces objectifs. Seulement, de l'avis de nombreux experts et même d'observateurs, ce plan, très ambitieux, tarde à être concrétisé sur le terrain alors que tous les axes ont été mis en place.

    Ceci, et vu les retards cumulés pour sa concrétisation, a amené le ministère des Postes et des Technologies de l'information et de la communication à changer l'appellation, en se contentant d'appeler le projet «e-Algérie», sans échéance retenue. Le premier axe majeur de cette stratégie, rappelons-le, concerne l'accélération de l'usage des TIC dans l'administration publique. L'introduction des TIC et le renforcement de leur usage au sein de l'administration publique engendreront une transformation importante de ses modes d'organisation et de travail. Ceci amènera l'administration publique à repenser son mode de fonctionnement et d'organisation et à servir le citoyen de manière plus appropriée, notamment à travers la mise «en ligne» de ses différents services.

    En effet, les TIC, et en particulier l'Internet, permettent d'établir un «espace de communication indépendant de la localisation physique», affirmant la disponibilité de l'information n'importe où et n'importe quand. C'est pour cela que la gestion de l'information doit être décentralisée là où c'est possible, là où les connaissances sont les meilleures, afin d'améliorer la qualité des processus de prise de décision.

    Des objectifs spécifiques et, parfois, communs ont été fixés pour chaque département ministériel et ont trait au parachèvement des infrastructures informatiques, à la mise en place de systèmes d'information intégrés, au déploiement d'applications sectorielles spécifiques, à l'accroissement des compétences humaines et au développement de services en ligne à destination de tous les usagers, citoyens, entreprises et, bien évidemment, toutes les autres administrations.

    Le second axe repose sur l'accélération de l'usage des TIC au niveau des entreprises. Les instruments de gestion et de gouvernance développés autour des TIC restent aujourd'hui les seuls garants de la survie des entreprises algériennes à l'heure de la mondialisation. Avec l'Internet, le marché est devenu global dans une économie où la connaissance est une valeur principale.

    L'objectif spécifique recherché dans cet axe est de soutenir l'appropriation des TIC par les PME et le développement des applications pour l'amélioration des performances des entreprises, de même que de développer l'offre de services en ligne, le développement des mécanismes et des mesures incitatives permettant l'accès des ménages et des très petites entreprises aux équipements et aux réseaux des TIC. Le processus de généralisation de l'accès à l'Internet doit se poursuivre. En effet, cet accès doit, d'abord, être élargi pour permettre à tout citoyen, où qu'il se trouve sur le territoire national, de bénéficier des services publics en ligne et de l'immense base de connaissances et de savoir qu'est l'Internet.

    Les programmes d'équipements et de développement des connexions haut débit et des contenus multimédias doivent être accompagnés de programmes de formation afin d'accélérer le processus de généralisation de l'usage des TIC. Le processus de généralisation de l'accès à l'Internet constitue donc l'objectif majeur qui se décline en trois objectifs spécifiques, à savoir : redynamiser l'opération Ousratic à travers l'octroi de microordinateurs individuels et de lignes haut débit, l'offre de formation et la disponibilité de contenus spécifiques à chacun des segments de la population, de même que d'augmenter considérablement le nombre d'espaces publics, communautaires : cybercafés, bornes multimédias, technoparcs, maisons de la science etc. L'autre défi que s'assigne le plan e-Algérie 2013 est l'impulsion du développement de l'économie fondée sur le savoir.

    L'objectif majeur fixé pour cet axe consiste en la création des conditions adéquates permettant le développement intensif de l'industrie des TIC, à travers la mise en place de mesures incitatives à la production du contenu. L'autre axe de développement d'e-Algérie 2013 est le renforcement de l'infrastructure de télécommunication à haut et très haut débit pour offrir les capacités nécessaires sur l'ensemble national avec, en plus, une qualité et une sécurité aux normes internationales.

    Il va sans dire que le développement des compétences humaines constitue la pierre angulaire de ce plan, en ce sens que le renforcement des infrastructures et la généralisation de l'accès aux TIC doivent être accompagnés par des mesures substantielles en matière de formation et de développement de ces compétences humaines pour généraliser l'usage des TIC et assurer leur appropriation à tous les niveaux.

    Le renforcement de la recherche et de l'innovation est un autre axe qui repose sur une forte interaction entre la recherche, le développement et le monde économique car l'innovation assure le développement de produits et de services à valeur ajoutée dans le domaine des TIC. La mise à niveau d'un cadre juridique national, la valorisation de la coopération internationale dans ce domaine, la mise en place de mesures organisationnelles et la mobilisation de moyens financiers pour sa mise en œuvre sont les autres axes de cette stratégie. Une stratégie qui, si elle venait à être appliquée sur le terrain, permettra à l'Algérie de rattraper le retard numérique.

    Or, pour le moment, le débit Internet reste faible dans la majeure partie du temps et la mise en place des services en ligne ou encore le payement en ligne, pour ne citer que ces exemples, ne sont pas encore disponibles. Des mesures adéquates doivent être prises pour accélérer la mise en place de ce programme très riche.

    La Tribune
  • Vivendi entre le marteau et l'enclume ? Comparaison n'est certes pas raison, mais le groupe français qui détient dans ses escarcelles, entre autres filiales, Maroc Telecom se trouve depuis peu mis sous la loupe par les trois agences de notation que sont Moody's, Fitch et Standard & Poor's. Le groupe est certes encore bien noté mais ces agences s'inquiètent d'un double mouvement. D'un côté, une hausse attendue de la dette de 12 à 14 milliards d'euros fin 2012 du fait du rachat d'EMI. De l'autre, la baisse, également attendue, de l'excédent brut d'exploitation en raison des déboires de l'opérateur français de téléphonie, SFR.

    La propagation d'une rumeur, qui prétend au nom du président du Conseil de surveillance de Vivendi, Jean-René Fourtou, que Vivendi pourrait céder sa filiale, Activision Blizzard, leader mondial des jeux vidéo, ses titres ont connu une forte hausse qui pourrait inciter les responsables de la firme à accélérer le processus de cession envisagé dans le cadre d'un recentrage imposé par les nouvelles donnes financières.

    Ce qui explique cette sensibilité du marché financier à l'annonce de Fourtou revient en grande partie aux rumeurs non démenties, ébruitées depuis quelque temps, selon lesquelles Vivendi serait sur le point de céder d'autres actifs, en l'occurrence le groupe de télécom brésilien GVT ou Maroc Telecom.

    En revendant l'une de ces filiales, Vivendi pourrait engranger suffisamment de liquidités pour sortir de la morosité qui commence à déteindre sur ses activités. A titre d'exemple, s'il procéderait à la cession d'Activision Blizzard, dont il détient 61 % des parts, Vivendi pourrait ainsi encaisser 6,7 milliards d'euros. Dans le cas où il choisirait de se débarrasser de Maroc Telecom, dont il détient 53% du capital, c'est quelque 3 milliards d'euros qui entreraient directement dans ses caisses. Pour la filiale brésilienne GVT, Vivendi pourrait se procurer 5,7 milliards d'euros.

    Selon plusieurs analystes, de telles cession pourront élargir le marge de manœuvre pour les responsables de ladite firme, mais ces aliénations ne peuvent, en aucun cas, équilibrer à elles seules les comptes financiers du groupe. Même en cédant ses leaders de télécommunications au Brésil et au Maroc, la multinationale n'aura que (6,7+3) 9,7 milliards d'euros, ce qui est loin de sa dette (entre 12 et 14 milliards d'euros).

    Il n'en demeure pas moins que si la filiale brésilienne a affiché un bilan positif sur l'année 2011 puisqu'elle a réalisé un bénéfice net de 420 millions d'euros (soit 4,2 milliards de dirhams) sur l'exercice, Maroc Telecom a accusé, l'an dernier, une contre-performance (recul du bénéfice net de plus de 800 millions d'euros) qui pourrait influencer la décision des dirigeants de Vivendi d'autant plus positivement que l'entreprise marocaine s'est lancée, récemment, dans un plan de départs volontaires visant à réduire ses effectifs de 11%. Une action qu'on pourrait considérer comme préparatoire à une opération de remise à plat avant une éventuelle cession.

    Reste à savoir qui va être le probable repreneur. Les noms de la compagnie Ittissalat des Emirats arabes unies, et «Qtel» du Qatar sont les plus cités.

    Libération
  • Il est désormais possible pour les bacheliers de 2010 et les futurs bacheliers de faire leurs pré inscriptions à l'université via le service Orange money. Le lancement de l'opération a eu lieu, jeudi dernier, à l'immeuble Quartz sur le boulevard Giscard d'Estaing.

    « Orange a signé un partenariat avec le ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la recherche scientifique pour le paiement des frais de pré-inscription pour bachelier », a annoncé Joseph Pitar, au nom du directeur général d'Orange CI. Il a ajouté : « vous nous avez fait confiance, soyez rassuré. Vous ne serez pas déçus ».

    Idriss Camara, au nom du ministère de l'Enseignement technique et de la recherche scientifique, a souligné que, compte tenu du nombre grandissant des candidats aux Bac, il était important de faire appel à tous les opérateurs.

    Ce qui, selon lui, explique cette cérémonie de lancement. Il a dit espérer que les deux parties en tire le meilleur de l'opération.

    Notre Voie
  • Selon Eugene Juwah, vice-président exécutif de la Commission nigériane des communications (NCC), MTN est la seule compagnie de télécommunications qui fait des profits au Nigéria. Il s'exprimait à Abuja, le 17 juillet 2012, lors d'une audience du comité du Sénat sur les communications chargé d'examiner la détérioration des services de communications fournis par les opérateurs.

    S'adressant au comité, Eugene Juwah a affirmé que ses affirmations sont fondées sur les données disponibles. « Les comptes des opérateurs sont audités et c'est sur cette base que nous prenons nos décisions; ce n'est pas sur la base de leurs profits que les fournisseurs de services payent des revenus à la NCC, mais sur la base de leur chiffre d'affaires », a encore déclaré le vice-président exécutif de la NCC, qui a ajouté que le régulateur est juste « privilégié d'avoir accès à leurs comptes ».

    Au cours de la même séance, Eugène Juwah a évoqué les éventuels menaces que feraient courir les stations de base sur la santé des populations, qualifiant ces informations de fausses depuis qu'une étude a apporté la preuve que les stations de base ne constituaient aucune menace sanitaire.

    Agence ecofin
  • Les ministres chargés de l'Audiovisuel se réuniront d'ici à fin décembre, pour approuver une proposition visant à faciliter aux télévisions des huit pays membres de l'Union économique et monétaire ouest africaine (UEMOA) leur passage du système analogique au numérique.

    "Une réunion des ministres sectoriels est prévue avant la fin de l'année 2012, pour entériner la proposition des experts, en vue de la soumettre à l'adoption du Conseil des ministres statutaire de l'UEMOA", rapporte un communiqué parvenu à l'APS.

    Réunis début juillet, à Cotonou (Bénin), à l'initiative de la Commission de l'UEMOA, "ces experts ont, à l'unanimité, proposé que les Etats de l'Union adoptent la norme DVB-T2 pour la diffusion et MPEG-4 AVC pour la compression".

    Les experts du Bénin, du Burkina Faso, de la Côte d'Ivoire, de la Guinée Bissau, du Mali, du Niger, du Sénégal et du Togo ont également élaboré "une feuille de route régionale (...) pour la conduite de la transition numérique".

    Ce plan d'action "marque les grandes étapes des activités (juridique, économique, technique et communicationnelle) à mener pour achever le processus de transition numérique au plus tard en juin 2015", relève le communiqué.

    Selon la même source, "des recommandations importantes ont été faites à l'attention des Etats membres et à l'endroit de la Commission de l'UEMOA, pour la réussite du processus de transition numérique".

    "Les conclusions de l'atelier de Cotonou, poursuit la même source, vont donner un coup d'accélérateur au processus de transition numérique dans les Etats membres de l'UEMOA.

    APS
  • * CARREFOUR D’AFFAIRES ET DE TECHNOLOGIES 2012
    «NOUVELLE TUNISIE, NOUVELLES OPPORTUNITES »
    Tunis, Parc International des Expositions 28-30 Novembre 2012
    Organisé, du 28 au 30 Novembre 2012, par l’Agence de Promotion de l’Industrie et de l’Innovation, en association avec l’Union Tunisienne pour l’Industrie le Commerce et l’Artisanat (UTICA) et en collaboration avec l’Agence de Promotion de l’Investissement Extérieur (FIPA) et le Centre de Promotion des Exportations (CEPEX), CAT 2012 se veut être une réelle plateforme dédiée à l’entreprise, où vont se côtoyer décideurs et leaders de divers horizons, avec leurs offres et demandes dans des secteurs innovants à fort potentiel de croissance:

     Mécanique, électrique et électronique
     Agroalimentaire
     Plastique technique et plasturgie
    Textile technique
    Nouvelles technologies de l’information et de la communication
     Pharmaceutique
    Pour plus d’infos cliquez ici
    http://www.cat2012.tn/

  • - Le Conseil de Surveillance de Maroc Telecom a coopté Monsieur Jean-François Dubos, en qualité de membre du Conseil de Surveillance, en remplacement de Monsieur Jean-Bernard Lévy. Le Conseil a par ailleurs élu, en tant que Vice-Président, Monsieur Jean-René Fourtou, déjà membre du Conseil de Surveillance de Maroc Telecom et Président du Conseil de Surveillance de Vivendi

  • Directeur des technologies de l'information

    Sous l’autorité du Secrétaire Général BRVM & DC/BR , vous avez pour mission : l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre de la politique des systèmes d’information en cohésion avec la stratégie globale de l’entreprise ; la proposition des évolutions organisationnelles et techniques de votre direction ; l’élaboration le cas échéant d’ne politique d’externalisation ou d’appel a des prestations , la proposition (au niveau du comité de direction ) des évolutions métier ou business en s’appuyant sur les technologies nouvelles (E-Business, place de marché)

    Qualification / Formation :
    - BAC + 5 minimum en Management du Système d’informations ou équivalent ;
    - Dix ans d’expérience avérée dans le domaine de la gestion des technologies d’information et du développement de systèmes ;
    - Cinq ans d’expérience en qualité de responsable des technologies d’information et de développement de systèmes.
    - Avoir géré au moins un projet majeur de développement de systèmes.

    Pour plus d’information cliquez ici

Issue no 615 27th July 2012

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Top story

  • In this Nigeria mobile money special, there are two views of the market. Emmanuel   Okoegwale, Principal Associate, MobileMoneyAfrica identifies lack of clarity over current regulation and lack of focus on the agency network as key obstacles. In a country as large as Nigeria, the geographic spread of agents for internal remittances will be crucial. Russell Southwood took the temperature from the point of mobile money provider Paga when he talked to its CEO Tayo Oviosu.

    It’s been a year since mobile money providers in Nigeria were licensed and approved. The providers are a combination of financial institutions and independent providers. Despite the completion of the first stage of the process, the policy debate about who can take part and why continues. The policy framework of the Central Bank of Nigeria allows mobile money providers’ partners to sign up customers and mobile network operators can be partners. The industry deserves a clearer interpretation to ensure some level of certainty that must surely be the purpose of having a regulated industry.

    One of the factors contributing to a successful mobile money space is the regulatory climate. Recently UNCTAD called for uniformity in mobile money regulation in East Africa to boost financial inclusion.

    Around Africa, mobile money services are moving from being an alternative channel to becoming the main channel for providing basic financial services and payments services for the banked and unbanked. Adoption is growing at exponential rate in East Africa and some parts of Southern Africa. Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Zimbabwe are new frontiers. Recent studies showed 43% of Ugandans and 24% of Rwandans use mobile money services while Ecocash, a runaway success in Zimbabwe has ambitions to become the biggest bank in Zimbabwe.

    Some weeks ago while in Accra, the local TV stations showed mobile money services commercials back to back throughout the duration of my stay but the reality on the street is far from the glossy advertising. Agent’s outlets are difficult to locate and widely spaced out. Agents have an inadequate knowledge of the service and are not sure if the service can perform other functions aside from sales of airtime. There is a shortage of customer education materials and poor agency monitoring and oversight.

    Nigeria seems to be following the same pattern so far. Providers seem to think that all services should be like M-Pesa without considering the particular needs of the local market, its culture and patterns of internal migration. They have yet to provide the density of agent outlets required to make the services a success.

    In all the countries where mobile money had been a success, investment in agency network has been paramount followed by technology and marketing. These are the top three expenditures for providers. In Nigeria, with certain notable exceptions, it seems marketing is the largest expenditure, followed by technology and lastly, the agency network.

    A mobile money provider, just like a remittance company, has its strength in the spread and availability of the agency network. That is why international remittance providers do not try to win customers by talking about the security of their platforms. They win customers on the basis of service point availability that translate into the provider’s coverage footprint. Understanding the pattern of remittances between large cities like Lagos and other states will be crucial.

    It is early days and there is not much primary data but it may be that local conditions will mean that something much more like a person-to-person channel will be successful and this may redefine the idea of how mobile money providers work.

    The industry is still grappling with the glaring lack of knowledge where only a few of the licensed providers seems have good understanding of the task ahead. Is it a miserable future for mobile money in Nigeria? In the Indian model, micro finance payments seemed to be the driver. In Brazil, it was the extensive use of Government payments. In Kenya it was money transfers and later bill payments. What will be the Nigerian model? Only time will tell.

    Paga targeting 15 million users in three years but acknowledges that there are big challenges ahead

    Paga was launched in April 2009 but because of the lengthy licensing and approval process did not enter the Nigerian market until February 2011. Six banks were licensed and nine third party, independent providers. The most visible of these have been Paga itself, Stanbic, UBA, Transact and TETS.

    When I asked Paga CEO Tayo Oviosu about users numbers in the first week of July, he turned to his laptop and pulled off the then current figure of 128,384 users up from 100,000 at the beginning of June 2012. It aims to have 600,000 customers by the end of the year and believes it needs 1 million to be really successful. According to Oviosu:”We’re trying to be realistic about how the service will grow. We need a critical mass of agents. But we think we’ll get to a million users next year.” Beyond that he believes growth will spike upwards with it reaching 15 million in three years time. Total market? 30 million, he says.

    It currently has 850 agents in 19 cities across Nigeria. By the end of the year, it will have 1,500 agents and wants to double that in the medium-term. 90-95% of all transactions are done through agents.

    The average transaction is between N3,500-4,000 (US$22-25) and the primary services used are money transfer, bill payment and airtime purchase. It currently has 32 merchants accepting bill payment on its service including DStv, Guaranty Trust Insurance and Dealday.com. Currently there are a number of e-commerce apps and sites in Nigeria but thus far there have not been efficient payment systems.

    Paga is using its latest marketing campaign to grow people’s awareness of how to use the product and are also encouraging agents to do their own promotions in the cities they are located in.

    One of the obstacles has been the fact that the telcos felt very bruised at being excluded from the provider model and it took them a while to come back into the conversation:”It’s about churn reduction for them and therefore the development of these services remain in their financial interest. The current system allows everyone to participate and benefit.”

    To follow the exchanges about this news, you need to be on Twitter. Follow us on @BalancingActAfr

    A bumper crop of video clips this week on Balancing Act’s You Tube channel:

    Tayo Oviosu, CEO, Paga on the mobile money market in Nigeria

    Nigerian ICT blogger Loy Okezi
    e on Nigeria's online successes

    Victor Dibia, CEO, Denvycom.com
    on his games portfolio and plans to monetize

    Oluseye Soyode-Johnson, consultant to Maliyo Games
    on the business model

    A special for Balancing Act readers:

    Sean Krepp, Uganda Country Director, Apps Lab on raising farmers income using community knowledge workers with smartphones

    Kobus Roux, CSIR Meraka Institute on getting rural schools connected using local micro-entrepreneurs and Wi-Fi mesh technology

    Two experts discuss the challenges of mobile operators as brands:

    Laine Barnard, Founder, 8Brand - Mobile outlets as "giant waiting rooms" for selling airtime

    Sammy Thuo, Director, Saracen Media on differentiating African mobile brands

     

telecoms

  • The raging price war among Kenya’s mobile operators is far from over. Just a day after Safaricom lowered its rates in a one-month promotion, Telkom Kenya has followed suit by introducing a daily flat rate of Sh5 that will see its subscribers make unlimited calls and send Short Message Service (SMS) within its network to increase voice traffic.

    This is a three-month offer that will allow Orange subscribers make unlimited calls and SMSs after paying the Sh5 daily subscription fee as opposed to the current Sh2 for on-net calls and Sh1 for SMS. Users will also enjoy free 10 short messages daily to rival networks.

    Mickael Ghossein, the company’s chief executive, said the firm is targeting new subscribers with the offer. “The promotional tariff targets entry level subscribers as well as mobile customers keen on quality and affordable voice services,” said Ghossein.

    The offer comes as industry regulator statistics show that Orange market share by voice has remained constant at 0.8% between September and January. In the Safaricom offer, subscribers will now pay Sh4 for calls below 60 sec, Sh3 for calls between one and two minutes, Sh2 for calls lasting between two and three minutes and Sh1 for calls running for more than three minutes.

    Communications Commission of Kenya report indicates that in the first three months of the year Orange subscribers made calls amounting to  19 million minutes within its network against 35 million minutes to rival networks. It also comes a day after Safaricom, which commands 77.3% of the voice marketshare, lowered its tariff for calls taking more than a minute within network. Airtel and yu have 13.2 and 8.7% market share respectively.

  • The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has been given two months to crack the whip on telecom companies sending unsolicited messages to their customers. The ultimatum was issued by MPs on the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) committee during a meeting with UCC last week.

    MPs Odonga Otto, Mariam Nalubega, Vicent Bagire and committee chairperson Paula Turyahikayo noted that sending unsolicited messages tantamount to "invasion of privacy."

    "Telecom companies need to be regulated. Even at midnight they send messages about winning Boda Bodas or joining some kind of lottery. This is an invasion of privacy which can lead to law suits," Otto said.

    Atiku Bernard (Ayivu) said networks of different service providers normally drop calls or suffer interruptions in the network, but don't fail to deliver unsolicited messages. The MPs want UCC to revoke licenses of repeat offenders saying the messages are used to defraud unsuspecting innocent customers.

    According to the Executive Director of UCC, Godfrey Mutabazi, UCC is in the process of drafting new terms for service providers in an attempt to improve telecom services in the country. "We are equally concerned about this issue. We shall be meeting stakeholders next week and later on the public about changes into regulating telecom companies," Mutabazi said.

    Mutabazi said UCC has imported quality of service and monitoring equipment to help monitor and enforce quality benchmarks like number of blocked and dropped calls.

    As a member of the International Telecom Union, UCC has a set of minimum acceptable standards that telecom service providers adhere to. Mobile phone users have repeatedly complained about these messages by service providers in form of news alerts, lotteries or sales promotions. These messages sometimes lead to unexplained deductions of credit from mobile phone users. UCC is mandated to effectively regulate the communications sector in order to facilitate growth of communications services for sustainable development.

  • Peter Gatkuoth Gey, state minister of Communications listen attentively when Amare Teferi (PhD), marketing manager of Tecno Mobile explains how the company employees assemble the mobile apparatus at the inauguration of the company last week. Tecno Telecom Ltd is eyeing its fourth stage of expansion, which could enable it to export to African markets from Ethiopia.

    Tecno entered the Ethiopian market in 2011 as part of its Africa strategy, which started in 2007. It began with assembling mobile devices in its factory located near Dreamliner Hotel along Gabon Street, with a monthly capacity of 60,000 units, employing 85 local and seven expatriate staff.

    A year later, the company abandoned its factory at Gabon Street and relocated to Gofa, a second phase expansion, which saw its capacity grow to 200,000 units of mobile devices a month.

    Tecno also assembles parts and accessories and is working to add local content to its devices. The new factory has four assembly lines, but only two were operational when the factory was officially inaugurated on July 17, 2012.

    The other two lines will begin assembling soon, according to Levi Girma, a minority shareholder in Tecno's local venture and vice president of the Information & Communication Technology Association.

    Tecno, which now employs 300 local and 15 expatriate staff, is planning further expansion projects, which could boost its assembly expansion to 400,000 units a month and the number of employees to 600. That is when it expects to start export to other African countries, according to Levi.

    Tecno is one of three, out of 23 licensed, that have actually commenced assembly. Four other companies are said to be in various stages of development, according to information from the Ethiopian Investment Agency (EIA).

    Smadl, another Chinese company based in Shenzhen, which began operations in Ethiopia in July 2011, with its factory around Gerji, has a assembly capacity of 3,000 devices daily, using two production lines. Currently, it assembles 11 models and employs around 100 local employees.

    On the other hand, Tana Communication Plc is a locally-owned assembler, which began assembling at the same time as Smadl with its factory in Bahir Dar,the regional capital of Amhara Regnal state With its three assembly lines, it has the capacity to assemble 4,500 to 5,000 devices daily. The company produces two mobile phone models and a fixed wireless apparatus.

    Tana targets lower-class families with its S309 and S319 models, which support FM radio and Amharic language text and sell for 400 Br.

    Tecno launched the Carlcare Service Centre for maintenance of its models, with a branch in Piazza and more to follow in Mercato, as well as other regional towns, such as Bahir Dar, Gondar, Jimma, Hawassa, Dire Dawa, Adama, and Dessie, before the end of 2012. There will also be collection centres where the mobiles will be taken to service centres.

    Its competitor, Smadl, also has service centres in Addis Abeba, Jimma, Adama, and Bahir Dar. In addition to trying to enhance production capacity and open service centres, the assembling companies are trying to outwit each other by introducing new software. While Smadl has antitheft software that will inform the owner in case a device is stolen, Tecno, together with Afmobi, is developing software to enable instant messaging without being a smartphone.

    Palmchat, as the software is dubbed, will be included in Tecno model phones and will enable online chatting and free text messaging, instantly, through the Internet. A distinguishing feature of the Palmchat is that it enables direct connection with friends in close vicinity who are also using Palmchat, according to Arif Chowdry, director of the Operator Department at Tecno.

    The competition between the assembly companies is based on finding a market competitive edge. Since technology is already out on the market from big brands like Nokia and Samsung, localisation and price competitiveness is the trend, according to Yalemzewed Negash, an expert in communication engineering.

    While both Tecno and Smadl have devices that can operate in Amharic, Oromiffa, and Tigrigna languages, Tana is opting to compete pricewise, by offering its models for 400 Br, with FM radio and Amharic texting included in the package.

    The Tecno Mobile App Challenge, a competition for application developers hosted by Afmobi, opened for registration on July 12, 2012. Tecno has set aside a 300,000 Br prize for the winners to be announced in September.

    There will be six winners in total, one for the platinum prize of 50,000 Br, two for the golden prize of 25,000 Br, and three for the silver prize of 15,000 Br. If the winners turn out to be from universities, the institutions will get the same rewards as the winning developers.

  • Umeme recently launched bill payments by Mobile Money together with real-time bank reconciliations, meaning that customers will be able to avoid disconnections caused by delayed payment reconciliations.

    The instant payment solution launched under the banner 'Touchpay Solutions', was unveiled by the ICT Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, in Kampala recently. The mobile money payments will be made through both MTN Uganda and Airtel Uganda, as well as nine partner banks. They include Bank of Africa, Barclays Bank, Centenary Bank, Citibank, Crane Bank, DFCU Bank, Post Bank, Stanbic Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

    Rugunda said "Touchpay Solutions" was a result of a partnership that would improve service delivery to a wide range of customers. "I am extremely pleased that a utility company that is at the core of our economic development has reached out to other companies driving our economy to find common ground for the common good.," Rugunda said. "Think for a moment about customers in Rakai who had to travel to Masaka to pay their bills.

    Umeme Managing Director Charles Chapman said 'Touchpay Solutions' was designed specifically to ease the customer experience with the company, and would encourage more customers to connect to the national grid.

    Chapman said that previously when a client paid in the bank it would take a couple of days before such a payment would be reconciled with Umeme accounts and sometimes this delay would cause disconnection of power a thing he said would not happen with 'Touchpay Solutions'.

    Umeme Chief Financial Officer Selestino Babungi explained that "Touchpay Solutions" would involve payments at banks both over-the-counter and through the ATMs as well as payment by internet and phone banking.

internet

  • UbuntuNet Alliance announces that the research and education community in Zambia joined their global counterparts on Tuesday, 17th July 2012 when a team of Engineers from ZAMREN, ZESCO (the Zambian power utility company), TENET and CEC-Liquid Telecom completed installing a cross-border link between TENET and ZAMREN. With an initial capacity of 1 STM-1 (155Mbps)between the ZAMREN Network Operating Center (NOC) at the University of Zambia in Lusaka and the TENET node in Johannesburg, the link, going via Zimbabwe, forms the first research and education cross-border link in Africa.  The circuit is extended to the UbuntuNet Router in Mtunzini via the SANReN network in South Africa then uses capacity made available by TENET on the SEACOM submarine cable as onward connection to the UbuntuNet Routing Hub in London, which further connects to GÉANT – “at the heart of global research networking.”

    Commenting as soon as the link was completed, Tusu, the CEO of UbuntuNet Alliance said, “This is history in the making - the first, authentic NREN cross-border link in sub-Saharan Africa, if not the whole of Africa!”  Echoing the theme, Bonny Khunga, the CEO of ZAMREN said, “We are very happy to be the first NREN to install a research and education cross-border link in Africa.”

    In 2011, the Netherlands government, through The Netherlands Initiative for Capacity Development in Higher Education (NICHE) programme, approved a four-year project with a total value of € 2,250,000 to undertake a project called the “ICT Capacity Building Support to Strengthen Higher Education and Research in Zambia.” NUFFIC awarded the tender to implement the project to the University of Groningen, which formed a consortium with VU University Amsterdam, Radboud University and UbuntuNet Alliance. Under this project, ZAMREN is supported in terms of ICT infrastructure (including network equipment) and capacity development.
    Zambia Information and Technology Authority (ZICTA), has also provided funding of € 350,000 for the last-mile connectivity of the three public universities to the national backbone run by the ZESCO.  ZESCO has given ZAMREN a lambda light path (1Gbps) on its fibre network to facilitate the national research and education network.

    The ZAMREN link between Lusaka and Johannesburg has been made possible through a partnership between the research and education community with CEC-Liquid Telecom, a telecommunications company with optical fibre network in most of the Southern African countries.

    Currently, the University of Zambia and the Copperbelt University are connected to the ZAMREN NOC. Mulungushi University will be connected in due course as will other research and education institutions.

    Khunga said that the capacity of the link between Lusaka and Johannesburg will be upgraded according to demand.

    ZAMREN is the 4th NREN to connect to UbuntuNet Alliance infrastructure after TENET, KENET (Kenya) and TERNET (Tanzania). This now means that researchers, lecturers and students in Zambia will be able to participate fully in global research and education networking activities. With the ongoing implementation of the AfricaConnect project more cross-border links will follow.

  • Africa will now have its own Internet domain name; dot Africa, in the next 18 months.
    This is after the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) completes its evaluation for over 500 applications from various Registry Operators across Africa who have shown interest to run and manage the domain name.

    ICANN, which is the global company responsible for allocating Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and managing the systems, will give its final decision in the first quarter of 2013.

    Kenya Internet Governance Steering Committee chair at the Ministry of Information Alice Munyua said the name will help market African investors to the outside world through the Internet.

    "Dot Africa is a top level domain name, similar to what we have here in Kenya, dot ke; like the way we use gmail.com, yahoo.co.uk and so on. So this is going to be a very new top level domain name that identifies Africa as a whole region," said Munyua.

    The successful applicant is required to release details on how individuals and organisations from various parts of the continent can go about registering with the name.

    Legal and Policy Manager at South African based company UniForum, Neil Dundas, sought to defend his firm after the African Union (AU) endorsed it to be selected by ICANN.

    He instead said ICANN has the final word and that whoever wins will be monitored for five years and if proved incapable, the management will be given to another domain Registry company from any company in the continent.

    "We have tried our best to work with the African stakeholders including the African Union Commission, to ensure that South Africa is not seen as a monopoly on this," clarified Dundas.

    He said Kenya is going to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the initiative, due the rapid increase in the use of Internet especially by the business community to sell their products and services online.

  • Airtel has launched its 3.75G mobile internet in Malawi and Madagascar, which offers fastest information transfer. According to a statement released by Airtel, the launching of the 3.75G is an upgrade from the current third generation (3G) data service in the two countries.

    Airtel Malawi managing director Saulos Chilima said that the upgrade to 3.75G would enable the company provide the fastest data speeds in the country. Airtel will offer maximum internet speeds of up to 21 megabits per second (Mbps) from the current maximum of 7.2Mbps and the improved technology will allow users to make video calls, fast download of information and data. Chilima said that this data service being offered from the 3.75G network infrastructure is the widest, largest, the best and most affordable in Malawi.

    Airtel has invested US$5.2 million to upgrade its network infrastructure to 3.75G.
    The company's 3.75 G network upgrade comes just a few months after Airtel Malawi was awarded the best mobile data operator accolade in Southern and East Africa in December 2011 by the African Telecom People .

    Speaking during the launch in Blantyre, Minister of Information and Civic Education, Moses Kunkuyu described the upgrade as a revolution to mobile internet users as they will now access information on their handsets and other mobile devices even faster than before. Kunkuyu said the issues of internet are no longer a luxury, but a necessity.

    "Internet is proving to be focal points of any aspect of development in the world hence the need to make it easily accessible through such latest technologies which improve internet speeds even in Malawi," he said.

  • Tanzania’s state-owned fixed line PTO Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) is looking to strike deals with neighbours such as Mozambique and landlocked Burundi, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia, to sell them internet bandwidth on its National Information Communications Technology Broadband Backbone infrastructure (NICTBB). As part of a strategy designed to maximise the potential of the country’s backbone network, TTCL’s marketing manager Mr Nicodemus Mngutu is quoted by local paper the Business Standard that the carrier sees the sale of internet bandwidth as a vital commodity, adding that TTCL is banking on the resilience of the network (it enjoys a reliability rating of 99.8% compared to the region average of sub-70%) to develop fresh revenue streams.

    In an interview, Mngutu said: ‘Now that the NICTBB has reached all border points of the country, and that we have already illustrated capability by getting the USD6.7 million contract to supply 1.244GB of internet bandwidth to Rwanda for ten years, we are eyeing more markets of the inland countries which can take advantage of our complete network.’ The TTCL man went on to say that landlocked neighbours in particular face an uphill challenge in securing access to low cost international connectivity. ‘This purchase of bulk international capacity on regional and international networks will significantly boost our vision to make bandwidth available to such markets,’ he said.

computing

  • Small to medium enterprises have been urged to utilise new information technology software in order to improve business efficiency. Pastel (South Africa) product manager Alfred Nhira said most companies in the country, especially the smaller businesses, were using antiquated technologies. He was speaking at a recent IT seminar hosted by Omni Africa.

    "Most of the software programmes that most companies are still using are now outdated, inasmuch they are costly to maintain and difficult to use as well as susceptible to being broken into," said.

    "This therefore has a very large bearing on the performance of the company since a lot of time will be wasted on unnecessary procedures." Participants at the seminar praised such outings as they went a long way in curbing unnecessary and avoidable losses due to failure to adapt to a fast moving technological world.

    "This is a great wake-up call for us as businesses, sometimes it is not about that you have doing the job right but accepting that something can do that even better and accepting change even at a higher cost," said one participant. Nearly 150 participants attended the event.

    Omni Africa chief executive officer Munyaradzi Mazhande said the company was likely to hold a similar seminar before the end of the year. Last week's event was the third of its kind by the company having successfully hosted the first one in Bulawayo last year and another one earlier on this year.

  • ON the heels of the global software contest powered by Microsoft Corporation which held in Sydney, Australia a fortnight ago, the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) has flagged off this year's edition of the National Software Competition, in collaboration with the Cross River State Government.

    In addition, ISPON also named immediate past EVC of NCC, Engr. Ernest Ndukwe the "Distinguished Knowledge Ambassador" for the software contest whose grand finale will hold at the National Software Competition and Conference slated for October.

    It would be recalled that last year's contest, which held at the Tinapa Resort in Calabar, was also sponsored by Cross River State Government

    Describing Ndukwe as a knowledge champion in ICT whose leadership of the telecoms regulator, NCC re-awakened the nearly comatose communications profession and industry in Nigeria, ISPON President, Chris Uwaje while flagging off the national software competition told journalists that Nigerian IT professionals and youths have in the past decade recognized the potentials of software as a dynamic tool to change the world with and resolve the many challenging ambiguities associated with life and development.

    Optimistic that the event will actualize potentials of Nigerian software initiative, he recalled that last year's competition unexpectedly threw up Abia State Polytechnic as winners of the national software competition cup, adding "and that is some of the lessons learned from ICT knowledge development process. That is, anything can happen -- all nations have equal chances to emerge winners," he explained.

    Meanwhile, Governor Imoke who was represented at the press conference by his Special Assistant on ICT, Henry Asor noted that national software policy engineering was important in achieving Vision 20-2020 and the mission of re-branding and transforming Nigeria.

    Chairman, Open Media Group, Engr. Ernest Ndukwe, ISPON President, Mr. Chris Uwaje and the Personal Assistant on IT to the governor of Cross River State, Henry Asor jointly present the trophy for this year's National Software Conference and Competition, TINAPA 2012.

    Incubation and development of software, he said, was imperative for enhancing productivity, creating new jobs, enabling more efficient businesses, producing higher quality of goods and services, and leading to greater innovation for the creation of wealth.

    He said that the theme for this year and the apointment of Engr. Ernest Ndukwe as Distinguished Knowledge Ambassador were both significant and timely as it seeks to promote conscious national awareness on the imperatives for developing Nigeria's indigenous intellectual property in the software knowledge space.

    "It is our belief that this knowledge conference and competition adventure will unleash the currently suppressed ideas and creativity of Nigerian software professionals and the entrepreneurial spirit and skills of our teeming youths, as well as create the platform for beneficial networking and business attractions.

    "Cross River State Government is happy to partner with ISPON and other industry players to raising the bar for quality of the conference and ensuring a memorable, beneficial and sustainable experience," he added.

    In his response, Engr. Ndukwe expressed happiness for the honour done him by ISPON, and promised to work with the software group in preparing youth for global challenges.

    His words: " I am excited with this honour. I will work with ISPON to see these youths are encouraged for global challenges. I am very passionate about youth empowerment. What is most important now is capacity building; I haver always hoped that Nigeria can lead other African countries in IT capacity building. It is important to replicate the success of telecommunication in the software arena.

    Speaking further, ISPON president, Chris Uwaje said the Cross River State Government is committed to raising the bar for quality of the conference and ensure a memorable, beneficial and sustainable experience.

    "One of the key factors behind last year's success was the quality and range of individuals and organisations spread across Africa, Asia and the Americas. This enriched the Round table Interactive sessions and breath-taking presentations. The central challenge for 2012 is how to improve on the milestone and success of last year's conference and competition. This is why we have completely re-strategized and revamped the entire branding, speaker, panel of judges, and faculties.

    Theme of the contest and conference, Cloud and the Future of Software Nigeria, Uwaje said, addresses the overriding mission of ISPON national software conference/software competition for tertiary institutions geared towards promoting conscious national awareness on the imperatives for developing Nigeria's indigenous intellectual property in the software knowledge space.

    It also aims to harness our collective IT potentials, resources, capacity and capability as a national priority for global competitiveness, he added. "We want to assure all the participants of an inspirational experience. This, amongst other things is what informed the selection of the current theme which is designed to explore some of the most critical challenges of the software profession and industry namely: software in the cloud and what Nigeria must do to survive," he said.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

  • United Nations officials in Nairobi have denied that a Sh800m contract for Internet services in Gigiri is being improperly awarded.

    UN Information Director Nasser Ega-Musa has now advised, "A contract has yet to be awarded and... at all stages this procurement action will have complied with UN Regulations and Rules and as a result the successful vendor will have submitted a timely bid that was subsequently subjected to a rigorous and comparative technical and financial evaluation."

    Seven bids were recorded at the opening bid on February 2 by the UN Procurement office with five bidders in attendance. Access was not among them. "On 6 February, 2012 it was discovered that two additional bids had arrived at the UNON Security Gate prior to the bid closing time, but the individuals delivering them were not allowed in by the UNON Security Officers. The bids were subsequently presented at the Security Gate and forwarded to Procurement Services on 3 February, 2012," he explained.

    Ega-Musa said the additional two bids were forwarded for evaluation which was completed on June 15. Seven companies tendered and were present when the bids were opened on February 2. They were KDN ( Altech), Frontier Optical Networks (FON), Emerging Markets Communication (EMC), Jamii Telecom, MTN Business, Safaricom and Telkom Kenya (Orange).

    Access Kenya Group Communication Manager Kevin Keya has insisted that they submitted their bid properly on February 2, 2012. "Access Kenya Group tendered properly for the fiber internet link within the specified period and we are waiting for the communication from UN like the rest of the companies. What our team did not do is to go for the opening of the tender bids on February 2. However, they were submitted as per instructions. So far we have no official communication from UN that we have won the tender," stated Keya.

    However their rivals are still unhappy about the participation of Access. "The tender details specified that bids had to be submitted to the Procurement Office by 2pm on February 2. The bids were then opened at 3pm. Seven companies managed to submit their bids in time. The fact is that Access was not compliant," said an official of one company. "The tender documents clearly state that 'delivery of tenders to any other UNON office other than stipulated will not constitute delivery'. Access should either be disqualified or the tender should be cancelled and re-advertised," said the official.

  • South Africa-based Vodacom Group has reported consolidated revenues of ZAR17.02 billion (USD2.08 billion) for the three months ended 30 June 2012, up 9.3% on the corresponding year-earlier period. The carrier’s domestic unit, Vodacom South Africa, accounted for ZAR14.01 billion of total sales (up 3.5% year-on-year), with international operations generating a further ZAR3.10 billion (up 46.2% y-o-y). In operational terms, Vodacom South Africa remains the firm’s largest unit by subscribers, with 37.661 million customers reported at the end of June, of which figure 30.970 million are classified as ‘active’. Of the latter figure, 25.284 million are pre-paid users. Elsewhere, Vodacom units in Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Lesotho all increased their active subscriber bases in the three months ended 30 June. Tanzania grew its user base 18.4% to 10.27 million users, whilst Mozambique weighed in with 2.70 million customers (up 31.5%) and Democratic Republic of Congo contributed 6.24 million subscribers (up 47.0%). Finally, Lesotho grew its mobile base to 966,000, an annual rise of 37.6%.

    Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys commented: ‘Overall this was a good quarter with a particularly strong performance from our international operations supporting group service revenue growth of 8.7%. The connectivity revolution is well underway with close to 16 million customers actively using data, up 43% from the prior year. In South Africa, one of our key advantages is the size and reach of our network. Given the increasingly competitive environment, quality and capacity both set Vodacom apart and give us the means to compete with targeted value promotions. As an example ‘Vodacom4Less’, ‘NightShift’ and more recently ‘Power Hour’ tap into excess capacity on our network during slack periods and translates this into very competitive prices for our customers. Other customer groups are driven by entirely different things such as compelling data promotions and have benefitted from the reduction in the average effective price per megabyte of 26%’.

  • Nedbank, the financial services partner in Vodacom’s M-Pesa mobile payments initiative, says it is “disappointed” that the service hasn’t taken off as fast as it had hoped for but it remains committed to the venture and will introduce new products and streamlined services soon in an effort to grow the active user base.

    Nedbank chief information officer Fred Swanepoel says there are about 1m M-Pesa users in SA, but he says the active user base is “disappointing”.

    Vodacom has enjoyed far faster growth in M-Pesa in Tanzania. By the end of June, Vodacom in Tanzania had 3,6m M-Pesa customers, an increase of more than 120% over a year ago. M-Pesa contributes more than 70% of Vodacom Tanzania’s total data revenue and 12,3% of service revenue.

    In Kenya, where M-Pesa was pioneered by Vodacom sister company Safaricom, the service continues to enjoy strong growth in a market where banking institutions are not well developed.

    Despite the relatively poor performance of M-Pesa in SA, Swanepoel says Nedbank “remains committed” to its partnership with Vodacom and hints that there will soon be improvements to the service to help grow demand among consumers.

    Anton de Wet, Nedbank’s managing executive for client engagement, says the bank plans to introduce a prepaid bank card linked to M-Pesa accounts “fairly soon”. It also plans to allow M-Pesa users to withdraw cash at any of its point-of-sale devices in retail stores. They can already use the bank’s ATMs to withdraw cash.

    De Wet says he thinks M-Pesa hasn’t been as successful in SA as it has in other markets because of the country’s “regulatory framework”. But, he says, “you will see announcements fairly soon that make it easier to register for M-Pesa and also to bridge this completely virtual world of pure mobile with a linked prepaid bank card.”

  • Nedbank, the financial services partner in Vodacom’s M-Pesa mobile payments initiative, says it is “disappointed” that the service hasn’t taken off as fast as it had hoped for but it remains committed to the venture and will introduce new products and streamlined services soon in an effort to grow the active user base.

    Nedbank chief information officer Fred Swanepoel says there are about 1m M-Pesa users in SA, but he says the active user base is “disappointing”.

    Vodacom has enjoyed far faster growth in M-Pesa in Tanzania. By the end of June, Vodacom in Tanzania had 3,6m M-Pesa customers, an increase of more than 120% over a year ago. M-Pesa contributes more than 70% of Vodacom Tanzania’s total data revenue and 12,3% of service revenue.

    In Kenya, where M-Pesa was pioneered by Vodacom sister company Safaricom, the service continues to enjoy strong growth in a market where banking institutions are not well developed.

    Despite the relatively poor performance of M-Pesa in SA, Swanepoel says Nedbank “remains committed” to its partnership with Vodacom and hints that there will soon be improvements to the service to help grow demand among consumers.

    Anton de Wet, Nedbank’s managing executive for client engagement, says the bank plans to introduce a prepaid bank card linked to M-Pesa accounts “fairly soon”. It also plans to allow M-Pesa users to withdraw cash at any of its point-of-sale devices in retail stores. They can already use the bank’s ATMs to withdraw cash.

    De Wet says he thinks M-Pesa hasn’t been as successful in SA as it has in other markets because of the country’s “regulatory framework”. But, he says, “you will see announcements fairly soon that make it easier to register for M-Pesa and also to bridge this completely virtual world of pure mobile with a linked prepaid bank card.”

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

  • - Safaricom has launched a new promotion Wakenya Tuongee with discounts of up to 75% on their calling rates.The customers pay Kshs. 4 for the first minute of their call, Kshs.3 for calls between 1 and 2 minutes and Kshs. 2 for the calls that last between 2 and 3 minutes. Calls that last for more than 3 minutes will be charged at Ksh. 1.It runs from the 24th of July to 23rd of August 23 2012 and will only apply to Pre-Paid customers making Safaricom-to-Safaricom calls from 6am to 6pm. Customers will be required to subscribe to the it by dialing *777# to enjoy the promotion which will be charged on a per second billing basis.

    - Airtel, launched the 'Super 10' product and the 'Smile with Airtel Volume2' on Monday July 23. The double launching which attracted over 200 Airtel retailers also had winners of past promotions conducted by the telco in attendance. The product was named Super 10 because of its added value. With this product, subscribers can now buy just 10 units credit for just Le 400 and out of that one can make two Airtel to Airtel calls and send one SMS and also for any 10 units bought under the super 10, you'll receive 20 units.The product is a permanent offer. Despite all the goodies of the new product, subscribers will be able to do the 'Me2U' top up system under the new product.  The subscribers will automatically be enrolled for the promotion with only 400 units in a week.

    - Vodacom's M-pesa has launched a new offer that enables its users to receive 1,000/- bonus airtime every time they purchase Luku through the e-money service. Vodacom Tanzania said that the new airtime bonus on purchase of Luku would be available for use for two days, including the day of the recharge, and will be used for on-net calling and national SMS services. The offer aims at enticing customers to use the service, which he described as fast and secure, in not only sending and receiving money but also paying utility bills.

    - According to The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) at the end of June 2012, Rwanda has 4,759,130 wireless subscribers, up from 4,453,711 three months previously. The regulator had previously projected that the number will increase to more than six million by the end of the year, although at the current growth rate this appears unlikely. The country’s newest operator, Airtel, added 55,000 customers in May and a further 55,000 in June, outstripping its rivals MTN (46,000 net additions in June) and Tigo (38,800 net additions in June).

    - Telecoms Networks Malawi (TNM) Limited has announced that it will be increasing base tariff by an average of 19.5% from August 1, 2012.

Digital Content

  • ELECTRONIC tax registers will soon be connected to a central server at Kenya Revenue Authority headquarters to help in real time monitoring of transactions for fraud detection.

    KRA commissioner general John Njiraini said on Friday that the authority is in the process of setting up a system that will remotely transmit ETR data to a central device, a move which will also reduce the need for a large workforce normally used to conduct inspections at various businesses. "The main problem in management of ETR is monitoring who is using it and when or which machine is connected and which is disconnected," explained Njiraini.

    There have been cases where some retailers opt not to use the registers sometimes; only connecting the machines when an inspection by the authorities is imminent. "The usage of ETR machines has not been as good as we would want," added Njiraini. KRA in 2006, directed that all those supplying taxable goods or services should install ETR machines at their business premises to record sales and store tax information at the time of sale.

    The move was made to improve collection of value added tax under the domestic taxes department. When the issue was first introduced in the 2004 budget speech, KRA clashed with traders on the mandatory requirement to install ETRs with the business community engaging it in a series of legal battles and demonstrations opposing the use of the machines.

    KRA which is faced with the task of collecting higher revenues for the devolved government system, plans to launch its new corporate plan on Friday which will among other things establish the tax gap in the country. Tax gap is the difference between taxes owed and taxes paid. With a central monitoring system, Njiraini said, traders whose ETR machines show abnormal shift in transactions or long periods of non usage will have to explain their activities and may be liable for penalties.

    The use of ETR among other measures have strengthened the domestic tax revenues which are always the highest compared to other tax departments every year. Data released by the tax authority on Friday for the last financial year 2011/2012 show that domestic taxes collected stood at Sh464.9 billion accounting for over 50 per cent of all the taxes collected over the period which was a total of Sh707.4 billion. Indirect domestic taxes which include VAT however dropped by 3.7 per cent over the previous year's collection to stand at Sh130.8 billion.

  • Cameroon plans to send daily emails and text messages to electricity customers asking if they have experienced power cuts, in a bid to get a handle on its crippling blackouts, officials said Wednesday. (AFP Photo/Roslan Rahman)

    Cameroon plans to send daily emails and text messages to electricity customers asking if they have experienced power cuts, in a bid to get a handle on its crippling blackouts, officials said Wednesday.

    Customers in Douala, the economic capital, who sign up for the new programme will receive an email or SMS every day asking: “Did you experience power cuts yesterday, and if so, how many and for how long?”

    The programme, due to launch in October, will be “a kind of permanent survey”, its backers said. The project — known as Feowl, for “fuel owl” — is being funded by journalism watchdog group the International Press Institute.

    “In economic terms, it will be a godsend for companies, which will be able to precisely analyse the risk of power cuts before deciding what neighbourhood to set up in,” said one of the project’s organisers, Nicolas Kayser-Bril.

    “For journalists and civil society, it will bring a new element to the debate” on the southern city’s frequent power cuts, Kayser-Bril said.

    Despite its huge potential to produce hydroelectric energy, Cameroon has a massive power deficit that causes frequent blackouts, undermining the economy.

    Workers broke ground last month on a 201-megawatt Chinese-backed hydroelectric dam expected to become operational by 2017. –AFP

  • EVERYBODY is wondering what is happening in the Nigerian internet market. Surprising, more than 40 million Nigerians are on the internet and most of them use mobile applications. A lot of these people also shop online. They understand that online is convenient as it offers freedom to make sound decisions and options for window shopping.

    It also offers them wide contacts and the chances of being cheated is limited as compared to the ordinary market.

    With these wide opportunities, several online shops owners want to reap from the internet benefits. And one of the online revolutions likely to upset things is the auto markets in Nigeria. This is what the American born Nigerian, Mrs Oluwatomi Hodonu, 30, general manager of Cheki.com.ng and her marketing manager, Stanley Ezeani, told Vanguard in their office at Lekki, Lagos.

    Oluwatomi returned in January 2011 to Nigeria from the United States where she was born. She has insurance background but is now into online auto market. Shwe said: "Cheki is basically an online company where we do buying and selling of cars. So as consumers, you can go on line and look for cars that you want without having a middleman. You can check the cars, research on the cars you need and it can be sold to you.

    So we actually want to be a marketplace for cars where if you want to sell a car or you want to buy a car, you go to Cheki website. If you want to buy electronics, where would you go? Which market would you go. You would say Alaba. But in the next couple of years, when people say I want to buy a car, what they will say is check Cheki, go online.

    The company began about a a year ago in Nigeria. It has over 40 staff capacity. It has firm roots in Kenya where it is East Africa's top online auto car dealer. Oluwatomi studied communications, legal practice, economics and government in the university. She was also in a marketing company. When she got married, her husband asked her to return to Nigeria. She said: "He wanted me to come home.

    So I came to Nigeria. Before I moved to Nigeria, I had the opportunity to come and be the head of the marketing team in Nigeria." In the US, Oluwatomi interacted with Nigerians and through them got to know much about the country. In US, there was nothing that I didn't know about Nigeria because my parents and I went to the Redeemed church.

    So there are Nigerians everywhere. I went to college there and we had African Students Association. In America, those associations were mostly Nigerians. So, we also had Nigerian students associations, a place we joined together, talked together. So most of my closest friends are still Nigerians."

    So, how do they buy cars in US? "Abroad," Oluwatomi said: "If I want to buy a car, I go to auto checker. Auto checker is something like Cheki. Everybody abroad knows auto checker because before I go to the dealership, even if I want to go checking the car, I still will go to auto checker to get the average price because I am a female, which Cheki does for females.

    Also, I go to auto checker to check the location the car is. So, if I want to go the dealership, I went online. How much the automatic costs. How much the manual costs. And so there is nothing like because I am a female, they will cheat me. So because of the online experience I have, because I have already done all my home works online, I call the dealers. Even as I am a female, they will still treat me the same way.

    This is what we want to do in Nigeria also. So if you want to buy a car, you don't have to go call a friend or call somebody that you want to buy a car, can you send it down to me? If you check on Cheki, we already have prices if you are ready to import. These are people who are selling cars abroad. You can also contact us."

    At the mention of cars, Ezeani explained how the website works. "They are like classified advertisement. They send pictures of the cars down and we help them sell these cars through Cheki. It doesn't really matter where you are. What matters is that you get what you want.

    Some people call from abroad. They want to buy. They say they check online and pay for the car. Cheki is more like the palm for auto market in Nigeria where everybody can sell or buy cars. All you have to do is come in and upload your car. We charge to upload cars. And it is subject to the car you want to upload. The more the cars the lesser the price."

    Online sales, he added, reduces the stress of traffic, the middleman who adds extra to the cost of cars. "Online, you have dealers who sell the cars. You are sure of what you buy. You are sure these cars are secured. You see cars depending on the kind of cars you are looking for. You see a place you can search for a kind of cars you are looking for."

    Oluwatomi opened the site, began to browse and Ezeani continued: "When we were setting up the portal, we took cognizance of the challenge of the Nigerian website. With that, we built a structure that can allow easy upload, even the pictures. We have over 10, 000 to 15, 000 car inventories.

    The website can open, not just from your laptop, it can open on the mobile version as well. You can actually search from your phone. The speed is convenient enough compared to other normal websites in Nigeria with such normal pictures."

    "You can search for whatever car you are looking for. Let's say you want to buy a corolla. You go to Toyota. The search process is made easy. For example, you are searching 2010 brown Toyota corolla. You connect your search to what you want. You have options.

    You can put in your budget also. So, if I am looking for something not more than N3m....You see, the website is fast...you see the classification. Whether it is new or tokunbo, Nigerian used. If you click on the car, it will tell you where the car is locate," Tomi took over.

    "In Nigeria, most people park their cars somewhere and say 'Buy Me'. But the only person that will see that car is the person passing that way. But we have avenue for you to check it up. You don't have to go Berger. I don't know where Berger is," she added.

    Dealers may their own websites Ezeani said, adding, "What Cheki does is to bring potential buyers and sellers together and make sure there is no problem between them. We make sure there is physical verification of the cars. The cars are in existence.

    Before transaction takes place, both of them must meet each other to some point. At the point of physical verification, you see the car.

    You know who is buying the car. And before cars are uploaded on Cheki, we make sure that we see these cars. So we also go out to check these cars. We have over 700 dealers in Nigeria. We have one on one relationship with them."

  • Dar es Salaam — The much awaited Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) that is aimed at ensuring and monitoring the movements and safety of cargo started operations on July 1 this year after a three months trial.

    Speaking exclusively to East African Business Week in Dar es Salaam last week the Acting Director-Taxpayers Service Mr. Allan Kiula said that ECTS, a system which is being overseen by Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has been on trial in order to prove its capability and safety of consignments in Tanzania.

    He said the ECTS was introduced after many complaints about the delays and check-points experiences being undergone by traders in delaying their transit consignments in the country.

    "We have had specific time of traders carrying these consignments to reach these check points, failing which a fine was imposed on such traders considering also that there were delays in documents clearance in these checkpoints which were delaying both the traders time and affecting their businesses," Mr. Kiula said.

    He said with the effective and smooth operation of ECTS from July 1 this year, will mean that consignments will be delivered on time while the security of such consignments will also be improved.

    Mr. Kiula noted however when asked about the high taxes some industries in Tanzania are complaining off as one of the reasons making Tanzania unfriendly to business in the region, said claims were due to a wrong perception being planted in the minds of some business men and investors which needs to be reversed.

    He said the government of Tanzania was trying the best to make sure that it creates an environment that will be conducive to business people especially investors coming in to invest in the country by making reduction of VAT from the previous 20% to the current 18% which is what other EA member states charge with an exception of Kenya which has a 16% VAT.

More

  • - Samsung Electronics SA has appointed Matthew Thackrah to the newly created position of deputy MD, just weeks after the sudden resignation of MD Deon Liebenberg, who left the Korean consumer electronics giant to take the reins at Telkom Business Mobile.

    - Ghana’s President Mahama has extensive experience in communications. He’s been involved in the deregulation of Ghana’s telecoms sector and has been an advocate of e-government and competition among Internet operators.

    -Executive reshuffle to clear hurdle of Telecom’s takeover of Leo

    Government-owned incumbent PSTN operator Telecom Namibia’s managing director Frans Ndoroma has resigned as CEO of state holding company Namibia Post and Telecommunication Holdings Limited (NPTH), in order to satisfy one of the conditions of Telecom’s proposed takeover of cellco PowerCom (Leo) stipulated by the Namibia Competition Commission (NaCC). Patience Kangueehi–Kanalelo has also resigned as NPTH company secretary to satisfy the NaCC’s conditions. Ndoroma will remain as MD of Telecom Namibia; Christa Muller assumes the role of acting CEO of NPTH.

    Final approval for the merger is still awaited from the independent telecoms watchdog, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN), which, as reported by The Namibian newspaper, took a board decision on 7 June stating that the transfer of Leo to Telecom Namibia is subject to a legislative amendment to the Post and Telecommunications Companies Establishment Act of 1992, which makes way for a partial privatisation of Telecom via which not less than 25% of shares must be sold. The CRAN has, in principle, conditionally approved the transfer of Leo’s telecoms service licence, electronic communications network/services and spectrum usage licences to Telecom as the sole shareholder; Telecom must submit a formal application for the transfer of licences before the transaction is officially considered, while it may file a petition against the condition regarding its partial privatisation within 90 days of its issuance. If its takeover of Leo is not approved, Telecom will look to set up its own GSM/W-CDMA-based mobile operator, separate from its struggling CDMA-based wireless division, the company has stated. However, it has also pointed out that disallowing the merger would make it difficult for Telecom and fellow market struggler Leo to each find the capital to invest sufficiently in order to compete effectively in the small Namibian market with the runaway leader, MTC. Telecom claims therefore that the merger is pro-competition rather than anti-competitive.

  • Managed Services World Congress 2012
    18 – 19 September 2012, Maritim Pro Arte Hotel, Berlin, Germany
    With Managed Service business models evolving in new and exciting directions, it’s time to reassess the market and your place in it. Managed Services World Congress – the biggest global MS event – is the perfect place to bring leading players together and address these issues. With a 50% operator audience, and 65% CXO / Director level attendance, there is no better opportunity to meet new and existing clients. It’s a must-attend event for anyone looking to maximise the value of their technology, their networks and their brand in today’s evolving MS world. FREE PASSES FOR OPERATORS. For more information visit here:

    Broadband World Forum

    16 – 18 October 2012, Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    The event, now in its 12th year, is the most respected in the regions Telecoms calendar and the comprehensive agenda includes breakfast briefings, 3 co-located summits,  keynote plenary sessions and a choice of 4 tracks for delegates each day as well as the world class exhibition area. For more information please click here:

Issue no 614 20th July 2012

node ref id: 25452

Top story

  • Mobile number portability schemes in Africa have not yet been a real success. There are a variety of reasons, including multiple phone ownership. But Ghana’s NCA has been running a scheme for a year now and has done a review of how well it has worked. Russell Southwood looks at the winners and losers.

    The National Communications Authority (NCA) introduced Mobile Number Portability (MNP) on 7 July 2011. It allows Ghanaian mobile customers to move from one mobile service provider to another whilst retaining their entire mobile number. This kind of ability to move from one operator to another is essential to getting more competition, particularly in markets where one operator is dominant.

    What usually makes MNP schemes fail is the time taken to port the number to the new operator. At the inception of MNP, customers were promised a maximum porting time of 24 hours. Very quickly, the average time to complete a porting request reduced to 5 hours, 21 minutes in the first month of MNP operation, and subsequently to 2 hours, 37 minutes by April, 2012.

    By June 2012, average porting time had dropped to 1 hour, 24 minutes. The most recent data available to us today shows typical porting times between 2 to 22 minutes, with average in the range of 7 to 8 minutes. This means that a request can often be submitted and the entire process completed while the customer is at his new network’s premises.

    Mobile customers who wish to change networks without changing their number need only bring their mobile phone (with SIM) and an ID to a shop or agent of the network they wish to join. It is important, however, for the customer to understand that they will be leaving their current network. Any remaining credit in that account will be lost, and their old SIM will stop working. Customers are also reminded to copy any contact numbers they have stored on their old SIM, though it is usually possible to do this even after porting was completed and the SIM deactivated.
    NCA has received complaints about agents in the field, acting on behalf of various mobile networks, misinforming or deceiving customers regarding the porting process.

    One of the biggest problems has been phone agents trying to mislead customers. For example, they have tried to tell customers that they can have the same number on both networks or that the networks have merged. Worse, agents have been charging switching customers for a new SIM when that is not needed. It does not say much either for agents’s honesty or for their ability to help customers with technical issues.

    Regulator NCA, which is responsible for the scheme, has set up a complaints procedure for those who are unable to get their number ported. Web site:  Email: complaints@nca.org.gh Phone: 030 701 1419 Facebook: MNP Ghana (group page)

    In the first year of MNP operation, 370,107 mobile numbers have been successfully ported by customers in Ghana. This represents 1.6% of the total active mobile numbers in Ghana. The success rate of porting requests in the first year was 75%.

    Whilst all operators gained and lost subscribers, the biggest net loser was MTN which lost 125,361 subscribers, 1.13% of its overall base. The biggest net gains were recorded by Tigo (68,230 net new subscribers) and Vodafone (43,492 net new subscribers).

    African mobile subscribers have proved extremely reluctant to move from their existing provider, particularly the dominant provider. Even in those countries where Quality of Service surveys show the dominant provider has below average service quality, consumers rarely act on this information. Until now, the main reason has been the fear of losing the number that most people contact you on. With MNP that barrier has now been removed.

    However, like all major changes, it will require a major consumer awareness programme on radio and television before consumers take advantage of this new route to getting best service.

     

    To follow the exchanges about this news, you need to be on Twitter. Follow us on @BalancingActAfr

    A bumper crop of video clips this week on Balancing Act’s You Tube channel:

    Tayo Oviosu, CEO, Paga on the mobile money market in Nigeria

    Nigerian ICT blogger Loy Okezi
    e on Nigeria's online successes

    Victor Dibia, CEO, Denvycom.com
    on his games portfolio and plans to monetize

    Oluseye Soyode-Johnson, consultant to Maliyo Games
    on the business model

    A special for Balancing Act readers:

    Sean Krepp, Uganda Country Director, Apps Lab on raising farmers income using community knowledge workers with smartphones

    Kobus Roux, CSIR Meraka Institute on getting rural schools connected using local micro-entrepreneurs and Wi-Fi mesh technology

    Two experts discuss the challenges of mobile operators as brands:

    Laine Barnard, Founder, 8Brand - Mobile outlets as "giant waiting rooms" for selling airtime

    Sammy Thuo, Director, Saracen Media on differentiating African mobile brands

More

  • Managed Services World Congress 2012
    18 – 19 September 2012, Maritim Pro Arte Hotel, Berlin, Germany
    With Managed Service business models evolving in new and exciting directions, it’s time to reassess the market and your place in it. Managed Services World Congress – the biggest global MS event – is the perfect place to bring leading players together and address these issues. With a 50% operator audience, and 65% CXO / Director level attendance, there is no better opportunity to meet new and existing clients. It’s a must-attend event for anyone looking to maximise the value of their technology, their networks and their brand in today’s evolving MS world. FREE PASSES FOR OPERATORS. For more information visit here:

    Broadband World Forum

    16 – 18 October 2012, Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    The event, now in its 12th year, is the most respected in the regions Telecoms calendar and the comprehensive agenda includes breakfast briefings, 3 co-located summits,  keynote plenary sessions and a choice of 4 tracks for delegates each day as well as the world class exhibition area. For more information please click here:

  • Google Apps Developer Challenge

    You can participate in the Google Apps Developer Challenge by developing new applications built using the Google Apps and Google Drive APIs. The sections below provide information about the types of applications you may enter, as well as the contest information and dates. Developers may submit their apps to one of three specially-designated competition categories beginning June 5th at 12 AM GMT. An application may only be submitted to a single category.
    Competition Regions:

        Sub-Saharan Africa
        Middle East and North Africa
        India
        South East Asia
        Latin America
        United States, Europe and rest of world

    Entry Categories:

        Enterprise / Small Business Solutions
        Social / Personal Productivity / Games / Fun
        Education / Not for Profit / Water / Food & Hunger / Health

    Criteria

        Effective use of the Google Apps and/or Google Drive APIs
        Originality of concept
        Relevance to region
        Polish and appeal
        Indispensability: Is the application compelling and/or essential?
        Use of other Google platforms and APIs

    Competition Timelines

        June 5th: Competition begins
        July 25th: Submissions window opens
        August 24th: First round submissions due
        September 13th: Semi-Finalists announced
        October 25th: Updated Semi-Final Apps re-submitted
        November 12th: Winners announced

    Judging & Awards

    First Round:
    By August 24th, all apps entering the competition must be submitted for judging. At most 10 apps from each of the 3 categories in all 6 regions (at most 30 apps total per region) will move to the semi-finals. Applications will be evaluated and ranked by a team of Google-selected internal and external judges. On September 13th, the apps moving to the semi-finals in each region will be announced.

    Semi-Finals:

    Those developers whose applications are selected for the semi-finals will have about one month to improve their applications (add features, improve stability, performance, etc). By October 25th, developers in the semi-finals will submit the final versions of their apps for judging via this website.

    At the end of the judging period, all applications in each region and category will be evaluated and ranked by a team of Google-selected judges and announced on November 12th.

    Awards:

    Prizes will be distributed as follows; all prizes are in USD:

    Round One: All teams that make it to the semi-finals in each category in each region will be awarded Chromebooks.
    Round One: In order to encourage participation from women and highlight innovations from women in the developing markets, we are adding an additional prize. If a Semi-Finalist happens to be an individual or a team consisting solely of women, that team will be awarded an additional prize of $1000 USD.
    Round One: Any university team made up entirely of student or staff of a university (identified by the university domain email address) that makes it to the semi-finals will get $1,000 .
    Semi-Finals: 1st prize in each category in each region will receive $20,000. This means that there will be a total of 18 grand prize winners
    Semi-Finals: If any team from a university wins the competition in any of the categories, the department to which the members of the team belong will win $18,000.

    Results

    Information about the winning developers and Apps will be posted to this website on or around the following dates:
    Semi-Final Round: September 13th
    Winners: November 12th

telecoms

  • As health practitioners, politicians and entrepreneurs from all walks of life gathered in London for the Family Planning Health Summit, the rest of the world commemorated World Population Day on July 11th 2012 with this year’s global theme being “Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services”. The focus of the family planning summit was to invest in family planning in order to reduce maternal deaths and improve womens and girls' health. I hope that the conference created momentum and was able to highlight this need to invest in family planning which will in turn make it a lot easier to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) 4 and 5. Target 5b of the MDG’s is to “Achieve Universal Access to Reproductive Health by 2015".

    In Uganda more than 4 out of every 10 women wish to access modern contraception to plan their family but cannot. They have an unmet need for Family Planning. Family Planning alone would reduce the country’s maternal mortality ratio by 33%. Uganda also has one of the highest teenage pregnancies in Africa. According to the UDHS 2006, one of every four pregnancies occurs in a teenager. By 15 years of age, 24% of girls and 10% of boys are sexually active (debut 16.6 for girls and 18.1 for boys). Yet only 11% of sexually active young people are using contraception. Uganda also continues to have one of the highest birth rates in Africa and one of the fastest growing populations in the world.  This no doubt poses new challenges – more so in areas such as education and health care delivery given the youthful population of  – 70% under the age of 24, 56% under 15 years.

    In partnership with Program for Accessible health Communications and Education (PACE) , Text to Change is using SMS and Interactive Voice Responses(IVR) to reach out to women as well as check with service providers to find out which women are using family planning. The project is being carried out in central, western and Northern parts of Uganda.

    The IVR are pre-recorded in four languages, three of which are local (Luo. Runyankole and Luganda) to cater for a bigger majority of the women who are unable to read or write but who can easily follow the prompts on a phone and listen to instructions on how to access family planning services in a language that they are comfortable with within their community. SMS is usually used to back up the voice and it interactive, informative and incentive based to encourage more people to use their phones to access these services. According to the project beneficiaries, this has been a service that has not only added value to their lives but has also empowered them.

    In 2011, PACE’s ProFarm franchise enabled more than thirty thousand women to receive long term family planning method (Inter Uterine devices and implants). A total of approximately 1488 have been reached by mobile phone through voice and SMS.

  • Zantel Tanzania has set aside $70 million (Tsh 110.74 billion) investment plan to expand its network to the rural areas, a move which is expected to increase competition among the mobile phone operators in the country.

    The progress comes at a time when other mobile phone operators including Vodacom, Airtel and Tigo Tanzania were recently quoted by the local media as saying that they intend to expand to rural areas, seeking for new market to boost their subscriber base.

    Zantel's Chief Executive Officer, Ali Jarsh said that their rural areas investment plan aimed at boosting wireless communication technology, 3G, mobile broadband and internet services networking. "This will see Zantel earn 20% market share in the next two years from the currently 7%," Jarsh said, which his mobile phone company currently have two million subscribers.

    Jarsh said that the two year's investment plan would also enable the mobile phone operator to rope in six million subscribers in Tanzania. "We are expecting the investment would enable Zantel to achieve its target of controlling 20% market share in the next two years, equivalent to the increase of 13%," he said.

    According to him, Zantel has already invested over $150 million (Tsh 237 billion) in the mainland since started operation in the country. "We have charted out strategies, to make sure that we narrow the market gap with other competitors in the mobile phone industry as well as internet services," he explained. Besides network expansion plan, the mobile phone operator which mainly based in Zanzibar said that it has also reduced the tariff to enable its subscribers to enjoy calling each other with affordable rate.

    The mobile phone's chief commercial officer and senior vice president for the Etisalat Group, Ahmed Mokhles said that the offer was designed to offer maximum value over voice, data and SMS and reducing prices of making calls.
    "Apart from free calls and reduced tariffs in SMS, we are now offering free 50MB for internet users in a move that aims at taking the telecom industry to a new level," he said.

  • Econet Wireless and Telecel, two of the country's three mobile phone service providers, last week refuted claims they are overcharging customers. Representatives of the companies appeared separately before the Portfolio Committee on Media, Communication and Information Technology to give evidence on the state of their operations. They said their tariffs compared favourably with those prevailing in the region.

    The companies' representatives also said they were incurring huge costs in acquiring back-up power as a result of the load shedding by Zesa. Econet CEO Douglas Mboweni said running generators was costing them US$15 million annually. On the tariffs, Mr Mboweni said it was a myth that they were overcharging.

    "It is far away from the truth and if you go to South Africa the voice calls are no less than 30 cents unless they are running a promotion of some sort," he said. Mboweni said other service providers in the region also charged rates ranging between 30 cents and 32 cents. He said the power outages were also bringing an added cost.

  • Farmers across the country will through mobile phones access up-to-date market information to help them fetch premium prices. Industry, Trade and Marketing Deputy Permanent Secretary Dr Shaban Mwinjaka said in Dar es Salaam over the weekend that farmers have bight future through improved returns on agricultural activities.

    "The programme will significantly impact on agricultural productivity, increase household incomes and improve the livelihoods of the communities," he said. The project already implemented in Shinyanga Region as a pilot project is funded by SEACOM and Dar es Salaam-based application services provider NURU Infocomm.

    The region has for a long time faced by challenges of land and environmental degradation leading to poor agricultural productivity and poverty. Dr Mwinjaka said, "The mobile technology will increase farmers' bargaining power in both the local and foreign markets in the neighboring countries--Kenya, Uganda and Zambia-that have expressed interests to adopt the programme."

    Apart from linking farmers to potential markets through short messages, the project will also provide information on weather patterns and availability of inputs.

    SEACOM Tanzania Limited Managing Director Anna Kahama-Rupia said her firm will assist in training of farmers participating in the pilot project in Shinyanga region ahead of a wider rollout across the country.

internet

  • Northern Mali, which comprises about two-thirds of the national territory, has been de facto cut off from its central government since first the Tuareg rebels of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (Mouvement National pour la Libération de l'Azawad, MNLA), then the Islamists, drove the army out of their territory, in a military defeat that precipitated the March 22 coup d'état in Bamako.

    Meanwhile, politicians are caught in a power struggle between the junta, led by Captain Amadou Sanogo who is still close to power, the constitution-designated Acting President Dioncounda Traoré, and the Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra who was appointed during the transition.

    Three and a half months after the fall of the north, there has been little progress: the Malian army is unable to get back on its feet and northern citizens are on their own against the Islamists, who are free to impose their version of Sharia or Islamic law. Online the evidence of this is mounting: a couple beaten and forced to marry  [en] for having a child out of wedlock, a citizen flogged for smoking in public, and women forced to wear the niqab.

    The humanitarian situation in the north continues to deteriorate, with a food crisis, gas shortage, cholera epidemic, and a desert locust plague all occurring. Many have no choice but to flee. Already an estimated 200,000 have been made refugees and 120,000 have been internally displaced due to the crisis, though these numbers are suspected to be higher.

    Those who remain are not sitting on the sidelines while the Islamists impose sharia: on the ground, tension is rising. Women were the first to take to the streets. In all the northern cities, the young have taken up the protest. On June 26, a demonstration against the killing of a local government official resulted in several injuries.

    On Facebook, the calls to action grow in number on the page of the Northern Citizens' Collective (COREN, Collectif des Ressortissants du Nord) or on the page Tu es du NORD et Tu es 100% Malien (You are from the NORTH and you are 100% Malian).

    These pages allow the sharing of information, like Mahamane Allimam's story below, especially as the media has limited access to the region (the following Facebook personal posts used with permission):

    I live in Timbuktu. Trips and negotiations will only give AQIM [Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb] time to recruit and torture people. Last week an AQIM car killed the water distribution company's guard. A 72-year-old man was whipped.

    Facebook is where many journalists get their information from, but on Facebook, what prevails are incisive, if not downright aggressive, comments—towards the junta, the government, the rebels, the Tuaregs, the international community, and Sarkozy.

    The latest salvo: the government's announcement of the creation of a special 1200-man brigade to secure national institutions, a move seen as assuring the return of the acting president, who has been recovering in France since he was attacked on May 21.

  • MTN Nigeria has started making use of the West African Cable System (WACS) cable by launching a range of services running on the high-capacity submarine cable. The services are managed by MTN Business and will provide high quality, low latency Internet access to wholesalers such as ISPs, Internet bandwidth resellers and carriers, as well as mobile users across the country.

    MTN Nigeria has started making use of the West African Cable System (WACS) cable by launching a range of services (image: WACS). “MTN has the unique advantage of a pre-existing extensive terrestrial Internet Protocol (IP) and broadband backbone infrastructure, enabling us to deliver high grade and highly available Internet capacity to anywhere and everywhere in Nigeria,” said Babatunde Osho, Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer for MTN.

    Osho added that the making use of the WACS cable will allow Internet users and businesses to boost their current Internet connections, as many businesses require more bandwidth, compared to a couple of years ago.

    According to The Vanguard, “the 17,200 km submarine cable system which MTN was said to have committed over $100m, takes its course from Europe through West Africa to South Africa.

    It has 15 established terminal stations along its route, including Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Republic of Congo and Namibia. Incidentally these are countries where MTN has roots.”

computing

  • Exams in Zimbabwe to be marked electronically for first time ever
    Zimbabwe’s secondary school examinations will be evaluated using the electronic marking technology for the first time ever, even as the country takes strides to completely computerize its education system.

    According to Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec), it plans to adopt e-registration for the examinations come next year. Explaining the new system, the acting director at Zimsec, Esau Nhandara said it will cover two subjects namely Mathematics Paper 1 and Integrated Science Paper 3.

    “The candidate’s responses to the examination are scanned and displayed on the computer screen. Each marker is allocated a question or part of a question to mark. On the same screen, side by side, is displayed the expected answer (marking scheme) showing where the marks should be allocated.

    “The marker’s task is simply to compare the candidate’s response to the mark scheme and award marks accordingly,”Nhandara explained.

    Zimsec project manager, John Maramba added that the e-marking programme is designed in such a way that markers who will err during the process will be automatically barred from progressing any further in the process, until a supervisor authorizes them back into the system.

    “Their supervisors are the only ones who can authorise the marker after satisfying themselves that the marker has mastered the contentious sections of the mark scheme,” he said.

    The information gathered on the system is afterwards submitted on a CD to the Zimsec regional offices where accuracy of the details will be checked -- before forwarding to head office.

    According to Nhandara, the new electronic system has already received a go-ahead from officials in the country, following a pilot test conducted with the assistance of British based Data Research Services (DRS).

  • Two decades on, Dadaab is home to many resourceful refugees who feel unable to return to Somalia Mohammed Bashir Sheik was four when he arrived at Dadaab refugee camp with his mother and sister 18 years ago. The family, along with tens of thousands of others, had fled the civil war in Somalia, looking for refuge over the border in north-east Kenya. His mother died when he was 14 and he grew up in the care of his sister.

    "Survival in the camp was particularly tough after my mother died. The ration of 6kg of maize, 300g of oil and 400g of beans to last each person for 15 days was hardly enough," he recalls.

    So far, Sheik's story chimes with the typical picture of a refugee. But that is where it ends. Meet Sheik aged 22. He has never left Dadaab, the world's largest refugee complex, but that has not stopped him learning how to create and host websites, set up a small business and teach others how to use computers.

    When he is not out interviewing people for a newspaper produced in the camp, he can usually be found in the Hag youth information and communications technology (ICT) laboratory, in a corner of Ifo2 camp, an extension of Hagadera, one of the three camps that make up the sprawling Dadaab complex.

    Two girls clad in buibui (the black shawl Muslim women wear to cover their heads) type on a mobile phone as they engage with friends on Facebook. The scene could be straight from downtown Nairobi, east Africa's ICT hub, except that this camp is 500km from the capital. The nearest town, Garissa, is 120km away - a three-hour journey on off-track roads. Visitors driving to the camp are asked to hire armed security guards for the final leg from Garissa, to ward off possible attacks from the Islamist al-Shabaab insurgency.

    But for now worries are banished as three young boys tap happily on the keyboard while Sheik teaches them how to navigate the computer. The lab is the culmination of his passion for technology. He learned how to use computers through mobile clinics brought to the camps' schools by NGOs.

    Unable to study beyond form four (the final year of secondary school), Sheik found computers offered him access to further education. He learned fluent English by chatting online, and friends he made across the world taught him further computer skills. One friend from Australia taught him basics via Skype. "It's funny that I have not met my friend in person," he says.

    A visiting journalist suggested that Sheik get a dotcom domain to enable him to design websites and earn a living. His clients have included community groups, schools and international organisations.

    "I borrowed $300 from a friend to buy a domain from a US-based company and was soon in business," he says. For web design he earns about $800 per project, while web hosting can bring in up to $300 per month. He receives this in cash, usually through third parties such as community leaders and NGOs. He has also set up a shop in a makeshift canteen in the camp, where he sells groceries and stationery.

    Computers have given Sheik - now a father of four - a means to support himself and his family. Now, he is passing on these 21st-century survival skills to the next generation. "I'm happy today that my life is testimony to how knowledge can transform whole communities not just individuals," he says.

    Sheik set up the internet hub two years ago with friends after a Danish NGO invited youth groups in the camp to submit business proposals, with a $12,000 prize for the best one. "Ours was the winning proposal, and we decided to invest the money in the project to help young people acquire computer skills."

  • As a young child, Nada Lakhal first learned to use a computer so she could email her parents whenever they left town on various trips. Since then, the 16-year-old Tunisian's technological capacities have widened considerably as she has passionately pursued the study of robotics, engineering, computer science, programming and math in school and through clubs.

    But after a three-week stay in the United States with other teenage girls passionate about technology, Lakhal has added to her knowledge of applied technology and made many lasting friendships with both her fellow participants and American students. "I see that I already gained lots of friendships, lots of knowledge, life skills," Lakhal said. "It's an experience, after all, and I'll never forget it."

    Lakhal was one of 25 teenage girls from North Africa and the Middle East brought to the United States to take part in the State Department's three-week TechGirls technological education program. As part of TechGirls, Lakhal and her peers took intensive technology courses at American University in Washington, met with business and government leaders, and experienced American culture through tours of the capital and meetings with American teenagers.

    With a passion for all things technological, Lakhal hopes to choose a profession that requires the use of technology and will give her the chance to create new devices and services. "I really want to continue working in this field. I want to invent things, make new things," she said. She dreams of one day winning the Nobel Prize.

    Aside from advancing the field of technology, Lakhal said, new inventions can also spark great social change. One only needs to look at the role Facebook played in the recent Tunisian revolution to see the power of social media, she said.

    Through TechGirls, Lakhal was introduced to app creation (the development of computer applications), the Java language and other technologies that will broaden the skill base that may someday earn her a Nobel Prize, but she also met many girls her age with whom she has developed lasting friendships.

    "I'm so glad I'm here, and I think it will be a very good experience for all the other girls," she said, reflecting on her experience with participants from North Africa, the Middle East and the United States in the course of the TechGirls program. "All the other girls from the next generation, hopefully, will [come] here and have so much fun."

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

  • MTN's Swaziland subsidiary is seeking SZL850 million (US$100 million) in compensation from the state-owned telco, Swaziland Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC) stemming from a dispute over MTN's monopoly on mobile services.

    SPTC -- which also owns a 41% stake in Swazi MTN -- launched its own mobile service in breach of their joint-venture agreement last year, although it was then forced to shut down the service following legal action by MTN.

    Swazi MTN is now seeking compensation for both the act of breaching the agreement, and the losses that it claims it suffered when customers signed up for SPTC's own wireless service.

    Previously, MTN had said that it did not object to SPTC launching a mobile service, but not while it is a shareholder in Swazi MTN as well. The government has looked at moving SPTC's stake in the local MTN network into a separate holding company to get around that issue.

    However, it has been noted by the Times of Swaziland newspaper that the compensation claim is identical to the value put on SPTC's stake in the joint-venture, suggesting that MTN may use the lawsuit as a way of breaking the joint-venture agreement.

  • StartMe.co.za, a new start-up, claims that South African entrepreneurs who have struggled to secure finance via traditional means such as bank loans can now take advantage of its new funding mechanism.

    The brainchild of South African entrepreneurs Ben Botes and Lourie Nel, StartMe is an Internet-based funding portal which enables small investors to network and pool resources to finance projects, businesses and other ventures.

    Specifically, the new venture says this involves raising capital by receiving small investments from a large cross-section of people in an Internet community, otherwise known as crowdfunding.

    The crowdfunding concept – raising small monetary stakes from a large group of investors, particularly through online communities and social networks – derives from “crowdsourcing”, whereby organisations ask the public, usually via the Internet, to do jobs typically done by their employees. The term was first coined by Jeff Howe who wrote a book on it – Crowdsourcing: Why the power of the crowd is driving the future of business.

    “While South Africa has an abundant supply of finance, accessing it can be cumbersome and challenging, particularly for the budding entrepreneur. Coupled to this, angel investment is still a relatively new concept in South Africa, with few high net worth individuals actively investing in new ventures,” said Botes.

    “The biggest issue facing entrepreneurs today is funding their ideas to fruition. Approaching banks requires that the entrepreneur follows certain eligibility criteria such as credit worthiness, security etc. This can lead to delays in getting the business off the ground and the potential of losing first-mover advantage. With StartMe the entrepreneur can raise money in just a few months to expand their business or start their business from the crowd,” the company lead said.

    “Our platform seeks to secure financing for projects in South Africa in a variety of areas, including music, cinema, visual arts, design, fashion, innovation and technology. The landing of our platform in South Africa is part of our strategy to become a regional player in Africa as Africa presents an amazing talent pool and the growth of social networking and electronic commerce have grown significantly over the last few years within the continent,” Botes concluded.

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

  • - FNB’s Cellphone Banking customers are now able to do banking on Facebook. This first in banking innovation in South Africa, enables the bank’s customers to access certain banking services while on Facebook. To access banking through Facebook, customers need to link their Facebook profiles to their Cellphone Banking profile. Once linked they can access the “FNB Banking on Facebook” application via Facebook which will allow them to check their balances, purchase prepaid products including airtime, SMS and BlackBerry bundles.

    - Former Kampala mayor Al Haji Nasser Ntege Sebaggala has sued telecom giant MTN Uganda Limited, claiming it has infringed on his copyright by using his speeches as ringtones without his authorization.

Digital Content

  • The Kenyan government’s health department, the Ministry of Health (MoH), and the United States Embassy have partnered in a project focused on pulling down the increasing cases of cervical cancer in the country.

    The two have received a contingency plan from a group of IBM workforce aimed at subduing the rising cases of cervical cancer.

    The plan recommends measures including use of district health information software to capture and analyse data on cervical cancer. Other recommendations include establishment of national reporting standards and requirements for health facilities to report cases.

    IBM country general manager for East Africa Anthony Mwai told The Standard that leveraging the existing HIV care and treatment to include cervical cancer screening is a resource-sharing model that will ensure more women can access cervical cancer diagnoses as well as improve their treatment outcomes in the short- or long-term.

    This is primarily what the IBM looks to achieve by using data to create intelligent systems that add value to life.

  • During the Arab Spring, a lot of the footage coming out of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya wasn’t taken by the major news networks but rather ordinary citizens armed with cellphone cameras. The footage spread on sites like YouTube and Facebook, creating global support for the burgeoning movements.

    The problem, of course, is that we’re not the only ones who can see the footage. Repressive governments can see it too, making video a bit of a double-edged sword. To that end, YouTube is launching a new face-blurring tool that will instantly blur out the faces of everyone in a video.

    Basically, all a savvy protester has to do is enter YouTube’s video enhancement tool and click “Blur Faces.” They then get a preview of the new blurred-out video, which they can save as a new copy. The original video can then be deleted, and the updated video can be shared without fearing for the safety of the protesters featured in it.

    YouTube says there are still a few kinks in the system, mainly that “it sometimes has difficulty detecting faces depending on the angle, lighting, obstructions and video quality.” Still, the fact that YouTube, by far the world’s biggest video-sharing site, is implementing this technology before anyone else is good news for democracy activists.

  • Security for mobile phones and laptops in the country will be enhanced after the introduction of a technology that will track the gadgets when lost or stolen. The technology uses software known as mobisecurity which is able to track mobile phones and lost laptops and computers. The device gives the exact location of the thief.

    Dr Joseph Buberwa, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of RenewEarth Technologies Ltd, told 'Daily News' that the new technology will also safeguard details saved on the stolen mobile phone, laptop or computer.

    The Mobisecurity software, will however, work on original mobile phones, such as those made by Nokia, Samsung, Blackberries, iphone and not imitations of these makes or the Chinese made phones. "The Mobisecurity software can only be installed in cell phone from original manufacturers and not imitations or Chinese cell phones, and this is because of the operating systems in the original phone," he explained.

    Original cell phones, have android, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows operating systems, which would work well with the security software. Once installed into the mobile phone, laptop or desktop computer, the security software, will require the owner to identify five numbers that will be programmed with the software's in a way that if it is stolen, a message will be sent to the five numbers.

    Once installed, the owner of the phone also gets an account with RenewEarth Technologies website with a username and password. The account will have all the details in the cell phone, which can be accessed if the phone is stolen. "For a mobile phone, once the thief changes the simcard or chip a text message alert is automatically sent to the five numbers.

    The message will show the new user's number and exact location within five to ten metres of the thief," Dr Buberwa explained. With the new user's number, the owner of the phone can block, shut down the phone or have it make siren sounds without stopping or listen in on the conversation of the new user."With the software you can also have the phone send you text messages going out and coming in, of the thief or person using your stolen phone and block the functions of the phone," the CEO explained.

    For laptops and desktop computers the Micro LNTS or Lost Notebook Tracking System software installed helps track it. When stolen and once the thief or new user logs onto the Internet the software instantly identifies the IP of the computer and sends this to the email address of the owner.

    "The software remains undetected and works quietly in the background. It will also help track the user through your web account and it will also identify the location of the thief or new user," he explained. With the security software one can retrieve backed up data on the stolen laptop or Desktop, shut the computer down or block the new user from using it.

    RenewEarth Technologies plans to get into partnership with local dealers across the country, who will sell the software to the public. The local dealers including owners of Stationeries, Internet cafes, Computer shops will use Information and Technology experts trained by RenewEarth.

    In the first phase 10,000 young experts in IT will be trained across the country, on how to install the software on mobile phones, lap tops and desktop computers, who will work with the identified local dealers. "This will be the first phase. We will continue training more young experts, who will be working with the dealers to install the software on mobile phones, laptops and desktop computers," Dr Buberwa noted.

  • Although there has been phenomenal growth in cellphone ownership and use in Africa, not everybody has a smartphone and mobile broadband access through 3G or Wi-Fi remains patchy. Google is rolling out a slightly low-tech e-mail solution in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya.

    As long as you have a basic mobile phone with voice and SMS capability in these three African countries, you’ll now be able to do all your emailing by text message through activating a simple setting on your Gmail account.

     “Gmail SMS automatically forwards your emails as SMS text messages to your phone and you can respond by replying directly to the SMS,” says Geva Rechav, Product Manager of Emerging Markets at Google. “You can control the emails received by replying with commands such as MORE, PAUSE and RESUME. Additionally, compose a new email as an SMS and send to any email address recipient—who will find your message in the right email conversation thread.”

    The service itself is free, although users will have to pay their network provider’s SMS charges. It is not clear where else will eventually be able to use the service, presuming it is successful in the three initial countries.

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