Computer News - In Brief

Computing

- The Ministry of Mines in Zambia will implement a computerised system for the management of mining licensing information in 2005. The Technical Director of Spatial Dimension, a mineral services company based in South Africa, Bill Feast has said that a computerised workflow approach system would lead to the easy availability of all relevant mining information. He also said that there was also need for the Ministry of Mines to have a reliable database and know the history of all mining applications and this system will be the solution to all these issues. The system works on the Windows network with passwords which define user groups with appropriate rules and responsibilities, he added.

- Linuxchix Africa has launched an organization that will position African women within the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) movement. Linuxchix Africa was formed in 2004 by African women and for African women as a chapter in Africa affiliated to Linuxchix worldwide. The aim of the African chapter is to help toward building the critical mass of Linux skills among African women, and to advocate for the use of Free and Open Source Software for the many community development challenges being faced by Africans, especially African women. ICT is still male dominated, moreso the Open Source technical environment, so Linuxchix Africa will play a role as a catalyst that will demystify FOSS to the people who stand to benefit the most from it.

- Kenya is among eight African countries to benefit from a USD3.5 million project aimed at installing ICT facilities in parliaments. The Nairobi-based project will see eight African countries acquire new ICT facilities. The Italian government, through United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, will fund the two-year project. The project's Chief Technical Advisor, Flavio Zeni has said that it will empower legislators to fulfil their democratic functions by providing them with easy access to high quality information.

- SA Public Service and Administration Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi has launched a training centre in Mpumalanga to accelerate skills development in the province. The Walk-In Training centre will offer information technology (IT) training, as government has identified IT as key to improved service delivery in the public service. This is a joint venture between the public service and administration department, the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and the provincial government. SITA said Mpumalanga would see the first active IT training centre implemented, with further expansions to the other regions expected soon.

- Unisys Africa and Intelleca Voice & Mobile have inked a partnership agreement with the initial aim of providing an end-to-end, best-of-breed speech-enabled solution offering to the African marketplace. Unisys has global experience in delivering systems based on the VoiceGenie products, for which Intelleca holds exclusive rights in South Africa. "We had been discussing the partnership for some time while working on similar projects in the past," says Dean Baker, acting business unit head: Telecommunications at Unisys Africa. "The partnership allows us to officially combine our expertise and product to deliver a tightly coupled solution of services and technology." Immediate plans for the partnership include joint proposals to the ICT industry at large.