Computer News - In Brief


- The township of Etwatwa in South Africa is the site for the newest Intel computer clubhouse in the country. As one of the most disadvantaged townships in the region, Etwatwa faces major problems in terms of education and training, particularly for the youth.

- A US$3-million joint-venture between a Ghanaian company, a Danish company and an American company will see the setting up of the first smart card producing factory in East and West Africa. The companies, Margins Company Limited from Ghana, Supercard Denmark from Denmark and Sage Research and Management Systems, an American/Ghanaian-owned company, have just signed an agreement. The new company, Intelligent Card Production Systems, is expected to begin production in January next year, employing about 50 Ghanaians initially.

- Standard Bank is in the first phase of implementing an integrated chip card technology that paves the way for multiple applications on a single smart card. ACI Worldwide’s ACI Smart Chip Manager allows the bank to issue and manage a large volume of multiple-application smart cards to meet the issuing requirements of EMV.

- Based on the Income Tax Authority’s need for one centralized database for Egypt’s taxpayers, Raya recently delivered the 3.7 million Egyptian pound ($618,987) automation project for the Income Tax authority to the Ministry of Finance. Accessible from all locations, the database deployed by Raya will archive taxpayer profiles and historical records. This in turn will contribute to efficient payment tracking and prevention of record duplication.

- Ghana’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and President’s Special Initiative (PSI) is to conduct a technology audit of the industrial sector with the view to improving the country’s technology base. Mr. Alan Kyerematen, Sector Minister, says the move formed part of a technology improvement programme expected to bring about higher competitiveness for Ghanaian products.

- According to Business Software Alliance’s (BSA) eighth annual survey on global software piracy, the piracy rate in Africadeclined 29 points, from 77 percent in 1994 to 48 percent in 2002. South Africa dropped 30 points, from 64 percent in 1994 to 34 percent in 2002, and Egypt dropped 32 points, from 84 percent in 1994 to 52 percent in 2002, making it the most improved country in Africa. Worldwide, every country except Zimbabwe has reduced its rate of piracy since 1994, the year in which the study was first commissioned.