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Mobile Gutenberg, Banking Papacy

Mobile Gutenberg, Banking Papacy

“The mobile phone is like the printing press, so who’s the Church?” - Emrys Schoemaker This afternoon I had the pleasure of having lunch with Emrys … Read More

Spotlight

Great African Singularities

The singularity is defined by futurist Ray Kurzweil as being the point at which technological advancement exceeds human capacity to control and fully understand it. … Read More

On Love and Hate for 160 characters

On Love and Hate for 160 characters

Is the growing skepticism on SMS warranted? One of the most rewarding aspects of running this company has been our International Fellows Program which invites … Read More

Alternative Models for OLPC?

At his Africa 3.0 panel at this year’s South By South West Project Diaspora’s Teddy Ruge critiqued the role the One Laptop Per Child Project … Read More

The Open Source Embargo

The Open Source Embargo

Or “Separate but Equal hits the Open Source Community”. I wrote a blog post a while back about location based profiling on the web. Many websites … Read More

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Innovation in a black tie

Innovation dinner

SouthbySouthwest “SXSW” (www.sxsw.com), TED (www.ted.com) and Africa Gathering (www.africagathering.org) What do these events all have in common? I mean other than they are major social events in the technology world? Well contrary to what comic books and Hollywood’s idea of Techie’s, Innovators and people who love all things digital is, we dont sit ant home on a Friday night and spend our time playing Dungeons and Dragons. Recently I came across a news article on the ITNews Africa’s Innovation Dinner Series (www.itnewsafrica.com). Now most IT professionals know how to socialize and in a very casual way; jackets, jeans and Chucky T’s. Let me ask you something, what happens when they decide to up the dress code, location and up the guest list? Some of the leading technology minds discussing the continent’s digital future over dinner, Wi-Fi accompanied with wine and connectivity served with Champagne and delectable orderves. An ‘A’ list digital rendezvous with an ambient communications soirée feel to it.

Bandwidth and Beuaty

ITNewsAfrica launched their first Innovation Dinner on April 21st 2010, at the Central Grill, Ceder Square, in Fourways, Johannesburg. The main theme: “Connecting Africa to the World”. Now if you are a Tech Entrepreneur pull out your calenders, your pencil, fountain pen, laptop or smartphone, because this is a date you are definitely going to want to make a note of.

Innovation dinner 31st August 2010- ITNews Africa

The next Innovation dinner event will see ICT decision makers, Senior Government Officials, Experts and Bussiness Leaders converge in Sandton on October 27th around the theme: “Our Digital Future”. So stack your bussiness cards, pack your evening gown, and break out that Tuxedo and Bowie. This is an event worth being excited for “The leading high-level dinner series on the continent”- ITNews Africa.

ITNews Africa publisher, Abby Wakama, Is pleased with the overwhelming support the Innovation Dinner has received from the ICT Industry. Previous sponsors of ITNews Africa’s Innovation Dinners include HP, Ericsson, RICOH. “The dinners had modest beginnings, but the support and encouragement we have received from key players in the industry has made it a must-attend for ICT executives.” - Abby Wakama.

Now I know often we are all warned about mixing business and pleasure, but a few Martini’s among Industry peers doesn’t really count, does it? I mean seriously people, IT and Communications is no walk in the park, so I only think its only fair that the movers and shakers in our world should be allowed bi-monthly to let their hair down and network, don’t you?

So if you are interested in attending this unique networking experience, you can visit the ITNews Africa Innovation Dinner website for more information about the event: www.itnewsafrica.com/innovationdinner/. Or if you have already marked it in your calender and just want to register you can also register directly at www.itnewsafrica.com/innovationdinner/attend.htm.

Here are a few comments from previous ITNews Africa Innovation Dinner guests:

“I enjoyed the evening and the networking. The HP and World Cup speakers were great and I am pleased that I was able to attend.- Teryl Schroenn, CEO, Accsys- ITNews Africa.

“It’s a brilliant good networking experience. I keep attending because there is great networking; you get to know the trends in the market. Socializing with colleagues in the Industry.-Manoj Bhoola, Hewlett Packard, ESSN Country Manager.” -ITNews Africa

“I keep attending the dinners because i have a passion for new innovations, my need to network and of course the food was great.” Emson Moyo, CTO, GIJIMA. - ITNews Africa.

Last edited by Frankie on September 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm

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G|Uganda Recap

G Uganda Conference Sept 1-2

Google's G|Uganda Conference held at Kampala's Speke Resort Munyonyo.

On September 1st Kampala saw the kick off of Google’s gUganda, which was held at the Munyonyo Speke Resort Commonwealth Conference Centre. 650 Engineers, Designers, Web Developers, Entrepreneurs and Students learned how Google hope to spur Tech Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Africa and even closer to home Uganda.

“Africa’s the final frontier.”- Google. Hearing this I felt as If I were sitting inside the USS Voyager and we were about to go into Google deep space. And, who do you ask is the captain of this Tech journey? Nelson Mattos Engineering Vice President for Google Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), mentioned that for every 10,000 people in Africa there is 1 domain. In comparison to most Western Countries which have up to 94 domains for every 10,000 people. The Google VP a keynotes speaker at the event commented “We are very pleased to be hosting our first big developer event which will engage the local Tech and Business communities, and highlight the opportunities of the web. Our aim is to make the internet more locally relevant and useful to Ugandans, and help build a viable and sustainable internet ecosystem in Africa.”

Now I know to a lot of people that might think that is just a really good pitch, but what’s the catch? I mean most of the time when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. That doesn’t have to be the case according to Google who across the two day conference demonstrated to Tech Professionals and Entrepreneurs alike how Google’s straight forward and cost friendly (Free) tools and applications can be used to keep African content in Africa through internet exchange points (IXPs) also known as Google cache, create a greater online presence e.g. through applications like Google Maps and more locally relevant information, tools and applications. Through a sort of “Democratization” of locally relevant content if you will, along with trying to inspire people across the continent to innovate and optimize the opportunities available to create a more significant online presence for Ugandans and Africans alike. “Less than 10% of Africa’s users contribute to more than 1% of Africa’s Content.”- Google.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect the second day of the Google event since the day was heavily centred on Tech Entrepreneurship and how we can all use Google and their products such as Google’s Web Optimizer, Adsense (www.google.com/adsense) , Adwords (www.adwords.google.com) , Analytics (www.google.com/analytics/ )and Google Apps (www.google.com/a/ ) to create and maintain a successful online business, Cha ching! Now I am no Donald Trump but by the end of it all I felt that even I should be able to come up with an online income generating idea too. The Google team did a great Job of breaking down each of the online products on offer along with a demonstration and very interactive Q&A. The second day along with the two day conference was concluded with a panel discussion with a few successful home-grown Tech Entrepreneurs such as, Eric Kamau (www.trueafrican.com),

Nelson Mattos Keynotes session

Nelson Mattos, Engineering Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa discussing that the tech future of Uganda and Africa is only on the up.

Benge Solomon King (www.nodesix.com) and Simon Kaheru Director of SMS Media along with a few others and the giving way of a Google Nexus one Android handset.

I will say by the end of the two days I had fried a few mental circuits but feel I have walked away with some sort of divine digital knowledge, having momentary access to what felt like an infinite source of opportunity. Now I wait with bated breath for next event. Have a look at the blog to find out about any up and coming events in your region www.google-africa.blogspot.com.

AfriLabs: The Founders Fund for Africa

Today Appfrica and Hive Colab are happy to announce our participation in the cofounding of AfriLabs.

On March 3rd 2010, founders from several established African tech incubators and open collaboration spaces @HiveColab @iHub @Appfrica Labs @NaiLab @Bantalabs @LimbeLabs came together for the iHub launch in Nairobi. The meeting hosted by Nailab (an iHub neighbor) made clear that each of the labs shares in a common vision to promote technology as a platform for entrepreneurship on the continent. The labs have a lot to gain by working together and it was in this thinking that Afrilabs was born.

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FrogMob Crowdsources Market Research

Frog Design, the global innovation and design firm is experimenting with a ‘method of guerilla research’ that let’s anyone submit photos related to specific campaigns. The idea is to cast a lens on the ‘long tail’ of product use and consumption around the world to inform new design and marketing decisions…

An experimental method of guerilla research developed by global innovation firm frog design, frogMob is based on the idea that anyone can channel their inner design researcher by looking for inspiration from everyday life. Tapping into frog’s global networks and the broader community, frogMob encourages people from all over the world to submit their photos and stories to help us take a quick pulse on emerging trends that can inform our design process.

Visit frogMob

Nnedi Okorafor: Storyteller

It was through the blog IO9 that I discovered Nnedi Okorafor’s uniquely African take on science-fiction and fantasy last month. Nneddi, a second generation African immigrant to America, is making a name for herself with her novels “Zahrah the Windseeker” and “Who Fears Death” and is helping to redefine two genres of fiction where Africa is greatly under-represented. Her latest is Akata Witch, a fantasy narrative set in present-day Nigeria.

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