Sunday, April 10, 2011

This Week In Africa- Interesting African Tech Headlines You May Have Missed

This Week in Africa is a new segment that we're introducing onto this blog. It's going to be a weekly roundup of tech related headline news with a focus on Africa and Africans. Without much ado, here goes today's piece...

Ben Cole of Google takes a look at how technology impacts the lives of everyday Africans, the type that have barely head of what the internet is. He writes

...[I] had helped them establish web presences for their businesses, sign up for email accounts and get a taste for what the Internet could do for them. The work was immediately gratifying; I got to see the exhilaration in each person's eyes as they saw their company on the Internet. But after months of plugging away and wondering what the outcome would be, I had a bit of an existential crisis. What was the real impact? Was any of this doing any good?

Mfonobong Nsehe writes on the Forbes blog about why it'll be very difficult for a global scale technology company to come from Africa. He opines

Africans can create hugely successful tech products that will sweep the world off its feet. There are several entrepreneurs out there waiting to break through, but their ideas might never see the light of day because of a lack of seed finance.

Gameli Adjaho writes on the Gamelian world about South Africa's bid to host the Square Kilometer Project. He reports

If everything goes according to plan, the landscape of the Karoo region in the Republic of South Africa will be transformed by 2025 into a beehive of intense scientific activity, bringing Africa into reckoning as a major centre of astronomy, the science of the stars. This exciting prospect has arisen because of South Africa's bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project.

Google launched the Student Ambassador Program in Ghana and Nigeria during the week with the aim of "empower[ing] the African academic community with knowledge, infrastructure and tools to help Africa’s future leaders make the most of access to information." Unfortunately my school was not part of those chosen in Ghana :-(.

Dale takes a look on the Ushahidi blog at the role being played by the platform in the uprising in North Africa. He writes

The Libya Crisis Map was very different than other mapping efforts. One, they didn’t need to train volunteers like in Haiti, the Stand-By Task Force was simply mobilized. Two, a number of customizable features like the Big Map were simply enabled via the Ushahidi Plugin. Three, Haiti response was an actual Ushahidi team effort, but this was United Nations initiative that called upon the Stand-By Task Force. 

Ghana's never-seem-to-roll 6th telecom operator, Glo Mobile, has launched its fiber-optic submarine cable in Ghana promising to revolutionize how we communicate. 

If fully optimized by every sector of the society, the Glo 1 submarine cable has the infinite capacity to trigger an unprecedented social and economic revolution not only in the telecommunication sector but also in the agricultural, transportation, medical, hospitality, tourism and educational sectors.
That's it for this week. Hope you enjoy reading those stories as much as I did. If you have any stories you'd want to be highlighted, you can drop them in the comments on send them to me on Twitter to be highlighted in next week's piece. 

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