Archive for May, 2009

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Doomedo: Text the world

May 28, 2009

After Maelys (A very great project) Ti’ Aya has launched a new product named Doomedo to allow internet cafe users in Africa to text the world . 

I think it’s a good stuff…but i have to say it would be cooler if one can send the sms with the mobile phone.  Something like send sms to doomedo and doomedo send it to your contacts where ever it is.

Ok..Ok but how much would pay the users for this service. Because I think if someone buy an hour for internet connection to 300 F CFA. Buy SMS is an additional costs. How is he ready pay to send a SMS to his contacts worldwide. And How much would he pay to text from his mobile phone?

Some people would argue the connection’s time remains for a later use and it have not so much to do with the Doomedo service. But without the Internet cafe the user can’t use Doomedo.

The others would say send sms is interactive thing and should’nt be involve Internetcafe usage. But for we the BIG question is how much the users are ready to pay for this interactivity?

I don’t know what the business model for Doomedo is, it’s would be interesting to know how Ti Aya want to manage that.

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The hi-tech battle for Africa

May 26, 2009

The Hi-Tech Battle For Africa

The Hi-Tech Battle For Africa

Microsoft has defended itself against criticism over aggressive marketing techniques in Africa to win people over to its software.

 

“Despite the wealth of information that gets around, it’s sad that sometimes reality has a hard time catching up with perception,” said Dr Cheikh Modibo Diarra, chairman of Microsoft in Africa.

“I think that that perception comes from the fact that we are very successful because wherever we are, we are competing respectfully and openly; you can verify that everywhere,” he told the BBC World Service’s Digital Planet programme. more

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Microsoft vs the Open Source Community in Africa

May 19, 2009

by HASH

microsoft-africa

Last week the BBC interviewed Dr. Diarra, the chairman of Microsoft in Africa. One of his quotes was memorable:

“Africa is really the last frontier in not only developing technology that is specific to people’s needs, but eventually even developing new business models that will enable the emergence of local software industries, such as young people who have the skills to be able to write their own applications for their own community,”

I agree with the first part of that statement, it’s the second part that I find alarming. Coming from Microsoft, how can young people build the skills to write code when they can’t even pay for the closed software needed to run it? It’s not free, and if access (which he states earlier) is the biggest issue facing African technologists – then how does closed software fit into the equation? more

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In Developing Countries, Web Grows Without Profit

May 12, 2009

By New York Times

An article from the NYT about the non-profit from web company in developing countries

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Open Solutions Cameroun

May 12, 2009
Open Solutions Cameroun

Open Solutions Cameroun

I read for the first time about Open Solutions Cameroun by the nino’s blog.

A company which promotes and markets it’s Know-how in Open Solutions in Cameroon. For months ago i read that more than 80 percent of Software used in Cameroon’s administration offices and institutions are not used with the appropriate licenses or are cracked and i always wonder if people don’t know what open solutions are.

Since 2001 started the French gendamerie the switch over to Open-Source-Desktop and save only in 2008 more than 70 Millions euros. This year the license’s expenses will be cut down to 70%.

May be people don’t notice it but i think the open source solutions like Ubuntu and others are the future and these solutions are making a very interesting breakthrough by the user’s community.

Personally I’m using exclusively Kubuntu for 8-9 months and I’m so impressed for what you can get for free.

As African we should turn to these solutions because it’s free
and you can adapt it to your own needs.

and i hope this company will success and meet his goals.

Below two case studies (in pdf) from the European information service OSOR(Open Source Observatory and Repository) of the Swiss federal court and the French Gendarmerie about the migration to open source of this Europeans institutions .

Open source on the desktops of the Swiss Federal Court and Federal Administrative Court

Towards the freedom of the operating system: the French Gendarmerie goes for Ubuntu

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L’urgence d’un Point d’échange Internet au Cameroun

May 8, 2009

By Edouard Tamba

INFRASTRUCTURES

Le gouvernement camerounais a donné quitus pour la mise en place d’un point d’échange Internet. Une solution technique permettant de gagner en temps, en coûts, en sécurité et en autonomie

Les ministères et autres institutions de la République du Cameroun sont sur Internet. Il y est désormais possible d’obtenir des formulaires et autres renseignement depuis un domicile, un bureau ou un cybercafé. Si l’opération semble relativement facile et rapide, elle est plus lente et plus chère d’un point de vue comparatif. Et pour cause, lorsque l’internaute basé à Yaoundé sollicité un document dans un ministère à côté, sa requête va d’abord passer par un point de connexion international. C’est depuis ce point que son ordinateur et le serveur qu’il sollicite seront connectés. Un peu comme à l’époque où de Yaoundé, il fallait appeler Paris pour obtenir un correspondant à Douala par téléphone. A ce propos, l’Union internationale des Télécommunications affirme qu’en « Afrique, 7 connexions sur 10 transitent par l’Europe ou les Etats-Unis ».

suite…

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How To Save Money as an African Startup

May 7, 2009

I found a African version of the previous post…by http://appfrica.net

I\’m waiting for your comments and experiences about this \”African\” version

Jason Calacanis recently wrote a blog post entitled “How to save money running a startup (17 really good tips)” that got me thinking. Does any of this apply to my business here in Uganda? If so what and why? It turned out a lot applied. I’ve bootstrapped this company from nothing, and now I’m still bootstrapping for the sake of my investors at Kuv Capital so I do have some insight into cutting costs. So I decided to do a redux of the Calacanis article for Africa, specifically Uganda, to let you know my tips for keeping costs down as a startup here…

  • 1. Buy second-hand laptops, spend a lot on ram and run Ubuntu on them. In most parts of Africa the power grid isn’t stable resulting in frequent outages or ‘hiccups’. Laptops will be immune to these drops in powers as the battery is always ready to kick in when it needs to. Also, if the Internet drops, you can send your employees to a cyber cafe to work so they don’t lose any days. For most office tasks the processing power of a computer is irrelevant, all you need is a lot of storage space and ram. Even in a software company like mine, all my guys are running nothing faster than 2.0ghz processors. You can always buy one powerhouse machine for compiling but in most cases this isn’t necessary. Another point is that laptops can be used from anywhere. I have a few guys who work as hard at home as they do at work. This not only saves time, but helps projects get completed faster, thus saving money.
  • 2. Buy an inverter. Here in Kampala, we lose on average about 5 hours a week to power outages. That’s twenty hours per month, nearly a whole day! Across a year, that’s nearly an half a month you’re paying your staff to sit around and do nothing. Do the math on that. Actually, the more you spend on your inverter and batteries, the longer it will last. I have friend who spent about 5 grand on a power solution that can last him up to three days if necessary. Very rarely is there a lost workday due to power for him.
  • 3. Hire a cook. Most African cities have massive traffic problems. Even if you designate a ‘lunch hour’ most people will be late or they’ll spend a lot of time waiting around to reheat their lunches. Instead I’ve hired a cook at about 100 dollars a month. I spend about 300 a month on food but I’ve also factored that into everyone’s salaries so it’s not an unaccounted for cost. From an accounting perspective, the staff has already paid for their lunch, I’m just providing it for them.

more tips here