Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category

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Rebooting the Technological Innovation & Africa’s Growth Prospects

July 28, 2009

Here an interessting summary done by bankelele about a Mindspeak serie organized in Kenya

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Marketing in Africa

June 15, 2009

An interesting topic from whiteafrican about interactive marketing in Africa. 

Marketing strategies which are becominng obsolete in the old continent are still working in Africa.

But the poor quality of the bandwidth is obstructing the population to acces the internet.

How many african touristic place get an websites?

and those which get one don’t invest in the quality of the services their online plattform.  It’s tricky for tourists to take a trip to somewhere they don’t know how it coud look like.

The policies to access the new tech in our continent should be reformed/renewed. 

Not only touristic institutions are concerned by this marketing strategies. It’s exactly the same when you’re looking for videos or music your favored singer or for the african diaspora when it’s need informations from their homeland.

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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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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