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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« on: April 23 2013 »

by Andrea Rinaldi

17 April 2013 | EN   Strengthening ICTs in Africa can help tackle development challenges

Low-cost wireless communications offer a practical alternative to traditional wired systems in Africa, and further development of such communications can help overcome research challenges on the continent, a workshop has heard.

Around 30 young scientists, engineers and scholars from 16 African countries attended the Workshop on Wireless Networking for Science in Africa, in Trieste, Italy, last month (11-22 March) to learn about wireless technology.

It showcased examples of inexpensive — and locally managed or owned — wireless technology being used to help overcome developmental issues in Africa, says Joseph Intsiful, who spoke at the workshop.

He previously oversaw the data and information management component of the Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP), a now-ended UN-led initiative to promote climate change adaptation.

As an example of how strengthening information and communications technology (ICT) in Africa can help to tackle health, social, environmental and development challenges, Intsiful tells SciDev.Net about AAP's work in partnership with the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), in Trieste, to deploy computer servers in Lesotho to facilitate access to and sharing of the best available climate data.

This is helping the agricultural sector plan how to adapt to variable climatic conditions and assisting with disaster risk reduction and management related to extreme weather, he says.

Intsiful adds that the workshop encouraged the development of ideas to strengthen existing initiatives and lay the foundations for future ones.

Damien Delvaux, a geologist from the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium, talked about an ongoing pan-African project to support training, research and monitoring in seismology.

The AfricaArray project has around 50 monitoring stations equipped with seismometers in about 20 countries. Some also have geodetic GPS and automated weather stations.

Delvaux says data communication can be a challenge as most stations are in remote places with little if any Internet access and some lack electricity.

Workshop participants also learned about the development of mobile broadband to foster emergency telecommunications and the installation of a modern wireless communication network to support health services in hospitals.

The workshop was organised by the Telecommunications/ICT for Development Laboratory of the ICTP, in Trieste, and others.

source: http://www.scidev.net/en/new-technologies/icts/news/low-cost-wireless-tech-can-help-african-development.html
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #1 on: September 12 2014 »

Free public WiFi access provider Saisai to represent Zim at DEMO Africa

By   Nigel Gambanga, July 10th, 2014

Free public WiFi access provider Saisai Wireless has been selected as one of the 40 finalists from across Africa to pitch at this year’s DEMO Africa event. This will be the sole startup representing Zimbabwe.

Saisai Wireless was founded by a team that includes Christopher Alexander Manzero, Jabulani Mpofu and Takura Chingonzo. These are some of the guys behind Neolab Technology. Saisai is a wireless mesh network made up of free access WiFi hot-spots in public areas and public transportation like kombis.

After identifying companies with unexploited bandwidth the Saisai team then installs a device onto the company’s network which connects to the rest of the wireless mesh, providing users with free internet access on the go. The service makes revenue through targeted advertising on the platform.

The list of the 40 finalists for DEMO Africa was announced earlier today and it represents the startups chosen from more than 400 applications that were submitted in the lengthy process leading up to the event. This process included the DEMO Africa Innovation tour that passed through Zimbabwe in May this year.

 According to an article on the VC4Africa blog  the 400 were trimmed down to a short list of 242 which provided a pool for the selection of the final 40. The startups are providing solutions in varied fields including Agriculture, Health, Education,Communication, Manufacturing, Retail, Media & Entertainment, Transport and Logistics, Energy, Finance & Banking, Waste Management & Recycling and Water & Sanitation.

DEMO Africa will be held between 22 and 26 September in Lagos Nigeria, with pitches from the finalists being made on the 25th and 26th. The event is not a competition but a startup showcase that brings together startup solutions and facilitators of growth.

The DEMO Africa audience is comprised of entrepreneurs, potential investors, regional and international media, strategic buyers, startup enthusiasts and corporate executives. This presents a launchpad opportunity for finalists that are in a position to walk away with partnerships for expansion and the scaling of their ideas.

Of the 40 finalists for this year’s DEMO Africa Nigeria has the highest representation with 14 finalists followed by Kenya with 5 representatives and Egypt with 4 representatives. South Africa, Rwanda,Ethiopia and Tanzania, and have two representatives each.

- See more at: http://www.techzim.co.zw/2014/07/saisai-free-public-wifi-access-provider-represent-zim-demo-africa/#sthash.Z8QMmjGw.dpuf
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