Africa Tech News Tidbits, Week of March 5

Mobile in Africa
Mobile Users in Africa, copyright @ AgenceEcofin

Back at it, after  taking a little break due to a busy work schedule, let’s see what’s been happening in African Tech:

  • In Cameroon, a young entrepreneur just released the Cardiopad, a medical tablet designed to help with remote diagnosis of heart problems.
  • Saya Mobile in Ghana has released a messaging competitor to WhatsApp called Saya, which killer feature is StreetChat, allowing you to chat with people in your direct proximity.
  • AfriNic (The Registry of Internet Number Resources for Africa) is currently working with the Internet society to promote and encourage a bigger African participation in the worldwide IPv6 launch initiative scheduled for June 6th 2012.
  • Today, March 7th was the last day of a 2-day conference held in Ouagadougou on the topic of “Internet infrastructure for an African Digital Economy”. This event was put together by the African Union for Telecommunications in collaboration with the ICANN, ISOC and the aforementioned AfriNic and was aimed at educating government officials and ICT regulators on Internet ecosystems and the current challenges in term of infrastructure.
  • On the topic of conferences, another was held in Zanzibar February 29th to March 1st on the topic of African mobile finance with representatives from about 39 countries, as well as banking and financials operatives from diverses African economic bodies (ECOWAS). Finance experts concluded that there are real opportunities to develop finance in informal economies by allowing the 75% of unbanked Africans to have access to banking services through the mobile platform.
  • In 2011 , First National Bank in South Africa sold 30000 Ipads and 2400 Galaxy (S smartphones) by allowing clients to break down payments in monthly installments, allowing them to boast that they sold one Ipad “every two minutes”. Everybody’s happy!
  • Etisalat Nigeria will offer the Samsung Galaxy Note for N125,000 ($795 US), not too bad…
  • For you African football fans, Goal.com has released the localized edition of its site for Nigeria.
  • Not directly tech related, but with the help of social media participation during the first round of the presidential elections in Senegal, more and more Senegalese people are calling for a public televised debate between the participants in the second round incumbent Abdoulaye Wade and challenger Macky Sall.
  • A recent UN report warns against an increase in electronic waste in West Africa, with 85% of it coming from domestic consumption and the remainder through imports. The dangers to the population and environment are real but collection and recycling of this waste is a job creator in itself with about 30000 people deriving income from it in Ghana for example.

That’s it for this edition, back for more next week!

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