Automation with Git Hooks – http://pulse.me/s/aKuvR
As some of you may already know, last week’s edition of the Coders4Africa Radio show was cancelled due to a quite ironic power outage at the studio in Maryland but everything is back on track so make sure to tune in this Sunday July 1st at 1:00PM Eastern, 17:00 GMT for the show, hosted by myself. We will be talking to the founders of Coders4Africa, as well as some members from around the continent. And don’t worry we will be done in time to watch the Euro 2012 final . Now for what’s interesting in African Tech this week:
- Tecno Mobile Ethiopia, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based mobile manufacturer, will next month release its first smartphone completely assembled in Ethiopia. The smartphone, Tecno T3, will sell for $339 to $400 from mid-July. The smartphone runs on Google’s Android 2.3 operating system and features the Amharic language and GPS and supports SMS, email and other information transferring systems.Tecno already has several models in the Ethiopian market which support Amharic, Oromiffa, and Tigrigna languages. The new phone, Tecno T3, will however support only Amharic. The Amharic soft keyboard and messaging application feature was developed by an Ethiopian firm called Information Technology Transfer Services (ITTS). The Amharic language software can work on all Android operating systems.
- Take a look at DealDey, the fastest growing Groupon clone in Africa.
- Firefox is now available in Fulani. Take that!. Announcement in French.
- SeeAm Mobile App Wants To Help You Locate ATMs In Nigeria.
- The Burkinabe Minister in charge of Digital Economy has seen is personal email and Facebook account hacked in a classic scheme asking his contacts for money. He was able to regain possession of his accounts and send out apologies.
- Ivorians are being called to register their SIM cards with their mobile operators, an operation that was started in December 2011 and is set to close in October 2012. Similarly to what I hear is happening in Nigeria, this is a move by the government to protect voice and data services and ensure the safety of the mobile networks users. Violators are threatened with total service interruption.
- The Ministry of Health in Cote d’Ivoire is also launching and Electronic Vaccination Record initiative through mobile phones that is aimed at informing the population through SMS on hygiene regulations, alert them off vaccinations dates, save vaccination records and in some cases, facilitate the delivrance of the actual paper document.
- Nigeria’s gaming startup industry is about to get hotter as cool graphical and artistic photos of upcoming casual games titled Agbero, Ole and Snake has leaked and been made available to TechLoy.
- To help people lessen and, when possible, prevent the severe effects of climate change-induced emergencies, more cities in African countries are turning to ICTs.Geographic Information Systems (GIS), for example, are helping local governments identify flood zones on maps, measure communities’ vulnerability to flooding, and plan for new flood-prevention infrastructure like drainage systems and levees. Through mobile phones, citizens are being alerted via SMS texts to coming floods or cyclones. And Early Warning Systems are simulating weather patterns and predicting disasters in advance.
- Kenya is among the six nations earmarked for a multi-million project in six Sub Saharan African nations, for the launch of digital hubs under Badiliko project. The project which is being funded by the British Council and Microsoft Company will build 90 digital hubs in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria.
- Modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is aiding and abetting religious violence and insurgency in northern part of Nigeria, the president of Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria, Shehu Sani, has said. Sani said in a statement in Kaduna yesterday that “all efforts at promoting peace and discouraging violence and vendetta is constantly, instantly and intensively undermined by belligerent religionists exploiting the ICT”. Gory and horrific photos of victims of suicide bombings and reprisal attacks shared through Blackberry in Kaduna aided in funneling tension and encouraged violence, he said. Recently there has been a video circulating of a heap of dead bodies through mobile phones that was purpoted to display the victimes of the attacks but on analysis seems to be unrelated footage used to incite violence and anger.
- Office365 launches in Africa, but be careful of the fine-print and usage limits.
- PassCo Africa is a company whose main goal is to provide an avenue, at a reasonable cost, for students in Africa to increase their performance in preparation for their standard examinations.
- The Jomo Kenyatta University Taita Campus is holding a Mobile Boot Camp in partnership with Coders4Africa July 14th 2012.
- An IT based-educational database for teachers and students has been launched in Abuja. The data base called Green Book system will provides a wide range of IT enhanced free learning tools for students and teachers in Nigerian schools.
- The live activation ceremony of the much-vaunted West African Cable System (WACS) took place yesterday at the resort town of Swakopmund, signalling the commercialization of the U$650 million cable.The cable consists of four fibre pairs and is 14 000 km in length, linking Yzerfontein in the Western Cape of South Africa to London in the United Kingdom. It has 15 terminal stations along the western coast of Africa.The total cost of the cable system is US$650 million. DRC was another country scheduled to be part of this event but was left out due to the theft of $20 million set to be used for the local implementation of the project.
- Two organisations that support entrepreneurship have partnered to launch a project aimed at transforing budding technology enthusiasts into successful entrepreneurs. The initiative, launched by Enablis Entrepreneurial Network and NetHope on June 14 this year, targets 100 tech savvy youth from universities, technical institutions and technology incubation centres. Overall, it will support 100 innovative technology ideas from Kenya Rwanda and Ghana.
- www.youtube.com.gh is a version of YouTube that will give Ghanaians an easy way to discover local content and content producers. As of June 21st 2012, when Ghanaian users visit the Ghana domain, they will instantly see the most popular videos in Ghana, as well as videos that are most relevant to them.
- The Republic of Uganda is known worldwide for its natural splendour, its abundance of fauna and flora and its established eco-tourism market. It is marketed as ‘the Pearl of Africa’. However, the country has also earned a strong reputation for its strength and stature within the global ICT and telecommunications space.Uganda is positioned amongst Africa’s top Internet countries with 4,2 million users within a population of 27, 6 million.
- The Ugandan Government, through the information and communication technology (ICT) ministry, has launched a plan to implement e-government to improve efficiency and delivery of public services. This is in collaboration with South Korea, which will offer technical assistance to develop a comprehensive ICT master plan for Uganda, covering and integrating the economy and a feasibility study on ICT priority areas. I hope more local companies will be involved in the implementation of this plan and the actuals jobs won’t be farmed out to SK.
- MasterCard has held a series of training workshops for Kenyan banks, helping them to optimise their systems in accepting electronic cashless transactions. It has also been preparing them for the coming implementation of the National Payments Systems (NPS) Act, which allows the Central Bank of Kenya to supervise and regulate payment systems within financial institutions.
- Apple’s iTunes Store activated in 32 new countries, majority in Africa, including amongst others Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe.
See you all next week for more tidbits, oh and don’t forget to tune in for the show! Sunday July 1st 2012 at 1:00PM Eastern 17:00GMT.
I run both CakePHP 1.3 and 2.0 for my side projects and wanted to be able to use both console executables in my Ubuntu 11.10 dev box; I set up my aliases in my .bashrc file to point for:
Cake 1.3: alias cake=”<CAKE_FOLDER>/cake/console/cake”
Cake 2.1: alias cake2=”<CAKE_2_1_FOLDER>/app/Console/cake2″
and added the paths to the console folders where the scripts actually reside to my global PATH variable:
Since both Cake 1.3 and 2.1 console commands are called cake, i renamed the Cake 2 version to cake2 and gave it executable permissions:
mv cake cake2
chmod 755 cake2
So i tried running both command but kept getting a: “Permission Denied” error. I googled around and everybody else got their problem solved by either chmoding the cake script to either 755 or 777, or any of the containing folders in the script path. If you are running into this issue, first ensure that any folder in the path to the cake script has 755 permissions and that the cake script itself is 755. Mine was all halal but it was still no dice! I couldn’t execute and was still getting this permission denied issue. So i went back to Google and expanded my search outside the CakePHP fold and into permissions error in general when executing scripts and bang! I encountered a question on SO related to a similar issue that put me on the right track. My code resides on an extended partition that i mounted using the “users,user” option, and apparently doing it that way sets the “noexec” option as well which prevents the execution of binaries on the mounted partition. That was the source of my error, I edited my /etc/fstab file and added the “exec” option to the mount options. unmounted and remounted and bingo! I was in business. If you have exhausted all other possibilities, I bet this is what your issue is related to so give it a shot and make sure to comment for others if you come up with another solutions.
This week’s African tech news are again full of interesting tidbits. Don’t forget to join me on Sunday June 24th for the first edition of Technofrique on Coders4Africa Radio. I will be presenting the Coders4Africa founding team as well as some of the members from around the continent.
- Ghana: TopApps is an innovative applications exhibition and awards event aimed at giving the opportunity to developers to showcase their mobile, web and SMS-based apps and games to businesses and companies as well as winning awards for their innovative apps or games. It is the idea of and event organized by PopOut, an advertising, new media and events company based in Accra, Ghana.
- Ever wondered why Nigerian 419 scams are still around, regardless of the countless media reports on the topic? It turns out that it makes perfect sense to do so and guarantees them a better return on investment effortwise, just ask researcher Cormac Herley of Microsoft Research: “the scammers aren’t interested in seeming believable. They just want to find the most gullible victims they can, to maximize their return on their effort. While sending emails is cheap for the scammers, you see, following through with responses and then initiating the process of getting money out of victims is both labor-intensive and expensive. So they want to wheedle out only those victims that they know they can scam from the off”. Smart. You can download the research paper here.
- Cameroon: Meet Otto Beseka is the 27 year-old entrepreneur behind ventures like Carbon Group Ltd and Omni Capital Ltd. Now we meet him about his most recent venture, TopUpDesk, a web platform that allows people to purchase airtime online without credit (or debit cards) and paypal accounts.
- Nigeria: Techloy reviews the Inye2, second iteration of this Nigerian produced tablet.
- Nigeria: Just like South Africa, Techloy reports that Nigeria mobile users will also get their chance to get their hands on the latest Samsung Android flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy SIII for N108,000 (about $699) through MTN.
- Nigeria: Techloy also features quite an interesting article (from a developer point of view) about the winner of the Nokia “Create for Millions” app competition Ajibola Aiyedogbon. “Aiyedogbon said that the telecom operators have “a nasty revenue share arrangement” with content providers in which the telcos take up to 60 percent of the revenue leaving the rest to be shared between content providers and the app developers.”. Aiyedogbon raises a very important issue of contention for entrepreneurs and developers in Africa which is that of the conditions on the ground necessary for the establishment of a prosperous ecosystems.Unfortunately, the mentality seems to be towards closed, private like implementations for systems that would benefit from opening up their APIs to outside developers, (you can find stories here about developers complaining about those closed ecosystems like juggernaut MPesa and the workarounds that will eventually crop up).
- Air Nigeria has become the first African carrier to offer Apple’s iPad 3 to passengers as an in-flight entertainment solution. The airline has said that passengers in business class will be offered the complimentary tablet device on which to watch Nigerian, classic and Hollywood films, as well as a broad selection of comedy, lifestyle, drama and kids TV shows.
- Here is an article with a breakdown of the Top African Social Networks.
- Ethiopia: Not good news coming out of the country tech wise as Ethiopia has banned Skype and other use of Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) services that offer audio and video related communications. The new law was passed late last month and breaking the law is punishable by 15 years in prison. This comes after last week’s decision to ban privacy browsing tool Tor.
- Chad: Airtel Chad has collaborated with one of the leading banks on the continent, ECOBANK, to launch Airtel Money in the West African nation.
- Senegal: Banking rates in Africa are abysmal, some estimates that only 6 to 7% or Africa is banking.E-Commerce Senegal, a Senegalese company is hosting a virtual conference on the topic of electronic payments from October 8th to the 12th 2012 titled FoVirMo. This will be an opportunity for banks, traders, merchants and companies to discover electronic and mobile payments means available locally. The site is up but is only in French for now.
- Gabon: Africa is moving towards digital TV slowly but surely in preparation for the June 2015 global deadline and to that effect a conference is being held in Gabon June 18th to the 20th 2012 to share experiences and strategies in making the move.
- Senegal: SMS Pharma is a new app that allows Senegalese users to find an open pharmacy at night since they are only open all night on a rolling basis. It was developed by the SenMobile company and costs about 25 cents a message and operates in 8 Senegalese cities on the Orange network.
- DRC: The Democratic Republic of Congo won’t be getting fiber optics cable anytime soon, as corruption struck again. The 13 other countries in the West Africa Cable System are already connected but according to Tryphon Kin-Kie, Congolese Minister of Postal Services and Communication, an individual walked into the BIAC bank and withdrew $3,000,000 on order of a state official. Both were arrested and $300,000 were so far recovered. One can wonder how money that is supposed to go to such an important project can be withdrawn so simply from a bank. There is more going on here but what we know for now is that fiber optic connectivity is out. Sad.
- Senegal: Ianota Startup Challenge will start signing up people on June 25th 2012. The concept will require teams to come up with a mobile or web app in 30days from a pool of 50 preselected projects. The 5 top apps will be announced on August 31st with a top prize of $2000.
- Should Blackberry move their headquarters from London to Lagos as Ory Okolloh recently suggested? Not such a crazy idea…
- Thought provoking article about how in Africa features phones are not the future:
“So here’s my prediction: in five years’ time, most sub-Saharan Africans will have smartphones. Too optimistic? I don’t think so; after all, from 2003-2008, basic mobile-phone penetration went from 6% to 40%, and I believe the above is a fairly convincing list of reasons to believe that smartphone adoption will outpace that. Still, it’s quite an extraordinary thought.”
We end this week’s list with this quote from Mr Mobile: “The company who can build a first world Smartphone for a third world mobile network will get the next billion users.”
Why Nigerian Scammers Say They’re From Nigeria [Scams] – http://pulse.me/s/asjOV
Here are your African Tech News Tidbits for this week. You can follow them on Twitter using #atntidbits and you will soon find them in Audio version on the Coders4AfricaRadio show starting June 24th 2012.
- Ghana’s MEST Incubator is a program to watch. In this TechCrunch article, we learn about how “MEST is the worlds earliest early stage startup. We invest in people even before they know how to programme or have even touched a computer.” MEST is currently home to some of Ghana’s most successful startups such as Dropifi, Retail Tower and Nandi Mobile.
- Austin Okere was elected ICT Personality of the Year at the Nigerian Titans of Tech Awards. The Titans of Tech annual Awards and gala was instituted in 2005. The event is designed to celebrate Hi-Tech most important movers and shakers; the Revolutionaries, Tech Superstars, Organizations and institutions that are behind the technological wind of change sweeping Nigeria towards the global information society
- Samsung is targeting an African expansion: Its latest phone the Samsung Galaxy S3 will be released in South Africa to 50,000 pre-orders.
- Ugandan techies walk away with awards at PivotEast.
- The CardioPad, the Cameroon medical tab featured in earlier posts has seen its first 30 tablets come out of production thanks to a $40,000 investment from the Cameroonian government. To that effect, the inventor, Arthur Zang, will deliver 10 tables to the Ministry of Health. This will be followed by the training of local cardiologists and staff in the use of the table. The components were purchased from China but assembled in Yaounde.
- Forbes profiles another successful African women Isis Nyong’o, Managing Director at InMobi Africa, the world’s largest independent mobile advertising network.
- I featured DEMO Africa last week, but as they say, repetition is a good pedagogical tool: Take your chance to be on the DEMO Africa stage and launch your product in front of entrepreneurs, investors, global media and buyers. This is where most of the global technology companies first launch. More than 50 demonstrating companies were acquired in the last four years alone by tech giants including Cisco, Google, Microsoft, Motorola, Symantec, HP, SAP and Yahoo! They have all gone to the well more than once, acquiring multiple DEMO companies. If acquisition is a measure of success, the DEMO list is long and impressive. The event will be held in Nairobi, Kenya October 24–26, 2012.
- About 100 of the brightest innovators, business and creative people and reformers in Lagos came together to share Nigerian ideas with a global audience on Thursday May, 24th 2012 at the maiden edition of TEDxIkoyi.
- MTN, the largest telecommunications operator in Nigeria is reportedly launching a mobile advertising platform that would enable small and large organizations push advertising to its estimated 50 million subscribers.
- Mauritius and Ivory Coast via the Orange mobile network are the two first African countries to access the just launched Deezer music streaming service. Deezer reportedly offers a music catalogue with 13 million titles from 2,000 different labels, including the 4 majors.
- Africa’s Biggest Card And ePayment Expo is currently being held in Lagos. Organised by Intermarc Consulting, the event would provide an opportunity to learn first-hand about world class card technologies designed and suitable for Africa.
- Birth announcements can be recorded by phone now, in the region of Kolda, Senegal to help with the establishment of birth certificates. A number of students are forced to drop out of school because they lack birth certificates which are required to be able to sit for official government exams. The project is a collaboration between the SONATEL Foundation and the Action Et Solidarite NGO. Parents can call their local villages chiefs who will record the necessary information and transmit it over to the appropriate authorities.
- When and where to launch a startup in Africa.
- The 2012 Google Apps Developer Challenge is Here!
- Why mobile telecom towers are big business in Africa: “I would say that Africa has the potential to be one of the most exciting growth stories over the next 10 to 25 years, but as with all emerging markets, it is not without risk”.
- In Cote d’Ivoire the Yamoussokro E- School held a two day conference #YES2012 on ITC and Social Media organized by the E-Voire agency. There were presentations on the various roles associated with social media and featured the most active members of the social media and ICT community in Cote d’Ivoire. You can read a report here (in French).
- Still in Cote d’Ivoire, the government is moving ahead with the second phase of its plan to register public university students with the government in a more accurate way. The first phase was an online registration that is now being complemented with a physical biometric enrollment. Public universities in CIV have been in total disarray over the past few years and have served as recruiting grounds for militias in the conflict that shook in the country in 2011.
- SITICO or the Burkinabe Meet on ICTs is holding its 2012 edition since June 11th. It has so far been an expo site for the main mobile operator ONATEL to display its latest offerings and create new business. SITICO is part of a week-long or “Internet Week” focusing on the implementation of ITC solutions in rural settings and as a mean of development.
- Bad news in Ethiopia, Ethio-Telecom, state-backed Internet access provider has implemented a Deep Packet Inspection based block on its network for users of the TOR anonymous browsing tools. TOR has replied by publishing a workaround on its blog.
That is all for this week. See you next Wednesday and don’t forget about the upcoming Coders4Africa Radio show coming June 24th 2012.
The first people using your product are an amazing breed – http://pulse.me/s/a8S0l