Training IT Staff to Secure Networks

African companies are only now beginning to benefit from the sort of high speed internet infrastructure that other continents have had for many years. Yet with this high speed access comes some risks as well as benefits. As soon as you have web facing servers or indeed just allow internal clients to access the internet your network becomes a potential target for hackers. You can minimize this risk by installing firewalls, Intrusion detection systems and using a DMZ but there’s still a risk there. One of the issues is that experienced network administrators are sometimes in short supply in some African countries, technical skills are the easiest way to minimize potential risk of attacks.

Employers are recognizing the value of training their IT support staff and appreciating that it can be very wise investment.   African firms are at the same risk of various network attacks as other nations companies, indeed in some senses they are greater as there is a perception that they are soft targets.  Understanding the various risks and potential attacks is obviously important too, which should be incorporated in the training.

A Denial of Service (DOS) attack is literally any kind of attack which interrupts the functionality of a system so that genuine users can no longer get access to it. DoS attacks are actually conceivable on the majority of network hardware, including switches, hosting servers, firewalls, remote access computers, and almost every other network resource.A DoS attack may be specific to a service, such as in an FTP attack, or perhaps an entire machine.The categories of DoS are actually diverse and wide ranging, but they can be split into 2 distinctive categories which connect to intrusion detection: resource reduction and malicious packet attacks.

Malicious packet DoS attacks work by sending abnormal traffic to a host so as to bring about the service or the host in itself to crash. Crafted packet DoS attacks take place when software is not appropriately coded to take care of abnormal or unusual traffic. Frequently out-of– specification traffic can easily cause computer software to behave unexpectedly and crash. Attackers can utilize crafted packet DoS attacks in order to bring down IDSs, even Snort.A specifically crafted tiny ICMP packet using a size of 1 was found to cause Snort v. 1.8.3 to core dump. This specific version of Snort did not actually adequately define the minimal ICMP header dimensions, which in turn allowed the DoS to happen.

Attackers will normally use hosts which have been infected by viruses or trojans to launch these denial of service attacks.  Using the bandwidth of thousands of compromised computers means that even the largest and most stable systems can be attacked.  They will also cover their remote access connections to these networks which is easily done through a VPN in an obscure country.  Some will even rent proxies from residential IP providers like this one, in order to further hide and obscure their identity.

Alongside out of specification traffic, malicious packets can easily contain payloads that cause a system to crash. A packet’s payload is actually taken as input right into a service. In the case that the input is not appropriately checked, the program can be DoSed. The Microsoft FTP DoS attack demonstrates the wide variety of DoS attacks available to black hats in the wild.The initial step in the attack is to kick off a legitimate FTP connection.The attacker would most likely at that point issue a command together with a wildcard sequence (such as * or?). Within the FTP Server, a feature that handles wildcard sequences in FTP commands does not assign sufficient memory when carrying out pattern matching. It is feasible for the attackers command being composed of a wildcard pattern to trigger the FTP service to crash.This DoS, as well as the Snort ICMP DoS, are two examples of the many thousands of potential DoS attacks out there.

The other method to deny service is via resource depletion.A resource depletion DOS attack functions by means of swamping a service with just so much normal traffic that legitimate users can not gain access to the service. An attacker overruning a service with normal traffic can deplete finite resources such as bandwidth, memory, and processor chip cycles.A classic memory resource exhaustion DoS is a SYN flood.A SYN flood takes advantage of the TCP three-way handshake.The handshake starts with the client transmitting a TCP SYN packet. The host then sends out a SYN ACK in response.The handshake is finished when the client answers with an ACK. If the host does not receive the returned ACK, the host sits unoccupied and waits with the session open. Every single open session consumes a certain amount of memory. Assuming that enough three– way handshakes are launched, the host consumes all available memory waiting for ACKs.The traffic produced from a SYN flood is normal in appearance. Most servers are configured these days to leave just a certain number of TCP connections open. One more typical resource depletion attack is the Smurf attack.

A Smurf attack Performs by benefiting from open network broadcast addresses.A broadcast address forwards all of the packets on to almost every host on the destination subnet. Every host on the destination subnet responds to the source address specified in the traffic to the broadcast address. An attacker sends a stream of ICMP echo requests or pings to a broadcast address.This provides the effect of amplifying a solitary ICMP echo request as much as 250 times. Additionally. the attacker spoofs the origin address to ensure that the target receives all the ICMP echo reply traffic. An attacker with a 128 Kb/s DSL Net network can conceivably produce a 32 Mb/s Smurf flood. DoS attacks commonly utilize spoofed IP addresses because the attack succeeds even if the answer is misdirected.The attacker needs no response, and in cases like the Smurf attack, wants at any costs to stay clear of a response.This can help make DoS attacks difficult to defend from, and even more difficult to trace.

Further Reading: http://iplayerusa.org/index.php/which-vpn-service-watch-uk-tv/

Sudanese Welcome the World Cup

It’s an important part of the build up to the next World Cup, where the trophy travels across the planet before making it’s way to the hosts Russia. For many people it’s an exciting chance to see the famous trophy and experience some of the magic of the tournament.

Sudan might not have had much success on the world stage yet but the nation is football crazy and the sport has a huge following there. In the coffee shops of Khartoum, you’ll often see football on the TV. Mostly it’s local and African teams but the Sudanese, love football from all over the world especially the Premiership. You can even see people watch Match of the Day online on their computers using this method.

It basically allows the user to hide their location by redirecting through a Virtual private network. If this VPN server is based in the United Kingdom then the computer can stream directly from the BBC servers and of course Match of the Day. It should be noted that due to various broadcasting rights, the football programme is not available in the archives as long as most other shows usually only a few days at most.

Sudan on Thursday obtained the 2018 FIFA World Cup trophy, which arrived in Khartoum in the business of Representatives of FIFA Executive Bureau, as part of its tour en route to Russia. Sudan Youth and Sports Minister Abdul Karim Mussa, Khartoum State’s Youth and Sports Minister Al Yasa Siddiq and leaders of the Sudan Football Association were at the reception of the prize upon arrival at Khartoum airport Thursday. The event represents a brand new era of glory for Sudan, whose door became open to the world, said Abdul Karim Mussa, Sudan’s Youth and Sports Minister, at a press conference at Khartoum airport.

Such an event is likely to inform the world about Sudan, noted the Sudanese minister. Victoria Lopyreva, official ambassador of the FIFA World Cup 2018, for her part, described the arrival of the FIFA World Cup trophy in Sudan for the very first time as a historic moment” . She reiterated that soccer brings people together, stating I think that soccer unites people, and it does not matter which nationality we’re, what the colour of the skin or our social heritage is, most of us are really united by soccer.” .

The Sudanese sports police are scheduled to arrange a ceremony on Friday before the decoration heads to Ethiopia. The 2018 FIFA World Cup trophy tour, sponsored by Coa Cola kicked off last Sept in host nation Russia and will visit more than 50 nations and regions across six continents, travelling 126,000 km in 9 months in the lead up to the soccer tournament. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place from June 14th to July 15, 2018 in Russia.

John Hamilton
UK TV Blogger

Africa’s First Bitcoin Exchange

There are many reasons why Bitcoin could provide one of the most important boosts to the African economy. It is suited ideally to performing transactions in places which have little access to traditional banking facilities. This describes Africa perfectly, but smart phones are almost everywhere since the gradual improvement in the telecommunication infrastructure.

Indeed for Bitcoin to succeed, making inroads into African economies is almost essential.  These are the places for which digital currencies where almost designed for.  The story is only in it’s infancy but already major financial institutions are watching closely and so indeed are the financial press.    It’s worth keeping an eye out on the BBC media coverage which you can find on the BBC iPlayer – accessible outside the UK from here.

Bitcoin might be using a rough ride in 2018, but one cryptocurrency organization is optimistic about its long term prospects. Luno, founded in South Africa in 2013, has plans to become one of the leading cryptocurrency dealers in the entire world. Chief executive officer and creator Marcus Swanepoel has a target that could leave larger companies in the shadow: 1 billion clients by 2025. There are some industries in the world for which you can say that’s a target, but because bitcoin is open and global, it’s really an achievable goal. We are eager to pursue it. He explained. The company is planning to grow its team of 70 workers to 300 over the next six months.

A former investment banker, Swanepoel, say that Luno was the first company in Africa to provide cryptocurrency trading. It’s appreciated runaway growth since then, and now has 1.5 million clients in 40 states, largely emerging markets. The company, backed by some large investors including Naspers, was made by a small group of individuals with backgrounds in technology and finance that, like Swanepoel wished to give up their company jobs. The air at Luno’s Cape Town offices is casual, some of the team walk around barefoot. However the relaxed strategy ends with regards to protecting Luno from pirates that have made off with bitcoin worth millions from others exchanges.

We take security as seriously as large banks do, but when we are at the office we are about working together and developing a collaborative environment, Swanepoel said. The company has developed considerably over the last five decades. It started building systems for banks before shifting its attention to consumers. We realized the banks are going to take too long to adopt the technology, plus they had been getting confused about what the technology may do, the CEO said. His group has developed a wallet, merchant and exchange integration services for both bitcoin and one of its main rivals, ethereum.

Connected: Cryptocurrency regulation is unavoidable, says the IMF leads. Luno is headquartered in Singapore, partly due to the significance markets in southeast Asia. However the company attributes much of its success to the origins and expertise in nations such as in Nigeria where most internet users are cellular. As opposed to other companies, because we put up in Africa very first goods that were mobile were assembled by us, Swanepoel said. He believes which has given Luno edge, especially over competitors.

Further Reading: Accessing BBC from Abroad

Biometric Technology In Africa

Biometric Technology In Africa
In accordance with Technavio’s market research forecasts, the global biometric marketplace is set to grow in the automotive industry. It is likely To grow tremendously in a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 19.27% during the period of 20172021. According to an in depth market investigation, the business specialists prepared the report, Global Biometric Market from the automotive industry.

The period covered was 20172021,which insures the landscape and growth prospects that could probably shape the coming years. Although the focus was indeed the automotive market, the growth of biometrics is of importance to many aspects of the African economy. There are great technological developments being forged within the car sector particularly in response to certain weaknesses in current technology.The manual keys and digital keyless entry system possessed certain loopholes which left the vehicles susceptible to theft. The existing vulnerabilities drove the increase in the use of biometrics from the sector and these automobile access system will see a substantial rise during the next few years.

Owing to the economic recession, the last few years saw a transient demand for automobiles in the developed nation. The emerging markets nevertheless witnessed a massive increase as a result of elevated purchasing power of the customers and robust financial growth. Particularly in the BRIC nations, i.e. Brazil, Russia, India and China, commerce practices are vigorous and many OEMS entered the marketplace to exploit the potential. Major Original Equipment Manufacturers and keyless entry process makers are expected to invest in innovative automotive biometrics for vehicle access. Another variable triggering its expansion is the growing consumer requirement for user friendly infotainment systems. All these consumer demands for smart creation and access systems are also driving the expansion of global automotive biometric systems.

Demand is one of the key factors in why this sector is so important to the African economy. During the banking recession, many developed countries suffered large falls in the demand of automobiles which in turn effected development budgets. As mentioned above the demand in the BRIC nations continued to rise, and also the African market although much smaller was able to continue an upwards trajectory. This is vital if development in technologies is to continue which is also important to other sectors.

The biometric market is exactly the sort of high value, high technology businesses that Africa needs. The improvement in infrastructure and educational standards across the continent mean that businesses involved in this sort of research can consider moving to Africa.   Currently there are a host of smaller companies operating in this sector although they do have problems with obtaining other soft skills such as marketing.  Fortunately  there are options for automating these requirements for instance software exists like this sales video creator which can automate promotional material.

Biometric voice systems may be utilized to solve the problems associated with infotainment systems. These can be implemented to include navigation functions, communication and vehicle audio thus facilitating better user interaction with the automobile system.  It is important that Africa improves it’s internet infrastructure to keep attracting firms in this sector, which will be beneficial to the economy.  Open and unfiltered access to the web is a must and the allowance for privacy essential too.  This can be obtained by allowing the use of privacy tools such as proxies and VPNs- this subject is covered in this article about the BBC locking VPN connections.

Smart phone enabled biometric recognition could also help in automobile access and ignition. Europe, Middle East and Africa By the end of 2015, EMEA it has almost 51% of the total market share. It is expected to rise and lead other regions and become the main income factor in the coming years. Further, the existence of global automobile giants like Mercedes Benz, Audi, BMW and Volkswagen makes it among the biggest markets for biometric vehicle access system.

Economic Development in Nigeria

Though there’s archaeological proof that societies were living in Nigeria for over Twenty-five hundred years, the borders of contemporary Nigeria weren’t established until the British consolidated their ancestral power over the area in 1914. Archaeologists have found evidence of Neolithic men who inhabited what’s now Nigeria as far back as 12, 000 B.C.E.The histories of the individuals in southern and northern Nigeria before colonization followed hugely different paths. In 1914, after suppressing the last of the native opposition, Britain formally established that the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria. The spread of overt colonial control resulted in the first and only time the cultural groups in contemporary Nigeria came together under a generally felt a feeling of national identity.

The nationalistic movement grew from a number of the modernization the British had established in Nigeria. Until the previous few decades, Nigeria was self sufficient in producing sufficient food to feed the population. As oil production and business started to boom in Nigeria, a lot of the national resources were focused on the new sectors at the expense of agriculture. Nigeria, which had turned into a net exporter of agricultural products, shortly needed to import huge quantities of food it formerly was effective at generating itself. Since the 1960’s, Nigeria’s economics has been based on petroleum production. As a leading member of that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Nigeria has played a significant role in influencing the cost of oil on the world market.

The oil rich economics resulted in a major economic boom for Nigeria throughout the 70s, changing the African nation in the thirtieth richest nation on earth. Falling oil prices, severe corruption, political instability, and financial mismanagement since then have left Nigeria no better off today than it was at independence. Since that the restoration of civilian rule in 1999, Nigeria has started to make strides in economic reform. While oil is Nigeria’s biggest industry with regards to output and revenue, oil reserves are located only in the Niger Delta area and along the coast. Typically, only men hold land, but since the wealth construction carries on to change and develop in Nigeria, it’d not be unheard of for a rich woman to buy land for herself. Apart from oil and oil based products, the majority of that the goods produced in Nigeria are consumed within Nigeria. Although the textile industry is quite strong, nearly all the fabric produced in Nigeria goes to clothing that the big Nigerian population.

However there is another area in which Nigeria hope to expand it’s economic base and provide jobs and employment for people – technology. Although Nigeria has a somewhat ‘tarnished’ reputation with regards the digital economy there is no doubt it’s one of the most advanced African nations. The reputation of Nigerian scams and con men though makes it difficult for legitimate Nigerian digital entrepreneurs to do business online. Fortunately there are methods of bypassing these problems and many Nigerian online businesses. First they’ll use remote offices in different countries and setup websites abroad too. In communications it’s relatively easy to relocate digitally by investing in a simple proxy/VPN like the one demonstrated in this post about a BBC live VPN. In some ways it’s quite sad that the reputation Nigeria has inadvertently developed but with some innovation they are largely overcoming the problem. Ironically many individuals within the middle classes all ready use some of these programs to bypass internet blocks and filters. For example to access US and UK news and TV sites, you can use these programs to change your IP address to a non-blocked one. They are effective from anywhere, read about online IP changers in this post and you can see how effective they are for accessing the internet.

A Traditional Viewpoint on Technology

This article is from the perspective of a North American Indian, however it’s as relevant to many traditional African lives too.  In some senses it’s even more relevant to the difficulties merging ordinary African lives with the new technology that threatens to overwhelm them.

If there was any uncertainty that computers and technology are overpowering the lives of people through the world, every day’s actions have dispelled it. Still, everybody should admit that technology makes individuals more educated in various fields and certainly shrewder in others.  If there was any uncertainty that computers and technology are overpowering the lives of people through the world, every day’s actions have dispelled it. Still, everybody should admit that technology makes individuals more educated in various fields and certainly shrewder in others.

During the XVI century, Pocahontas, the daughter of a Native-American tribe leader, died of smallpox because medication wasn’t as developed as it truly is now. At current, through the entire globe, the use of high tech tests and operations has escalated rapidly over the past decade. Still, whether the enlarging presence of medical technology is advantageous for humankind is still a matter of discourse. Of course, increased use of using prescription drugs and new health-related technology has occurred alongside a consistent increase in life expectancy and decrease in mortality rates for stroke, heart disease, and cancer.

Our new-generation continues to be showing the impact of having produced under the “digital wave”. These kids have been entirely normalized by digital technologies; it’s a totally integrated aspect of these lives. Many students in distinct groups are utilizing new media and systems to generate new thoughts, get advised in a pleasant manner, to convey in a quick and efficient fashion with new individuals from other continents, this means familiarizing themselves with new cultures, too.

Nearly all institutions: government, industry, medication, scientific discipline and company – have used facets of these technologies for decades. Simulations and Games have now been a vital part of training aviators, surgeons and military personnel, but even companies to train its workers to behave like professionals. Technologies like: social networking, digital media sites like Hulu, BBC Iplayer using VPNs such as these or simulations, and digital gaming offer us the skill to convey concepts in new techniques would otherwise not be achievable, successful, or powerful, with other instructional approaches.
Moreover, they aren’t really happy with their technology encounter. Their most recent encounter with a computer or cellular phone is 1 of fury, sadness or alienation.

Many auto drivers confess to talking on cell phones, together with assessing and sending email and immediate messages while driving. In this manner, technology becomes among the finest DWD (driving-while deflected) offenders.
All in all, engineering helps societies to advance and makes existence more complex. While we will certainly lose some real friendships,  due to less face to face communication.  The worry is that this seems to produce new diseases and disorders such as for instance: obesity, laziness all linked to a more inactivity – our entertainment is so very passive and digital nowadays.   Sitting around being more concerned about obtaining a Netflix IP can  You can make friends on a social networking sites like Facebook – all over the world in fact

Internet Speeds Increase Across Africa

For years we’ve heard stories of how internet connectivity is improving across the African continent. However now the focus has switched to speed and improvements of delivery. This is important as basic internet speeds don’t really support much of what the internet has to offer especially multimedia and video services.

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Kenya has won praise with the fastest mobile Internet rates in Africa. The accolade has, nevertheless, been blighted by worries that the expense of connectivity is avoiding the vast majority of Kenyans from appreciating the advantages of faster browsing speeds. The 2017 version of State of the Internet Report suggests that Kenya now contributes to the continent with Net speeds averaging 12.2Mbps for its first quarter of the year. This is significant as many experts believe that speeds of over 10mb as required to fully support full access to the internet. This even allows you to route through more secure methods e.g you can buy UK proxy services to tunnel through access to UK business and educational resources like the BBC.

It has catapulted the country before its sub-Saharan Africa peers, such as South Africa (6.7Mbps), Morocco (5.2Mbps) and Nigeria (3.9Mbps). Kenya has additionally been ranked before many developed nations, including Canada, the US and Sweden with regard to mobile online connectivity, together with all the nation averaging 13.7 Mbps. Eroded profits ALSO READ: ICC politics soared as Uhuru woos Nandi voters with over 90 percent of consumers accessing the Internet via their mobile phones and smartphones getting increasingly more affordable, Internet service providers have sought to boost their cellular offerings in an attempt to tap into the lucrative sector.

Last week, Telkom started it is 4G network over nine cities in the nation, together with the telco keen on attracting new subscribers using a Sh4,000 monthly unlimited data plan targeting home and business users. This came hot on the heels of Safaricom’s 4G extended roll-out to various areas of the nation amid a revamped way to supply high speed fibre to homes through the newly established Safaricom Home Corporate Unit.

These profits are, however, eroded from the high price of information using the Alliance for Affordable Internet signaling that Kenya lags behind countries such as Mauritius, Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco concerning Internet affordability. “A more precise measure of Internet usage isn’t based on counting on the individual amount of SIM cards bought.”

Further Reading – Accessing UK TV from Africa

South African Digital Education Initiative

Alarmingly, in a study conducted in 2011 it was found that very few teachers had any formal IT or technology training. Five years later, the landscape hadn’t changed much until today.

A new initiative aims to solve this issue and bring South africa to the forefront of technology education for the earlier age groups. This series provides lecturers with comprehension of electronic learning and teaching and also the capability to operate fully on the web on the LMS. Additionally, it will make our present face-to-face modules and races more digitally integrated and also provide our students a more profound learning experience.

“Ninety lecturers within our Faculty will take part in the very first training session, and that we intend to get all Accounting Faculty academics certified to measure 2 from the end of 2018,” additional Malan.

Stefan du Plessis, Commercial Director in the Eiffel Corp reported the ultimate aim with this particular programme is driving pupil success.

“It is vital for SA’s major institutions to make sure their academic programmes produce students who are designed to the workplace and that teaching pedagogy delivery utilizing technology is constant”, ” he added.

“Academic personnel and educators can deliver best-in-class learning and teaching experiences for their pupils, providing students an edge in the workplace”, he added.   It is hoped that increased knowledge will bring in new digital learning experiences into the classroom.  Particularly introducing online education opportunities like using a UK proxy for BBC programmes which are world renowned.

“An important element to achieving student success is if faculty have the appropriate skills to utilize the learning technology which the association has invested in. For many associations, while faculty have powerful academic expertise, and competency to educate, some are far less confident teaching with technology”

Crucial skills like technical and IT skills are vital for student employability.

“As students engage with electronic literacy through social networking, they have the exact expectations of the schooling experience.

“I am very happy that Blackboard intends to utilize our expertise in South Africa as an international case study when operating in more innovative markets like the UK, Australia and South Korea”.

Further Reading

Can Titan Help Solve the Problems of Africa ?

For many the advent of the supercomputer has been something of a disappointment. There is no doubt about the capabilities and the pure computing power, but how has mankind actually benefited from this, do these computers help solve problems in Africa for example. The Titan supercomputer is a magnificent machine, capable of performing 20,000 trillion calculations every second.  It lives at the Oak Ridge Computer Facility and is estimated to be the world’s most powerful supercomputer  in existence.  Imagine the computing power, it is the equivalent of every member of the human race carrying out 3 million calculations every second – that’s some serious number crunching power.

Up to now though this computing power has been out of reach of most of academia unless you happened to be working for the Department of Energy in the US.  However this year sees the computer being opened up for research development projects who can use the facility for benefit.

It is hoped that this computing power, can be used to help tackle some of the world’s most crucial issues – healthcare, climate, energy and how we feed our planet are some of the problems it will look at.  The criteria for use is that science and research projects which have a ‘high potential for accelerating discovery and innovation’ will be able to use the facility.

There are several target areas but some of the most important from a purely human perspective are climate change, biofuels, Nuclear energy and the study of combustion.  Each area could potentially provide real world benefits and each one can benefit from the computing power of Titan.

So what powers this beast of a computer?  Well it’s amazingly ten times more powerful than the last system at Oak Ridge – Jaguar.  Yet the system takes up about the same space and uses pretty much the same amount of electricity.  Power requirements and physical space are two of the constraining factors in the creation of supercomputers.   Which is why, you simply can’t keep adding CPUs to an existing system like a fast VPN there’s a limit which relies on physical bandwidth.  What they did with Titan was instead to use Graphic chips instead to work alongside the existing CPUs.  They worked with the company Nvidia to implement the GPUs drastically increasing computing power without the corresponding power and space requirements that would normally be required.

The top ten lists of supercomputers rarely stays the same for very long, in fact it’s updated every year or so.  It’s encouraging to see one of the leaders being opened up to all sorts of research though, especially with the target areas of this research.

It’s the kind of cooperation that the internet initially promoted and in some ways still does.  However in this area we are seeing increases in restrictions, blocks and filters in internet access through out the world.    Many people already have to invest in software and subscriptions to access web sites depending on their location like this software for watching the BBC News Online.

Consider Demographics For African Market

Every single product, every firm and each and every sector is ultimately influenced by public opinion. But it’s your target audience’s opinion about the best way to run your company that shows that finding the truth is the essential goal of market research. Businesses seeking direct consumer feedback frequently use common demographics within their economical and advertising research.

Some areas are obviously more sensitive to this sort of demographic data, for example computer software like this is very specifically targeted at a specific country only – Does BBC iPLayer Work in Ireland. Although the product, a VPN in this case, might work in different countries it’s clearly being marketed to the demographic of Ireland only. Prioritizing and identifying important demographics can enable you drastically enhance your organization and to increase your research initiatives.

Demographic profiles provides a great means of identifying which part of the populace will be a likely goal to get a specific service or product. Also, they are able to give a clear view of consumers when it comes to pros and cons perceive crucial brands. Finally, these penetrations could be used to boost sales for the firm sponsoring the research.

Numerous variants could be placed on a demographic profile. Demographics that are common include age, sex, income, schooling, freedom, environment, and technological understanding. No matter exactly how many demographics are being quantified, the aim should be the same: to identify your objective. Demographics could show not only what makes your consumers tick, although who they are. Since demographics – like tendencies – often change over time, it is suggested to run demographics-established research on a routine or semi-routine basis.

All marketing research services needs to be subjected to extensive evaluation to be able to assess what’s effective and what’s not. This applies to demographics just as much as another part. When developing a demographic profile, it is necessary to target groups in the beginning which are probably to be brought to the service or product in question. Among the best ways of identifying a specific group is a survey, which may take the form of omnibus or a custom (shared) poll submitted into a cross section of a population that was given. The marketplace audience identified as well as the survey was conducted, marketing efforts can be concentrated within an much more effective and timely fashion.

That demographics make up an important part is not unclear. Partnering using a market research service that can really understand your organization is critical. Research meet your own organization ‘s needs will be customized by a credible service – frequently by emphasizing and identifying your target audience’s requirements.  It’s often crucial to the success or failure of any piece of advertising or marketing – try and sell a tool specifically designed to be used to access the BBC from the US like this in the United Kingdom and it will fail spectacularly.   Perhaps an extreme example but a very pertinent one.

Will Technology Bring African Prosperity

Technology is often seen as the savior of the African economy, it’s a continent that has continually shown that it has the potential to do just this.  Over the last few years, the technology sector in Africa has started to show some seriously positive signs.   The infrastructure is still improving in fact fueled by far east investors, you could say it’s booming. Over the last six years there have been seven new undersea cables installed, plus more being planned these bring high speed data connections that have never before been present in Africa.

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Telecoms companies are also investing and not on a small scale, it is estimated that nearly $14 billion dollar will have been spent by the end of this decade with the result that more half a billion Africans will be online.

However although it is important, infrastructure is not the only factor that can bring Africa to the forefront of global technology and business. For the real driving force needs real technology and success stories to promote investment and entrepreneurship.  It’s happening African technology companies are already exceeding most other sectors – over the last ten years they have delivered nearly 20% in annual returns.

Most experts believe it is the growth in the mobile payments industry that his helping most.   Outside Africa, mobile payments is not a mainstream function simply because of all the other payment options available – bank transfers, debit cards and credit cards to name but a few.  This is not the case in Sub-Saharan Africa however where only about 1/3 of people actually have access to a bank account.  This is an enormous barrier to digital transactions indeed any sort of payment which isn’t small or local is almost impossible.

This has changed greatly over the last 8 years where the mobile payment system M-Pesa has developed and brought a way to make mobile payments to millions of people.  The market is now huge and getting bigger, it’s estimated the East African mobile payment market is worth more than $60 billion alone.

It’s not only a successful market in itself but also as an enabler for all sorts of other sectors both in technology and other areas.   Before this it was incredibly difficult to engage in online transactions.  Some people could access online accounts and other used tools like VPNs and even this Smart DNS Netflix application which can hide your location.  However this could be difficult and you often needed large resources to enable these accounts before even buying anything.  The reality is also that many companies are starting to block and ban VPNs too and they are an extra cost which will obviously decrease your target market massively.

John Houston

From Anonymous Torrenting

Internet Marketing in Africa

So is it possible?  Can you run a successful internet business from Africa or are there too many problems.  The obvious ones are starting to to improve, access to the internet is now fairly straight forward either using the phone network or some decent network infrastructure in the bigger cities.  Fortunately most marketing and online businesses don’t need massive amounts of bandwidth and a PC or laptop with access to a WiFi network or a reasonably priced internet cafe are easily enough.

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So if infrastructure is not a barrier, what’s to stop anyone making a successful living online in Africa?  Well there’s little really – obviously education and technical knowledge can be an issue but if you have access to the internet there’s little to stop people learning themselves.  Everything you need is available online – help with building a website, help with marketing and promotion techniques.  There’s no need to pay for this information either.

If you have any doubts remember some of the most successful online businesses have been set up and run whilst travelling.  There are thousands of bloggers and marketers who run their businesses whilst travelling the world, in fact this is often the driving force behind this way of life.

There are some issues of course, and as always these can be significant if you don’t find a way around them.  Many marketers have difficulty with sending and receiving payments because many online processors won’t allow accounts from certain countries.  Unfortunately places like Nigeria have something of a reputation for online fraud, which means that legitimate marketers find it difficult to get accounts for services like these.  If you have a decent bank account and perhaps a credit card which is internationally accepted then this goes a long way to bypassing these barriers.

The problems with location can be solved too, generally your location is determined from you IP address however this can be hidden quite easily.   You may have heard of a service called VPN which is commonly used to bypass internet filters and access content in other countries like this one used when Netflix blocked proxies.   Well this can also be used to create a digital personae which is based in another country, simply connect through to server based in an American or European country and that’s where you’ll appear to be based from.

The trick is that the IP address that is revealed to whichever web site you visit is the last one, so if you connect through a UK VPN server you’ll have a British IP address.   This is worth doing as you’ll get a much easier time with a London IP than one from Lagos – unfair that it seems.

Starting in an internet based business in Africa can have some challenges however there is no doubt that the market is there.  If you focus on a domestic market first, you’ll actually have an advantage – learn what Africans want online and try and supply them.

John Carter

Further Reading:

Using a Proxy for Netflix, Carden House Publishing, 2016

Online Problems for African Firms

The internet was originally quite an open and balanced place where it didn’t really matter where you lived.  However over the years due a variety of factors ranging from cybercrime to commercial competition and perhaps protectionism, the playing fields are not so even now.

It is estimated that Africa will be the next big boom area for online businesses.  The expansion of connectivity has increased greatly with the easy access to smart phones and inexpensive internet enabled devices like tablets.  So how come so  many African digital entrepreneurs feel at a disadvantage?

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One of the biggest problems is the growth in a technology called geolocation which determines you geographical location as you visit a web site.  The technology is used for lots of reasons but often to control and restrict access based on your physical location.  Often this is just an inconvenience, for instance being able to watch entertainment or news channels is useful but not essential for a digital entrepreneur.  Being able to watch Hulu or Iplayer USA, is merely a benefit not a necessity.  However in other situations it can lead to a genuine business disadvantage.

The problem is that many areas of Africa are considered a high fraud risk, which means that lots of companies restrict their services to these areas.  Payment processors are particularly wary of offering their services to people located in Africa which can cause huge problems.  These services are essential is you are trying to sell digital or physical goods and services online without them you simply can’t compete.

There are solutions however these are often cumbersome workarounds which are difficult and expensive to use.   Most digital businesses however do have to invest in such solutions in order to compete online.   One of the options is to invest in fast USA proxy, which can hide  your real location.  When you connect through a proxy based in a different country, you can appear to be in that actual country.  So a Nigerian company can operate through a US VPN or proxy to access services that might normally be inaccessible to them.

It’s a little unfair but these technologies can help companies level the playing field slightly when trying to compete in the digital marketplace.

 

Plans for Pan African Passorts

It looks like Africa could attempt to implement a copy of the European free movement model by introducing an African passport which would allow free movement amongst African nations to holders. Africa Union officials don’t require visas when visiting participant states and are using a special passport.

“It is additionally possible to do that … There is no African who is carrying a passport from any African country who must go and submit an application for a visa till they go to Rwanda – not anymore. It’s possible for you to get onto the airplane now and go to Rwanda without any visa,” includes Dlamini Zuma.

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The Africities summit brought together local government networks and African mayors and development partners to share experiences and best practices on problems including infrastructure development, urbanisation, migration and accessibility to fundamental services.

It is an extension to the globalisation attempts made throughout many of the more forward thinking African nations.  Many of the countries are experiencing growth and improving their infrastructure, many small business operate online for example using fast proxies to access markets which were previously blocked.

In addition they explored local governments can promote the realisation of the Agenda 2063 of the AU which imagines Africa that is peaceful, prosperous and integrated.

Dlamini Zuma says this vision won’t be realised without the total participation of local authorities that are African, including the youth as well as girls.

“And when you examine Agenda 2063 – everything that is there affects on local government. Is the abilities revolution? I was looking at data – it is shocking to find how many town planners we’ve. When we talk about abilities revolution local government is very much affected,” she says.

While Africa is the least urbanised continent – it’s nevertheless urbanizing at a fast speed.

A lot of individuals are coming into cities in search of a better life and this puts pressure on municipalities and cities to supply fundamental services.

What is shocking yet is that African nations continue import food at a high price.

“We import more than $80-billion worth of food as a continent each year. President of Ghana [John Dramani Mahama] lately was saying if they made five harvests and were self sufficient, as Ghana in those five harvests like petroleum, rice, sugar, and tomatoes that are common things used daily. That amount of money would be invaluable at local government, in instruction in a number of places which are essential for our development,” describes Dlamini Zuma.

Additional  reading

 

African Cities with High Growth Potential

MAPUTO’ the capital of Mozambique’ gets the most effective possibility for inclusive increase in comparison with other big African cities.

The cities of South Africa are rated lower than last year in 2015 and therefore are prone to experience greater inequality during another decade’ the index states.

“Slow economic growth coupled with increasing people allow it to be likely that South Africa’s cities will likely experience greater inequality during another decade'” the report states.

Now’ the ACGI maps African cities’ economic prognosis based on their possibility for urbanisation that is inclusive. Twentyfive social and economical inclusion indicators are quantified.

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“The ACGI evaluates the possibility of Africa’s cities to raise the wellbeing of the urban people'” Prof George Angelopulo of the University of South Africa’ writer of the 2015 ACGI’ said in a statement. “As inclusive urbanisation is a prerequisite for inclusive increase’ the study presents a measure of every city’s potential as a spot to dwell’ work and do business in the forthcoming years.”

There are many smaller, web focussed businesses there including some which are highly specialised like this company who design and market video making software online.

Maputo’s inclusive increase possibility drops to the moderate-high class’ credited to its share of Mozambique’s foreign direct investment (FDI)’ which as a portion of national GDP is one of the greatest on the planet. The town is commended for: continuously enhancing rates of government effectiveness; to do business, regulatory quality and ease.

Mr Angelopulo notes that Casablanca is the only North African city with moderate-high growth potential’ supported by the comparative stability in a turbulent area in Morocco.

In Lagos (Nigeria)’ the third-ranked big city which also has moderate-high growth potential’ the upsurge in percent of middle class families is substantial because of the variety of citizens that increase signifies’ as well as the effect they’ll have on future consumption in town.

The price of wage increases’ subsidies and debt repayments undermines economic expansion projected’ according to the index.

“Each city evaluated by the ACGI has an original group of socioeconomic’ ethnic and political variables that affects its increase trajectory'” says Angelopulo.

“Cities with skilled and well-informed people’ low amounts of crime and corruption’ higher discretionary income’ regulatory stability and foreseeable commercial surroundings are beacons for gift’ company and investment’ and they offer their citizens greater assurance than cities without these features'” he says.

Matola’ next to Maputo to the west’ is the moderate of the ACGI -sized city together with the greatest possibility for increase that was inclusive. Additionally it is the city together with the greatest possibility for increase throughout Mozambique’ proposing the favorable prognosis for the economic growth that is inclusive and development of Mozambique as time goes by. All three cities have moderate-high increase possibility that is inclusive.

Of the little cities evaluated’ Windhoek (Namibia) and Victoria (Seychelles) rank first and second respectively with moderate-high inclusive increase possibility. Gaborone (Botswana) is third’ with medium-low inclusive increase possibility.

Additional reading