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.

african internet

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.


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.


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?


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.


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

Is African Boom Fair and Sustainable?

The latest figures released from the World Bank suggests that many African economies are certainly booming.  Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya head the growth list and are among the fastest growing economies in the world.   However when you travel around these countries there are two questions that naturally come to mind – is this growth both sustainable and is it genuinely helping all sectors of  society.


One of the problems with classing a country as a boom economy is that this often obscures genuine problems.  Just because a country is experiencing high economic growth doesn’t mean that the benefits are being distributed fairly.  For example in Nigeria, the riches are being made by the few with much of the benefits being taken out of the country.

A better measure of success is often to see how much of that growth is filtering into projects which can benefit all.  Africa is plagued by lots of problems and investment in roads, infrastructure, electricity and technology is needed practically everywhere.  The secret to sustainable success is to invest profits, to invest in Africa and the African people.

It’s when Africa sees positive benefits for normal people through improvements in their lives that you can feel that the growth is real and a positive force in the continent.  Growth which includes profits made by foreign countries, led by foreign CEOs supported by foreign investment is normally of little benefit.  In fact watching African resources plundered for profits made by outsiders can be quite depressing.

There are some very positive signs, you can now access the internet in most major African towns, something that was unlikely a decade a go.  People use the internet regularly and it’s not uncommon to see the BBC iPlayer being streamed to a mobile phone or tablet in Africa now using this technology to watch British TV online.

There is a growing appetite for business within Africa yet there is still much need for improvement.  It is difficult to start businesses and create wealth in Africa especially in areas where corruption is rife, yet this needs to happen.  Governments can encourage employment and growth but they can’t create employment directly – vast centralised economies are not really an option here.

Further Reading

Starting a New Business in Africa

It is of course, difficult to start up a new business anywhere in the world.   Which is why entrepreneurs with the know how and determination to do so are so highly valued.  However in Africa there are very specific problems to starting up and this article attempts to summarise them.


Defining your market and assessing competition is crucial, what will work in Europe is not necessarily going to be a success in Africa.  Start up companies possibly have more opportunities in Africa where markets are less mature and are not always completely dominated by established brands.  Most businesses without a high level of investment are best suited to niche markets where the competition is less intense.    Don’t pick a market which is already saturated, try and bring something new and different which will help define a target audience.

You do need to step back and look carefully at the area and market you choose.  Is there an effective demand for your product?  The word ‘effective’ is important here, it basically means that people both want and can afford your product.  Don’t set up a high end expensive restaurant in an area with high unemployment and low living standards, it simply won’t work.

The next important step is of course employees, in some countries you can usually be assured of finding people with the right skills in most industries.  However in Africa this is not always the case, it is important to source the right people within your budget.  If they don’t have the skills, the should be able to develop and attain them through mentoring and training.

One area that is seeing great progress in Africa is digital companies.  These are basically companies that exists and trade primarily online, which has a huge advantage.   Not only can you locate in areas diverse from your target market, also the costs can be significantly lower.  Take this web site for example which demonstrates a digital product called a proxy to allow people to watch the BBC iPlayer abroad.  It’s a product and market that is probably accessible in Africa and you don’t need retail outlets in Harare and Cape Town to sell them – just a web site.

Of course this does mean  that you can’t use ‘cookie cutter’ type web sites to sell products to African markets.  You’ll obviously need to adapt your approach depending on both the product and countries you are targeting.   Including native language support is also a good idea, selling in a native language is always a good idea and differentiates from  your competitors

James Hallaway




African Entrepreneurs Face Multiple Hurdles

There is something of an opportunity in Africa at the moment, for people who are comfortable online. Although Africa as is often the case has lagged behind the digital revolution, this is now beginning to change. THe infrastructure is improving quickly, partly due to the mobile phone which spread across Africa like no other technology in history. African’s love their mobile phones and these have developed so quickly that now many people have access to the internet through their phone networks rather than needing expensive computers and tablets which are often not available.


This means that there is a huge potential for ordinary African entrepreneurs to set up digital businesses. THere is no need for lots of capital, which is one huge barrier for Africans although financial systems are improving too. Goods and services can be marketed and sold online by anyone with a modicum of technical knowledge and a drive to succeed. Of course some investment is required but this is firstly quite minimal and secondly is often in knowledge, an investment that will pay dividends in other areas.

Some African entrepreneurs are even selling globally, although there are some extra difficulties they face. One of the biggest is the stigma of many African nations with regards to other people – Nigerian business people can have huge problems online because of the existence of the Nigerian scammers reputation. There are unfortunately a lot of online criminals based in Nigeria which makes it more difficult for legitimate business people who tend to get tarred with the same brush. This can mean not only a reputation causes problem with potential customers, it also can be difficult to get payment processors like Paypal and Credit Card companies to accept Nigerian businesses without a track record.

Fortunately there are methods around this, software like this can be used, to actually hide your real location. Combined with a remote virtual office and foreign postal address, an African businessman can operate virtually from another country if needed. This can be combined with a foreign based bank account to put them on an equal playing field to a European or North American online business man.

These might seem trivial obstacles for an online business, but in reality they’re substantial ones that people in the developed world don’t face. However there are increasing signs that digital entrepreneurs are creating wealth and prosperity in Africa. In Nigeria there are many thousands of legitmate online businesses being created, whether they’re internet marketers, programmers or web designers these are real people earning income online. The potential earnings may be small initially but compare favorably with African cost of living, and supplement many families incomes.

Further Technical information
Technical citation –

More Digital Companies Invest in Africa

Africa as a region has certainly concentrated in the IT sector in the last two years because of the vast increase opportunities and continues to be bringing attention. Seagate has set its existence and investments to develop using their essential focus being Algeria, Nigeria and Kenya. In accordance with the business, Seagate began investing in station plans and individuals to expand their market presence on the other side of the continent. South Africa is just another sizeable marketplace for the firm as a result of direction and its market share in the united states.

There is a growing digital industry in South Africa and some of the other more developed nations. The improvement in both infrastructure and the availability of smart phones has boosted this sector. Although the majority of digital sales from Africa are made in the same country and continent – more and more firms are now selling globally leveraging a highly skilled work force and lower wage costs. There are now thousands of digital entrepreneurs who run their businesses online, although do to some restrictions they are often using software like this – details here, to hide their real locations.


“As Seagate, we find tremendous potential for assorted states inside the African continent.

It’s empowered driving the increase as well as chances associated with growth of cloud.

Long term demands continues to develop quickly and fuel the interest in enterprise storage systems for scalable storage; particularly together with the increasing popularity. “In addition, the find an enormous increase in sections like company NAS and surveil, as well the enormous demand for more sophisticated consumer storage devices,” Assaf included.

Included in Seagate’s go to-market strategy their local Station Relationship Managers’ key focus will be to drive the growth of the Seagate Partner Program (SPP).

Seagate considers that investing in individuals is the key that will drive future growth.

For investors with steady nerves, the bulls say, Africa offers an opportunity to reap a better return than they would in the “old” emerging markets — an opportunity to cash on greater growth than they can expect from, say, the BRICs or the MINTs. While economic growth and a rising stock market don’t always occur in tandem, some investors see the two creating a virtuous cycle in Africa.

“We believe that Africa could be the ‘emerging market’ story of the next decade,” said Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group and manager of the Templeton Africa Fund,

Source: Technical Reference

Further Reading:

21st Century Transport Apps in South Africa

If you are stuck in South Africa without your own car, it can be hard work. For anyone who has been stuck in a South African city trying to catch a cab is a very difficult job for those unfamiliar with the environment. However, that is all set to change with a new range of applications for your phone which can actually hail a cab for you.

They work using GPS technology, meaning they are able to actively locate the nearest available cab to your position. There are quite a few different companies targeting this space including Zapacab, Snappcab and Afta Robot to name a few. Zapacab seems to be leading the way in South Africa though, releasing the first cab hailing application last summer. Many more people now have smart phones so the economics of these applications is starting to make real sense.

The primary goals of the application are efficiency and safety. Obviously it’s far more efficient for a taxi to pick up a nearby fare than to drive across town, which save time and money for the user as well. The user is also aware of the drivers name and cab before they are picked up and a record remains of the journey which should discourage the practice of making unnecessary diversions to bump up the fare.

These are local firms who are creating these applications so they are tailored for the South African market, however there are companies trying to create global applications like this. Uber have also launched an application in South Africa, which is tailored for the luxury market.

You can try these applications out for yourself or check the local media to get some feedback on them. As always if travelling be careful how you user your smartphone and internet connections. Try and avoid using untrusted wifi networks when accessing personal or private data, it’s a smart move to use a secure vpn or proxy service like this.

James Greenhoff is a regular contributor to this and other blogs/online publications. He also records and distributes technology videos like this one demonstrating how to buy proxy connections for use when travelling.

Internet Usage in Africa

There are many people who believe that one of the biggest chances that Africa has to develop and vastly improve the standard of living there is the internet.  There is no doubt that throughout the world there is a huge correlation between successful developed countries and internet usage in those countries.  Of course you could argue that it is merely representative of previous success which enables the infrastructure to be developed and implemented.  However I believe that is far too simplistic.

The internet is more than a way to keep up with your friends or waste a few hours browsing around.  The internet is the most powerful, market place for skills, goods and services that there has ever been.  There is simply no sort of physical business that can’t benefit from some sort of internet presence and literally millions of businesses that simply exist online with no physical location. For Africa this is important, one of the biggest obstacles faced by the African entrepreneur is the lack of seed or investment funding to start a business.  African banks have simply not provided this service in the past although thankfully it is changing.   However an internet business can be started for virtually nothing, time and effort goes a long way online and it’s a great way for an entrepreneur to start and make a worthwhile living.

It can be used to promote or develop a localised business or with a little investment in things like proxies or VPNs as illustrated here, you can reach markets globally.  However if you look at some of the statistics representing internet usage in Africa you can see a worrying trend developing.  Have a look at some of the stats on this site – Africa Internet Usage, you can see that internet penetration is dominated by the traditional economic successes in Africa.  Countries like Egypt and South Africa have a very high proportion of internet users, also Kenya has invested heavily in an usable infrastructure.  However the largest by far is that of Nigeria where at least a proportion of the massive oil revenues has been utilised to improve internet availability.   These countries alone have well over 50% of the internet users in Africa, but places like the Congo or Ethiopia have a depressingly small amount of internet users.

Of course the internet is going to solve all these countries problems but falling behind in yet another economic advantage isn’t going to help them either.

Further Reading