Saturday, June 19, 2010

African Voices in the Global Media Space: the 14th Highway Africa Media Conference

The 14th Highway Africa Conference takes place between 4th and 7th July 2010 at Rhodes University, Eastern Cape, South Africa. During this event Highway Africa will recognise media practitioners in various key categories. This event is touted as the largest gathering of journalists in Africa.

The event, which has become one of the hallmarks of new media achievement in Africa highlights the power of the media among communities especially as a way of promoting open and free expression that boosts growth and development.

Upcoming event to address issues of intra-African connectivity

The Internet Society in conjunction with various partners will be holding an event in Nairobi which seeks to bring together African Internet Exchange Point operators, ISPs, policy makers, regulators and professionals to deliberate on strategies to improve connectivity between and within African countries.

$2 Million Laptop Grant for Kenyan University Students

Kenya's ICT Board, the main implementation agency under the Ministry of Information & Communication has lined up US$ 2 Million which will go towards granting about 15,500 university students the opportunity to own their own personal laptop.

This initiative, which is supported under the World Bank's KTCIP programme will go a long way towards increasing the awareness, application and opportunities for ICT in the education sector.

Students will be required to apply for the grant via the ICT Board web-based portal and will be served on a first-come first-serve basis with further verification and authentication being performed by the laptop vendor and the university to which the student belongs.

Kudos to the ICT Board for yet another ground-breaking initiative!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Zambia Reduces International Gateway Fees

A very interesting development as reported by Zambia's Lusaka Times. This is a further testimony to the commitment many African countries have towards reducing the cost of communications services as one way of stimulating investment, economic growth and development. The full article follows:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hands on with the iPad in Nairobi

Yesterday I got a chance to lay my paws on an iPad for the very first time! The device belonged to a friend of mine who works with a US-based company with offices in Nairobi. A workmate of his bought it in the USA and brought it in for him yesterday morning. I witnessed the ceremonial 'box-opening' and our gasps of awe and amazement were a clear testimony to the sleek beauty that this device possesses.

After turning it round over and over, my pal put it on charger and we took off our separate ways for what proved to be a pretty busy schedule of meetings. We met up later that evening and he had already sync'd up with his Macbook Pro as well as connected to his various online services including social media, email, calendars etc. It was quite fortunate that we met at Java Cafe in Sarit centre, where they have free wifi. The performance of this device on the 'net is nothing short of amazing, typing into text fields and documents with the onscreen keyboard is actually quite easy and a far-cry from the fiddling that one does with the tiny onscreen keyboard that the iPhone possesses.

This particular model was the current top-end device with 64GB storage, 3G+Wifi. The most amazing thing? Earlier in the day my pal had contacted Safaricom and yes, they do have the special microsim that the iPad 3G needs for service. Yippee!