South Africa’s online landscape is set for huge changes in coming months as new top-level domains, including three “dot-city” top-level domains, are opened for registration for the first time and as long-dormant domains are reintroduced. In the months ahead, the ZA Central Registry (ZACR), which operates the centralised registry platform for .co.za and other domains, will begin accepting registrations for Internet addresses that end in .africa, .joburg, .capetown and .durban. In addition, it will again begin accepting registrations for .net.za and .web.za addresses, which have been dormant for the past decade. Local, provincial and national government departments and agencies are being given the opportunity to preregister names in the three new city domains, so the City of Cape Town, for example, could secure tourism.capetown or tablemountain.capetown before registrations are opened to the general public. Companies are also able to reserve their trademarks, helping deter domain squatters.
NETCB,one of Novell's mobility partners in Africa, has introduced a range of mobile solutions for the African market. This complete mobility solution for enterprises provides comprehensive mobile device management, it ensures secure mobile productivity and delivers safe file sharing and mobile printing capabilities from any device. As the workplace environment becomes increasingly more mobile, NETCB is dedicated to delivering enterprise-quality solutions that allow organisations to meet employee demand for anywhere, anytime access while providing IT with control in the digital landscape. NETCB’s CEO Cobus Burgers says mobility is expanding rapidly through the African continent. "The introduction of enterprise mobility to the IT environment is about much more than just facilitating BYOD. It's about tangibly enhancing productivity without compromising security.”
Bharti Airtel has been recognised as the African Operator of the Year at the CommsMEA Awards 2013. Executives including telecoms CEOs, vendors, ministers and regulators attended the eighth edition of the event at a 300-strong gathering at the Awards gala dinner held at Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai. The award recognizes excellence within the telecoms sector across the Middle East and Africa. By beating some seriously strong contenders on the shortlist, which were the MTN Group, Vodacom and Nedjma, Airtel has consolidated its position as the best African Operator.
Johannesburg — Maureen Phiri, 18, has a soft voice and a strong message about HIV and young people in her country. "In Malawi, people are still in denial because of cultural beliefs. Traditional leaders and churches are denying the disease. Let us gather those leaders and hear from young people what is really happening." Phiri, an activist who lives with HIV, belongs to the Baylor Teen Club in Lilongwe, Malawi's capital. The club is part of a programme that provides medical care and psycho-social support to HIV-positive adolescents, of whom Malawi has 91,000. Phiri works hard to overcome the stigma still attached to HIV among her peers. "Only then we will be able to have an AIDS-free generation," she told IPS.
Technology giant Microsoft recently opened a Cybercrime centre at the Company’s headquarters in Redmond, US and while the centre is based abroad, it will also monitor cyber security issues across Africa. Cybercrime is often associated with, or directly stems from, pirate and counterfeit software. In Africa, Microsoft is trying hard to combat the problem and will continue to do so with the help of the technology from Microsoft’s Cybercrime Centre
News of the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela on 05 December 2013 has flooded worldwide communication channels, with social networks representing the medium of choice for many to express their thoughts, feelings and experiences – including those of companies across the spectrum of Africa’s ICT sector.Mandela passed away at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, just before midnight, surrounded by family. President Jacob Zuma made an official announcement from the Union Buildings in Pretoria to the country saying “Our thoughts are with the millions of people across the world who embraced Madiba their own. We will always love you Madiba… may your soul rest in peace. God bless Africa.”
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers(ICANN) plans to launch some 1900 new Generic Top Level Domains (gTLD’s). This new system will allow for the registration of generic words,geographic names and brand names as top level names, for example .lawyer, .africa, .zulu, .google and .clothing, and ICANN has established a so-called ‘Trademark Clearinghouse’, which came into effect on 26 March 2013.If you register with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) you will be entitled to register your trade mark as a domain name during the so-called ‘Sunrise Period’ for each new gTLD as and when it comes into effect. This will give you a preferential registration right, in that you will be able to register your trade mark as a domain name before the general public are able put in their applications,” the company said in a statement.
With the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stating in a report in October this year that output in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to “expand by 6% in 2014″, academics and technology specialists have agreed that the projected growth will also fuel demand for skills.The ICT skills shortage experienced internationally, including South Africa, has also increasingly been experienced by countries in Africa. According to Professor Andre Calitz of the Department of Computing Sciences at The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), the ICT skills shortage estimates presently are between 20 000 and 70 000 in S.A. and over a million in the USA and Europe.
Newspaper headlines that the international space station might have been compromised by a computer virus might be sensational and grab much attention, but seem far removed from everyday organsations and businesses most of us work for and with. But the reality is that while this sort of high profile attack grabs media headlines, the majority of businesses around the world also face cyberattack and their networks will be compromised – either by professional cybercrime gangs or in this case the actions of a well meaning insider. While every year organisations around the world spend millions of dollars on internet security designed to stop cybercriminals getting into their networks
Being an entrepreneur anywhere in the world is daunting but the technology sector in Africa presents its own distinct challenges. Yet, despite the limited reliability of the network or the lack of available funding and training, men and women across the continent are risking their own money to grow Africa’s economies. I have worked in eight countries across Africa, and everywhere I go, I meet young people, like myself, posing difficult questions and working on innovative solutions. However, I also encountered another, less heartening, constant. In every office I worked in, I was one of just a handful of women. This imbalance can be decidedly unhelpful when it comes to building the confidence and decisiveness that are key to entrepreneurship. In a recent US report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, women were shown to have less self-belief than men. Without the confidence to turn their dreams into reality women are much less likely to start their own businesses.
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