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TOP 20 Tech CEOs

Introducing the leaders of Africa’s biggest ICT companies! PAGE 20

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We dream in Microsoft.

What we see in those dreams are businesses improving sales. Reducing cost Boosting productivity. And promoting collaboration. All with the power only Microsoft® technologies can bring. If you have a goal, a vision -- or a recurring

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business -- giveyou us amay call. be You’ll see we never stop thinking about how When it comes todream the cloud, overwhelmed With Dimension Data, you can be sure you’re making we can help youprivate, build business value. To learn more about our expertise, by the options. Public, or hybrid? Software-asthe best choices for your organisation’s future. With our a-service, visit platform-as-a-service, or infrastructure-as-acomprehensive range of Cloud Services, we help you at service? With so many possible paths to pursue, many each step of your journey towards the cloud. organisations’ cloud initiatives remain grounded. Or Contact us, or visit our website for more information on worse, veer dangerously off course. our portfolio of Cloud Services.

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moving forward securely T

he release of sensitive information by former USA National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, ‘the whistleblower’, as well as developments in the extradition charges against editor-in-chief and founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, is a stark reminder of the strategic importance of data – and the reason security remains front-of-mind for decision makers. Protection of assets, at every level, is topical and included in most ICT discussions today. This edition of African Innovator Magazine is dedicated to security technology and strategy, that which is used to protect businesses internally and externally. We have solicited input from industry leaders and experts who have provided frank accounts of trends that impact this critical area of ICT, as well as international best practice, challenges and approaches. In this edition we reflect the various dimensions that exist within the security paradigm, from technologies to implementation strategies, and cause & affect.

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In line with African Innovator Magazine’s mandate to profile leading technology companies and the continent’s top innovators, we believe it fitting that we profile “Africa’s ICT Champion”, Leo Stan Ekeh. Ekeh founded and established a successful technologyfocused West African operation and has done so by leveraging off the benefits of technology to address challenges and make a difference to society. We hope you enjoy the read.

A.S. Wakama Publisher

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CONTENTS Tech News 6

Snippets of Major ICT Developments on the Continent

Social Scene 8

A Round-up of Major ICT Events and Networking Functions

Gadgets 10 11 11

Jabra Solemate Xperia Z tablet Fujifilm HS30

The Innovator 12 16 18

Leo Stan Ekeh on building a West African tech empire Chinedu Echeruo - African entrepreneur sells mobile app and catches the eye of Apple Computers Herman Kojo Chinery-Hesse - Words from Ghana’s “Bill Gates of Africa”

The List 20 26 30 34

Africa’s most influential Technology CEOs 10 African Innovation Incubators to watch 10 African eCommerce websites making waves Five great African tech innovations

Industry Analysis A rich editorial mix makes AIM a must-read. A magazine to savour,and a source of reference to keep.

36 39 42 44 46

BYOD: The future is here - Simon Campbell-Young Why a User Access Control Policy is crucial for your organisation - François Amigorena Managing mobile security risks - Tyl Hannemann With a solid strategy you will mobilise your organisation effectively - Grant Selvan How Africa’s ingenuity can fuel and sustain growth - Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais

Features 50 52 54 57

Forensic technology and seeking the truth Cybercrime - the dark side of mobile mania Africa: Imagining the possible Baba Jukwa, social media and Zimbabwe

Industry Leaders 60

Africa is Microsoft’s second biggest investment - Mteto Nyati

Digital Africa 62

Better bandwidth, bigger DDoS application level risk - Perry Hutton

Country Focus 64

Technology will ensure world watches Zimbabwe

Publishing Director A. S. Wakama, Editors Chris Tredger, Charlie Fripp, Business Development and Sales Vardis Banga (, Layout and Design Jevon Johnson, Publisher ITNA Publishing (Pty) Ltd, Address Old Trafford 2, Isle of Houghton, Boundary Road, Houghton, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, Telephone +27 11 026 0982

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fast laneN E W S



Nigeria’s Swift Networks to put LTE to the test Nigerian broadband internet and data services provider Swift Networks has announced that they will be conducting Long Term Evolution (LTE) network tests with over 500 volunteers who will be putting the new network through its paces in preparation for its launch in Lagos. “This will be Nigeria’s fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network; we will not rush this launch and will take every care to ensure that we get it right the first time. Getting the most aggressive users from our current customer base to test-drive it will enable us to debug and finetune it to meet the exerting demands of our target customer base”, said Chukwuma Okoye, Chief Operating Officer at Swift. He added that it is important that the volunteers give critical feedback on download and upload speeds, as well as uptime and the latency of the network.

SAMSUNG REVEALS NEW GALAXY NOTE 10.1 Electronics giant Samsung unveiled its latest tablet, the GALAXY Note 10.1, 2014 Edition, at the Samsung Unpacked event held in August in Berlin, Germany. The device makes use of a WQXGA Super clear LCD (2560 x 1600) resolution in a 10-inch display, 1.9 GHZ Octa Core processor (for 3G / WiFi only version) and 3GB RAM. “The new GALAXY Note 10.1 is the most progressive 10-inch tablet, delivering the best viewing and multitasking experiences. It is the most recent demonstration of Samsung Mobile’s focus on constant product innovation to stay aligned with shifting consumer interests,” said JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics. “The GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) unites a range of features that will consistently surprise consumers as they realize how much easier and more enjoyable it makes their everyday lives,” he said.

781 million mobile subscriptions in Africa Nigeria and South Africa are two of the continent’s most connected countries in terms of mobile phone subscriptions and have helped to push up overall numbers on the continent to over 781-million subscriptions. This is according to Ericsson’s annual Mobility report. Nigeria has been the fastest growing country on the continent, adding more mobile subscriptions than any other country. In the second quarter of this year, the nation added 20-million new connections. According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the country has 181-million connected lines and over 120-million active lines. On a global scale, Africa is the third-most connected in terms of mobile subscriptions, surpassed only by Asia Pacific and China, which currently have 1.28 billion and 1.17 billion mobile subscriptions respectively.


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Social Scene



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frica is on its way to realising massive technology growth and increased connectivity fuelled, in part, by the adoption and application of cloud solutions. Driven by mobile applications and economic aid, amongst others, there are increased rates of adoption of cloud within government services, education

and other key sectors. At ITNewsAfrica’s Innovation Dinner focused on Real-world cloud adoption, hosted on 05 September in Johannesburg, ICT industry leaders, market analysts and business operators delved into the dynamics of cloud solution adoption globally - but particularly

within Africa and South Africa. Cloud adoption is on the increase because it is a more cost-effective way of managing IT infrastructure – mainly due to the various flexible options that are offered.


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fast laneG A D G E T S

Must-Have Gadgets JABRA SOLEMATE

Portable speakers are important for users who need an easy solution to play their favourite music while away from a decent sound system. There are many occasions where a portable speaker will come in handy and Jabra’s Solemate solution may be small in size, but it has really big sound. First impressions do count, but users should not be fooled by the unit’s small size. The old saying ‘dynamite comes in small packages’ is very true for the Solemate. Making use of Bluetooth connectivity, it is incredibly easy to set up and pair with any Bluetooth capable device. There is nothing more frustrating than setting up an electronic device that requires extensive knowledge of physics and astronomy.

Luckily Jabra (as they do with all their products) makes it very easy – flip and hold the Bluetooth switch and simply add it to the music device of choice. It is really that simple. As a whole the unit is incredibly easy to operate – the top of the device houses the volume buttons and a button to check the battery level. On the side sits the On/Off/Bluetooth switch and underneath that one will find the audio-in jack and the micro-USB port for charging.

PRICE: $120 Available at all reputable electronics outlets in South Africa


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SONY EXPERIA Z TABLET As far as tablets go, the market is fairly crowded with manufacturers trying to out-do each other around every bend, curve and angle. Specific features aside, all tablets are pretty much the same – a flat piece of electronic bread, buttered on both sides with a shiny casing and crammed with a tasty filling of wires, chips and components. The first thing that users will notice is the weight – it tips the scale at only 495 grams. That is more than a 100 grams lighter than the iPad with Retina Display. From there users are bound to pick it up and twirl it around to investigate where the weight went, which is when they will notice a second feature - it is the thinnest tablet on the market, while still retaining a 10.1 inch, 1200 x 1920 pixels display. Working off a Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait CPU, Android OS 4.2 and 2 GB RAM, means that users will be able to put the tablet through its paces without worrying too much about burning out a chip or popping a circuit board. In this respect, it performs beautifully – and that is probably the most sought after aspect for consumers. Being a Sony product, it also comes with a number of pre-installed Sony apps, such as Music Unlimited, Video Unlimited, PlayMemories Online, PlayStation Market and Xperia Link. While not all of those services are available in South Africa, in theory they do work. The tablet also comes with an app called Remote Control – which is really exactly what its name suggests. Opening the app, users will be able to select a number of devices such as televisions, home theatre systems and DVD players, and then after a short setup, be able to control them with the tablet’s built-in RF capabilities. The Xperia Z is incredibly light and easy to hold, works pretty well and is ultra-responsive. The button placement and card slots could have been designed a bit better, but users should get used to it.


PRICE: $629 Available at all reputable electronics outlets in South Africa


FUJIFILM HS30 With so many cameras on the market, it is difficult to decide which one will be better suited to a user’s needs. The beauty of choice is that users can decide whether they want a compact camera, an SLR or a just a point-and-shoot model. Fujifilm’s HS30 falls squarely within the compact camera space, and while it will not win any awards for ingenuity or design, it is a great camera to take along on a field trip or just to capture family photos – with minimal fuss. The business end has a maximum resolution of 4608 x 3456, and supports up to seven smaller resolutions that will save on memory space if users are running low. In terms of aspect ratio, the 16.0 megapixel camera supports 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9, with a 6.4 x 4.8 mm EXRCMOS sensor size. With that, it can achieve a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 of a second. The HS30 is a great compact little camera and everything works as one would expect. Aside from a few design flaws, the unit performs pretty well – if not for the battery. In general, it takes excellent quality images and the 30x zoom is fantastic. With a small build and being lightweight, it can easily fit into a bag for a day out.

PRICE: $370 Available at all reputable electronics outlets in South Africa


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By Chris Tredger

Leo Stan Ekeh on building a West African tech empire

“Technology has brought freedom to Africa the way no individual or institution could have done.”


igerian entrepreneur, CEO and Chairperson of ICT company and computer manufacturer Zinox Technologies Ltd. Leo Stan Ekeh is a respected and recognised name within Africa’s ICT landscape. A trained economist and risk manager, he initially had visions of establishing and running the largest transport network in West Africa, however his studies chartered a course for him directly into the realm of technology. Zinox Technologies Ltd. was established in 2001 and is focused on computer hardware manufacturing, distribution, ICT solutions, telecommunications, sales and support. It is an inter“The potential of his (Jobs’) Apple national company with Computers lifted the veil from my over 20 offices located eyes and I not only saw the answer across West Africa. Zinox to the challenges in the Nigerian Computers is acknowlmedia, I also saw the road that the edged as Nigeria’s first entire nation must take in her quest Internationally Certified for development. The Apple con- Branded PC with the nected with my inner yearnings and Naira sign on its interI answered to the call – my career national keyboard – a crystallized before me and there flagship for the establishhas been no going back,” ment of an IT identity he explains. for the country. Leo Stan Ekeh has established this IT hardware and services empire and, over the years, distinguished the business (as well as himself) in the process.

Zinox Technologies freely communicates its ambition to become “the preferred IT brand in Africa and beyond.” Short term plans may give impetus to the realisation of this objective: in May this year the company’s leadership announced plans to launch what it described as “Africa’s largest single ICT product mall” by 2016. Ekeh also founded several now established ventures including Task Systems Ltd., Technology Distributions, ICT Brokers and TD Plus, and is the recipient of over 60 awards, including the Icon of Hope bestowed on him by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and the IT Personality of the Year Award which he received in 2011. Task Systems Ltd. is credited with digitising print media, advertising agencies and publishing houses in Nigeria. He has been voted and honoured as an African ICT Champion by professionals across the continent, an accolade that means a great deal to him. So, when Leo Stan Ekeh offers advice on making it in the ultra-competitive and often unforgiving world of ICT, most people in the technology game sit up and listen. A young Ekeh Leo Stan Ekeh was born in 1956 in Amauburu, Ishi Ubomiri, Mbaitolio of Imo State in Nigeria. His father was a nursing su-


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HANDS ON THE INNOVATOR perintendent at the Owerri General Hospital and his mother was a trained dietician. He grew up in Owerri and Lagos and was interested in construction from an early age. “I was very restless but a good boy. As a child I loved to build, to put things together. Somehow I cherished the things that were called mine. For example, my books in school were so precious to me that even in the field, playing football, I would sling my school bag on my head. I loved standing by the truth and hated to be cheated or to be worsted in a relationship,” says Ekeh. Education took him overseas and he earned his BSc Economics degree in Chandigarh, India, as well as a post-Graduate Certification in Risk Management from the UK. It was upon his return to Nigeria in 1988 that his career started with the idea of initiating what he called “a rescue mission” for the print media – supplying the technology to speed up production. “I wanted to float a newspaper,” he explains. “Owning a newspaper was very attractive because of the central role of the press in the running of the day-to-day lives of the people. The medium wielded a lot of power and whoever controlled it was most likely to be influential in society. However, on making contact with the media, I discovered that the newspaper industry in Nigeria lacked the tools to be run as a profitable business. They lacked technology and production was time wasting and tedious characterized by analogue practices like cutting and pasting. My first intuition was to provide compugraphics. The newspapers were encouraged to use the services provided then at Task Systems Limited to speed up production.” A chance meeting with Jobs Ekeh describes a chance meeting with Apple’s Steve Jobs as “serendipity” and one that would change everything. “The potentials of his Apple Computers lifted the veil from my eyes and I not only saw the answer to the challenges from the Nigerian media, I also saw the road that the entire nation must take in her quest for development. Apple connected with my inner yearnings and I answered to the call – my career crystallized before me and there has been no going back,” he explains. In an interview with Nigeria’s Guardian newspaper, Ekeh said of the effect of Jobs death to Apple’s market in Nigeria, “I am somebody who experienced Steve Jobs

personally in London decades back, when he wanted me to work for Apple. His office got me the African distributorship. Then, I was present at a presentation by Steve Jobs and after listening to him, I asked him why it was that Africa did not have a place in his road map. He answered honestly when he said: “Stanley, for us at this point the African market does not exist but we admit that Africa is an emerging economy and Apple would embrace it.” He used the word embrace, saying that they would embrace Africa totally and today they are everywhere.

“It was after then, that his personal assistant sent a note to me where I was seated, saying that Apple would make things for Africa. “To me, Jobs was more or less like a mentor, though we are almost of the same age, but I respect his ingenuity, his creation was out of the world. “God sent him to certify the digital world. I think he has done his job and passed it over to the rest after him and I believe that they would be able to interpret what he left behind. I met him personally and he encouraged me to be here today and you can see 13 AFRICAN INNOVATOR VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2

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“NIGERIANS WERE GOING THROUGH HELL TO SOURCE THE TECHNOLOGY TO RUN THEIR BUSINESSES... I COULD CLEARLY SEE ENTREPRENEURIAL OPPORTUNITIES EMBEDDED IN INFORMATION COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY, I HAD THE LEARNING, THE HEART AND THE GOODWILL TO TAKE ADVATAGE OF THOSE OPPORTUNITIES AND I DID” the growth.” This meeting not only helped him conceptualise his dream, Ekeh realised, as a result of this encounter that he wanted to emulate Jobs. His ambition was to be like Jobs and possibly beat his record. “But, unfortunately, the country you operate from has a lot to do with your success.” Motivated by innovation and change The founding chairman of Zinox Technologies Limited is frank about technology in Nigeria and the road ahead for his country is on in terms of its application, innovation and development. In the early days of building his career, Ekeh was motivated by a self-imposed duty to “demystify the computer” and evangelise the benefits to address what he perceived to be a large gap in technology. He referred to a reluctance of authorities at the time to acknowledge the advantages of technology. “Nigerians were going through hell to source the technology to run their businesses… I could clearly see the entrepreneurial opportunities embedded in Information Communications Technology, I had the learning, the heart and the goodwill to take advantage of those opportunities and I did,” he says. Today, Ekeh continues to be optimistic about technology, about innovation and about the continent. “Technology has brought freedom to Africa the way no individual or institution could have done. Today people can express themselves and can make contributions to the development of thought patterns with-

out the restrictions of time and space. Technology is helping to deepen the democratic experience in Africa. For example, in 2006 and again in 2011, my company has had to supply over 120,000 laptops and DDC Machines to salvage the voters’ registration exercise for general elections in Nigeria. The objectives of free and fair elections are becoming more attainable by the day because of the impact of technology and we thank God that He used us to deliver Nigeria in this respect,” he says. Education first He believes that innovation should be about change, about that which advances corporate objectives or leads to an improvement in living conditions. “It is through Innovation that you can domesticate technology and that is the mandate of Zinox,” says Ekeh. He also agrees with the notion that

and profit - cobblers do not just mend shoes they design and make them; tailors are full blown fashion designers, photographers make book albums, and farmers target higher yields – all because of improved technology. Need I remind all that just one tablet can motivate a start-up that could change the life of an entire community? With proper use of technology no one can live below the poverty line,” he continues. Looking ahead, Ekeh acknowledges that the most pressing challenges for Africa, in terms of technology, are power supply, lack of qualified manpower, preference for foreign tech over locally produced goods, regulation/ policy and availability of funds to support startup ventures. But, as a spirited tenacious individual, he states that Africa is the continent of the future and is still untapped in terms of its natural and human resources. Ekeh’s advice to those considering a

“Technology has brought freedom to Africa the way no individual or institution could have done. no-one is destined to be poor in th is knowledge century and says that technology has created a level playing field, in which anyone can aspire to greater heights. “There are those who argue that access to education and subsequently access to technology are still not guaranteed in many developing countries. They argue that to that extent there are people who will end up poor - not of their own making but because their ‘catchment’ area was underserved. That position mirrors the exception and not the unlimited opportunities that are available to the citizenry as a result of technology. It is true that higher education is likely to give you a better mastery of technology,” Ekeh explains. “However technology yields productivity

future in technology: “persevere, don’t be intimidated and always stand on the side of integrity.”



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Chinedu Echeruo Nigerian entrepreneur catches the eye of tech giant Apple


pple is arguably one of this generation’s biggest technology companies. With billions of dollars generated through the sale of everything from smartphones to tablets, one could be forgiven for thinking the Company might have neither the time, nor the inclination to engage with African markets – or entrepreneurs. But that is exactly what happened to Nigerian-born entrepreneur Chinedu Echeruo. Apple acquired his startup venture in July 2013 for an undisclosed amount and, in so doing, lifted the profile of other African start-ups. HopStop is a mobile application that provides an online city transit guide for over 100 metropolitan areas worldwide. Apple purchased the company in a bid to enhance the capabilities of its own mapping software. But who is Chinedu Echeruo? And why did Apple show interest in this specific company? Echeruo was born in Nigeria and grew up in Lagos where he attended Kings College. Upon completing his studies, the young entrepreneur-in-training relocated to the Unites States of America in 1995, and went on to obtain

an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelors Degree from Syracuse University. After university Echeruo worked as an analyst at several investment banks and hedge funds, including J.P Morgan Chase, where he was involved in a broad range of mergers and acquisitions, financing and private equity transactions. Echeruo was also involved with AM Investment Partners, a $500-million volatility-driven convertible bond arbitrage hedge fund. Realising the need for a door-to-door public transport app, complete with step-by-step directions and maps for North American and European cities, he founded HopStop in 2005. The HopStop solution “Every entrepreneur starts off thinking ‘What’s a problem I can fix?’ The problem for me was how to get from Point A to Point B in New York,” Echeruo told The New York Times. “A transit authority that has, say, 75 buses in an urban town, they can go through the process of hiring some custom software programmers. But if they worked with us, they can have a trip planning service that is available to their users within two months,” he continued. HopStop grew in popularity and expanded its transportation network. In 2008 the Company attracted 1.5 million visits and secured 8 million pageviews and 25 million ad impressions per month. The Company was recognised as one of TIME maga-


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zine’s 50 Coolest Websites of 2006 and was included amongst Travel + Leisure’s Top 25 Travel Websites of 2007. In the same year, Echeruo was named Black Enterprise Magazine’s Small Business Innovator of the Year and listed in the publication’s Top 40 under 40. Echeruo then co-founded Tripology, Inc. in 2006 and served as the Company’s Chief Architect. Tripology is an interactive travel referral service focused on connecting travelers with qualified and customer-rated travel specialists. “We’re matchmakers in more ways than one. Tripology marries the high tech of the Web with the high touch of travel to benefit consumers and travel agents. While conventional wisdom once held that the Web would destroy travel agents by empowering consumers to book directly with travel suppliers, many travel experiences cannot be commoditized. Tripology connects travelers with the specialized travel agents that can turn their dream trips into reality,” he said at the time. was acquired in 2010 by Rand McNally. In order to start a private equity fund focused on Africa, Echeruo stepped down as CEO from HopStop in 2009 and was replaced by Joe Meyer, formerly Vice President & General Manager for AOL’s Quigo Technologies. “It was a very tough decision for me personally, as this was a company that I have started. But I felt where the company was and where it needed to go required a different skillset and a different leader. And I didn’t think that I had the particular strengths in running and growing an existing business for profitability,” he told INC in an interview. “One of the issues that I struggled with, was the products. I invested so much in the company, and even though we had made a decision to hire a CEO, there was a part of me that still wanted to hold on to the product. So initially the first six months or so of the company, I essentially wanted to still have a say in really having control of the product – because that was something that I was very passionate about. I was still very

invested in being involved in the tactical product decisions.”

tion. Essentially a business-in-a-box,” he told a delegation at TEDxIkoyi. Echeruo has proven that with a little bit Need for change of innovation, ingenuity and determination, After appointing a new CEO, Echeruo any problem can be solved with the right realised that things needed to change. “I mindset. realised that I had to let that go, which was According to African Tech Daily, Echeruo a pretty difficult thing to do as an early represents Africa in a positive light and has stage CEO – to literally give up all ties to the further added to the credibility of the concompany.” tinent. “Chinedu has not detached himself Echeruo fought hard to make the transifrom Africa despite his mostly American tion as smooth as possible. “There had been educational background; he remains a huge situations where the CEO-Founder transiadvocate of successful business development tions to a new CEO and there is conflict, in the continent and within his new role there is heat, as he disagrees with the way as Head of Principal Investing at Constant the new CEO is running the company. So I Capital his focus is on investing in African knew that, and I fought against that instinct, businesses. Last year he spoke at TedxIkoyi and I had to think clearly about my ego – I where he talked about his own business had to check that at the door.” After the encounters and presented a new idea that transition and his he envisions will subsequent stepping transform entredown, he still serves preneurship in the “THERE HAD BEEN SITUATIONS as a Chairman of the WHERE THE CEO-FOUNDER continent.” Board. And if any entreTRANSITIONS TO A NEW CEO Currently a preneur wants to AND THERE IS CONFLICT, THERE partner at Constant follow in Echeruo’s IS HEAT, AS HE DISAGREES WITH footsteps, he told Capital Partners, a THE WAY THE NEW CEO IS RUN- MSNBC’s The Grio West Africa based NING THE COMPANY. SO I KNEW that people should investment bank, Echeruo serves as not chase their THAT, AND I FOUGHT AGAINST the company’s Head dreams. THAT INSTINCT, AND I HAD TO of Principal Invest“I wouldn’t advise THINK CLEARLY ABOUT MY EGO ing and manages people to chase – I HAD TO CHECK THAT AT THE Constant Capital’s dreams. Instead DOOR.” principal investing chase what inspires and private equity business in all markets. you and makes you happy. They can very He also assisted in the sale of American different things.” Home Products’ food division to Hicks, Muse, Tate and Furst for $1.23-billion, and helped structure $624 million in financing for Clayton, Dubilier & Rice’s acquisition of Dynatech. In 2012 Echeruo also launched his Crowd-Sourced Business-in-a-Box idea, which will allow African businesses to collaborate on solutions. “There is no reason why every entrepreneur should have to reinvent the wheel every single time in all the countries in Africa. My idea is essentially to have one place where a budding entrepreneur CHARLIE FRIPP can access a template for starting a business, ITNEWSAFRICA.COM and then customize it to suit their own situa-


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Herman Kojo Chinery-Hesse Words from Ghana’s

“Bill Gates of Africa”


ust over two decades ago Ghanaian entrepreneur Herman Kojo Chinery-Hesse co-founded SOFTtribe Limited, one of West Africa’s leading software companies. Chinery-Hesse turned a modest software business into an established enterprise, focused on the design and implementation of computerised business application systems. His achievements have earned him worldwide acclaim. He is the first person from Africa to win the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Texas State Alumni Association and Texas State University. In 2005, he received an award for excellence in IT at the Millennium Excellence Awards in Ghana. Chinery-Hesse, popularly known as the ‘Bill Gates of Africa’, has featured as a keynote speaker at the mobile, web and emerging technology conference Tech4Africa. African Innovator Magazine spoke to Chinery-Hesse to understand the challenges faced by software entrepreneurs across Africa. Why did you pursue a career in software engineering? I didn’t have a choice, I wanted to live in Africa and own a business. I studied manufacturing to be able to work in Africa and I had no money, but I had a personal computer (PC). I realised that a PC will be a machine, a factory that could make software, so I ended up in manufacturing software. It is fun and very creative. It is lucrative for our part of the world, in our place and time.


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I DIDN’T HAVE A CHOICE, I WANTED TO LIVE IN AFRICA AND OWN A BUSINESS. I STUDIED MANUFACTURING TO BE ABLE TO WORK IN AFRICA AND I HAD NO MONEY, BUT I HAD A PERSONAL COMPUTER (PC) Is Ghana currently driven by technology innovation? Not completely. There’s a bit of disconnect between the government and the technology companies but I think it will cure itself soon. Is it challenging to build and own a thriving technology company in Africa? It’s challenging, the business environment is very rough. THERE’S A NEW WAVE THAT IS COMING WHICH IS VERY LIGHT IN People don’t have money. In most cases the government TECHNOLOGY, WHICH RIDES ON THE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT ALREADY does not buy from local comEXISTS IN AFRICA. ON THE BASIS OF THAT, WE WILL MAKE PROGRESS. panies. The policies are also IT WILL HAPPEN. I DIDN’T COME TO INTO AFRICA TO WASTE MY TIME. riding behind the technology. What advice can you offer future technology entrepreneurs? The technologies are ahead of the policy. In lots of cases it is difficult. They should persevere and come up with solutions that work in We don’t get a lot of support we need. We will fight it out and make it Africa. They will be the world’s experts on those solutions. You can’t work regardless of the challenges. take a system from the other continents and dump it in Africa, it will never work – it will be too expensive and, in a lot of cases, it will fail. What makes Africa’s business environment different from other There is a great opportunity to create Africa friendly ‘tropically tolerglobal markets? ant’ software and technology that works in this environment. It is an We are a developing world with infrastructure deficits. area of specialisation which will come into value. The Internet is slow, the mobile phone features are different and people’s education levels are different. What about potential entrepreneurs that lack sufficient skills? If you are moving goods around, logistics becomes a problem. Some They must make an effort to learn like we all did. I studied engiplaces have no roads although they have good products. neering. Programming is a hobby. I have never been to a programThese are some standard African business problems that are graduming class. It is all self-taught through trial and error. The current ally fading away. I’m excited about what is happening in the African generation has the Internet. They must practice. It is completely continent. There’s SMS and mobile phones, therefore 90% of the vilachievable. lage population who could not have access before are now suddenly a market we can tap into and I think that’s a great opportunity. How do you overcome Africa’s business challenges? You have to hustle. SMS messaging does not have that problem. We can always send SMS information to the villages and get communication and orders. There are now more sophisticated payment systems being introduced. There’s a new wave that is coming which is very light in technology, which rides on the infrastructure that already exists in Africa. On the basis of that, we will make progress. It will happen. I didn’t come into Africa to waste my time.


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Africa’s most influential Technology

CEOs Meet the CEOs of Africa’s biggest technology companies


review of several established international economic and financial publications reinforces the widely-acknowledged claim that Africa is home to seven of the world’s fastest growing economies. In a synopsis of economic growth on the continent, The World Bank forecasts that African economies are expected to grow, on average, at more than five percent p/a between 2013 and 2015, and that growth in SubSaharan Africa, exclusive of South Africa, will

rise to six percent. ICT- and mobile technology in particular, is widely acknowledged as a major contributor towards this growth and its sustainability. In light of the above, African Innovator Magazine has listed the most influential CEOs in Africa, the leaders of the Continent’s most powerful multinational ICT companies based on market value.


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1. Sifiso Dabengwa - MTN Group

since Joosub’s appointment, has grown by 4% with over 23-million subscribers in South Africa alone.

3. Jens Montanana - Datatec

Under the guidance of Group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN has remained the biggest mobile operator in Africa, based on turnover and the number of subscribers. Having been appointed to the position in 2011, Dabengwa has been influential in acquiring over 200-million subscribers for the Group across Africa. At the end of 2012, the Company’s revenue stood at $14.9-billion and its most profitable regions were undoubtedly the South African and Nigerian markets, from which the Company was able to generate $3.8-billion.


Shameel Joosub - Vodacom Group

South African-based ICT company Datatec, is run by CEO Jens Montanana, who at the end of 2012 helped the Company generate revenues of over $5.2-billion. The international ICT solutions and managed services group is listed on both the Johannesburg and London AIM stock exchanges and operates companies such as telecommunications consultancy Analysys Mason, networking services provider Intact Integrated Services and ICT infrastructure provider Logicalis. By the end of March 2013, Datatec had a staff compliment of over 6 000 employees, its revenue was up 4% and EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) was calculated at $185.5 million. Under Montanana cash generated from operations increased to $316.8-million from $102.8-million in 2012.

4. Koos Bekker – Naspers Vodacom, whose parent company is UKbased Vodafone, is the second largest company trading in Africa and in 2012 received revenue of over $8.2-billion. The South African-based group was under the direction of long-standing CEO Alan Knott-Craig until his retirement from the Company in 2008. The current CEO, Shameel Joosub, took over in September of that year. Joosub has been instrumental in implementing new tariffs, methods of billing and a range of bundles. This seems to have had an impact on the Company’s subscriber base, which,

Naspers is a South Africa-based multinational mass media company led by CEO Koos Bekker, who has served in this position

since 1997. At the end of the financial year for 2012/2013, the Company generated revenue of $5.2-billion. Bekker has served as a member of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee, and, in 1992, he was a Founding Director of South Africa’s mobile operator MTN Group, as well as a founding member of M-Net in 1985. With a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University, Bekker has been added to the World Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Business Times. During his tenure, Naspers has steadily gravitated towards online publications and currently has online models in Eastern Europe, Latin America, China, India, Russia, as well as numerous print titles in South Africa. Naspers has stakes in China’s Internet and instant messaging leader Tencent Holdings, Russian Internet giant Mail. ru and Brazilian magazine publisher Abril. Bekker has also helped to increase Naspers’ market capitalisation from approximately $600 million to $25 billion.


Sipho Maseko - Telkom South Africa

Telkom, also based in South Africa, is positioned as Africa’s largest integrated communications company, covering the spectrum of communications services including fixed line, interconnection, fixed line data, data centre and mobile communication services. For the financial year ended 31 March 2013, the Company generated a consolidated operating revenue of R32.5 billion and profit after tax of R501 million, excluding a once-off impairment charge. The Company also generated turnover of $4.2 billion. The Group’s CEO, Sipho Maseko, was appointed in April 2013, prior to which he served as Group COO of the Vodacom Group, as well as MD at mobile operator Vodacom SA. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law from Wits University and an LLB from the University of Natal.

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6. Abdeslam Ahizoune - Maroc


Moroccan telecommunication company Maroc Telecom is listed on the Casablanca and Paris stock exchanges and is majority owned (53%) by French multinational mass media and telecommunications company Vivendi. However, in July 2013, reports emerged that Etisalat and Vivendi had entered into negotiations to conclude an agreement for the sale of Vivendi’s interest in Maroc Telecom. In 2012 the Company secured a turnover of just over $2,7 billion and, in terms of mobile telephony, its subscriber base stood at 17,86 million representing 45,8% of the market. The Company is led by Chairman of the Management Board and CEO Abdeslam Ahizoune. He has served as Chairman of the Maroc Telecom Management board since February 2001. His portfolio includes several positions including being a Director of Lalla Salma Association Against Cancer, as well as Chairman of the Royal Moroccan Athletics Federation (FRMA) since 2006.


Ahmed Abou Doma -Orascom Telecoms

At the end of Financial Year 2012, communications infrastructure construction company Orascom Telecom (OTH), a multinational specialist provider of communications services, generated turnover of $3,5 billion through its continued global GSM network operation across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. OTH is traded on Egypt’s Stock Exchange (XCAI). The Company has an indirect equity ownership in Telecel Zimbabwe and via its subsidiary, Telecel Globe, engages the Burundi and the Central African Republic. Ahmed Abou Doma was appointed as the Group CEO in May 2011. Mr Abou Doma started his career in IT when he joined IBM in 1993 until 1996. In 1998 he formed part of the startup team that was instrumental in launching Mobinil, Egypt’s first mobile operator.


Mark and Brett Levy - Blue Label Telecoms

Founded in 2001, Blue Label Telecoms South Africa listed on the JSE in 2007 and is focused on the distribution of secure electronic tokens of value (predominantly prepaid airtime) and transactional services to both un-banked and under-banked consumers, locally and internationally. According to Year-end 2012 financials, the Company secured a turnover of just over $2 billion and is headed by brothers Mark and Brett Levy. Brett has achieved industry wide recognition, including being an Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur SA Finalist in 2007. Mark has also raised his profile and received, amongst other awards, the Top Entrepreneur accolade in the African Access National Business Awards in 2011, which he shared with his brother Brett.

9. Yves Gauthier - Mobinil

With Yves Gauthier at the helm since 2011, Mobinil, founded in 1998, has established a subscriber base of over 33.8 million subscribers and, at the end of 2012, generated revenue of $1.6-billion. France Télécom (Orange) currently owns 94% of the company, while 5% shares is owned by Orascom Telecom founder Naguib Sawiris, with 1,08% floating stock available to the investing public. Prior to joining Mobinil, Gauthier spent much of his career within the France Telecom-Orange Group, where he held various C-level positions within several subsidiaries in different countries. Mobinil was the first Global System for Mobile (GSM) company in Egypt to secure 99% coverage and the first to have international roaming agreements with 348 operators in 135 countries, including the US and Canada.

10. Mohamed Elnawawy – Telecom


Telecom Egypt is the largest fixed-lined telecommunications operator in Egypt, and also one of the oldest - having started

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THE LIST in 1854. Under the leadership of CEO Mohamed Elnawawy, the company secured revenue of over $1.6-billion for the 2012 Financial Year. Elnawawy previously held the position of Vice President and CSO, after which he was promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. Telecom Egypt enjoys a subscriber base of over 12-million, making it one of the largest fixed line providers in the Middle East. While having a strong presence in fixed-line communications, it also holds a 44% stake in mobile operator Vodafone Egypt. Telecom Egypt’s shares and GDRs are traded on Egypt’s Stock Exchange (XCAI), as well as the London Stock Exchange.


Safaricom was established in 1997 as a fully owned subsidiary of Telkom Kenya (until 2000) and is now the largest mobile service provider in Kenya. Bob Collymore has served as CEO since 2010. Prior to joining Safaricom, Collymore started his telecommunications career at British Telecommunications and was employed in various roles for over 15 years. Safaricom employs over 1500 employees, and, at the end of 2012, posted revenues of $1.2-billion. The Company has a subscriber base of approximately 12-million subscribers, with most residing in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Nakuru. Under Collymore, Safaricom managed to boost its subscriber numbers in 2012 by focusing on the speed of its 3G network and continuing to lift the profile of its mobile money service M-Pesa.



a 42.33% controlling stake in the Company and it is also listed on the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM). Sonatel manages 2,200 kilometres of fiber cable in Senegal, and is involved in the construction of fiber optics networks throughout the continent.


Appointed as CEO in 2012, Ogunsanya has helped the Company achieve industrywide recognition - including being identified as the Most Innovative Telecoms Operator in Nigeria at an industry awards event in September this year. With revenue of $1.2-billion, this subsidiary of Bharti Airtel has emerged as one of the largest 3.75G networks in Nigeria. The Company has also implemented Google’s Cache Solution as well as High Definition Voice Services and was one of the first mobile operators in the country to successfully trial the launch of Long Term Evolution (LTE).


Based in Tunisia, Tunisiana is a private telecommunications company founded in May 2002. Its subscriber base of over 6-million makes it the largest mobile operator in Tunisia. The Company’s CEO Ken Campbell was the founding CEO of Wind Mobile (Canada) and a former executive with Vodafone Romania and Bite Group. With revenue of $762-million, the company secured licenses to deliver 3G and fixed services in 2012 and covers 99% of the population.


Although Alioune Ndiaye only took control of the Senegalese telecommunications operator in late 2012, the former director of Orange Mali, also former Director of Control and CFO at Sonatel, has over 26 years of experience in the industry. At the financial year-end for 2012, Sonatel amassed revenue of $1.22-billion. Orange S.A. owns

Headquartered in Casablanca, Méditel is one of only three mobile operators in Morocco and was the second company to provide mobile services to the nation. With


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THE LIST revenue of $692-million at the financial year-end of 2012, Méditel has close to 10-million subscribers on its network. Ranked as the 12th largest company in Morocco and with a staff complement of close to 13 000 people, the Company claims to be one of the first operators in the world to offer HSDPA mobile 3G+ internet solutions. Prior to being appointed as CEO in May this year, Michel Paulin served as Chief Operating Officer of Louis Dreyfus Commodities and as CEO and director of Neuf Cegetel.


sidiary of state-owned fixed line operator Algerie Telecom and has secured 29% market share and attracted 11-million subscribers. The Company was also the first to provide the nation with 3G services and the first mobile operator in Algeria to provide voice, data and content (MMS, GPRS, Wap portal) services. For the year-end of 2012, the company generated revenue of $633-million.



tem (EASSY) that extends across many African countries. An Oxford graduate, Ihab Ibrahim Mohammed Osman has served as Executive Director, Agricultural Production at CTC Group, Senior Advisor at Kuwait Finance House and Non-Executive Director at Woosh Wireless.


Formerly known as Wana and Maroc Connect, the Moroccan telecommunication company was established in 1999 as a subsidiary of France Telecom – and is currently jointly owned by Omnium Nord Africain and Kuwait’s Zain. At the end of 2012, the company, under the leadership of Frederic Debord, generated revenue of $661-million and established a subscriber base of over 12-million. This was accomplished in just three years. INWI covers 90% of the population with nearly 3 000 sites.


Founded in 1993 by Zimbabwean Strive Masiyiwa, Econet Wireless received revenue of $611-million at the end of 2012. Masiyiwa is credited with playing a key role in the landmark court ruling in his native Zimbabwe which led to the removal of the monopoly of the state in telecommunications, but day-to-day operations of Econet Wireless Global are taken care of by Group Chief Executive Officer Craig Fitzgerald. He joined Econet Global as Chief Financial Officer in 2000, and in this position was responsible for financial reporting as well as all Corporate Finance and Merger & Acquisition activity for the Group. Fitzgerald was appointed Econet Group CEO in 2009. He is a Chartered Accountant, and holds a Corporate Finance qualification issued by the ICAEW.’



Mobile network operator Mobilis is a sub-

The Sudanese government owns more than 60% of Sudatel, a Company that gener ated $594-million at the end of 2012. Currently the telecommunications and Internet service provider has more than 10,000 kilometers of fiber optic network and has shares in the Eastern Africa Submarine cable Sys-

State owned mobile network operator Mcel was founded in 1997 and was the first service provider to establish operations in the coastal nation of Mozambique. With Mozambique’s population at just over 23-million, Mcel enjoys 4.7-million subscribers and is in direct competition with Movitel and Vodacom. In 2011 the company hired Ericsson for the nation’s upgrading of their 3G mobile data services, covering 65% of the geographical area and 75% of the population. CEO Mamudo Ibraimo has helped the Company generate revenue of $336-million at the end of 2012. References: overview



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Conférence Internationale International Conference

the digital springboard for inclusive agriculture

4-8 November 2013 Kigali, Rwanda hero, 30421

International Conference Series: Rethinking smallholder agriculture.

Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources

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African Innovation Incubators to watch


ith the level of challenges that tech start-ups face in competing within the broader technology space, business incubation, funding and other resources have emerged as focal points for industry regulators and governments. A number of technology-focused collective communities or Hubs, described as Innovation Hubs, Technology Labs and/or Science & Technology Parks, have emerged with the objective of fuelling innovation and building business. These tech-driven initiatives are often membership-driven and rely extensively on cooperation, mutual benefit and strength in association. So what initiatives are available to those wanting to establish a technology business? In this list we explore several high profile communities from across Africa, listed because of their prevalence within the market and their focus on helping to develop businesses.

1. THE INNOVATION HUB (SOUTH AFRICA) The Innovation Hub is Africa’s first internationally accredited Science and Technology Park. It is a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, an agency of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development. The Innovation Hub covers several key sectors including IT, Biosciences, Green Technologies and Industrials. The organistion is home to 47 businesses. These are made up of fledgling companies who utilise the Innovation Hub’s Business Incubator Program, including access to complimentary Wi-Fi connectivity and mentorship, as well as businesses looking to invest in commercial space to benefit by being part of a networked community of peers. The Innovation Hub is behind the launch of ground-breaking initiatives including the Gauteng Accelerator Programme (GAP), an initiative designed to build entrepreneurial

skills in the biosciences sector. It also breathed life into the Open Innovation Solution Exchange, a web-based platform that connects innovators with solution seekers to tackle service delivery in government and increase competitiveness in the private sector.


MELTWATER ENTREPRENEURIAL SCHOOL OF TECHNOLOGY (GHANA) Established in Accra, Ghana, by the nonprofit organisation Meltwater Foundation (based on a concept developed by Jorn Lyseggen, CEO of global Software as a Service (SaaS) company Meltwater Group), this initiative provides training, investment and mentoring for aspiring software engineers in Ghana. It has reportedly invested over $1.5million in 13 startups since 2008 and, according to its website, the current MEST incubator companies include Adsbrook (African internet and mobile ad network), Dropifi


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(web-based messaging platform) and mPawa (a mobile job matching application). The organisation puts would-be entrepreneurs or EIT (Entrepreneurs in Training) through their paces in a two-year program working with business executives, academics and industry representatives to develop software applications.


BOTSWANA INNOVATION HUB (BOTSWANA) Established in 2006, The Botswana Innovation Hub is focused on key sectors including ICT, bio-tech, energy and environment, as well as mining. The Hub came about as a result of the realisation of the Botswana Excellence Strategy which had, as its foundation, a national strategy for diversification of the country’s economy, job creation and the pursuit of a knowledge-based economy. Located near the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport and Diamond Training Centre (DTC) in Gaborone, Part of its focus

is to provide state-of-the-art facilities to attract and support domestic, regional and global companies. Several companies and partners have registered with the Botswana Innovation Hub, including Southern Mapping Company Botswana (Pty) Ltd., the University of Botswana, as well as a citizen-owned startup company called Kaelekae, focused on the provision of mobile phone-based platforms for social networking and marketing. This Hub is run by a board of directors, chaired by Mr Daniel Neo.

4. kLAB (RWANDA) kLab or Knowledge Lab is an open technology hub located in Kigali. The operation is designed to empower graduates, entrepreneurs and innovators to work towards the realisation of their projects and ideas. The emphasis is on supporting these people to help turn ideas/ concepts into sustainable business models.

As kLab’s website explains, the key objective is “to promote, facilitate and support the development of innovative ICT solutions”, particularly in line with the country’s aspiration to establish a knowledge-based economy and its Vision 2020 goals.

5. BONGOHIVE (ZAMBIA) Lusaka-based BongoHive is a technology and Innovation Hub set up in May 2011, established to provide an area for the local tech community to network and engage each other. BongoHive has collaborated with a social media management and content creation agency called C1RCA1964 to facilitate and advertise the relevance of Tweet Up Fundraiser. This initiative is aimed at grouping online resources and people to help raise funds for important causes, including HIV prevention. It is also home to Bantu Babel, an African language translation app, developed by par-


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ticipants in the Randomn Hacks of Kindness hackathon and the Peace Corp Innovation Challenge hackathon held at BongoHive in December 2012. According to its website, its activity is focused on three key aspects including innovation, creativity and sustainability. Membership is free, however members must agree to specific development methods used at Lusaka’s Innovation Hub.

6. CO-CREATION HUB (NIGERIA) Described as a social innovation centre, the Co-Creation Hub is focused on the strategic use of social capital and technology to boost Nigeria’s economy. Bosun Tijani is the Hub’s CEO and cofounder. He leads a team of specialists in the rollout of programmes including Tech-In Series, Developers Parapo and the NokiaCcHUB Growth Academy. Seedstars Lagos, part of a global initiative launched by Swiss company, Seedstars SA, is hosted by CcHUB and is focused on identifying the best start-ups in fast-growing areas. Ideas and skills application seems to be a core focus of CcHUB, which, as its website proclaims, has been covered in the media for the desire to house “Nigeria’s next great idea”.

7. i-HUB (KENYA) i-Hub has been called the “unofficial headquarters of Kenya’s tech movement” claims Wikipedia. It is also described on its website as “part vector for investors and VCs and part incubator” and there is emphasis on its role as an open space for the country’s tech community, with particular reference to providing startups and entrepreneurs access to VCs, seed funders and local businesses. i-Hub states that it has 10596 members and 152 companies on board, many of whom are positioned within Kenya’s developer community. The initiative is reported to have supported the creation of the mobile phone service M-Farm, designed to empower farmers with

real-time information. Its partners include Intel, Google, Samsung, amongst others.

8. OUTBOX HUB (UGANDA) Defined on its website as a “technology incubation, collaboration space and innovation hub”, The Outbox Hub features Google for Entrepreneurs as a sponsor and is focused on supporting the establishment of mobile and web businesses, steering entrepreneurship through incubation and acceleration. It is targeted at developers, designers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors, and provides mentorship, network and investor sourcing, as well as access to professional services. Startup companies within the Outbox community include Kola Studios (developer and publisher of Social Mobile games for the web, smartphone and tablet devices), CodeSync (a developing one-stop music store for African musicians) and Beyonic (software development and consultancy firm).

ship. It has been established to foster collaboration between stakeholders in the country’s developing ICT space, including academia, technology, the government and wider private sector. IceAddis is reported to have more than 500 active members, a community of budding entrepreneurs and developers who leverage off the Hub’s mentorship and training programmes. For example, a CCTV news report profiled a smartphone app, developed by Yonathan Gosaye, aimed at assisting tourists with information about Addis Ababa, events, historic sites and more.




9. iLAB (LIBERIA) iLab Liberia is a non-profit computer laboratory that provides access to technology and IT expertise to benefit the country. This initiative is focused on information sharing and also hosts tech events and networking functions through which tech enthusiasts can engage with each other and ICT professionals. This Lab was co-founded by John Etherton, the lead technical consultant for iLab Liberia, and Kate Cummings, Executive Director. There are a host of collaborators affiliated to the iLab, including Google, the Georgia Institute of Technology and UN Volunteers.

10. ICEADDIS (ETHIOPIA) Ethiopian university-based innovation hub, incubator and business accelerator IceAddis is based on the idea of combining innovation with collaboration and entrepreneur-




R w


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Romeo Kumalo Chief Operating Officer: International Business Vodacom Group

Lulama Mokhobo Group CEO SABC

Jason Njoko CEO Iroko

Essa Al Haddad Group CEO for Africa Etisalat Group

Jason Bigler Director, Product Management Google, USA

Irene Charnley Group CEO Smile

Nicola D’Elia Growth Manager Africa facebook


Register online quoting your Booking Code: ITNEWSAF/GUEST 6_The List.indd 20

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10African e

Commerce is growing in Africa. The eradication of traditional barriers to entry, including internet access, cost of technology and access to mobility, means that ecommerce has become a reality for any sized operation. Mark Chirnside, CEO of South African online payment service provider PayU, says locally ecommerce is growing at a rate of 30% per annum. As the second fastest growing mobile market, Africa heralds a clear opportunity for retailers, merchants and other businesses to trade online. PayU says 2013 will be the year for safer payment methods, coupon and loyalty points, as well as the rise of SMEs. In November 2012, research by Cisco Systems estimated that global e-commerce would increase 13.5% annually over the next three years and reach an estimated $1.4 trillion in 2015. Experts in the ecommerce space have acknowledged the growth, globally, of online trade, but warn that those entering the market have to produce the goods - otherwise they will fall foul of an increasingly techsavvy and discerning consumer base. The combination of Africa’s growing mobile might and greater access to the Internet has helped to propel the relevance of ecom

e-Commerce websites making waves

merce. Across the continent telecommunications service providers are seeking to expand broadband services and thereby address the need for bandwidth to facilitate ecommerce. The rollout of LTE services and introduction of fibre under-sea cables to link regions is considered progress. According to, by Quarter 2 2012, Internet penetration for Africa stood at 15,6% of the population on the continent. However, whilst the issue of bandwidth is largely being addressed, the need to develop existing infrastructure, including payment options and payment systems, represents another challenge. In an article entitled Africa e-commerce: Beyond the Hype author Mawuna Remarque Koutonin explains that there are definite challenges that impact on the growth of ecommerce in Africa, including lack of access and convenience of the Internet, relevance of ecommerce websites for Africa and Africans, and lack of insight into who the target market is and what they are looking for. African Innovator Magazine has delved into the online world to list the top websites geared for ecommerce. These sites trade in various product and their wares are targeted

at diverse audiences. Here is a list of the leading e-commerce websites in Africa. Some of them have stood the test of time while others are emerging game changers in the online retail sector.


Launched in 1999, is marketed as Africa’s largest online marketplace. The emphasis is on providing a variety of products to numerous categories that cover all aspects of the modern lifestyle. In terms of consumer experience, the user immediately gets a sense of an online shopping experience. Images and product information dominate the site and there are links to specials, newly introduced product and much more. One of the site’s main features is that it


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offers users the ability to purchase and sell items – there is a strong trade component to the website. BidorBuy allows users to set a start time, end time, pricing information and provide images and details on the product being sold. It generates revenue by charging the seller a commission of between one and five percent on all successful transactions (except for big ticket items such as cars and property). Consumers are offered various payment methods. Information available on the site, (sourced from Google Analytics) states that the site attracts over 1.4 million unique visitors per month and over one million items are listed for sale.


Buy Correct is the trading name for Nigerian retailer, UK2ME Logistics, focused on competitively-priced goods to global consumers. The operation’s value proposition is that being an online retailer, they are able to avoid overheads and transfer the cost-saving to the consumer. They source goods from the UK and US that cover a range of industries, including fashion, electronics, Home & Décor. The online retailer Buy Correct is therefore backed by the experience and resources of its parent company, UK2ME Logistics. This speaks to the sustainability of the operations. It offers next-day delivery to residents in Lagos and two-to-four working days to cities


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and towns outside this metropolis. It also offers full money back guarantee should goods be damaged or lost in transit. There is also a link to Frequently Asked Questions, which makes life easier for the first time visitor wishing to take advantage of the services. The site was included amongst the top ecommerce sites in Africa by Silicon Africa.


The name Kalahari has been synonymous with online business for some time. The consumer-driven site has included several new categories, including appliances, home & living, homeware and luggage, which indicates a strong offering for the consumer. There is also a concerted effort to attract and retain the custom of Afrikaans users. Caren Genthner-Kappesz is the online retailer’s CEO. According to GenthnerKappesz South Africa has made significant progress over the past few years in terms of broadband access, but more still needs to be done in order for the country to compete with the rest of the world in the online shopping space.


Although specifically set up for those who move in culinary circles, online retailer

yuppiechef trades in a range of kitchen ware, appliances and tools to transform any individual’s cooking experience. The ecommerce venture was established in 2006 and is based in Cape Town. In 2012 the site was awarded with a South African eCommerce Award for Best eCommerce Store and one for Best Shopping Process. It was also a runner up for the Best Design Standards & Ease of Use. The site focuses on the online community aspect of eCommerce, a captive audience, so to speak, and there is a concerted effort to integrate social media into the offering. Organisers behind the venture have also extended its reach with the electronic Spatula Magazine and newsletter. The availability and reliability of channels on a site to engage visitors is always an indication of the strength of an online business. Services include free delivery in South Africa and the offer to consumers to shop by price/ brand/ the latest products or by what has been categorised as the most popular. Information on the site says it has near twenty-six and a-half thousand Facebook ‘likes’ and over 144 thousand followers on Google Plus.

Jumia offers a delivery service of one-tofive working days, between office hours – although the organisers do stipulate a weekend special delivery option for added convenience. Consumer orientation is important and the site caters for the brand-conscious African marketplace, as well as online visitors that require 24/7 online service – a key component of service delivery within the ecommerce space. There is direct affiliation to other high growth areas of Africa, including Egypt, Morocco and Kenya. The site does not dwell too much on background information and the look & feel is all about commerce and trade



Nigeria’s online shopping site Jumia offers consumers a wide variety of goods to choose from – although fashion and high-tech seem to be a core focus. The emphasis is on shopping and the site is designed to provide a quick, hassle-free online trade experience. Its portfolio of shopping categories is broad, which increases the appeal of the site to a wide online audience. Bank Deposit/Online banking and Cash on Delivery are presented as methods of payment. The site’s value proposition includes secure online payment, convenient shopping, nationwide delivery and guaranteed products.

Kenya’s Kiosk is another lifestyle-focused site. It is owned and operated by Kenya Interactive Online Shopping Kiosk Limited., and marketed as “Kenya’s first online retail destination.” was established in 2005 and went live in 2010, with the promise of delivery within 24hrs. There is a direct reference to the local retail community and the site serves as a central area through which these retailers can engage with consumers and customers. Although still growing, the site features all the necessary information and links that make an ecommerce site viable – including links to social media and a membership facility.

7. KONGA.COM Konga, an online shopping website from Nigeria, has seen an explosion of traffic over the last couple of months. The company calls itself Nigeria’s Largest


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Online Mall and usersare said to spend over an hour browsing through all the products on offer. The website is Nigeria’s version of South Africa’s bidorbuy, and all types of products are on offer - a total catalogue of over 200,000 products.

articles from hundreds of segments, as: Fashion, Electronics, Jewelry, Accessories, Books and millions more,” the website states. Similar in design to Konga, Kaymu allows users to easily sell or buy any item with only a few clicks, and register a profile. Kaymu is completely free for shoppers, but sellers and those involved in auctions and fixed price sales may be compelled to pay a commission.



The site also provides free nationwide delivery in Nigeria, Pay on Delivery and a seven day return policy. The site accepts all major forms of payment, including Mastercard, Visa, Verve, Diamond and Zenith. “Konga is a highly customer-centric company and we are obsessed about finding innovative ways to improve every customer’s experience. This is built upon our easy to use site, friendly customer experience team and professional order dispatch team,” the site states.


With over 150 million citizens, Nigeria is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies. It is no surprise, therefore, that online shopping has emerged as a sizeable business arena within the West African nation. For this reason, Kaymu, another Nigerian online shopping website, made the list. “Kaymu is a marketplace for everybody to sell their products on the Internet! When buying, bidding or selling at Kaymu, you deal with people from your city and from all over Nigeria. You can buy or sell fantastic

OLX is an Africa-wide shopping and free classifieds website with many domains across the continent – including Kenya and South Africa, as well as over 105 countries in 40 languages. Users are able to sell and buy almost anything on the site’s vast array of categories, which include real estate, jobs, electronics and vehicles. Some of the most popular cities served by OLX in Kenya include Nairobi, Mombasa, Na- kuru and Kisumu. Users of the site are able to create a profile for themselves where they can keep track of their most recent listings, as well as contact potential sellers. Posting classified ads is free, and the site also offers mobile applications for Apple’s iOS, Android, Nokia, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. With the mobile applications, users will be able to see full ad descriptions with full screen photos, easily search for ads by making use of mobile location services, and control selling, buying and community activity in My OLX. “OLX provides a simple solution to the complications involved in selling, buying, trading, discussing, organizing, and meeting people near you, wherever you may reside,” the website states.

South African-based Pricecheck is an online resource for any user who makes internet purchases. The website gathers all the relevant information on a searched product and displays it to users together with the seller’s details. Users can compare prices, read product and retailer reviews, or go straight to the website’s checkout page once they have selected a product to purchase. Pricecheck was started by Kevin Tucker in 2006, and according to the website, “he knew that with more and more South Africans wising up to the advantages of online shopping, a price comparison website would be just the ticket.” The website recently won the BlackBerry App of the Year award at mobile operator MTN’s Business App of the Year awards.



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5 A



Tech Inventions

frica is filled with innovative solutions, from making life just a little bit easier in rural areas, to actually saving lives in the most dire of situations through science. While Africa is slowly catching up to the technological marvels

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of Western nations, there is definitely no shortage of creative and aspiring minds on the continent. African Innovator Magazine takes a look at some of the innovations and inventions that have been developed on home soil.

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Kenyan inventor Anthony Mutua has developed a rather ingenuous way of charging mobile phones – using the power of pedestrians. His invention comprises of ultrathin chips of crystal which are fitted to the bottom of a shoe’s sole. As the user walks, it generates electricity through the pressure exerted when it is stepped on. The chips costs around $46, and charges the phone through an extension cable that runs from the shoe to the pocket. Recently the project was granted $6,000 for further funding by Kenya’s National Council of Science and Technology, as well as the promise of mass production to reach out to a larger market.


rural locations, was created and developed by Cameroonian entrepreneur Marc Arthur Zang Adzaba. The device is most effective in areas where such crucial diagnostic tests are unavailable. While the device is currently only available in Cameroon, Himore Medical (the company which produces the device), is said to be in the process of marketing the unit in other African markets. According to recent media reports, “this innovation will allow many heart patients to receive a prompt diagnosis that was a luxury that they could not receive, at any price, if they were unable to travel to an urban center.”


2. PLEASE CALL ME Everyday users of mobile phone technology are sometimes blissfully unaware that the Please Call Me service was invented in Africa. The service allows users who have no airtime to send a Please Call Me text message to any number to alert the receiver that they wish to be called back. While there has been some dispute as to who exactly invented the service, the fact remains that it was either created by an employee of Vodacom or MTN in South Africa. Both former Vodacom employee Nkosana Makate and ex-MTN employee Ari Kahn have laid claims to the invention, each with their own proof, but the matter is yet to be decided in a South African court.


The Cardiopad, a computer tablet that enables heart examinations like electrocardiograms (ECG) to be conducted at remote,

M-Pesa is a mobile-phone based money transfer and microfinancing service which was created for mobile operators Safaricom and Vodacom, in Kenya and Tanzania, respectively. The ‘M’ stands for mobile, while ‘pesa’ is the Swahili word for money. M-PESA is currently the most developed mobile payment system in the world. According to media reports, the service was developed following a student software development project in Kenya in 2007, and was subsequently rolled out by Safaricom. The service is currently in use in Kenya, Tanzania, Afghanistan, South Africa, India and Egypt.

Being widely used in the medical field across the world, few patients know that when they lie down for a Computed Axial Tomography scan, or CAT scan, the technology was actually invented by a South African. Although it was developed at Tufts University in the UK, the person responsible for the imaging equipment was South African physicist Allan Cormack and Godfrey Hounsfield of EMI Laboratories. Recognizing their major efforts in the medical field, the pair was awarded the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. According to online sources, “Cormack’s interest in the problem of X-ray imaging of soft tissues was first aroused when he took up the part-time position of physicist for a hospital radiology department. In the 1960s, he provided the mathematical technique for the CAT scan, in which an X-ray source and electronic detectors are rotated around the body, producing a sharp map of the tissues within a cross-section of the body.”



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The Future is here



s the Bring your Own Device (BYOD) trend continues to grow, the smarter, mobile, integrated workforce of the future is being shaped right now. In the process, it is reshaping the companies it works for and the digital landscape we inhabit. The common arguments in favor of BYOD focus on productivity and accounting. But putting business data and intelligence in the hands of employee-owned (and often mobile) devices is not without risk. Cybercrime is increasing exponentially and every mobile user is at risk. Malware and phishing are growing threats, as is non-intrusive collection of data stored on smartphones. While the current virus threat to mobile devices has been described as ‘a raindrop in a thunderstorm’, this is not an accurate assessment since two out of three BlackBerry devices, three out of four Windows Mobile devices, and just about all Android devices have malware infections. Most of these infections are types of spyware capable of stealing log-in details, forwarding email and text messages, tapping phone conversations and tracking the location of devices. A study by Juniper Research estimates that there are 150 million employee-owned devices and that this figure will more than double by 2014. That volume of personal devices in corporate settings implies a convergence that has never happened before. In the past,

the desktop setup and data storage facilities at work were totally different to those that employees used in their personal lives. This made it possible to have totally separate digital lives at work and in their leisure time. Imagine the scene: A plethora of devices, all of them private, each with its own configuration, accessing a corporate network with potentially sensitive data. Without controls, you get a massive security nightmare. One solution to the problem is for IT departments to do what they know best: Use management tools to block dangerous apps, control users’ network access levels, and remotely erase information from lost or stolen devices. In other words, manage access on employee-owned devices in the same way they manage corporate IT assets. Security holes and data leaks can also occur in traditional ways: employees can talk loudly in public, they can photograph sensitive data, or just lose it in an airline seat pocket. So, stringent internal policy management and ownership of devices is only a starting point. Companies should install and update a lightweight, high-performance anti-virus program, and lock the device with a password. Key to keeping track of mobile devices is awareness, so companies should educate their employees. Devices no longer connect to a single

network. Instead, mobile devices connect to multiple provider and WiFi networks. Therefore, without exception, passwords should be mandatory operating procedure for smartphones, laptops, tablets and any other mobile device with valuable data. There has to be a software client on every device to ensure protection regardless of what network they are connected to. Ondevice software can defend against direct attacks, but in the event of loss or theft, also enable users to lock, wipe, back-up and track their devices remotely. The key is to ensure that mobile devices can be managed remotely via a centralised console within the business security architecture. The increasing inevitability of more business being concluded on mobile devices is going to raise the risk profile in terms of data protection as wireless and 3G/LTE become more mainstream connectivity sources. In this environment, data and data protection becomes more critical, and the ability for devices to share data via wireless, NFC, filesharing, etc., makes data theft in terms of identity fraud more widespread. Any BYOD strategy therefore has to include the use of device management and security controls to enforce the policy, particularly as analysts predict that by 2020 mobile devices will become our primary personal computing devices in place of PCs. 37 AFRICAN INNOVATOR VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2

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MOBILITY Why a User Access Control Policy is crucial for your organisation.


or organisations, there are three main sets of ICT issues associated with mobile computing: security, costs, and support requirements. Security is always at the top of the list of ICT issues. Security of the physical devices is an important element. If a device is lost, stolen, or finds its way into the wrong hands, we must consider that any proprietary data on the device is compromised. Security of data during its transmission between the No set of security measures is mobile device and the 100% perfect and an incident organisation’s data cencan always happen. tre is another important element. In addition, the security of remote access to the organisation’s information must be ensured. Device management, in terms of policies and procedures at a server level, is essential, as are policies across the organisation. Threats to data are not limited to attacks from external sources. Companies have to protect their networks at every

access point. The future will be one where every electronic device will have total connectivity, and data from this interactivity will be stored digitally and controlled on mobile phones. For example, there will be easy file sharing directly from one person to another, without having to copy a file onto a USB memory stick, move the stick to another PC and then copy it onto the PC again. Mobile hardware may become thinner and lighter, but the software will store so much data gathered from a cloud interface, that each individual’s identity will be completely bound up in their phones, which will behave even more like personal computers. Security will increasingly rely on biometric authentification, such as irisrecognition, voice-recognition, facial-recognition or palm-print recognition to access data, in place of passwords. Corporates need to adapt to the increasing requirements for mobile protection spurred on


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by the increasing trend of BYOD. This new mobile workforce phenomenon needs to be addressed by all organisations, as they pose a new arena of threat management. Do you know who I am? Organizations spend a lot of time and effort protecting their networks from external attacks. However, it is insider threats that are viewed as one of the biggest risks to corporate data according to IT decision makers surveyed in the Cyber-Ark 2012 Trust, Security & Passwords report* To efficiently mitigate insider threats and reduce the attack surface of an Information System, a network must be set on a “need-toknow” and “need-to-use” basis. In real terms, this means that IT departments must ensure that each user in their organization can only log in according to the pre-authorization that has been granted. Unfortunately, this is usually not the case. Uncontrolled User Access - The stadium metaphor Imagine a football stadium. Once in possession of a ticket, you are able to enter the stadium at any time, through any entrance, watch every game, stay as long as you wish, occupy several seats and even copy your ticket and distribute it freely to your friends, who can then also enjoy these same benefits. That is exactly what a Windows network looks like without an appropriate and enforced User Access Control Policy. Users are able to login at any time, from any system or device and from several systems simultaneously, stay logged in for as long as they want and share their credentials with their colleagues or even outsiders without any danger of consequences with regard to their own access. Access restrictions – The need to go granular Logins are the first line of defense for a Windows network. Login rights must therefore be granted parsimoniously based on business and security requirements and on the role of the user within the organization. This involves setting login restrictions according to various criteria, as granularity is the key here. Such restrictions must take into consideration the session type (workstation, terminal, Internet Information Services, Wi-Fi/Radius or VPN/RAS) and its application (performed on a ‘per user’, ‘per

user group’ or Active Directory Organizational Unit basis) to create a comprehensive matrix of access rules. Different levels of login limitation should be set to ensure that every user in the organization has sufficient access rights to fully perform his tasks without restriction, but no more. Concurrent logins (same ID, same password) should be banned or strictly limited to specific situations. There are very few legitimate reasons for a user to be simultaneously connected to a network from multiple devices because the issues this creates with regard to accountability and non-repudiation generally outweigh the benefits of having concurrent logins. Allowing simultaneous sessions also means that several workstations can be blocked by one user, thus impeding resource sharing, and can easily result in corrupt roaming profiles and the creation of versioning conflicts for offline files. Logins from multiple systems should also be limited and users should be restricted to only connect to the network from their own workstation or from a predetermined set of workstations (e.g. those in their department, their floor, their building, etc.). Time is another critical factor in Information Security. The average user should be able to login only during business hours, with exceptions handled and controlled with care. When login is attempted outside of the authorized timeframes, or when an existing login exceeds the permitted time limit, users should be blocked or automatically disconnected (with prior warning). Trust in access restrictions is good, but control is better. At all times, the IT Security Team within an organization must know (or be able to find out) the number of concurrent logins (if any), who is connected, from which workstation and since when. They should also be automatically and immediately alerted as soon as a suspicious access event is detected and be able to instantly enact appropriate security measures, such as remote lock or logoff any questionable sessions. Making legitimate users accountable for illegitimate actions. No set of security measures is 100% perfect and an incident can always hap-

pen. In this case, collection and analysis of data relating to the session activity history of a Windows network must be performed without delay in order to provide evidence quickly. This requires that all access events be recorded and that a comprehensive and detailed connection list (logon, lock, unlock, logoff instances, users, domains, workstations etc.) is always available to facilitate efficient forensic IT investigations. Organisations that have ensured that access to critical assets is attributed to individual employees are then able to enforce policies and procedures consistently to address violations that do occur. Windows network security beyond native features Prevention of concurrent logins, restriction of access and monitoring/recording of session activity are crucial measures in protecting a Windows network, but have been proven to be cumbersome (and even impossible) to achieve through Active Directory native features alone. To circumvent this problem, IS Decisions has developed UserLock, a unique enterprise software solution that allows implementation and strict enforcement of a granular User Access Control Policy for Windows networks. More than one million UserLock licenses are currently in use by hundreds of securityintensive organizations worldwide, including the FBI, the DEA, the United Nations and the US Department of Justice. In Africa, IS Decisions works closely with Blue Turtle Technologies (http://www. helping government, enterprise and SMB customers that include Access Bank Nigeria, GCIS South Africa (Government Communication & Information System), Polytechnic of Namibia, Tshwane University of Technology and Orascom Telecom Algeria. Reference: * pdf



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mobile security



he mobile workforce is a trend that continues to grow in Africa and, as a result, the issue of mobile security is becoming a more prominent boardroom discussion. This applies to physiA recent report by Check Point cal, network and data Software Technologies showed security, particularly that 63% of companies surveyed as mobile devices play do not manage corporate infor- host to company critical mation on personal devices and information. According to the IDC, 93% face challenges adopting mobile workers will acBring Your Own Device (BYOD) count for more than one policies. third of the global workforce in just three years – a reality that companies have to be cognizant of. Many of the threats are

becoming device agnostic, therefore it is becoming relatively simple to target mobile devices. In today’s competitive environment, implementing a mobile strategy is becoming core to driving efficiency and reducing time-to-market, therefore organisations need to be capable of managing and securing their corporate data. The need for a solid mobile device management solution as part of the overall mobility strategy is critical in securing both devices and data. This is the view of Tyl Hannemann, Managing Director of Nexa. “A centrally managed mobile device management solution enables organisations to exert more stringent controls over securing their network and data,” says Hannemann. Organisations are realising the need to have


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“The risk in this is that your data is being accessed on personal devices whether you like it or not, so rather be prudent about managing and securing that data than face the risk of it getting into the wrong hands” complete control over mobile devices to ensure device, content & usage security. The challenge, however, lies in the concept of bring your own device – where employees do not necessarily use devices provided and managed by the company, but choose to use a different device to access the corporate network. “In-depth reporting is required, enabling administrators to extract key data and intelligence from devices and to track and measure project success,” says Hannemann. An intelligent mobile device management solution allows organisations more control over their devices in the field. “Data on the device is secured with a 4-digit pin to reduce the risk of data being freely available,” says Hannemann. “In addition to that, should the device be stolen or misplaced, we are able to lock the device down remotely by creating a new pin through the management console.” By managing app usage centrally, apps that pose a risk to the device and data security can be disabled remotely, reducing the risk of malware on the device. “With the number of malicious apps masquerading as legitimate apps, it is particularly important that on a device linked to your corporate network, you are able to manage and lock down apps that pose a risk to your data.” A recent report by Juniper Networks highlighted that mobile malware increased by 614% from March 2013 to March 2014, with more than 500 third-party app stores containing malicious apps. An effective mobile device management solution should be at the heart of the corporate mobile strategy. “Our NexaSatellite solution allows control over device and user registration, providing a database of user information and making it easier to control large numbers of devices,” says Hannemann. “Remote lock-down of the device removes all access to content and means that the device will have no street-value if stolen.”

Furthermore a force factory reset ensures that any data on the device cannot be mined. “We have also built in an extremely powerful communication tool, allowing administrators to communicate to a single or multiple devices at the touch of a button,” says Hannemann. One of the biggest challenges facing companies remains the increase in user-selected devices that connect to the network. While some organisations still supply devices, many end users “We have also built in an have moved to insisting extremely powerful commuon using a device of nication tool, allowing adminchoice, which means that istrators to communicate to companies need to have a single or multiple devices a solution in place that at the touch of a button,” says works across devices and Hannemann. platforms. A recent report by Check Point Software Technologies showed that 63% of companies surveyed do not manage corporate information on personal devices and 93% face challenges adopting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. “The risk in this is that your data is being accessed on personal devices whether you like it or not, so rather be prudent about managing and securing that data than face the risk of it getting into the wrong hands,” says Hannemann. “By implementing a device agnostic mobile device management solution, you are reducing your risk substantially while embracing the reality of Bring Your Own Device.”



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With a solid strategy you will mobilise your organisation effectively


obilising the incorrect parts of the South African enterprise is a needless expense. Enterprise mobility continues to grow as a trend, with pressure mounting to develop sound strategies that deliver on the promise of improved productivity, efficiency and time to market. The risk associated with this, however, is that without the correct mobile strategy, organisations are potentially wasting millions in developing mobile apps that do not support their business requirements. This is the view of Grant Selvan, sales and business development executive at 3fifteen. “People are fundamentally changing the way they work,” says Grant. “Mobile technologies are also revolutionising the way we work and play and individual preferences are now forcing enterprises to adapt and implement new ways of managing their networks and data.” However, without a solid mobile strategy in place, companies could be developing apps that are not critical to operations and are therefore not used. As with most trends, mobility solutions must be tailored to meet specific business requirements in order for it to be of value to the organisation. “Companies that have tried and failed at mobility have blamed their failure on not having the right device or network,” says Grant. “Then they go and compound their failure by buying more devices and trying the latest greatest network offering without taking a look at the real

truths as to why their projects keep failing.” Having the wrong mobile strategy often means that companies depend on the marketplace to guide them on how to run their business in a mobile environment, instead of creating an assessment of how their business works, which parts of their business can become mobile and which parts should not be mobilised. This dilutes the benefits in implementing a mobile strategy and results in unnecessary costs. A well-developed mobility solution should include consulting to determine requirements and gaps, management, application development based on a comprehensive needs analysis and system integration. “Each of these components are equally important in creating a mobility solution that is tailored to meet the company’s needs.” Mobile is how people work in the postPC era, but this shift introduces risk, cost, and usability challenges that traditional IT strategies cannot address. These challenges include protecting data, mobilising apps and documents, preserving the user experience and privacy and supporting a constantly shifting mobile operating system and device landscape. All of this needs to be taken into account, while allowing for deployment, often at a massive scale, to end users across organisations. “This is referred to as Mobile IT and it expands the definitions of both mobile device management (MDM) and mobile app management (MAM). Mobile IT

requires new strategies, skills, and platforms because it is user-led, cross-functional, and operates at consumer speed,” Grant adds. One of the biggest concerns companies raise with regards to mobility is the impact on legacy systems. “Many companies fear that they would need to completely overhaul their legacy systems, resulting in massive financial commitments,” says Grant. “This ties in directly with the need to ascertain whether end users require access to those systems in question and to then integrate with those systems to mobilise them into a rich multiplatform experience for the organisation.” A good integration layer is critical to success in the mobile environment. Companies can also leverage their website or individual system components to speed up the mobile application development process. Grant adds that you cannot simply build mobile applications for the organisation for the sake of building an application. “Where mobile application or mobilised integration portals makes sense we lead with industry experts to deliver a holistic mobile application and integration strategy followed by a beautiful fully functioning application.



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s I work and invest across the African continent, one fundamental truth about its potential prevails – there is no shortage of good ideas, just a lack of resources to fund them. We are missing a dynamic innovation ecosystem. Africans are creating innovative ways to address the challenges they face every day. Often these solutions leapfrog approaches in the global north. I have seen new models that harness solar and wind energy, Africandeveloped malaria tests and more environmentally friendly sanitation solutions. These are not just good ideas; they are the path to ensuring Africa’s long-term economic viability, sourced from real demand. As African countries return some of the highest global growth rates – we need to ensure there are local economic supports in place to sustain this growth. Innovation is at the centre of healthy African economies. It creates jobs, strengthens industries, ensures we are not overly reliant on finite land or mineral resources, fosters competition and creates a more sustainable marketplace with fast-moving and creative SMEs. To build innovation-driven economies across Africa, we need private investors; businesses and governments to seed fund innovation and its ecosystem, scale up proven models and develop the policy frameworks necessary to support sustainable growth. Through my work with the African

As African countries return some of the highest global growth rates- we need to ensure there are local economic supports in place to sustain this growth. Innovation Foundation and the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), I have seen practical examples of Africa’s investment potential. For example, the IPA 2013 winners were a team of researchers and entrepreneurs that created a new approach to nutrient recycling. AgriProtein collects biodegradable waste, feeds it to flies that in turn produce larvae that are ground into protein to create a more ecologically friendly animal feed. This solution improves the nutritional value of meat and lowers the cost of animal feed for African processors and farmers. Without innovation financing for good ideas like AgriProtein, Africans will be dependent on the economic colonialism that is more reflective of the continent’s troubled past than its promising future. This is not just my view; the “WEF Executive Opinion Survey” also cites financing as the biggest challenge to doing business in Africa. Therefore, we need private-sector leaders, government, NGOs, and others to

create new financing vehicles that responsibly promote innovation and sustain Africa’s economic growth. Today, venture capital-backed jobs account for 11 per cent of US private sector jobs and venture capital has generated approximately 21 per cent of US GDP. Each 1USD invested in venture capital backed companies has on average seen a return of 600 per cent since 1970. By comparison, venture capital represents just a fraction of the African economy. The innovation potential in Africa is immense, yet the relatively small amount of venture capital is limiting Africa’s development. Ironically, it is also limiting the opportunity for VCs. However, I remain optimistic. Inspired by the innovators I meet every day, I am confident that if they can create solutions to some of Africa’s most intractable problems, we can mobilise investment in innovation and create a more promising economic future. This is what Africa deserves. This is the future we will innovate.



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FORENSIC Y G O L O N H C TE Seeking the truth! O

n 19 August 2013, in a remarkable twist of fate, South African paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius arrived back in Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on the day his late girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp would have turned 30. Pistorius was expected to receive an indictment for premeditated murder of Steenkamp and hear confirmation of a trial date. The case has gripped the nation since events unfolded on 14 February this year. Aside from continuous local and international news coverage, the case has stirred up widespread speculation as to what could have happened on the night in question. Given that the trial is reported to only begin on 03 March 2014, any discussion in the public domain until this date can only be speculation. It will be up to prosecutors and defence teams to scrutinise every piece of evidence to build their cases. The relevance of what role crime scene investigation technology and the gathering of evidence to apprehend criminals could play is yet another facet of this ongoing story. The experts It is a scenario that experts in CSI are all too familiar with. People like Detective

Sergeant Joseph Blozis have global experience in the extent to which technology is impacting law enforcement. In July 2013 global biotechnology company Life Technologies brought worldrenowned retired NYPD (New York Police Department) Detective Sergeant Joseph Blozis over to attend and present at the 1st National Forensics Services Conference hosted at the CSIR in Pretoria. Detective Sergeant Joseph Blozis was employed by the New York Police Department (NYPD) from 1979 to 2008. For 13 years as a senior sergeant in the Crime Scene Unit and designated as Supervisor of Detective Squad, he responded to scenes of serious crimes and incidents within the confines of New York City. His duties included the supervision of the search, collection, preservation, and documentation of all types of physical and trace evidence. He performed crime scene reconstructions and conferred with the numerous District Attorneys throughout New York City. Detective Sergeant Blozis conducted forensic investigations of major crime scenes, including those in which law enforcement officers were killed and/or injured, and managed in excess of 2,500 crime scenes, including more than 1,000 homicide inves

tigations. In 1993 and 2001 he oversaw both crime scene investigations involving the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. On September 11, 2001, he was on scene as both towers collapsed and was immediately assigned to what is known as “Ground Zero” until its completion in May 2002. For a three-month period following the events of September 11, 2001, he was Acting Commanding Officer of the Crime Scene Unit. For five years, prior to his assignment to the Crime Scene Unit, he supervised the criminalistics, narcotics, questioned documents, serology, and polygraph units for NYPD’s Police Crime Laboratory. In 2005, he was reassigned to the Police Crime Laboratory as coordinator of the Biotracks DNA Program. Prior to assuming those positions, Detective Sergeant Blozis worked as a patrol sergeant, squad detective, and both as a patrol and plainclothes police officer. As coordinator for the NYPD’s Biotracks DNA program, Detective Sergeant Blozis utilized his crime scene expertise to train field personnel in the recognition, detection, documentation, and recovery of DNA evidence at crime scenes. Through federal and state grants, funds were obtained to apply DNA technology to solve property crimes.


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The Biotracks program was comprised of teamwork: Crime scene DNA recovery, laboratory DNA analysis, stringent follow-up procedures to ensure that identified offenders are arrested, and aggressive prosecution ensuring offenders will be incarcerated for lengthy prison sentences. To call him an experienced law enforcement official would be a significant understatement. Technology in CSI According to Detective Sergeant Blozis, based on his experience and interaction with South African police executives, the country has first-rate technology and its crime scene unit, laboratories and services are impressive. “We have a lot of the same issues, worldwide, as far as protecting the crime scene from its onset to safeguard it to the best of our ability… to prevent contamination, to prevent unauthorised personnel to enter the scenes, and here in South Africa, they are doing their best to do just that. Here in South Africa, I know that sexual assaults are a priority, they are working diligently to reduce overall crime, especially within sexual assaults,” he said. As far as technology advancements from a

crime scene perspective is concerned, Detective Blozis emphasises the integrity of the crime scene. “No matter what equipment or latest technology you have in a laboratory, no matter what training, no matter how intelligent the forensic scientists may be who operate the instruments…it all comes back to the crime scene. If a crime scene is compromised, whether the evidence is not detected… maybe the evidence was contaminated, maybe the evidence was not collected properly. It all begins with the crime scene. A forensic scientist cannot analyse something that he or she does not have. So the proper detection and recognition of a crime scene is paramount,” he says. Ongoing training is designed to reinforce the value of a crime scene, of what it is, and safeguarding and preserving the scene is paramount. Technology used to analyse evidence has advanced, so too has that which is used to collect evidence. Technology has given up new products to work with says Detective Sergeant Blozis. “So far, examples for that, for DNA collection, you have the conventional standard cotton-tip swab. Today, we have a copan swab made of fibres and not of cotton threads.

Therefore DNA can be extracted more easily and in its entirety… there are innovations in alternate light sources that enable the investigators to detect fingerprints, biological evidence and trace evidence through the use of very powerful alternate light sources, this is available in South Africa, which is a great thing,” he comments. To put the role of technology in this specialised field in some perspective, Detective Sergeant Blozis explains that in previous years, investigators would require a very small amount of blood, a centimetre of blood to get a DNA profile, today we need eight or ten skin cells, naked to the eye, not even biological DNA evidence, but touch DNA. South African laboratories are using the latest equipment that would provide DNA samples in a short space of time. “Technology is ever-changing and a good thing,” says Detective Sergeant Blozis. “New products, that are tested and certified as being accurate, help to identify the offender and exonerate the innocent. That is what forensics is all about… to seek the truth.”



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Cybercrime -

the dark side of mobile mania


he growth of Africa’s mobile market is well documented – one statistic published by research company Manifest Mind, LLC states that the market is set to quadruple from $60 billion in 2013 to $234 billion by the year 2020. Although opportunities do exist for businesses, experts in ICT security say that the rise of mobility is also fanning the flame of cybercrime. African Innovator Magazine recently spoke to Marco Obiso, Cybersecurity Coordinator at The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), about cybercrime and how cybersecurity can match up to threats across Africa, specifically. What is the official and recognised definition of cybercrime? There is no formal internationally recognized definition of cybercrime. Most of the definitions are in national legislations. A recognized (simple) definition is: criminal activities carried out by means of computers or the Internet. What should people understand by the term ‘cybersecurity’? The ITU agreed definition is: Cybersecurity is the collection of tools, policies, security concepts, security safeguards, guidelines, risk management approaches, actions, training, best practices, assurance and technologies that can be used to protect the cyber environment and organization and user’s assets. Organisation and user’s assets include connected computing devices, personnel, infrastructure, applications, services, telecommunications systems, and the totality of transmitted and/or stored information in the cyber environment. Cybersecurity strives to ensure the attainment and maintenance of the security properties of the organization and user’s assets against relevant

security risks in the cyber environment. The general security objectives comprise the following: • Availability • Integrity, which may include authenticity and non-repudiation • Confidentiality We believe this is one of the most comprehensive definitions of cybersecurity. What is the most common form of cybercrime perpetrated in Africa today? According to ABI Research, the Middle East and Africa regional market for mobile security services will reach $680 Million in revenue by 2018. This shows the growth of mobile security concerns in the region. According to IDG connect, Malware injections are still very high, as well as number of phishing sites infected. Also, software piracy is still one of the top crimes. Are there any statistics available that reflect the magnitude of the problem? No formal statistics. However, all big antivirus companies and technology companies have relevant data on Africa. Kaspersky Lab, Trend Micro, Microsoft, etc. have very solid data. How much damage is caused by cybercrime in reality? Damage goes from loss of credibility and accountability for governments in providing services to citizens to financial loss. An emerging trend is also related to the risks posed by wrong use of ICT by youngsters. Is Africa up to the task of being able to seriously combat threats? Not yet, but recent initiatives, such as the draft African convention of Cybersecurity and


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Cybercrime, as well as recent efforts by some countries on the establishment of Computer Incident Response Team (CIRTs), supported by ITU, show a growing awareness by African states in addressing cybersecurity related issues.

According to ABI Research, the Middle East and Africa regional market for mobile security services will reach $680 Million in revenue by 2018. Is there such a thing as guaranteed protection using cybersecurity? No guaranteed protection. The aim of cybersecurity is to bring the business risk to an acceptable level. In other words, once the organization identifies the key cyber related assets, the objective of achieving cybersecuri-

ty is to ensure that these assets are protected against threats that could compromise availability integrity and confidentiality of such assets.

cations and protecting citizens? To a certain extent, yes, but (not) without infringing privacy or exercising censorship. This is one of the main debates currently; security versus privacy.

Users, particularly those within businesses, are inclined to focus on external threats to security, or to that which protects the network/ core infrastructure. However, threats, as we understand it, often generate from within organisations or companies. Is this still accurate or has technology evolved to extend greater protection? This is not only still valid, but it is even truer as employers are using more and more personal devices at work. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is becoming a very critical emerging threat. Therefore external and internal threats must be managed with the same level of priority.

What kind of role does the ITU play in helping countries with cyber security strategy development, implementation and management? ITU assists countries to elaborated national strategies and policies, to establish cybersecurity capabilities (such as CIRTs) instigate national, regional and international cooperation and above all building capacity We have activities with almost all 193 Member States and through initiatives such as ITU-IMPACT and COP we are currently assisting more than 100 Member States around the world.

Technology has also been used- and continues to be used by terrorists. Can law enforcement bodies, officials and governments gain the upper hand in terms of proactively dealing with threats, intercepting communi-


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frica is brimming with opportunities for innovation, and, in order for any society to grow, technology and a healthy dose of imagination is needed to advance – socially, economically and technically. This is precisely why Microsoft created its annual Imagine Cup ten years ago.

The Imagine Cup, hosted in a different country each year, brings together the best student minds to compete on the world’s technology stage – and there was no shortage of ideas from Africa! This year’s Imagine Cup Finals took place in St. Petersburg, Russia, and saw students

compete in a number of different categories ranging from Windows Phone app development to programming to finding innovative solutions to community problems by using technology as a driving force. “For the past decade, Imagine Cup students have created technology applications


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“Their commitment to their teams and projects demonstrates these students are finding ways to address everyday problems through technology and to make the world a better place.” from software to video games to mobile apps designed to solve some of the world’s biggest problems, in the areas of education, healthcare, the environment and more. This year, Imagine Cup expanded to encourage even more students to apply their creativity by building apps that deliver technology innovations that advance user experiences in categories such as social networks, search, classifieds, online shopping or games - or that create entirely new categories the world hasn’t even imagined,” Microsoft explained. During the course of the year, students from around the globe participate in regional competitions in their respective countries. Victory within these regional finals earns competitors a place at the worldwide finals. “Imagine Cup has evolved into a year-long experience for students with various opportunities to compete and innovate. Students can compete in the World Citizenship, Innovation and Games Competitions or technology Challenges that lead to the Worldwide Finals for Windows Azure, Windows Phone or Windows 8, or in themed Challenges such as the Women’s Athletics App Challenge or the Imagine Cup Kodu Challenge that result in other awards and prizes, and do not include a trip to the Worldwide Finals,” Microsoft added. African teams A number of African teams also competed in this year’s finals, and while they failed to achieve wider recognition, two teams did manage to win individual awards. Uganda Team Code 8 won the Women’s Empowerment Award by connecting a custom piece of hardware called a matiscope to a portable device, which can diagnose malaria without requiring a blood sample.

Egypt Team MASKed Ninjas from Egypt developed a Windows 8/Windows phone application called Videolator, which allows users to scan text from newspapers or any other text-based surface and delivers videos from the internet related to the text. “We noticed that news represented in newspapers with images is missing some action, so we thought of adding some movements by getting videos talking about this news. This is inspired from newspapers in Harry Potter movies,” the Team said.

At the end of the grueling week-long process of showcasing apps and innovations, fine-tweaking them and presenting them to a panel of judges, the 2013 Imagine Cup culminated in an awards ceremony at the historic Alexandrinsky Theatre, where Dr. Who actor Matt Smith acted as host. “For the past 11 years, Imagine Cup has been a place of inspiration and innovation for students around the world. The students participating in this competition demonstrate the very best in innovation from their home countries and together are creating new apps, innovations and services that will Kenya change the way the world works, interacts Team PI Craft from Kenya developed a and learns. solution to aid homeless and street children We are incredibly proud of the finalists by correlating homes for street children with who competed in Imagine Cup this year and charitable organizations. stand in awe of the projects and technolTheir innovation, called Protégé, uses Azogy they brought forth during this exciting ure Cloud Services “to interconnect homes week,” said Steve Guggenheimer, corporate for street children with charitable organisavice president and chief evangelist at Mitions and other crosoft during the willing donors, awards ceremony. “Imagine Cup is a forum for exenabling secure The rigorous ceptional students from around the judging panels for donations of any world to channel their passion and the event consisted type to these facilicreativity into thoughtful, innovative of leaders in their ties such as clothes, solutions that have the potential for respective fields, food or money”. real-world impact,” said Jon Bassett and included Larry South Africa Hryb, Xbox Live’s Director of Programming; Team South African entered into the Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris; Bill Innovation Competition category, with their Buxton, Microsoft’s Principal Researcher; SentiMeter app. Their creation is a cloudConnor Treacy, engineer at Facebook; and hosted analytics tool, which allows businessMonica Guzman; journalist for Geekwire. es to see what people are saying about their “Imagine Cup is a forum for exceptional brand across social media platforms through students from around the world to channel sentiment analysis. The tool offers subscribtheir passion and creativity into thoughtful, ers detailed reports, trends and insights innovative solutions that have the potential regarding brand image. for real-world impact,” said Jon Bassett, DFJ Frontier analyst and a judge at this year’s Ivory Coast Imagine Cup. Team Kernel entered the World Citizen“Their commitment to their teams and ship Competition and profiled their virtual projects demonstrates these students are reality system composed of glasses that finding ways to address everyday problems patients with Alzheimer’s disease can wear through technology and to make the world to recognise people by means of Facial Reca better place.” ognition. It will also automatically register their appointments by Speech Recognition and also remind them of various personal and confidential information securely via the recognition system. Winners



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Baba Jukwa, social media and Zimbabwe Yu-Shan Wu and Catherine Grant Makokera


f there is one thing that is different to the 2008 Zimbabwean elections, it is that the 2013 election has a new ‘candidate’. His name is Baba Jukwa. The anonymous social media icon and commentator, portrayed as a cartoon of an old man and coined ‘the Julian Assange of Zimbabwe’, has attracted the world’s attention. The Baba Jukwa Facebook page currently has 300 000 plus followers, and regularly leaks details on the activities of the Zimbabwean government (with contact numbers of officials!). The character is commonly cited as an insider of the ruling ZANU-PF, who describes himself as a “concerned father, fighting nepotism and directly linking community with their Leaders, Government,

MPs and Ministers”. It can be said that the character’s online presence has become an extension of public opinion – whether users agree with him or not - his page is flooded with commentary and opinions after each posting. These come not only from those in Zimbabwe but from the diaspora who are eager for information on what is happening in their home country. Social media has been a vital link between Zimbabwean locals and the widely spread diaspora as it has provided instant dissemination of opinions and information. Baba Jukwa is just one manifestation of a silent revolution that is taking place. It is thanks in large part to the rising African middle class who are increasingly looking to

integrate their lives with communications technology and in particular, affordable mobile devices. For example, a 2013 survey conducted by the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI) noted that 9 out of 10 Zimbabwean youths already have access to mobile phones. Social media has the ability to surpass the physical barriers of traditional communications infrastructure, such as telephone lines. Social media, as a space for political deliberation, is most acute in places where few other spaces for open debate exist. During the Arab Spring, social media became a vital tool to breaking psychological barriers, as users shared information and at times organised real protests in a short space


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of time. Similarly Zimbabweans (including the diaspora) have utilised the Baba Jukwa Facebook page for information and updates, to retrieve links to check their voter registration status and to write comments that encourage each other to vote. Many are expected to follow the elections today in Zimbabwe via Baba Jukwa. However, the reality is that even if Zimbabweans have become motivated to vote and advocate for change, they cannot actually vote for Baba Jukwa. While he is a channel to direct mass discontent, he remains a fictional character that rarely engages the users beyond broadcasting information. A recent piece on The Guardian website aptly said, the technologically savvy youth are already the demographic who count themselves as opposition to the status quo. Thus a real alternative to the current candidates is still missing. However what the Baba Jukwa phenomenon has done is increase public awareness of the kind of leaders Zimbabweans do not want. The demographic changes on the continent will hold serious political implications for Zimbabwe in future. During an interview with Forbes magazine, Mo Ibrahim stated that the average African leader is 63 while the average citizen is 19. The CIA World Factbook similarly notes the average Zimbabwean age as 19.5 years. It is important to note that the rising use of communication

technologies is part and parcel of a unique demographic window. At a SAIIA event in May 2013, Ibrahim Mayaki, President of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development – NEPAD, noted the sobering fact that in the next 20 years many of Africa’s aging leadership will be replaced by young leaders. Yet little has been done to mend the gaps in perceptions between the previous generations of leaders and the youth, whose demands will increasingly require technocratic skills over political rhetoric. Regardless, the real impact of social media in Zimbabwe will need to be explored after the election. Is it an effective platform? Clearly, its future rests in the hands of its users. While freedom of expression is and will remain important in Zimbabwe’s political process, it needs to be channelled into changes in reality. The Nigerian political scientist Claude Ake said “freedom of speech and freedom of the press do not mean much for a largely illiterate rural community” who are absorbed by the struggle to survive. The challenge is to convince the rest of the estimated 1 to 3 million Zimbabwean diaspora (most of who are not followers of the Baba Jukwa saga) that criticism can in fact achieve results. This is not to say social media is irrelevant to development in Africa. The opposite is

true. Social media has the potential to speak to change. Take for example the Obama administration’s smartphone app – used during the 2012 US Presidential elections which among other things helped identify the homes of Democrat supporters in a suburb (thereby simplifying the dissemination of party related information). Imagine the possibilities if governments and development agencies could pin-point the homes that have yet to receive running water or medical care. The mobile potential is already being explored in Kenya where the mobile micro-financing service, M-Pesa, allows users who cannot afford bank accounts or reach physical branches to make transactions. There is clearly space for social media integration into everyday life. So looking beyond the election horizon there are already signs that the Zimbabwean landscape will never be the same again. A media culture is developing through an increasingly transnational population (via migration, outlook and the very nature of the media’s ability to reach across borders). This comes together with a diaspora and youthful population who have aspirations that cannot be contained. In fact the first privately-owned satellite television station, 1ST TV, was recently launched to challenge the dominance of the government-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). What the Baba Jukwa case and the new television channel reveal are the rising demand for independent and alternative voices. As the spaces for independent thinking grow, the only feasible way to remove the credibility of such spaces is to eliminate the barriers to robust political debate.



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All-in-one \adj: all-inclusive. For the contact centre, Interactive Intelligence defines its all-in-one IP communications platform this way: All communications applications running on a single platform. A single point of administration for all functionality, meaning less training and less complexity. Add-on applications activated with simple license keys, to bypass costly, complex integrations. Complete fault tolerance and business continuity for all contact centre applications. A single all-inclusive solution from a single vendor, including a single maintenance contract. All redefined by a lower total cost of ownership. Shouldn’t this be your definition too? CONTACT CENTER • UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS • BUSINESS PROCESS AUTOMATION Cloud-based or On-premise

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Africa is

Microsoft’s second biggest investment - Micosoft SA MD

“We want to see the Dimension Datas of tomorrow. About 20 years ago it was a small company, look at where they are today.Why can’t we have companies like that coming from South Africa – coming from the BizSpark group? We have the skills here and we have really capable people here – people who understand the needs, people who can come up with Intellectual Property, but we need to think big.”


echnology giant Microsoft last week announced a partnership with the South African government’s Jobs Fund - an alliance that will provide assistance to small technology businesses. Microsoft South Africa’s Managing Director Mteto Nyati sat down with African Innovator Magazine to discuss why the Company has invested so heavily in Africa. Nyati explained that although Microsoft is indeed heavily invested in the African continent, with projects such as the newlyannounced BizSpark and Microsoft’s TO MAKE A COMPARISON, NYATI 4Afrika initiative, it is SAID THAT HE WOULD LIKE TO always very involved SEE MORE COMPANIES EMU- in the local econoLATE THE SUCCESS OF SOUTH mies of all territories in which it has a AFRICAN IT SERVICES PROVIDER presence. DIMENSION DATA. “What I have seen within Microsoft is that they put a lot of emphasis on the local people – meaning they try to be relevant in each and every geographic location that they operate in. If you go to Brazil, the things they do there talk to Brazilian priorities,” he said.

He added that, as a continent, Africa represents the second biggest investment that Microsoft has made and the region is a focal point for many leaders within the software giant. “What we have seen here ... is that there are many different leaders of Microsoft within Africa. So, the leaders came together to better understand Africa. Africa is the second biggest investment that Microsoft has made, after China. That shows how important they see the continent,” said Nyati Prior to joining Microsoft, Nyati was employed at IBM for 12 years. Referring to his appointment as Managing Director for Microsoft South Africa, Nyati revealed that during his interview recruiters were clear in their expectation of local relevance. “The thing they said to me up front is that they wanted somebody who is going to help the company be relevant locally. This means that you design your local strategy, within certain parameters of course, as you can’t change everything. Most of the time you are given the room to be able to design your local strategy.” Microsoft’s BizSpark is aimed at supporting small businesses and Nyati explained that helping these companies grow also reflects


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Africa is the second biggest investment that Microsoft has made, after China. That shows how important they see the continent.

positively on Microsoft as a whole. “If you look at the area where we believe we can make the biggest difference, our strategy is that of a Device and Services company - we have transformed from a software company to that of Devices and Services. We looked at who would benefit the most from Device and Cloud Services, and found that it would be small business.” By providing small ventures the necessary tools to drive business forward, Microsoft believes that it will narrow the gap between large corporations and their smaller counterparts – which will give the smaller entities a fighting chance in a very competitive market.

“If you are looking at what is the biggest impact of cloud services, it levels the playing field between large companies and small companies. A small company now has the same access to technologies as large companies. So that is what we like about this whole thing (BizSpark project) – it levels the playing field, it helps small companies to compete. And the growth of those small companies is also the key to our own growth. As they grow, we grow, so there is a win-win for everyone. So that is why it is important. It is linked to our growth as well.” The BizSpark project is currently targeting 600 small businesses and Nyati hopes to see those companies grow beyond the borders

of South Africa. “When we are talking about the BizSpark project, we are targeting six hundred companies. My hope is that these companies won’t only be successful here, but across the globe. So the intent is to build companies that are going to be globally competitive, companies that address the needs of emerging markets. That is the intent.” To make a comparison, Nyati said that he would like to see more companies emulate the success of South African IT services provider Dimension Data. “We want to see the Dimension Datas of tomorrow. About 20 years ago it was a small company, look at where they are today. Why can’t we have companies like that coming from South Africa – coming from the BizSpark group? We have the skills here and we have really capable people here – people who understand the needs, people who can come up with Intellectual Property, but we need to think big.”


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Better Bandwidth, Bigger DDoS risk On the flipside of the bandwidth boom in South Africa, there has been a significant increase in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks at an application level in the country, says Fortinet.


ntil recently, distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks were complex to launch and appeared to target mainly high profile organisations and websites. But this has all changed. Now everyone is at risk. A DDoS attack, in which services of a host connected to the internet are suspended, can be generally classified into two categories: Volumetric attacks: Flood attacks saturate network bandwidth and infrastructure (e.g.: UDP, TCP SYN, ICMP). Application-layer attacks: These attacks are designed to target specific services and exhaust their resources (HTTP, DNS). Because they use less bandwidth, they are harder to detect. The ideal situation for applicationlayer DDoS attacks is where all other services remain intact but the webserver itself is completely inaccessible. According to Stratecast, DDoS attacks are increasing in number by 20% - 45% annually, with application-based DDoS attacks increasing in triple digits levels. DDoS attacks have evolved – along with the proliferation of botnets − into one of the biggest threats on the security landscape. Traditionally, the challenge in SA has been the fact that with limited bandwidth capabilities it is far easier

for DDoS attackers to disable infrastructure rather than services. However, with the increase in bandwidth availability as well as services providers’ improved capability to protect against volumetric DDoS attacks, we can now see an increase in DDoS attacks targeting individuals companies’ servers and services at an application level. Now, anyone connected to the Internet is a possible target. Recent highly visible attacks included many politically-motivated attacks, state-sponsored cyber warfare, social activism and organised cyber crime, often driven by the easy availability of DDoS tools and botnets for hire. People often assume only ISPs and webservers can be targets, but targets also include other services, such as mail servers, firewalls, VoIP gateways and file-sharing. Victims may include financial institutions, e-tailers, gaming sites, SaaS, government, critical infrastructure, cloud providers and popular sites. For example, Independent Newspapers’ subsidiary IOL recently experienced a DDoS attack, for which a group calling itself ‘Anonymous Africa’ claimed responsibility. The group tweeted it had taken the site down over IOL’s alleged support of Robert Mugabe. The cost of DDoS The biggest risk to an organisation from DDoS attacks is the potential loss of data and the negative impact from downtime. When online retailers go offline, they lose revenue; when trading systems are attacked and cannot trade, they lose revenue. Companies and organisations that have their websites defaced or taken down can suffer substantial damage to their brand and image. In addition to lost revenue due to downtime, there are also costs related to IT analysis and recovery, loss of worker output, and possibly also financial penalties from broken service level agreements. It used to be quite an undertaking to launch a DDoS attack, requiring sophisticated tools and many collaborators. Now, however, with the prevalence on the Internet of ready-mades DDoS tools and botnets-forhire, effectively executing a DDoS attack is very easy and possible at low cost. Hence we expect to see sharp increase in DDoS attacks coming from many various sources. Setting up a defense In this changing environment, it is essential that organisations put the right multilayer defenses and DNS server protection in place, as well as drafting a response plan, to

guard against DDoS attacks and their impact on the business and its reputation. A multi-layer strategy is crucial in DDoS protection. This includes dedicated onpremise solutions to defend and mitigate threats from all angles of the network. These tools should provide anti-spoofing, host authentication techniques, packet level and application-specific thresholds, state and protocol verification, baseline enforcement, idle discovery, blacklists/whitelists and geolocation-based access control lists. Solutions should not only detect application-layer DDoS attacks and efficiently block common, generic or custom DDoS attack techniques and patterns, but should also have the ability to “learn” to recognise both acceptable and anomalous traffic behaviour patterns based on traffic flow. As part of an overall defensive strategy, organisations must protect their critical assets and infrastructure. Many firms maintain their own DNS servers for Web availability, which are often the first systems to be targeted during a DDoS attack. Once DNS servers are hit, attackers can easily take down an organisation’s Web operations, creating a denial of service situation. DNS protection solutions available on the market today can protect against transaction ID, UDP source port and case randomisation mechanism intrusions. Organisations also need a way to maintain vigilance and monitor their systems before, during and after an attack. The best defenses will incorporate continuous and automated monitoring, with alert systems that sound alarm bells and trigger the response plan should DDoS traffic be detected. It’s important to have granular visibility and control across the network. This visibility helps administrators get to the root of the attack’s cause and block flood traffic while allowing legitimate traffic to pass freely. It also hands administrators the ability to conduct real-time and historic attack analysis for in-depth forensics. In addition, advanced source tracking features can help defensive efforts by pinpointing the address of a nonspoofed attack, and can even contact the offender’s domain administrator.



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07907 Bizspark 10_Digital Africa.indd Collateral 3 - A4 Advert_FINAL_Paths_nc.indd 1

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will ensure world watches Zimbabwe According to the UN Development Programme World Investment Report 2012, Zimbabwe’s FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) inflows in 2011 more than doubled to US$ 387 million.


imbabwe’s much-publicised and contentious 2013 General Election held in July reflected the important role the internet and social networking plays in that society. Given the growth of the country’s ICT sector, the notion that this role will only increase is not far-fetched. An article posted on The Independent online stated that the number of internet subscribers has more than doubled between 2011 and 2012. The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) puts the number at 4,5 million at the end of 2012.The number of mobile internet subscribers is said to have reached 3.2 million in the second quarter of 2012. The article states that this growth is attributed to the rollout of internet-enabled devices and wider access to the internet. According to a report released by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) mobile-cellular subscriptions in Africa currently stands at 545 million or 63.5 per 100 inhabitants. Additionally, the number of active mobile-broadband subscriptions in Africa is approximately 93 million or 10,9 per 100 inhabitants. Growth of the sector In August of 2012, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Information Communications and Technology (ICT), and the MDC-T’s National Organising Secretary Nelson Chamisa, confirmed that the process of stabilising

Zimbabwe’s political and economic landscape was in place and progressing. At the time he said that the country was in a period of rebuilding and the timing for investment could not be better,” he said. The objective suggested by Minister Chamisa was to push the country’s ICT sector to the next level by 2015, orchestrated through the Zimbabwe National ICT Policy Framework, first launched in 2007 and adapted to keep up with industry developments. Minister Chamisa also reiterated the country’s official position on the Indigenisation and empowerment legislation that compels foreign owned companies to surrender 51% of their stakes or equity, saying that a policy framework was in place to ensure that there would be no application of the 51% threshold to new investors. “The climate is conducive to investment. We are focusing on connectivity, on establishing a legislative environment that encourages growth and investment, there are more opportunities. We also have powerful HR, with wonderful people,” said the Minister. “We are creating a óne-stop-shop’ scenario for those entering the country to do business and we have structures in place to deal with any problems.” However, since August 2012 the legislation has been the subject of ongoing debate. Research shows that opinion is divided as to the approach to the legislation, with concern expressed by Reserve Bank of Zimba-


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bwe’s Governor Gideon Gono over what he described as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. According to the UN Development Programme World Investment Report 2012, Zimbabwe’s FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) inflows in 2011 more than doubled to US$ 387 million. It is hoped that this will allay fears amongst those eager to tap into the emerging opportunities within the country’s broader economy, most notably the ICT sector. A Household Download Index report conducted by- and featured on, which compares and ranks consumer download speeds* internationally, ranks Zimbabwe amongst the top five African countries with an average speed of 5.13Mbps. * (The value is the rolling mean throughput in Mbps where the mean distance between the client and the server is less than 300 miles.)

regional mediator on Zimbabwe, recently rebuked his officials for statements made about Zimbabwe’s lack of readiness to hold elections. South Africa’s relationship with its Northern neighbour also formed part of political rallying by Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe in the run up to elections. Mugabe was reported to have addressed a rally in Mutare, Manicaland Province, and was quoted across numerous media channels as saying, “We feel ashamed of the influx of Zimbabweans in South Africa. If you go to their hotels, there are Zimbabweans all over. The same applies to other businesses. Zimbabweans are literally running the South African economy. South Africans end up attacking Zimbabweans because there are just too many in that country.”

Analysts suggest biometrics In an article written by Samuel Chindaro posted on SW Radio Africa online, the author puts the case The Artful Blogger forward for the consideration of integrating biometric If there is an example of the extent to which technoltechnology (that which is used to identify people auogy has now become interwoven with the fabric of tomatically based on physical characteristics including Zimbabwe – (especially at fingerprint and facial) into this critical stage of its sociothe electoral process. DESPITE WRANGLING BETWEEN political development), it is Chindaro writes, “ConSTAKEHOLDERS, INDUSTRY REPREperhaps the degree cerns have been raised SENTATIVES HAVE STATED CLEAR to which social networks are in past elections about OBJECTIVES FOR ICT AND TELECOM- ‘zombie’ (deceased voters being used to convey MUNICATIONS, INCLUDING A SIGinformation about the elecapparently ‘voting’ from the NIFICANT INCREASE IN JOB CREAtion process to date. grave), individuals engagAnd, information simply TION – WITH AT LEAST 20 000 NEW ing in double or multiple relayed across the World voting and inflated voting JOBS EXPECTED TO BE CREATED. Wide Web, it would seem, figures. It is important can be something of a ‘hot potato’ in politics. that allegations and the incidence of fraud, double or For example, there have been numerous reports multiple voting, etc raised in the last presidential and in the media about a blogger, known only under the parliamentary elections are not repeated in the next probable pseudonym ‘Baba Jukwa’; a self-proclaimed crucial elections. senior member of the Zanu-PF party, whose posts draw A growing number of countries such as Ghana, Zambia, attention to a number of allegations against his party. South Africa, Nigeria, Namibia, and Mozambique The blogger is using the online channel to draw global among others have either started using biometrics in awareness to these allegations. the election process or are preparing to do so in the The ruling party has been quick to dismiss the claims, near future. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the describing the writings of Baba Jukwa as “a complete body charged with the constitutional role of conductwaste of time” and “completely idiotic”. ing and supervising elections in Zimbabwe, should Online allegations against the ruling party aside (inseriously consider investing in biometrics technology, cluding media focus on statements made by politicians particularly when it takes charge of voter registration in response to allegations of vote rigging in previous and maintenance of the voters’ rolls.” elections), the run up to Zimbabwe’s General Elections 2013 has never been too far from increasing levels of controversy. Recently, South Africa has been drawn into debates CHRIS TREDGER about the credibility of elections in Zimbabwe. ITNEWSAFRICA.COM South African President Jacob Zuma, the chief


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African innovator magazine issue 2 2013  

African Innovator Magazine (AIM) showcases innovative technology solutions to business challenges on the continent. We achieve this by talki...