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Kenyan firms eye Ethiopia as new investment hub

Daily Nation

Thursday, November 22, 2012 | By CHARLES WOKABI

newsA number of Kenyan companies are gearing to invest in Ethiopia as a new growth market, with the two countries opening up their boundaries.

President Mwai Kibaki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn on Wednesday signed an agreement meant to open investment opportunities and improve trade between the two countries.

The two nations have a total population of 130 million people.

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Digital revolution takes root in Kenya’s healthcare system

health

Business Daily

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 | By EVELYN SITUMA

The Clinton Health Access Initiative (Chai) has been working on transforming Kenya’s paper-based healthcare system to the digital format.

Using an open-source web application, the initiative has been working on applications since last year in partnership with Strathmore University.

Chai has been able to create five web-based applications currently in use in the medical field. The most publicised of them is the Automated Disease Surveillance Application.

The system details incidences of 14 diseases categorised as epidemics, giving a country weekly status report on each. The incidences of the diseases are recorded every Tuesday from 240 hospitals.

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Global IT company enters new partnership with SAP

By NATION CORRESPONDENT

Sunday, November 18  2012

technoGlobal IT firm Techno Brain has entered a new partnership with SAP to offer one-stop domain expertise in key markets in sub-Saharan Africa.

In a statement, the companies said the partnership is targeted at enterprises in the midmarket segment to help them reduce operating costs, optimise asset utilisation, meet customer requirements and surpass quality and compliance objectives.

“This partnership is strategic for us. It will address a set of niche, vertical markets in Africa that have a need for ready-made enterprise solutions,” said Techno Brain CEO Manoj Shanker said.

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ICT CENTRES TO BE SET UP IN SCHOOLS

By Daniel Nzia

The Standard Friday November 16, 2012

ictleoInformation communication technology (ICT) resource centres will be established in 25 schools in Makueni County before the end of the year.MultiChoice Kenya in partnership with the Ministry of Education will establish the centres in six constituencies. Education minister Mutula Kilonzo announced that the Government would make ICT part and Parcel of teaching and learning in all levels of education.

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Safaricom Platform Coming Home

By MUTHOKI MUMO
Dailiy Nation November 14, 2012

collymoreTelecom firm Safaricom has rebounded to post a 94 per cent jump in after tax profits in its half-year profits driven by a growing customer base, easing inflation and a stable exchange rate.

Safaricom on Thursday reported Sh7.8 billion in profits, significantly higher than Sh4 billion made during a similar period last year.

“We are relieved to have recovered from the damaging price wars. We are now focusing on customer growth,” said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.

Total revenue grew 19 per cent to Sh59 billion. Voice revenues accounted for Sh37.4 billion or 63 per cent of total revenues.

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Shrinking revenues push local software firm to Singapore

By NATION CORRESPONDENT
Monday November 11, 2012 

Craft Silicon founder and CEO Kamal BudhabattiKenyan software company Craft Silicon has started business in Singapore as revenue from the local market continues to decline.

Craft Silicon founder and CEO Kamal Budhabatti (right) told the Daily Nation that his firm had acquired all the necessary certification and operations are ongoing.

“We’ve a very big market in this country which we’ve been supporting from our offices in India. The new office will harness our customer service in this region while our operations in Kenya and other countries remain intact,” he said.

He noted that revenues from the Kenyan software industry have stagnated especially because of a tough tax regulation that makes it cheaper to import software than buy locally developed applications.

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SPEND SH320BN ON PROJECTS TO ACHIEVE VISION 2030, SAYS WB

Daily Naton Saturday, November 17, 2012 

JohannesZuttpxThe push to have Kenya grow to a middle income country by 2030 would be accelerated if the government consistently spends Sh320 billion annually on infrastructural development.

The push to have Kenya grow to a middle income country by 2030 would be accelerated if the government consistently spends Sh320 billion annually on infrastructural development.

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Why research firm used ICT to rank universities

By EDITH FORTUNATE

Monday, November 19  2012

graduatesIn May this year, Samsung Electronics launched a Samsung e-learning product designed to support academic delivery at Strathmore University.

That partnership has that brought about the now familiar use of tablets by MBA students at the university.

The students use Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablets linked to a Samsung electronic board, which allows interactive learning. The tablets also enable students to exchange notes with their lecturers even when they are away from class.

The Strathmore experience caught the attention of market and social research firm CPS Research International (CPS), which placed the university in second position in a recent ranking survey of universities in East Africa, based on ICT uptake.

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YUMOBILE MULLS OVER TARIFF HIKE

BY MACHARIA KAMAU

THE STANDARD FRIDAY November 16, 2012

yumobileTime for free calls might soon be over as yuMobile, the firm that has mostly used free on-net calls and relatively cheaper cross network calls, moves to adjust up its call rates.

Madhur Taneja, country manager yuMobile, attributed its plan to increase call tariffs to refusal by the Government to bring down mobile termination rates (MTRs), a high tax regime and an unpredictable policy environment that have proved costly for its operations.

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KRA will not trade with employee, says Njiraini

Daily Nation By PAUL WAFULA

Wednesday, November 21  2012

KRAThe Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has asked an employee who innovated a system to help track property tax cheats — and which the authority is now seeking to procure from a third party — to resign and seek to supply the system as an outsider.

Addressing a real estate workshop organised by mortgage provider Housing Finance in Nairobi on Wednesday, KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini said he wants the organisation to concentrate on its core mandate.

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Open data project hits snag as law ‘incomplete’

OpenDatapxLack of legislation compelling government bodies to release data to the public is holding back the successful rollout of the open data initiative. The project, which was launched by President Mwai Kibaki in July last year, is based on provisions of the Constitution that every citizen has the right of access to information held by the State.

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Kenyans in Diaspora call for e-voting.

By NATION REPORTER

Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012

e-voting-screen2Kenyans in the diaspora have asked the electoral commission to register voters living outside the country electronically and adopt e-voting for the March 4 elections.The group has set up a website, which they say can facilitate e-voting and online registration of voters.The website www.kenyansabroadvote.com has been designed with tools to enable Kenyans abroad to register as voters online.

US-based Kenyan lawyer Henry Ongeri said on Tuesday the commission must adopt e-voting and online voter registration as it was convenient and affordable. (Read: Confusion over voter registration in Diaspora)

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Internet capacity to double soon after fifth fibre optic cable lands

Daily nation

By MUTHOKI MUMO

Monday, November 19 2012 

internet2A fifth undersea fibre optic cable is set to land in Kenya, doubling the country’s Internet capacity.

Information and Communication Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo on Monday said that a Middle Eastern company was currently contracting suppliers to lay the undersea cable.

Once the fifth cable is laid, Kenya’s bandwidth capacity will double to more than 15 terabytes per second (TBps).

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SAFARICOM TO LAY ITS OWN OPTIC CABLE

By Charles Wokabi
Daily Nation     Tuesday November 13, 2012

safaricomSafaricom will start laying its own terrestrial fibre network in January next year.

The telecoms firm, which last week announced a 94 per cent jump in after-tax profit to Sh7.8 billion for the first half of the year, said it has awarded the tender to roll out the expansive network to Ericsson and Huawei in order to cut the cost of renting other providers’ infrastructure.

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IEBC begins training clerks

BY NATION TEAM, MONDAY 12,NOV,2012

iebcThe electoral commission has started training clerks for the registration of voters across the country.

In Mombasa, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will also hold a stakeholders’ meeting at the Municipal Council hall today to introduce the biometric voter registration (BVR) kits.

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ICT trade set to soar in county structure

ictnews

By NATION CORRESPONDENT

 Sunday, November 4  2012

The ICT sector is eyeing a boom in business once the government devolves services to the county level after the March General Election.Speaking to the Nation on Friday, Wananchi Group chief technical officer Riyaz Bachani said the uptake of Information Communication Technology (ICT) is likely to improve in the devolved system especially if the government makes available more public services online.

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Presidential debates now set for January 2013

kass tvMedia houses have postponed the joint presidential debates to January 2013.

The first of the three debates will only take place after official nomination of presidential candidates, the Joint Media Debates Steering Committee said on Thursday.

Several TV stations launched the project last month in a bid to assist Kenyan voters make informed decisions during next year's General Election.At the launch, Nation Media Group’s chief executive Mr Linus Gitahi said the debates would also give politicians a chance to articulate issues that they plan to address if voted for.

He and his Royal Media Services counterpart Mr Wachira Waruru assured viewers of fairness and independence of the project.

The debates will be aired on NTV, Kiss TV, Kass TV, KTN, Citizen TV, K24, KBC, QTV and several radio stations.

Standard Group’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Sam Shollei said seasoned analysts would be part of the team that gages responses from the presidential candidates during the debates.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga, deputies Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi, Eldoret North MP William Ruto and Gichugu MP Martha Karua are some of the aspirants in the race to State House.

Others are Ministers Eugene Wamalwa and Charity Ngilu, MPs Peter Kenneth (Gatanga) and Mutava Musyimi (Gachoka) and former Permanent Secretary Prof James Ole Kiyiapi.

Why Kenyans should be excited about migrating from analogue to digital TV

digitalThis year, Kenya will migrate its four million analogue TV viewers to the digital platform.

The switch over is the culmination of a journey that started in 2006, during the World Radio Conference in which all countries of the world agreed to adopt digital TV broadcasting by 2015.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Information and Communications set up the Digital Television Committee (DTC) to spearhead the implementation and to advise the government on the migration process.

The DTC is made up of representatives from the Ministry of Information, the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, private broadcasters, the National Communications Secretariat and the Communications Commission of Kenya.

One of its first tasks was to advise the government on the appropriate digital technology, which led to the adoption of the DVB T standard that the public broadcaster, KBC, subsequently used to deploy the digital platform in Nairobi and its environs.

In 2010, the government resolved to upgrade to the DVB T2 standard. KBC subsequently upgraded its digital platform to the DVB T2 standard, which is now available in Nairobi and its environs. Most regions are expected to be covered before the end of this year.

As alluded to above, digital TV broadcasting is poised to offer higher spectrum efficiency, better picture quality and clearer sound.

As a result, more broadcasting channels will be available, offering more choice to consumers, interactivity and access to electronic programming guides.

To fast-track the deployment of the digital signal, CCK has opened up its distribution to competition.

As a result, the Pan African Networks Group Kenya Ltd was awarded a signal distribution licence in October 2011 through a competitive tender process.

An additional player will be licensed through a competitive bidding process targeting the national level to promote local participation in this sector.

The introduction of the signal distribution market segment is a milestone for the broadcasting industry as it has reduced barriers to entry.

With the burden of infrastructure roll out now being shouldered by signal distributors, broadcasters can focus their investment and energy on studio set-up and content creation.

Digital broadcasting will move Kenya towards establishing a more equitable, just and people-centred information society.

The spectrum freed as a result of the migration will be re-assigned to the ICT industry to support the ever-increasing need for wireless communication services.

The migration process has had its fair share of challenges. While the DVB T2 platform is ready, compliant set top boxes are yet to be available in the market.

To overcome this challenge, the Commission has, on behalf of the government, called on the private sector to import the set boxes.

To increase consumer awareness of the benefits of digital TV broadcasting, CCK will soon launch a campaign.

The good and not so good ahead of fake phones death

phonesThree years ago, the government of India embarked on a mission to switch off fake phones. The move saw millions of gadgets blocked on November 30, 2009, on security grounds. Almost 20 million phones were identified as fake in the sub-continent, while Kenya has about 2.5 million.

Prior to the switch-off, India and the regulator embarked on consumer awareness and also set out to save the affected subscribers through genuine IMEI implants (GII). The GII programme was a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Indians with gadgets bearing invalid IMEI codes have them implanted with genuine ones.

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Emphasis on ICTs blurs other key technologies

ICTThe ‘ICT is technology’ confusion is everywhere even in our training institutions, agricultural engineering graduates are more focused on writing mobile apps for farmers than coming up with cheaper and locally made farming machinery. ...

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