CyberschuulNews.com
 
 
 
 

Editions 331 - 335

 
 

 

 

CyberschuulNews 335  

Business forum on co-location holds in Lagos 

A select gathering of top telecom industry players, technocrats, operators, infrastructure builders and the media will soon engage the subject of co-location and infrastructure sharing in telecommunications at a forum to be held in Lagos.  

An announcement from Telecom Answers Associates, a telecom consultancy which is coordinating the forum in collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission, says its intension is to coordinate an industry Plan of Action for the realisation of the benefits of co-location in Nigeria by pushing the major issues which arise from discussion at the Forum. It says the format of the Forum is the business-type and not the usual conference-type.  

NCC rolls out new rules to protect phone users 

New Guidelines which Nigerian telephone authorities say are designed to set minimum requirements and standards for advertisements and promotions in order to guarantee maintenance of minimum quality of service by licensed telecommunications operators in Nigeria have been announced. The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, says on its website that Licensees offering internet connections should henceforth state the Internet Connection speed available to end-users as well as specific upload and download speed. If the connection speed quoted is only obtainable under special circumstances, then these circumstances should be clearly stated.  

On pricing, the Commission insists that the licensee must communicate all prices and financial implications clearly and have no hidden or disguised price adjustments, discounts, unrealistic price comparisons or exaggerated claims as to worth or value. Advertising with complicated price structures and information shall not only appear in transient types of media such as radio and television but must be accompanied with detailed print media explanations, and on the licensee’s website. The transient media must specifically instruct consumers to see the print mediums for details.  

The Commission reserves the right to itself to withdraw any approvals for promotions from the licensee for reasons not limited to network congestion, poor performance in licensees services, consumer complaints, misrepresentation of offer by the licensee, contravention of specific approval, and variation from submitted application content and /or context.  

 

News from other lands as reported by other journals
Egypt tops African outsourcing destinations 
 

A 400-page report, outlining the outsourcing readiness of 15 African nations, was released during the first Africa Outsourcing Summit, organised by Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) last month in London. The "Outsourcing in Africa: A Relative Ranking of 15 Country Locations" survey, compiled by India's Cybermedia, ranked Egypt (7.18 points) followed by Mauritius (7.08 points), South Africa (6.98 points), Tunisia (6.77 points) and Morocco (6.43 points), as the top African outsourcing destinations.  

The report ranked Egypt highly at exposing its population to Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Other factors such as the business environment, political stability, availability of bandwidth and economic outlook also weighted the ranking. According to the report, "Egypt turns out as the most attractive location in Africa. Egypt will have strong competition from all the others in the infrastructure-ready band as all are working hard to improve."  

 The report noted that "Egypt has an edge because ICT is supported and believed in by the leadership and all actions are coordinated."   

"Further, close coordination between different departments, especially the Information Technology Industry Development Agency [ITIDA] and General Authority for Investment and Free Zones [GAFI], makes a real single window service for any industry coming in to Egypt," the report elaborated.   

An additional strength, the report noted, is the serious and coordinated efforts of the Government and other stakeholders to maintain a steady supply of well-trained human resources on a continuing basis. The report said the social and political stability in Egypt were among the main factors attracting leading international companies to invest in Egypt. The study further described the Egyptian government's strategy of raising ICT exports as being positive, especially that it takes into account global changes.   

The report pointed out that Egypt's growth rate is high, adding that the country is currently focusing on outsourcing-related sectors like call centers, research and development, engineering designs and software development. The Egyptian strategy in this domain targets different markets like the Gulf and Europe. The report highlighted the professional development training programmes offered to university students as one of the pillars for boosting the Egyptian human capital operating in outsourcing. Egypt is targeting LE1.1 billion exports by 2010.   

The piracy rate in Egypt dropped to about 60 per cent, one per cent less than the international one, which proves the country's keenness to attract multinational companies and its concern to protect intellectual property rights. 

This piece is culled from http://www.itweb.co.za 

 

Buildup to enhanced backbone is Target of SABI says Ndukwe 

The States Accelerated Broadband Initiative, SABI, is an implementation strategy which encourages Nigerian operators to build the national highway themselves. This was the highlight of a keynote speech given by the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC Engr. Ernest Ndukwe at the Education Summit which was hosted by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON in Lagos during the week. 

 

Fall out of poor quality of service
Phone users badmouth mobile operators in SA
 

Telephone users in South Africa have risen in unison to complain about terrible degeneration in quality of service symthomised by dropped calls and irritating phone charges. Many say what is annoying is that the mobile operators don’t appear to be owning up to their errors. Some say that ICASA, Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, is not helping matter by not giving the right explanations.  

Poor quality of service has for some time been taunting various multi-network markets in emerging economies and it is usual for phone users to condemn mobile operators who by their own admission smile to the banks in the midst of high pay for poor service. Each mass protest is met by intervention of the authorities and mobile operators would real out huge figures on fund injection into network upgrade and life goes on until the next round of  consumer anger. 

See CaPFoP below for one version of local reports in SA.

 

CyberschuulNews 334 

Egypt tops African outsourcing destinations   

A 400-page report, outlining the outsourcing readiness of 15 African nations, was released during the first Africa Outsourcing Summit, organised by Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) last month in London. The "Outsourcing in Africa: A Relative Ranking of 15 Country Locations" survey, compiled by India's Cybermedia, ranked Egypt (7.18 points) followed by Mauritius (7.08 points), South Africa (6.98 points), Tunisia (6.77 points) and Morocco (6.43 points), as the top African outsourcing destinations.  

The report ranked Egypt highly at exposing its population to Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Other factors such as the business environment, political stability, availability of bandwidth and economic outlook also weighted the ranking. According to the report, "Egypt turns out as the most attractive location in Africa. Egypt will have strong competition from all the others in the infrastructure-ready band as all are working hard to improve."  

 The report noted that "Egypt has an edge because ICT is supported and believed in by the leadership and all actions are coordinated."   

"Further, close coordination between different departments, especially the Information Technology Industry Development Agency [ITIDA] and General Authority for Investment and Free Zones [GAFI], makes a real single window service for any industry coming in to Egypt," the report elaborated.   

An additional strength, the report noted, is the serious and coordinated efforts of the Government and other stakeholders to maintain a steady supply of well-trained human resources on a continuing basis. The report said the social and political stability in Egypt were among the main factors attracting leading international companies to invest in Egypt. The study further described the Egyptian government's strategy of raising ICT exports as being positive, especially that it takes into account global changes.   

The report pointed out that Egypt's growth rate is high, adding that the country is currently focusing on outsourcing-related sectors like call centers, research and development, engineering designs and software development. The Egyptian strategy in this domain targets different markets like the Gulf and Europe. The report highlighted the professional development training programmes offered to university students as one of the pillars for boosting the Egyptian human capital operating in outsourcing. Egypt is targeting LE1.1 billion exports by 2010.   

The piracy rate in Egypt dropped to about 60 per cent, one per cent less than the international one, which proves the country's keenness to attract multinational companies and its concern to protect intellectual property rights. 

 

Opinion
 
It’s Time To Connect The Dots!
by
'Gbenga Sesan 

No doubt, Nigeria’s ICT sector is making progress. You need to discuss with various sections of the community (media, government, private sector, civil society, interest groups, etc) and you’ll be surprised that the sad image that often comes out loudest isn’t telling the whole truth about Nigeria. I am involved in a number of multistakeholder projects that have been making significant impact with target communities and also know of many plans that are in the works. If you were at BarCamp Nigeria on Saturday, April 25 — or if you followed via Twitter, NaijaPulse, FaceBook or Roomatic — you would have paused to appreciate the volume of effort that young Nigerians are putting into the emergence of a globally competitive Nigeria! Techies, technopreneurs, enthusiasts and others converged under one roof and spent the day laying a foundation that the organizers may not even appreciate it’s depth until the structures grow on it. Trust me when I say that there’s huge interest on the development of the industry in Nigeria, thanks to our position as a huge market and human capital base — otherwise, someone would have to explain all the international book projects, media interviews, documentaries, research interests, business prospects, etc, that I’ve had to attend to especially in the last 2 months! 

However, there is a huge difference between segmented progress and networked growth. While there are obvious efforts from various sectors, it is time to connect the dots. The world over, it is obvious that government plays a major role in providing leadership for all sectors (at least that explains why governments have been discussing bail-outs since we drove our economies into a ditch due to false foundations) and the same must be done by the tip of the arrow in Nigeria. Even if the presidency has failed to take advantage of all work that has been done so far, the onus lies on the Ministry of Information and Communication to build on what its agencies and other stakeholders are churning out. While it is true that some are only ideas (good and/or bad) and some have remained ideas for a while, we can’t discount the shinning efforts across board. Even if some of them are supposedly driven by self interest, I have no problems with enlightened self-interest which helps the initiator achieve his/her aim (political, business, social, etc) but also ensures that the beneficiaries are not left out. My respect for the minister in charge of Nigeria’s ICT sector has been expressed at various times but I think it’s high time someone asked her to please recognize the gold mine she’s not giving the better part of her attention. 

While rebranding (I leave the efficiency of the adopted means to the experts) may be a great idea, I think the ICT sector is now like an abandoned baby getting second-rated attention! We need a coordinated effort to release the tucked-away fragrance of Nigeria’s ICT space — which, by the way is not domiciled in Nigeria alone but spreads its tentacles across various continents where Nigerian-born experts are waiting for the green light to add value. Having said that, it is important to say that leadership needs great followership to make sense and that means we need to kick-start self-organization that will leave the government no choice but to recognize that while we’ve chased resources below the soil for too long (it’s been a long time since Oloibiri), it’s time to pay attention to the huge resource we have above the ground — human capital best helped by the opportunities that ICTs provide. Some nation states in the Gulf region have used their oil deposit to paint (almost overnight) a clear picture of their global competitiveness in the 21st century and we have no other excuse from the bag. The other day, an industry activist called for ICT to be a major campaign agenda in 2011, and I agree with that 100%. Let me quickly give some advice to those who are already asking their speech writers for the buzz words in ICT: it’s not about promise, we demand delivery! 

Asking for the connection of the dots is not calling for another forum to discuss, or the creation of a Task Force; it is an invitation to engage the active stakeholders while also addressing the key things that have been seen as our friction-generators: power, access and networked manpower. We need our laptops on through day and night so we can keep delivering on the change we love, and it is a shame that service providers are closing shop because of unbearable cost of power. Let’s face it, Nigeria’s outsourcing potentials are fast fading off because of this, among others. While we trust that 2009 will offer the change we’ve been expecting in terms of the provision of broadband service and commend the Nigerian Communication Commission’s continued effort in this area, the need to keep our manpower behind the wheels require urgent attention. Much of Nigeria’s youthful ICT manpower remain isolated in their various locations, tapping away at the keyboard and hoping to add some amount of luck to their undeniable hard work. Some have been lost to other industries that have no need of their ICT expertise (but at least pay their monthly bills), others are working in the wrong direction already (exploiting the negative use of their skills online through cybercrime) and some have since started paying rent in other countries. 

Nothing creates energy as much as focused leadership with the appropriate body language! As a nation, we are at an opportune time when various forces can align for our good: evident hard work, youthful energy, ICT enthusiasm, global interest, interesting ideas, small-scale networking, etc. If we miss the opportunity to connect the dot now, we will be delaying the opportunity to fix many problems (unemployment, youth unrest, heavy dependence of oil, absence on the global stage, and maybe deportation headlines, among others). In fact, this is one great way to rebrand Nigeria! Imagine how much news will travel when we give India, Malaysia and others a run for their money, code for code! We won’t need to pay for adverts and special mentions on global news networks because our every step will be breaking news. As a personal commitment towards connecting the dots, I will ensure that this reaches major players in the sector - from the on-the-ground young force that is shaping Nigeria’s Web 2.0 space to the public administrators whose duty it is to make sure that the wheel of progress isn’t stopped by bureaucracy or limitations that can be taken out of the way. 

Hon Minister, it is time to connect the dots! 

 

 Internet's web to get wider and wider 

While the internet has dramatically changed lives around the world, its full impact will only be realised when far more people and information go online, its founders said on Wednesday.  

"The web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past," said Tim Berners-Lee, one of the inventors of the World Wide Web, at a seminar on its future. Just 23 per cent of the globe's population currently uses the internet, according to the United Nation's International Telecommunications Union, with use much higher in developed nations. By contrast, just five per cent of Africans surf the web, it said in a report issued in March. 

But that level is expected to rise, especially in developing nations, as mobile internet access takes off, making it no longer necessary to use a computer to surf the web, said internet co-founder Vinton Cerf. "We will have more internet, larger numbers of users, more mobile access, more speed, more things online and more appliances we can control over the internet," the Google vice-president and chief internet evangelist said. 

Robert Cailliau, who designed the web with Berners-Lee in 1989, said having more data on the internet, and more people with the ability to access it, will spur the development of new technology and solutions to global problems. "When we have all data online it will be great for humanity. It is a prerequisite to solving many problems that humankind faces," the Belgian software scientist said. 

The internet has already led to the development of businesses that could not have existed without it, boosted literacy and learning and brought people closer together through cheaper modes of communication, the internet pioneers said. "We never, ever in the history of mankind have had access to so much information so quickly and so easily," said Cerf. With the help of other scientists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), Berners-Lee and Cailliau set up the web in 1989 to allow thousands of scientists around the world to share information and data. 

The http://WWW technology - which simplifies the process of searching for information on the internet - was first made more widely available from 1991. The number of websites has since ballooned from just 500 as recently as 1994 to over 80 million currently, with growing numbers of sites consisting of user-generated content like blogs. Even its founders are surprised by its popularity. 

"What we did not imagine was a web of people, but a web of documents," said Dale Dougherty, the founder of GNN, the Global Network Navigator, the first web portal and the first site on the internet to be supported by advertising. For his part, Cailliau said he was impressed that search engines can still sort through the myriad of material that is now online. 

"To me the biggest surprise is that Google still functions despite the explosion in the number of sites," said Cailliau. 

Above passage by AFP is taken from http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/web/2009/04/23/1240079767277.html

 

Call for broadband internet access dominates Abuja talks  

Techies, one after the other, who made presentations at the just concluded ITAN-WITSA Global Workshop, ADIPENG, in Abuja, canvassed for significant attention to the provision of Broadband internet access for Nigeria. President of the Nigeria Internet Group, NIG, Mr. Lanre Ajayi argues that Nigeria’s e-government plans would mean little in the absence of good broadband penetration in Nigeria. Prof Manny Aniebonam, President of Nigerian IT professional in the Americas warns of the danger of Nigerian continued living in the 19th century if any other priority is made superior to the provision of broadband internet access arguing that the best Agenda for Nigeria is the Cyber e-Agenda more so as 97% of Internet traffic is by VSAT, not fiber-optic.  

Prof. Aniebonam specifically suggests that Nigeria must accelerate the process of connecting the last miles to the SAT-3 infrastructure, or giving concession to private sector service providers to accelerate deployment.  

Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, a consultant engineer, draws attention to the fact that emerging technologies which are mostly wireless appear to be addressing the last mile and bringing access to the last man fast and cheap. He cautions however, that network planners should not be carried away with the wireless systems of the last mile without considering that traffic generated at the last mile and by the last man will ultimately require very robust wired system at the backbone. He emphasizes that broadband access even at the last mile is today a requirement how much more the requirement for pipes of transmission at the backbone.

 

Teledensity: Density of what: Phones or SIM Cards or of People?  

A suggestion was made during the week that users of teledensity as a measure of telephone access have to exercise restraint lest its significance in planning emerging economies might just be lost. A professor of telecommunications, Augustine Odinma, told the ADIPENG 2009 delegates in Abuja that teledensity, a measure of ‘Number of telephone lines per 100 inhabitants’ should not be mistaken as a measure of telephone lines in its absolute terms since the index relates to ‘inhabitants’. He argues that if Nigeria’s 64million phones are in the hands of not more than half that number of Nigerians then teledensity would not be what many people take it to be. This according to him is particularly important as planners who do not live in the country may end up doing wrong plans on behalf of Nigeria in the comity of nations.  

Teledensity, an ITU’s initiative, is an index which was originally meant for fixed lines only. It has since the emergence of mobile system acquired new definition in terms of prefixing it with ‘effective’ so that its import is not lost to planners. In reality according tom him, Effective Teledensity uses either only Fixed or Mobile subscriber figures for calculations.

 

CyberschuulNews 333 

Multimedia enablement sprouts in Nigeria as Zain migrates to an All-IP Network  

Zain Group said during the week that its Nigerian subsidiary will soon migrate to an all-IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) network. The solution provider for Zain, Tekelec, is offering the EAGLE5 platform which supports SIGTRAN (SS7 signaling over IP), a stepping stone for cost-effectively migrating to an all-IP network. Zain says it hopes to migrate into a seamless integration of its existing core technology and anticipates substantial improvement in network signaling performance.  

Zain in Nigeria deploys the GSM standard and has 28% market share of the mobile services. It is one of the most frequently transformed providers in history having changed its name four times in 7 years, namely: Econet-wireless to Vodacom to V-mobile to Celtel to Zain.  

FG Goes ‘e’ on payments 

Nigeria’s Federal Government has, since January 2009, launched a semi-e-payment platform by which is meant that Federal Ministries and Agencies would make payment only though the banks. Although it is being popularly described as ‘e-payment’, it is ‘e’ only to the extent that cheques do not go to payees of government but to their banks. It runs only marginally on e-systems and has less than 25%  of e-content.

A nice, modest, and appropriate start and progressive match towards an eventual migration to e-systems, the method is believed to be good for government’s transactions as it will smoothen several low sides of the past just as it will raise a few challenges which the operators must be ready to confront and resolve before it does havoc. It is expected to raise initial challenges to both the payers and the payees but all these will eventually be resolved by continuous education and the will to make a progress in the polity.  

Newspapers have reported several investigations into how it is running and featured more on its challenges rather than the strengths and what it portends for government operations. Most accounts refer to it, falsely though, as e-payment.  

Government cannot afford to reverse itself on this path as it is the first ladder to climb in going truly ‘e’ especially if the right investments are made with genuine intension to make things better. 

COREN set to launch new methods of Engineering Training 

A complete overhaul of how engineering should be taught in schools, colleges, polytechnics, and Universities is almost a forgone conclusion going by the inroad which the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, has been making in preparing training institutions for the change.  

The COREN Council has also made the theme of its 2009 ENGINEERING ASSEMBLY “Quality of Engineering Education and Training: Key to infrastructural development” to reflect the mood and aspirations of its commitment to the subject. The Annual Engineering Assembly is a gathering of all Nigerian practitioners of engineering at all levels to map a common front to distilling problems confronting the profession and engineering service delivery in the country. It will hold on August 11 - 12, 2009 in Abuja.  

A few weeks ago, COREN’s President Engr. Habu Gumel, told an audience of Deans, Professors and lecturers who teach engineering in Universities that his Council is committed to reordering the process of engineering training in order to make their products modern and relevant to the industry. Two weeks ago he was again in Abuja hosting senior engineers who manage government projects on preparing them for the foreseeable future and the changes that will take place in how engineering will henceforth be taught. At each of the sessions, world class consultants and professors of engineering from all corners of the world were on hand to discuss new strategies for improved delivery in engineering projects and in building human capacity in engineering.  

Registrar of the Council, Engr. Felix Atume, expressed worries that those who teach engineering in Polytechnics have not shown the kind of enthusiasm which others are showing in the migration efforts. He however saw a change of attitude in the horizon as COREN was set to reach out to them through other methods.

 

Dead end!! Epitaph for NITEL  

The long tortuous journey which the dream of workers who remained in NITEL has gone through may have now reached a dead end. The workers are asking just about anybody to listen to their story that government has a responsibility to them and they want the responsibility discharged. By their account, the company does not make enough money to pay them salaries. Meaning that the hope of getting their arrears, now six months and still counting, might just be fading off. The banks, their former friends, have now turned their back 180 degrees and whenever they made attempt to see the Minister in charge of their company’s affairs, she was always busy, ‘re-branding’!.  

A natural fall out of such struggles: the leadership of the struggle’s emblem, the workers union, became divided and their Managing Director, Kevin Caruso, brand-new last August, is now throwing up his arms in helplessness. Surprisingly, the workers believed Caruso when last August he told them that all problems would be fixed by November. Or so it seemed since they did not call off his bluff at the time.  

Now they are talking to a government that is tired of everything including listening.   

Sounds like CyberschuulNewsJoke but it is a very serious matter.

 

CyberschuulNews 332

DAAR raises the bar in digital broadcasting 

Nigeria’s DAAR Communications Plc, operators of DAARSat and AIT Television has turned on the switch of access to world class digital broadcasting with a further acquisition of a number of high-resolution based outside broadcast facilities which it received into its stock during the week. Mr. Ladi Lawal, the Group’s Managing Director told television viewers that there can be no better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of television broadcasting in Nigeria than to acquire technology, training, and TV programming that will put Nigeria in the bracket of the best TV broadcasters in the world.  

Television broadcasting debuted in Africa when the government of Western Region in Nigeria switched on the transmitters of Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service, WNBS, in 1959 in Ibadan.  

Reps, NCC, Operators, synch on co-location 

There was expressed agreement by all industry players on the need for co-location and strategic sharing of telecommunications infrastructure when the Dave Salako led Committee on Communications of the House of Representatives met with a select group of industry players last Tuesday in Abuja. The House of Representatives is currently discussing a draft Bill promoted by its members and players in the industry were invited to speak to the draft. Discussion showed that while the draft bill and the invitation for the meeting were late in reaching the operators, they had no problem in agreeing with its intension. But they believed the draft was not a smart job as it lacked the necessary focus which such a document should normally have for the industry to get the benefit.

NCC’s presentation team lead by the Commission’s Executive Commissioner in charge of Licensing, Steve Bello, with whom was the Director of Legal Services, Steve Adzinge, bore holes in the draft bill which was apparently a notch behind where the industry had reached on the subject. Operators, one after the other, agreed with the Commission’s position to arouse the bile in one or two honourable members whose body talk suggested they expected their guests to contest the intension of the bill.  

The issue of co-location of infrastructure has been a topic of popular discussion and it may take a while for all to agree on its management which is certainly tricky and potentially complex. If only the law makers will sort out removing their prejudices for persons as a necessary ingredient of good law making, they may, after all, put a law in place before their tenure runs out. For now, the train is far from the station.

 

Campaign for broadband for ALL begins 

The metaphor of a CAR which is standard ‘convergence-automobile’ with TV screen, electronic keyboard and access to broadband Internet complete with 12months airtime was used to describe the converged economy in Lagos last week. Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, delivering the annual TITANS of TECH lecture on ‘Setting the Stage for a Converged Economy’ said it was time work began to target the provision of broadband access to Nigerians no matter where they may live so that its citizen’s would count as belonging to the converged economy and therefore to the global village. He proffers that the various markets of telecommunications, broadcasting, media, and entertainment must be continuously reformed and restructured until a true ICT industry emerges. 

Mr. Omo-Ettu admonishes Nigerians of the ICT sector to begin a campaign that will disallow those who are not ICT compliant to rule us come 2011. He argues that although we may not know those who will rule us, we should know those who must not rule us. And concludes that those who are not ICT savvy have no business asking to be in front, lest all of us continue to stay behind. He ended the lecture by saying that the notion of the world being a global village may be a ruse after all if anyone is allowed to be outside of that so-called village. He posed the question ‘Is the world a global village?’ and answered it himself saying ‘Yes, to the extent that a society which invests in Internet and IP supported services will conquer distance, close the gap between the rich and the poor and ultimately conquer poverty, and No, to the extent that a society that finds itself unable or unwilling to make these necessary investments will remain outside that village and the world will never be one global village in that circumstance’  

Talking to CyberschuulNews after the lecture, Mr. Omo-Ettu said the gap between the USA and Nigeria will be dangerously widened if anyone who takes over from the present President in Nigeria  does not take ICT the way Senator (now President) Barrack Obama took it when he was on his way to the White house in 2008.  

He called on NCC to commence a study into how much of investment the nation should be ready to invest into broadband internet access just as ICT should now be a political campaign issue in the country.

 

OBITUARY
South Africa mourns as Madam Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri dies after illness
 

Perhaps the longest serving minister of Communications in Africa, Mrs. Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri died last week at 71.  She will be missed in the telecommunications industries across Africa where she was a popular contributor to developments. Here was a minister known to rate highest among the few who stayed behind to attend technical sessions of Telecommunications conferences during her tenure- a clear departure from the norm as other ministers attend only opening ceremonies of such talk shops.  

Mr. Shola Taylor, a UK based Nigerian who operates as international telecommunications consultant and who was consultant to Mrs. Ivy Matseppe-Casaburri responded to CyberschuulNews interview on the demise of the madam:  

‘Yes, this was a sad story. She was the longest serving African Minister of Communications. She was in her 10th year as Minister when she died. She will be buried Monday 13 April and I plan to attend.  "I have had the privilege of interacting with several African Ministers of Communications, and there is no doubt in my mind that Dr Mrs. Ivy Matseppe-Casaburri stands out as one of the most outstanding Ministers of Communications Africa has ever produced"  

"For those of us who interacted with her, she submitted herself to provide excellent service to her country and Africa, with ability to listen to arguments on issues relating to ICT in Africa. She was very passionate about those ICT issues that affect the ordinary African" 

The following report on her demise is taken from www.itweb.co.za, written by Paul Vecchiatto , ITWEB Correspondent   

“Deputy communications minister Roy Padayachie says: “This has come as a terrible shock to us all. Her cheerfulness will be missed and we regret that she didn't get the rest she deserved. She dedicated her life to public service.”  

Matsepe-Casaburri was admitted to hospital several weeks ago and Manto Tshabala-Msimang, minister of the presidency, was appointed to act in her place. Government protocol is that another full Cabinet minister is appointed to act on behalf of another who may be ill.  

Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri  

Matsepe-Casaburri was appointed as communications minister after the 1999 general elections. Before that, she made history as the first female premier of a province when she was appointed to head the Free State provincial government from 1996 to 1999. In 1993, she was appointed the first female chairperson of the South African Broadcasting Corporation board and led the organisation through its initial transformation.  

On a number of occasions, Matsepe-Casaburri filled in for former president Thabo Mbeki as acting president. She was part of a group of Cabinet ministers selected to do so when he and his deputy were either out of the country, or indisposed at the same time. She acted as president when Mbeki resigned and before the inauguration of president Kgalema Motlanthe, in September last year.  

Born in Kroonstad, in the Free State, on 17 September 1937, Matsepe-Casaburri was a long-serving member of the African National Congress and went into exile after working as a teacher in KwaZulu-Natal. She had obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Fort Hare and later a doctorate in sociology from Rutgers University in the US.  

She served as a senior lecturer at the United Nations Institute on Namibia, in Zambia, and returned to the country in 1990.  

Matsepe-Casaburri is the second minister to die while in office. The first was Stella Sigcau, who was serving as minister of public works when she died due to heart failure on 7 May 2006.”

 CyberschuulNews 331 

TITANS OF TECH Takes off Wednesday 

Titans of Tech 2009 lecture and exhibition, described as the most impressive gathering of information communications technology professionals and platform for unveiling new products, is set to open this Wednesday, April 8, at the Muson Centre in Lagos.  

Don Pedro Aganbi, Managing Consultant, Technology Africa organisers of the high-octane two days event, said that the theme of the popular annual event, now in its fourth edition is ‘Realising the Potentials of a Converged Economy’.     

He revealed that Engr Titi Omo-Ettu, leading telecommunications Engineer and Consultant, as Guest Speaker would address the distinguished audience at the opening ceremony on the topic “Setting the stage for the converged economy”. 

  Other speakers include, Wahab Aminu-Sarumi, Managing director, Wadof Software Consulting who would speak on the topic “Software Nigeria: Taking the Lead”; Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, Managing Director, Teledom Group, “The Global Economic Meltdown and the Nigerian ICT industry: Issues and Perspectives”; Chinenye Mba Uzoukwu, Grand Central Africa, “Multi-media and the Career Opportunities in the Emerging Economy”. This is in addition to representations from the public sector, regulatory bodies, industry associations and advocacy groups.  

Day two of the conference is the women in ICT forum with Mrs. Adedoyin Odunfa as keynote speaker. she will be speaking on the topic: "Gender and ICT; Opportunities for Nigerian Women" the event will be rounded up with the Titans of Tech youth renderzous.   

Aganbi said that Alhaji A.B Zaku the Minister of State for Science and Technology is expected to Chair the opening session, while Minister of State Information and Communications, Alhaji Ikra Bilbis is the Chief Host.   

Titans of Tech 2009 would provide a platform for key industry stakeholders to consider how to promote growth and innovation in this converged world and ensure universal access to high quality content”. 

More Governments are getting troubled by the internet 

A US-based group which claims to have reviewed internet penetration in 15 countries around the world reports that the possibility of governments wanting to control and monitor the internet is on the increase. According to the report, more governments are getting worried about the uncontrollable spread of information by the internet and they are therefore finding ways to impose restrictions. Some have arrested bloggers while some have jailed others outright. Some are amending their laws to allow for an easy catch of offending blog writers and a few have broken existing laws to show their teeth.   

One way as listed in the case of three countries has been to centralize the backbone of the internet.  

Majority of the countries listed as notorious for attempting to muzzle internet information are those who do not control technology and whose systems have not contributed much to its development. 

 Even in countries where freedom seems reasonably high, a few overbearing officials have made attempts to persecute bloggers. In Nigeria, known for a vibrant legacy press, a US based Nigerian citizen who runs an internet publication was rough-handled for several days the moment he stepped into the country until he got freedom after a heavy recourse to the law by his solicitors. It is a clear indication that government there is feeling uneasy about its activities and how it is being reported.  

Another Nigerian techie who also publishes a professional bulletin on the net confirms that he has been approached by government officials on how he can assist government to muzzled websites which are considered offensive.  

Caution!!! Dangerous Chinese handsets may be out there 

Authorities in Bangalore say they have discovered China-made mobile handsets that bear less than the normal 16-digit International Mobile Equipment Identity, IMEI, numbers and they have vowed to wipe them off the market within two weeks.  

The issue is that these handsets show up as having an endless list of digits as their IMEI numbers and the implication is that these handsets cannot be traced. What is more, it has been found that usually over 1,000 of these handsets share a single IMEI number and this has posed a big problem for the police who must trace them when they are used to infringe the law.  

In-flight Phone service may increase 

Airlines which ban the use of cellphones and other mobile devices while airborne may soon change their mind as the practice of pay-for-service is reported to be enjoying more acceptance on EU routes. EU officials said last week that the number of aircraft equipped with services which allow passengers to use the devices in the skies above Europe will double next year.  

Safety rules normally frown at the use of mobile devises for reason of interference with navigation gadgets. 

THE CYBERSCHUUL announces 2nd Quarter Training programs 

Telecom training institute THE CYBERSCHUUL has posted new timetable for its programs which shall run in June/July editions of its standard courses. It recently concluded the first edition of Crossover Telecommunications Training  at the end of which the ten participants gave an overall rating of above 90% satisfaction at the content aand format of delivery. It expresses regret that it could not accommodate private candidates for its First Quarter sessions of Basic and Advanced Telecommunications Training programs as the two slots were block-booked by client firms for purpose-built training of their staff. 

Highlight of the recurring content of all the programs is the recent addition of materials on emerging technologies such as WiMax and LTE's and a focus on industry management issues of co-location, number portability and convergence.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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This site was last updated on
Friday, December 18, 2009

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