ICTs

SADC Infrastructure Plan Welcomed

South Africa has welcomed the adoption of a regional infrastructure master plan by Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders.

The SADC Heads of State approved the plan, which is expected to boost regional trade, following their two-day summit in Mozambique.

The plan, to be implemented over a 15-year period beginning from next year, will serve as a key strategy to guide setting up of efficient and cost-effective trans-boundary infrastructure connecting all SADC member states in areas of energy, water, information and communication technology and transport.

Microsoft Unveils a Facebook-Friendly E-mail Service

Microsoft has unveiled a revamped, Facebook-friendly version of its free, online e-mail service in an attempt to reverse market share losses to Google's fast-growing Gmail.

The world's largest software company is renaming its Hotmail service Outlook.com, giving it a sharp new look, social network links and new features for handling the tide of junk and mass mail that swamps many users.

Hotmail was still the world's largest online mail service as of June, according to the latest comScore figures available, with 324 million users, or about 36 percent of the global market.

Ndileka Takes Over Mandela’s Legacy

Former President, Nelson Mandela, has endorsed that his granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela, take over his legacy of uplifting impoverished rural communities.

Ndileka says the Nelson Mandela Foundation - which is responsible for building clinics and schools in rural areas before Madiba retired - has since stopped doing the work.

She says the foundation, which has a new strategy - refocusing its energy towards the centre of memory (digital archives), has collaborated with Google.

Botswana Leads in Mobile Phone Density

The World Bank says Botswana has one of the world's highest mobile phone density rates, beating industrialised giants like the United States of America, United Kingdom and Germany.

Its latest Information and Communications for Development 2012 Report, the bank assessed mobile phone uptake in 152 countries and their use in promoting development particularly in agriculture, health, financial services, and government.

Centre to Boost Maths, Science Teachers

Vodacom has launched an information communications technology (ICT) centre that makes educational resources available through cloud computing.

Through the centre, teachers in underperforming schools in Gauteng will be given an opportunity to upgrade their mathematics and science teaching skills.

Speaking at the launch, Gauteng education MEC, Barbara Creecy, said at the launch that despite teachers often being ‘intimidated’ by technology, ICT resources offer an opportunity to improve the teaching of mathematics and science.

ICT Pulling Africa Out of Obscurity: Pule

The Department of Communications says South Africa is using information and communication technologies (ICT) to pull itself out of obscurity.

Communications Minister, Dina Pule, points out that the country’s information technology sector is a leader in the fields of electronic banking services, pre-payment, revenue management and fraud prevention systems, and in the manufacture of set-top boxes (STBs).

Small-Scale Farming - Way to Overcome Food Insecurity

I was born and raised in a rural area somewhere in the eastern side of Limpopo Lowveld. I never suffered from malnutrition or any other disease linked to food insecurity because my parents relied on small-scale farming to produce the food that we consumed as a family. Like many other families in my area, we have a piece of land where we plant crops depending on the season of the year. Many people in my community face a number of socio-economic hardships in their daily lives. To escape the reality of living under such hardships, they invest their time and energy into small-scale farming.

Laptops for Teachers Round 2

Government will again start rolling out laptops to teachers after its previous attempt stalled over funding.

Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, points out that, "Implementation of the Teacher Laptop Initiative is back on track with more teachers enabled to access this resource."

Motshekga says the department has developed, together with the Department of Communications, a cost-effect connectivity plan for all schools, the first phase of which would be rolled out to 1 650 schools.

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