• Trainee Journalists Encouraged to Tweet

    Social networking upstart, Twitter has made the jump to academia's hallowed halls, with 'tweets' made compulsory writing for will-be journalists at an Australian university.

    Jacqui Ewart, a senior lecturer at Griffith University, points out that, “Some students' tweets are not as in depth as you might like. But I don't know if getting them to write an essay is any more beneficial,"

    "Quite surprisingly, a lot of students didn't know what Twitter is. There were a couple of really vocal students who were saying they couldn't believe we were using it and thought it was a waste of time." says Ewart.

    To read the article titled, “Twitter goes to university,” click here.
  • Google to Launch Google Editions Platform

    An executive with Google says the company will launch a new platform next year that lets readers buy books that can be accessed from anywhere, be it a personal computer, cell phone or other platform.

    Tom Turvey, the head of Google Books partnership programme in North America, Southern America and Asia, says that the search giant, which launched Google Books in 2004, is moving to a platform allowing users to buy a book.

    Turvey says that, "It will be a browser-based access," he said. "The way the e-book market will evolve is by accessing the book from anywhere, from an access point of view and also from a geographical point of view."

    To read the article titled, “Google to launch Google Editions platform,” click here.
    IOL Technology
  • IT Weighs in for Human Rights

    More than half of non governmental organisations (NGOs) in South Africa say that information and communications technology has had a major impact on their ability to advance human rights in this country. This is one of the key findings of a report entitled, State of ICT in South African NGOs 2009.

    The report, which was sponsored by Microsoft and the National Development Agency (NDA), states that while this figure has barely shifted in the past two years, NGOs are now poised to explore the cutting edge of mobile technology and social networking in pursuit of their causes.

    The report was released during day one of the Johannesburg leg of the ‘ICT for Civil Society’ Conference on 14 October 209.

    “It means NGOs are leveraging technology, but not nearly achieving its potential,” says David Barnard, Executive Director of SANGONeT.

    For more information, click here.
  • Connectivity Is Everything

    Connectivity is everything
    the one that is world-wide
    the web of intrigue
    (weaved by those
    with stuff to hide)

    Connectivity is everything
    like the hired gun
    caught in between
    his own crossfire
    (and it is usually a he)

    Connectivity is everything
    some folk you know
    (nudge nudge wink wink)
    who can get things done
    because they know others

    Connectivity is everything
    as you can now see
    from whoever is on trial
    fingering everyone else
    (when thieves fall)

    Connectivity is everything
    only 3 in 10 people
    have a connection
    to a public sewerage system

    Connectivity is everything
    a child dies every twenty seconds
    from preventable diseases
    because of poor sanitation

    Connectivity is everything
    Are you connected

    Revisiting a United
    Nations 2015 millennium goal of improving sanitation, while SAFMs WeekendLive and The Editors presenter radios King of Malapropism Elvis Preslin struts his stuff, Sunday morning October 11 2009; giving me, one time more, cause to put fingers to keyboard. This mornings one was hand in cap.

    (Im not too sure that Ive spelt Elvis surname correctly, though I guess Ive got the Elvis part spot on!!).

    - David Kapp,
  • Public Hearings Focuses on Fees Cut

    The South African government is holding public hearings as part of plans to push mobile and telecommunications operators to reduce interconnection fees, in an attempt to lower telecommunications costs that have affected the country’s growth.

    In its submission to the Parliament this week, Vodacom argued that a dramatic reduction of charges is likely to have a negative impact on government policy objective of universal access and will be disruptive to the economy and communications industry.

    Vodacom interconnection revenue, which includes income from the country’s third largest mobile phone operator, Cell C, for national roaming services, rose by 8.6 percent to R8.63 billion for the year to end-March.

    Currently, mobile phone and telecommunications operators charge R1,25 per minute in peak times for their interconnection fee, a charge to enable calls to be transmitted from each other’s networks.

    To read the article titled, “Cellphone fees cut may disrupt SA economy,” click here.
    SABC News
  • Meeting Discusses Interconnection Rates

    The Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) will meet with representatives of telecoms companies to discuss the lowering of interconnection rates after reports that the Department of Communications (DoC) is on a quest to fast-track the process.

    ICASA spokesman, Jubie Matlou, points out that at the previous meeting last month to discuss the same issue, representatives from Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom, Neotel and Internet services provider associations had already committed themselves to reducing interconnection costs.

    In the same vein, DoC spokesperson, Tiyani Rikhotso, confirmed that reports that the department want to see interconnection rates, which cellphone operators pay each other for switching a call between networks, drop before Christmas.

    To read the article titled, “Parties to meet on reduced connection fees,” click here.

    <br /> Business Day
    Article link: 
  • Internet Service to Link African MPs

    An Internet service linking African parliaments will be created to enable members of parliament (MPs) around the continent to share oversight experiences and views on matters of governance. This is according to the speaker of the Egyptian parliament, Ahmed Fathi Sorour.

    Sorour, who was attending the first African Parliamentary Speakers’ Conference, organised by the Pan- African Parliament (PAP) in Johannesburg last week, stated that the service would facilitate synergies of policies between parliaments, which were essential to build confidence among MPs and reinforce the integrity of the legislative structures in the continent.

    He said that the service will also be the cornerstone for a recently established African parliamentary knowledge network structure.

    To read the article titled, “Internet to unite MPs in Africa, says Egypt’s speaker,” click here.
    <br /> Business Day
    Article link: 
  • MTN Nigeria Wins Top Award

    MTN Nigeria, heightened its corporate socially responsible status in Nigeria as it clinched six of the top awards at the third edition of the annual Social Enterprise Reports Awards (SERA).

    Receiving the awards, MTN Foundation (MTNF) executive secretary, Nonny Nduka-Eze, noted that the establishment of MTN Foundation is a demonstration of MTN’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.

    Nduka-Eze added that from inception till date the Foundation’s projects were envisioned to make a positive impact in the areas of health, economic empowerment and education.

    To read the article titled, “MTN wins SERA CSR award,” click " target="_blank">here.
    <br /> Vanguard
    Article link: 
  • SANGONeT Conference 2009: Social Media and the NGO Sector in South Africa

    Press Release

    9 October 2009

    The relevance and use of social media for South African NGOs will be explored at the 5th Annual SANGONeT “ICTs for Civil Society” Conference taking place from 15-16 October in Johannesburg and from 20-21 October 2009 in Cape Town. The annual SANGONeT conference is the premier ICT event dedicated to the work of the NGO sector in Southern Africa.

    “Social media and web-based applications are transforming the way in which non-profits accomplish their missions in many parts of the world,” says SANGONeT executive director, David Barnard.

    "With South Africa’s high mobile phone penetration, as well as the eagerly awaited increase in local broadband capacity in the next few years as a result of the arrival of various undersea cables, we might be on the verge of an exciting period of growth and development in social media uptake in the NGO sector,” says Barnard.

    Social media are tools that allow groups to generate content, engage in peer-to-peer conversations and exchange content. The key features of social media are participation and interaction, connecting people and providing the tools necessary to have a conversation - all important components of NGOs' day-to-day work.

    The conference will give specific attention to three key related issues:
    • How NGOs are and/or should be using social media tools (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc) in support of their work;
    • How social media tools are used on 'Africa's computer' - the mobile phone;
    • Identify and reflect on NGOs' future technology needs and requirements.
    The SANGONeT conference will explore these issues by drawing on the experience of local and international experts, showcasing innovative projects and facilitating the transfer of skills.

    The programme of the event will be strategically informed by the 2009 “State of ICTs in the South African NGO Sector” research project which SANGONeT is implementing in conjunction with World Wide Worx. The research findings will be presented during the opening plenary sessions of both events.

    Refer to for detailed information about the conference objectives, programme and speakers.

    Vodacom, in collaboration with Vodafone, will launch its Betavine Social eXchange (BSX) pilot project on 15 October 2009 at the Johannesburg event, while the winners of the South African NGO Web Awards 2009 will be announced on 20 October 2009 at the Cape Town event.

    The two SANGONeT events will convene approximately 300 NGO practitioners, government officials, donors and representatives from the IT and telecommunications industry interested in the use and application of social media in support of the NGO sector.

    More information about the event is available at

    For additional comment or media accreditation, please contact:

    David Barnard, Executive Director, SANGONeT

    Tel: (011) 403-4935 / Mobile: 082 870 8968 / E-mail:
    Date published: 
  • Vodacom to Launch Betavine Social eXchange

    Vodacom, in collaboration with Vodafone, will be launching the global pilot of Betavine Social eXchange (BSX), during the first leg of the 5th Annual SANGONeT ‘ICT for Civil Society’ Conference on 15 October 2009 in Johannesburg.

    Funded by the Vodafone Group Social Investment Fund, BSX was conceived to create mobile solutions to solve social problems in a sustainable manner via an open mobile applications community.

    Vodacom South Africa Managing Director, Shameel Joosub, says that, “This initiative forms part of the Vodacom‘s drive for collaborative innovation and co-creation of solutions in the mobile industry. We are very involved and committed to social upliftment in South Africa, and we believe the Betavine Social eXchange can contribute to sustainable development.”

    For more information, click here.
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