Jeremy Waterman, MD, Softline Accpac says that in his view the local ICT industry has proven that it will not be a victim of the recession and as a result, views 2010 optimistically.
"We are starting to see renewed interest in ERP and CRM systems from the mid-market. Companies which traditionally take longer to make decisions now realise that they have to reinvest in technology and are looking to implement modern systems to improve efficiencies and become more competitive," says Waterman.
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He says 2009 saw many of the bigger software vendors take their eye, and budgets, off Africa despite the potential of this burgeoning market: "When international budgets are cut, Africa is often a casualty. For us, Africa is always priority. We have grown and nurtured this market for over 25 years and believe in its potential today as much as we did in the Eighties. I believe next year (2010) will see continued growth up into Africa."

2010 is a big year for the company as it is launching new versions of all its flagship products Sage Accpac, Sage Erp X3, Accpac CRM and SalesLogix.

"I don't believe we will see enormous change but rather steady growth. The channel will need to ensure it spots opportunities as and when they arise and are ready to assist with a hassle-free implementation," concludes Waterman.

Some stakeholders in the ICT industry believe Ghana has the potential of leading Africa in ICT evolution and development.

The government has already initiated moves to make the country the continent’s ICT hub with several relevant plans.

This includes the establishment of ICT-Parks in the country beginning with Tema.

In furtherance to this, some local ICT companies are also expanding their operations to other African countries and one of such is Omatek Computers, a computer assembling company. Read More Though the company has its headquarters in Nigeria, the Board Chairman of the company and also a Former Communications Minister, Benjamin Aggrey Ntim says the plans to export assembled computers from Ghana to other African countries shows Ghana’s preparedness to lead in the development of ICT in Africa.

Mr. Aggrey Ntim, in an interview with Citi Business at the sidelines of the tour by representatives from Malaysian Open University to the factory of Omatek computers disclosed that Omatek already has the ability to produce up to 300 desktop, notebooks and laptop computers daily. 

Meanwhile, the President of the Accra Institute of Technology, Prof. Clement Dzidonu also believes Ghana has made significant strides in ICT development.

He implored ICT related companies to focus on capacity building for maximum impact to ensure that ICT is sent into homes, schools and universities.
Source: Citifmonline

Kenyan government is making frantic effort to construct a software program which is aimed at creating employment in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, a top government official has said.

The Kenya is regarded as one of the fastest growing Information Technology (IT) and ICT nations in the African continent after South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt respectively. Read More Bitange Ndemo, permanent secretary in the ministry of information and communications for Kenya, said the East African nation had since identified software development, which has a potential of sourcing income for the country as well as creating jobs.

The software development, according to Ndemo, would help Kenya’s ICT industry grow fast as well as providing employment and generation of revenue.

Ndemo said Kenya’s ICT sector- under government drive recorded a whopping Sh500 million (about US$30.500) last year, which would be channeled towards setting up of incubation centre for nurturing budding developers.

Kenya is seeing increased growth in companies seeking different software solutions for their businesses, such as skills promotion and service delivery.
Source: IT News Africa

African postal service providers should not shy away from embracing information and communication technology (ICT) as it plays a major role in shifting market and customer needs, Tanzania's Minister for Communications, Science and Technology, Prof. Peter M. Msolla, said Monday, marking the Pan African Posts Day.

'ICT is expected to improve the quality and efficiency of service provided. It will also provide a platform for the development of other e-services,' Msolla remarked ahead of the opening of a two-day conference of African ministers responsible fo r communications at Arusha, northern Tanzania.
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The conference coincided with the inauguration of Tanzania's national addressing and postcodes, a project pioneering the implementation of a street-type addressing system with postcodes and the creation of a national address database.

Msolla said the system involves naming and identification of streets and numbering of all houses in accordance with new addressing standards.

Under the same system, Tanzania will be divided into postcode areas and a five-digit postcode system will be used for identifying areas. Postcodes will also be allocated to specific post office establishment and major customers.

Calling for the cooperation of all Tanzanians in developing the system, the minister said: 'Enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of universal postal services in the country is of concern to the government. Movement of letters, packets, parcels and finan cial services form part of the daily lives of people across the country, contine n t and the world.

'Postal services therefore have a critical role to play in our collective efforts to accelerate development ⦠and hence we need to continue to harness the po tential of postal services as an instrument of development,' he said.

The African Posts Day was observed under the theme: 'The Post, a veritable means to bridge the digital gap'.  Meanwhile, the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU) celebrated the day in line with the organisation's new vision, mission and strategic objectives, said PAPU Secretary General Rodaqh A. Masaviru.

"Our primary objective is to have an efficient postal network in Africa that effectively interlinks with the rest of the world and guarantees a wide range of qu a lity ICT-based products and services to meet and even exceed customer expectations," said the c hief of the Arusha-based specialised agency of the African Union.

"A truly integrated information society can only be a reality if the rural and urban, as well as the information-rich and information-poor communities are connected through modern communication infrastructure," said Masaviru, noting that the

21st century was increasingly being defined by phenomenal growth in the ICT sector, driven by the 'Internet explosion' that has created new ways of doing business.

According to a UN study in 2008, Internet users were five times less in Africa than in North America -- 51 million in Africa compared to 248 million -- whereas the African continent is three times more populated (955 million) than North America (338 million).

In Africa, more than half of the Internet users are in the Northern subregion and in South Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa only 3 percent of the population are connected to the Internet.

"The digital gap negates the building of a fully integrated, harmonious and equitable information society [in Africa]," said Masaviru, who urged stakeholders in the communication industry to take measures to mitigate the effect of this phenomenon.

At world level, the Post has about 660,000 post offices. In Africa, the post net work has 30,300 post offices widely spread in urban and rural areas.

Member countries of PAPU have been called upon to support the e-Post Africa project, so that it could successfully embrace digital integration on the continent.
Source: Afrique en ligne

Makerere University Main BuildingMakerere University uganda's leading university and Uganda telecom (utl) have signed a memorandum of understanding that is meant to equip the university's study centres with a range of communication services. 
The communication services are to enable students in upcountry centres access the same education services as those at the main campus. Uganda telecom will provide all the infrastructure and technical support needed to run all the upcountry learning centres.

"The centres will be connected to the main campus and access services as if they were in Makerere. We are going to help establish video conferencing facilities so that students in upcountry learning centres can attend the same lectures," Mr. Emmy Olaki, the Uganda Telecom marketing communications officer told East African Business Week.

The partnership is envisaged to bring down the operational costs of students since students from upcountry locations who wish to study from their centres will spend less on food and accommodation. 

Under the partnership, Uganda Telecom will procure, supply and maintain computers and associated accessories according to the specifications provided by the university. Uganda telecom will initially buy 100 computers and 100 uninterrupted power suppliers in the first year of the partnership.

On the university's part, they will procure Internet bandwidth and lease lines from the communication provider at a rate to be agreed on for the duration of the partnership.

The project will start with two centres in Uganda. One centre will be in Jinja, east of the capital, Kampala, and the other in Fort Portal in western Uganda. 
Olaki said Uganda Telecom plan to open up ten centres in the next one year depending on the demand. Source: Business Week