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Internet search giant Google plans to provide funding and assist in activating “wireless networks” in sub-Saharan Africa in an effort to hook up a billion people in emerging markets.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Google is using a “patchwork quilt of technologies” and is currently in talks with South Africa and Kenya. WSJ said that “admission to the massive treasure of internet data and the equipment to use it has been seen as very important in uplifting economies in Africa and South East Asia.”
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Endeavor South Africa Managing Director, Catherine Townshend, has been invited to join the Kauffman Fellowship – a highly competitive two-year programme dedicated to the world of venture capital and the cultivation of new high-tech, high-impact companies. She is the first candidate from South Africa to join the programme.
Only thirty-five Kauffman Fellowships are offered each year. They take the form of “practical apprenticeships”, which include professional coaching, mentoring by senior partners, and quarterly sessions of industry and leadership curricula conducted in Palo Alto, California.

Ugandan multi-millionaire and serial entrepreneur Ashish J Thakkar, founder and CEO of the Mara Group and the Mara Foundation, has officially launched Mara Online – a “family” of online and mobile platforms that allows users to communicate, interact and collaborate with one another. Thakkar, who is the founder and CEO of Mara Group and the Mara Foundation, developed Mara Online after founding Mara Mentor, a mentoring social network that connects young, budding entrepreneurs to established entrepreneurs. Mara Mentor was launched as an initiative by the Mara Foundation and Thakkar says it grew to have over 100 000 users. As the initiative grew, Thakkar discovered a need for communication tools to enable mentors and protégés on the network to communicate more effectively.

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Friday, 10 May 2013 13:02

SAP to double Africa workforce

SAP, the largest manufacturer of business-management software, is driving harder into oil- and gas-rich countries in Africa. Pfungwa Serima, head of SAP’s operations in the region, says that SAP plan to double the number of employees in Africa to about 1 200 by 2015.

“Africa is the last frontier remaining on this globe where real opportunities are,” Serima told Business Week in an interview.

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Clevva’s introduction of a new software service will assist call-centre operators to empower their agents with expert knowledge in a shorter time frame. Endeavor South Africa’s Ryan Falkenberg, co-founder of Clevva, explains that new call-centre agents need a lot of time-consuming training before they can become assets to a contact centre. Clevva’s system eliminates the need for agents to attend time-consuming training sessions to become work ready.

“This home-grown technology is the first of its kind and leverages the strength of people and technology to create a simple and easy-to-use platform that is suitable for a variety of different applications, ranging from call centres to mobile sales and service providers,” Falkenberg tells Enginering News.

[Read the full story here]

Delivering on Africa’s Promise is the theme of the World Economic Forum on Africa 2013, which is taking place in Cape Town, South Africa, 8-10 May, with the participation of more than 1 000 leaders from business, government, civil society and academia.

The meeting, which convenes against a backdrop of significant economic growth and progress in reducing poverty in most parts of sub-Saharan Africa, features a programme built around three pillars: Accelerating Economic Diversification; Boosting Strategic Infrastructure; and Unlocking Africa’s Talent.

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