Nigeria plans to double investment in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector from US$25bn to $50bn in the next few years, according to the West African nation’s communication technology minister, Omobola Johnson.
Johnson said that her ministry and the Nigerian Communications Commission — the country’s ICT regulator — have gone on an international roadshow to gain interest from investors.
“The NCC is going around, as the ministry also does, to win more investors into the country to boost broadband penetration in Nigeria,” the minister was quoted as saying. Source: BiztechAfrica
Tigo offers Tanzanians free Facebook
Emerging markets telecommunications group Millicom, which owns the Tigo mobile brand in Africa, intends offering free access to Facebook to its customers in Tanzania. Tigo Tanzania has 6m customers.
The move follows the launch of the free service in Latin America in December. Access is available to Tigo customers using Facebook applications and the social network’s mobile website.
Users can also use Facebook Messenger, an instant messaging program, without incurring any data charges. Source: Millicom
Safaricom upgrades M-Pesa systems
Kenya’s largest mobile operator, Safaricom, has upgraded its systems to allow customers of mobile money platform M-Pesa to transact in real time. The upgrade to Safaricom’s systems has reduced the turnaround time for processing transactions to less than 30 seconds, from an average of two hours previously.
The number of people in Kenya using M-Pesa for mobile banking has more than doubled in the past three years, rising from 3,3m in 2011 to 8,8m. Safaricom expects this number to rise to 13m people by the end of 2014. Source: Business Daily
Rwanda to debut SMS warning system
Rwanda is finalising plans to use the cellular SMS service to alert the public about looming disasters, according to an official from the country’s ministry of disaster preparedness and refugee affairs.
People will be able to receive early warning messages about impending disasters. Rwanda’s meteorological agency intends using the system to alert people about potential hazards, warning them to vacate low-lying areas if necessary.
The ministry’s director of research and public awareness, Jean Baptiste Nsengiyumva is quoted as saying that the project is meant to complement other monitoring initiatives. Source: The New Times