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WeGov

Kenya Launches a Revamped Website to File Taxes Online

BY Rebecca Chao | Tuesday, July 16 2013

A screenshot of Kenya's new online tax filing system

As of July 1, a Kenyan had two options to file taxes: drive to a local banking hall and wait in a long line or submit them through a clunky website that often experienced delays in filing. But on the first of this month, Kenya’s Revenue Authority (KRA) rolled out a new online tax-filing platform called iTax. It was built in partnership with UBA Kenya Bank and according to the KRA, significantly improves upon its old system, KRA Online. Read More

WeGov

New Platform Aims to Reduce High Failure Rate of Communications Initiatives in Emerging Economies

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, July 16 2013

Screenshot from the SPACE homepage

At a U.N. meeting in Geneva earlier this month, Amjad Umar told SciDevNet, an NGO that analyzes the impact of science on solutions for developing countries, that failure rates for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) projects in developing countries hovers around 85 percent. His company, NGE (Next Generation Enterprises) Solutions, has launched a beta platform that can cut failure rates and costs of ICT projects, and reduce the planning time to a few hours.

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WeGov

Two Mobile Birth Registration Programs Piloted in Senegal and Uganda

BY Rebecca Chao | Monday, July 15 2013

The web application for mobile birth registration in Uganda (image: GSMA)

A recent study by GSMA revealed promising results of two mobile birth registration initiatives piloted in Uganda and Senegal. Birth registration, often a prerequisite for school enrollment and access to health services, are persistently low in Central and West Africa – 39 percent on average. In Senegal and Uganda, the rates are 55 and 21 percent, respectively, according to national Demographic and Health surveys. Read More

WeGov

China Gives Independent Internet Platforms More Room To Grow

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, July 15 2013

WeChat promotion (Flickr/liewcf)

At the end of May techPresident reported on the Beijing Health Department's decision to shut down Taobao, an Internet marketing services platform, because it competed with the city's public service. By choosing to shut it down, Beijing demonstrated China's preference to squash disruptive innovations in favor of government establishments. However, a recent Tech in Asia post suggests that China might be easing up on those restrictions on disruptive technologies, up to a point.

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WeGov

Ugandan Program to Promote Safe Sex Makes Things Worse

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, July 1 2013

Even after Google told them to, some Ugandans did not want to wrap it up (robertelyov/Flickr)

A mobile health initiative meant to encourage safe sex practices in Uganda failed to effect positive change. In fact, researchers found it made the community, on average, even more promiscuous. Read More

WeGov

Japanese Court Orders Google Censor Search Algorithm

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, April 17 2013

Screengrab of Google autocomplete in action

A Japanese court has ordered Google change autocomplete results that one man complains associate his name with defamatory phrases. When Google users type in the plaintiff's name, the search engine autofills criminal acts the man asserts he never committed. The plaintiff claimed that these search results caused him to lose his job.

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WeGov

In Cameroon, a Crowdsourced Site for Local Listings

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, April 2 2013

Wasamundi.com (Screenshot).

As tech innovation continues to heat up in Africa from Ethiopia to Zambia, homegrown social enterprise has African developers and entrepreneurs delivering solutions to their communities. In the case of a crowdsourced online listing service form Cameroon, innovation is being driven by collaboration with everyday citizens.

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WeGov

China Gets an Apology from Apple

BY Julia Wetherell | Monday, April 1 2013

Apple CEO Tim Cook's Chinese-language apology to consumers (screengrab).

In response to an aggressive Chinese media campaign that denounced their iPhone warranty policy last month, Apple has issued an apology to consumers.  Official state broadcasts reported that Chinese customers seeking to replace damaged phones were given second-hand devices, a practice that does not exist in European or American markets. 

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WeGov

The Chinese Government is Running A Smear Campaign Against Apple

BY Julia Wetherell | Monday, March 25 2013

Apple is luring students into high-interest loans: screenshot from a news story from Xinhua/The China Daily last week.

Foxconn, the corporation that operates massive manufacturing plants for American-branded gadgets in China, reported a 16 percent profit increase for 2012 today, raising hopes that working conditions and wages will see more improvement for 1.2 million employees.  Apple, proprietor of iPhones and iPads and perhaps Foxconn’s best-known client internationally, has been at the center of a Chinese media firestorm over the past two weeks.  Yet the focus of accusations against Apple hasn’t been the people working the factory floors.  State media has now taken up arms against the company’s mistreatment of Chinese consumers.

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WeGov

Where in the World is Eric Schmidt? This Week, Myanmar and India

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, March 21 2013

Eric Schmidt at the G8 Summit in 2011 (Wikimedia Commons).

After breaking ground for American corporate executives in North Korea this January (and taking his highly observant daughter along for the ride), Eric Schmidt is continuing his world tour of digitally repressive regimes this week.  Google’s executive chairman will visit Myanmar tomorrow, in the wake of the country’s first hesitant steps to Internet freedom.   Schmidt began his Southeast Asian trip with a pit stop in India yesterday, where the government has been pushing a tech agenda over the past year.

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