BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Tuesday, 10 October, 2000, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Malawi's e-commerce revolution
Minister Peter Hain looks and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Africa page
British aid is helping Malawi's IT development
By Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre

A British company is paddling uncharted waters in Malawi's commerce revolution.

International Computers Limited (ICL), a British company with interests in eight African countries, has embarked on a project to bring electronic commerce (e-commerce) to Malawi.

George Mnesa, ICL's Malawi general, said the multi-national company would work with two of Malawi's three Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

"We want Malawi to be part of the information revolution," he said.

Support

Mnesa said although Malawi was currently facing economic hardships his company found it necessary to introduce the elitist system of trade.

This comes fast in the wake of the British Government's signing of an agreement to support Malawi's IT development.

Former President Banda
Malawi is technologically underdeveloped - under the late President Banda even television was outlawed
British minister for Africa in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Peter Hain told BBC News Online during a recent visit to Malawi that Britain has decided to include IT support in the development support for its former colony.

"We know Malawi is facing a number of economic problems but we believe that nowadays no economy can develop without developing its IT sector," he said.

Link-up

According to Mr Hain British universities will link up with Malawian universities to development an IT collaboration programme.

He also said British IT companies will set up partnerships with their Malawian counterparts.

He said the system Britain was planning to export to Malawi has already proved successful in other developing countries, notably India.

Networks

Mr Mnesa told the BBC ICL would utilise the services of Malawi's two mobile phone networks.

The two networks have about 30, 000 subscribers between them.

ISPs in Malawi are estimated to have just over 5,000 subscribers between them.

Michael Fairon, an 'e-nnovations' officer at ICL South Africa, recently visited Malawi to promote e-commerce in the business community.

He said e-commerce propelled efficiency in business.

He also said e-commerce cut the incidence of fraud since customer data was stored on the web.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

02 Aug 00 | Africa
Malawi internet name row
27 Jul 00 | Africa
Feeding hungry minds in Africa
21 Jul 00 | Sci/Tech
When the web is not world-wide
05 Jul 00 | Africa
Internet fever grips Kenya
23 Mar 00 | Middle East
Palestinians secure cyber state
30 Jul 99 | The Company File
EU Internet address inquiry
28 Nov 97 | Sci/Tech
Banned - Domain name dealing
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories