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The 2016 Appsafrica.com Innovation Award Winners

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Appsafrica.com promotes and honors innovation across the mobile and tech ecosystem in Africa. This year they attracted over 200 entries from 25 countries, with the winners hailing from South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

“We had diverse entries from 25 countries and both the finalists and winners are a testament to how technology is being used to disrupt business models, empower people and drive positive social impact across the continent” shared Andrew Fassnidge founder of Appsafrica.com.

2016 Winners:

Best African App Award

Winner: Sliide Airtime (Nigeria)

Accessing the internet from a mobile device is expensive for most Africans.  Sliide Airtime has developed a commercially funded model that provides free airtime to users and makes accessing the internet more affordable. Users earn free airtime simply by having the app on their phone. Additional airtime can be earned by completing≥Ò÷ in-app offers and recommending the service to friends. 50% of the Sliide revenue from showing adverts is then given as mobile data back to the users, allowing them to access the internet for free.

Disruptive Innovation Award 

Winner: Domestly (South Africa)

By utilizing technology to connect cleaning professionals directly to homeowners, they make housekeeping more affordable and accessible to everyone, and at the same time create business and opportunities for cleaners.

The platform provides job creation for women, empowering South African women who are unemployed or underemployed. Domestly cleaners can set their own rates. Not only does this offer the customers a range of rates to choose from, but it also allows the cleaner to control her earning power.

Social and Messaging Award 

Winner: Vula Mobile (South Africa)

Vula Mobile instant messaging has a unique ‘On Call’ system. A specialist goes ‘On Call’ and will receive all messages for his/her speciality at his/her hospital. When going ‘Off Duty’ he/she is required to nominate another specialist. This ensures that there is always a specialist ‘On Call’ to help health workers.

Enterprise Solution Award

Winner: Flutterwave (Nigeria)

Flutterwave’s technology accepts traditional card based payment processing but also caters to more popular payment processing methods like ACH and mobile money payments and all the above can be done with one API with ability to scale into any currency or any country. It has been launched in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, UK and US.

News & Entertainment Award

Winner: Battabox (Nigeria)

Mobile phones and the Internet have provided unprecedented opportunities for people in Nigeria to tell their own stories in a global media landscape previously dominated by a western narrative. However there is a lack of local, relevant video content for an Africa audiences and for advertisers to target various segments of those markets.

BattaBox addresses both problems with a simple idea: popular, high quality, informative and entertaining video content that is relevant to a Nigerian audience. They utilize mobile phone technology to communicate across Nigeria with over over 55 million online views and over 550,000 online subscribers!

Educational Award

Winner: Mwabu (Zambia)

Mwabu’s mission is to bring talent, teacher and technology together across Africa and their tablet contains 2,000 enquiry-based interactive lessons for all primary subjects in English and local languages. The content moves away from the classic rote learning or ‘chalk-and-talk’ approach, instead motivating learners to enquire, explore and problem-solve.

Detailed lesson plans guide teachers in the delivery of 5,000 interactive lessons, using a three stage rotational model; teacher-led sessions, group work and individual exercises.

Fintech Award

Winner: BitPesa (Kenya) 

BitPesa uses Bitcoin/Blockchain technology as a method of settlement with a global network of broker partners. This allows them to settle cross-border payments at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional financial institutions. Most  payments settle same day (compared to 3-7 days for a bank transfer), and at an average 1.5% fee (compared to 5-10%). BitPesa also use API integrations with mobile network operators and bank networks to facilitate last-mile distribution to and first-mile collection of African currencies.

Social Impact Award

Winner: Ask without Shame (Uganda)

Whatever emergency the youth are facing or whatever questions they may have regarding sexuality, medical experts are on hand to offer a free and anonymous service. By answering questions without judgment or shame, they ensure that the youth have access to the right information.

Brand On Mobile Award

Winner: Mobi Hunter (South Africa)

Mobi Hunter has long term relationships, and exclusivity with premium social networks across Africa. These include 2go, BBM for Africa, Nimbuzz Africa, and FreeFi + Project Isizwe on the Wifi side. With these and many other platforms & partnerships, we give your brand over 35 million users to reach directly with us in Africa.

Women In Tech Award

Winner: Shule Direct (Tanzania)

An online platform that provides educational learning content for students and teachers in secondary schools.

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Business and Development

This Pan African, Mentor-Driven And Corporate-Backed Accelerator Is Rewarding the 10 Most Promising Startups in Africa 2019

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The process of selecting 10 most promising startups in Africa 2019 is soon starting. A Pan African, mentor-driven and corporate-backed accelerator, aimed at empowering innovators is looking for the best startups in Africa to support so they can grow and realize their potential. Have you heard of Startupbootcamp Afritech 2019 Fasttrack Tour? This is a tour that will involve pitching events, mentoring and networking as well as hackathons in select cities in Africa.  These tour activities are lined up in order to ensure that the selected startups in Africa 2019 taste the goodies that the corporate giants can provide.

Startupbootcamp AfriTech Accelerator

Startupbootcamp AfriTech is the accelerator behind this exciting opportunity for startups. The team has assembled a powerful squad of sponsors in order to make sure that the selected startups reap maximum benefits. These sponsors include PWC, BNP, RCS, Nedbank, Paribas and Old Mutual. In this way, the accelerator empowers these innovative and promising startups in Africa in order to connect them with the best corporate players on the continent. Pan African, mentor-driven and corporate-backed accelerator, aimed at empowering innovators

Philip Kiracofe, Sebekedi Motlhabane Koloi and Zachariah George make the team behind this South African Startup accelerator. In order to make this opportunity best fitting to startups, the team will visit 15 countries in Africa. There will be 19 events in total so that each selected city gets the best attention. During these events, 10 most promising startups in Africa 2019 will be selected for rewards. In addition to startups, the accelerator is also inviting the corporate world, investors, mentors and other thought leaders to join in the events.

The program is already underway and will end on 22nd May. The 10 selected most promising startups in Africa will have various rewards lined up for grabs. Why should your startup apply and strive to be among the selected few? You should apply because the 10 selected most promising tech startups in Africa will get an opportunity to present their ideas to the accelerator team and fellow innovators. Additionally, you will also get an opportunity to get mentor feedback and network with the corporate world. You will also get to know more about this accelerator program.

What Awaits The 10 Most Promising Startups in Africa 2019?

The selected 10 most promising startups in Africa will receive the following:

  • Be invited to present their innovative ideas to the Startupbootcamp team and fellow entrepreneurs
  • Have the opportunity to receive mentor feedback, network with corporates and learn more about the Cape Town-based Startupbootcamp accelerator program
  • Get in the accelerator program watch list in order to get a better chance to get into the program or get opportunities to do pilots with corporate sponsors.
  • Get exposure to worldwide entrepreneurship and business opportunities in order to develop.
  • Meet with the industry best executives in order to learn even more.

Countries, Cities, and Dates for the Events

Select your nearest city and the best date for your startup in order to submit an application. Additionally, the earlier a startup applies,  the better the chances it will have to become one of the 10 most promising startups in Africa.

For a startup to be among the 10 most promising startups in Africa, it will need to be in at least one of the following sectors;

  • Water, sanitation, and hygiene
  • Transport and logistics
  • Retail and wholesale
  • Leisure and travel
  • Information Communication Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Financial services
  • Education
  • Creative, media and entertainment
  • Construction and manufacturing
  • Clean technology and energy
  • Business services
  • Agribusiness

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African Ingenuity

Video Games Are Emerging in Africa With Strong African themes

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Video games are becoming a booming industry in Africa thanks to a mushroom of innovators and developers on the continent. Startups are spiraling across the continent coming up with unprecedented games and content with African themes. The gaming industry in Africa is now worth millions of dollars due to relentless efforts of these developers, programmers, scientists, entrepreneurs and other tech gurus.

Madiba Guillaume Olivier had dreams like any other teenager when he was growing up in Cameroon. His most pressing dream was to move to America or even to Europe in order to pursue not “greener pastures” but his zeal for video games. He lived a life of video games because his father owned a video store. Olivier did not sit and wait; rather he went online in order to understand more about game design. However, it was not until when he was doing computer science at the University of Yaoundé that his dream (and that of the continent) started to bear fruit. He partnered with a group of friends to work on a project they dubbed Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan.

Video Games Project and the Prince of Planet Auriona

The project was a 2D flight of the imagination game that featured Enzo and Erine, a Prince and his fiancée. The two were embroiled in a quest to reclaim the lost power after a family member betrayed them in the planet Auriona. The team later improved the game design and used it to dive deeper into the industry. Olivier did not move to US or even Europe. The project led to a natural death of his dreams of moving but gave birth to even better dreams with continent-wide and later worldwide ramifications. Olivier and his team released the official version of the game in 2011 winning the hearts of fans, investors and everything else in between. That is how Africa got Kiro’o Games, the first video game studio to come up with an African-themed mythological video game.

“We started to think about the fact that we can make our own studio here [Africa] and sell games abroad,” Olivier remembers.

Olivier and his team are not the only innovators doing Africa proud in this emerging video game industry. In fact, over the last ten years, many video game developers and startups have sprung up across the continent. There are startups in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Tunisia and even in Egypt. Because of growth in funding opportunities and supporting accelerator tech hubs on the continent, Africa is moving beyond the confines that resulted from inadequate infrastructure in some countries. Traditional fintechs in Arica are now normal and nothing to write home about anymore. The continent is expanding beyond what has now become normal tech disruptions in education, health, insurance, agriculture into other areas. Now is the time for the gaming industry.

Other African Themed Video Games

The African narratives, myths, legends, traditions, stories, creativities, mysteries and other mystical societal characteristics are more frightening than Halloween. Or at least to those who understand why it is commemorated in the first place. Tapping into this social heritage and cultural material is a sure success path for the gaming industry. That is why a Moroccan Telcom has invested in a mobile game.

There are other notable gaming innovators doing exciting video games. This boom can be observed with The International Game Developers Association having seven chapters in Africa.

Some innovators in this space include:

  • Ananse: The Origin by Leti Arts in Kenya, is a game based on impressive folklore from Ghana.
  • Celestial Games and Thoopid are also doing Africa proud with magnificent games from the South of the continent.
  • Ebola Strike Force that touches on the story of researchers and scientists yearning to save humankind from the lethal virus is breathtaking.
  • Mzito by Weza Interactive Entertainment in Kenya is a game that takes users on a journey to save the continent. Here, you play as a lion and use ancient spirits to save Africa from ancient corruption. “We wanted to focus on the African theme on because we think it’s time for Africa,” George Ohere, the Weza Interactive CEO said recently.
  • Sambisa Assault is another one that gives game enthusiasts the chance to join the fight against terror movements.
  • The Okada Rider by ChopUp studio in Nigeria that simulates the notorious traffic congestion in the streets of Lagos.
  • Digitalmania has more than 87 magnificent games on Google Play, Facebook, and Apple Store. Sadly, these tech giants do not allow merchant payments in Tunisia. Because of this, the innovator cannot get revenue from their innovations.

The African Video Game Industry by Revenue

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Business and Development

These Are The Innovative African Startups Awarded For Building Africa’s Future With Technology

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Future of Africa

The future of Africa is getting brighter with every passing year. This is because of the relentless contributions by budding enterprises in both profit and non-profit entrepreneurship. The African Diaspora Network has singled out and rewarded 10 early-age entrepreneurs in Africa. These are the ones that are building the future of the continent through technology. Through The Builders of Africa’s Future (BAF) Award, the organization has recognized the contributions of African innovators who are leading the continent in its tech and differentiated business development landscapes.

Africa is a continent with myriad and unique needs that require innovative solutions. The BAF initiative and Awards which is currently its second year, recognizes, celebrates and wards early-stage innovations in Africa. It gives recognition and awards 10 entrepreneurs from all regions in the continent. These regions are East, Central, West, North and South Africa in order to balance initiatives in building the future of Africa.

Enterprises Building Future of Africa

The BAF looks at areas of concern where African innovators are coming up with unique solutions. These areas include education, health, commerce, energy, gender inclusion financial inclusion, industrial development, nutrition among other areas that provide socioeconomic benefits. This year, the following innovative African enterprises impressed BAF and hence subsequently awarded the Impact and Innovation Award for building the future of Africa;

  • AkiraChix. (Kenya) Linda Kamau is the MD and co-founder of AkiraChix that provides hands-on technical teaching and mentorship to young girls, women and children. This is in order to increase the number of skillful women in tech and impact the community positively.
  • Asante Mama Brand – Sunshine Agro Products (Uganda). Pamela Anyoti Peronaci is the founding associate of Sunshine Agro Products and Owner and CEO of Asante Mama brand.
  • Enda Athletic (Kenya). Navalayo Osembo-Ombati is the founder of Enda Athletic, a business that is bringing Kenyan athletic prominence to runners around the globe by producing the first made-in-Kenya running shoes that champion the spirit of running from the abode of running champions.
  • Fundibots (Uganda). Solomon King is the founder FundiBots, a non-profit in education with an objective of accelerating science learning in Africa.
  • J-Palm Liberia. (Liberia) Mahmud Johnson is the founder and CEO of J-Palm Liberia (JPL), a company that produces organic health and beauty products out of formerly wasted palm kernels.

Others in the future of Africa list include the following;

  •  Moringaconnect (Ghana). Kwami Williams is the co-founder of MoringaConnect, a vertically incorporated supply chain aimed at improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. He is also a NASA rocket scientist and now a future for Africa.
  • Shule Direct (Tanzania). Faraja Nyalandu is the founder of Shule Direct, a successful organization that provides inclusive web and mobile educational platforms in order to offer educational content across multiple subjects to over a million youth in and out of school.
  • Unreasonable East Africa (Uganda). Joachim Ewechu is the founder of SHONA Group, a company that is transforming economies in East Africa by growing East African good quality businesses.
  • WeMove (Nigeria). Celestine Ezeokoye is the founder/CEO of this enterprise that is focused on building inventive technology solutions for transportation in Africa.
  • Women in Tech Uganda. Barbara Birungi Mutabazi is the founder/director of Women in Technology Uganda, an organization bringing together women in order to foster technology.

Winners in Building African Future

The founders and leaders of the above enterprises are the builders of Africa’s future according to BAF. This is because they “represent the stories we want the community to learn about developmental progress on the continent [Africa]”.

The winners received the Impact and Innovation Award during the just concluded African Diaspora Investment Symposium that ended on January 26. This electrifying event was at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Silicon Valley in United States. The event convened entrepreneurs, innovators, leaders, investors, and friends of Africa, with a common goal of promoting the future of Africa.

To be eligible for the award, an enterprise needs to be an established legal entity. It also must have demonstrable traction in the market and not in the pitch or prototype stages. Additionally, the enterprise must have a website, tangible physical or digital product spanning more than six months. Most importantly, the future of Africa business “cannot be a clone of a western technology or business solution without differentiation”

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