Did You Know farmers in Ghana can access tractors using an app?

Did You Know farmers in Ghana can access tractors using an app?

Agriculture, as we have said many times before, is the foundation of development across Africa. With a huge amount of small holder farmers and arable land across the continent, the potential for Africa to feed itself and not rely foreign food imports. Technology is enabling small farmers to change and develop their farms. There are apps to help people sell their produce at a fair price, innovative insurances for livestock farmers, apps to help farmers across the world share information and increase their farming skills, and even innovative machinery, made for the African setting, like the Tryktor. 

In this blog, it is the humble tractor that receives all of the attention. Nana Kwame Darko, from Ghana, is the most recent of our highly valued guest bloggers to shine a light on innovation in Africa. He writes of an innovation that could change the lives of thousands of farmers in Ghana.

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Today, technology is unavoidable in the different sectors of any economy in the world. The impact is very evident in agriculture. In Ghana presently, a team of young agripreneurs (entrepreneurs in agriculture) are have come up with an innovation for agriculture. Their mission is to connect smallholder farmers to tractors and other processing machinery.

Problem

Continue reading “Did You Know farmers in Ghana can access tractors using an app?”

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Did You Know you can make money from car accidents in South Africa?

Did You Know you can make money from car accidents in South Africa?

Transporting yourself around parts of Africa is not always a straight forward process. Whether a short trip to work in the morning on a private minibus, a trip to the market on the back of an Okada, or a long journey by car, or on a bus, it can be a tiring and potentially risky journey. If you have lived in Africa for any length of time, it is likely you have seen a car accident, or heard of someone that has been injured (or worse) in an accident.

During my time in Ghana, I was involved in two accidents, (fortunately with no incident) and was often presented with horrific images of crashes in the newspaper, news or on social media. Whether it is the state of maintenance of vehicles or reckless driving, I can not be sure, but it is certainly a problem that needs to be resolved.

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I often write that the challengers Africa faces drives innovation in a different way from in Europe, America and the rest of the world. This different set of challenges lead to solutions that can be used all over the world. So when I did some research into what technology is working to save lives and prevent road traffic accidents in Africa, I was surprised that I could not find anything worth writing about. (If you have heard of a solution please let me know!)

I expected to see speed sensors and limiters, new methods of identifying drivers that were breaking the speed limit or driving dangerously (eg digital registration), self driving vehicles or alcohol consumption apps that stop people from driving when over the limit. (In Kenya they have actually started alcohol testing drivers of commercial vehicles at bus stations).

I may not have found anything to prevent crashes, but there is a new app in South Africa which helps people after the crash. It is very important to get an accurate record of the aftermath of an accident. The location, time, vehicle make and registration, witness statements are all very important when distinguishing who was at fault during an insurance or police investigation.

FICS, a South African private investigation service, have launched the app which will help those involved and by standers document a crash. All the information will be stored centrally and owned by FICS. Interested parties will have to pay to have access to the information. This is where the app adds motivation for people to document accidents. For every time a report is downloaded, the person who has submitted it receives R500. Monetising this service for those that make the reports ensures that their will be data out there on many road traffic accidents and that can also assist on preventing them in the future.

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Having access to these reports will substantially cut down the time taken to resolve claims. It cuts out a lot of the uncertainty, and makes sure that insurance companies, police and lawyers have all the relevant information at their fingertips. The app may not prevent accidents, but it certainly gives those involved piece of mind after the unfortunate event.

If you would like to download the mobile app here are the links:

Apple App Store:  

Google Play Store:

What is most important though, is not technological change, it is a change in mindset. We need to be more careful on our streets and take better care of our lives others. Bus drivers may be interested in getting to their destinations quickly, but risky overtaking manoeuvres around bends, or other dangerous tactics are not necessary. There also needs to be greater enforcement with regard to the maintenance of vehicles (I once had a door fall off a private bus I was in!), alcohol levels and passing of driving tests. It is also not only about the drivers. Pedestrians also need to be more careful and vigilant when walking on or near streets.

If you know of any innovations in Africa, an innovation that is changing lives, or you also want to be a guest blogger, get in contact with us on Twitter @inventiveAfrica or via email. Please she the blog with your network on Twitter and Facebook. Also, don’t forget to check out and like out Facebook page!

For more interesting blogs about African Innovation, check out our homepage. 

Did You Know it takes just one person to inspire many?

Did You Know it takes just one person to inspire many?

A few years ago I met an inspirational lady by the name of Edem Adzaho. She is an incredibly intelligent hard working person who is intent on enhancing the skills of Africa’s potential workforce. She featured on the most influential young Ghanaian list in 2015 and has also been a TedX speaker.

Often a complaint from local businesses, as well as organisations that begin operations in Africa from other continents, is that the workforce are not skilled or prepared enough to start working. Africa’s youth population is increasing in size and is a great resource to be utilise by firms around the world, as well as in Africa. But, they need to be read, and well equipped to join the workforce. That doesn’t just mean having the right educational background or skills, it means being able to manage time, deal with pressure, have attention to detail and communicate effectively with team members and clients. All these points are regularly criticised by African employers in my network.

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Edem Adzaho and her students at the Global Graduate Academy

With The Global Graduate Academy, as well as various other roles as a speaker and author, Edem is teaching and inspiring many of Africa’s youth to challenge themselves to increase their employability, and to be able to keep the job when they get it. Her Youtube channel gives little snippets of inspiration that anyone can take on board, whether looking for a job, or deep into a career. A woman of many talents, she also writes books (Check them out here) and has more on the way!

Continue reading “Did You Know it takes just one person to inspire many?”

Did You Know you can Help Yourself be healthy with an app from Cameroon?

Did You Know you can Help Yourself be healthy with an app from Cameroon?

On Inventive Africa we have been privileged to have a number of guest bloggers. I started this platform to show the world what Africa is capable, and also to inspire people in Africa to follow their own innovative dreams. When guest bloggers write for Inventive Africa, it shows that there is so much passion for African innovation and technology across the continent.

Check out some of the blogs from out previous guest bloggers:

ADMP is helping Africa support Africa

Malawi is getting smart about trash

Topping up your phone could save lives in Africa

Hemp could create change in Africa

Once again, we have another guest blogger for you. Andui Claude Ebaneck interviewed the CEO and Founder of Maelth Tech Int., Akwo Ashangndowah Jake, a healthcare entrepreneur from Silicon Mountain Buea, Cameroon. In 2015, he founded the healthcare IT Company Maealth Tech Inc. with mission to

  • improve access to credible health info
  • and strengthen Cameroons health care system by digitalizing cumbersome hospital processes.

Prior to their latest product, the HelpYourself mobile application, Ashangndowah has been in charge of many mHealth projects like the epills (a voice reminder system for patients with Chronic diseases for adherence checks e.g HIV/AIDS)

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Andui Claude Ebaneck – What is the HelpYourself (HY) app?

Ashangndowah – HY is a FREE simple to use, visually appealing bilingual mobile application that helps users share health inquiries/issues LIVE with a certified medical doctor for possible advice and connect to a platter of health care services all through their smart phones. The goal is to put accessible and affordable first aid, home remedies and other health services into the hands of every person in Cameroon. To achieve this, the company has brought together a team of clinicians, computer engineers, Doctors to focus on combining Health with Information Technology (Health IT) to create a comprehensive, immediate and personalised health care app with services that are FREE Continue reading “Did You Know you can Help Yourself be healthy with an app from Cameroon?”

Did You Know 3D urban farming in Africa is a thing?

Did You Know 3D urban farming in Africa is a thing?

Agriculture is an area of tremendous opportunity in Africa. It is also a sector that needs substantial investment, so that Africa can feed itself and lessen the reliance on foreign imports. In a time where climate change is threatening to make farming even more challenging in Africa, and urbanisation is taking the labour force away from rural farm land, innovation is needed to increase productivity and give incentivise the labour force into getting back into farming, and developing their businesses.

We have featured many agricultural innovations on Inventive Africa, many of which continue to flourish, like Farm Drive, who have recently been features on the IPA 2017 shortlist, and have won various other awards across the continent. It seems that every year, there are many more inventive ideas around the sector, and today two more will be features.

Connected Farmer

Over the past few years, Kenya have been a leading force in African innovation. Safaricom have driven innovation with their introduction of mobile money service M-Pesa, which has changed the outlook of the Kenyan financial sector, connecting many with banking services. There are many spinoffs such as M-Kopa and M-Tiba, which both aim to combat the social issues of health care and demand for electricity.

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Connected Farmer mobile and web app

Now they are venturing into the agricultural sector and aim to help agricultural processing businesses in production planning by opening a communication line with farmers. Connected Farmer, and app, enables farmers across Kenya to digitise their entire end to end operations. It includes, farmer profiling, communication, collection of Continue reading “Did You Know 3D urban farming in Africa is a thing?”

Did You Know nurses are creating amazing digital health care platforms?

Did You Know nurses are creating amazing digital health care platforms?

I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time at iSpace in Accra, which is a technology hub, that enables startups to realise their dreams. In that time, I was able to make some short interviews of some of the inspiring young entrepreneurs that are based at iSpace and making the most from the support the tech hub offers. In the last two videos I published, Emmanuel told us about his promising fintech solution, and Theo explained his app for travellers in Ghana.

This week, we feature Hawawu Mustapha Yaajalal, who explained her platform MyDoc. Hawawu is a nurse, but her ambitions took her away from treating people personally, to enabling people to get treatment more easily. MyDoc links people with doctors, as well as selling health supplements, which will be delivered directly to customers. It also offers people a place to go to read up on health information.

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Hawawu -MyDoc

During the last 15 years in Ghana I have met many career nurses, many of whom seem to not enjoy their job or be motivated to make a difference in the health care sector. Whether this is because many of them go into the profession because lack of prospects in other professions, or the system has eaten away at their passion, I am not sure. But, in the case of Hawawu, she is passionate about moving up the career ladder and making a difference in Ghana and to her family. It is this entrepreneurial spirit, and drive to better ones life and the life of ones family, that is exciting across Africa. More and more people are coming out of their industries to create solutions to problems they have encountered, and that is exactly how Hawawu is approaching her business.

Hawawu explains more in the video below:

Organisations like iSpace are there to foster these ideas and entrepreneurial spirit to enable the solutions to become reality. Without iSpace and their counterparts, many ideas would not even reach the development phase. These hubs enable people to acquire skills, or gain the help of specialists, to fill the gaps in their own abilities. Whether in IT skills, business development, sales, marketing or funding, there is assistance for those with great ideas across Africa.

If you would like your startup featured on Inventive Africa, feel free to send us a short video for us to post. If you know of an innovation that is changing lives, or you want to be a guest blogger get in contact with us on Twitter @InventiveAfrica or via email, and please share the blog with your network on Twitter and FacebookAlso, we have a new Facebook page! Please like it, and carry on the dialogue about African Innovation there!