Did You Know Nairobi Innovation Week is coming soon?

Did You Know Nairobi Innovation Week is coming soon?

All of last week we were at the Co-Willing conference, situated on Africa’s best beach, Diani beach. But the time came for us to pack our bags and leave paradise, and a conference which has enhanced enthusiasm, and provided great inspiration from great presentations on a wide range of topics such as solar, bee keeping, education systems, health, and even campaigning advice!

20180122_173526.jpg
Diani beach paradise! Don’t be jealous, we were working!

But whilst other packed up to go home, I couldn’t leave Kenya without heading to Nairobi, though of by many as the innovation capital of Africa. The journey was a long one, using the incredibly efficient train service between Mombasa and Nairobi, but eventually I ended up at the University of Nairobi, in the C4D lab to speak to the Nairobi Innovation week team. A year ago we wrote about their 2016 edition, so it was amazing to be there a year later to see what they are doing!

The Nairobi Innovation Week is one of the most exciting events in the African innovation calendar. They bring together people from all sectors, public and private, NGOs, startups, you name it. The exciting new ideas, created mainly by Kenyans, but also from around the East African region, will be showcased throughout the week. There will also be an award for the 15 most promising innovations, which usually shows some of the trends for the coming year. There is still a chance to sign up, so check out their site and showcase your innovations! This years theme is “Innovating for a Better Tomorrow”.

I was fortunate enough to be able to interview the Chairman of NIW, Dr Tonny Omwansa. Check out what he has to say about the NIW and his view on the innovation trends of 2018 below. (Please excuse my mispronunciation of Nairobi through out the interview! It really was a long day!)

Thank you to NIW, Dr Omwansa and George Masila, the communications officer, for hosting us at the NIW offices. We are still in Kenya, so please get in contact if you want to talk to us about your innovations. Just reach out to us on inventiveafrica1@gmail.com

If you enjoy reading Inventive Africa and want to support the upkeep of the blog you can donate at  You-can-now-accept-PayPal-through-eMerchantPay.png. Thank you for your support!

Advertisements

Did You Know inventive Africa wants to meet you in Kenya!

Did You Know inventive Africa wants to meet you in Kenya!

Kenya has been at the forefront of African innovation for the last few years. With Safaricom driving innovation, and taking mobile money to the next level with M-Pesa and it’s spinoffs, the Kenyan population, whether urban or rural, are becoming used to new technology, and craving technology in order to develop their small businesses and personal lives.

ihub.png

iHub, probably the most famous of Africa’s technology hubs, as well as other tech centres, are also driving innovation in Kenya. It is no coincidence they have the support of the likes of IBM, Microsoft and Google, as well as receiving a visit from Mark Zuckerberg, who has also been excited by Kenya’s innovative expansion. Hubs like these are helping the youth develop their skills and cultivate their creativity, preparing them to create the next wave of African solutions, and hopefully solutions worldwide.

Nairobi innovation week.jpg

In Nairobi, the Nairobi innovation week, which takes place at the University of Nairobi, aims at showcasing the latest technology, and inspiring others to follow through with their ideas. The private and public sector, investors, research centres, development partners and even the President attend the event, which is part of the Kenyan innovation social calendar, and a must visit if you happen to be in the area.

The innovative nature of Kenya, and the excitement surrounding the country, is why Inventive Africa has decided to go and visit to document Kenyan innovation with our own eyes. I will first attend the Co-Willing conference in Ukunda, which will discuss how Africa can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and then head to Nairobi to visit iHub and meet with the Nairobi Innovation Week team to discuss how technology is changing Africa.

IA in Kenya.png

Inventive Africa wants to meet you!

While I am there, I would like to take the opportunity to talk to other innovative Kenyans about their ideas and aspirations. It would be wonderful to make some video blogs about Kenyan start ups, and also see what difficulties entrepreneurs are facing in getting their ideas off the ground.

If you are interested in featuring on Inventive Africa, and are available from the 25th of January in Nairobi, get in contact on InventiveAfrica1@gmail.com or contact us on Twitter. I am very much looking forward to meeting you!

If you enjoy reading Inventive Africa and want to support the upkeep of the blog you can donate at  You-can-now-accept-PayPal-through-eMerchantPay.png. Thank you for your support!

Did You Know Fintech in Africa will be more secure?

Did You Know Fintech in Africa will be more secure?

The festive period is over and reality is sinking in. Back to work, and worrying about the money we spent on gifts, food and going out over the break. For many, money worries are a constant and not just seasonal and some take drastic methods to fix them. In desperation, people can find themselves reaching out to loansharks and money lending services with ridiculous interest rates, which just drag them further into the abyss of debt. This of course is not a problem in Africa alone, with many all over the world feeling pressure to take out a pay day loan, but the lack of regulation in parts of Africa can put people into dangerous situations.

sad dog christmas money debt.png

There is currently a race to corner the loan market in Africa. With more and more people having access to the internet and mobile phones, it is now possible for them to gain access to credit. The informal work force finds it challenging to gain access to credit. Many of them do not have bank accounts, and therefore it is difficult to get a credit rating. But this is changing, with firms like LendingSquare offering innovative methods of creating credit scores, using criteria and data taken from their internet usage as well as their mobile money expenditure. This is a starting point for providing small safe (ish) loans for small businesses.

This movement in the credit sector has pushed TransUnion, who have been based in the USA for over 50 years, to take the plunge and head down to use their expertise in the Continue reading “Did You Know Fintech in Africa will be more secure?”

Did You Know Africa in 2018 will be even more innovative?

Did You Know Africa in 2018 will be even more innovative?

And just like that, another year is here! 2017 will quickly become a distant memory as 2018 takes hold. Yes, for another week or so we may still write the wrong date on our documents, but regardless, 2018 will charge on bringing us exciting new innovations. We may still not have the flying car, but in Africa, the momentum of change is creating opportunities for many across the continent. Anyone that reads just a little about Africa, and not necessarily about  innovation in Africa, will know that the rapid increase in mobile phone and internet usage across the continent has made a dramatic change. This is old news now, but has created a foundation for solutions across all sectors, from farming, to banking and the transport system.

2018 will solidify and build on these solutions. Tech hubs, maker spaces and incubators will continue to drive African youth and entrepreneurs to follow their dreams and push their innovations. Some may not succeed with their ideas, but each set back gives them new skills and better experience to take on into their next ventures. But it isn’t just these spaces that are driving change.

Tech-Hub-iHub-lead.jpg
Inventive Africa will be visiting iHub later this month!

In recent years, many awards have popped up across the continent, celebrating innovators and their ideas. 2018 won’t be any different with the prizes becoming more Continue reading “Did You Know Africa in 2018 will be even more innovative?”