Did You Know Ghana can watch the World Cup on their mobiles phones?

Did You Know Ghana can watch the World Cup on their mobiles phones?

When the foot step steps of internet access first got to be felt by many of us in Africa, the process of adding videos to a website was a long complicated one. One had to add the video first as a link. Any visitor who went on to the web had to then download the link to watch the video, and it could take a lot of time to fully have access to the video. Advancements in technology nowadays has allowed us to stream videos online and has transformed video downloading completely. From youtube, Periscope or Spotify the list is endless and they give users amazing options, with clear guidelines and updates.

 

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StarTimes is a huge media company that has been deeply rooted in many African countries for a long time, offering both digital and satellite terrestrial television to many African consumers. From Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa to most sub-saharan countries, StarTimes has been working with governments to promote digitalisation on different grounds which have been received well by consumers primarily because it was providing affordable needed technical solutions for the African people. A hustle for some countries which invest in Africa. As a result, it managed to enter into various joint digital ventures with African countries even in addressing concerning challenges for some. A good example to be drawn is a joint venture on digital migration with Tanzania which took place in 2015, which gave rise to the implementation Satellite TV projects  a number of villages-transforming them from the analogue digital signal television provision which was in use.

 

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Throughout the years, it has managed to grow in African development seminars, sports broadcasting, corporate social responsibilities, solar systems and phones. It comes as no Continue reading “Did You Know Ghana can watch the World Cup on their mobiles phones?”

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Did You Know this Fintech company is an example for innovators in Africa?

Did You Know this Fintech company is an example for innovators in Africa?

Within the theme of African innovation, Fintech is one of the areas which receives the most attention and the most funding. Of course, great change is occurring in other sectors, such as agriculture, which has recently gained success in prizes, such as that of the Seedstars competition, but Fintech is attracting investors, and creating a new future for many by bringing them into the financial system. In recent news, lots of funding became available for Fintech, with Partech Ventures Africa Fund seeking to invest over $100 Million in financial start-ups across the continent.

Cash has been king for so long across the continent, but that is swiftly changing, with many using their mobile phones to purchase anything from food and drinks, white goods and even taxi rides. It is also now easier than ever to pay people who are not near by, or It is not just payment methods that have changed, people are able to now receive a credit rating and access funds to develop their business, previously impossible. They are able to organise their finances, save and plan their funds better. Fintech innovations can impact society across the continent, by giving new financial solutions to the enormous variety of needs. From rural subsistence farmers, to the growing middle class, new financial technology can be utilised across society.

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One Fintech company that has received major funding is Cellulant, who received $47.5 million dollars to help them expand the company even faster. Cellulant have risen to great heights in a field dominated by Safaricom’s M-Pesa. They work across 33 different Continue reading “Did You Know this Fintech company is an example for innovators in Africa?”

Did You Know tech in Africa stops gas station fraud?

Did You Know tech in Africa stops gas station fraud?

The Oil and Gas retail downstream sector has been saddled with so many challenges in the past and present. Fuel margins reducing every passing year coupled with challenges like fuel and cash theft as well as other operational control breaches. Fuel retailers face a deep struggle to survive and remain relevant amidst high competition. energy360 Africa solves these challenges and supports fuel retailers by protecting them from fraudulent activities at the forecourt that lead to losses, as well as optimising their business processes and securing their margins allowing these businesses to serve customers better.

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energy360 Africa (e360) is a retail fuels technology company delivering business technology solutions that connect to fuel stations in Africa, analysing the data in real-time and using that data to optimise business processes. E360’s systems deliver comprehensive solutions to oil companies and commercial fleets, improving profitability and optimising performance from the forecourt to the fuel company’s head office. Our software and services enhance the entire retail fuel network and fleet management value chains, from single fuel transactions to retail network optimisation and business analytics.

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In our study, we learnt that one key area required to solve most of these challenges is business insight, hence we developed a real-time analytics platform called E360 Station Analytics. Today, E360 Station Analytics is providing real-time operational data to fuel stations in Africa. Fuel stations’ data are aggregated to provide holistic and granular visibility to minimise losses such as those from cash leaks, tank leaks, theft, over-dispensing and short deliveries. Businesses can also monitor price change activities thereby helping them eradicate price change fraud. With an automated replenishment planning module, fuel retailers are able to plan ahead and avert symptoms of fuel scarcity and shortages in their network of stations. Ultimately, this helps fuel retailers make more informed and accurate decisions on the fly.

We recently launched E360 Station Manager 2.0, an upgrade to version 1. E360 Station Manager is an innovative cloud based software as a service designed to optimise fuel station operations and ensure proper controls at the forecourt. E360 Station Manager offers a comprehensive suite of modules to fuel retailers including:

  • Sales & Order Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Cash Management
  • Expense Management and
  • Pump Pricing.station_analytics.png

One of the challenges fuel retailers face in the market today is control over pump prices within their network of stations. Changing pump prices at the forecourt is quite manual and there is room for pump price fraud. With the E360 Station Manager, fuel retailers can remotely control prices for every pump within their network of stations as well as get full insights into what was sold by each pump. This allows these business to remain competitive at all times. This system also allows businesses to manage pump efficiency and flow rates, as well as monitor the entire lifecycle of product delivery processes.

Using IoT, E360 is in business to disrupt the retail fuels space impacting the daily life of fuel businesses and the consumers. Every fuel business has the desire to please and retain her customers by so doing, increasing traction over time. Our systems give fuel businesses the opportunity to create relationships with their customers, getting to know them and serving them better.

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Thank you to Abayomi Elebute for his blog about e360. The technology they are using to optimise gas stations systems has the chance to be rolled out into other industries as well. Collecting and analysing data could even help in monitoring water and electricity supply, and creating a far more efficient transparent system across the continent. 

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 share the blog with your network on Twitter and Facebook.

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For more information or to set up a meeting, please contact us at: info@e360africa.com

Did You Know cashless payments in Africa can stop bullying?

Did You Know cashless payments in Africa can stop bullying?

Cashless payment is the trend that customers from young to old are fast getting aquatinted with across the globe. From banishing long tiring queues to securely walking in the streets, cashless payment speed up the whole checkout process for customers with less cost and time like never before. Cashless payments come with different forms-from mobile payments through various apps that have turned smartphones into digital wallets in paying for goods and services to contactless credit cards. The field of options for customers is huge and they are all preferred by consumers due to the satisfaction they give and the technological advancement they provide.

 

Poor understanding of financial basics and planning are contributors to a sense of vulnerability which lead people into making decisions they later regret or into debts they did not anticipate. The implementation of cashless payments has transformed peoples vulnerability of ignorance when dealing with finances while improving their technical skills at the same time. Between parents and their children who are still at school, it is a reliable stress free way of transacting cash. South Africa is vastly growing in the world of digitisation and offering the nation more options and more solutions. Fundi is South Africa’s leading education finance and education fund management solution specialist. Its introduction of a cashless system in a form of a bracelet to digitalise payments for primary schools is yet another innovation worth looking into. It is a game changer because once people get used to using it, it provides the retailer with the means to modify the experience according to the specific customer demands.

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Fundi’s bracelet, (made of rubber) by Fundi pay is a RFID (radio frequency identification) app which allows parents to load pocket money into  student’s account using any mobile phone. RFID belongs to a group of  well known technologies called Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) which operate by electronically identifying, collecting and analyse data about objects straight into computer systems. Radio waves  are used to track tags containing electronic information. Tiny RFID tags can be attached to wristbands or badges, and can be scanned using dedicated scanners or modern smartphones. Many schools transact money on daily basis, either to pay for school fees, school trips or pocket money hence a suitable target group for such mobile options.

 

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Fundi pay offers parents an e-mail which offers a platform for registration to take place. Once the registration process is done, parents have the capacity to allocate money into their children’s accounts and they in turn can easily make money transactions anywhere with their wrist rubber bands. The rubber bands are very user friendly  and are made of a hard plastic with a chip enclosed in order to protect the chip inside from being easily damaged. The chips have a tag within which is made up of a transmitter, receiver, and a circuit that stores large amounts of trackable information from bank card identification credentials, purchasing credits, to credit card numbers. This feature eliminates theft of money that is normally experienced at schools, giving students time to enjoy  their school activities peacefully knowing that their credit cards remain safely tucked away at home or in their school lockers. Bullying at tuck shops can also subside once parents and learners use Fundi pay.

Bullying is one of the major concerning issues in both primary and high schools in South Africa and many parts of the world and it manifests itself in so many forms and shapes at school in class-rooms and tuck shops during short breaks especially. Anti bullying steps have been taken by many schools and the department of education but it is still a concern. The vulnerability of young people who either due to poverty, unstable living conditions or unemployed parents develop aggressive behaviour and criminal patterns, which later lead to bullying is a complex reality that makes solving such cases very stressful. Culprits engaging in bullying normally end up getting away with it, leaving the victims with serious effects which are challenging for both parents and the teachers to assist learners affected in dealing with. Effects vary in degrees of complexity from missing classes, having unexplained bruising to committing suicide. Either way- the effects leave  detrimental stigmas and trauma. Implementation of digital solutions such as Fundi pay  has potential to bring more ease to the bullying crises for schools, parents and students as the wrist bands can be used to show solidarity while sticking up for the cause. They can be utilised to raise awareness to stand up to bullying. Money stealing from wallets and school bags can decline and a more healthier environment for learning can be experienced.

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 share the blog with your network on Twitter and Facebook.

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Did You Know drones can make the African construction industry safer?

Did You Know drones can make the African construction industry safer?

What would Wilber and Orville Wright think about the current aviation situation, 115 years after they first flew in their aeroplane. It is likely they would look to the sky in shock to see the amount of people being transported throughout the world in metal birds, and the super sonic military jets flying into action. Another marvel is drone technology, which is getting ever more smaller, more powerful and affordable. Even amateur photographers are able to pick up easy to fly drones fairly easily and take wonderful pictures of scenery around the world. It is this drone technology that is showing great promise in other sectors across Africa, such as security and construction.

A major problem always arises when it comes to the implementation of construction projects in many countries. South Africa is no exception when dealing with such issues, but innovative steps have been taken when addressing such issues, which are worth looking into and supporting. The implementation of  a fleet of drones as an  innovative efficiency tool by the Gauteng province’s Department of Infrastructure Development gives hope for change for South Africa. The implementation signifies that in both the public and private sectors, there is a vital need for efficient and effective changes within the department as a whole. Massive rise and opportunities provided by drones has given platform for companies and organisations to enhance their operations systems across all spheres of development.

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Many of the lined up projects by the Department of infrastructure will be monitored by floating drones to ensure that assigned work is done as scheduled. Construction work involves very dangerous tasks and conditions that require proper and safe construction sites if occupational fatalities are to be avoided. The implementation of drones is hoped to assess and intervene in order to promote efficiency through out the value chain of project management value chain. Many people have lost their lives while on duty on construction sites without any clear accountability and investigations of what really happened in South Africa. The implementation of drones is expected to bring new light and solutions to such issues as well as tracking and speeding up of projects that are ready for implementation.

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Working on the daily routines and working on projects requires different approaches. Due to the growing importance of projects in South Africa, it is important to develop policies to ensure that they are well prepared for project challenges. We can only anticipate better results, less marches by unhappy construction workers and sustainable improvements with the implementation of drones within the Department of infrastructure in South Africa. The history of drones and their success stories can be drawn from many African countries despite fear of their security by policy makers in Africa. This blog has covered a number of them. From fighting  Malaria mosquitoesMalaria mosquitoes, improvements in agriculture to construction. Their value and impact in changing lives in Africa is phenomenal.

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

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 mobile business cards are the future of networking in Africa?

The business card is one of the most compact business marketing tools in use today. It is sits quietly in the back pack  our pocket or wallets where it is normally placed and may be regarded as a small insignificant piece of paper that is part of our interconnection and collaboration with people, but in reality  its  value is far more powerful and opens doors no one would.  As much as we have evolved into the world of digitalisation, but this old school strategy is still the best if you want to make real networking and real relationships-for it is  in engaging in real eye contact and actual conversations that meaningful relationships are built. As one of the best marketing tools, they ease making valuable business than typed e-mails which are impersonal.

These cards have a long history and an evolution which reflect their significance in our lives than we can anticipate. According to a 2011 article by Designer-daily, business cards began in the 17th century in Europe, where they were used for social interaction, which was the only way interactive form of communication. Centuries down the line, aristocrats and royalty began to appreciate them as well. Servants were the major messengers during the time who were sent to deliver cards to other servants of intended hosts. Ordinary people and the working class had to no access to them as they were regarded as having no class value and hence strictly used by those in higher powers to show respect and to politely make requisitions. Rules to their usage evolved as well, from how they were folded to serving as evidence of meeting attendance where visitors had to put them in trays of hosts. The more fancier and stylish they looked, the more noticeable they became which late a powerful base for future customs of exchanges in trade, Christmas and Valentine’s Day cards.

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It is undeniable therefore after evolving from several different predecessors that ultimately merged into today’s familiar appearance, the business card still has a fascinating impact in peoples lives. Business cards used to be printed in black and white for many centuries. Technology has advanced and revived their appearance in recent times where the world is over crowded with advertising messages. Due to innovation playing a vital part, it is still easy to distinguish oneself from others. One problem has how ever been outstanding with business cards- keeping them organised. The small cards find their way almost every where: into handbags, jackets , desk drawers, little buckets by the computer and many other places. The trouble is, you can’t find the one you want when you need it.

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Two school students from Feza International school based in Dar es Salam Tanzania realised this problem like most of us but unlike some of us, they came up with a digital solution. They developed an e-business card app called VCARDIN which permits all business cards to be handled on a mobile phone. The initial drive that encouraged them to be so innovative was an encounter they came across with one of their teachers who was  struggling like many others to keep business cards organised. The app has amazing features which allows  users  to exchange their details between devices by simply “Swapping” finger on the phone while the app is on. Access to this feature gives room for historical background check of how, when and why people met, with additional information issues discussed inclusive. Not only does this feature save time but it also saves business people from loosing important clients. Through tapping the device together and selecting messages to transmit, the app gives users a bigger platform of sharing important  information, from  calendar events  to LinkedIn accounts. The app will be officially launched in November this year.

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The impact of youth on the technology scene is undeniable. If you want to stay “young” and innovative, there is no other alternative but to immerse yourself in the emerging tools of the current and next generation which our blog  advocates for. Dar es Salaam is the fastest growing city in Africa, according to the African Development Bank (pdf). It has attracted a host of startup companies and NGOs but it has also become a fast field for emerging technology, such as drones and smartphone apps, as it expands and develops its urbanisation process. It should come as no surprise therefore for us to see more emerging technological solutions to some of its problems. We can draw examples  from the implementation what3words, an app that records GPS coordinates to nine square metres and simplifies them into a three-word combination. what3words is doing in transforming Tanzania’s  informal settlement is amazing. Many people without formal addresses did not have access to services and a legal identity but now they do. With more innovative ideas coming up, there is no doubt that many citizens are yet to continue enjoying the fruits technology.

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 share the blog with your network on Twitter and Facebook.

Also, don’t forget to check out and like our Facebook pageFor more interesting blogs about African Innovation, check out our homepage.

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Did You Know Africa had the most successful innovations at Seedstars?

Did You Know Africa had the most successful innovations at Seedstars?

Yesterday, 12th April 2018, I sat in the audience of the Seedstars Summit filled with pride. After a few days of activities, the grande finale showcased Seedstars’ best innovations of the year. Over the course of the year, the Seedstars team, who are positioned in emerging markets around the world, search for the best innovations and start-ups. With over a 1000 applicants, they take the time to whittle them down to 65 finalists, of whom 12 would compete on the final day in a live pitching competition on the main stage.

Of the 12 live pitchers, 4 were from Africa, the highest proportion from any region. The African innovators to take to the stage were the Nigerian medication marketplace Medsaf, GiftedMom, a health information platform from Cameroon (Who we have featured on the blog previously), EMGuidance a South African medical content aggregator, and Ghanaian agricultural platform, Agrocenta. With a huge number of African innovators, and participants at the Seedstars Summit, each African speaker got a huge cheer welcoming them onto stage.

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The eventual winner of the overall prize, was AgroCenta, who were represented by co-founders Francis Obirikorang and Michael K. Ocansey. Francis was one of the last up on stage to explain their platform, which had already gained $250K in funding previously. Continue reading “Did You Know Africa had the most successful innovations at Seedstars?”