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!

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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

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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.

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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?”

Did You Know 2017 was an exciting year for African innovation?

Did You Know 2017 was an exciting year for African innovation?

Another year is already over, and it has been an exciting one! As Christmas approaches, and 2018 peaks its head over the horizon, it is time to look back on 2017 and enjoy the innovative gifts that it has brought us from Africa!

The innovative African year has followed the expected trends with Fintech, Agriculture, health, education and renewable energy all receiving a lot of attention from Africa’s creative minds. It has also been a year in which innovation awards, and summits focussing on the topic of innovation in Africa have been very popular, and have also made a difference to many Start-ups in Africa; offering them funding, technical and business support to help develop their innovations to become world beaters.

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The Innovation Prize for Africa has once pitted together an exciting group of nominees, the winner of which was Prof. El-Shafei who invented the smart bearing, which significantly increases the efficiency of turbines. (IPA are once again looking for nominees, so it is time to sign up now!). Seedstars have also given a platform to many innovators and unearthed some incredible talent. Their winner this year was an app Continue reading “Did You Know 2017 was an exciting year for African innovation?”

Did You Know AIDF Summit Puts Spotlight on Safe Water and Sanitation in Kenya

Did You Know AIDF Summit Puts Spotlight on Safe Water and Sanitation in Kenya

The AIDF have a wonderful event coming up in February 2017, which looks into latest policy and project updates, best practice and innovations to improve humanitarian aid operations and infrastructure resilience in sub-Saharan East Africa. Through their event, and communications throughout the year, they shed light on innovations that are assisting Africa. Today they are discussing the importance of safe water and sanitation in Kenya to socio economic transformation in Kenya.

In much of the continent, safe drinking water is very rare, with people relying on bottled and sachet water, that is not always that safe. Sanitation also causes problems, with gutters full of rubbish and dirty water, a safe haven for mosquitos and other diseases. Read on to see more about what AIDF have to say about the issue and how it will feature at their “must go to” event!

3.5 million people in Kenya were identified by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation in June 2017 as urgently requiring safe drinking water. Universal access to clean and safe drinking water and basic sanitation systems are key to achieving socio-economic transformation in countries, such as Kenya.

Access to clean water and sanitation can significantly reduce maternal and infant deaths. Safe drinking water and well-developed sewage services reduce the growing spread of communicable diseases, as well as increasing school enrolments and the productivity of working adults.

Continue reading “Did You Know AIDF Summit Puts Spotlight on Safe Water and Sanitation in Kenya”

Did You Know there is another Innovation Award in Africa?

Did You Know there is another Innovation Award in Africa?

Almost a year ago we wrote about the annual Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF), which was held in Nairobi in February 2017. Well, after enjoying a successful event, they will be back again next year February 27th-28th in Nairobi, for the third edition. The event will explore the latest policy and project updates, best practices, and importantly, innovations that improve humanitarian aid operations and infrastructure in Africa. Inventive Africa is very proud to be media partners of the event and this year, with our new logo created for us by Brian Nyagol, a talented Kenyan who is the CEO of VibeCampo, Africa’s own social network, which we featured last month, we can actually appear on the AIDF website with the other supporters!

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Our new logo!

The AIDF have been running for 13 years and have the mission to support the drive towards positive outcomes in the future and promote collaboration between stakeholders. Their events showcase a need for targeted dialogue, strategic alliances on an intimate level, and showcasing Africa to the world. They bring together people from all sectors from governments and aid organisations and NGOs, to private sector companies, creating partnerships between those with understanding of the issues, and those with expertise.

Innovator of the Year!

This forum, AIDF will for the first time hold the Innovator of the Year competition, with the winners to be announced at the event in February. The competition celebrates the Continue reading “Did You Know there is another Innovation Award in Africa?”

Did You Know MTN has awarded South Africa’s best apps of 2017?

Did You Know MTN has awarded South Africa’s best apps of 2017?

Another week, another award ceremony showcasing African Innovation. And it is another popular one! The MTN Business App of the Year Awards took place on the 12th of October in Johannesburg. MTN, Africas largest mobile operator, is one of the continent leaders in the search for the next big African innovation. One the one hand, they are interested in finding innovative solutions to social problems, and on the other hand, finding and investing in these innovations can only further develop their business.

With the Innovation Prize for Africa, Seedstars, AppsAfrica awards and many more, Africa is becoming a greater focus of innovative talent. And the world is beginning to take notice. As well as fostering this talent and encouraging people in Africa to follow through with their ideas, these awards help change the mindset of investors outside of the continent. It is now possible to see that Africa does in fact have an incredible pool of responsible, hard working talent that can be tapped into. It is no wonder we are seeing more and more stories about big firms, such as Microsoft, heading into Africa to invest.

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As usual, we will feature some of our favourite winners from the MTN Business App of the year below.

SHYFT- Overall winner

SHYFT not only won the award for Best Financial Solution, but they took the overall winner award. Shyft, from Standard Bank, enables customers to purchase currency and transfer money overseas all from the comfort of their mobile phone. Forex can be purchased and stored on the phone and transferred when needed. The purchased currency, which is in USD, GBP, EUR and AUSD, can also be used through virtual cards, which means international online shopping is now possible.

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Continue reading “Did You Know MTN has awarded South Africa’s best apps of 2017?”

Did You Know you can find anywhere in the world with just 3 words?

Did You Know you can find anywhere in the world with just 3 words?

Last week, AppsAfrica announced their finalists for this years awards. Their awards ceremony will take place in Cape Town on the 6th of November 2017. We featured some of our favourites in our previous blog, but with such an exciting array of innovations, there simply wasn’t enough space to feature more. So, in this blog, we will cover some more of our favourite innovations that will battle it out in Kigali.

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A couple of weeks ago, I was in the north of England looking for a particular address using the Satnav in the car. I put in the post code, drove where I was told, and found I was still 5 minutes from my actual destination. We have worked with addresses the same way for centuries, name or number of a house, street name, town, county/state and post/zip code. In the new digital world, there is surely a more efficient way to deal with addresses. We featured an idea on Inventive Africa a while back, which offered a new way to look at addresses, but What3words have come up with another solution, to help you locate any 3m X 3m spot on earth. They have created unique 3 word signatures for every little plot on the planet.

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The What3words grid

Continue reading “Did You Know you can find anywhere in the world with just 3 words?”