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 IPA rewarded its winners with $150,000!

Did You Know IPA rewarded its winners with $150,000!

The Innovation Prize for Africa has once again inspired a continent. After various events promoting innovation and creativity, the final ceremony took place on Tuesday 18th July, in Accra. We have been waiting with anticipation to find out who the winners of this years IPA addition would be, but the excitement comes from the huge variety of innovations that made it into the shortlisted 10. The health sector, agriculture, drones, innovative software and the energy sector were all represented in the top ten, showing that the continent is equipped to come up with solutions for Africa as well as the rest of the world.

In this blog we will discuss the winners and give a little analysis. If you want to read more about the other nominees, check out our three other blogs.

IPA2017 Part 1

IPA2017 Part 2

IPA2017 Part 3

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IPA winners with African Innovation Foundation founder Jean Claude Bastos de Morais

This years winner, and receiver of $100,000, was Prof. El-Shafei, who we had not mentioned in our previous blogs. (We had a feeling he may win, so held back for his potential glorious moment!) His innovation is maybe not as ‘sexy’ as some of the others, but it will make an enormous difference to production of energy in Africa and the rest of the world. He has created a smart bearing which changes its characteristics as it operates. According to the IPA website, the bearing “consists of a magnetic bearing Continue reading “Did You Know IPA rewarded its winners with $150,000!”

Did You Know #ADMP is helping Africa support Africa?

Did You Know #ADMP is helping Africa support Africa?

At Inventive Africa, we like to give supporters of African Innovation a chance to tell their story. We came across Afrik+Digital Marketplace (#ADMP) who offer support to innovations across Africa. Mireille Kooh, who has been called the ‘First-Lady’ of the internet operates from her native Cameroon, overcoming disability, is a feminist digital icon with an amazing Social Media footprint across Africa. She is nominated for ‘Web personality of the year 2017’ and has shown tremendous resilience in a very competitive environment: She serves currently as ADMP Super-CEO. She agreed to talk to us about #ADMP.

Inventive Africa – What is ADMP and how did it start?

Mireille Kooh –  #ADMP was founded By Hermann Djoumessi, MA a Fintech Social Media cryptoanalyst. Hermann teaches and consults at INSEEC (Paris), American Business School (Paris), CNAM (Paris), City of London and is a Bloomberg software guest-speaker.

We act as:

  1. the Prime African Fintech & Startup newsfeed on Social Media (Facebook group and pages, Twitter, Reddit, Medium, Whatsapp and Google+). We have a network of more than 20000 active startupers.
  2. We act as a Virtual incubator for African startups and will soon start financing them via Bitcoin/Ethereum ICO’s.

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We are Pan-African and Afro-Optimists by nature, wanting from day one that, for example,  a startupper in Nigeria, looking for a coder in Tunisia, could raise its funds in Egypt, whilst being incubated in Uganda, to develop a South-African App.

Continue reading “Did You Know #ADMP is helping Africa support Africa?”

Did You Know you can speak to tech with you local African dialect? (Part 3)

Did You Know you can speak to tech with you local African dialect? (Part 3)

The Innovation Prize for Africa is renowned for shortlisting exciting innovations that create African solutions for African problems. Due to the amount of incredible innovations announced this year, for the Ghana edition of the IPA, it was not possible to fit all of them into 1 or even 2 blogs! So this is the third part of IPA 2017 blog!

The IPA not only showcases innovative startups from around the world. It also gives a chance for the country it is based in, in this case Ghana, to promote and encourage innovation. Ghana is a country that is pushing innovation. Lots of tech hubs and incubators are popping up around the country, such as iSpace that we have mentioned various times (There are some more videos to come of their entrepreneurs). IPA will offer many of these innovators a platform to showcase their projects to international media, as well as receive coaching on how to progress.

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IPA in Ghana

If you want to read about some of the short listed innovations check out Part One and Part Two of this blog. If you have already seen them, keep reading to find out about the other innovations.

 Lakheni

Lakheni buys into the success of the collective model (which we wrote about some examples here. When people can pool their money together to bulk buy products, Lakheni found that households are able to save up to 20% on their groceries. Poor communities often pay more, relatively, than more affluent communities, as the goods are often packaged in to smaller sizes to make the more affordable (but more expensive per amount) So, if households, church members, friends, family, or any group gets together, substantial savings can be made.

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Once a group has signed up they can then make their order. Each month, a hamper will arrive to a designated destination where it can be picked up and distributed. Not only does this service save individuals money, on groceries, but they save time and money by not having to go to the store and having their groceries delivered to a convenient central location.

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Lakheni Hamper

Collectives are being utilised across the continent, but in some cases not efficiently. Many people come together to pool their money together in unions, but instead of use it for something useful, like developing their farms, sourcing internet access, or to bulk buy food produce, it is used for funeral arrangements. There need to priorities, and Lakheni is enabling that.

3.  Voice Recognition and Speech Synthesis Software for African Languages by Omolabake Adenle

I am really excited about this technology for many reasons. Across the continent, many people still communicate in their local dialects. These dialects can be like time capsules, with links to the long ago caught up in everyday conversation. For a researcher like me, going and interviewing individuals about the past was challenging, and the language barrier heightened the challenges.

With this software, which can understand and digitise local dialects, it would have been far easier to capture the the oral histories of my interviewees. Whilst this technology already exists for many Western and Asian languages, African languages have lagged behind. With the exponential spread of mobile technology and internet access, there is now the commercial possibility to use this technology in Africa.

It is not only useful for my plea for everyone to go out and interview their elders about the past. (Please do so, or we will lose so much oral history to the ancestors) With this tech, now people can interact with mobile phones and other digital applications, enabling those that do not speak English, French, Portuguese, etc etc, to interact and be part of the digital economy.

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Innovations come in all shapes and sizes, all of which are important. In the case of the 10 short listed by they are excellent and destined for success and making a big difference in Africa and beyond. Being innovative, and developing ones ideas is important for another reason. I have met a lot of people and spoken about their innovations. Many of them may not succeed at this juncture, but, they will have learnt a lot about being an entrepreneur and about the creative process. Being creative takes practice, and I hope the IPA and all of Inventive Africa inspires people across access to give their ideas a chance!

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!

 

Did You Know IPA rewards diverse innovations in Africa (Part 2)

Did You Know IPA rewards diverse innovations in Africa (Part 2)

Last week, the Innovation Prize for Africa announced their nominees for this years event, which will take place in Accra, Ghana in July. Over the last 5 years, the IPA has become one of the most anticipated innovation events in Africa. Over the years they have handed out around $1 million to incredible innovations and startups throughout the African continent.

The IPA was created 5 years ago by the African Innovation Foundation, who are based in Switzerland and aim to “increase the prosperity of Africans by catalysing the innovation spirit in Africa. We want to see needs-based innovation and change happen.” AIF also support various other projects across Africa, including the African Law Library, which we covered in Inventive Africa.

In our last blog, we featured 3 of the nominees from the IPA. This years nominees are so diverse, exciting and inspirational that it was not possible to cover them all in one blog. This year, 4 of the nominees were in the health sector. Health innovations have features widely on Inventive Africa and have covered anything from mobile phones used in eye care, to CT scanners. Here are our thoughts on a few more of the nominees and their innovations from the health category.

Rapid Detection of Many Infections Using Only One Test

Getting sicknesses diagnosed in Africa can be time consuming and frustrating. I have sat for many an hour in hospital waiting for results to come through. Sometimes they come back as negative and then, the process starts again to diagnose the illness. I have heard horror stories of children being medicine for a headache, rather than malaria after being wrongly diagnosed.

This new technology, developed by Dougbeh-Chris Nyan in Liberia, enables doctors to make a diagnosis on many infections at the same time within 40 minutes. This technology not only cuts down on waiting times, it also ensures that even when the diagnostics systems and expertise are limited, patients can get a reliable diagnosis, and there for be treated correctly. It is simple to use and can be deployed anywhere, so it is perfect for remote rural areas.

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This test could have made a huge difference during the ebola epidemic

In the example above, where the young lad was misdiagnosed purely on his symptoms, this technology can diagnose between infections that have similar symptoms such as malaria, ebola, and yellow fever. In the case of these dangerous highly infectious diseases, the short turn around time in diagnosis will significantly cut the risk of an infection spreading down.

Sweat TB Test 

In 2015 there were 2.7 million cases of TB in Africa, 750,000 of whom died from the infectious disease. TB, which effects the lungs, is particularly difficult for those who suffer from HIV. It is estimated that over 3 million incidents of TB are missed due to misdiagnosis and other cases being missed altogether. In order to diagnose TB, patients must often go to a clinic on various occasions, giving a sample of sputum, for high tech diagnosis. That is only the lucky patients, as many rural regions of Africa do not have the facilities to test for TB.

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The Sweat TB test makes the process a lot quicker, and without the need for a needle or any invasiveness. The test “leverages a TB specific marker in the sweat of patients, to produce a point- of- care test to detect TB”. Like so many innovations in the health sector in Africa at the moment, this gives the chance for patients, no matter how remote or rural to have a test for TB and get the results, and medicine within the same short visit to the clinic. This could revolutionise TB care in Africa and all across the world.

Dr. CADx

As we have pointed out again and again, access to decent health care can be difficult in parts of Africa. Wrong diagnosis, lack of equipment, lack of a nearby health facility, or even a shortage in specialists can impact on the quality of health care. In previous blogs we have shown how some innovations are bringing specialists to patients remotely through mobile devices.

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CT scan can be quickly analysed by the software

Dr CADx, which we also featured on Inventive Africa 7 months ago,  is a software solution that helps doctors and health care workers diagnose medical images more accurately. Due to the scarcity of radiologists on the continent, most medical images are read by general doctors or other health care workers who lack expertise and end up misdiagnosing more than 30% of the cases that they review. As a result, millions of patients fail to get the right treatment or the treatment is delayed leading to more complications and even death. Dr CADx uses deep learning to interpret medical images and achieve an accuracy of 82% an improvement over the 70% average for radiologists. Dr CADx is designed to work in low resource settings with poor internet connectivity opening it up for use in many rural settings in Africa.

We still haven’t covered all the cool innovations featured in the IPA shortlist, so expect a part 3 covering the rest! The final will be held in Ghana next month, so keep your eyes open for the winner!

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!

Did You Know IPA rewards diverse innovations in Africa?

Did You Know IPA rewards diverse innovations in Africa?

Probably the most exciting time of the year with regards to African innovation is when the Innovation Prize for Africa announces its nominees. Then 10 nominees are always inspiring ideas that have the potential to create great change on the African continent. In previous years we have seen innovations like The Tryctor, offers many the access to smaller cheaper farm machinery, Api Palu, a natural anti malaria treatment,  and the Green Tower, which uses solar to create massive electricity savings to households. This years nominations are no different with incredible innovations and examples of African created technology across various different sectors. Usually we pick three or four to innovations from the nominees to feature in a blog. This year, there are so many exciting ideas that it will need a part two and three to fit them all in!

Go to Part 2 of the IPA blog here

Go to Part 3 of the IPA blog here

Check out some of the nominees below:

FarmDrive

There is no surprise the FarmDrive have made the list. Over the last year they have received acclaim from all over Africa and outside it. (Including from Inventive Africa!). 

FarmDrive have developed a mobile phone application that enables small holder farmers to gain access to credit. Traditionally, there is little data about individual farmers and they pose a credit risk to banks. FarmDrive collects data from various sources, such as individual data, social data, environmental data and satellite date, to Continue reading “Did You Know IPA rewards diverse innovations in Africa?”