Did You Know Drones are fighting mosquitoes in Africa?

Did You Know Drones are fighting mosquitoes in Africa?

Malaria is a scourge in Africa, which is killing 500,000 people globally, every year. For those of us who were not born or raised in Africa, we know of it because of the huge charity campaigns to raise money to help prevent people from contracting it from mosquitoes. Dishing out treated mosquito nets to families in effected areas has been the main action aimed at malaria prevention, and it has had some success, but there are other innovations that are joining the “war on mosquitoes”. In some areas, such as in Zanzibar, there has been a drop in malaria prevalence from 40% to 1%, which is remarkable.

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Malaria nets have made a drastic change in some areas in Africa

Over a year ago we also wrote a blog on this malaria war, with a number of technologies that are being used around Africa. From the SolarMal, which is a solar powered fan, which attracts in mosquitoes using human scent and kills them,  Faso, a new type of soap which repels the unwanted creatures, or even incredible research by the IBM lab in Johannesburg helping understand potential resistance to drugs, there are countless projects and innovations to try and stamp out malaria by 2030.

Now, other technologies are joining the fight and taking it directly to the mosquitoes, instead of waiting for them to come. And what amazing technology is being used for this Continue reading “Did You Know Drones are fighting mosquitoes in Africa?”

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Did You Know Fintech innovation is changing African lives?

Did You Know Fintech innovation is changing African lives?

Money makes the world go round! Whether carrying around huge wads of cash, coins jangling in your pocket, plastic or mobile solutions, without money, we wouldn’t get very far. With robots set to take many of the current jobs, the future may see us have a very different relationship to money, that is if money still exists. But, in the now, there is no escaping it, and that is the same in the Fintech sector.

The world’s tech companies are clamouring to come up with the next big financial solution. Banks are trying to keep up, while other companies try to find new and easier payment methods, as well as create synergies with other industries, for example insurance and credit. In Africa this is especially so, with financial inclusion so important and a huge market for Fintech to continue to tap into. In recent years, so many Fintech solutions have popped up around Africa. From blockchain technology, making it easier for individuals to invest in solar energy, to new crowed funding systems, or payment structure like mobile money, Fintech solutions are always represented at innovation awards around the country.

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Africa still a cash culture

This week is no different, with 4 Fintech solutions each took home $70,000 at a the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment pitching event, aimed at finding talented Fintech entrepreneurs, hosted by AlphaCode. The event is an initiative of Merrill Lynch and we will feature some of the winners here! Continue reading “Did You Know Fintech innovation is changing African lives?”

Did You Know Africa is improving the wind turbine?

Did You Know Africa is improving the wind turbine?

The world energy situation is changing, and renewable innovations are speeding up seemly exponentially. With the big storms and terrible fires across the world this year, there is ever increasing discussion regarding climate change and how we source our energy. The rate of fossil fuel usage has stabilised, but carbon is still being pumped into the atmosphere at an alarming rate. Parts of Africa could be set to take the brunt, with droughts already causing trouble of the East of the continent.

Renewable energy technology, therefore, is incredibly important for the continents energy source. Renewable energy comes in various forms. Hydro energy has long been seen as the solution for Africa, with dams across the continent providing electricity for many. This system has proven unreliable in many cases, and low water levels at certain times of the year mean many must go without electricity, or only have it occasionally throughout the day. Solar and wind energy production, however, could be more reliable, with and abundance of sun, heat and wind across the continent.

There have already been some major innovations on the continent with regards to renewable energy. A massive solar farm in Morocco is already functioning and off grid solar solutions are being offered with creative payment solutions in rural and urban areas across the continent. There have even been advancements in the storage of renewable energy. And now there are further advancements being made with regards to wind energy.

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Continue reading “Did You Know Africa is improving the wind turbine?”

Did You Know you can publish your books or music for free in Nigeria?

Did You Know you can publish your books or music for free in Nigeria?
On Inventive Africa we often talk about the importance of reading within the education sector. There have been many innovations out there to enable kids and students to have access to information digitally. But what about the other side of the equation. Many authors out there find it very difficult to publish there their works and have them read by a significant amount of people. The same goes for musicians in Africa, who want to push their music out to as many as possible to make an name for themselves in an increasingly challenging market.
Below the guys from Publiseer explain what their innovation is aiming to achieve.
The Nigerian startup Publiseer, is aiming to change this and get up and coming authors and musicians international exposure.  Publiseer was launched to publish Nigerian books and songs recorded on over 400 online stores, including the Apple Store, Play Store and Amazon, across 100 countries. According to StartUpBeat, “Publiseer provides authors and artists a chance to have their work seen by the rest of the world.”
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Published by Publiseer
The mission of the publishing company is to promote the creativity of Nigerians to the rest of the world. So far, Publiseer has published 40 titles, 15 books and 25 musical albums.
This is not the first time a company is offering digital publishing services to authors and artists. BookBaby and CDBaby, both sister companies and already-established names, offer digital publishing services to authors and artists respectively, but the competitive edge of Publiseer is that it’s publishing service is free, while BookBaby and CDBaby request hefty publishing fees.

Continue reading “Did You Know you can publish your books or music for free in Nigeria?”

Did You Know you can look after your cows with an App in Africa?

Did You Know you can look after your cows with an App in Africa?

Owning a cow or other livestock is not an easy thing. Of course, if your family has owned cows for generations, skills are passed down. But, for those that have only few cows, or are finding it difficult to maintain the herd, it is important to have information at hand, quickly. There are often many difficult situations, from adverse weather conditions, to disease, that effect a herd, and if the heard is struggling, the family could be struggling also.

Of course with large urbanisation in #Africa, there are fewer opportunities to keep cows, unless for example you partake in #CowFunding, and in that case, someone else does the looking after for you! For those that have cows, maintaining the health of the heard is incredibly important. Optimum nutrition, medicine and health care is often the fine line between the life and the death of a cow. And one cow may mean the world to a family. Providing milk, or calves to sell or meat to eat, losing a cow, or having an unhealthy cow could have a massive impact on the well being of a family.

In this brave new world of technology and with mobile phones and internet access quickly spreading throughout Africa, it is now possible for anyone to get access to information.  If people want specific information, sometimes Google (or other search engines) are just not efficient enough. In recent years we have seen a trend towards tailoring information for specific types of people. There are apps which give students access to books. and e-learning opportunities, and apps that enable people all over the world to advise on best farming practices. And now, there is a service which enables farmers to look after their livestock to the best of their abilities.

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iCow helps cattle farmers, as well as other types of farmers, improve their productivity by sending them relevant text messages packed full with important information and instructions. By having access to relevant information, farmers can reduce risk. And it is not just for cow farming, there is a plethora of information such as on soil fertility, poultry, eggs and crops, which is helping many improve their farms.

Continue reading “Did You Know you can look after your cows with an App in Africa?”

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 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?”