Kenya has yet again stood out in the technology realm as three Kenyan units have made it to the top three of Fast Company business technology magazine’s list; the 10 most innovative companies in Africa.
These companies have managed to make a difference in the technology arena as well as improve the lives of Africans.
This is how the list made by the Fast Company looks like:
- iHub – holds the first positions for connecting, amplifying, and accelerating Africa’s tech community. Owned by Erik Hersman, the magazine says that iHub (The not-for-profit) is a hybrid coworking space and university commons. They have launched 150 companies which are working to find tech-solutions to African problems in a period of three years.
- Sanergy – this company is working on bringing sanitation insanity in order. Right now more than 12000 people living in Kenya’s slums are now receiving daily portable toilets containing toilet paper, sawdust, soap, and water thanks to Sanergy’s sustainability model. In addition, local residents purchase and manage the sanitation facilities, allowing them to become micro-entrepreneurs. The waste is collected and transported to a management center where it’s treated according to the governmental standards and turned into fertilizer for use by East African farmers who can’t afford the otherwise high prices.
- One Acre Fund – specifically for nurturing a new generation of farmers in Africa by providing farmers with seed and fertilizer on credit, delivers the materials nearby for pickup, trains the farmers to use them, and helps them sell the harvests. One Acre Fund estimates it will represent Africa’s largest network of small farms in just a few years. Since launching in Kenya in 2006, One Acre Fund has expanded to Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania, reaching more than 180,000 farmers and aiming to hit 200,000 by the end of 2014.
- Rocket internet – This venture firm has launched more than 100 companies in Africa since its founding in 2007. Among its efforts: online food delivery with FoodPanda, real estate with Lamundi, hotel booking with Javogo, and Amazon-like shopping with Jumia—which is the most popular online shopping site on the continent.
- Konga – This is an online shopping site which has launched Marketplace, electronics to clothing to home appliances and beyond with more than 200,000 products on offer. And the sellers include merchants from small Nigerian villages as well as large, international companies. The magazine says that, through focusing on buyer and seller protection, Konga is betting that as Nigerians continue to embrace broadband, they will also turn to e-commerce platforms like its Marketplace.
- Sterio.me – an e-learning platform that has so far given service to 75 schools in Nigeria. The service uses SMS messages that give students access to material and lessons they listen to outside the classroom. The lessons are pre-recorded by the educators and sent as a free voice call when triggered by a specific SMS code. Educators can be immediately notified of which students finished the lessons and how they performed, saving them grading time and helping them prepare for the next class session.
- UpEnergy – this company is improving lives in making cooking bearable in rural Uganda. The company is distributing channels that benefit both large business (through carbon credits) and local retailers (through direct sales support and guidance) to make available safer, greener, and more efficient cook-stoves, water purification technologies, and solar lights.
- Daptio – with adaptive learning in mind, this company is shaking the arena by finding a model that allows students to receive the right content at the right time, ultimately leading to higher understanding and better grades. With Africa seen as the next frontier for online learning’s expansion–growth of the mobile learning market in Africa over the next five years is 39 percent and expected to make e-learning a $530 million market by 2017.
- PrepClass – An online portal for students preparing for standardized tests in Nigeria such as the JAMB, WAEC, GCE, or NECO. Students pay to take practice tests that prepare them for an online or paper test and receive personalized feedback to improve for test day. PrepClass has partnered with more than 1,000 cybercafes across Nigeria to give students places with the necessary resources to use the platform.
- Aweza – this company is looking into breaking language barriers in South Africa. Its app allows users to translate words and phrases for others all in a slick little package. By crowdsourcing translations to weed out inaccuracies, the company aims to leverage the growing mobile arena and encourage cultures to interact across their defined lines.