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Sub-Saharan Africa

WaystoCap providing a marketplace to connect African businesses

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The WaystoCap team

WaystoCap is a B2B marketplace where businesses in Africa can buy and sell products. It helps you find reliable Buyers and Suppliers, Importers and Exporters, secure trades, Manage and Compare Quotes, provide Protection and Insurance. Food and Beverage, Construction and Energy, Packaging and Office, Textiles and Clothes, Maintenance and electronics.

The WaystoCap team

Briefly tell us about yourselves, your educational background, team and how you came together to form WaysToCap.
CEO Niama El Bassunie CFA advised Africa governments on infrastructure projects and economic plans in Togo, South Africa, and Guinea. She was part of a task force involved in the economic vision for Togo, led by Sir Paul Judge. Her work in Guinea involved the clear up of the Port of Conakry, and working directly with the government on other infrastructure projects. She previously worked at PwC as a consultant in the Markets and Valuations team, focused on energy projects.
COO Mehdi Daoui worked for over 10 years in corporate and FX trading. He started his career at Societe Generale as a forex trader. Afterwards he moved to BCP, where he worked with their largest clients for the corporate and FX trading needs, particularly acting in African markets.
CTO Aziz Jaouhari Tissafi is a computer programmer by training, and subsequently worked for Rocket Internet’s Jumia, where he transitioned from a software engineering role into leading the entire content management and delivery team.
CSO Anis Abdeddine, led the African trading team at BCP for several years, working at the highest levels of corporate Africa in many of the largest West African markets.

How would you describe your company; how does it work?
We are building Africa’s future trading platform. We connect buyers and suppliers on one unified platform. It allows members to transact easily in a trusted environment.

What market gap did you spot that motivated you to start the company?
Niama’s work in Guinea involved the clear up of the Port of Conakry, and working directly with the government on other infrastructure projects. She previously worked at PwC as a consultant in the Markets and Valuations team, focused on energy projects. This encouraged the team to explore more opportunities in the area.

How has uptake been like since you launched?
Very good, many SMBs in Africa now work with us.

Who is your major competition? What do you do different to distinguish yourself from them?
Competition is focused on listings, we are a deals focused platform.

What are some of the biggest challenges you faced since the inception of the company?
Like all startups we have faced many challenges. But with an amazing team, and a vision we will prevail.

What advice would you wish to share with aspiring African entrepreneurs?
Work hard and get after it! Everything is possible.

Africa Sokoni bracing to disrupt the e-commerce landscape in Africa

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Africa Sokoni is a Kenyan based online marketplace that brings African customers and retailers together online in a hassle-free shopping experience. Africa Sokoni co-founder Fred Kirui spoke to Techmoran about how they are working towards this goal.

Briefly tell us about yourself, your educational background etc
My name is Fredrick Kirui,I am the Co-Founder & Director – Strategy at Africa Sokoni. I am a graduate holder of a Bsc Ecotourism Hotel and Institution from Maseno University and is currently pursuing a MBA for Executives from Strathmore Business School.

How would you describe your company, tell us about your team
We have a young and a robust team of professionals. 85% of the staff are female, I think we take the advise from Jack Ma very seriously, in regards to hiring women in for a successful organisation. The team was carefully selected based on their individual competencies and strengths. We realised that we need professionals who don’t see working for AfricaSokoni as an employment rather as an opportunity to enhance their skills.

What market gap did you spot that motivated you to start the company?
We launched AfricaSokoni driven primarily by the improved and increasing internet penetration in Kenya and Africa as a whole. We are also inspired by the numerous research data that depicts the untapped market opportunity for e-commerce in Kenya and Africa. We are also tapping into the need to offer reliability, convenience and affordability of items to the increasing middle class in Kenya. We are anchoring our vision of “Redefining Shopping in Africa” through leveraging the power of the internet, and through the introduction of relevant and scalable technologies.

How has uptake been like since you launched?
So far so good. I would be lying to you if I told we are making massive profits. We are however encouraged by the reception we have received in the market being only here in less than 2 months. We are positive that we are heading in the right direction. We are cognisant with the fact that we have a long way to go. We still have so much ground to cover. We are ready and thrilled by this opportunity to serve Kenyans and Africans in general.

Who is your major competition? What do you do to distinguish yourself from them?
For us, competition ranges from a brick and mortar retailer to anyone who is offering a similar e-commerce service either locally or internationaly.
We are trying to cut a niche for ourselves through availing products on AfricaSokoni that truly reflect the strong African spirit from clothing to handbags. We also provide 12 hour delivery within Nairobi and 24 hours outside Nairobi.

What are some of the biggest challenges you faced since the inception of the company?
Our biggest challenge has and will always be converting the millions of Kenyans who still think that it’s unsafe to buy stuff online.
The other challenge is getting the best prices for the stuff that we sell on our platform to ensure we give our customers the best value for money.
A future challenge for us, with global expansion being a main goal of ours we face what most companies face when dealing with global expansion growth. Advertising, culture, language, local market trends and product market acceptance. Gaining comprehensive insight into all these aspects is vital in expanding across territories, regions, and countries.”

What do you think the future of e-commerce is in Africa?
There is an enormous future in Africa for Ecommerce. According to a McKinsey’s Lions go digital report, online shopping could account for up to 10% of retails sales (with a value of around US $75 billion) by 2025, as more Africans gain access to the internet. For us, we want to dip our finger in this pie hence our focus on expanding to other countries in Africa.

What is your advice to aspiring African entrepreneurs?
My advise to aspiring Africa entrepreneurs is that, we need more of you in the market. Africa will greatly develop if we have more entrepreneurs especially in the technology industry. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint hearted. It requires, persistence and resilience. You have to surround yourself with people who not only inspire you but also people who can hold you accountable for all that you are doing. Finally, believe in yourself. We are capable of doing the extraordinary if only we believed in our abilities.

DEMO Africa 2018 to be held in Morocco

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DEMO Africa 2018 will be held in Morocco and will see the top 30 start-ups launch their products in front of investors, technology buyers, mentors and the media according to our sources at DEMO Africa Secretariat.

Founded in 2012, DEMO Africa allows selected startups to pitch to a diverse set of people from around the globe from the PE industry, venture capitalists, angel investors, technology buyers, corporate acquirers, strategic partners, global press and prolific bloggers. DEMO Africa is part of the global DEMO network which has over 25 years unmatched track record of selecting, coaching, promoting and helping commercialize top startups in the world.

DEMO Africa sets itself apart on its track record of success, coaching and mentorship opportunities, turnkey services and exposure to the entire tech ecosystem of VCs, investors, IT buyers and the global tech press making it the premier launch option with more than $150k worth of software and tools for each selected startup.

Morocco will host the 2018 and 2019 DEMO Africa pitches while South Africa held the 2016 and 2017. Nigeria hosted the 2015 and 2016 while Kenya has hosted several DEMO Africa events including DEMO Africa 2014, 2013 and in 2012 when it was founded.

DEMO Africa has launched 185 startups in the last 5 years raising over US$54m in investments and billings. Over 50 DEMO alumni launch companies have been acquired by tech giants including Adobe, Cisco, Google, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Symantec, Viacom and Yahoo!

M-Shule making personalized lessons accessible to African pupils

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M-Shule is a Nairobi-based mobile learning management platform designed to improve performance for millions of primary school students across Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Foundedin 2016 by Claire Mangeau, the technology powers a service that creates and delivers personalized learning experiences for each child and empower schools with insights all through SMS and web. The Nairobi based company is, envisioning a world where every learning community works together to help students succeed.

TechMoran met up with Claire at M-Shule offices, as she told us more about the company’s goals and progress so far.

Tell me about yourself, your educational background etc
My name is Claire Mangeau, am the CEO and founder of M-shule. I’m from a smaller city called Rochester, in Upstate New York. I studied Psychology and French at Georgetown University, in Washington, which is the point where I realized that I really had this desire and tried to find which way I was going to channel it. I did a lot of internships, and studied the government and non-profit sides. When I graduated university I went to India to work with some affordable private schools, when I eventually realized that there are people who were using business strategies for good. Especially looking at these schools and how they were tackling problems, bringing in different resources, by monitoring the impact and business perspective, then I realized, now this is what I want to do.
A lot of people ask me how I got myself started on this journey actually. My mum works with special education students in primary school, and along with my brother and I being her little “guniea pigs” for her to test various different teaching techniques, sparked my desire to work with children to ensure, every child could unlock their potential.

How did you decide on Kenya in particular.
As I said in India I was working with a couple of low cost private schools, with gray matters capital, and consulting with these schools, to put together different types of programs, and I became really excited by this idea of business for accessible education and using various tools to support people in their communities. I went back to the US and after a few years got a job with Bridge International Academies (Now Bridge Schools), and at that point, I was uncertain as to what I would be doing, since this is a big chain of schools that are distributed in very many communities, which I think are exciting, so I just closed my eyes and came to Kenya to see what it’s all about, and i have been here ever since.

Tell us what M-shule is about, your team and your journey to where you are now.
Our goal at M-shule is to become the 21st Century learning platform for primary schools in Sub-Saharan Africa, which I admit is a very lofty goal, but the way we are working to reach that goal is through personalized learning and support to primary school students, and to their learning communities, using accessible technology.
So we built a platform where students can interact with an individualized tutor, using AI on the back end to automatically create different lesson plans for them based on their specific needs, then we take that data and share it with their parents and their schools. A child is most likely to be successful if they have the support of their parents and schools in collaboration.

What market gap did you spot that motivated you to start M-Shule?
Working with schools in India, with Bridge and from my own research, I have seen that there is a huge gap between the quality and variety of tools that parents and schools can access for their students, and the amount of money they can use in that way. Parents in Kenya spend so much money on education, which is a good thing because it indicates they care about their children’s futures. Parents are going into debt looking for school fees, and trying to find extra material like tutors and text books, however there are not that many options for them to standardize the learning for a particular student. In as much as there are tutors, there is not much in the way of technology, like what we see in other markets where AI is used to boost and accelerate students achievement, by tailoring learning according to their needs other than what the curriculum tells them they should be learning. So we decided to design our platform such that eve those without smart phones and internet can access the same content easily.

Is it complementary to school or can it be used exclusively?
We believe that you can never replace a teacher. Learning happens during all these interactions between a student and themselves, with other students and their teacher. Our goal is not to replace human interaction since that is critical to learning, but rather to supplement and complement what the students get from the teachers. This gives the students an enriching space for them to learn how to learn on their own and give the teachers and parents the ability to work together. It’s meant to be a complementary system

Does M-shule generate the content?
Yes we do, we have a team of 3 in house teachers who are stellar in working on curricula. They spend a lot of their time in the library, cross checking across different text books, to ensure everything we have is well aligned. They are also keeping tabs with all of the changes in curricula as guided by the ministry of education.

How does M-shule make money? Do students pay?
We are operating on a subscription model, where parents or schools can sign up and get a week’s, month’s or term’s worth of lessons. The pricing varies, depending on whether its a parent who wants to try it individually, but we also partner with schools, who sign up large groups of students at once, and of course once they do that, they get better recommendations as there is more data to analyze. Across the board it is very affordable to everyone.

How many students and schools have you reached so far?
We actually running our pilot and are working with a group of 15 schools and about 400 students. The students are mainly from class 4 – 8 at the moment, mainly focusing on Math and English. We have got really good feedback and this year we hope to reach more than 50 schools.

Do you have any competition, and what do you do to stand out from themselves
Yes, of course we do. It’s really exciting. There are various SMS learning companies that came before us, and paved the way for people realizing that text messaging is an interface that works for learning, and have basically opened doors for a solution like ours to come in. There are adaptive learning platforms in existence as well. However we are using this accessible high powered interface to enhance personalized learning, that’s what makes us different, no one is doing quite what we are doing so far. We are looking at the learning community as a whole, not just students in class alone, but all stakeholders like their parents, teachers, school directors. We think that it is critical to provide a solution that works for everyone.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced since the inception of the company?
We are doing something that has not been done before, which is very tough. You can’t just start a platform with SMS, with all its accessibility advantages and expect that everyone will pile on, but we want to ensure that we are building relationships with our students, parents and school partners. Finding and communicating with them is the biggest challenge, most of them are not online. Our biggest challenge is finding the right balance to strike.
Secondly, the goal in going in at the community level means that your business strategy takes much more time.

DaktariPap.com launches to connect rural farmers in Kenya to veterinary aid, affordable credit, insurance & agro dealers

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photo: Techgist Africa

DaktariPap, Swahili for emergency doctor is a Nairobi-based startup that has developed a unique Mobile, Web and SMS technology platform to connect rural farmers and agro dealers to credible and affordable vet, agronomy and insurance service providers bundled with innovative finance.

Through its DaktariPap Finance, the app aims to help local farmers in communities across Kenya, then East Africa to connect to finances and insurance among others to prevent current and future crop or livestock failure or deaths which contribute to huge farmer losses, thereby increasing their farm productivity.

Daktaripap founder and CEO Samuel Munguti spoke to TechMoran about his company and his vision for it in Africa.

Briefly tell us about yourself, your educational background etc
Growing up in rural eastern Kenya, I had the opportunity to witness poverty and hunger. As smallholder farmers, my parents did backbreaking labor tilling their land by hand hoe to provide food and income for our big family. In spite of their hard work, the productivity of our farm was always low, such that we never had enough food to eat and would often go hungry, same story with other community members. Malnutrition and kwashiorkor were common sights in my village. My parents never gave up though, and they sent me to school with the hope that one day, I would return and help transform my family and my community.
Upon completing my education with an MBA degree in Marketing and management in 2014 and also armed with wide experience in marketing,demand generation,business development and brand positioning having worked with big brands in the region like CocaCola and Colgate Palmolive, i was sure it was the right moment to design a solution to address challenges facing farmers in my community . My first agribusiness venture was water melon and tomato farming. It was not easy to do this and make money. I actually made losses. Major limitations to success of this venture were poor access to right inputs, services, and information at local shops and service providers. I imagined same experience facing rural farmers every day.Looking at limitation farmers face accessing credible service providers together with two other colleagues we came up with Daktaripap solutions.

How would you describe your company, tell us about your team
Daktaripap solutions is a unique Mobile, Web and SMS technology platform connecting rural farmers and agro dealers to credible and affordable vet, agronomy and insurance service providers bundled with innovative finance (Daktaripap Finance) in their local community to prevent current and future crop/livestock health challenges which contribute to huge farmer losses, thereby increasing their farm productivity. Farmers are connected on demand to nearest credible and vetted service provider-either vet or agronomist or insurance agent depending on problem presented. Farmers access unique affordable finance (Daktaripap Finance) bundled with access to credible service providers. If onsite visit is needed, a visit is immediately scheduled with the nearest service provider to attend to the farmer within a promised turnaround time-less than 1 hr.

I’m the co-founder and CEO of DaktariPap. I have over 15 years managing agriculture organizations in Africa. My team consists of Alex Matui- co-founder and Chief Technology Officer and Brian Mutiso, also a co-founder and CIO. Brian has a bachelors degree in IT and wide experience in telecommunication industry

What market gap did you spot that motivated you to start the company?
If rural smallholder farmers could be linked to credible, certified and affordable vet, agronomy and insurance services both timely and conveniently through their mobile phones, then the results could be magical.There are on average 3.5 m rural smallholder farmers who are most affected by poor crop and livestock health care as a result of limited vet, agronomy, insurance and finance service providers.
There are over 20,000 qualified agronomists and over 10,000 vet graduands who are youth already graduated from universities but remain unemployed in villages yet majority of rural farmers lack access to qualified vet and agronomy service providers.
38 million people in Kenya alone have mobile phones, and about 88% of the population use mobile phones to do their everyday business

How has uptake been like since you launched?
We currently have 2000 subscriptions with over 10,000 connections done monthly

Who is your major competition? What do you do to distinguish yourself from them?
Daktaripap is a new way to connect farmers to service providers. There are however offline traditional competitors like independent vets, agronomists, banks and insurance agents. Farmers can access certified and more affordable service providers at comfort of their mobile phone without worrying about been conned or engaging non qualified practitioners who may risk and compromise health of their crop and livestock.

What are some of the biggest challenges you faced since the inception of the company?
Rising pilot and expansion capital to take Daktaripap solution to more communities is the biggest challenge.We are currently fundraising to raise USD 400K to take us past break even.

What do you think the future of digital health innovation is in Africa’s Agriculture industry?
Africa’s digital health innovation is a multi-billion dollar industry, one that is growing rapidly. As the continents population continues to grow, farmers and populations will need better and more efficient technology solutions to deal with different crop, livestock and human health-care issues. There is therefore need for more investments to help revolutionize the sector.

What is your advice to aspiring African entrepreneurs?
The best time to start an enterprise is now. Africa is still far behind on the number of youth taking up entrepreneurship path yet there exist lots of business opportunities. Passion and persistence is key to success. Always remain focused to the bigger picture. We have learned to document lots of data as we move along, we have learned to amplify our daily , monthly milestones and tie that to our projections of how we intent to transform farming in Africa. These numbers have been our most valuable asset when raising finances to expand Daktaripap.

Endeavor Launches in Nigeria to Expand its High-Impact Entrepreneurship Movement in Africa

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Endeavor has partnered with Omidyar Network,to launch in Nigeria in a move to support  entrepreneurs and companies that have passed through the initial start-up phase and who demonstrate the potential for rapid expansion and scale.

With a population of 20 million people, Africa’s largest city Lagos is one of the leading centers of high-growth entrepreneurship across the continent. The size of the potential market in Nigeria is also notable for the success of companies in traditional sectors such as consumer, personal care, insurance and other financial services.

“We’re thrilled to launch Endeavor in Nigeria with strong support from Omidyar Network, continuing our expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “With the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Lagos growing rapidly, Endeavor Nigeria is well-positioned to make a big impact by providing vital support for the most promising entrepreneurs and emerging companies as they grow and look to scale.”

Endeavor Nigeria will be led by Eloho Omame, a former investment banker and private equity investor. Endeavor Nigeria will work identify and support high-impact entrepreneurs and businesses from multiple sectors to help them scale significantly and reinvest back into the country.

“Endeavor’s trademark support will be of tremendous help to Nigerian entrepreneurs at a crucial point in their journeys; when they are poised to scale their businesses,” said Omidyar Network Managing Partner Matt Bannick.  “We at Omidyar Network congratulate the Endeavor team on their continued expansion into Sub-Saharan Africa, and look forward to seeing Endeavor Nigeria’s contribution to a growing ecosystem of entrepreneurship.”

Founded in 1997 by Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner, Endeavor has helped over 1,600 of these entrepreneurs build more than 1000 companies across 30 markets, which generated combined revenues of $10 billion in 2017.

Taxify & Uber Competitor Mondo Ride raises $2m in capital to fuel its operations in Africa

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UAE’s cab hailing startup Mondo Ride, which launched in Kenya in 2016 to take on Uber, Maramoja Transport has raised $2 million in funding today to bring to $5 million its total funds raised as the firm struggles to beat Taxify, Little and Uber in Kenya’s aggressive taxi market.
Since its launch in Kenya, Mondo Ride has played at a distant number four app behind Taxify, Uber and Little, beating only Maramoja Transport which failed to meet the demand thereby losing its then loyal customers. To survive Mondo Rides banks heavily on corporate deals which are proving to be a sensible model for the cab hailing firm in the market it operates in.
On revenues, the firm claims a double-digit monthly revenue growth, interviews with drivers on major roads show Mondo Ride is not among their top three apps they use, with most of them preferring Taxify as their number one and Little as number two while Uber at number three. A good number of drivers have heard of Mondo Ride but haven’t cared to try it out because Taxify and Little have them sorted.
With these cash, Troels Andersen, CEO and Co-Founder of Mondo Ride says the firm will be able to expand across Africa and as well use it to beef up its technology. Mondo Ride is active in 5 major cities in Africa but it only has 5000 drivers on its platform. Little has those in Kenya alone.
“This funding round will enable Mondo Ride to provide even more rides for busy, active people across the fastest growing cities in Africa. We currently have operations in five cities across Africa, and plan to open six new cities by the end of 2018, significantly increasing ride numbers. We were overwhelmed with interest in the funding round and plan to take many of the positive engagements forward to the Series A round planned for H1 2018,” said Andersen.
Despite the raise led by investors from the UAE and Egypt, Mondo Ride will struggle it it can’t grow its user-base in Kenya where it started its operations. Mondo Ride will shut shop soon if Andersen and team cannot motivate the lay person to drive or hail a Mondo Ride. The team also needs to turn around its growth and actually have more drivers on the road than just app downloads-something the team has mastered. App downloads should convert to monthly active users, and paying users, not those using the app for maps and pricing.

Mondo Ride is more of a briefcase company in Kenya. No one wants to invest their time and vehicles into such a company that’s trying to be lean that it doesn’t even exist to the real users. Mondo Ride teams should go to the people by doing both ATL and BTL marketing then after that compete its competitors on having real cars on the road than Taxify’s and Uber’s Phantom cabs which increase user wait times and high cancellation rates.

Farmers sponsor platform Farmcrowdy raises $1 million in seed funding to expand to 20 states in Nigeria

Nigeria’s Farmcrowdy, an online platform allowing Nigerians to venture in and sponsor agriculture has closed $1 million in seed funding to scale its operations with plans to expand into a combined 20 states in Nigeria.

The $1m was raised from Cox Enterprises, Techstars Ventures, Social Capital, Hallett Capital and Right-Side Capital; as well as angel investors Tyler Scriven, Michael Cohn,Josephine Group, FC Agro Allied SPV and Dr. Christof Walter.

The money will also see it work with 4,000 additional small-scale farmers and engage a combined 20,000 new farm followers and farm sponsors on it’s platform to learn about the opportunities in Agriculture and partner with farmers.

According to Onyeka Akumah, Co-Founder and CEO of Farmcrowdy, “Today’s seed announcement is a remarkable milestone for us and Nigeria’s Agritech industry as a whole. It will allow us to build on our earlier traction as we continue to introduce Nigerians to this exciting new category of partnering with farmers for impact and return.”

Launched just over a year ago, Farmcrowdy, was the only African startup from Techstars Atlanta’s 2017 cohort and connects small scale farmers with sponsors, who invest in farm cycles. A farm cycle can be anything from poultry [3-5 months] to cassava [9 months].

The farmers receive on-the-ground advice from  Farmcrowdy’s Technical Field Specialists who also give them training in better agriculture practices and provide them with quality farm input. Prior to harvest, Farmcrowdy works with pre-arranged buyers who assist the farmers sell their yield at harvest and earn a decent margin.

The sponsor then gets their original sponsorship +40% of the profit from the harvest, the farmer receives 40% of the profit and Farmcrowdy receives 20% of the profit. Farm sponsors can get between 6-25% returns after harvest depending on the farm type they sponsor.

Farmcrowdy has to-date recorded close to 1,000 unique farm sponsors from Nigerians in Nigeria, the US and UK. The company has aggregated a combined 4,000 acres of farmland across 8 states in Nigeria and worked with more than 2,000 small scale farmers. The site has raised over 250,000 organic chickens on its poultry farm cycles.

Farmcrowdy recently launched their first mobile app which provides an accessible platform for agriculture enthusiasts to experience, learn, do their farming business with real farmers and appreciate agriculture practice first-hand through regular updates, images and videos from the farms. These allows Farm sponsors and farm followers to digitally track the progress of their sponsored farms from their mobile devices. The app has seen close to 5,000 downloads in the 3 weeks since launch, positioning the startup to take on more farm followers and sponsors both locally in Nigeria and globally.

“Onyeka Akumah and the Farmcrowdy team are changing the global dynamics of farming and agriculture.  Techstars is proud and honored to be a continued part of the Farmcrowdy journey via investment from Techstars Ventures, the venture capital arm of Techstars.  We first met the Farmcrowdy team at Techstars Atlanta in partnership with Cox Enterprises and were immediately impressed by their vision, execution, and the vast scope of their potential impact to the world,” said Cody Simms, Partner, Techstars Ventures.

Ghana’s Ahwenepa is merging fashion with big data, augmented and virtual reality to revolutionize eCommerce

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Ahwenepa co-founders at Alibaba and UNCTAD’s efounders Initiative

Merging fashion with Big data, augmented and virtual reality, Ghana’s Ahwenepa works closely with its vendors and designers co-creating and implementing impact strategies, that transform their operation, business and financing models.

The fashion marketplace which focuses on everything African and made by Africans, from shoes, bag, jewelery, dresses interior decor and more aims to grow, communicate and scale social impacts for both businesses and communities.

The company’s business model continuously evolves with the ultimate goal of sharing accumulated value with its vendors , designers and even buyers for the longest term.

TechMoran met Henry Cobblah,27 Co-founder and CTO at Ahwenepa and this is what he told us.

Tell me about yourselves, the Ahwenepa team that went to the Alibaba and UNCTAD’s efounders Initiative in China, your educational background and your roles at Ahwenepa.
My name is Henry Cobblah,27 Co-founder and CTO at Ahwenepa. I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and an M.Phil Health Informatics. My Co-founder’s name is Araba Assafuaba Yelbert who has a BTech Marketing. Ahwenepa was one of the teams selected out of 750 applicants to join the first class of efounders in China organized by Alibaba and UNCTAD

I am very sure most of the readers from the larger African continent are wondering…..what does Ahwenepa mean?
Ahwenepa which comes from the Local Dialect “TWI ” Means ” A quality woven product ”
Ahwenepa is a digital solutions company for African Fashion with a strong sense of data and innovative driven mission to provide the marketplace platform to sell African fashion products from thousands of designers and vendors all across Africa. We provide Digital, financial and cultural inclusion for Africans and our associates.

Ahwenepa is an ecommerce platform for African fashion, as your website explains. Does it only focus on the Ghanaian market, or does it cater for the rest of the African countries as well?
We focus on everything African and made by Africans, from shoes, bag, jewelery, dresses interior decor and more. It just needs to have an African touch and should be made by an African.

Who are your major competitors in this space? What do you do different from them, that is unique to you?
Major Competitors are foreign fashion, individual designer stores.
What makes us unique is
1.Convenient fashion and lifestyle marketplace
Easy buying and selling of African products Stress-free payment and delivery
2.Affordability and accessibility to the international market
Products that fit budgets and easy to export to the international market and diaspora
3.Customization & o2o (Offline to online)
Online customization of products tailored to suit customers and also provide offline 2 online new retail trends for customers
4.Originality
Innovative designs with genuine materials verified by Technology
5.Innovation
Promote Trendy and unique lifestyle fashion designs from African designers
6.Technology
Merging fashion with Big data, augmented and virtual reality
We work closely with our vendors and designers co-creating and implementing impact strategies, that transform their operation, business and financing models. In this process we are using our marketplace, that helps us to identify, grow, communicate and scale social impacts. This generates huge value for both business development and community development. Our company business model continuously evolves with the ultimate goal of sharing accumulated value with our vendors , designers and even buyers for the longest term.

You recently participated in Alibaba and UNCTAD’s efounders Initiative. How would you describe your experience there?
It was amazing and overwhelming. There was a lot of learning just in a short period.
Exposed to bridging the digital divide facing young entrepreneurs in developing countries, the eFounders Initiative helped me to undestand and appreciate digital economy, as called for by the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development .
The eFounders Initiative opened up to Alibaba’s mission to help small businesses succeed in our home markets and beyond by leveraging the power of technology.
Countries with poor infrastructure, regulatory frameworks, skills and local content development, and electronic payment systems, are missing out on what the innovative flare of young entrepreneurs can generate in the fast-growing digital marketplace.
This training was an exposure for me.

What major lessons did you take away from this experience, that can be applied in Africa that Ahwenepa plans to execute? What were you doing before that is going to change after the training?
One big takeaway was BIG DATA – How we capture data, manipulate mine and analyse data
Payment – Strong, cashless , dependable payment platform with big data driven
Rural Digitization using ecommerce – How ecommerce can improve the living of the rural area with the right infrastructure
Ecommerce revolution – Creating an inclusive environment for everyone on trade and in my case clothing and lifestyle.

Who did you meet there that impacted your lives: in what way did they do so?
Amazing people. All 24 founders gave me some reason to be better. My group members “SIMBA MARARA” were awesome with most ideas we shared.

On a lighter note what did you for fun during the training?
A lot.The food,the nightout, the road trips. Everything kind of was awesome.

Where do you think the company will be in the next 5-10 years?
We will be one of the biggest marketplace in the fashion ecommerce, Big Data and AI space.

What do you think about the future of e-commerce in Ghana and Africa at large?
It will bring about an economic improvement, there will be more employment, digital and financial inclusion

What is your advice to those who want to enter the ecommerce space?
It is tough but better done than never. It is creating wealth and impact on the society.
It opens up a country or continent to trade which is one of the most important gateways to economic transformation.

How can one access Ahwenepa services?
Visit www.ahwenepa.com

or visit out social media
facebook
twitter
instagram

or on google playstore

Alosab lets you rent an Apartment, Office Space and even Shops in Nigeria

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Alosab a recently launched startup in Nigeria has made it easy for anyone looking to rent a place to live, run and operate a business and even rent a space in a shop. As it is cumbersome and time consuming to move around looking for the right apartments to live, Nigerians can now rent their desired houses at the comfort of wherever they are.

Students can rent the neighbourhood of their choice through the company’s website which has been made possible with the partnerships Alosab has established with landlords and property owners. Students can therefore book houses that are close to their campuses and save a good sum of money with the costs coming with having to commute to campus premises from a far neighbourhood.

Entrepreneurs and seasoned professions will also enjoy the benefits Alosab has created by providing a platform where they can look for a ready work space within their desired business district and event centers in the Alosab’s pre-approved locations at their convenience.

To the visitors and tourists visiting Nigeria, they can now find secured vacation rental homes and save themselves the hassle of having to look for a home in diaspora. Families can find privately owned homes that would suit their stay in Nigeria. Currently, Alosab has over 300 monthly users, with the self-funded startup is on the lookout for investors.

The procedure on how to book your rental is quite simple and can be done through the company website. Anyone needing the service is required to place a request on the platform and put the necessary details such as name, number and neighbourhood. After that the customer service team from Alosab calls to confirm that the details are correct and the request made is genuine. Lastly, clients agree with the company on the type of home or office space needed and then Alosab begins its work to search for the needed property.

Alosab also provides moving and relocation services in the pre-approved locations to help clients move-out from their old apartments and move-in to a new apartment.

 

Ampion calls it a day, founder moves on to new things

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Ampion or Amplifying Pioneership, the firm that brought us Ampion Venture Bus and Ampion Fellowships in Africa has closed shop, and the founder says the firm will kind of remain active through its various social media groups on Facebook and WhatsApp.

In an update on his LinkedIn profile, Fabian-Carlos Guhl said, “I wanted to connect now to let you know that I have decided to explore some alternative career options which means I will not be continuing with the Ampion adventure. It has been a great journey and I wanted to thank every single one of you for your interest, support and participation.”

“You helped to make the project very successful and supported the mission to improve the life of people. I think it is crazy and rewarding to see how many life-journeys were impacted through our good intentions. The best way to stay in touch with the community is through the Facebook alumni, the Public Facebook Group and the different Whatsapp Groups. I would be thankful for any ideas on how the brand could be used for further good,” Guhl added.

Just a little history for starters. Ampion Venture Bus was like geeks on a plane but on a bus bringing together young entrepreneurs from country to country and working with them on a bus to build their ventures. The first of its kind trip was held in November 2013 and the firm brought together 41 entrepreneurs from 14 countries from Harare to Cape Town.

Through the bus adventures, various African tech ecosystems got to connect with the outside world. Some entrepreneurs got attend hackathons and pitch events and hundreds of entrepreneurs had a chance to build and launch their own innovations.

Sterio.me, a video edtech platform for connecting learners to tutors in Africa was one of the biggest startups to come out of the first Ampion Venture Bus. However, the Ampion bus model was hard. It was more of a hackathon on the road as it enabled ”like-minded young people from across Africa and the world to form partnerships and found startups” in seven days. Ampion’s work was to help the entrepreneurs discover different startup eco- systems, by visiting investors, technology hubs and corporate innovation centers.

Ampion provided the continued education, tools, funding and was a true catalyst for entrepreneurship and innovation across 16 African countries and had planned to expand further. It’s unfortunate that the firm had to close.

Though Ampion’s demise is being announced in 2017, anyone would have seen that Ampion was in ICU as early as 2016. Most of its activities reduced. There were no noticeable startups coming out of the buses even though Ampion had a huge awareness impact.

Ampion is not in any way to blame for its closure. Hubs and incubators across Africa have pivoted into customer-focused co-working spaces and event lounges for corporate events. Startups across Africa have realized the need to have a customer for their products from day one.

“Whether it’s in a co-working space in the western world or a tech-hub in Nairobi, Lagos or Addis, creating a startup is a daunting task that more often than not leads to failure,”Fabian wrote. “Having founded startups in the past ourselves, and beginning Ampion as much of a dream as a plan, we know how difficult it is for entrepreneurs to find their way.”

Ampion might not have an existing startup today but it did teach somethings to some kids. That most startups are experiments. Secondly that Africa is not a homogeneous market and that startups in Africa need not copy Silicon Valley though they can learn from it.

“When we first ran the Ampion Venture Bus through Southern Africa, my personal goal was to prove that a startup generation concept, which originated in Silicon Valley, could work across Africa. Our team saw a very strong potential in the increased investment and entrepreneurial energy on the continent, facilitating the ability for startups to have a larger effect on a wider range of people,” wrote Fabian-Carlos in his earlier reports.

 

  Jumia Food Hires New Managing Director to Drive Customer Acquisition

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Jumia Food, a Rocket Internet-backed online food ordering and delivery firm has hired a new Managing Director to drive restaurant sign ups to its platform and drive customer acquisition as the festive season approaches.

Shreenal Ruparelia has worked in Management Consulting and eCommerce across Australia, Asia and East Africa and aims to put the customer at the core of the business. Her appointment will also help sign up and retain various restaurants in the city, especially those that have been skeptical about the online business.

“The online marketplace highly depends on the execution offered by operational support throughout the customer journey. With a growing listing of restaurants, a strong customer base and a rapidly expanding technology-oriented marketplace, we are focusing on creating more strategic partnerships as well as investing in more online innovation aimed at driving efficiency,” Shreenal said.

eCommerce is experiencing unprecedented growth in the country and in the African continent at large and her appointment will see Jumia Food continues to bridge the gap between the customer and the restaurant in the online food marketplace, through technology innovation and building on human capital to the success of a seamless digital process.

She says the company is well positioned to take up new markets through sustainable expansion and well supported global investment in technology and infrastructure.

Jumia Food Kenya has over 200 restaurants in Nairobi and Mombasa supplying a variety of cuisines including: Kenyan, Chinese, Indian, Thai among others. Jumia Food is present in eleven countries in Africa including Nigeria, Morocco and Uganda. 

 

Ghana’s TroTro TV Providing Digital Advertising Across the Country’s Public Transport

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Ghana’s TroTro TV has launched to provide business with an exciting way in which to engage with new customers across the country.

With 100’s of installed TV screens across our transport network, the firm says it can help boost businesses brand awareness and maximize profits connecting SMEs to millions of potential new customers.

“Our TV platform is hard wired to the ignition of the buses or trotros and content is played on the go as the bus takes off to its destination so you are guaranteed viewership by mass audiences who ply our busy roads and this is measurable,” said co-founder and CEO Joel Akumiah.

As an advertising platform, TroTro TV aims to utilise a network of hundreds of HD screens in TroTro’s and buses to deliver targeted advertising campaigns on behalf of a client’s business.

The service provides businesses a medium to communicate with millions of passengers during their daily commute and will need to sign up as many buses as possible and convince them to use the platform instead of watching normal TV stations in the country which is a bit of a challenge.

IROKOtv Opens New Offices in Accra & Rolls Out 25 Kiosks For Data-Free Downloads Across the City

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IROKOtv has finally launched its operations in Accra, Ghana, weeks after TechMoran announced the firm’s move to double down on Kenya and Ghana.

IROKOtv has rolled out over 25 bright pink kiosks across Accra, that will enable users to download Ghanaian and Nigerian movies and TV series directly onto their mobile devices, without using any of their data allowance.

Apart from Jollof rice, Nigeria and Ghana have a number of similarities and are each others trading partners. The country was also a natural first choice for the company due to its proximity and their near-similar culture. Ghanaian movies and Nollywood are also the very best of African storytelling.

According to Jason Njoku, CEO of IROKO says: “We know that our Ghanaian neighbours cannot get enough great content, but that data costs have all too often been prohibitive to them watching content online. We hope that with the launch of the IROKOtv kiosks across Ghana that provide data-free downloads, and a one year subscription to IROKOtv at just GHC 25, we will be able to build an even bigger community of online Nollywood fans here in Ghana”.

IROKOtv says it has put together a team of nearly 30 and expect the number of staff to increase to 140 by the end of November, to bring the GHC 25 for a one year subscription TV series to subscribers everywhere they are.

IROKOtv kiosks will be staffed six days a week – from Monday to Saturday – and movie fans can purchase subscriptions, download the app on their smart phones,  and download movies directly onto their phone, data free.

Kiosks can be found in areas including Accra Mall, A & C Mall, Oxford Street Osu, VVIP Circle, KFC Haatso, Pure Fire Ministry Achimota, Adenta SSNIT Fats, Accra Polytechnic, National Lottery, Accra Central and Lagos Avenue.

Some of the most recent movies and TV series include Stalemate, Ghana Must Go and Black and White.

This girl wants to connect startup founders and mentors from around the world virtually

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Mentorat-Club, a platform that aims to help startups to easily access mentorship and knowledge has launchedmake experience and knowledge easily accessible for Startups by collaborating Startup founders with mentors all around the World. With Mentorat-Club, Startups can leverage on the experience of mentors to accelerate their growth and avoid common pitfalls.

See below how it works.

For startups

1- Create an account.

2- Register your startup.

2- Search mentors.

3- Send mentoring request.

4- Start mentoring relation.

5- Follow your favorite users and Startups.

For mentors

1- Register

2- Request to become a Mentor.

3- Fill your profile by adding your area of expertise and experience.

4- Within 24 hours we study your request and validate it, to check if it meets our criteria.

5- After validation you have the possibility to receive mentoring requests.

6- Start the mentoring relationship.

7- Follow favorite users and startups.

TechMoran talked to Hadjara Idriss on why she founded Mentorat-Club and why entrepreneurship is so important to African youth today.

Briefly tell us more about yourself-where you were born, went to school and worked.

My name is Hadjara Idriss, I was born in Jos, Nigeria. I graduated from Secondary School in Mali and proceed for a Bachelor’s Degree in University of ESGIS, Republic of Benin. I worked as a freelancer for some companies for a few months then I decided to start working on my startup called Mentorat-Club.

Hadjara Idriss

At what point in your life did you feel like you needed to stop other things and start Mentorat-Club?

At the end of my Master’s degree in Software Architecture and my training with WHISPA (Women High Impact Startup Preparation Academy) on Digital Skill, I decided to focus on Mentorat-Club. I believe if there is an opportunity for Startups to have access to mentors to guide them through this journey and share there experience with Startups, it will make them achieve success in no time and even be as a source of inspiration to both parties.

Why is mentorship important in business and life in general?

Mentorship is important for many reasons:

  1. Guidance – having an experienced person to learn from and to guide you through.
  2. Accountability – being fully accountable to someone to reach your goals.
  3. Support – knowing that there is someone who deeply loves and cares for your Start-up.

Have you ever benefited from mentorship yourself?

When I started with Mentorat-Club, at a point I get confused on how to face some challenges like how to approach customers and how to go about with the MVP. I had to make Entrepreneurs at TEKXL my mentors and they were able to help me through that phase which helped me to find a way to launch my MVP. Their mentorship didn’t end there, it still continues till date and all thanks to them for making this a dream come through.

How do you aim to reach out to people who need mentorship?

We use Social media, Blogs and Email Marketing to reach out to our target audience. 

What are challenges of running a business as a woman in Africa and as a Muslim?

As a woman the main challenge is always from the family, they didn’t see things from my own perspective just because they don’t understand my mission. I’m a Christian, but I do not think religion is really a challenge, the challenge came from an angle that I’m an entrepreneur. Whether you’re a man or a woman is complicated, but I think as a woman it’s much more complicated with loved ones.

What are your numbers so far?

We currently have more than 584 users, including 97 startups and 47 mentors. More than 150 relationships mentors & mentees.

How do you make money out of the platform?

At the moment everything is free but we working on a revenue stream and I think the success of Mentorat-Club should be the main aim for now because we’re still growing.  

Any new things we should expect from you or Mentorat-Club in the next year or two?

By next year, Mentorat-Club will launch a more improved version and probably another Startup which will be integrated with Mentorat-Club.

Why is entrepreneurship so important in Africa today?

Entrepreneurship the best way to develop Africa which can effectively create more jobs for the youth. Africa is the best place to start business and invest today because there is a huge market filled with diversified opportunities.

What were your biggest challenges and how did you solve them?

Building the product was the first challenge, making people use it was the most difficult part. People didn’t trust us at the beginning. They were afraid of sharing their information with us. But my mentors helped me to establish and execute a marketing plan which helped us to gain users trust which is very important in any business.  

Engineers Without Borders Canada invests in startup SME lending marketplace Bloom Impact

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http://4526.com/short-loans/mx1157.html

Ghana’s Bloom Impact, a machine learning loans marketplace accessible from smartphones has raised undisclosed funding from Engineers Without Borders Canada, EWB Ventures, an early-stage investor in innovative Africa-based social enterprises.

EWB has also invested in M-ShuleNumida TechnologiesFarmDrive and Rent-to-Own. Its latest investment in Africa will allow MSMEs to create a digital profile, learn about and apply for financial services, and receive offers that best meet their needs.

According to Elena Haba, Legal and Investment Officer with EWB’s Strategy and Investment team, “For us, the unique approach and scalability of Bloom’s potential impact was most compelling. By working on closing the financial gap faced by MSME’s, Bloom is helping these small businesses grow and generate much-needed employment opportunities for underserved individuals.”

EWB believes that by supporting MSMEs to thrive, the jobs generated through them and the wealth created by them can ultimately help alleviate poverty. EWB also thinks Bloom will be particularly useful for women, who face many barriers in accessing traditional banking and financial services.

In addition to the tremendous convenience and cost savings Bloom Impact provides for MSMEs, creating financially educated business owners is also a critical component.

Bloom Impact also partners with banks and microfinance institutions and it disrupts their customer acquisition approach by cutting costs and providing digital, eligible, validated, scored and financially-educated customers.

The investment will help Bloom Impact to grow its product adoption, referral and incentive programs, as well as advance product development.

“EWB understands the barriers that prevent scale and growth in emerging markets and how social enterprises can have an impact,” says Bloom Impact Co-Founder and CEO, Carol Caruso. “We are delighted to partner with EWB due to this experience on the ground, our shared mission to drive inclusive finance and EWB’s wealth of talent management support, which is critical to our success.”

How Omidyar Network helped built the Nigerian tech scene

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Chairman And Founder Ebay Inc. and Omidyar Network
Pierre Omidyar, chairman and founder of eBay Inc and Omidyar Network

The founder of eBay sold the company after 3 years, and became a billionaire.  His name is Pierre Omidyar, and for many in the U.S, this is not a household name.

But the Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm has become one of the most significant investors in the African technology scene, and since actively investing, has created an out-sized impact on the continent.

In Nigeria alone, Omidyar Network has invested in 6 of the largest Nigerian technology companies, and has introduced its blend of combining impact with profits to make them uniquely different from their American equivalents. The big African technology companies have turned out more gentle, more social and seem to be more caring about the growth of everything around them than just metrics compared to their western equivalents.

One of Omidyar Networks’ early investments was in an incubator and innovation centre in Lagos called CcHub. For many years, the CcHub served as the capital of the Nigerian tech scene – it was where the various little startups were created that went on to become many of the larger ones today. CcHub is a profitable enterprise, and it’s a mix of WeWork and Ycombinator – part co-working space and part incubator.

One of the success stories that came out of CcHub was another company called BudgIt, which focuses on transparency in government budgets. A B2G company that has gone on to win large contracts to make government budgets open to the public. The investment not only became a commercial hit, but also pushed one of Omidyar’s goals – which is in leaving a significant impact.

In 2015, Omidyar Network made a surprise investment in a company called Hotels.ng – a simple service for booking hotels. On the surface it seemed unclear what type of impact this would have – but it turns out that before then, there was no online hotel booking service in Nigeria. The company has grown to become the second largest OTA in Africa, netting ON a tidy return.

Hotels.ng also represents an example of how the ON philosophy is filtering down to the companies it backs – even though it operates the seemingly boring business of online travel, the company has become one of the biggest trainers of local software developers – it runs huge software developer internships with more than 2000 participants per year, all of whom get put back into the local market. The philosophy of the company is that if they don’t create the talent, they won’t have anyone to hire.

Omidyar also co-invested with Mark Zuckerberg in a company called Andela – which basically grooms local software developers to a level that they can then work for western companies and recently raised a Series C round of $40 million. It maintains huge offices where local software developers work in a remote “managed” environment for foreign companies.

Omidyar has not been afraid to challenge the status quo – he also invested in a radically anti-government newspaper called Sahara Reporters. The founder of the paper is an unafraid rebel – he publishes breaking scoops on government bribery and other corrupt practises – and has to sneak into the country most times as the government of the day is always against him.

The Omidyar Network is probably one of the most interesting investment companies in the world, and it will be interesting to see what else they will be investing in. One thing is clear – they are not afraid to push the boundaries, and they are not afraid to go where others fear to tread.

 

STARTUP ADVICE | How you can start your Startup when you have no finances

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African change makers sometimes find themselves in a compromising situation where they have interesting ideas to execute but unfortunately their deep pockets have a good number of holes drilled. It is not new that so many potential entrepreneurs have failed to take up the first and most crucial step of having their vibrant ideas happen. As much as it is essential to take the ‘founders risk’ of putting both feet in the ideas they believe in, you need more direction other than the finances. Here are some of the most important hacks that would help you build a self sustaining startup.

Find someone with the Vision/Idea

This is the person who has the most perfect picture of what the solution you are trying to work on is. Initially, it is the first primary founder but eventually it can be anyone else who has the same motivation.

Provided they can map out the entire startup tree- from its roots to its fruits and believe in the value the startup is meant to give.

Find someone with the Money

This is neither the Venture Capitalist nor Angels who finance startups. It is the one who pays for the fare when you are going to meet up with the VC’s and other Investors – or the one to fund the promotion of a Facebook Ad or pay for the purchase of the web domain and hosting or app development.

Find someone with the Skills and Expertise

A technical partner is really important for a startup, they are the ones who have done something before or at least they know what it takes to do it at the moment. They know the what-is-what and the ‘how its done’ depending on what your idea is about. It may involve multiple aspects.

Someone with the Connection

These people know the waters you are exploring. They know the ‘who-is-who’ and the ‘where to go’

While all of this can be one person, the good news about starting a startup is you do not actually have to do it alone. Think about these things and determine which one of them best describes you and if you cannot satisfy all, you will need partners

Measuring what you Need

Rate yourself on a scale of 1-5 for each of the hacks above and then think about people who would fit well into the others. Since we have a financial concern, we do not need a prophet or a wizard to tell us to find a financing partner. Once you find one, use the same scaling method to see where else they fit. It is possible you need more people now and you can determine that using the same model.

Choosing a Financing Partner

If there were a simple answer to this, it would have been popular knowledge by now and I would not have to repeat it. Many founders prefer to choose partners from friends who they have known in other conditions and they exist with mutual respect. By now you probably have met enough people to choose from but if not, you will need to find people who meet the second important condition – Believing in the long term benefit of sticking to the vision.

Nigeria’s Legitng.com launches 24 hour free online legal consultation service

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Legitng, an online legal content and referral platform committed to opening up access to legal knowledge and services to everyone in Nigeria.

The online platform also works as a start-up registration and advisory platform providing onboarding services to new Nigerian businesses and NGOs across several sectors of the Nigerian economy.

As part of its goal of easing access to top notch legal expertise, Legitng on October 1st launched its online 24 hour legal consultation platforms where a team of Nigerian law experts are available to answer questions on Nigerian law within 24 hours for FREE.

Legitng is able to provide this service through a well cultivated network of on-call legal experts specializing in different aspects of Nigerian law available to provide information on request.

According to co-founder Enyioma Madubuike,  Legitng team lead, this service is targeted particularly at startups and new Nigerian businesses who constantly struggle with accessing quality legal expertise needed in the early years of a company’s growth. Enyioma, who had before joining the team worked extensively  in one of  Nigeria’s most prestigious law firms explained that where the desired level of needed expertise is found, it is often priced above the reach of normal Nigerian startups.

Legitng is committed to ease of access to quality legal information and continues to experiment with models to provide legal information to those who really need it. It has also launched the #Asklegitng hashtag for its twitter page for the same purpose.

If you need excellent legal advice on Nigerian law, head over to their website or you can use the #Asklegitng hashtag and tweet @legitng on twitter and expect a response in 24hrs.

 

Digital Economy in the Sub Saharan Africa

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Growth of the digital economy which can be defined as the various economic and social activities powered by ICT including banking, buying and selling and accessing education and entertainment activities via the internet through connected devices in Africa at large has tremendously increased giving a positive outlook of the continent. This has been possible through factors such as improved data connectivity, increase affordability of smart devices and falling data prices that have played a major role of fueling the digital economy in the region.

According to Ericsson, a giant technology company: In the two years to early 2015 there was a double increase to the number of mobile data traffic. It is forecasted that there will be a twelve fold increase for data in the next five years which has encouraged the growth in number of operators of data service and a boost in their earnings. For instance, the MTN Group with operations in around nine countries of the Sub Saharan Africa reported a 27 percent data revenue share of the total revenue in 2016 which was a 4 percent rise from the previous year as per the data reports posted on the company’s website and reported by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA).

According to GSMA, the number of SIM cards in use reached 731 million at the end of 2016 in the Sub Sahara and the number is expected to rise to nearly one billion by 2020 with an increase of broadband connections to half a billion which is more than double the number at the end of 2016. Smartphone connections have also doubled over the last two years to about 200 million with a strong growth in demand in countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon and DR Congo.

With the growth of internet users across Africa, mobile money services are significantly raising financial inclusions and easing the cost of conducting business making the Sub Saharan Africa a global leader on the use of mobile money as a primary means of financial transactions. All this has indeed offered new opportunities for productivity and efficiency gains to national governments, businesses and individuals. The mobile money platforms have enabled financial transactions through the transfer of money from one party to another either in the form of cash, mobile money or mobile payments enabling consumers make purchases of goods and services such as phone credit, water, electricity and other household utilities.

A Digital Economy offers Africans the knowledge of leveraging technology to make lives better by enhancing understanding of markets, expansion of education systems and creation of employment to grass root levels and still deliver monetary benefits for the informal sector and government. Today, customers use their phones for almost every single service or task therefore through this technological empowerment SME’s can better monitor and cater to their customers wants and needs.

Putting in place all the factors and pillars to strengthen Africa’s digital economy is worthy. From the recommendable growth of African nations GDP’s and other parameters of measuring national wealth and income it is certain that it plays a major role in unlocking Africa’s potential.