News / Africa

    Africa’s Tech Innovators Show Off at 'Demo Africa' in Nairobi

    Africa’s Tech Innovators Show Off at 'Demo Africa' in Nairobii
    X
    October 24, 2013 7:23 PM
    From games to mobile payment systems, entrepreneurs from across Africa are getting together in Nairobi, Kenya, to pitch their high-tech innovations to potential investors and partners. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow reports on some of the newest trends popping up at Demo Africa.
    Africa’s Tech Innovators Show Off at 'Demo Africa' in Nairobi
    Gabe Joselow
    From games to mobile payment systems, entrepreneurs from across Africa are getting together in Nairobi, Kenya, to pitch their high-tech innovations to potential investors and partners. Some of the newest trends are on display at Demo Africa.
     
    By his stall at the back of the showroom floor, Bayo Puddicombe of Nigeria plays a bus-driving game on his phone as he touts a new mobile payment system called ChopUP.
     
    “ChopUP is a social platform that helps local developers to monetize using locally available payment messages, such as premium SMS and mobile money,” said Puddicombe.
     
    The game shows how one can go to a “garage” for a bus and buy upgrades by using ChopUP to send the payment through existing mobile money transfer services.

    Puddicombe said the idea came to him following some early disappointments when he first tried to launch the game.
     
    "I made it available on the Nokia store for $1, six months later, I had seven downloads. It wasn’t the brightest spot on my existence, but we realized that most of our target audience didn’t have credit cards and all that, they didn’t have the means to do those kinds of transactions,” he said.

    Tech companies showcase their latest innovations at Demo Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, Oct. 24, 2013. (G. Joselow/VOA)Tech companies showcase their latest innovations at Demo Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, Oct. 24, 2013. (G. Joselow/VOA)
    x
    Tech companies showcase their latest innovations at Demo Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, Oct. 24, 2013. (G. Joselow/VOA)
    Tech companies showcase their latest innovations at Demo Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, Oct. 24, 2013. (G. Joselow/VOA)
    Creative, useful products

    The companies launching products here at Demo Africa range from new social media platforms, event organizing applications and many new ways to buy things online.
     
    The event’s producer, Harry Hare, said organizers had to select the best products from more than 300 applications.
     
    “So what we do is we curate them from different countries, then we take them through a whole process of adjudication and preparation, and find the best 40 out of those and we bring them to launch in Nairobi,” said Hare.
     
    Hare said he has noticed a theme of more hardware products being showcased compared to the previous year, when mobile applications and software dominated. Among them is an on-demand streaming media player from Kenya’s Able Wireless Company. The company's CEO, Kahenya Kamunya, explained how it works.
     
    “You get a black box, plug it into your TV set, put it into power, it connects to a Wi-Fi network and basically starts streaming content. So you get to choose what you want to watch on demand, you have a remote control, search, press ‘ok’ and you’re good to go,” he said.

    More hardware products are launched compared to last year at Demo Africa, including this new on-demand media box by Kenya's Able Wireless, Oct. 24, 2013. (G. Joselow/VOA)More hardware products are launched compared to last year at Demo Africa, including this new on-demand media box by Kenya's Able Wireless, Oct. 24, 2013. (G. Joselow/VOA)
    x
    More hardware products are launched compared to last year at Demo Africa, including this new on-demand media box by Kenya's Able Wireless, Oct. 24, 2013. (G. Joselow/VOA)
    More hardware products are launched compared to last year at Demo Africa, including this new on-demand media box by Kenya's Able Wireless, Oct. 24, 2013. (G. Joselow/VOA)
    Kamunya said the little plastic box will be assembled in Kenya. It costs a little less than $100, and can provide Internet in addition to streaming movies, news and other video content.
     
    “If you don’t have access to Internet and there’s no existing infrastructure there, we bring the infrastructure to your neighborhood and this device will be able to connect to our infrastructure, so you’ll ideally just need the box,” he said.
     
    Able Wireless already has $1.5 million in funding for the product, which Kamunya expects to launch next month.
     
    Other companies here at Demo Africa are hoping to raise a bit more money for their products, or find partners to help distribute or further develop their ideas.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Gudluck from: Nigeria
    November 01, 2013 8:39 PM
    Realy making sence....but can that work on BB phone?

    by: kanet mike from: uganda
    October 26, 2013 5:15 AM
    At the Demo, we are going to be joined by the innovative team of Ugandan youths developing a social networking app called #vibzapp. you can check it out at vibzapp.myinstapage.com and follow at @vibzapp

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora