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

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid