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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid