Browsing: Innovation

East Africa's Small-Scale Retailers
  • Due to their small footprint, traders are located closer to consumers, along transport hubs and routes, or within local communities. 
  • Proximity also extends to knowing and stocking customer’s preferred brands and products and offering credit to loyal customers.
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Africa indicates that small and local retail transactions account for 70 percent of total transactions in Kenya alone. 

Across East Africa, it is not uncommon to see dukas and kiosks around every other street corner offering some of life’s daily essentials such as sugar, soap, tissue paper as well as bread and milk. 

While they may not seem like much, East Africa’s dukas and kiosks are the backbone of the economy, providing jobs and basic essentials to millions of people.

According to EuroMonitor International, these spaces for trading can range from as little as 1sqm up to 30sqm. Due to their small footprint, traders are located closer

AIM Global 2023
  • The Annual Investment Meeting and Emirates Angel Investors Association agree to turn UAE into a thriving base for startups.
  • The collaboration is expected to create a positive impact on the United Arab Emirates’ startup ecosystem. 
  • The partnership will link startups with a wide network of investors, as well as the necessary resources and mentorship.

The Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) and Emirates Angel Investors Association (EAIA) have joined forces to strengthen their efforts towards promoting startups. The collaboration between AIM and EAIA is expected to create a positive impact on the United Arab Emirates’ startup ecosystem. The UAE has been a fertile base for establishment and growth of startups. 

The partnership will provide startups with access to a wide network of investors. Benefitting entrepreneurs will also access necessary resources and mentorship to help them grow and succeed.

Commenting on the partnership, Director General of AIM Walid A. Farghal said, “The purpose

Alice Munyua, Senior Director Mozilla Africa Mradi and Johnson Sakaja, Nairobi City County Governor during the MoU signing for their partnership to support tech-startups in Nairobi County.
  • The funding, Mozilla African Innovation Mradi, promotes ideas based on unique African user needs.
  • The program scouts for innovation that produce a meaningful impact on the African internet ecosystem.
  • Kenya is a leader in broadband connectivity, ICT infrastructure and is home to over 300 tech start-ups.

Kenyan tech start-ups are jostling for a pie of Mozilla’s $300,000 funding targeting projects solving unique user needs in Africa. The funding, a collaboration between Mozilla Africa Mradi and the Nairobi City County, will supporting tech-based firms in Kenya’s capital. 

Dubbed Mozilla African Innovation Mradi, the funding promotes innovation led by and grounded in tackling unique needs of users in Africa.

Africa Innovation Mradi leverages Mozilla’s role as stewards of the open web to promote innovation in African countries. 

The program establishes networks of partners and communities exploring and developing new projects and technologies. Winners will produce projects that offer meaningful impact on

plastic recycling
  • In Kenya, 37,000 metric tonnes of plastic get into the Indian ocean annually causing devastating disruption in our marine ecosystem.
  • The successful innovations developed through the Afri-Plastics Challenge have paved the way to revolutionise Africa’s approach to reducing reliance on plastic.
  • Out of the 9 shortlisted start-ups, five were women-led, and two from Kenya won a total of £500,000.

Kenya scored big at the inaugural Afri-Plastics Summit & Awards ceremony when five out of a total nine start-ups scooped £2M as part of the Afri-Plastics Challenge, a continent-wide plastics innovation challenge worth £4.1M.

The awards were the culmination of a four-year initiative designed by Challenge Works and funded by Global Affairs Canada to recognize trailblazing innovators that are tackling the global plastics problem and protecting the ocean. Out of the 9 shortlisted start-ups, five were women-led, and two from Kenya winning a total of £500,000, demonstrating the role women play …

Technological Innovation

The world largely considers Africa as the next great growth market, a designation that has persisted for years. There are several reasons to be optimistic: the African continent has some of the world’s youngest populations, promises to be a key consuming market over the next three decades, and is becoming more mobile phone-enabled. Because access to smartphones and other devices improves consumer information, networking, job-creating resources, and even financial inclusion, a rising digital ecosystem is especially important as a multiplier of heightened economic growth.…

Ecocash introduces chatbot

According to an article by BotsCrew, a WhatsApp chatbot is an automated software powered by rules or artificial intelligence (AI) and runs on the WhatsApp platform. People communicate with WhatsApp chatbot via the chat interface, like talking to a real person. It’s a set of automated replies that simulates a human conversation on WhatsApp.

In May 2022, WhatsApp opened the API for businesses of any size. Previously, it was available only for medium and large businesses, so smaller companies had to contact other providers to access WhatsApp API.

Today, any business can directly sign up or get started with one of the business solution providers to access a New Cloud-based API.…

EdTech role in African development

Due to the pandemic, the topic of innovation in education has never been more crucial. 

While most developed countries moved their classes online with ease, many developing countries have had a hard time adapting to the home-school model due to a lack of infrastructure and the high cost of data.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 91.3% of the world’s learning population was impacted by global shutdowns brought about by the pandemic.  

This means that about 1.5 billion students were not in school, a situation that largely impacted developing nations, a lot of which are in Africa. …

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investment in African science and technology

The continent’s digital revolution can largely be driven by building the necessary skills for the short- and long-term future, and this starts in the classroom. 

The recent technological influx across Africa, largely boosted by the adoption of mobile phone use, needs to be capitalized upon by the education sector. 

This can be achieved through reimagining the education landscape by addressing the challenge of exclusion through increased investment, to achieve quality education in science and technology for all.…

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  • Through its app, Zenda allows parents to pay fees directly to schools, all while streamlining collections by enabling schools to accept and manage online payments
  • Parents do not necessarily need to provide bank deposit slips as proof of payment because all transactions on Zenda happen in real-time
  • Zenda’s users have increased 20 fold, with the app reaching over US$100 million in annual contracted payment volumes by the close of last year

UAE- based startup Zenda is now eyeing Africa as its next frontier market for growth. 

The company which is looking to change how parents pay school fees and the way in which educational institutions manage the collection of fees is looking to expand its reach to Africa. 

Formerly known as nexopay, the firm plans to penetrate the African market through Egypt in the coming months as the firm embarks on a growth drive accelerated by a US$9.4 million seed

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  • There is a huge need for business owners, policymakers, and African leaders, in general, to capitalise on the investment in more research, higher education and science
  • Academic institutions need to build skills and knowledge of young professionals in areas of research, innovation, science and technology in order to benefit from the natural resources and improve the livelihoods of East Africans
  • Africa has the strongest growing scientific production currently at 38.6 per cent since the start of 2012 with the number of authors subsequently growing at a slightly higher rate of 43 per cent over the same period

The Academic Public-Private Partnership Forum (APPPF) has called for more funding to be availed to Africa’s researchers and innovators. This will largely drive up the continent’s sustainable economic development.

According to data by, despite Africa comprising 12.5 per cent of the global population, the continent still only accounts for less than 1