You remember the Jetsons? With flying cars, a robot nanny and whimsical inventions? But look around. We no longer live in a far-distant galaxy… We’re keeping up with the Jetsons.
Africa has been light years behind in technology adoption and development but lately, we’ve been stepping up to the plate. With new innovations in web and mobile applications made by Africans for Africans, we are finally moving in the direction of ease and everything on demand.
Here’s a list of 13 rad digital innovations – both web and mobile – made by African startups (in no particular order!)…
Leti Arts is an interactive media studio founded in 2009 with offices in Ghana and Kenya. They are a team of three who develops beautiful, interactive and fun media products like mobile video games and digital comics based on African history and folklore.
Leti Arts mission is to make our cultural history relevant and fun… and easy for kids to learn about, by creating superheroes like Pharaoh and Ananse, who fight crime in present day Africa.
Find them at letiarts.com
Brck provides ‘rugged’ internet for people and things. It’s a self-powered mobile WiFi device for our African connectivity issues. Built by a small team in Kenya, the Brck has been featured in Forbes, BBC, Wired, Ted, Quartz and other major global media outlets for their innovation.
Brcks are quite affordable, easy to manage from anywhere in the world and versatile.
Find them at brck.com
Paga is a payment enabler founded in Nigeria in early 2009, with the simple belief that the ubiquity of mobile phones can be leveraged to bring financial services to all. With Paga, you can send and receive money to and from anywhere in the world and shop online with confidence in the security of their application.
They recently raised US$13 million in series B funding; Paga is proof that you can make it anywhere.
Find them at mypaga.com
Asoriba is a new Ghanaian startup founded by a team of four avid church-goers. It’s a web and mobile application that enables easy church administration for the leaders and seamless engagement with their members.
With Asoriba, it’s easy to receive audio and video content from church services missed, including notifications on events and important announcements.
Find them at asoriba.com
Funded by investors including Sim Shagaya (Konga CEO) and Bill Paladino (former Amazon executive), GoMyWay looks to connect passengers with car owners going the same route with empty seats to spare, in a bid to provide a solution to transportation problems and decongest city traffic.
Shared economy business models have been widely successful on other continents, with the likes of Airbnb and Uber raking in millions. It will be interesting to see how things turn out for GoMyWay in Nigeria.
Find them at gomyway.com
Flippy Campus, founded by a team of four and funded by the Meltwater foundation is a mobile application that improves university campus experience by keeping the students up-to-date on current campus happenings.
By simply following their chosen channels like classes, departments, faculty, clubs, sororities and other groups; the students are able to get quick information on everything from examination schedules to the latest gossip.
Find them at flippycampus.com
Eneza Education is yet another Kenyan startup making waves globally. Using mobile technology, their mission is to make millions of kids in rural Africa smarter.
Eneza Education provides a solution for students to actively engage in affordable and interactive study content and a solution for teachers and parents to monitor students’ progress and receive tailored tips. They currently have over 150,000 lifetime users registered on the platform across 3000 schools.
Find them at enezaeducation.com
M-KOPA’s mission is to make high-quality energy affordable to everyone. Headquartered in Nairobi, M-KOPA is a global leader of ‘pay-as-you-go’ solar energy.
Since its commercial launch in October 2012, they have connected more than 200,000 homes in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda to solar power and are now adding over 500 new homes each day.
Find them at m-kopa.com
We live much of our lives online, so shouldn’t we have the same safeguards there that we have in the physical world? Founded in 2011 in South Africa, SumRando’s cyber security products protect and secure all your internet activity.
SumRando prevents surveillance programs and hackers from stealing and snooping on your private activities and personal information.
Find them at sumrando.com
Talking Bookz is an audiobook publisher and retailer of downloadable audiobooks in Nigeria and Africa. They provide access to unique African content and 3000+ international bestsellers.
Recently invested in by Marek Zmyslowski, former CEO of Jovago, their mission is to make reading more convenient and help people achieve more in their everyday lives.
Find them at talkingbookz.com
Esoko is a company with a mission to make agriculture a profitable business for smallholder farmers. It was founded in 2005 and is a powerful communication tool for businesses, government, NGOs and others to connect with farmers.
With a broad mix of web and mobile apps, they also provide original agricultural content, marketing services and monitoring and advisory needs to the farmers.
Find them at esoko.com
mPharma connects patients, clinicians and pharmacists so that quality medicines can be found when and where they are needed most.
They also collect real time market data on prescription trends, adverse drug reactions, disease and illness locations that provide pharmaceutical workers and medical personnel with actionable feedback.
Find them at mpharma.co
This is definitely my fave startup/ innovation on this list. The simplicity of it must have been born out of need. The Ramlocator is a simple web application that allows Muslim brothers and sisters to share their ram parties and locations on the platform. It connects Ram Party Hosts to Ram Party (Crashers) Guests.
Find them at ramlocator.com.ng
Any of these applications catch your fancy? Are we missing some of the coolest African digital innovations? Share them at #TRUEAfrica