When we talk about African innovation and technology we focus on the tremendous development coming out of the continent. We speak of the tech hubs and incubators spread across the continent and the impressive innovation coming out of Rwanda and Kenya. What we sometimes forget is that there are millions of skilled Africans living outside the continent who are able to innovate from a different perspective and with different skill
This is a point that has not been forgotten by tiphub. tiphub is a mentorship driven accelerator and impact angel network manager that supports seed stage technology and social impact ventures in Africa and the African diaspora. On November 11 they will hold their Diaspora Demo day, which will showcase social impact startups in the largest get together of African Startups, entrepreneurs and angel investors outside of Africa.
They had over 150 applicants from across Africa and the diaspora and selected 14 to pitch at the Diaspora Demo Day. Here are our favourites:
In many African cities, rubbish and waste fills up the streets regularly. It is swept away by water and clogs up the drainage systems causing bad smells and leading to flooding and subsequently damage to the city. This is an issue we have approached before on Inventive Africa. Dechets a L’Or collects waste and recycles it to create energy and fertiliser. There method utilises the human capital available and creates employment. All waste needs to be sorted upon arrival at the depot. Bio waste is then turned in to compost and other waste is also utilised, creating new products.
Threshing, which is loosening the edible part of cereal grain from the inedible part is a time consuming activity in rural Africa. There are so many things that take such a long time and decrease inefficiency. Imara Tech’s Multi-Crop Thresher is a portable mechanised threshing machine that is able to complete the threshing process up to 75 times faster than traditional methods. This is a Tanzania based start up, which makes the units locally and distributes them regionally. During one test the MCT shelled 1000 kgs of maize in 24 minutes rather than the 30 hours it would have required normally. This innovation can enable small hold farmers to spend more time preparing their land for more efficient crops.
Jamii Africa has created a way for the low income and informal sector in Tanzania to obtain mobile micro-health insurance. Saving for health care is a problem that effects the whole continent. In many cases people do not have the income to be able to save and plan for potential health problems, which leads them in a desperate situation if they need medical assistance. One registered, a user pays his insurance premium through the mobile money account and then receives an ID number which can be used in hospitals for free medical treatment. The hospital will also be reimbursed using mobile money.
Sending money to Africa from outside is time consuming and costly. Many people still use Western Union or similar services to send money back to family, to pay staff or for projects, such as building houses and they pay more money than the rest of the world for transfers. SawaPay has developed a solution that offers a no fee transfers between the USA and Kenya. The funds are able to be sent via their Android or iOS mobile app to bank accounts or mobile money accounts such as M-PESA, and users are also able to pay bills and mortgages through the service.
To be able to export out of Africa can be unobtainable for many. One of the problems is that it is expensive to hire a shipping container. On many occasions your items will not fill the entire container and you are paying for unused space and also creating a big carbon footprint. Swiftly have created a solution that enables exporters to share space in containers. The service is both for shipping and air freight. They link people with space with those that need space to create better efficiency in exporting, enabling more people to be able to export their products out of Africa.