Another year is already over, and it has been an exciting one! As Christmas approaches, and 2018 peaks its head over the horizon, it is time to look back on 2017 and enjoy the innovative gifts that it has brought us from Africa!
The innovative African year has followed the expected trends with Fintech, Agriculture, health, education and renewable energy all receiving a lot of attention from Africa’s creative minds. It has also been a year in which innovation awards, and summits focussing on the topic of innovation in Africa have been very popular, and have also made a difference to many Start-ups in Africa; offering them funding, technical and business support to help develop their innovations to become world beaters.
The Innovation Prize for Africa has once pitted together an exciting group of nominees, the winner of which was Prof. El-Shafei who invented the smart bearing, which significantly increases the efficiency of turbines. (IPA are once again looking for nominees, so it is time to sign up now!). Seedstars have also given a platform to many innovators and unearthed some incredible talent. Their winner this year was an app which gives assistance to medical professionals, but they also featured nominees from the transport, legal sectors and many more. And lets not forget AppsAfrica who also had a wonderful competition this year!
Excitingly, this year Inventive Africa became a media partner for the Aid & International Development Foundation (AIDF). The event is coming up in March 2018 and will take place in Kenya. We recommend going along and taking part, and also watch out for their first innovation award! It is an honour to be working with them and to be along side all the other partners!
What also can not be ignored is the rise of the tech hub in Africa. Tech hubs were of course around before 2017, but I think this is the year where the importance of the tech hub was really recognised. These centres of support, which often run without profit, support young innovative African minds to develop their skills, their ideas and even send them around the world to learn from others. They may have come to prominence this year, but they are still the unsung heroes of the African innovation revolution. A highlight of this year was visiting iSpace, in Accra Ghana. (Who also helped me with volunteers for my CoderDojo coding club) This vibrant hub was teeming with ideas, enthusiasm, encouragement and a community spirit I have rarely seen. Everyone is willing everyone on to succeed, and learning from each others mistakes and successes. We interviewed a few bright young talents from iSpace, to check them out, click on the links below.
Did You Know nurses are creating amazing digital health care platforms? (By far the most read blog of the year!)
The Uber and Air BnB model has also been a popular one throughout the year, with digital ways for people to offer access to demanded services. Not only are Uber disrupting the African transport system and forcing it to innovate, they are disrupting other industries. Emergency services in South Africa are now easily ordered via mobile app Namola, and E-commerce is also getting changed up, with lazy shoppers able to hire the services of a personal shopper to nip to the shops and pick up their groceries, with Zulzi. It is now even possible to find a last minute work space or conference room using the Airbase app!
Finally I must thanks all the guest bloggers we have had this year. This platform was always about giving everyone a chance to discuss their experiences with innovation in Africa, or to talk about innovations that they think are cool. And one of them, Bryan Nyagol, created our new logo!
Check out their blogs by clicking on the links below
Scott and Chris :- Did you know the upcoming film Mobile Africa showcases the tech revolution?
Mireille Kooh :- Did You Know #ADMP is helping Africa support Africa?
Bryan Nyagol Vibe Campo :- Did You Know Africa has its own social network?
Chimezie Anjama:- Did You Know Innovation in Africa could solve the migration crisis?
Invest Malawi:- Did You Know Malawi is getting smart about trash?
Andui Claude Ebaneck:- Did You Know you can Help Yourself be healthy with an app from Cameroon?
Nana Kwame Darko:- Did You Know farmers in Ghana can access tractors using an app?
Thank you everyone for your support, and anyone that interacts with us on Twitter, or comments on the blogs. Net year is a big one, with some exciting blogs coming from Kenya, and lots of exciting events around the continent.
Inventive Africa wishes everyone a Merry festive period and an Innovative New year!!