Wednesday, April 30, 2008

KAPS - Parking management control systems

A Kenyan parking management company has an automated system for car parking management.


KAPS has been a solution provider of car parking, access control and revenue management systems since 1999. KAPS has been the clear leader regionally in this sector. We have made several innovations including our world-class software; installation of specialized systems incorporating real world automation of electronically driven mechanized systems, audio and video automation and data capture solutions.

Well-designed Automation is the ideal solution to modern facilities management... KAPS has successfully installed such systems for municipalities, major facilities, parking lots and shopping malls. Our parking services in particular now support over 20,000 vehicle transactions daily.Nevertheless, the key to effective parking solutions is management expertise. KAPS has rapidly built a reservoir of management capabilities including a portfolio of targeted software tools. This places KAPS in the best position to be your partner in every parking situation.

African tech Hot Spots - Business Daily Kenya

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Business Daily has listed some investment hot spots on a PDF that are ripe for investments. Most of these investments I've covered before, except for electronics assembly in Africa.

From Business Daily:

Retail - Telecoms dealer
New Media - Television Innovator
Power - Alternative energy supplier
Recycling - E-waste capitalist
Business Process Outsourcing (I've dabbled in this area) - Outsourcing specialist
Assembler - Local PC manufacturer
Software - Linux or other open source tools

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Africa Genome Education Institute - 180 genomes sequenced

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The Africa Genome Education Institute is devoted to the public understanding of genomes, which are the genetic instructions contained in the cells of living organisms. Over 180 genomes have been sequenced (biochemically described) thus far, including the one for modern human beings.

The AGEI works in three areas: firstly, the Living History Project, which seeks to trace the ancestral geographic origins of South Africans by looking at specific segments of an individual's genome. Secondly, the Colour of Our Skins Project, which is an effort to communicate the most current evolutionary biological science on skin (and hair) pigmentation to the public and especially to children of school-going age; and thirdly, a project to build interdisciplinary support for biotechnology and genetics in Africa, a continent-wide enterprise to support practising scientists to deal with the ethical, legal and social implications of genetic modification.

Africa, the next Asia for investors?

Investors are currently showing new found interest in Africa's resources. Many are considering Africa the next Asia. The Associated Press has an interesting take on the rush to the continent.

Africa, the next Asia for investors?

Economies in Africa are among the world's fast growers, and more analysts suggest investors pay attention to the continent.

Historically, heavy debt loads and political strife weighed on Africa. But since 2001, the resource-rich continent has been lifted by stronger prices for oil, gold and other commodities.

Read more

IST-Africa 2008 Conference and Exhibition

IST-Africa 2008 will take place on May 14-16, 2008 in Windhoek, Namibia. The programme combines strategic keynote presentations, technical and policy papers, case studies, workshops, an exhibition and social activities.

Crop to Cup - Family farmed coffee

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Crop to Cup helps cultivate and helps run coffee plantation in Africa.

Here is what they say on their site.

We are the company that brings you closer to the crop.

Yes, yes, we are a middle man, but we are the only middle man between you and the farmer.

At Crop to Cup Coffee Company we represent farmer entrepreneurs, providing them with technology and marketing services to put them in touch with interested consumers here in the US. We are dedicated to making a positive impact in the world by providing coffee farmers and coffee lovers with the tools and services they need to drive this change themselves.

Our goal at C2C is to improve the quality and integrity of coffee served at restaurants, homes, offices, morning campfires, Star Trek conventions (OK – you get the point – wherever you might find coffee served). In areas around the equator (that’s where your coffee grows) we’re a network of partners and farmer entrepreneurs working towards the improvement of livelihoods through the digitization of coffee farming. Farmers, their coffees, the roasters who sculpt this coffee to the retailer and consumer - we put everybody online. Track your coffee by tracing your purchase back to the people who produced it.

SME Toolkit - small business information

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A project of the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, the Africa Toolkit offers free business management information and training for small businesses / small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on accounting and finance, business planning, human resources (HR), marketing and sales, operations, and information technology (IT). The SME Toolkit offers a wide range of how-to articles, business forms, free business software, online training, self-assessment exercises, quizzes, and resources to help entrepreneurs, business owners, and managers in Africa start, finance, formalize, and grow their businesses.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm speaking at PodcampDC - This Sat

Some of you know how passionate I am about entrepreneurship and Web 2.0 in Africa. This weekend I'm going to be speaking at PodCampDC, being held in Arlington, VA I will continue the discussion I had at the Africa 2.0 panel at SXSW held in Austin, TX

The discussion will also broaden to include informal markets and venture capital opportunities in Africa.

Schedule and Guide

There's an UN-official Guidebook to PodCamp DC with maps, schedule, sessions, and more, created by volunteer Christopher Penn, located here:


If you can't make it or you are not in the DC area please forward to friends, family, or colleagues who may be interested in attending.

Africa you never see on tv

This is a great video of African renaissance.

ITU Telecom presents Africa 2008 - Cairo, Egypt

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ITU TELECOM AFRICA 2008 is a major networking platform for Africa's top ICT names to come together and focus on core issues relating to ICT expansion across the region. From 12 - 15 May 2008, AFRICA 2008 populates the Cairo International Convention and Exhibition Centre (CICC) in Cairo, Egypt.

ITU TELECOM AFRICA 2008 encompasses an Exhibition featuring the latest technologies and innovations, and an extensive Forum that explores key technologies, policies and applications driving Africa's ICT sector. Participants can take part in a variety of ways; from a booth on the showfloor to sponsorship of a networking function or high profile item. The Sales Brochure, Sponsorship Brochure and Event Overview are all available for download in pdf format.

Baobab Health Partnership


Baobab Health Partnership is dedicated to becoming the world leader in technology innovation for the developing world.


Baobab’s mission is to partner with the Ministry of Health and existing health care providers to solve the health care crisis in Malawi with solutions that can be applied across the developing world. We will provide technology leadership and best practices by innovating on our existing solutions in Malawi and incubating new initiatives. Our guiding principles as we tackle projects will include reducing costs, making technology easier to use and maintain, and allowing technology to be deployed in highly resource constrained environments (e.g., by investing in renewable energy).

Portal Limited - Ghana forestry and timber production

Portal limited is a maker of quality wood panel doors. Portal has it's own plantation programme in the western and central regions of Ghana.

The Portal Forest Estate is planning to be a sustainable forest plantation to produce timber and non-timber products.

To ensure sustainability, Portal is actively engaged in: fast growing tree plantations, agro-forestry, non-timber forest production, and planned eco-tourism.

African Virtual University - higher education in Africa

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The African Virtual University (AVU) is a Pan African Intergovernmental Organization whose aim is to significantly increase access to quality higher education and training through the innovative use of information communication technologies.

As an African organization, the AVU has a mandate to increase access for tertiary education and trainning using Open Distance and eLearning (ODeL) methodologies.

The AVU headquarters is situated in Nairobi, Kenya and a regional office is based in Dakar, Senegal in West Africa.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ocean Power in Africa?

Business Week
wrote an article about Europe's obsession with wave power. Specifially, Europe's utility companies are using tidal machines and turbines in the water to take advantage of ocean currents for electricity generation.

Can this technology help solve Africa's energy needs? Currently, Denmark is the only nation that utilizes the largest percentage of wave power for it's energy needs. This technology is still new, but it has shown some promise and is renewing more interest.

Read More

Video of Flower business in Ethiopia

Blogger Africaincorp has a video of a flower business in Ethiopia.

Godisa - Solar Aid battery charger from Africa

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Godisa meets this urgent human need with products that are:

  • Lower priced – at least 75% less expensive than comparable products allowing bulk purchase for donation purposes by government, deaf schools, hearing INGOs, deaf groups and caring individuals; as well as subsidized direct sales to audiologists and hearing impaired people living in developing countries;

  • High quality – all of Godisa’s products meet applicable World Health Organization guidelines and use robust and proven components that last for many years;

  • Technically advanced – internationally award-winning design, rapid and highly effective battery charging with the Solar Aid, and modern digital BTE hearing aids;

  • Environmentally sound – solar powered (clean energy) battery recharging that reduces the harmful environmental impacts of battery disposal; and

  • Designed for the developing world – an African organization that understands the challenges faced by hearing impaired people and organizations in developing countries.

Sovereign Wealth Funds Should Invest in Africa, Zoellick Says

Sovereign wealth funds hold trillions of dollars of funds. These state funds which are mostly in Asia and Middle East, just bailed out many of the top banks on Wall Street. The influence of sovereign wealth funds is so apparent that World Bank chief Robert Zoelick has issued a plea for these funds to invest in Africa.

Read more

The new India - Africa partnership

There is a new renaissance in bilateral partnerships between emerging markets. India just organized a summit for African leaders to discuss trade partnerships that would benefit both markets. India is trying to mimic and duplicate China's success in Africa. For instance, China organized a similar summit in 2006.

India and Africa are closely more related because of colonial ties to the crown. Also, culturally, India is much more similar to Africa then China. Even the Brazilians, have signed trade deals for energy, biofuel and agriculture.

The BBC has written more about this summit.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Umbono Capital Partners - Africa investment banking

Umbono Capital Partners was founded in 1998 by the core professional team with the aim of creating Africa's premier investment banking group, with particular focus on mining, energy and other natural resources. Umbono manages it's own principal investments portfolio and provides asset management, investing, financing and advisory services to it's clients.

Umbono has a specialist focus in identifying, analysing and structuring investments in Africa, and in providing transaction advisory and corporate finance work related to target companies in other African countries.

Umbono's team consists of 30 group staff members based in Johannesburg and Toronto.

Unleashing Africa's Potential - The World Bank

East and Southern Africa is the only region in the world not connected to the global broadband infrastructure. This 'missing link' explains why the region accounts for less than one percent of the world's bandwidth capacity.

Mobile Money Summit 2008 - Cairo, Egypt

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Mobile Money Summit 2008 is two-day conference designed for senior executives from financial services institutions, mobile network operators, development organizations, solutions vendors and regulatory and policy makers. The inaugural event will provide for the first time a comprehensive demonstration of the addressable markets, showcase new solutions, and share key success factors and learnings from around the world. The goal of the Summit is to stimulate greater understanding and collaboration between all stakeholders — globally, regionally and locally. Most importantly, Mobile Money Summit 2008 will better equip participants to develop and deploy their own Mobile Money portfolio effectively, efficiently and at scale.

At this highly interactive event, you will learn:

  • How Mobile Money can drive top-line growth and customer value in both financial services and telecommunications
  • How Mobile Money solutions can drive economic growth and financial inclusion for individuals, communities and countries
  • Best practices in the market today, and key innovations coming to market
  • Strategic, operational, regulatory and market challenges to effective deployment and scale
  • Key propositions for various customer segments in different markets.
  • Rationales for partnership between financial services institutions and telecomm companies to deliver converged mass market Mobile Money.
  • Where and how to kick-start activity most effectively

10,000 girls - Senegal entrepreneurship & education

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The 10,000 Girls program provides girls in the villages of Senegal with the tools to succeed. The program has two interdependent components: education and entrepreneurship.


The education program supports girls at risk of leaving school early by
  • purchasing textbooks and providing tutoring and space in which to study
  • monitoring school progress
  • encouraging parents to support their daughters' education

Bottom line

10,000 Girls is
  • self-supporting through the girls' own work
  • sustainable as it grows
  • capable of scaling to the needs of the region
  • supported by the local communities

Monday, April 7, 2008

African Institute for Mathematical Sciences - (AIMS)

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The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is an educational centre in Cape Town, South Africa. The goals of AIMS are:
  • To promote mathematics and science in Africa.
  • To recruit and train talented students and teachers.
  • To build capacity for African initiatives in education, research, and technology.

The Institute is focussed around a nine-month, postgraduate course covering many of the most exciting areas of modern science, taught by outstanding African and international lecturers. The course develops strong mathematical and computing problem-solving skills and leads to a postgraduate diploma in the Mathematical Sciences, formally accredited by the three partner South African Universities and taught in association with the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, the Division of Physical Sciences at the University of Oxford, and the University of Paris-Sud 11. Students with good mathematics, science or engineering degrees are invited to apply and will be supported on bursaries where needed.

Neil Turok: 2008 TED Prize wish: An African Einstein

Accepting his 2008 TED Prize, physicist Neil Turok speaks out for talented young Africans starved of opportunity: by unlocking and nurturing the continent's creative potential, we can create a change in Africa's future. Turok asks the TED community to help him expand the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences by opening 15 new centers across Africa in five years.

PlayPumps International - children power clean water technolgies

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PlayPumps International’s mission is help improve the lives of children and their families by providing easy access to clean drinking water, enhancing public health, and offering play equipment to millions across Africa.

The Water ProblemAccess to clean drinking water is critical for human survival and is an essential ingredient for improving the lives of those living in poverty in developing countries. And yet:

  • More than one billion people worldwide do not have access to clean water.
  • Water-related diseases are the leading cause of death in the world, taking the lives of 6,000 people a day, and are responsible for 80 percent of all sickness in the world.
  • 40 billion hours are lost annually to hauling water, a chore primarily undertaken by women and girls.

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