Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hippo Water Roller - easy transportation of water

The Hippo Water Roller Project aims to improve global access to water by making it possible to collect 24 gallons (90 liters) of water- five times the amount possible using traditional methods - in less time and much more easily. The Hippo's innovative design allows water to be placed inside its "wheel," transforming 200 pounds (90 kg)of water to an effective weight of just 22 pounds (10 kg). This means that almost anyone can easily manage a full roller over most types of terrain.

Water buckets on head

Barefoot Power

Barefoot Power is a social entrepreneurial business. They design and manufacture technology products specifically for poor people that have the potential to reduce poverty in developing countries.

They believe that energy access is one of the key building blocks of economic development. Their first area of focus, therefore, is on the most basic use of electricity - lighting.

Coast Coconut Farms

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About Coast Coconut Farms

Coast Coconut Farms is dedicated to producing the highest quality extra virgin coconut oil through a Direct Micro Expelling process. Our coconut oil is made on the beautiful coast of Kenya from wild organic coconuts, using a fully sustainable and earth friendly process. Our goal and mission is to produce the finest oil on the market while providing sustainable employment in the rural areas of Kenya.

Dimagi - Technology for a Developing World

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About Dimagi

Dimagi is a dedicated group of clinicians and programmers who pride themselves on building deployable systems that produce immediate results. We focus on providing the best possible user experience and impact on the ground while also implementing a system that can scale up - to a national level if necessary.

We design our systems with careful attention to the available technologies on the ground. We have experience working in areas with limited resources, unreliable power, and limited or intermittent network connectivity. Using a wide array of technologies, we are able to provide the appropriate solution in nearly any environment.

SASSI - The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative


SASSI was initiated in November 2004 in order to inform and educate all participants in the seafood trade, from wholesalers to restaurateurs through to seafood lovers. The initiative builds on an earlier project started in Kwazulu-Natal Province which sought to educate restaurant dealers about the MLRA and other marine conservation issues. It has WWF-SA (via funding from The Green Trust) and the South African Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism (DEAT) as primary funding/support partners, and Ezemvelo KwaZulu Natal Wildlife, Two Oceans Aquarium, TRAFFIC , Sea World at uShaka, The South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), and the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) as implementing partners.

mPedigree - drug supply chain distribution

The mPedigree program is en route to establish national enhanced drug supply chain protection systems for all 48 sub-Saharan African countries in ten years, before expanding the program to other developing countries in South Asia, South America, the Middle East and North Africa, resources permitting.

Read More

Monday, September 22, 2008

Banking the Unbanked: Going Mobile in Africa

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From African Executive

Home to nearly a billion people, the 54 countries that make up the African continent are ushering in an era of liberty, democracy, and robust economic development. An important partner in this growth is mobile telephony.

The mobile phone is having a dramatic effect on the lives of Africans and is proving to be a life transforming device.

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Grand Inga Dam - Can it Power all of Africa?

This is old news, but for those that are not in the know. The Grand Inga dam is a gigantic infrastructure project that would make the Three Gorges Dam look like a tree house.

Here is what the BBC says about it

Financiers and African politicians will look at how to finance the $80bn (£40bn) cost of the Grand Inga project.

The plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo would generate twice as much energy as China's Three Gorges dam.

Read More

AIC - African Advisory firm

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The AiC's goal is to be the leading investment advisory firm identifying finance and investors for strategic projects, market access and opportunities on the African continent. AIC's vision is the development of Africa through the creation of long-term widespread strategically-placed business investments made in the spirit of strategic partnerships

Click Diagnostics - telemedicine via Mobile Phone

ClickDiagnostics, Inc. is a global tele-health company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. We provide a mobile technology-based infrastructure to connect community-based health-workers to remote medical specialists. They develop solutions that enable local entrepreneurs with limited medical training to serve as health-workers, providing remote consultation service to patients or gathering critical health-related data. ClickDiagnostics brings together public health, technology and entrepreneurship in a unique way.

Minaj Group - Nigerian Conglomerate

Minaj Group is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria and is principally engaged in the real estate, media, and energy sectors. Its holding company Minaj Holdings Limited is a private company owned and controlled by the Ajegbo family in Nigeria.

Friday, September 12, 2008

UN foundation press release - mHealth initiative in Africa

Mobile Health Initiative Expands to Over 20 Countries in Africa
Innovative technology deployed to help improve healthcare delivery and save lives

WASHINGTON, DC, GENEVA and LONDON (September 9, 2008) – The United Nations Foundation and Vodafone Foundation’s Technology Partnership (Technology Partnership) announced today the expansion of its mobile health (mHealth) program in Africa. Working with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the non-profit DataDyne.org, the Technology Partnership will expand the use of EpiSurveyor, an open-source application that helps healthcare workers track health data, to 22 sub-Saharan countries by the end of 2008.

EpiSurveyor, which was developed by the non-profit DataDyne.org, can be downloaded to handheld devices and is easily adaptable by workers in the field. WHO, DataDyne.org and the Technology Partnership piloted EpiSurveyor in Kenya and Zambia . Its successful implementation has greatly improved the timeliness and availability of healthcare data, making it easier to strengthen district level healthcare programs involving immunizations against malaria and other preventative programs aimed at improving public health.

Read more

Ambitious plan by Google to provide internet access to 3bn

Google and it's consortium partners want to provide cheap Internet service via low attitude satellites. The only issue I have is that, I've heard of this thing before and other consortium's have tried to do the same thing. Overall, the project makes financial sense to Google...get Internet access to as many people as possible so they can use Google's and it's partners products. This project is on the fast-track to be operational by end of 2010.

Google has thrown its weight behind ambitious plans to bring internet access to 3bn people in Africa and other emerging markets by launching at least 16 satellites to bring its services to the unconnected half of the globe.

Medical Advances—Through Your mobile phone?

BusinessWeek ran an interesting article about utilizing Smart phones to provide high-end medical diagnostics at a fraction of their costs. This piece ran back in April.

Researchers are beginning to understand how mobile phones can cut costs, help solve rural health-care problems, and even reduce medical errors.

Despite all the advances in medical diagnostics, two-thirds of the world's population has no access to imaging technologies. Worse, about half of the imaging equipment sent to developing countries goes unused because local technicians aren't trained to operate it or lack spare parts, according to the World Health Organization. But thanks to the proliferation of cellular and other wireless networks, researchers are stepping up efforts to deliver crucial medical services from afar.

Micro Clinic - accelerating accessible healthcare in Africa

Following a franchise business model that combines ownership with proven operating, marketing, and distribution standards, MicroClinic empowers community health nurses to own and grow their own MicroClinic.

MicroClinic says it will offer standardized operating practices and consistent levels of quality and care, building community acceptance and awareness while creating interest and demand for additional MicroClinics to serve new communities.
This unique hybrid model will work well for the Bottom of the Pyramid consumers in Africa.

More about Micro Clinic

MicroClinic enables community-based, entrepreneurial nurse/franchisees to own and operate their own businesses while providing essential basic health services to rural communities. To support its franchisees and insure a culture of consistency, MicroClinic provides business consulting and disease protocol through initial and on-going training sessions, field visits, meetings, and regular communications. The MicroClinic focus is:

1. Wellness, not sickness.
2. Prevention, not just treatment of ailments.
3. Responsiveness to public health needs.

MicroClinic extends the principles of social franchising with existing partnerships with the Ghanaian Health Ministry, Africa Medical Partners, Hope For The City, University of St.Thomas, rural hospitals, and reliable pharma providers.

CFW Shops - utilizing a healthcare micro-franchising model

CFW Shops provides a Micro-Franchising Model - An Effective, Scalable Solution for sustainable healthcare model in developing markets.The HealthStore model is a network of micro pharmacies and clinics whose mission is to provide access to essential medicines to marginalized populations in the developing world. The HealthStore outlets target the most common killer diseases including malaria, respiratory infections, and dysentery among others. They also provide health education and prevention services.

Here more about CFW Shops

To improve access to essential drugs, basic healthcare, and prevention services for children and families in the developing world using business models that maintain standards, are geometrically scalable, and achieve economies of scale.

Monday, September 8, 2008

September 16-18 USAID Speaker's Corner on Outsourcing Options for Microfinance Institutions

September 16-18 USAID Speaker's Corner on Outsourcing Options for Microfinance Institutions

While outsourcing core banking systems could increase the efficiency and capacity of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and reduce their infrastructure costs, not all institutions are eager to take this step. MFIs are concerned about finding a system that works for their unique situation, fear losing control over sensitive client data, and worry about security risks. Moreover, they are not convinced outsourcing will lead to reduced costs.

Join the dialogue, September 16-18, to discuss the concerns, benefits, and decision criteria involved with outsourcing core banking solutions. Hosted by Alice Liu, independent consultant and author of a recent USAID-funded study on the use of outsourcing by U.S. banks, the forum will highlight real experiences and examples from the field. The discussion is supported by a broad panel of specialists in ICT for microfinance and banking IT, including James Godish (Catalyst Consulting Group), Gautam Ivatury (CGAP), Karuna Krishnaswamy (CGAP), Paul Meyer (Voxiva), Judy Payne (USAID), and Lauren Reese (CGAP).

Each day, participants are invited to share their own experiences, questions and comments in the discussion forum:

* Day 1 (September 16) – Outsourcing: Benefits and Decision Criteria. This day will introduce and define outsourcing and discuss its potential benefits.
* Day 2 (September 17) – Core Banking System Experiences from the Field. Lessons learned from core banking system implementations in the field.
* Day 3 (September 18) – Enabling Environment. A discussion of the enabling environment – including rule of law, regulations and oversight, infrastructure, market competition and target markets.

Sign up today: Please join us for this interactive dialogue. For more information and free registration, visit www.microlinks.org/sc/outsourcing. Send questions to Ashely Kiehnau at akiehnau (at) qedgroupllc.com.

Speaker's Corners are a monthly feature of the U.S. Agency for International Development's microLINKS Website, www.microlinks.org.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


About MicroVenture Support

Micro Venture Support (MVS) attacks poverty through innovative and cooperative application of capital market strategies, selective investment, and hands-on operating support. MVS invests time, expertise, and our capital in select micro businesses. We identify, support, and invest in those micro enterprises that, based upon an objective set of criteria, have the potential to grow into profitable local, regional, and international enterprises.

Mobile Planet - Mobile applications in Africa

About Mobile Planet

Subscriber numbers in Africa are growing at a phenomenal rate. This spells great potential. Potential to use mobile technology to address Africa's unique set of circumstances and challenges. We strive to provide products and services that enhance the quality of life of Africans in areas such as health, agriculture, education, e-governance and commerce. We remain committed to providing homegrown solutions that are relevant to all parts of Africa while respecting and incorporating the uniqueness of every African country and its people.

ILC Africa - African private sector education

About ILC Africa

ILC Africa was founded by two University of Pennsylvania alumni who went on to secure Masters in Science degrees from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania respectively.

To date, ILC Africa has served approximately 140 students and 17 institutions with backgrounds from Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Conakry, Mozambique, Senegal, Haiti, India, and the United Kingdom.

The vision of ILC Africa is to form an educated cadre of students with a global skills-set to increase and promote African values while developing Africa.
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