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Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category

4Afrika

Huawei and Microsoft have teamed up to offer a bespoke Windows phone, running exclusive African-created Apps, in an initiative called 4Afrika

Connecting rural parts of Africa to the Internet is changing lives dramatically – helping healthcare providers with location analysis, weather information for farmers and teaching children in ways previously unimaginable. Countries like Kenya have been seeing the benefit of frontline technological advances for several years, and the developments keep coming. Recently the BBC reported that Huawei and Microsoft have teamed up to offer a bespoke Windows phone, running exclusive African-created Apps, in an initiative called 4Afrika. This programme should ultimately see millions of people with smartphones in the next few years.

Another aspect to 4Afrika, and potentially more beneficial, are the new advances enabling the unused ‘white spaces’ of the wireless spectrum used for television broadcasting to be set aside for remote Internet connectivity. This will be solar-powered and a much more consistent and powerful connection for online use. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu - SoleRebels

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu – World Economic Forum on Africa 2012 (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)

The press has been awash with stories from the African continent in the last few years – and not the usual fair concerning famine, war and privations. Rather, many countries in Africa are taking what they have, technologically, and innovating, in exciting world-beating ways. We’ve highlighted the mobile phone revolution – changing the way banking and community medicine is distributed and handled – in these pages before, and so it follows that interesting entrepreneurs are also in the press as of late.

One such example of an innovative, fresh initiative was profiled on the BBC website. And it makes for inspiring reading. The story of an Ethiopian shoemaker using recycled materials and those from her immediate environment, illuminate how much successful businesses rely on good ideas and what those ideas cost – nothing. The shoe company in question, SoleRebels, was started by Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, in 2004 and has already gained accolades like the Young Global Leader award in 2011 and is turning over $2m this year, with a projection of $20m in 2016. Read the rest of this entry »


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