This week, we took a look at technology stories that will improve the African lifestyle.
“Three lessons for innovators & techpreneurs: Learning from Ushahidi’s history” by Will Mutua on Afrinnovator
Well done to Ushahidi on raising a $1.9 million round from Omidyar Network. However, as we know, not every Kenyan techie success story is carried with the same glory and ease demonstrated by M-PESA. Ushahidi’s experience is a great example of the efforts that go into the technology, the pitch, and the business model, and the repeated revisions and improvements. Afrinnovator offers insights into three lessons Ushahidi learned and how future innovators can learn from them.
“Dispelling the Top Five Mobile Money Myths” by Ignacio Mas on NextBillion
Interestingly, there are still some doubts about the effectiveness on mobile money (not everywhere is a “Kenya”). Ignacio Mas on NextBillion clarifies the myths that the unfamiliar may assume about mobile money. Measures are in place to prevent money laundering. It’s easy to learn on a familiar tool. It’s safer than hiding cash under mattress. In short, mobile money is useful in its simplicity and that is what makes it so effective.
“MTN selects Fortis for mobile money service in Nigeria” on Mobile Money Africa
MTN, one of Africa’s largest mobile network operators (MNOs), has signed an MOU with Fortis to provide mobile money services to its customers. Fortis is a leading provider of microfinance in Nigeria. The combination of the extensive agent networks should lead to a successful rollout of mobile money in Nigeria.
“Airtel launches mobile banking service in Ghana” on The Paypers
Airtel Ghana is now providing mobile commerce services. The Airtel Money platform will allow customers to pay bills, transfer money, and withdraw money from ATMs.
“Africa: ICTs Could Fill Agricultural Extension Gap, Says Meeting” by Maina Waruru on AllAfrica
ICT tools such as mobile phones, mobile broadband, and tablets can provide real time information to rural farmers. We’ve seen such agri-mobile application as mFarm, showing that innovation is coming from the bottom up. Now the idea is supported by the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation, who is calling for the distribution of ICT tools to rural African farmers. African governments should be spending 3.5 percent of GDP on agricultural extension services, as agriculture generally accounts for 30+% of the continent’s GDP.