Week 03: Tackling fake news, Bridging the gaps with the supply chain in the pharmaceutical industry, Kenya’s first commuter train to sell tickets through SMS

Kenya’s entrepreneurs working in conviction to produce the country’s next generation of tech billionaires entrepreneurs has envisioned a diverse and multi-stakeholder investment in its communications technology; its connection to the rest of the world and the domestic market that motivates innovation and creativity. Kenya’s fastest growth in mobile hit the global trends between 2007-2010  with the success of mobile Innovations like Mpesa, a mobile money product, and the Innovation hub Ushahidi, a crowdsourcing map used for emergency notifications.

Kenya has proven that it is indeed the Silicon Savannah with numerous emerging startups that are generating amazing revenues and returns for the continent. However, we must also acknowledge that connecting developing countries that still face challenges of fluctuating electricity can be a daunting task, although a manifestation of diverse startups in the different cities of Kenya shows that it’s not impossible. Nairobi city is Kenya’s biggest startup base with affordable internet costs and ventures to support youth technology and development innovations.

techrepublic.com, weforum.org


Tackling fake news: According to Internews „Kenya thinks it has a fake news epidemic“ and one startup is addressing the issue. PesaCheck (“pesa” is Swahili for money), is East Africa’s first public fact-checking initiative to verify the financial and other statistical numbers quoted by public figures across East Africa. It is the new wave of testing the accuracy of media reporting.
internews.org, pesacheck.org 

Bridging the gaps with the supply chain in the pharmaceutical industry: MYDAWA, is an e-health solution that that allows its users to login and upload their doctors prescription or browse through the different products, select them/add them to cart and checkout. “We have a vision to bridge the gaps between healthcare providers (drug manufacturers, doctors, pharmacists, insurers) and consumers,” said MyDawa Founder Neil O’Leary. The technology based service makes it possible for consumers to purchase high-quality healthcare, fitness, and wellness products from their mobile phones.
businessdailyafrica.com, aptantech.com

Kenya’s first commuter train to sell tickets through SMS: Madaraka Express tickets to be made available through an SMS based platform. „We are seeking to leverage the technology offered by the new platform to counter the secondary market of tickets by middlemen who have taken advantage of the use of the stations as the main source of tickets,” said Kenya Railway’s Managing Director Atanas Maina. Effective January 1, 2018, travellers can purchase a ticket by dialing *639# on a Safaricom line, follow outlined steps as prompted by the system and pay by M-pesa.


South Africans buy cars online using Bitcoin and Pick n Pay pilots Bitcoin for payments:  With the value of cryptocurrencies continuing to rise, South Africans are buying high-value items online and are on the brink of paying for daily consumables in supermarkets using Bitcoins. “Many sellers are willing to take a gamble with their assets in hope of a large pay-out,” says Claire Cobbledick from Gumtree. This is in line with international trends seen around the globe. Pick n Pay supermarkets are awaiting the establishment of a regulatory framework before offering customers the chance to pay for their groceries using Bitcoin wallets like Luno after a sucessful in-house pilot.

it-online.co.za, memeburn.com, techinafrica.com

Challenge of Invention to Innovation competition (Ci2i) now open: An initiative of The Next Einstein Forum – a platform that connects science, society, and policy – made the announcement earlier this week.  The competition is open to African entrepreneurs and scientists focused on high-impact STEM research-based innovations.  A total of 15 applicants will be shortlisted from three categories, namely climate-smart innovations (including agriculture, energy and the circular economy), deep-tech innovations and personalized health.  Each candidate will have four minutes to present their pitch at the NEF Global Gathering between 26 and 28 March in Kigali, Rwanda. Winners will be selected over two rounds and include public voting via an app.
ventureburn.com, opportunitiesforafricans.com

  • Startup Mzansi Foundation is building Africa’s first digital bank for startups and entrepreneurs startupmagazine.co.za
  • Here’s when South Africa is set to run out of water – and why it could be good for the economy businesstech.co.za
  • 4 big tech predictions for 2018 businesstech.co.za