African Social Networks Thrive in a Mobile Culture

When young maize crops began failing in parts of Kenya earlier this month, the bad news—as well as information about where farmers could get seeds for other crops—spread on many Internet sites, including Facebook, which has 38 million users in Africa.

But it was a mobile platform called iCow—which allows 11,000 farmers and other members to receive livestock-management and other agricultural information—that helped cover the crucial “last mile” to older farmers. When a message from iCow passed along a tip already posted on Facebook about disease-free seeds available from the Kenya Agri Research Institution, that institution was, within two hours, besieged with hundreds of calls. Read More

‘African brands, organisations need to raise their global visibility now’

PR Week US just released data from their annual Agency Business Report and the top 50 reporting firms grew on average 10 percent in the US, and this is good news. I think the reason for this is that the PR industry is positioned at the forefront of issues affecting brands in both good and the bad economic times. Strategic corporate communications counsel is especially valuable during times of change largely due to the advent of social media and the 24 hours news cycle that now exists. In addition the value-added proposition that PR delivers provides more cost-effective results, particularly when compared with advertising and marketing. Read More

Top 20 Tech Startups in Africa

In its February 2012 issue, Forbes Africa magazine (a licensed affiliate of FORBES Magazine) published its list of Africa’s top 20 tech startups.

Each of the startups included in the list had to meet up to a very strict criteria:

These tech startups include:

Mxit : a FREE online instant messenger that runs on close to 3000 mobile handsets. this intant messenger offers Chat. ,Play. through this one is able to explore Africa’s biggest social network and enjoy multiplayer games, exchange goods or buy music and video clips. Read More here


Mpesa: this is a well replicated mobile money transfer platform that offers as you go mobile banking accesible via all phones that use SIM cards. Read more here


Motribe: is a mobile platform enabling users, brands, agencies and publishers across the world to build and manage their own mobile social communities. Read More here

PesaPal™ is a payment platform that enables Kenyans to buy and sell on the Internet using M-Pesa, Zap and Credit Cards.PesaPal keeps your financial records and contact information safely and offers members a risk free payment option.

Synaq provides messaging and security products built around open source solutions. Read More here


Bonglive is Tanzania’s first and only targeted opt-in based SMS advertising service.Its a company with individuals committed to bringing the next level of mobile and SMS based services to Tanzania. They believe that there is much more to be unleashed from the power of the mobile and  want to create services that empower businesses, NGOs, government and consumers.

Rupu aggregates the power of collective buying and negotiates large discounts with great local businesses to offer one deal each day at an incredibly low price. Deals are usually up on the site for a couple of hours and are activated only when a minimum number of people agree to buy. Rupu was launched on Dec 6, 2010 at a press event at the iHub, Nairobi. Read More Here

Founded in Kenya, Ushahidi develops software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. its services have been hugely replicated all over the world in mapping scenarios Read More here

SMSGh, a Ghanaian startup, offers bulk SMS solutions, SMS Gateway solutions and mobile web solutions.Today SMSGH processes about 3.8 messaging requests every second and over 10 million business-critical & subscriber messages monthly with nearly 3.9 million mobile subscribers relying on us to inform, alert, notify, transact, interact, monetize and share mobile data. Read more here

Other Great startups include:

Hummba Hummba is a social and travel networking website that lets you download free audio travel guides and share travel experiences directly from your mobile phone.

10Layer A South African startup, 10Layer is a CMS system targeted specifically at newsrooms.

Sembuse Sembuse is a South African mobile social network & instant messaging platform similar to Mxit.

nd drop multimedia features.

Dropifi Founded in 2011, Dropifi is a Ghanaian web messaging platform which helps companies better analyze, visualize and respond to incoming messages from contacts.

Cobi Interactive Cobi Interactive is a leading South African mobile software development company that provides mobile technology and strategy consulting for top African corporations.

FloCash FloCash allows anyone with an email address and mobile number to send and receive money across Africa simply and easily.

Obami Founded in 2009, Obami is a social network and learning management system for South African schools, teachers and students.

Bandeka Founded in 2011, Bandeka is an invite-only online community where well-educated Africans can connect with other equally successful professionals, thereby building lasting relationships over the long term. (Read more about Bandeka here).

Jobberman Founded in 2009, is West Africa’s most popular job search engine and aggregator. (Read about Jobberman here).

HUBs, the incubator for African mobile developement

Drawn from the American tech savvy region the California based Silicon Valley where the word draws most of its ICT and technology start-ups and developments which has largely been through ingenious innovation, African technologies have also began tapping into the rich model by creating HUBS that have become the home and incubator of most success stories,

Applications such as Ushahidi,  a website that was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Has been used to map scenarios in over 20 countries globally. Such developments can be credited to hubs that have been started all over Africa.

Such Hubs include:


Hub johanesburg- South Africa.

These hubs have Sponsors who provide resources for BootCamps, Conferences , seminars and Competitions that trigger creativity.