Building Innately African Technology & Being Relevant in the African Innovation Space.
Challenges, such as limited internet connectivity or access to other essential services and goods in Africa are not only a major problem but instead play a significant role in steering creativity and innovation through technology in the region.
We have seen great young African minds and entrepreneurs opting to build innately African solutions to these problems using technology. The rise of mobile phones, increased internet coverage and access are definitely a key booster in using technology to build these solutions.
Image source - A Maye's
One of the most successful one is the mobile payments platforms here in Kenya such as MPESA. If I pinned myself to this innovative mobile platform solution, then there is a lot to discuss on what this platform has successfully contributed to and why innately African made technologies should be our focus.
We now have a significant rise in the 24/7 economy space if mobile payments is what we could ride on. In Kenya for instance, millions of people send and receive money over their mobile devices largely compared to cash or bank transactions.
You can now pay for anything without necessarily going to the bank tellers or ATMs to get some money or rather even have to move around loaded with cash.
Depending with whichever bank you are with, you can do deposits or money transfers between different bank accounts and inter-bank money transactions with a simple user interface on your mobile device. What an easy life!
With mobile phones being easily accessible, they have given African Startups an appropriate opportunity to create and deliver locally relevant solutions. This has played a significant role in shaping African technology space. The constant question for you as an innovator in Africa should be, “how do you penetrate your solution to Mashinani?”
“Mashinani”: Means rural population in Swahili.
As long as you have a mobile device – not necessarily a smartphone; you still get services with ease today in Africa and most importantly in Kenya. Be it financial services, education, transport, health; every one of those domains can now be tailored so easily and quickly on the mobile phone platform.
Just like I have always said, if you are not afraid of being creative, then ride on technology to help you build relevant technologies for whichever platform you are building for or on.
Don't be mean. Collaborate. Share knowledge. Create teams and build together. With teams, you will definitely grow and scale up greatly and become even more relevant with whichever domains of life you are building solutions for through technology. Cheers!