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"A view of Africa and Africans with a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, technology, practical remedies and other self sustaining activities.".....Emeka OkaforEmeka Okaforhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13573984373251779325noreply@blogger.comBlogger6506125blogspot/cNFJohttps://feedburner.google.com

Arela Chemicals #Ghana founded by Sefa Gohoho Boatin

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 8:46am
Meet Sefa Gohoho Boatin, an alumnus of The London School of Economics and one of the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre’s female entrepreneurs. Her company, Arela chemicals, which is cofounded with Charles Boatin and Dewey Mair innovates on waste-to-chemicals by converting agricultural residue into food grade carbon dioxide for carbonated beverages and compressed natural gas for the energy production...[more]Arela Chemicals uses biogas generated from corn stover to produce high purity chemicals for customers in the local food & beverage and mining sectors.

Biogas is a source of renewable energy that is used to power all facility operations. This strategy enables off-grid operation.

Why It’s Time for a Hardware Conference in Nigeria

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 6:00am
Chuma Asuzu writes:
Introducing Datasheet, a conference on product development

Between the 4th and 6th of April this year, Hardware Lagos will host her first conference. For three days, there will be workshops and talks delivered by experts from across Africa and outside the continent...[more]

Exotic EPZ #Kenya is developing value chains for Coffee and Nuts

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 6:00am
Spore in conversation with the founders of Exotic EPZ:
What are the key qualities that led to your business winning an AWIEF award and how do you plan to build on these qualities as Exotic EPZ develops?

Jane Maigua: Our job creation model, which is to provide men and women with an avenue through which they can sustain themselves and their families, has been key to our success. The significant volume of nuts we have been supplied with since starting the business – about 700,000 kg – means that everyone in the value chain, from the farmers themselves to those at the collection centres and the workers in our EPZ, have a source of income. This is another aspect of our business success.More here

BeatDrone #Nigeria an Agricultural & Mapping Aerospace Startup

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 6:00am
BeatDrone uses precision drones to execute spraying on the farms, engage in crop supervision and mapping of the farmland. This enables the farmer to achieve optimum result, increased harvest yield and lower cost of operations; thus reducing the cost of food in the open market, eliminating hunger and poverty. via

How Unbundling Pay As You Go Solar Drives Market Expansion - Angaza @angazadesign

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 10:12am
From Angaza a technology company serving last-mile distribution businesses in emerging markets.:

Recently, the pay as you go solar industry has seen a dramatic shift away from vertical integration, to unbundled products and services. Unbundling allows specialization along the value chain, allowing businesses to focus on delivering hardware, software, and distribution services for customers — rather than attempting to do it all. Angaza was the first in the industry to offer unbundled solutions serving manufacturers and distributors. By focusing on the consumer financing aspect of the value chain, Angaza developed specialization in software and remote metering and monitoring technology...[more]

Sonocare Mobile Diagnostics Nigeria

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 6:00am

1000hills #Rwanda - A Craft Distillery

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 6:00am
CNBC Africa highlights 1000 Hills Distillery Rwanda:

How Africa can Inspire the Future of the Sharing Economy by Tarig Hilal

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 1:33pm
Tarig Hilal writes:
Before there was Lyft there was Zimride. Established by Lyft Co Founders John Zimmer and Logan Green in 2007, Zimride was an early and successful foray into the business of ride-sharing. Sold to Enterprise Holdings in July 2013 for an undisclosed sum, it allowed co-workers and students to car pool to the same destination. The company is still in operation today and claims to be the largest closed network web-based ride-matching and carpooling service in North America...[more]

Africa’s emerging digital, social, mobile economy is neither formal nor informal but a bridge in between - Niti Bhan

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 6:00am
Niti Bhan writes:
Let’s call it the prepaid economy, I told Michael in our regular weekly call the other day. We were exploring the emergence of commercial activity on digital platforms in Kenya, and debating whether it could still be considered as an element of the existing informal economic ecosystem, or, was it something wholly novel and different?

What is emerging is not simply the digital version of the existing informal economy, its a novel hybrid that deserves consideration in its own right. Yet, calling it simply the digital or the app economy would conflate it together with the developed world’s version, overlooking the unique characteristics that distinguish it as very African...[more]

Helen | Couture #Nigeria

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 6:00am
Helen Couture founded by Helen Chukwu recently launched their flagship store in Lagos Nigeria:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by H E L E N (@helen_couture) on Dec 3, 2018 at 5:53am PST

From One Hotel to a Chain of Eight - Hotelier Mossadeck Bally founder of Azalaï Hotels Group

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 6:00am
A HowWeMadeIt profiles the founder of the Azalaï Hotels Group"
Starting with a single hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako, Mossadeck Bally has built a chain of eight business hotels in five West African countries, bringing thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity to areas that need both. Environmental and social standards have helped his company, Azalaï Hotels, thrive in challenging markets...[more]

Potato market access, marketing efficiency and on-farm value addition in #Uganda

Sun, 01/06/2019 - 6:00am
A new paper via ScienceDirect:

Understanding barriers to market access for smallholder farmers and their marketing efficiency when they participate in agricultural value chains is key to unlocking the market potential and overcoming market failures. This study aimed at determining factors limiting farmers’ market access, the break-even point for undertaking postharvest value addition activities by the farmers, and the market efficiency of the Uganda potato market chains in which the smallholder farmers are participating. Our study was based on the hypothesis that market access and efficiency are higher where farmers have contract arrangements with buyers, and where they are directly linked with the buyers at the end of the value chain. The study was carried out in the popular potato growing districts of Kabale and Mbale in Uganda. The survey involved purposive selection of the study areas and random selection of potato farmers and traders. We used an Ordinary Least Square model to determine factors that influence potato smallholder farmers’ market access. We also used break-even analysis to determine the break-even point for potato farmers to take up postharvest value addition activities, and a value addition approach to determine market efficiency. Results indicate that having a contract with buyers, size of land owned, number of forked hoes owned and variety grown positively and significantly influenced farmer market access. We found that adding value to potato on farm earns farmers relatively more income. A farmer would earn 25% higher than when no value addition was done. Market chains where farmers sell to local rural traders were more efficient than selling to other alternatives. We recommend farmer involvement in value addition, collective and/or contractual marketing, and selling directly to the nearest actor in the value chain.

The Hardware Supply Chain Africa Needs - Chuma Asuzu @CaptainUnibrow https://theprepared.org/features/2018/12/22/the-supply-chain-africa-needs cc @clintoneltech @tcchukwueke @EmekaOkoye @HardwareNigeria

Sat, 01/05/2019 - 3:32pm
Over at ThePrepared Chuma Asuzu writes:

At a conference in Nairobi two years ago, an engineer visiting from Rotterdam stunned me with how easy it was for his team to order electronic components: an order for a BLE chip placed on Thursday evening would be fulfilled by lunch on Friday. Only a month before that, my colleague and I had spent two weeks waiting for a Bluetooth module for a prototype we were taking to the same conference. And two weeks was fast: we had a relationship with a Sparkfun reseller in Lagos, Nigeria. Most orders for electronic components took, at best, a month to arrive.

Long fulfillment times are the norm for small product manufacturers in Africa. Prior to this BLE project, we spent a month (with no tracking information whatsoever) waiting for a capacitor order from Aliexpress. Orders like this are an exercise of faith and at the mercy of the postal service who only offer home delivery for letters; online purchases must be picked up in person at a service office. For both hackers and small manufacturers in these parts, long wait times and uncertainty are an unavoidable part of the product development process.

This article introduces Africa, first as a continent comprised of different countries and markets, then as home to creative entrepreneurs manufacturing products for everyday use. Next, we examine the supply chain difficulties they face and end with recommendations for improvement...[more]

#ART + #AI — Generating African Masks using (Tensorflow and TPUs) by @vykthur

Sat, 01/05/2019 - 6:00am
Victor Dibia writes:
In August 2018, I had the opportunity to attend the 2018 Deep Learning Indaba where Google generously provided access to TPUs (v2) to all participants! I finally came around to spending some time getting familiar with running ML experiments on TPUs and started out with training a GAN to generate images based on a custom dataset I have been curating — the African masks dataset. TPUs provide some serious compute horsepower (at par with high end GPUs) that enable fast turnaround for training experiments . Having access to a TPU allowed me explore some questions related to training GANs — e.g. how much data is enough data? How might image size affect generated output? How important is data quality (e.g efforts to curate your dataset?) How novel are the generated samples? etc. In this post, I provide a walk through steps in I took training the GAN, results and interesting observations...[more]

How Morocco became Africa’s agricultural oasis

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 6:00am
From CNBC Africa:
Just 6% of arable land in Africa is irrigated, Morocco can offer valuable insights to help other countries tap into this enormous potential to expand irrigation...[more]

Smoothie Express #Nigeria

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 6:00am
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Healthy. Fresh. Delicous. Food (@smoothieexpressng) on Dec 5, 2018 at 4:02am PST

Smoothie Express strives to assist people to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Our goal is to become a daily part of our customer’s lifestyle helping achieve their health goals, by delivering our healthy meals to their door steps.

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