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Date: Thursday, 09 Oct 2014 12:25
From TED Global 2014:
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim is a professor at the University of Mauritius, and she’s here this morning to show us five plants unique to where she works and lives: the Mascarene Islands. She introduces us to benjoin (terminalia bentzoe), a plant with leaves of many different shapes that evolved to escape the jaws of grazing tortoises, who have poor eyesight and avoid leaves they don’t recognize. This amazing plant could hold the answer to antibiotic resistance, she says. Next, Gurib-Fakim points us to the baobab tree (adansonia digitata), sometimes called the “tree of life.” This tree could be the answer to food security, because its fruit — the “monkey apple” — contains more protein than human milk. “Biodiversity underpins all life on earth, and yet we don’t realize how valuable and precious this resource is,” says Gurib-Fakim. “When a plant or animal goes extinct, disappears from the face of earth, we have lost an entire subset of the earth’s biology, along with the medicinal or other properties it possesses.” As she says, “Every time a forest comes down … it’s a potential lab going down with it.”
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "biodiversity, farming, innovation, mater..."
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Date: Sunday, 05 Oct 2014 12:31
In the Guardian:
It started on a kitchen table with a hairdryer, a shoebox and a pile of electronics.

Three years later Amplino – a low-cost, highly sensitive malaria detector – is almost ready for field-testing in rural Zambia.

It's been a learning journey for its three Dutch inventors. They've had to modify their design, re-think their market and discover ways to fund their unorthodox technology company. Along the way, they have learnt that do-it-yourself biotechnology innovation is possible, but that it requires a good idea, good market research and smart partnerships...[continue reading]
image courtesy of the Guardian
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "electronics, fabrication, hackerspace, h..."
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Date: Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 19:03
In Africa Fashion Guide:
Craft Afrika will on 2nd and 3rd October 2014 at the Jacaranda Hotel, Nairobi, convene Afrika Handmade, a 2 day event that will focus on contemporary craft and design produced in Kenya.

Craft Afrika is involved in creating opportunities that enable viable, dynamic craft and design enterprises. In this regard, Craft Afrika was set up to address gaps in two specific areas: knowledge sharing [including business and technical skills training as well as mentorship] and market development [including market access].

One of the biggest challenges facing contemporary craft and design entrepreneurs is accessing profitable and sustainable markets. This challenge is caused partly by the fact that a large portion of the potential target market is unaware of the existence of a more innovative genre of craft. Indeed, mention the word ‘craft’ and for most people, the association is with the ‘maasai’ market, often characterised by cheap, mass produced souvenirs and curios.
More here
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "craft, crafts, design, industrial design..."
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Date: Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 07:21
A step towards building a more viable sports industry.Ventures Africa reports:
...For one of the leading teams in the DSTV Basketball Premier League, Lagos Islanders, fortunes have taken another upward turn as the team have reportedly secured a new team of investors led by Nigerian music star Olanrewaju Fasasi- popularly known as Sound Sultan. The musician is joined by former Islanders Ugo Udezue and Tajudeen Adeyemi who are said to also have equity in the club.

Team owner, Akinseku Damoye, has hinted that the new collaboration has been in the works for months as the Lagos Islanders undergo a full brand repackaging.

“We are set to change the face of basketball in the country and we have now formed a team that will work hard to achieve that,” Damoye said. “Ugo and Tj have done excellent ground work for the past nine months. The major challenge was getting a suitable new home ground but we have been able to achieve that now.”
More here
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "broadcasting, creative industries, enter..."
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Date: Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 06:09
From an earlier post:
"MakerNurses are the problem solvers and patient advocates who live and work in the heart of our healthcare system." 
Along with others who are working constructively in the face of a raging Ebola epidemic, Fatu Kekula of Liberia demonstrated her life-saving ingenuity with the DIY fabrication of personal protective equipment (PPE).Elizabeth Cohen of reports for CNN:
...Fatu, who's in her final year of nursing school, invented her own equipment. International aid workers heard about Fatu's "trash bag method" and are now teaching it to other West Africans who can't get into hospitals and don't have protective gear of their own.

Every day, several times a day for about two weeks, Fatu put trash bags over her socks and tied them in a knot over her calves. Then she put on a pair of rubber boots and then another set of trash bags over the boots. She wrapped her hair in a pair of stockings and over that a trash bag. Next she donned a raincoat and four pairs of gloves on each hand, followed by a mask.

It was an arduous and time-consuming process, but Fatu was religious about it, never cutting corners. UNICEF Spokeswoman Sarah Crowe said Fatu is amazing.

"Essentially this is a tale of how communities are doing things for themselves," Crowe said. "Our approach is to listen and work with communities and help them do the best they can with what they have."
More here
images courtesy of CNN
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "diy, fabrication, health, ingenuity, mak..."
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 23:25
From Talking Heads:
Yewande Omotose speaks to engineer and educator Dr. G. Ayorkor Korsah about her love of math and science to her deep appreciation of engineering, robotics, algorithms and teaching.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "education, electronics, innovation, wome..."
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 23:17
Over at OZY:
image courtesy of OZY
Geoffrey Siwo wants to accelerate drug discovery by enlisting the help of millions of Internet users around the world — not research insitutions or Big Pharma.
There are more than 10,000 diseases on the planet, asthma to zygomycosis. Geoffrey Siwo wants to cure all of them.

What if you could find a way in which basically anyone with a computer and Internet connection could contribute to research on a disease?

And the 35-year-old computational biologist believes he can. Or, rather, that we can, if we can disrupt drug discovery. It’s worth listening: Few understand the toll of disease like Siwo, who lost three sisters to disease in Kenya.

Today, pharmaceutical companies pour resources into widespread diseases that afflict developed countries, like cancer or diabetes. There’s less economic incentive to tackle rare diseases or those, like malaria and tuberculosis, that plague poorer regions. Even if there were, drug companies would still lack the manpower to tackle every disease known.

Siwo sees another way. “What if you could find a way in which basically anyone with a computer and Internet connection could contribute to research on a disease?” he asks — and it’s not a rhetorical question. This month, he unveiled the United Genomes Project, Africa’s first crowdsourced, open-source genetic database. Siwo and his team will start by asking first-generation Africans in the U.S. to upload their results from 23andMe and other commercially available genetic kits. Then they’ll fan out to African countries once they approve direct-to-consumer genetic testing...[continue reading]
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "bigdata, crowdsourcing, Open source, res..."
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 00:04
Emmanuel Owobu is the founder of MOBicure:
their Flagship product is Ọmọmi...an android-based mobile application that aims to improve maternal and child health.

This easy to use mobile application will help mothers keep their children healthy. It makes it easier for parents and caregivers to cater for the health needs of their children by providing a platform for them to easily monitor their children's growth and nutritional status, remember routine immunization visits, provide a repository of very vital health information, as well as help them handle some common childhood ailments.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "health, mobile, Reproductive health, sof..."
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 23:51
YALI Fellow Hastings Mkandawire, is the founder and Director of Turbines Development Enterprise which recently received a $25K grant. After the jump a video of Hastings and his colleague Jimmy Mzilahowa fabbing a generator:

Homemade | Villant Jana from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.
Hastings has taken his passion for designing viable, sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions and his certification in Electrical Engineering to establish several hydro-electric turbines in the rural areas of Malawi. Using recycled materials, Hastings has efficiently built small hydro-electric turbines that generate enough electricity to power water pumps for villages consequently allowing easy water access for irrigation, relieving women and young girls from having to fetch water daily on their heads. “Upon my return, I will encourage massive replication of low cost electric power generation systems to support youth economic activities in the isolated rural areas of Malawi.” - US Embassy LiLongwe
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "bootstrapping, engineering, fabrication,..."
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 23:33
Polymath inventor Morris Mbetsa developed an:
...anti-theft device called Block and Track. Block and Track is an SMS-based vehicle security system that enables car-owners to monitor their vehicle from a distance. The system he has invented brings the whole concept of vehicle security into one’s hand thanks to the mobile phone - Kumatoo
His company Mbetsa Innovations offers products which include:
-Vehicle Management
-Car Anti theft System
-Car Tracking Systems
-Vehicle Recovery
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "electronics, engineering, entrepreneursh..."
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 11:53
Founded by Adjabeng Antwi-Agyei :
Kobbiman Farms was established in September 2000 as a mango plantation.The company now has a 700 acre mango plantation aged between five and 10 years. They started exporting exotic mangoes in 2010 and produce approximately 1800 tons a year, with production increasing as the plantation grows.They also produce butternut squash for export mainly to the UK.
via Modern Ghana
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "agriculture, Business, farming, food, tr..."
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 10:55
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "agriculture, income generation, Industri..."
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 10:00
Kampala Jellitone in Uganda is a:
...producer of briquettes made from agricultural wastes. Made mainly from sawdust, peanut husks and coffee waste, the fuel replaces wood and charcoal helping protect the rich biodiversity of the area. Schools, hospitals and factories across the country are buying 130 tonnes a month of briquettes, along with efficient stoves for heating and cooking.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "agriculture, manufacturing, processing, ..."
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Date: Saturday, 27 Sep 2014 20:37
Founded by Roland Fomundam of Jola:
The GreenHouse Center (GHC) is Cameroon’s premier sustainable agriculture company. The company is a deployer of the affordable greenhouse technology in Cameroon.

We have successfully established the first agriculture trading platform wherein producers acquire greenhouses and seedlings for planting and in turn sell their harvests at market prices to GHC and its market networks.
This GHC’s market and innovation driven model has laid the foundation for the efficient and effective production of healthy and valued products while protecting and improving the natural environment as well as the social and economic standards of our producers; our employees and the communities in which we are involved.
After the jump, Jola's solpod preservation technology:
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "agriculture, farming, horticulture, inco..."
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Date: Saturday, 27 Sep 2014 17:17
In the creative space:
image from the 'Nobule' project
Like the Swahili name implies, WETU is “ours”; a Zimbabwean collective of like-minded artists who create and develop new work at the meeting place of design, technology and storytelling. We work with brands and individuals to do the same, while telling our own stories along the way
via Behance
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "advertising, arts, creative industries, ..."
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Date: Saturday, 27 Sep 2014 16:25
Founded by Matthew “Tayo” Rugamba:
Matthew “Tayo” Rugamba
House of Tayo was created out of the desire to find a unique way through which to showcase African sophistication, style and flavor through contemporary, locally-made clothing and accessories. With style influences ranging from the Motown era to tradional British tailoring, House of Tayo seeks to combine elegance and class with a strong sense of African heritage and iconography.
via Portland Monthly
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "accessories, design, entrepreneurship, f..."
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Date: Saturday, 27 Sep 2014 16:05
Founder Aissatou Sene states:
I create original designs that are applied to African wax print and presented in a contemporary Western style. Belya is my life; fun and exciting with a vision toward fashion design and business. I enjoy working with craftsman, wax print, leather and cotton to bring my designs to life. Each article is made by hand and 100% from Africa.
via LadyBrille
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "accessories, craft, design, diaspora, en..."
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Date: Friday, 26 Sep 2014 11:58
From Aurora labs on Kickstarter:
The S1 is the first 3D metal printer that makes aerospace quality manufacturing available at a price that a homeowner or small workshop can afford. The list of what we can make is literally endless...
Alan Faulkner-Jones's incredible bio-printer:
Faulkner-Jones’ design involves a four-extruder, valve-based 3D bioprinter that inserts living cells within a gel. The cells grow, while the gel eventually dissolves, leaving a structured section of living tissue.

This approach has been the way of bioprinting for some years now, but the difficulty is in maintaining the living tissue, which must be fed nutrients, oxygen, etc. Up to now this has severely limited the thickness of bioprints, since nutrients can penetrate only a short distance in bioprinting gels.

Faulkner-Jones’ design changes this. His gel is “perfusible” and permits the passage of nutrients not just millimeters of distance, but “centimeters”! This is a major breakthrough that should permit, eventually, the printing of large 3D biostructures, perhaps even organs if vascular cells can be printed...[continue reading]
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "3d printing, crowdfunding, electronics, ..."
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Date: Friday, 26 Sep 2014 10:37
Updates from Menn Baladha studio covered earlier:

Menn Baladha from Nahla on Vimeo.
...founded by a group of Cairo based designers; designing a return to crafts.

Menn Baladha literally means “from where it originated". It is an Arabic idiom that stands for local ingenuity, which means if you want the best version of something you go to where it was first created, where experience has allowed for mastery.

Menn Baladha values premium natural materials, paired with tried and refined techniques; producing designs that allow for delightful experiences everyday.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "ceramic, crafts, design, entrepreneurshi..."
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Date: Friday, 26 Sep 2014 10:07
From Spice TV:
Hazel Aggrey-Orleans, the driving force behind the Eki Orleans luxury fashion brand shares with us her diverse roots and how she set up her business. Loved for vibrant and feminine designs, Hazel also speaks on her influences and why her signature and unique silk prints make any women in Eki Orleans the 'centre of attention.'
via LadyBrille
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "entrepreneurship, fashion, luxury, women"
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