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Date: Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 11:33
A footwear company:
Buqisi-Ruux is a shoe brand that represents the diversity, vibrancy and boldness that lies within the African continent through it's African print high heeled shoes.

The name, Buqisi-Ruux, means "Queen of the Village". Buqisi comes from an ancient Egyptian word meaning Queen while Ruux represents our home-town Rukungiri. The name symbolizes what we as "Buqisi-Ruux" find important; our African heritage and the sensation of royalty and pride we want women to feel when they wear a pair of Buqisi-Ruux shoes.

From inception to construction, our shoes are custom made with each shoe named after strong African women who have, and continue to, inspire us.

Each pair of shoes is a piece of art, some say, "wearable art".
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "accessories, crafts, design, entrepreneu..."
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Date: Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 11:24
An Afrimakers project in Instructables:
Image courtesy of Afrimakers
We used a simple cheap webcam to make a microscope. In short, a small hack to the optics of a standard webcam with an adjustable focus-lens, allows to create video data, with a magnification of around 100 to 400x (depending on the model) at a working distance of a few mm. The highest magnifications can be achieved by inverting (putting upside down) the lens. We used white LEDs at first but the picture wasn't clear enough ,so we used A Flash Light for brighter and more clear view.
More here
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "diy, diybio, education, hackerspace, inn..."
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Date: Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 10:01
Identifying talent:
She Leads Africa’s Entrepreneur Showcase is a platform that introduces the continent’s most promising female entrepreneurs to investors, accelerators, and mentors looking to invest in the next generation of African talent.We are looking for early stage startups that want to meet investors, gain access to new mentors, and grow across Africa.

Our top 10 applicants will be invited to pitch their business ideas in front of a panel of notable business personalities for the chance to win a cash prize of $10, 000 as well as other non-financial prizes (see details below)
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Business, diaspora, entrepreneurship, in..."
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Date: Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 09:32
In Uganda, Misaki Wayengera is leading an effort to develop paper strip tests for Ebola and Marburg:
A project in Uganda that aims to develop a paper-strip test for the deadly Ebola and Marburg viruses...funded by the Grand Challenges Canada project....The paper strip test would, if developed, help test for the virus in a cheap and quick manner within the community just like it is done for malaria.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "education, health, medical technology, r..."
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Date: Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 09:09
An initiative of the Brown Button Foundation led by Adepeju Mabadeje Jaiyeoba:
Mother's Delivery Kits are cost-effective and life-saving kits, for safer childbirth, developed by a team of medical professionals in Nigeria.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "health, Reproductive health, sanitation,..."
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 17:12
SmartMonkey TV reports:
GamersNights is a short overview of multiplayer computer gaming in Uganda with interviews with some of the key players. The interview covers: how GamersNights came to be set up (Samuel Odeke) ; the age and gender of the players; what games people like Saint enjoy playing; the localisation of content for Call of Duty; a rig for speed games built by Douglas Were; and why multiplayer computer gaming can help develop connectivity in Africa by Kyle Spencer. 'People come from all over Africa to play in Uganda because we have the best server'
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "games, hackerspace, hubs, software, spor..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 23:34
A Robohub report:
Where drones are being used for filming, there is no doubt someone catering to their needs and providing them with equipment. SteadiDrone is a proudly South African UAV manufacturer, founded in 2012 in the beautiful town of Knysna. Their flagship product is the QU4D, RTF quadcopter, which uses the APM 2.5 autopilot from 3D Robotics and is able to carry a GoPro camera on board

...There are others, however, that are manufacturing a UAV with significantly less creative purpose. The Skunk Riot Control Drone is made by Desert Wolf, a South African company, and it has already been sold to mining companies, notorious for their problematic treatment of mine workers and frequent riots.

Luckily, there are more jesting endeavors. SA Beer Lift challenge, although tiny compared to the one organized by HobbyKing, still managed to produce some respectable results and some funny fails.
More here
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "engineering, fabrication, film, hardware..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 22:58
Afrigadget reports:
...our Ethiopia-based partner iceaddis: a student recently designed a new wheel for skateboards that can be produced in Ethiopia – made and designed in Africa. Reinventing the wheel?
More here
Images courtesy of IceAddis
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "design, hubs, industrial design, makers,..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 15:19
Makers in action, BoraWear, support them on Kickstarter:

Bora is a swahili word meaning: first-rate, excellent, better, or best.
The whole idea was that we were going to both make great products and support Kenyan artisans.
Each belt is....
1) Handmade by local artisans in Kenya
2) Uses the highest quality local Kenyan leather
3) Each mold is destroyed after the belt is made, making each belt one-of-a-kind.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "accessories, creative industries, crowdf..."
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Date: Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 08:21
They could do the same for Africa. Bill Dietrick reports in Forbes:

Image courtesy of Africa Business Review
“If we want to attract more good manufacturing jobs to America, we’ve got to make sure we’re on the cutting edge of new manufacturing techniques and technologies,” said President Obama in a February press conference. “Typically, a lot of research and development wants to be co-located with where manufacturing is taking place—because if you design something, you want to see how is it working and how is it getting made, and then tinker with it and fix it…. So if all the manufacturing is somewhere else, the lead we’ve got in terms of design and research and development, we’ll lose that too. That will start locating overseas. And we will have lost what is the single most important thing about American economy, and that is innovation.”
More here
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "hackerspace, hubs, Industrial Clusters, ..."
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Date: Sunday, 20 Jul 2014 21:18
Abstract from a paper co-authored by Anna Waldman Brown,Yaw Adu Gyamfi,Sharon Langevin,Abdulai Adam and George Yaw Obeng:
To manufacture anything in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) requires the same creative “maker” sensibility that is valued throughout the fab lab community. This presentation will draw upon research in one of Africa's largest informal industrial communities to explore the past and future of grassroots manufacturing, and examine how fab labs might be integrated into these communities. With over 80,000 technical artisans, auto-mechanics, and purveyors of related supplies, Ghana’s Suame industrial cluster is a hotbed of West African manufacturing and creativity. Yet some of the local workshops are wooden shacks without electricity, and the entire community is on the path of decline unless local artisans can come up with competitive products and keep up-to-date with modern technology. The decline of Suame Magazine is typical of many such manufacturing and repair communities throughout SSA.

In 1980, a group of engineers from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana founded an Intermediate Technology Transfer Unit (ITTU) in the heart of the Suame cluster. They introduced new tools and techniques for metal fabrication, welding, beekeeping, and other grassroots businesses. This presentation will discuss how the success of KNUST’s technology-transfer program might be repeated today with digital manufacturing tools-- how could a fab lab be tailored for use in SSA’s informal manufacturing sector, where metalworking is more essential than carpentry or electronics? This paper will also compare the KNUST initiative to current programs in Ghana Fab Lab and Kenya’s ARO Fab Lab. While both fab labs have benefitted their respective communities, neither one has worked with local informal industries in any significant capacity. If fab labs of the developing world wish to fulfill their stated goals of providing employment and fostering new industries, the authors firmly believe that these labs must become better integrated with the existing informal sector.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "education, fabrication, hackerspace, Ind..."
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GyroLabs   New window
Date: Sunday, 20 Jul 2014 17:18
A graduate of Flat6Labs:
At GyroLabs, we’re working on exciting ways to merge the online world with traditional television viewing habits. This involves creating smartphone applications that complement television by providing viewers with additional information about what they are currently watching, integrating their social connections and allowing them to reach out to other viewers to create a more immersive and interactive experience. Our applications also help broadcasters reach out to their audience in real time, interact with them, discover their preferences and possibly tailor the content to their specific needs.

We are partnering with leading television manufacturers to bring our applications to their next generation television sets, dubbed SmartTVs. These Internet connected devices allow viewers to stream online content and run applications on their TV, unleashing an array of possibilities for viewers, including accessing YouTube videos, connecting to social networks, and playing online multiplayer games.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "broadcasting, egypt, entrepreneurship, h..."
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Date: Saturday, 19 Jul 2014 11:48
CNN reports:

Many of the plant species found in Madagascar exist nowhere else in the world.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "conservation, farming, forestry, health,..."
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Date: Saturday, 19 Jul 2014 10:46
In Tekedia:
Over the years. the teams at FASMICRO Group and African Institution of Technology have moved around Africa documenting the next opportunity. Some of our insights have been shared in books, publications like Harvard Business Review and conferences. The perspectives have been spot on as we continue to see trends and help companies understand Africa even nefore many do. Our last project (May 2014) was mapping the innovation systems in Nigeria and using data to predict what the next opportunities could be (the funder may make the report public soon). We developed a database of more than 7,000 companies in the economy and met companies making money with no website. That was one - we have worked for clients across Africa.

In this eBook, we share the top 100 investable companies we have seen in the last six months in West Africa. Please note, we did not say "Innovative". You may be innovative and ahead of the time which could affect your capacity to generate immediate value. We are talking of companies that are positioned to make money. Some of these companies will be the first sets of firms that will be acquired by foreign companies. We list three here in no order:

  • Wild Fusion. This is a digital marketing company with presence in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. It is a growth business that is offering African know-how to online marketing. They understand the Africa consumer and they have adapted their technologies to provide superior values to their clients.

  • AppZone. This is not your typical app company. This firm is at the center of meeting the growing need in emerging markets for financial services accessibility to the masses. Many banks in Nigeria are using their products for different services. Founded by local university graduates, this company is poised for success.

  • GenKey. GenKey provides large-scale Biometric Identity Management solutions for Elections and Digital Healthcare with a focus on emerging economies. When you know that Africa cannot count its people and does not know its citizens, you will agree that credit system will not take place efficiently without the services similar to what GenKey is doing. Operating from Ghana, it is expanding across Africa.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "education, entrepreneurship, finance, he..."
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Date: Saturday, 19 Jul 2014 05:59
In SciDev:
This month’s podcast features two female innovators who are making a difference in the developing world.

First we meet Neeti Kailas, an award-winning Indian designer who is working to improve the early diagnosis of hearing impairment in newborn babies. Every year, almost 100,000 hearing impaired babies are born in India, but speech development can be safeguarded with early screening.

UMMELI from Wayne Habig on Vimeo.
Then we pay a visit to Shikoh Gitau, a Kenya-based computer scientist and tech entrepreneur who tells us about Ummeli, a new mobile jobs and community network.
More here
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "design, entrepreneurship, health, income..."
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Date: Saturday, 19 Jul 2014 05:42
In Kinshasa, from CNN:
Inside Africa explores what makes the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo one of Africa's fastest growing cities.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "agriculture, Business, diaspora, DRC, en..."
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Date: Friday, 18 Jul 2014 12:08
A diaspora that builds Nigeria Health Watch profiles Kidney Solutions a kidney disease and dialysis company :
Emeka Anekwe and Ogo Egbuna, graduates of the College of Medicine of the University of Nigeria. After medical school, they were among the many doctors who left for the USA to develop their skills. Completing the rigorous specialization programmes in internal medicine and sub-specialisation in nephrology, they had started to establish themselves in practice in the US and could have settled comfortably into that lifestyle. However, after many years of practice, they were conscious of the challenges the Nigerian health sector still faced and were keen to do more than settle into a mere professionally fulfilled life in the United States.

Following years of research and due diligence they have recently set up the first completely outpatient dialysis centre in Nigeria – Kidney Solutions in Ikeja Lagos. On a recent visit to their centre, I spent the day with Dr Anekwe talking about the project. It was impossible to miss the passion in his voice as he shared their story with me and the challenges they have faced. Raising funds for the centre was one of the biggest challenges and, now that it is up and running, he is spending a lot of time in Lagos, away from his family, training their staff, not just on the provision of clinical care, but also on simple courtesy to patients, appropriate bedside manners and creating an environment of care and empathy.
And in pharmaceuticals:
...Ifesinachi Anyamene, a pharmacist. After a few years of working in various pharmacies in the UK, she established her first pharmacy in the UK a few years ago and has recently set up a second branch in Gwarinpa Abuja, which she intends to manage to the same high standards, ethos and governance structures as the UK pharmacies where she worked for many years...I watched as she attended to him with care – explaining the different therapeutic options available to him, as well as the pros and cons of each option. I waited patiently as she ensured that all his questions were answered before he left. I know that he will be going back to that pharmacy in future.
More here
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "diaspora, education, entrepreneurship, h..."
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Date: Friday, 18 Jul 2014 11:17
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "creative industries, hackerspace, hardwa..."
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 08:23
Meet Nasir Yammama inventor of the Emotiv Epoc Brain Computer Interface headset. :
Spesh YH writes:
Image courtesy of Speshworld
He is an IT specialist with a difference. A graduate of Information technology and Business information Systems. Apart from programming, graphics design and animation, he is into creative technology through which he engages in robotics, mobile, wearable and immersive technologies as well as haptics and interactive design. He recently designed a smart TV based Reminiscence Therapy application and installation to help people with Short Term Memory Loss for the Museum of Domestic Art (MoDA), London...[continue reading]
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "diaspora, electronics, engineering, hard..."
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Date: Thursday, 03 Jul 2014 11:18
A CurryStone design prize winner and founder of Design Space Africa:
Luyanda Mphahlwa is the former creative force behind MMA Architects, a firm on the vanguard of a new wave of designers that is reshaping and re envisioning South Africa's post-apartheid architectural landscape...MMA is pioneering is a new style of architecture that integrates and elevates African-inspired design in both rural and urban settings.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "architecture, design, materials"
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