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Date: Saturday, 20 Sep 2014 10:55
Korea has its famous kimichi; France its slew of smelly cheeses; all branded, protected and promoted confidently.Therein lies a similar opportunity for Nigeria's ogiri,masa, ogi and other fermented foods.

image of Nigerian Masa courtesy of 9jafoodie
From Intech Open Science a paper By Egwim Evans, Amanabo Musa, Yahaya Abubakar and Bello Mainuna Nigerian Indigenous Fermented Foods: Processes and Prospects.

It summarizes:
Developing countries like Nigeria require food processing technologies that are appropriate, suitable for tropical regions and affordable to rural and urban economies. Fermentation techniques are one of such technologies that have been developed indigenously for a wide range of food products. These include root crops, cereals, legumes, fruit and vegetables, dairy, fish and meat. As a unit operation in food processing, fermentation offers various advantages, including, improved food safety, improved nutritional values, enhance flavour and acceptability, reduction in anti-nutrients, detoxification of toxigenic compounds, enhanced shelf-life and improved functional properties.

The present review has shown that Nigerian fermented food and food products can be developed into medium or large scale level for standard commercial products. However, there is the need to further optimize the processes.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "advertising, agriculture, food, horticul..."
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Date: Saturday, 20 Sep 2014 10:14
At Qamp its makerspace tools are materializing from the immediate environment:
   Latest prototype of the Esource assembled in Kokrobite. By AMP and Recyhub

Fabrication recycles materials from EEE ecosystem, or 3E stream; notes from on-going research:

Materials distribution in 3E-stream, preliminary

EEE Appliances observable in Agblosh. 3E-stream: Tool Set : tools in the workshop
Cutting tool sourced in Agbogbloshie

The AMP spacecraft was designed with mobility in mind, as are other crafts like an air craft, or even space faring vehicles (spacecrafts). As a community kiosk with hand tools, the idea of crafting (making with ones hands) was pivotal in addition to the fact that, these tools enable the spacecraft to replicate itself. Hence it can be read as a place where space is crafted...[continue reading]
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "creativity, diy, fabrication, hackerspac..."
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Date: Friday, 19 Sep 2014 21:31
A series that unravels DIYbio:
The first episode of the DIYSECT web-series, 'Learning in Public' introduces several members of the do-it-yourself biology movement (Norfolk's Biologik, Victoria's Biospace, and Sunnyvale's Biocurious), as well as tactical performance artists Steve Kurtz (Critical Art Ensemble), Claire Pentecost, and subRosa (Faith Wilding and Hyla Willis). What these groups have in common is idea of public amateurism: hacking hardware, ideas, and life, and revealing that process in the public sphere. These practices reinforce the idea that you don't have to be classically trained to engage with biology, and show that having access to the tools of biotechnology empowers the everyday citizen with technical knowledge as well as social-political insight into the world we live in.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "biotech, diybio, education, hackerspace,..."
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Date: Friday, 19 Sep 2014 20:39
Unlocking the data gap,founded by Sara Menker Gro Ventures:
Gro Intelligence cultivates opportunities. We gather, aggregate and process data using proprietary algorithms to unlock crucial insights into weather patterns, trade flows, pricing dynamics and production. We provide our users actionable agricultural data to drive higher productivity and greater access to capital.

Our products decipher data through computational and visualization tools that enable financial institutions, corporations and the public sector to make more informed decisions.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "bigdata, databases, diaspora, finance, i..."
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Date: Friday, 19 Sep 2014 10:38
Repurpose Schoolbags are product of Rethaka:
...a for-profit, woman-owned business, based in Rustenburg, South Africa.We are not a charity, but a purpose-driven business that does what is right, not what is easy.
Through our green innovations, we redefine societal problems into solutions. We make it our business to uncover sustainable opportunities that create a far-reaching impact for low-income communities, with a particular focus on children and women.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "accessories, conservation, design, entre..."
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Date: Friday, 19 Sep 2014 10:05
Peter Peele writing in iAfrikan:
image courtesy of the Guardian
...In 2012, the mining sector contributed 5.5% to South Africa's GDP and accounted for 38% of its total exports.

Globally, some of the continent's mineral reserves are ranked either first or second. Botswana, for instance, is the world’s largest diamond producer by value.

In the past decade, however, mining companies faced various challenges and we’ve seen some of these challenges contribute towards GDP declines. In South Africa for example, some of the comapnies in the mining sector saw rising costs and labour unrest.

Mining overall has been under an unsustainable environment and continues to call for innovative solutions.

Goldman Sachs lists “Driving innovation via increased investment in research and development and technology” as one of the ten key issues to address South Africa’s declining global competitiveness. I would imagine that the same would be recommended for other African countries.

With the impression that Africa is a world leader in mining and given the sector's technology challenges,

should we not have increased activity in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) from African Tech Startups in this space?
More here
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "entrepreneurship, mining, services, star..."
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Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 10:27
An considerable opportunity for various startups. Nikhil Sonnad writing in Quartz:
...African leaders met with officials in Washington and agreed to billions of dollars of US investments and infrastructure deals. But the terrible state of statistical reporting in most of Africa means that it will be nearly impossible to gauge how effective these deals are at making Africans, or the American investors, better off.

Data reporting on the continent is sketchy. Just look at the recent GDP revisions of large countries. How is it that Nigeria’s April GDP recalculation catapulted it ahead of South Africa, making it the largest economy in Africa overnight? Or that Kenya’s economy is actually 20% larger (paywall) than previously thought? Indeed, countries in Africa get noticeably bad scores on the World Bank’s Bulletin Board on Statistical Capacity, an index of data reporting integrity.
More here
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "bigdata, databases, infrastructure, inve..."
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Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 10:08
Robert A. Ferdman writing in Quartz:
Reuters/Charlie Riedel
There’s a huge business opportunity hiding in the fields of East Africa.

Teff, a golden, wheat-like grain, has quinoa-like potential. It’s gluten-free, and boasts all kinds of highly marketable health traits that have made quinoa such a hit in countries like the United States: high in calcium, protein, iron, and amino acids. Teff even helps keep blood sugar levels steady, making it ideal for diabetics.

“Many people consider teff to be a super-food,” Khalid Bomba, CEO of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency, told Ugandan newspaper New Vision.

Ethiopia is swimming in the stuff. About a fifth of the nation’s harvested land is dedicated to harvesting teff, and the government wants to double production of the grain by 2015. Locally, it’s used to make a popular flatbread called injera. Between 2001 and 2007, teff accounted for over 11% of Ethiopian calorie intake (pdf).
More here
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "agriculture, food, marketing, markets, t..."
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Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 09:38
Fostering
African Innovation with North American Capital:
iYa Ventures (“iYa”) is an investment fund whose mission is to provide strategic and financial resources to early-stage companies providing goods or services to under-served consumer groups in sub-Saharan Africa, and to advance the effective use of technology among Africa’s entrepreneurs. Our team comprises professionals with expertise in private equity, law, and media. Our investment committee is comprised of Africans with significant experience investing across a range of industries in Africa.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "diaspora, entrepreneurship, funds, start..."
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Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 09:08
Russel Southwood of SmartMonkey TV in conversation:
...So I asked Neal Hansch, MEST Incubator what the biggest obstacles are that need to be overcome for African entrepreneurs to reach their potential?:”The way we look at it, the single biggest need is for talent. The technical aspect is one of the reasons the training programme exists and things are beginning to change. There’s a stronger support network for technical training. Where it all starts is with people who can build the app.
More here
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "education, entrepreneurship, hackerspace..."
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Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 08:58
From South Africa:
Okapi was created with a view to being one of Africa’s first true luxury brands. It was founded by South African painter Hanneli Rupert in 2008. She wanted to create a locally produced range of products that would combine exceptional quality and craftsmanship with an international yet uniquely African look and feel.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "accessories, crafts, design, entrepreneu..."
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AfroCab   New window
Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 08:48
A transportation app:
AfroCab was founded in 2012 by a group of savvy entrepreneurs and investors who identified the need to facilitate better transportation services in some of Nigeria's growing cities. The company, in collaboration with its technical partner which had grown its base by deploying a multi award winning free smartphone application that connects passengers directly with taxi drivers allowing customers to book with certainty every time, decided that there was an opportunity, in a country of over 167 million people to create jobs, enable better transportation modes and place pricing for the service in the hands of the customer, while improving productivity for drivers - taxi drivers, car hire companies and private drivers.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "services, startups, transportation"
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Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 08:39
In the style space:
bluma project is a Brooklyn, NYC-based jewelry and accessories company which began with a passion for global influence on contemporary design and a love of hand-crafted work. In the last 3 years, bluma has fostered strong relationships with women’s producer groups in East and West Africa, Peru and the Philippines where the collection is made.

The result is intricate, bold, beautiful jewelry, textiles and accessories; inspired by our travels, but with a modern aesthetic that appeals to the fashion customer. Having these pieces produced around the globe brings authenticity to the work and helps to build sustainable income for artisans practicing their craft.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "accessories, design, jewellry, jewelry, ..."
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Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 08:37
Odeshi speaks with the founder of La Fame Accoutre, Faith Emenike:
Faith goes from unemployed internet marketer to rejecting two job offers to eventually starting her own perfumery business” LA FAME ACCOUTRE” . With little capital, poor packaging and lots of hustle she was able to drive sales by targeting wedding souvernirs as a primary distribution channel. She now helps mentor students interested in the perfumery business and is growing her business with several new distribution channels and products.
...discussing perfume making with Gene Afrique:
AG: Did you study the art of fragrance making, or are you mostly self taught?

FE: I was taught the mixing and blending of scents. But, recognizing the scents, training my nose, knowing the different genres, types, classes and notes of perfumes were self taught. The major art of perfumery were learnt through experiences and constant research.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "cosmetics, entrepreneurship, luxury, man..."
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Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 08:01
A media production house:
At Chromatic Pictures Africa we embrace your story idea as our own, working to perfection to visually bring to life that idea, above and beyond your expectation. We make sure your brand, script and product is refreshingly new.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "creative industries, entrepreneurship, f..."
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Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 07:57
From Smart Monkey TV:
Global beauty ambassador Eryca Freemantle talks about: how the international make-up brands are investing in Africa; why women of color spend more on beauty products than their white counterparts; the kinds of beauty products the international brands have for women of colour; local beauty brands in Nigeria; and the massive interest from Nigeria in a competition for hairdressers and make-up artists.
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "cosmetics, lifestyle, luxury, natural pr..."
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Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 07:49
CNN reports on Funda:
...an online training platform that's been partnering with universities in South Africa to provide short e-courses for users. Helped by a single private investor, the tech education portal is looking to harness a growing demand for online learning by allowing students to log into classes remotely.

"At Funda, we develop learning management systems and provide content development services to higher institutions to take their courses online so that the general public can access them at a cheaper price," says Nigerian-born Kolawole Olajide, one of Funda's founders.
More here

via Atlanta Black Star
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "diaspora, education, service, startups"
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Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 07:39
A Guardian photo-essay:
Spotting an opportunity for women like her to earn a simple, additional income, Marianna Tanda Fumsi founded a cooperative of women beekeepers on the outskirts of Bamenda in north west Cameroon in 1997. Ever since, it has been helping women to sell honey to help pay for their children's education.
More here
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "cooperative, food, income generation, li..."
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Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 07:38
From La Minute Tech
Dodji Bonaventure gets interviewed about Defko Ak Ñiëp fab lab in Senegal:
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "3d printing, hackerspace, innovation, ma..."
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Date: Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 09:10
Another inclusion to the expanding African vehicle making and hacking space.Time for a Vehicle Faire anyone? Fast Company reports:
image courtesy of Fast Company
When it comes to the success of the electric car, billionaire Elon Musk is viewed as nothing short of a miracle worker. But roughly 8,000 miles away from Tesla's Palo Alto headquarters, Segun Oyeyiola has also managed to make something extraordinary on a smaller scale. The engineering senior at Nigeria's Obafemi Awolowo University spent a year retrofitting a Volkswagen Beetle into a wind and solar-powered car, partly made of free scrap parts donated by friends and family. Everything else cost under $6,000.

There's little question as to why Oyeyiola, who is taking his finals in the next two weeks, would devote so much of his extra-curricular time and resources to the project.

As he wrote in an email to Co.Exist:
"I wanted to reduce carbon dioxide emission[s] going to our atmosphere that lead to climate change or global warming which has become a new reality, with deleterious effect: seasonal cycles are disrupted, as are ecosystems; and agriculture, water needs and supply, and food production are all adversely affected." "Therefore, I came up of building a car that will use both winds and solar energy for its movement," he continued. "This was my personal project because of the problem I’m planning to solve."
More here
via Inhabitat
Author: "Emeka Okafor (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "design, engineering, fabrication, ingenu..."
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