Browsing Tag


NEW BOOKS: Innovative Africa: The new face of Africa (Technology & Startups)

I’m all about emerging markets. Innovation in technology in parts of the world that have historically been on the losing-end of tech-booms excites me. Here’s one book I’m looking forward to reading that was just published this month:  Innovative Africa: The new face of Africa by Will Mutua, Mbwana Alliy

We live in an age of increasing innovation taking place throughout the world. Easy access to cheap or free technology, social media networks and oceans of investors looking to seep their funds into the next game-changing idea has leveled the playing field and created fertile ground for entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs around the world to launch tech startups. It really is a new day.

Silicon Alley-based VC Eghosa Omoiguui is investing $30 million in African startups this year.

Africa (like many other parts of the world) is experiencing an “innovation rebirth” that is holding its own compared to other parts of the world. Particularly with regards to mobile technology (where African nations need and use technological innovations the most), it’s clear Africa is making strides in tech. (@MobileActive) documents research being done on the numerous mobile technological advances being done in third world countries and many poorer nations in Africa and the results are both surprising and hopeful. While Forbes recently did a post on Africa’s hottest tech startups which you can read here. And since we’re on the subject and I’m sharing, here are tweets from last week’s Open Innovation Africa Summit (#OIAS)  #innovation

Innovative Africa: The New Face of Africa is a compilation of essays discussing Africa’s current and potential future tech  startup economy. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one. Here are a few of the chapters that should make any entrepreneur, investor, marketer or techie want to grab this book and delve in:

  • Doing Tech Business in Africa: A Few Lessons from Twitter‘s Rise in Africa
  • Which African Country is Best To Do a Tech Startup?
  • The Road Ahead: Blueprint for Building Africa’s Tech Ecosystem
  • Disruptive Innovation in the African Tech Context
  • 7 Stepts to Raising Seed Investment for Africa-focused Tech Startups
  • Mending Africa’s Tech Skills Gap & Tapping into its Youthful Population to Power Innovation in Tech
  • The Making of Silicon Valleys in Africa
  • Looking East: Observations and Lessons for Africa from China’s Startup Ecosystem and Special Economic Zones

Below is more about the book from the publisher. You can also download a preview of the first few chapters here. It’s available on Amazon here.


Technology and Innovation are playing a vital role in shaping Africa’s future and will continue to do so. This collection of essays on the ‘New face of Africa’ posits an African continent where technology, innovation and entrepreneurship create new opportunities for even further growth on the continent.

We look at a wide array of issues that affect the creation, growth and sustainability of startup and innovation ecosystems around the continent. The book does not seek to address issues at the level of a specific country or locality, but instead looks at things from a broad and high level, with the intention of highlighting issues that are pertinent across borders and cultures. Indeed, some aspects may apply more within some country or culture than others (“Africa is not a country”).

The book is divided into two parts: The first, “Investigating Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Africa”, takes a look at the current state of things and makes observations of what progress has been made, existing challenges and opportunities as well as providing specific recommendations that startups, investors and government can use to further technology innovation and entrepreneurship on the continent.

The second part “In Search of a Model for Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems that fits the African Context” takes a close up view of three innovative economies: Silicon Valley, China and Israel, from which we try to glean a few lessons about startup ecosystems that could be applied within the African context in order to come up with a (perhaps hybrid) model that works best for the continent and specific nations within the continent.



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Sewing OATS: Senior Citizens Get Wired in Tech and Social Media

According to a study published this summer by Experian Simmons, baby boomers and senior citizens (the over 50 crowd) is the fastest growing segment of social network users online.  And apparently, they don’t give damn about privacy the way the uptight young ones in their 20’s do.

The Older Adults Technology Services organization in New York (OATS) wants you to know that the elderly population is not taking a quiet back seat on the tech-bus.  They want to be tech and social media savvy like you (move over millenials!).  There are no doubt dozens of similar organizations across the country that address the needs of the elderly who need to be trained in technology and social media but who have limited resources with which to do it (no computers or expendable income to pay for training).  OATS has created a great community organization.

I went to an OATS ceremony several years ago honoring people who contributed selflessly to the organization’s cause.  I also had the opportunity to speak with several OATS members (elderly people who had been recently trained on using the internet and computers) and was very moved.  In this day and age, being online is no longer an option, it’s a means of survival (particularly for an elderly person who can’t leave the house to interact with the rest of the world as much as they would like).

This video (produced by OATS) offers a peak into a community’s efforts to education its elderly in technology.  How would you feel about adopting an elderly person in social media or in your local neighborhood and helping them to become tech-savvy?

To support OATS click here