Top 5 Mobile Phone Apps Made in Africa
On: 16th Aug 2017
Africa is home to multiple breakthrough technologies. By leapfrogging directly to cutting-edge technologies, Africa has always bypassed the industrial phase in which developed countries invested in cumbersome technological infrastructure. In this list we rank some the continent’s game changing Apps. This App ranking is based on the impact the technology has had on the lives of everyday Africans, NOT on the App’s download numbers nor the amount of revenues generated by the App in the Google Play store or the App Store. Originality of concept is also considered; e-commerce shopping apps or food delivery apps were not considered during the ranking. Neither did we consider gaming apps or social networking apps; except if they added an economic or social value to the African citizenry.
M-Pesa, Kenya: An award-winning mobile money transfer service, M-Pesa was first launched by the Kenyan mobile network operator Safaricom, an affiliate of Vodafone, in March 2007. It quickly captured a significant market share for cash transfers, and grew astoundingly quickly, capturing 6.5 million subscribers by May 2009 with 2 million daily transactions in Kenya alone. The innovation was quickly replicated by other leading African telecom companies. Mobile Money Transfers have since clocked $1.3 Trillion dollars per year; yes $1.3 Trillion USD according to the World Bank. The service is now used by over 800 million people all across Africa.
BarefootLaw, Uganda: BarefootLaw is an online platform that provides the public with free legal information using innovative approaches. Gerald Abila, a Ugandan Attorney and a former law student at Kampala International University, is the founder of BareFootLaw. The organization uses technology, audio- visual tools and traditional means of legal aid such as seminars and clinics to promote women’s knowledge of the law. The organization equips women with information regarding their rights to property.
Ushahidi, Kenya: Ushahidi, which translates to 'testimony' in Swahili, was developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election violence in 2008. Since then, thousands have used the organization's crowdsourcing tools to raise their voice. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, Ushahidi is a global leader in crisis response software design.
iRokoTV, Nigeria: Call iRokoTV the ’Netflix of Africa.’ iRokoTV is a web platform that provides paid-for Nigerian films on-demand. It is one of Africa’s first mainstream online movie steaming websites, giving instant access to over 5,000 Nollywood film titles. The company’s online video streaming service has revolutionized Africa’s movie and entertainment industry.
M-Farm, Kenya: M-Farm allows local Kenyan farmers to get up-to-date information on crop prices and farming-related matters. Getting accurate food prices is a valuable asset on the African continent. Users are also able to request prices for five major towns in Kenya. Being SMS-based is also a big selling-point, as not a lot of farmers have access to reliable internet connections.
MAMA, South Africa: MAMA stands for Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA). The app works with low-income and at-risk mothers and families in countries with high populations of mobile phone users - to provide vital health information through SMS text messaging and simple voice messages. MAMA provides pregnant women and new mothers with targeted health information and care tips using SMS and voice calls. The system allows expectant women to register with their due date for free or affordable information on antenatal care and delivery services timed to their precise stage of pregnancy. The expectant mothers are also advised on birth plans and childcare, including breastfeeding. The Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action is a global movement that seeks to use mobile technologies to improve the health and lives of mothers in developing nations. The Initiative was launched by U.S cosmetics company ’Johnson & Johnson’ in partnership with the United Nations.
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