Tag: Kampala

World Economic Forum Names Top 5 African Female Innovators

Three of WEF's top five African women innovators (photo via VenturesAfrica.com)
Three of WEF’s top five African women innovators (photo via VenturesAfrica.com)

article by Fumnanya Agbugah via VenturesAfrica.com

On Friday, the World Economic Forum on Africa presented the five winners of the conference’s challenge to find Africa’s top women innovators. The winners, whose innovations were from the areas including mobile health insurance, solar powered vending carts, bio medical materials and IT training as well as food processing, hail from Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

Currently, Africa has the youngest population in the world and this is expected to double by 2045. In view of this, several global leaders have attested to the fact that Africa’s future lies in the hands of its youthful population. The region’s start-up businesses are gaining confidence and scale with a growing number of innovations achieving recognition beyond the region’s borders. However, a lot still has to be done in order to create an enabling environment that will allow women to flourish. Due to this set back, the World Economic Forum decided to run this competition to find Africa’s top female innovators especially as the potential of women entrepreneurs is far from optimum.

“I strongly believe that the 21st century will be Africa’s century, that its young population has the potential to build a world where they are not only materially better off, but also where things are fairer, more sustainable and more tolerant than at any other time in history. But this will not be achieved unless women are able to make a full contribution. This is why we are showcasing Africa’s best female entrepreneurs in Kigali this week,” said Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa at the World Economic Forum.

Here are Africa’s top female innovators, selected based on the criteria for the WEF Africa challenge. This required entrant companies to be less than three years old, be earning revenue for at least a year and have proven innovation and positive social impact.

Natalie Bitature – Musana Carts, Kampala, Uganda

Natalie Bitature - Musana Carts, Kampala, Uganda

Musana Carts has used frugal innovation to develop environmentally friendly, solar-powered vending carts. With a price point of $400, each Musana Cart saves 3,000 tons of carbon emissions and improves the health of cities by eliminating pollution from charcoal and kerosene stoves.

Audrey Cheng – Moringa School, Nairobi, Kenya

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Audrey Cheng established Moringa School to enable an entire generation gain the skills they need to compete in the digital economy. Two years on, graduates work in the top tech companies in the region, earning, on average, 350 percent more than before they completed the course.

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Google Expands Low-Cost Phone Program to Several African Countries

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Google is attempting to make cell phones affordable for people living in six African countries. Google announced the “Hot 2″ phone, which will cost only $88, would be sold in stores in Nigeria and offered by online retailer Jumia in five other countries: Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Morocco.

Although the phones being released in Africa will be ‘bare minimum’ when it comes to technology in them, the company hopes that it will be a start pointing for getting more people online.

Google, Facebook and other Internet companies are trying to get more people online in places like Africa so they can expand their audiences and eventually sell more digital advertising.

As part of that effort, Google already has built a fiber-optic network to provide faster Internet access in Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

article via clutchmagonline.com

Ugandan Journalist Nancy Kacungira Wins BBC World News Komla Dumor Award

Nancy Kacungira (photo via sde.co.ke)
Nancy Kacungira (photo via sde.co.ke)

A Ugandan journalist with a background as an entrepreneur, radio and TV reporter and presenter has won the first BBC World News Komla Dumor Award.

Nancy Kacungira, a television anchor for Kenya’s KTN television channel, was selected from nearly 200 applicants.

She will spend three months at the BBC in London and also report from Africa for the BBC TV, radio and online.

The award was established to honour Komla Dumor, a presenter for BBC World News, who died suddenly aged 41.

Ms Kacungira said: “I am stunned, but also ecstatic upon hearing this news. I am so greatly honoured and humbled to be the winner of this award.”

“I owe it to the continent that I fiercely love and am dedicated to, to do my bit to expand the often dogmatic and skewed narratives that have beleaguered it for so long.

“To be a part of continuing Komla’s legacy is such an honour it feels almost like a dream. I will do my very best to justify the great trust that I have been awarded, and ensure that the benefit of this opportunity goes far beyond myself.”

One of the judges, BBC Africa’s current affairs editor, Vera Kwakofi, said: “Nancy is incredibly smart with a breadth and depth to her knowledge and experience that comes across instantly.”

The BBC’s Director of News and Current Affairs James Harding, said: “When Komla Dumor died, it was an enormous loss to the BBC, to Africa and to all of us personally.

“I am delighted that in Nancy we have found an extremely passionate and talented journalist, a worthy winner of the award that we established in Komla’s name.”

Nancy grew up in Uganda where she attended Makerere University in Kampala. She has more than 14 years of experience working across a range of media in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as well as a Masters degree in communications from Leeds University.

She is currently the anchor of Prime Time Evening News on KTN where she is also the channel’s social media editor. There are two runners-up for the award: Leila Dee Dougan from South Africa and Paa Kwesi Asare from Ghana.

Komla Dumor was an exceptional Ghanaian broadcaster who in his short life made an extraordinary impact – in Ghana, in Africa and around the world.  He represented a confident, savvy and entrepreneurial side of Africa.

Through his tenacious journalism and compelling storytelling, Komla worked tirelessly to bring a more nuanced African narrative to the world.

article via bbc.com

Ugandan Teen Phiona Mutesi Overcomes Homelessness To Become International Chess Star

Phiona Mutesi relishes her first victory at the 2010 Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia

Phiona Mutesi relishes her first victory at the 2010 Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia

(CNN) — She grew up in one of the poorest spots on earth. She couldn’t read or write. As a child, she scrounged for food each day for herself, her mother, and her brother.  But a chance encounter with a chess coach turned her into a rising international chess star, the subject of a book — and the protagonist in a future Disney movie.

Ugandan teenager Phiona Mutesi is “the ultimate underdog,” her biographer says.  Those who work with her believe she’s 16. But since her birthday is unclear, she might still only be 15, they say.  Her father died from AIDS when Mutesi was around 3.  “I thought the life I was living, that everyone was living that life,” the teenager told CNN, describing her childhood in Katwe, a slum in the Ugandan capital of Kampala.

“I was living a hard life, where I was sleeping on the streets, and you couldn’t have anything to eat at the streets. So that’s when I decided for my brother to get a cup of porridge.”

Robert Katende, a missionary and refugee of Uganda’s civil war, had started a chess program in Katwe. He offered a bowl of porridge to any child who would show up and learn.

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