Africa innovations: 15 ideas helping to transform a continent


Concept: The Hippo water roller is a drum that can be rolled on the ground, making it simpler for those without accessibility to taps to transport larger quantities of water much faster.

Trouble: Two out of every 5 individuals in Africa have no nearby water centers and are compelled to stroll long distances to reach water resources. Conventional techniques of balancing hefty lots of water on the head limit the amount people can carry, and cause long-lasting back injuries. Women and children usually carry out these lengthy jobs, missing out on economic and also educational chances. In extreme cases, they can be at raised threats of attack or rape when taking a trip fars away.

Approach: The Hippo roller can be full of water which is then pressed or drawn using a manage. The weight of the water is spread uniformly so a complete drum lugs virtually 5 times greater than standard containers, but weighs in at half the usual 20kg, permitting it to be carried much faster. A steel handle has been developed to allow two pushers for steeper hills. “Essentially it relieves the enduring people sustain just to accumulate water as well as take it house. Wells or boreholes can dry out but individuals can still utilize the same roller [in other wells] One roller will generally offer a house of 7 for five to seven years,” stated project manager Grant Gibbs.


Suggestion: To harness the power of mobile phones to urge finest practice for milk farmers and raise milk production.

Problem: Small-scale dairy farmers commonly living in remote locations don’t have accessibility to beneficial info concerning newest rates of milk or cattle, as well as they may not maintain exact documents of important information such as their cows’ gestation periods or their animals’s family tree– frequently leading to inbreeding as well as condition.

Technique: Created by Kenyan farmer Su Kahumbu, iCow is an application that deals with the type of basic cellphones farmers own. Each pet is signed up with the service, which then sends out SMS pointers to the farmer concerning milking timetables, immunisation days and also ideas regarding nourishment as well as reproduction or details about neighborhood vets or artificial insemination service providers. UK-based structure the Indigo Trust helped fund iCow’s advancement.

Its executive Loren Treisman says: “It’s amazing to see a technology-driven task targeting such an unforeseen constituency. Farmers have been equipped to boost their own lives via accessing crucial farming information as opposed to depending upon aid. What particularly thrilled us is that as a social venture, the iCow group have a sustainable service version which will certainly allow them to broaden rapidly as well as maximise their reach as well as impact without reliance on ongoing funding.”

Decision: “The wonderful thing with iCow is that by the time you have utilized the application and abided by all the instructions, your cows wind up healthier, larger as well as stronger. They can quickly bring you even more cash in the market. Every clever farmer will use iCow,” a small-scale farmer based in the cental highlands of Kenya informed Forbes magazine. Ian Tucker


Idea: Farmer handled natural regrowth (FMNR), which recovers existing trees on drought-stricken land, to improve Senegal’s diminishing harvests.

Problem: Senegal is experiencing its third drought of the decade, causing decreased crops as well as blew up food costs. The World Food Programme aided more than 9 million people in the Sahel area of West Africa this year, consisting of 800,000 in Senegal.

Approach: Attempts to take on the resulting trouble of soil fertility have mostly flopped until now. Trees planted as part of reforestation schemes have actually seen only a 5% success rate and also fallowing is not an alternative, with 80% of African farmers owning under 2 hectares of land, which require to be used year in, year out. This puts the focus on renewing the stumps of nitrogen-fixing trees, which were formerly gotten rid of to increase crop space. Farmers are therefore urged to prune the stems and also branches of trees like Faidherbia albida, giving new life to the greenery currently there.


Suggestion: Portable irrigation modern technology aiding sub-Saharan smallholder farmers expand plants out of season.

Trouble: When it comes to food supply, Africa faces substantial instability because of uncertain climate and bad resources. Only 6% of Africa’s grown land is irrigated, limiting the volume of crops that can be outgrown period, yet enhanced access to irrigation systems stands to increase food productivity by as much as 50%.


Idea: A computer system tablet computer detects cardiovascular disease in country families with limited accessibility to medical services.

Issue: Cardiovascular conditions kill some 17 million worldwide each year. In numerous African countries, those in jeopardy frequently have to invest massive quantities of cash as well as travel hundreds of miles to reach heart professionals focused in major metropolitan centres. The Cameroon Heart Foundation has noted a “sharp spike” in heart problem among its 20 million-strong population, which is served by fewer than 40 heart professionals.


Idea: The Inye computer tablet computer that can connect to the web by means of a dongle surmounts the cost as well as facilities barriers in one go.

Issue: Tech-savvy youths, who make up the mass of the continent’s populace, face being left by a growing “electronic divide”. While much of Africa has skipped the desktop computer internet period as well as gone straight to mobile tech, big name brand names retail in price varieties that continue to be out of reach for a bulk in sub-Saharan Africa. Facilities is additionally straining under fast population growth, as well as wireless and high speed modern technology is not yet commonly available in lots of public areas.


Idea: Refining locally sourced cassava into ethanol fuel to provide cleaner food preparation gas.

Issue: Forests in Africa are being lowered at a price of 4m hectares a year, more than two times the globally ordinary rate. Some of this is sustained by need for wood as well as charcoal, which the UN estimates is still used in almost 80% of African houses as a less costly choice to gas. The smoke from cooking using these strong gas likewise triggers respiratory issues that trigger virtually 2 million deaths in the creating globe every year.


Suggestion: Danish siblings David and Christopher Mikkelsen established Refugees United in 2008 after they assisted a young Afghan evacuee in Copenhagen search for shed member of the family. Knowing the futile paper trail that numerous refugees were confronted with when looking for missing family members, the bros wished to locate a much easier way that evacuees could map their families.

Issue: There are 43 million by force displaced people around the world with thousands of hundreds of refugee family members scattered across the globe. Prior to 2008 all family members mapping was done by refugee companies, which still count on paper forms and also postal systems to attempt to locate people. There was no online international information financial institution that could be accessed or made use of by evacuees themselves.

Strategy: Refugees United is an on-line search device, where evacuees can produce a totally free profile and start their search for family members using an online data source making use of the web or a mobile phone. It resolves an open-source model, partnering with not-for-profit evacuee organisations consisting of the Red Cross and also the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) as well as corporate tech partners such as Erickson and also Google.


Concept: To make Africa self-sufficient in emergency situation relief materials.

Trouble: For a continent so in need of fast, budget-friendly emergency situation alleviation, as well as so filled with unemployment, there’s a vicious irony about the provenance of emergency materials. Smaller African producers have typically been not able to compete with Chinese prices, or to satisfy the substantial need for emergency goods within Africa. As a result, aid agencies such as Unicef have actually created links with foreign manufacturers much better able to generate these supplies at the scale, price and also high quality needed. Yet this undoubtedly calls for longer preparation and greater transportation expenses than sourcing goods in your area– and Africans lose on the work.

Approach: Advance Aid is an organisation that wants to make aid predestined for Africa available within Africa, from coverings and also insect internet to basic food preparation tools as well as hygiene kits. The organisation acts as an intermediary in between large aid agencies and African manufacturers, putting together packages of aid products sourced locally. This has actually been extremely effective in Kenya, where Advance Aid have actually provided 5,000 in your area sourced emergency situation sets to World Vision and another 14,000 jerry cans to Catholic Relief Services, who distributed them in Dadaab, the refugee camp near the Somalian boundary.

Owner David Dickie states: “Aid is not working. I’m trying to transform the market on its head by developing jobs in Africa. Structure this capacity in Africa will certainly make a real difference to firms, to the recipients of the aid and to regional companies … [It] is an extremely effective means of combining the development as well as altruistic programs.”


Idea: To perform scientific research study on sickle cell disease (SCD) as well as show that massive, cutting-edge genomic studies are feasible in Africa.

Issue: Every year, 300,000 youngsters worldwide are born with SCD, a hereditary blood problem that can cause serious anaemia. Seventy percent of these children, or 210,000, are born in Africa. Tanzania has among the highest possible yearly birth rates of SCD on the planet and also without therapy as much as 90% of these youngsters will certainly die in early childhood. Nevertheless, a lot of these fatalities could be stopped by early medical diagnosis and also therapy. A far better understanding of the ecological and also genetic systems of the condition will certainly cause enhanced diagnosis as well as treatments.

Technique: Dr Julie Makani from Muhimbili University in Tanzania is collaborating with the Wellcome Trust to conduct a genome-wide organization research study (GWAS) in order to better comprehend the ecological and also hereditary aspects impacting SCD. The Muhimbili Wellcome Programme initially aimed to comply with 400 children however is currently adhering to 2,500, making it one of the largest, biomedical SCD resources in the world. Dr Makani says that the job “provides validation that it is feasible to carry out genomic research study in Africa”.

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