Africa is often viewed internationally as a third world inhabited by tribes, plagued with epidemics and poverty and hunger. But there is more to Africa than meets the eye. Many countries in Africa are relishing the challenge of being relevant in the modern global order.
Kenya, for example, has embraced modern technology and is set for a digital revolution. People are abandoning the traditional methods of doing business and increasingly favouring the use of digital innovations to boost trade and commerce. Here are some recent start-ups that are pioneering and efficient.
Farmers in developing countries are usually not well placed to get the best deal for their crop. Illiteracy and lack of information about market prices means that they can be manipulated by middlemen. They often do not have the means to sell their crop themselves. M-Farm seeks to bridge this gap between farmers and the market in Kenya.
The company backed by a ladies team and started in 2010 has created a network of drop off points where a group of farmers can bring their produce. The farmers have to send a SMS to the company system about what they want to sell. Monetary transactions are done through an integrated mobile money transfer system.
M-Farm charges a transaction fee for a selling order. M-Farm constantly updates its members about the market prices through SMS to ensure transparency. The reason M-Farm has seen rapid growth is because it is easy to use, convenient, and trustworthy.
Due to e-commerce giants like Amazon things are getting tougher for small-scale businesses. It is hard to conduct business even at a local level without the help of digital tools. E-commerce eliminates the limits on who could be your buyer. It has the opportunity to turn a local business into a global corporation. However, creating an online presence is no easy task. That’s where Zatiti comes in.
Zatiti is a web platform that enables local businesses to create an online shop on Zatiti’s platform. Zatiti customizes the shop as per the clients’ requirement. The payments are accepted through Mpesa which is very convenient since Kenyans mostly access internet through mobile phone.
Imagine you are stuck in traffic and you have already been late to office thrice this month. You know your boss won’t have any of it this time. What won’t you give for an alternate route that will take you to office in time?! Worry not Kenyans Ma3route is to your rescue.
Ma3route crowd sources information from the public and gives updates to all its app users and also through Twitter, Facebook, etc. The app also relies on the cities transport services public as well as private to gather information about the traffic.
The most impressive and innovative feature of Ma3route is that it has put in place an algorithm-based system. It analyses traffic patterns on the basis of data collected from traffic webcams.
You can tell Kenya is ready to take the big step towards becoming a self-sufficient country by looking at these extraordinary ideas to boost trade and commerce.
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke