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Exploring the Start-up Tech Hubs in Africa

Chrissy Martin, MEDABy Chrissy Martin, Guest Columnist

Silicon Savannah. Maybe you’ve heard this term (maybe you’ve even read why it’s a misnomer.)  It has been coined to describe Nairobi, Kenya, the unofficial capital of the rapid rise of technology innovation in Africa.

Kenya is home to M-Pesa, the mobile money transfer service that is used by over 60% of the Kenyan population.  It is also home to the iHub, an innovation and start-up incubator which appears to be increasingly like Silicon Valley in its ability to spin off successful, profitable technology companies.

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National Virtual Incubator Seeks Your Talent

Akshay Thakur

By Akshay Thakur, Cisco UKI

The National Virtual Incubator (NVI) is one of the four pillars of Cisco’s British Innovation Gateway (BIG) programme. As you may have noticed, the hard work on BIG has begun and our three key partnerships are already producing results. These programmes are a continuation of our London 2012 Olympics legacy.

The NVI aims to create a community and a platform for collaboration between clusters of innovation throughout the UK. Such clusters of innovation are in various stages of their lifecycle and most are renown as a centre of excellence of a given sector, industry, or vertical.

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Exploring the Mobile Banking Revolution in Tanzania

Jason KohnBy Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

In most developed economies, people can be forgiven for taking banks for granted. After all, an ATM machine is rarely more than a couple blocks away with easy access to funds. People can easily connect with their banks online to pay bills without ever handling cash, and loans and lines of credit are readily available.

In much of the developing world, however, this infrastructure simply doesn’t exist. Thabiso Mochiko recently laid out the latest statistics on the issue at Business Day:

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Work and Learning in a Digital World

Across the globe, business, government, and social structures are buffeted by sweeping generational change, technological innovation, and the emergence of new economic development models.

Although these forces differ by geography, they provide opportunities for social innovation, community engagement, economic growth, sustainability, and country transformation.

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Tapping Innovation for the Sanitation Sector

Jae So, WSPBy Jae So, Guest Columnist

Did you know that around the world, 2.5 billion people lack access to sanitation? This causes billions of dollars of economic losses every year, and claims the lives of 4,000 children each day. Yet of these 2.5 billion people, who make up one-third of the world’s population, 1 billion have access to mobile phones, creating an important opportunity to mobilize innovation for the sanitation sector.

A year ago, the World Bank asked: How can we work with partners to use these 1 billion connections to promote healthier behaviors and improve access to sanitation services, such as containment of waste water? The result is the Sanitation Hackathon, a yearlong strategic process that is a project of the World Bank’s water practice and ICT sector, working together with governments and citizens around the world with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Read More »

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