October was a busy month for us – The African Development Bank hosted their first Innovation Weekend in Abidjan from the 9th to the 11th of October. Our contribution was thinking about the problems we face as the starting point for new venture design.
Savvy young people from across Francophone West Africa gathered to conceptualize startups over the course of the weekend, culminating in grand prizes and the opportunity to grow into viable businesses. Much excitement.
The startups; PayFree, a multiplex platform for payments; La Ruche, a marketplace for artisans to sell their wares; Coliba, a mobile platform for managing urban waste; and BioPRO, an intervention seeking to help rural people get access to energy and electricity will each receive an AfDB fellowship with Ampion to accelerate these projects to become viable companies.
Continuing with the Francophone flavour, our next big news is introducing our Beninese collaboration – Ms. Yacine Bio-Tchane, who has been blogging in French on the emerging consumer markets in the region. Emerging Futures Lab now has a Francophone West African footprint.
Portrait robot du nouveau consommateur africain
La ruée vers la Côte d’Ivoire des marques internationales
Les taxi-motos, potentiels livreurs en Afrique de l’Ouest
Où se trouvent les plus grands consommateurs en Afrique?
Finally, Senegal hit the headlines with the launch of indigenous wine from the shade of the baobabs.
Nigerian innovators have become a hot trend – Coldhubs is an outdoor solar powered fridge, developed by Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu as a sustainable solution for minimizing post harvest losses faced by farmers. Meanwhile, a team of students from Nnamdi Azikwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, have built a made-in-Nigeria mini bus, which they say is the first of its kind.
And finally, from the Nigerian diaspora, Dr. Samuel Achilefu, has won the prestigious St. Louis Award for 2014 for creating cancer-visualizing glasses.
And to round up this exciting month, we cover the just concluded India Africa Forum Summit, held in New Delhi 26th to 28th October.
India-Africa summit is meant to strengthen trade ties
India is trying to match China’s engagement in the continent
China is accused of exploiting Africa’s natural resources
India isn’t really doing any better than China
It exports 67% consumer goods, 2% raw materials
Imports are mostly raw materials – salt, ores, oil, metals