J.B. Russell/Panos
Photosynthesis upgrade proposed to raise crop yields

Supercomputers and genetic engineering could help boost crops’ ability to convert sunlight into energy and tackle looming food shortages, according to a team of researchers. Photosynthesis is far from its theoretical maximum efficiency, say the authors of a paper in Cell, published on 26 March. They say that supercomputing advances could allow scientists to model every stage in the process and identify bottlenecks in improving plant growth.

SciDev.Net is the world’s leading source of reliable and authoritative news, views and analysis on information about science and technology for global development. Our main office is based in London but we have a worldwide network of registered users, advisors, consultants and freelance journalists, predominantly from developing countries, who drive our activities and vision.

Sponsored Content

GE Innovation

Innovation will play an important role in Africa's development. Whether it is in growing the economy, strengthening healthcare systems or improving education. GE's goal is to foster innovation across the continent, and to put its technology into the hands of Africans everywhere.

Calabar Manufacturing and Assembly Facility

A look at the construction behind the Calabar Manufacturing and Assembly Facility.

Off-Grid Energy Challenge 2014 Winners

In 2014, the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge was extended to include Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania. With five countries vying for prizes, the competition saw an increased amount and variety of innovation in the entries. Across these East African countries, entrepreneurs fine-tuned their off-grid solutions, resulting in a total of 19 winners.

GE Garages Lagos - Graduation

On October 27, 2014, GE launched the Lagos Garage skills building programme. Focusing on entrepreneurs, participants were trained in the latest in advanced manufacturing technology.

New Head for GE Transportation

GE Sub-Saharan Africa Reports

Mobility is a critical sector across the continent. So when it was time for GE to appoint a new leader for GE Transportation in Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya’s Thomas Konditi, chief financial officer for GE Africa, was the natural choice. In his work for GE Africa, Konditi’s responsibilities spanned 25 countries, ensuring that he can draw on extensive global and regional experience. He has a track record of driving commercial growth and innovation, having overseen Sub-Saharan Africa finance, capital markets, financial services, treasury and tax support for the $3.2 billion operation.

Time to Grind

GE Sub-Saharan Africa Reports

Throughout the continent, smallholder farmers are often marginalised, with many living in poverty, despite the huge potential of this sector and its contribution to food security. Having witnessed first-hand the hardships facing farmers in rural Nigeria, entrepreneur Titi Masha was determined to create solutions that would increase farming efficiency and revenue. By developing solar powered grain mills through her company Topstep Nigeria Limited, local farmers are now taking advantage of renewable power to improve their operations and increase profits.

Bees, Shoots, and Leaves: Amazing Adventures in the Microworld

GE Sub-Saharan Africa Reports

One day two years ago, Gary Sarkis brought a bee’s leg to work. The leg was part of his daughter’s science project and Sarkis, who builds scientific microscopes at GE Healthcare Life Sciences for a living, wanted to take a look with a new imaging machine he and his colleagues have developed.

At Nigeria’s Largest Oil Refinery: Reliable Energy for Energy’s Sake

GE Sub-Saharan Africa Reports

With multiple refineries around the country, Nigeria is dependent on a consistent power supply to process crude oil. But an unpredictable power grid has heavily affected the country’s key oil refinery at Port Harcourt, with output having been reduced to as much as 30 per cent. To help build a more reliable power supply, Genesis Electricity installed GE’s TM2500+ mobile aeroderivative gas turbines at the Port Harcourt refinery

Tackling Ghana’s Skills Shortage Head On

GE Sub-Saharan Africa Reports

Hailed as Africa’s golden child, Ghana is the continent’s fastest growing economy. The discovery of oil and gas in the country has the potential to boost economic growth even more in this West African country.But Ghana’s oil and gas sector is facing a talent crunch as demand for labour exceeds supply. Without a skilled, educated workforce, efforts to deliver on the sector’s potential may fall short. Stakeholders are united in their belief that the root cause of the skills shortage must be tackled head on.

This Discovery Will Make You See Red

GE Sub-Saharan Africa Reports

Who invented the color red? Well, nobody of course. But in another sense, you might say that Nick Holonyak did in the modern era, when he created the red LED at GE’s labs in 1962. Now, materials scientist Anant Setlur has reinvented the color. Working with a team of researchers at GE Lighting and in Europe, Setlur found and patented a way leading to the perfect red light.

New Stories

Govt Launches Online Procurement Strategy

In an effort to fight corruption in the procurement sector, the ministry of Finance has launched a five-year online (e-procurement) strategy 2014-2019.The strategy aims to promote accountability and transparency especially in all public procurement departments. The World Bank has funded the implementation of the strategy to a tune of $5.8m (Shs 15.6bn).more

Microsoft CityNext to Help Shape the Future of Kenyan Cities

More than 50 percent of the world's population are living in urban areas for the first time in history. Their growth results in issues and opportunities as they march towards urbanization, this creates new challenges, from modernizing aging infrastructure in older cities to meeting the demands for natural resources, from leveraging massive amounts of data from devices to improving the health and safety of their citizens.more

E-Alert APP Unveils Digital War Against Terror

PISI Limited has launched E-Alert App, a free emergency security service. The application will help tackle the problem of insecurity in Nigeria, developing countries and the rest of the world.

Students Engineer Potentially Lifesaving Fire Detector for Use in Informal Settlements

Shack fires break out each day in South Africa, but thanks to a new device which detects uncontrolled fires in shacks, these devastating events could be prevented in future.

Government to Turn to Toilets for Energy

As a way of closing the energy gap in the country, the Ugandan government has turned its attention to toilets as a main source of cooking energy.

Rwanda Launches 4G LTE Network

Rwanda joined a few other countries to enjoy Fourth Generation Long-Term Evolution (4G LTE) Internet services after it was launched in Kigali. The 4G LTE will replace the previously used 3G Internet giving faster speed.

Ethiopia Boeing Aircraft Turned Into Restaurant

Ethiopian Airlines has turned a Boeing 737 aircraft into a hotel and restaurant business. Weddings, birthdays, and meetings can all be held in the new restaurant.

Innovation Wins Kenyan Student Date With Obama

Mbugua is a Kenyan student who, together with a Nigerian colleague Christian Emiyah, presented a project on using visible light for the dual purposes of illumination and communication at the White House.

BBC Launches Ebola Chat App

The BBC World Service has launched a new 'lifeline' Ebola service for people in West Africa on instant messenger app Whatsapp, the most popular chat app in Africa. The new service is in both English and French and will comprise public health information on Ebola from the BBC, using audio, text message posts and images. It will also include breaking news alerts related to Ebola.

UN Development Programme Wins CSO50 Award

International Data Group's Chief Security Officer (CSO) magazine recently announced the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a winner of the prestigious CSO50 Award for 2015, given to the top 50 information security organizations worldwide. The CSO50 award recognizes organizations for information security initiatives that demonstrate outstanding business value and thought leadership. This award for UNDP follows an Information Security CS040 Award in 2014, a Computerworld Premier 2014 100 ICT Leader Award for Shirin Hamid, UNDP's Chief Technology Officer, and an Information Security Computer World Good Award in 2013.

With crime rates accelerating in Nairobi, prison does not seem to effectively rehabilitate young people for improved lives after prison. Nafisika Trust aims to change that. Volunteers work with inmates, helping them build life skills for after prison. These volunteers expand their own capacity for empathy. Everyone involved gains hands on experience that helps them grow their changemaking skills: empathy, leadership, teamwork and changemaking.

Nigeria to Partner Israel, India, China Others On ICT Growth

AS a measure targeted at improving the growth of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Nigeria, the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has informed of plans by the country to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with countries including Israel, India, China and the United Arab Emirates.

Online Tool Boosts Food Yields

An online tool developed by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), launched earlier this year, allows policymakers to identify which technologies or practices (out of 10 that were modelled) will do most to improve yields in their region, taking predicted climate change conditions into account.

Training On Energy Reforms Underway

The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Momodou Njie on Tuesday presided over the opening ceremony of a two-week training on 'energy reforms' and training of technicians on solar PV systems at the Regional Education Office in Kanifing.

ABSA Extends Wi-Fi Service to Soweto

ABSA, the local bank, has extended its free Wi-Fi service to its Maponya Mall branch in Soweto. The development according to the firm makes bank the first financial institution at one of Gauteng's major township shopping centres to offer up to 100Mb of free Wi-Fi per day to all shoppers.

Cheaper Electricity in Sight

The Conex Crude Storage Terminal (CST) project in collaboration with the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company ("LPRC") is expected to be completed in December this year. The goal is to use the alternative Heavy Fuel Oil for electricity rather than more expensive resources. It is expected to enable the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) reduce the cost of electricity as a public utility by at approximately 50%. more >>

Multilingual Patent Database Created to Propel Innovation

A free multilingual database has been launched by UN agency the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to help people working in different disciplines search and understand patents in their local language. The WIPO Pearl database currently includes around 91,000 terms and 15,000 concepts in ten languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. more >>

Silicon Savannah - Africa's City of Dreams

The Kenyan government is developing Konza city as a 5,000-acre public-private partnership and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) hub, raising hopes that the project might provide job opportunities for youth in the country. Konza is a flagship initiative of Kenya's Vision 2030, a national development blueprint. Plans call for Konza to be constructed in four five-year phases. more >>

Frontier 100 Forum to Examine Innovative Investing in Africa

The Frontier 100 Forum will be convened by the Initiative for Global Development in New York City from October 21-22, 2014. The two-day invitation-only event focuses on Africa: Innovative Investing in Emerging Markets. Participants include corporate leaders from around the world to discuss opportunities and address challenges to investment in Africa. more >>

Sowing the Seeds of Stable Agriculture


In a country with a precarious history of food insecurity, one award-winning research institution is driving change in Senegal by focusing on training farmers and helping them to diversify their products. The Institute of Food Technology (ITA) is training women on quality standards and technology for food processing.

New Automatic Ebola Bucket Invented

David A. Yates/FPA

Liberian inventor, Lewis K. Tealeh, has developed an electronically powered Ebola hand-washing bucket. This enhancement makes the bucket hands-free so users do not need to touch the faucet to turn it on and off. Instead, it is electronically powered by a battery that is activated by the hand washer's foot.

Nuclear Regulator to Test Emergency Readiness


The National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) will conduct a full scale nuclear emergency preparedness exercise at Koeberg nuclear power plant next week. During the exercise, the NNR will evaluate and assess the integration and response arrangements of the various role players to a simulated emergency scenario.

Government Announces Project to Produce Bio-Diesel From Cooking Oil

Nicolas Meulders/UNDP

The ministry of supplies and internal trade has concluded its technical research for a project to produce bio-diesel from cooking oil. The minister announced that the project will be enacted "soon" and that the project would provide job opportunities for the youth and produce around a million litres of diesel annually.

Fast-tracking Ebola Vaccine Human Trial

In response to the growing Ebola crisis in West Africa, scientists in the United Kingdom and United States last week launched human trials of an Ebola vaccine candidate, and the plan is to carry out trials in Mali too within the next few weeks.

SciDev.Net spoke to Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford and lead researcher for the UK-based trials.

Gambia Launches 'Sawer' Handsfree Ebola Washing Bay

Mr. Njai of Health Ministry

The Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) has launched a hands free washing device manufactured by the Institute as part of its contribution to the fight against Ebola in the country.

Polytechnic School Adopts SMS Controlled Wireless Irrigation System


Gishari Integrated Polytechnic Regional School (IPRC) has started an SMS-controlled Wireless Irrigation System programme aimed at improving irrigation in the country. The wireless sensor network controls water flow for sectored, sprinkler or drip section irrigation.

CCHub on How Start-ups Can Use Mentors to Overcome Nigeria's Challenges

Tunji Eleso, Director of Pre-Incubation, CCHub in Lagos talks about: the number of people it is supporting at pre-incubation and incubation stage; examples of interesting start-ups at incubation stage; the key challenges faced by start-ups; and how it uses mentors to overcome some of these challenges.

Unicef Launches 'App Store for Good'

UNICEF has released a real-time data on an open platform called RapidPro that uses mobile technologies to allow real-time information exchanges and data collection. It can be downloaded by governments and the international development community, allowing for customization. Things like who is being born where, what schools are understaffed, and what health centers are running out of critical supplies can all be accessed through the platform.

Dietary Supplements Could Beat the World's 'Hidden Hunger' Says Report

UN Photo/Stuart Price

Health experts often call it the "hidden hunger." Malnutrition, a dietary lack of vitamins and minerals, afflicts nearly two billion people worldwide. It can lead to serious diseases, but there might be a way out. (file photo)

Tanzania Aims to Build a Megacity That Works by 2036

Bank of Tanzania

Tanzania's largest commercial city - one of the fastest-growing in Africa - has redrawn its master plan to try to become a megacity prepared for climate change, and not a city of worsening urban sprawl and flooding. The plan, which looks ahead to 2036, aims to transform the city of over 4.5 million people and proposes creation of a Metropolitan Development Authority to oversee planning and major infrastructure development, including transportation and utilities.

Ghana Goes Green With Bamboo Bikes

I. Kaledzi/DW

A young female social entrepreneur has vowed to bring change to the world - one bamboo bike at a time. The 19-year-old employs about 30 girls to produce bikes in Ghana and has received numerous awards for her work.

Designing Improved Cookstoves for Tanzanians

Improved cookstove designs reduce the use of firewood in rural communities, countering deforestation, soil erosion and food insecurity. They also ensure cleaner combustion than in traditional open-fire cooking, reducing harmful indoor pollution.

Scientists Set Their Sights On Electricity From Silk Cocoons

Researchers in India say they have developed a prototype of an energy-harvesting device from the cocoons of a domesticated species of silk moth. This could aid efforts to bring power to other parts of the world including Africa.

Solar Power, Origami-Style

Researchers say origami could be useful one day in deploying space solar power.

Konza, City of Dreams

The idea was to build a city from scratch: an information and communication technology [ICT] ecosystem, an African version of Silicon Valley. What happened?

South Africa's Transnet Buys Advanced GE Locomotives

South Africa's Transnet Freight Rail moves every pound of coal and iron ore exported by the country, and close to a fifth of the nation's freight. That makes the railroad a key player in South Africa's economic revival.

Kenya: Meeting a BURNing Desire


Since being introduced in 2013, the Jikokoa cookstove developed by BURN Manufacturing has literally been setting the market alight with its revolutionary design that not only reduces wood and fuel costs by half, but also cuts smoke emissions by up to 60%.

Teen Turns Scrap Into Satellite Booster

A self-made inventor from northern Namibia has invented a satellite dish booster from scrap material to boost internet connectivity through radio signals for people in rural areas or in areas that have weak network signal.

Can Phones Drive Insurance Markets?

Burials in Ghana are socially very important and tend to be large and expensive affairs, often putting a strain on household budgets, particularly among the poor. The insurance market has however been slow to develop and very few products exist to help mitigate these costs. In this gap, Tigo saw an opportunity to deepen customer loyalty by offering an insurance product as a value added service.

Girls Venture Into Technological Innovation

Moselyn Muchena, a final year computer science student at the University of Zimbabwe created a mobile application offering easy access to services in the local catering industry, largely because of the huge number of female entrepreneurs in that sector.

Nigerian Wins UK Innovation Prize

Premium Times
Yamamma and mentor Sir. Richard Branson

A Nigerian postgraduate student of Creative Technology at Middlesex University, United Kingdom, has emerged first place winner in the British Council's Enterprise Challenge competition.

Female Condoms, Cows that Smell Like Humans, and Touch-Screen Patient Feedback Tools Among New Gates-Funded Projects

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced funding for 55 projects from 12 countries through its Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) initiative. GCE is a phased grant program that funds innovative ideas to tackle key global health and development problems, and provides additional resources for projects that demonstrate promise.

Rwanda: A Model for Development Built On Indigenous Foundations

The government of Rwanda has acknowledged the need to incorporate indigenous knowledge into economic advancement strategies, and has done so through several programmes. One is Girinka - a success story and a model for other African governments and global organisations seeking ideas that will effectively address poverty at the grassroots level.

Nigerian Scientists Wary of Anti-Malarial GM Mosquitoes

A vast majority of Nigeria's scientists are sceptical about using genetically modified mosquitoes to tackle malaria in the country, a new study suggests.

Rwanda: An Era of Disruptive Innovation

Africa is a prime location for this type of innovation and African entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the opportunity.

How African entrepreneurs are bringing power to the people


Sub-Saharan Africa is home to six of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world, and a majority of Africans will belong to the middle class within a generation. There is enormous potential for development to accelerate rapidly.

DR Congo's Red Light to Invention

Situated at an intersection on Triumphal Boulevard, near the Democratic Republic of Congo's parliament in the capital, Kinshasa, the 2.5-metre traffic signal looks like an actual robot -- with arms, legs, a chest and a head. The breastplate pivots as the lights on it change from green to red. Then, it raises its arm to stop the traffic on one road, allowing vehicles from another to pass. The talking robot -- it speaks both French and the local Lingala language -- instructs: "Drivers, you can leave the road to pedestrians."

How Open-Source Tools Can Help Map Crisis Data

In this podcast, we talk to Chris Albon, director of the global crisis data arm of Ushahidi, an open-source data mapping organisation that originated in Nairobi, Kenya.

Protecting Tanzania's Invisible Children - Birth Registrations by Mobile Phone

In Tanzania, proof of age is essential to safeguard children from abuse, such as child labour and early marriage, and to protect their rights. Yet 90 per cent of children under-five years old do not have a birth certificate. VSO volunteer Christopher Braeuel is project managing Tanzania's first mass birth registration campaign which uses mobile-phone technology to simplify the registration process.

Africa's M-Pesa Mobile Payment Method Debuts in Romania

In a trend reversal, African technology has migrated to Europe with the launch in Romania of Kenya's popular M-Pesa mobile money transfer system.

South Africa: From Dropouts to Innovators: How RLabs Invests in Young "Problem Experts" to Beat Crime & Unemployment

Marlon is now the founder of Reconstructed Living Labs (RLabs), a social innovation-driven movement where dropouts, ex-convicts, gangsters, the homeless, former drug addicts and single mothers (a majority of whom are youth) are positioned to drive lasting social change.

RLabs, founded by Marlon Parker, is an innovation movement that transforms youth in troubled communities, gangsters, dropouts and ex-convicts, into changemakers. "Thank you for believing in me" is a story of hope featuring two of RLabs' team members Angelo King and Suzanne Smith.

Tanzania: Reducing the Skills Gap in Tanzania to Ensure Local Populations Benefit from Future Investments in the Country

VSO has set up an innovative project with the Government's Vocational Education Training Authority (VETA) and BG Group, a major gas company. The project aims at raising Tanzanian standards for craftsmanship skills in line with internationally recognized levels in different areas that are relevant to the gas industry

Rethinking Approaches to Refugee Assistance

Refugee enterprise in Uganda holds valuable lessons for global migration policy, says researcher Alexander Betts.

Call to Bring Refugee Innovation into Humanitarian Work

The humanitarian sector must lift barriers to user-led innovation by refugee communities if it is to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world, says a report presented at the Humanitarian Innovation Conference at the University of Oxford.

Can a Mobile App Help End Wartime Rape?

the U.S. non-profit, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), believes a mobile app it's developing could help overcome obstacles of prosecuting sexual violence by taking information from the exam room to the court room.

InFocus: African Innovators Win International Award

A conservationist from Rwanda and an engineer from Cameroon have been recognised by the Rolex Award for Enterprise. More

Crab Fattening - Reaping the Rewards of Tourism in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Zanzibar is a top holiday destination scattered with luxury hotels, but most of the communities living there are poor. VSO is working with local communities to ensure that they too can reap the rewards of tourism. Training in business skills has helped one rural women's group take action and benefit from the islands tourism industry, by selling fattened crabs to top hotels.

Towards Making Africa an Innovation Hub

To position Africa as a technology destination that would attract global attention, leaders across the continents were recently advised to invest in human development to drive innovation.

Africa's Growth Depends On Tech Entrepreneurship, Innovation Levels


Rising from a digital Africa conference last week, technology professionals who form bulk of the participants at the event advocated for structured global partnerships, favourable regulatory environment, constant engagement with policymakers and increased investment in technology training if Africa's economic growth prospects must be met.

Malawi - Innovation Key to Combatting Climate Change

Civil society in Malawi has formed the Civil Society Network on Climate Change, with a goal of building communities resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Urban Planners Skeptical of 'Smart Cities'

Eko Atlantic

Urban planning experts are anxious that what they call "fantasy designs" for new African "smart cities" will serve the interests of African elites and foreign finance and construction companies rather than those of ordinary city dwellers across the continent.

Africa Focuses on Building Resilient Cities

Men work in an urban garden in Cape Town, South Africa: Developing viable, livable and resilient cities is increasingly seen as being of critical importance to giving opportunities to Africans to improve their lives.

New Software Tool Helps Track Exposures in Ebola Outbreak

African nations fighting outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever are getting help from U.S. disease detectives and a new software tool to quickly find people exposed to the deadly virus. Read more»

South African Political Party Launches Mobile-Based Governance Game

Today, the DA Youth are officially launching DemocraCITY. DemocraCITY is a Mxit-specific strategy game. DemocraCITY is essentially a hybrid between SimCity and Tamagotchi. Read more»

Secrecy Among Kenyan Firms May Be Impeding Innovation

Firms in Kenya are using secrecy instead of patents to protect their valuable ideas and innovations, according to preliminary results from a World Bank study, and this is hampering collaboration and creativity in the country. Read more»

Technology Innovation Key to Realize Nigeria's Vision 20 - 2020, Microsoft

With strong partnerships from both public and private sectors as well as collaboration from all sectors of the Nigerian society, the General Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Kabelo Makwane, at the weekend said that technology innovation was essential requisites for the country to realize vision 20:2020. Read more»

Tanzania: Cost Effective Health Care Innovations to Improve Sector

As the country strives to reduce the cost of health care while maintaining quality and safety of services, efforts are underway to have guidelines that promote health workers to be innovative. Read more»

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation aims to stimulate, celebrate and reward innovation and entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa. Read more»

Photoessay: African Innovation to Improve Miners' Safety

Video: Ghana's Bamboo Bikes Initiative

Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative: Empowering Women & Building Resilience

Around the world, female entrepreneurs are empowering other women to generate sustainable income while addressing the world's most pressing challenges. The Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative does it one high-quality bicycle at a time. Read more»

Mosquito Patch May Be Tested in Uganda

A patch that disrupts a mosquito's sensory ability, thus making people "invisible" may soon undergo field trials in Uganda. The Kite Patch is a small sticker for clothes that works by disrupting mosquitoes' ability to sense exhaled carbon dioxide (CO2) and human odour. Read more»

Google Earth Enables Remote Tracking of Fish Catches

Persian Gulf governments could use Google's free global satellite imaging program to better monitor and control fishing in their waters. Read more»

Kenya: Invention Makes Peace With Lions

When it came to keeping lions at bay, an old-fashioned scarecrow just wasn't up to the job. So a 13-year-old Maasai cattle herder combined basic technology with teenage ingenuity to find another way, writes The Guardian. Read more»

Microsoft to Support Five Startups Under Innovation Grant Program

Microsoft under the 4Afrika initiative will offer financial support to five African start-ups in an effort to empower the next generation of developers and entrepreneurs in the continent. Read more»

Training Africa's Future Innovators

Science and technology could drive the continent's future development, but creating the right environments and keeping Africa's youngest and brightest will be key. Read more»

Tsetse Fly Breakthrough Brings New Hope

Scientists in a United Nations-backed collaborative have cracked the genetic code of the bloodsucking tsetse fly in a breakthrough that brings new hope to the fight against one of the most devastating livestock diseases spread by the insect. Read more»

Fibre Optics May Leapfrog Africa into Future

The growth of iHub represents how information and communication technology (ICT) in Kenya has advanced over the past 15 years. Read more»

Kenya: Eneza Education Wins This Year's ICT Innovation Awards

Eneza Education has been declared this year's winners of the 2014 ICT Innovation awards at the Connected Kenya summit. Read more»

Bankole Cardoso on His Lagos Taxi App, "Easy Taxi"

Zimbabwe: Innovation Boosts Agricultural Productivity

Although Ashton is struggling from the same challenges facing everyone else in business in Zimbabwe, his case is different from the thousands of other small to medium scale farmers. In terms of revenue generation, his farm makes more sales in two months than what most rural and resettled new farmers make in a whole year. Read more»

Two Kenyans Finalists in the 2014 Edition of Innovation Prize for Africa

Two Kenyans - Daniel Gitau Thairu of Domestic Waste Biogas System and Joshua Okello of WinSenga - have emerged among 10 finalists in the 2014 edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa organized by the African Innovation Foundation (AIF). Read more»

Lagos State Partners PRI to Create Innovation Hub

The Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology in conjunction with PRI Project Development has put together a two-day innovation workshop for members of the private and public sectors in order to fast-track the government's long-term goals of setting up an innovation agency. The agency will create an ecosystem and infrastructure aimed at turning the state into a West African Innovative Hub. Read more»

Calls to Speed Work on Kenya's Planned Silicon Savannah

Creation of a high-tech city outside Nairobi, which stalled in recent months, could be a 'game changer' that positions Kenya as the Africa's preferred ICT destination. Pressure to move the Konza project forward is coming from both the private sector and politicians representing the area. Read more»

Kenya's Safaricom Beats Google, Facebook in Innovation

Kenya's mobile network operator Safaricom has been rated number 9 in innovation globally by Fast Company magazine due to its role in bridging the healthcare gap with telecoms services. Read more»

Giant Rats Race to Eliminate Landmines From Mozambique

A small army of landmine-detecting rats is to be redeployed in Mozambique in a push to meet a deadline to have the country declared free of mines this year. Read more»

Ghana: E-Payslip Innovation Successful

The Electronic pay slip (e-pay slips) system introduced by the Controller and Accountant Generals' Department for public sector workers on the mechanised payroll has received a lot of patronage from the public. Read more»

Focus On Gender - Think Small to Light Up Rural Africa

Small-scale technology has once again proved its worth for women. Two female 'solar engineers' have been boosting the development of their community by installing solar panels in a Cameroon village far from the national electricity grid. Read more»

Uganda: The Traffic APP to Tackle Corruption

A new app lets users submit and receive real-time traffic reports on road repairs, accidents and traffic jams on almost any Kampala road featured on Google maps via the internet. Read more»

Digital Jobs Impacting Africa's Economies

The phrases "impact sourcing" and "business process outsourcing"- or BPO - are just jargon to most people. But they describe a model of doing business that advocates say could provide 780,000 new jobs in the next two years - many to Africa's "youth bulge" of unemployed young people - by providing training, on-the-job experience and career opportunities. AllAfrica examines the potential of digital jobs. Read more»

Youths See Opportunity in Digital Outsourcing

When David Otieno graduated from the Kenya Institute of Management five years ago he joined the estimated 50,000 other new graduates searching for employment. But luck was never on his side - so he made his own. Otieno is one of a growing number of youths in Kenya and other African countries who are using business process outsourcing as a means of employment. Read more»

Interview: 'Maker Faire' Co-Founder on Bolstering Innovation in Africa

A new report on the effects of climate change on Kenyan farmers by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IPFRI) coincides with the landmark National Adaptation Planning (NAP) conference this week in Naivasha, where policymakers are meeting for the first time to specifically address agriculture and climate change adaptation policies.

Desert Plantations Could Capture Carbon

Large-scale plantations in coastal deserts could provide an affordable alternative to carbon capture technology as well as reduce desert temperatures, increase rainfall, and revitalise soil, a study shows. Planting trees in coastal deserts could capture carbon dioxide, reduce harsh desert temperatures, boost rainfall, revitalise soils and produce cheap biofuels. Read more»

The Rockefeller Foundation, which funds AllAfrica reports on innovation for development, has promoted resilience and equitable growth for all people for 100 years - supporting innovative thinkers and actors to move from ideas to impact. In today's interconnected world, the Rockefeller Foundation has a unique ability to address emerging challenges, to shape agendas and to inform decision-making.


Fair Fishing Agreements Critical

UN-HABITAT / Julius Mwelu
Fishermen carrying their fishing nets off a boat at Jamestown, Accra.

As fisheries ministers from around the globe meet in Brussels to discuss the future of fishing agreements between EU and foreign countries, Greenpeace Africa had called for a fairer and sustainable fishing partnership that protects the livelihoods of West African fishing communities.

Almost one quarter of all the fish taken by the European fishing fleet is caught outside EU waters, especially in the once rich West African waters. This number is set to increase as European fish stocks decline because of overfishing.

Sustained Growth Vital to Poverty Reduction

Antoinette Sayeh

Antoinette Sayeh, the head of the International Monetary Fund's Africa Department, says the IMF is fairly optimistic about growth rates for sub-Saharan Africa, building on the five percent that was achieved in 2010. Officials believe there will be five and a half percent growth for the region as a whole. But Sayeh says growth must be sustained.

Boosting Standard of Living Through Regional Investments

East African
Customers at a cyber cafe in Nairobi, Kenya. Fiber-optic companies have made large-scale investments in Africa.

A recent report recommending ways to boost Africa's standard of living has been released at the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries. "Integrated regional investments could lead to an accumulated 10 percent increase in the continent's standard of living between 2012 and 2020", said the report from the UN Development Programme.

Cassava Futures

Once known as 'poor man's food', cassava may now be among the best hopes for reducing poverty in Ghana. This short video looks at the starchy tuber's rise in popularity and the impact it's having on poor farmers.

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