African startups named among 100 most inspiring uses of tech

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Eight African startups and organisations have been named among the 2015 Nominet Trust 100 (NT100), a global celebration of the most inspiring uses of digital technology for social good.

Included among the African startups selected are Rwanda’s motorcycle taxi-hailing app SafeMotos, Kenyan pay-as-you-go solar provider M-KOPA Solar, Kenyan maternal health startup Totohealth and Cameroonian mobile health platform GiftedMom.

The other African organisations selected were Botswana Innovation Hub, women in tech support organisation AkiraChix, Cameroonian medical tablet CardioPad, and Ghanaian agricultural communication tool Esoko.

Complied each year, the 2015 NT100 was put together from a combination of over 500 public nominations and in-house research, which produced a shortlist of 150 projects.

This shortlist was then presented to judging partners of ten tech and charity organisations, including the Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief, Creative England, Facebook, Latimer Group, Nominet and O2 Telefonica, who decided on the top 100.

Projects featured in the NT100 use technology to tackle some of the world’s biggest social problems, including support for refugees in Europe, healthcare, social inclusion and emergency response to natural disasters.

“It is fantastic to see that the incredible danger of traffic accidents across Africa is becoming more and more recognised. We are deeply honoured to see our hardwork and passion appreciated and look forward to leveraging the Nominet 100 Trust recognition to keep raising awareness of what is, after HIV/AIDS, the greatest killer on the continent of Africa,” said SafeMotos co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) Peter Kariuki.

The selected African projects are rubbing shoulders with global projects such as Google’s Project Loon, which aims to deliver internet connectivity to developing countries via large air balloons, and Wayfindr, a project led by the Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB), which allows visually impaired people to navigate via an audio smartphone app.

“Remarkable people all over the world are embracing technology to combat some of the most pressing social challenges we face today,” Vicki Hearn, director of Nominet Trust, said.

“This year in particular, the resourcefulness of organisations helping those in urgent need is hugely inspirational. Initiatives supporting the communities devastated by the Ebola outbreak and the Nepal earthquake are powerful examples of how imaginative use of digital technology can enable us to respond swiftly to rapidly evolving crises.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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