1. less than 1% of Ethiopia’s 85m citizens are connected), just 17% mobile penetration
  2. in Kenya the National Health Insurance Fund reduced its administrative costs from 60% to 32% by automating its claims processing, accessing real-time data and tracking payment processes
  3. BudgIT helped draw tens of thousands of Nigerians on to the streets in January to protest against proposed government cuts by turning the country’s notoriously shadowy budget into easy-to-read infographics. “In a very short while, BudgIT became the de facto place to go if you have any questions around public finance in Nigeria,
  4. SlimTrader, a service that allows customers to use their phones to get information and availability, and to pay for services ranging from airplane tickets to bags of fertiliser. While in many parts of the world, such a service would use the internet, this option was not available for a large majority of Nigerians using basic feature phones. Instead, SlimTrader can be used entirely by text message.
  5. With 100 million first-grade-aged children worldwide having no access to schooling, the One Laptop Per Child organization is trying something new in two remote Ethiopian villages—simply dropping off tablet computers with preloaded programs and seeing what happens….

    The devices involved are Motorola Xoom tablets—used together with a solar charging system, which Ethiopian technicians had taught adults in the village to use. Once a week, a technician visits the villages and swaps out memory cards so that researchers can study how the machines were actually used. After several months, the kids in both villages were still heavily engaged in using and recharging the machines, and had been observed reciting the “alphabet song,” and even spelling words. One boy, exposed to literacy games with animal pictures, opened up a paint program and wrote the word “Lion.” The experiment is being done in two isolated rural villages with about 20 first-grade-aged children each, about 50 miles from Addis Ababa. One village is called Wonchi, on the rim of a volcanic crater at 11,000 feet; the other is called Wolonchete, in the Great Rift Valley. Children there had never previously seen printed materials, road signs, or even packaging that had words on them

  6. Ma3Racer ….With more than 840,000 downloads in 200 countries since its launch in August 2011, this is Kenya’s answer to Angry Birds. The game is based on driving a minibus on Kenya’s chaotic roads It won the highly regarded Pivot East launchpad competition for East African mobile startups earlier this year.
  8. Citi 97.3 FM has been adjudged the most innovative African newsroom in the use of digital media ….
    The station pioneered Google+ hangouts in its current affairs programs with high profile videoconferences with the NPP vice Presidential Candidate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the PPP Presidential Candidate, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom among others.

    The station has a very interactive Facebook page, a highly active YouTube channel and regularly updates its news website www.citifmonline.com with videos and tweets regularly

  9. Cheki is a used car classifieds business that serves up about a billion page views a month, mostly in Kenya and Nigeria. Most of the one million people using the site are looking at it with Android-based smartphones
  10. A Nairobi start-up has created a service where pupils can subscribe to to take quizzes via their mobile phones. The questions are sent by text message.

    "Initially our target customers were the kids who are isolated in the slum areas and can’t get access to the internet and reading materials,"…

    Schools can subscribe to MPrep, to compare students progress against other schools

    "At the moment we have about 4000 users, and that’s for a period of about three to four months so we’re doing pretty well,"

  11. In recent years, the Zambia National Agricultural Information Services (NAIS) has been receiving an increasing number of questions from farmers concerned about unpredictable weather patterns… 

    NAIS developed a system, called SMSize to which farmers can send a question via an SMS from a cell phone. The question arrives directly at a server computer at the central office, where the producer researches the answer and sends back the information to the phone of the querying farmer, in the same language as the original request.

    ‘Instead of taking several weeks, the farmers now get the information within a day or two,’ said Kahilu. ‘We also still use the questions and concerns raised by the farmers to develop material for the radio programmes which will help other farmers facing similar problems.’

    Delivering the information to cell phones helps the people living in areas where even radio reception is poor. Cell phones are now so popular that there will be at least one person in every community who owns a phone. Even if the network does not cover that particular village, as soon as someone is in an area with reception, they can send an SMS question and receive an answer that they can then share with the rest of the community.

  12. "Message Optimizer turns every mobile phone into a mobile computing and mobile authentication device," states ForgetMeNot Africa. The MO allows "more and more of our subscribers to get access to the internet without having to purchase expensive smartphones," according to Douglas Mboweni, the chief executive officer of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a mobile network. How does the MO deliver messages without the internet or a personal computer? First, a mobile phone subscriber sends an SMS to a given short code. The message is received in the mobile company’s message centre, which then forwards to ForgetMeNot Africa’s internet servers. The servers process, route and deliver the message to the subscriber, who can then respond… The company currently has around 48 million users, having made inroads into east, west, southern and central Africa
  13. Mr. Kariuki regularly sends out tweets about missing children and farm animals, showing that the power of social media has reached even into a dusty African village. Lanet Umoja is 160 kilometres west of the capital, Nairobi.

    “There is a brown and white sheep which has gone missing with a nylon rope around its neck and it belongs to Mwangi’s father,” he tweeted recently in the Swahili language. The sheep was soon recovered.

    Mr. Kariuki said that even the thieves in his village follow him on Twitter. Earlier this year, he tweeted about the theft of a cow, and later the cow was found abandoned, tied to a pole.

    When a man in his late fifties in Mr. Kariuki’s village fell into a pit latrine in December, the village administrator’s tweets mobilized area residents and saved him.

    Mr. Kariuki’s official Twitter page shows 300 followers, but the former teacher estimated that thousands of the 28,000 residents in his area receive the messages he sends out directly and indirectly

  14. Farmers will from now get fertilisers and seed allocation through their mobile phones, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has said….

    The minister said the old system whereby government bought and distributed fertilisers was laden with corruption and inefficiency and also led to rent seeking and exploitation of farmers.

    He said the new scheme was designed to get seeds and fertilisers to small holder farmers using their phones and biometrics to ensure authenticity.