Technology in Africa is constantly evolving and companies face unique challenges on the continent as they try to keep up with international competitors while providing suitable services to the African consumer. The HumanIPO team pick out which companies they believe have performed best.
Elly Okutoyi: Safaricom. This Kenyan giant in telecommunications has been able to withstand the test of time, still controlling more than 67 percent of Kenya’s mobile market, ten years on. During this time, Safaricom still leads the way in innovation, having recently launched M-Shwari, loans services on mobile, Cloud services aimed at saving companies operational costs in running IT Infrastructure, SIM backup services for those who keep losing contacts, and M-Pesa mobile money.
Paul Adepoju: FansConnectOnline for its various successful innovations which include Afrinolly app which currently has more than a million users, FansConnectOnline, one of Nigeria’s largest sports site and Naija Place, a geo-tagging innovation.
Gabriella Mulligan: Triggerfish Animation Studios has this year rocketed Africa on to the global film stage highlighting the creative and technical talent of the continent, receiving international acclaim for its African inspired animation films – Adventures in Zambezia winning multiple awards, while 3D film Khumba has been selected for US theatre distribution by Millennium Entertainment.
Robin Okuthe: Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) has this year reached milestones and won laurel wreaths for its groundbreaking contributions to the African telecoms industry. In December it, alongside Comtech EF Data Corporation, won the Best Backhaul Solution for Africa at the 5th annual AfricaCom Awards. In November, it won the Best Cost Efficiency Initiative Award at the AfricaCom awards, and the ‘Best Mobile Service Provider’ and ‘Innovation in mMoney’ awards at the Aegis Graham Bell Awardsheld. Airtel has also won the highly prestigious Porter Prize in the ‘Exploiting Trade-offs’ category in October among other awards.
Gythan Munga: It has been a great year for Dimension Data, a South African global ICT services and solutions provider. Further to launching cloud services in African and Middle East countries, Dimension Data has received many awards including the “Systems Integrator of The Year” Award from McAfee, Business Development Initiative of the year award from APC Schneider Electric awards, world cloud solutions leader by Gartner and ‘Microsoft LAR Partner Of The Year’ from Microsoft.
Tom Jackson: Cell C. Under the guidance of Alan Knott-Craig Sr, the provider is stirring up the South African telecoms market, starting a price war with Vodacom and calling for reduced termination rates. Cell C has also called for the formation of a consortium consisting of both private and government entities that will be enabled to roll out a national LTE network.
Richard Cutcher: Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited have been taking active and vocal steps to promote the satellite industry in the country as it hopes to move away from a reliance on foreign operators. It is currently lobbying in favour of the NigComSat Bill. If passed it will give the Nigerian Communications Satellite Corporation more room to expand its space program, by developing satellite technology and ultimately increase bandwidth in the country.
Nanine Steenkamp: MTN continues to build Africa’s network by expanding across the continent. The company has recently hit an all-time high record with a 2.45 million market value increase. Cyril Ramaphosa, MTN Group’s Chairman, has also been elected as African National Congress’ (ANC) Deputy President. New launches includes MTN play, as well as investments in the 1,000th Cameroon network pillar, software that decreases 70% of Nigerian operational bank costs, $1.3 billion in infrastructure upgrade as well as the expansion of MobileMoney.
Vincent Matinde: Tourism Radio – This South African company has made major strides and broken into the international market. This year they partnered with Frommer’s to bring more locations on their platforms and recently had their audio guides introduced into Renault, the famous French car maker. The Tourism Radio app will be available in Renault vehicles by next year.
Tefo Mohapi: First National Bank. Considering it not only has an app, offers gadgets at a discounted price it also has FNB Connect which is “ISP” like division.
Brandon Gregory: Personera, the Cape Town managed B2B2C software company was the first to introduce white labelled photo products. The successful company has most of its clients based in the USA and is part of Facebook’s elite Preferred Marketing Developer Program. The company was founded by Sheraan Amod – a local businessman from Cape Town.
Kamau Mbote: Jamii Telecommunications. Its fibre network Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) in Kenya is finally a reality after many flops by other companies including DSTV Kenya. Faiba has achieved more connections in the last few months than DSTV has achieved in its stay in Kenya with the latter having connected about 5 companies only.