Africa’s Bill Gate: Herman Chinery-Hesse & Others Speaks At Tech4Africa

Herman Chinery-Hesse @ TEDGlobal 2007

The Tech4Africa 2011 conference to be held from 27-28 October, 2011 at the “The Forum” in Bryanston, Johannesburg, South Africa, will feature a line-up of international and African technologists. The event aims to provide attendees with the opportunity to learn firsthand from technology evangelists about the role that the web plays in African business and development.

The two-day conference plans to bring international experience and perspectives to the African continent, while at the same time showcasing what Africans are doing with mobile, web, digital media and other emerging technologies.

“2010 saw the launch of Tech4Africa and we were met with overwhelming support from both the tech and business communities and our foundation partners, First National Bank and Internet Solutions,” says Gareth Knight, MD of Tech4Africa.

“This year we’re delivering the same high standard of content and looking forward to bringing technologists together to look at what’s current now, with an emphasis on social media and how it’s relevant to digital marketing, mobile convergence, the growing cloud and the applications of BigData. We’re also focusing on great African technologists that really are leading the way.”

Keynote speakers include Josh Spear, one of the youngest and most respected digital marketing strategists in the world, and Herman Chinery-Hesse, commonly known as ‘The Bill Gates of Africa‘.

Fresh perspective from Josh Spear
Spear is a trend spotter, blogger and brand strategist, sought out for his fresh perspective and no-holds-barred style of consulting on everything from design and gadgets to authenticity and word-of-mouth. His recent focus has been the power of the blogosphere, technology, and the impact of digital media on the world. In addition to his internationally recognized trend-spotting blog, he is a founding partner of Undercurrent, a digital think-tank focused on exploring new ways to reach young people without interrupting them.

With Africa rapidly leapfrogging the web and PC experience with a mobile one, the insights into how people and brands interact digitally is crucial, and indeed sets the stage for the foreseeable future. Spear has appeared in publications including Time Magazine, the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune and has presented for such diverse clients as McDonald’s, NBC, Pepsi, Virgin, The American Advertising Federation and The Google Zeitgeist conference.

Tech4africa 2011

Unlocking African prosperity, wealth with Chinery-Hesse
Herman Chinery-Hesse is a renowned Ghanaian technology entrepreneur who co-founded the million-dollar software company SOFTtribe, and then went on to launch BSL, which provides the infrastructure for entrepreneurs across Africa to sell products and receive payment through their cell phones. Chinery-Hesse is passionate about the contribution that technology can make in unlocking prosperity and wealth across Africa, and will be presenting his thesis on this. He has won a number of awards and is also an accomplished speaker who has delivered talks at the Wharton Business School, Harvard Business School, Cambridge University, the University of Ghana, and the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania.

Spear and Chinery-Hesse are part of a line-up of African and international thought leaders from organizations like Amazon, HP, Johns Hopkins University, Mozilla, SwiftRiver, the African Institution of Technology, SimpleGeo, Motribe, Clearleft and Ultinet Systems.

Gareth Knight adds, “With Tech4Africa our simple aim is to congregate the best practitioners in Africa and the world to provide inspiration, guidance, case studies, and success stories and ultimately experience, so that Africans don’t need to travel the world to gain this understanding and exposure.”

Registration for the event is open and early bird tickets are available until 10 June. For further information or to register, go to, or to contact Tech4Africa, email or go to

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2 Represent Ghana At Big Brother Africa Amplified

On May 1, 2011; M-net Africa; organizers of this year’s Big Brother Africa Amplified revealed the new 26 young, energetic, talented & adventurous housemates for the season 6 reality show.  Among the 26 house-mates; two Ghanaians; AlexConfidence are presenting Ghana in the competition.

Big Brother Amplified Logo

The competition running 91 days and 24/7 non-stop with a dream prize of USD200 000. The sixth season of Africa’s biggest reality show, according to organizers, will include more drama, emotions, excitement and suspense. Fourteen of the housemates are ‘somewhat’ celebrities in their countries, with careers ranging from radio and television personalities to models and actors.

In my previous post: Big Brother Africa – Season 6 Is On; I made mention how Big Brother Amplified will be showcasing Housemates from 14 countries including:

Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

There are two housemates from most countries except Angola and Mozambique, with one housemate each. In total, there are 16 female housemates and 10 male housemates.

Alex - Ghana

Alex – 31-years old Fashion Designer from Accra is pretty sure, Africa would like him whiles in the house. He’s once worked in the fashion district of New York and believes in empowerment of the individual. According to Alex; he wanted to be in Big Brother Africa because he believes he “can bring it home for Ghana”.

Confidence on the other hand is a 37 years old Night Club owner also from Accra, Ghana.  She’s also the CEO of a Multimedia company in Ghana. According to Confidence; she would love to turn out like her role model aunt who, she believes, is “sexy, strong and principled”.


The rest of the 24 house-mates are:

Ernest & Sharon O – Kampala, Uganda

Vimbai & Wendall – Harare, Zimbabwe

Millicent & Nic – Nairobi, Kenya

“Miss P” – Peo & Zeus: Gaborone, Botswana

Lotus – Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Weza – Luanda, Angola

Michael – Maputo, Mozambique

Karen & Vina – Jos & Lagos, Nigeria respectively

Kim & Mumba – Livingstone & Lusaka; Zambia respectively.

Felicia & Lomwe – Lilongwe & Blantyre Malawi respectively.

Bernadina & Jossy – Keetmanshoop & Windhoek; Namibia respectively.

Luclay  & Nkuli, Cape Town & Johannesburg; South Africa respectively.

Wishing all the house-mates the very best. Meanwhile, you can catch all the action on DStv Channel 198 24/7.

You can follow the discussion on the social media platforms here; e.g. Facebook or on Twitter with the hash-tag: #BBAamplified

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Google’s Zeitgeist Announces 12 Winners For Young Minds Competition

Google's Zeitgeist Young Minds Competition

Somewhere in February, 2011; Zeitgeist & Google announced the commencement of applications for the Young Minds Video Competition 2011 via this website: which saw young people between the ages of 18 and 24; passionate about making a difference in your community apply.

Google has always championed innovation and is proud to help young people showcase their ideas and achievements. Zeitgeist Young Minds is an incredible platform for future world-changers to meet some of the most powerful and inspiring people on the planet today.” Philipp Schindler, Vice President of Northern & Central Europe, Google

The competition was to find 12 exceptional, motivated and inspiring young adults from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa; who are making a positive impact in their worlds. Those 12 individuals have been found and selected. See below for full details of the selected:

  • Orly Keit Setton – South Africa
  • Karabo Thosa – South Africa
  • Phofane Ludwick Marishane – South Africa
  • Brian Magwaro Mogaka – Kenya
  • Grace Ihejiamaizu –  Nigeria
  • Michael Mulunga – Namibia
  • Paul “slim” Banda – Zambia
  • Matheus Zancul Ortega – Haiti
  • Richard Serunjogi – United Kingdom
  • Sebastian Thiel – United Kingdom
  • Anna Debenham – United Kindom
  • Sadiq Miah – United Kingdom

Click here to read their profiles and watch the winning entries!


Zeitgeist is Google’s annual European partner forum held just outside London, currently in its 6th year, bringing together around 400 business and thought leaders from across Europe. Highlights from last year’s event can be seen at:

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Google Launches New African Tech Incubator – Umbono


Cross-linked at Future Challenges Organization‘s blog

With the current state of innovation spreading across the African continent; what we need exactly as social entrepreneurs and change-makers is the space to network, share ideas and work on projects that become businesses and profit-making ventures. I’m very happy to say, this space is here for the African Tech Community as at today.

Google has chosen South Africa’s Cape Town as a pilot township for its new technology incubator called Umbono which aims to bring together seed capital, Google mentorship, angel investors, local tech stars, social entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Africa's Newest Incubator - Umbono

According to Google:

the incubator is in keeping with its ongoing commitment to foster innovation in Africa and it will help selected startup teams transform their ideas into companies.

The Umbono program lasts for 6 months—enough time for your team to get your idea formally off the ground or to prepare your existing business for its next round of funding. The Umbono program will help transform your vision into a business. Your idea – probably web or mobile deployed – is exciting on many levels: for your future users, potential investors, and for the people on your team building it.

Teams should expect to receive a minimum of $25,000 and a maximum of $50,000. Capital from Angel investors will be exchanged for equity (10%) and will be governed by standard terms of investment (the same terms for each team).

Teams will also have regular access to our extensive network of business and technology experts, many of whom are Googlers. All team members should be able to legally reside and work in South Africa in order to apply to the program (regardless of their citizenship).

Google is also collaborating with the Silicon Cape Initiative and the Bandwidth Barn, to ensure that Umbono’s teams are well positioned to succeed.

Applications are available on the Umbono website from March 18, open to all South African residents. The deadline for first round applicants is April 15, 2011, but the website will continue to host applications for all interested candidates. To learn more and apply, go to

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Finally, The Wait is Over…!

In a couple of hours/minutes from now, South Africa will make history as the first African nation to host the World Cup. Since the Rainbow Nations’ name was pulled from the FIFA envelope way back in 2004, the people of South Africa have waited for this moment and now it has arrived.

The Official FIFA World Cup Football.

Today, June 11th, 2010; South Africa steps onto the world stage as host nation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup as the international soccer tournament begins – welcoming 32 teams from around the world.

South Africa was selected as the host six years ago, and has been preparing ever since, building five new stadiums, upgrading five existing stadiums, and building up public transportation, including a new rapid transit railway.

South Africa has made the impossible possible. Who would have thought a mere 20 years ago, that this would be possible? From the Adidas commercial, “Impossibility is really nothing…” Mzansi fo sho!!!

African / Cameroonian Football Legend Roger Milla:

South Africa have to win today’s opening match & “set the scene” for the other African countries (Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Algeria & Nigeria) to follow…

The sporting world would stop waiting and start watching as days, months and years of preparations finally give way to the start of the 19th FIFA World Cup. Host, South Africa would kick off the tournament against Mexico at the Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium which has also been awarded the right of staging the final.

Over the past weeks, the teams and their legions of fans have begun arriving while final preparations are made and dress rehearsals held for the Opening Ceremony on Friday. More than 90,000 fans have packed in at Africa’s biggest football stadium desperate to see the Bafana-Bafana open their account with a victory, they will not be alone in that wish.

The tournament takes place over a month, ending on July 11th. My question is;

“Who eventually wins the FIFA World Cup in South Africa 2010?

Would it be South Africa, Ghana, Cameroun, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, England, Brazil, Argentina or Spain?

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World Cup 2010 African Nations Murals

Fans celebrating the upcoming 2010 FIFA World ...
Image via Wikipedia

The FIFA World Cup which is almost a couple of days away in South Africa isn’t just going to make footballers [soccer players], Coaches, Technical Teams and their nations rich again [in a way] but rather a chance for artists / creative guys to show-case their creativity.

Yours truly came across series of colored murals depicting men on horseback, eagle-back and elephant-back; men dressed as supermen, men sprouting wings or plated with armor. First question that came in mind was; what is the reason/idea behind these murals? Whose paintings are this?

Bingo…. Answers here;

These murals were designed by Am I Collective; a Cape Town based illustration, design and animation studio; which has established an international reputation through their ability to craft various styles of illustration. This project is the idea of ESPN Broadcast Network in a way to depict a story about each team’s mural.

Below are the murals of the 6 African Nations at the tournament and what they actually depicts;

The World Cup 2010 on the continent of Africa!

Six countries; South Africa, Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Algeria & Nigeria are presenting Africa at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Michael Essien flying high flag of Ghana.

Beware of the Ghana Black Stars! At the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, the team relied heavily on young call-ups from the Satellites—the Ghanaian side that beat Brazil to win the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup—and made it all the way to the finals before bowing to Egypt 1-0. Ghana may lack a defining presence up front, but with or without the veterans the defense is stellar and the midfield is rock solid. Ghana is in Group D with Australia, Serbia & Germany. Are we going to advance into the next stage?

Bafana Bafana of South Africa with their Vuvuzela 🙂

The Bafana-Bafana of South Africa are very proud to be hosting this year’s FIFA World Cup. They are one of the lowest-ranked teams in the tournament thereby making them the first World Cup host nation to fail to advance beyond the group stage considering the group they’ve found themselves in. They are in Group A with; Mexico, France & Uruguay. Would you consider this group; The Group of Death?  Are we likely to watch a “piano and shoeshine” [short passing] game?

Mikel Obi riding high on a Super Eagle.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria took the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and many people thought the best was yet to come. But the Olympics, alas, are not the World Cup. And Nigeria … well, Nigeria is Nigeria.
They are drawn in the same group [Group B] as Argentina, South Korea & Greece.

Didier Drogba & the Elephants of Ivory Coast.

The Elephants of Ivory Coast are far more than just a supporting cast for Didier Drogba; the reigning African Player of the Year and winner of this year’s Golden Boot in the English Premier League. Salomon Kalou, Didier Zokora, Kolo and Yaya Toure, Emmanuel Eboue—these are just a few of the Elephants that any coach would kill to have on his side.  Ivory Coast is drawn in Group G with North Korea, Portugal & Brasil. Let see, how they fair during the tournament.

Samuel Eto'o & The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon..!

A sly and silky striker, Samuel Eto’o is capable of hoisting up the whole of his team and carrying it on his slender back. The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon are drawn in Group E with; The Netherlands, Japan & Denmark. Which teams are going to the next stage?

Les Fennecs (The Desert Foxes) of Algeria.

Don’t overlook the Les Fennecs (The Desert Foxes); they’ll catch you napping. Algeria’s young and inexperienced team may be in tatters, but don’t expect the Desert Foxes to slip quietly into the night during the tournament. The Desert Foxes of Algeria find themselves in Group C with; England, Slovenia & the United States of America. To make it to the elimination round in South Africa, the Desert Foxes will need everything to break their way. They open against Slovenia—no picnic—and then face England and the USA.

You can see the murals of the 32-teams at the World Cup here….

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