Mobile applications for everyone, giving power to the powerless – Tech4Africa 2011

Constrain breeds innovation – Gustav Praekelt and Sebastien Lacour talks about how mobile tools can give business opportunities and give Africans the access to every day services. With over 600 million active mobile connections in Africa, there is no doubt that there is enough reach. Gustav talks about how to measure mobile phone usage and behaviour within Africa so businesses can create models which will help them manufacture specific services that are actually relevant to the customer. Gustav then talks about Ummeli, the mobile portal which helps Africans find social networks and job finders to help them meet new people, learn new things and better themselves so they can find jobs as, the no.1 problem the African youth is facing now is not illness and poverty, but lack of employment.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_avN_nnhW4I&w=560&h=315]

How we built Motribe for Africa and beyond – Vincent Maher Tech4Africa 2011

Vincent Maher talks about Motribe, a passionate idea converted into one of the most fastest growing mobile plays in Africa. This is special considering it’s built for some of the most basic mobile platforms. Vincent talks about how his idea got converted in to a scalable business and how the business structure was set up and it is also interesting to listen to some of the problems he faced. The talk is equally great for entrepreneurs who want a good insight in to a start-up and notice common challenges start-ups face such as “do you take whatever money that’s comes your way or do you stick to you plan?”.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIW_bLTID3E&w=560&h=315]

The anatomy & habits of mobile users, and why business should take note – Nic Haralambous Tech4Africa 2011

This topic covers how mobile usage has changed over the past decade or so and the changes that have taken place in the market as well as how marketing has been defined previously by brand advertising. Where previous brands sat in the middle and the consumer around it, this has changed now where this has been democratised and almost been switched around to the point where the brand is owned by the consumer rather than the company; the consumer is the centre. This is very similar to marketing from a mobile perspective. Therefore, it is important to understand that marketing from a mobile point of view is very different to the traditional method as a lot of the techniques used mobile marketing such as banner adverts can be irrelevant and sometimes can be intrusive to the consumer. In this speech Nic Haralambous talks about mobile usage from a platform perspective. However, mobile marketing can be a very powerful marketing tool if you look at it from a user’s point of view.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYDG3I8Uj3I&w=560&h=315]

Mapping for Africa – Adam Duvander Tech4Africa 2011

Adam Duvander talks about how his company, ProgrammableWeb are going about mapping Africa for users so they have a functional and relevant open street map api. The talk also covers the challenges of acquiring the data and the importance of having the best interface. Finally, Adam explores the challenges competitors face when creating their maps and the correct maps which those in Africa can currently use. Finally, what are the limitations for Africa?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=III-GnxBB_w&w=560&h=315]

Importance of Big Data – Steve Watt Tech4Africa 2011

Steve Watt from HP, talks about Big data, what it’s all about and how to access vast amount of data for the use in businesses. Big data is about mining information from unstructured data, where you ask your own questions and learn something from everything. The video covers the whole model of retrieving, storing, processing and analysing big data using open source software to benefit your business.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCBN0_GeT0Y&w=560&h=315]

Africa’s Quest to Climb the Tech Pyramid – Tech4Africa 2011

Most of the fundamental technologies that were used in the past, and in fact some today, are poor because there was a failure to invest in these technologies and the lack of intellectual property made it difficult for investors to buy in. This was a major cause in the stagnant nature of the global GDP and it is also a major factor in the lack of growth in successful technologies within Africa. Ndubuisi talks about a framework which can lead to a very strong system and encourage Africa to continue to invent new intellectual properties and push forward, not just in ICT but all kinds of technologies i.e. mining and agricultural technology. In essence, this talk will share the redesign to close the missing links as Africa overcomes the barriers in participating industries like microelectronics and nanotechnology which remain drivers of global commerce and modern culture.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvV7xLDCMx0&w=560&h=315]

March of the UX Designers – Tech4Africa 2011

“The age of competing simply over features is over”. It has become clear over the years that designing a product around its features has become less important than creating a product based around its customers which provides a superior user experience.

UX is an umbrella term where there are disciplines within other disciplines i.e. information architecture, usability research etc. Cennydd and James go in to detail about the importance of having the perfect balance in user experience (UX) design, how the successful companies have followed their practises to release a successful product resulting in loyal customers and how smaller companies can adapt these disciplines to be successful themselves.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r34LOmCw99k&w=560&h=315]