African startups leading the way to end poverty

Updated on 1 February 2016

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Tech writer Toby Shapshack rounds up the eight African startups providing innovative solutions to some of the continent’s most challenging issues. They range from DIYLaw, an all-female startup using digital technology to create easy access to legal services in Nigeria, WeFarm, a Kenyan free peer-to-peer service that enables farmers to share information via text, without the internet and without having to leave their farm. From South Africa are startup Vula Mobile which connects general health workers in remote areas with specialists in hospitals via a mobile app and Obami, a customisable and adaptable e-learning tool that is already present in over 400 schools. (

What Richard Branson has to say to his 25-year-old self

Virgin founder penned a letter to his 25-year-old self as part of his #ChallengeRichard 65th birthday celebrations. Here are some of the highlights: “Many of your wildest dreams will come true. But there’s a clause: you will have to work hard to make them happen”, “There will be times where you want to give up and throw everything in. Don’t,” and “You will fail time and time again. That’s ok, though because failure is an inevitable part of every personal and entrepreneurial journey.” (

Ethos acquires majority stake in The Eazi Group

Ethos, a leading South African private equity investor, announced last week an investment into The Eazi Group, Africa’s market leader in the rental, sale and servicing of work-at-height  and material handling solutions, in a deal valued at R1.6 billion.

Ethos Fund VI has acquired 65% of the business, with an investment vehicle controlled by Jonathan Beare (Buffet Investments) and founding shareholders owning the remainder.

Founded in 2003, The Eazi Group — comprising of Eazi Access Rentals, Eazi Sales and Services, Eazi Africa and other subsidiaries  —boasts the largest and most diverse fleet of boom lifts, scissor lifts, telehandlers and vertical personnel lifts on the African continent. (SAVCA)

Top social trends for 2016

The growth of video, the rise of content and the changing definition of influencers are just some of the trends we can expect in the social media landscape this year. This is according to Farren Roper, central marketing organisation (CMO) lead for Microsoft South Africa heading up marketing and branding for the local subsidiary.

Roper says we can also expect Instagram to follow Facebook as it also develops into a business-to-consumer channel and for the sCommerce – which is people buying on social media – to become increasingly popular. (Bizcommunity)

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