Africa Tech Weekly Links | 10.21.08
MobileActive08: An Idea Whose Time Has Come [Balancing Act, 10/19]
"As the old Hollywood saying goes, there are only really 5 stories at MobileActive08. Mobiles are now being used to: send out bulk mailings to key target groups (nurses); mobilise supporters; poll people and gather data; to provide answers to inquiries; to offer information support for activities; and raise funds. The majority of this activity is based on the 160 characters available in SMS."
The Problem With Seed Capital in Africa [White African, 10/20]
If African entrepreneurs can find seed capital, local funders usually want b/w 40-80% equity stake. "I'm interested in seeing some Y-Combinator style venture funding companies AND communities developing around different regions in Africa. Groups that only fund the very early stages of development ($5000 - $15000) for very short periods of time (3-6 months)."
Innovating From Constraint [My Hearts in Accra, 10/17]
Ethan presents 7 rules that help explain how the developing world innovates: (i) innovation comes from constraint; (ii) don't fight culture; (iii) embrace market mechanisms; (iv) use existing platforms; (v) problems are not always obvious from afar; (vi) what you have matters more than what you lack; (vii) infrastructure begets infrastructure.
Banking Crisis Will Be Felt in Africa [CDG Blog, 10/13]
http://tinyurl.com/667jdq "After the Nordic crisis of 1991, Norway's foreign aid fell 10%, Sweden's 17%, and Finland's 62%--from peak to trough after adjusting for inflation."