Africa at par with globe in inventions

SAP Group CEO, Bill McDermott
SAP Group CEO, Bill McDermott

ORLANDO  – THE African continent has been lauded globally for inventing practical, innovative and relevant solutions addressing challenges affecting the continent.

The commendation has come during a recently-concluded global technology summit held in Orlando, Florida in the United States of America, attended by more than 20 000 experts.

Germany-based Systems Applications Products (SAP), one of the world’s eminent enterprise software firms, organized the event.

Africa is the cradle of such innovations as the “Please Call Me” service, “M-Pesa” and “Nendo”.

In South Africa, former Vodacom employee Nkosana Makate, designed the multi-billion dollar mobile call-back service.

He designed the “Please Call Me”  following financial challenges faced by his then-girlfriend, now wife, Rebecca Makate.

It is an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) initiative enabling a subscriber, with no airtime, to send a code to another subscriber to call them particularly in an emergency situation.

All mobile network operators in the country comprising Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Telkom have adopted the service.

In Kenya, innovator Mark Kaigwa founded Nendo, a solution that tracks how everyday people are using digital technology in order to help brands engage with them.

Nendo is shortened from the Swahili word “mianendo”, which means “trend” or “insight.”

The Kenyan entrepreneur uses social media to pick out the “habits and quirks” of African consumers, to help businesses plan market engagement better.

Another landmark invention is the M-Pesa (M for Mobile and Pesa for Money in the local Swahili language).

With its origins in Kenya, it is a mobile-phone based-service which allows users to deposit money into an account stored on their cell phones, to send balances using PIN-secured Short Message Service (SMS) text messages to other users, including sellers of goods and services and to redeem deposits for regular money.

In an interview with CAJ News Africa in the US, Germany technology expert, Christian Dlumhoff, said Africa’s prevailing challenges such as disaster management and service delivery issues were being averted thanks to the adoption of such relevant adoptions.

Dlumhoff said embracing new but simple technological innovations should be embraced in order to change people’s lives for better.

He cited the SAP Cloud for Analytics, which combines planning, business intelligence, and predictive analytics in a single cloud-based solution.

He thus urged the continent to embrace such innovation and merge it with latest global inventions as the Cloud to enhance life.

“Prevailing challenges such as disaster management, service delivery issues and inaccurate weather forecasts can always be averted if governments and the private sector embrace such new innovations,” said Dlumhoff.

He cited as an example SAP Cloud for Analytics, which combines planning, business intelligence, and predictive analytics in a single cloud-based solution.

In a separate interview, Germany billionaire and co-founder of SAP, Hasso Plattner, said innovation was the biggest business today.

“The Cloud should always be embraced to change people’s lives. Organisations must adapt to it,” Plattner said.

While Africa boasts innovations such as M-Pesa, Nendo and “Please Call Me” the Cloud is firmly entrenched in the European markets where it is equally relevant to the challenges that region faces.

Dlumhoff said recently-crowned German football champions, Bayern Munich, one of the world’s most popular soccer teams, had adopted the SAP Cloud for Analytics.

“This is the application Germany’s biggest football club, Buyern Munich, has embraced to minimize its troubles at the same time enhancing its positive image as the best run football team in the country,” said Dlumhoff.

He also stated that the German senior men’s soccer squad, who are currently the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) World soccer champions adapted similar technology to win to the global soccer showcase.

Similarly, the Munich City authorities have also embraced the solution to prevent crises such rowdy football hooligans, traffic congestions, crime and other motorists behaviours in order to ensure smooth flow of traffic by other road users with no interest for football.

Dlumhoff highlighted the case of football where all roads mostly leading to derby matches are usually jam-packed.

“The application also predicts whether fans will delay watching sports matches due to chaos, traffic jam or hooliganism. When such predictions are correctly executed, you reroute the fans,” Dlumhoff said.

“This is a win-win-solution for all right from football fans unwilling to be delayed on traffic while other motorists with nothing to do with football can always drive uninterrupted by such traffic jams,” he added.

He said the application can also be used by state security agencies to predict crime before it occurred, enabling personnel nip it in the bud.

SAP Global Chief Executive Officer, Bill McDermott, said the Cloud for Analytics solution was key for both developing and developed countries of the world.

“The innovation can always predict public unrest before it happens and enable the authorities to take action,” said McDermott.

“On health issues, the application enables doctors and nurses analyse correct medical information for patients in real-time in order to save life. Embracing SAP solutions always make business run better,” concluded McDermott.

CAJ News

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button