Africa has been in the global spotlight like never before in the recent years!
With the continuous releases of popular franchises taking place on the African continent people can’t (and never should) get enough of the mother land. So meet the young African minds that are taking inspiration, and using their savvy tech minds to changing their homeland, bringing a realistic view to Afrofuturism unseen. Peter Karuki whose love and (self taught) coding skills found a way to bring Uber to Rwanda…but with an amazing twist!
Peter’s company SafeMotos is doing the essentials of Uber, connecting passengers to rides, except in a specific and economical way that positively affects the SubSaharan area. SafeMotos mission statement found on their website is “SafeMotos is a ride hailing and on demand services platform designed specifically for urban Africa’s affluent, middle and bottom of the pyramid classes.” That’s right baby! You can either sit in a comfortable four seater on your way to work, or you can vroom vroom your way to that board meeting and probably get their way more on time.But, Peter’s spark for his company didn’t come without having a first hand experience as to why SafeMotos were needed.
Peter and his partner Nash had just returned from program in Ireland on learning how to develop businesses and further SafeMotos development. Peter was on the back of a motorcycle taxi (going uphill no less) when a truck pulled out suddenly flinging Peter from his seat. He received a broken knee cap, disfigured lip, and three missing teeth. Peter’s doctor attending to his wounds was stating that he sees patients from these accidents happening all the time.So Peter and Nash decided they needed to answer the problem of how to get an Uber like service to Kigali that was affordable and most importantly SAFE, thus SafeMotos was born!
The platform for SafeMotos is a true disruptor in every sense of the word. Drivers who participate in the SafeMotos app receive their own smartphone with a device that tracks their acceleration, GPS, and other info that will give the driver their total safety score – similar to Uber ratings the driver must stay at 90 out of 100 to stay activated. Safe Motos also gives the rider helmets to ensure their safety, and it gives them a competitive edge in an extremely crowded market as motorcycles are the preferred transportation in many urban African cities.
As a driver is looking to distinguish themselves amongst the crowd they can build their clientele serving their economic status, and gaining a solid reputation.Peter Karuki is certainly an inspiration into how Africans are using their tech brains to enhance the world around them just like the movies and TV shows today, and he certainly isn’t the only one! Due to farming being an quintessential and vital market in African communities a woman named Peris Bosire ( raised on a farm) used her rare and foundational education to begin doing amazing things in her community.
Peris partnered with another female coder Rita Kimani and together they created FarmDrive in 2015! FarmDrive is an app that allows business and banks to know which farming village and communities they should give a small loan to fund in Kenya. Banks uses FarmDrive as a credit bureau, and pays FarmDrive as they continue to receive and fund farmers. What was once only 50 users FarmDrive has grown into a hundred thousands with over 800 farms getting financing! And those brilliant female minds don’t plan on stopping there with plans to take their technology to the eastern lands of Asia.
These are only a few examples into how the tech minds of Africa are changing their digital as well as realistic landscape! Not only are people like Peter, Peris, and Rita putting their coding skills to good use and defying all odds but they are developing technologies that can soon rupture western and American markets.
So while all of us are waiting on that next big afro-futurism series to take us by storm, don’t forget we can read about it happening in the heart of Africa now!
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Hi! Asia Minor here - I enjoy anything history, fantasy, and sci fi...its even better when its all combined. I am working on acquiring beautiful huskies for my pets, constantly watching movies (and plan on making them), and reading/writing. My musical choices limit to Disney, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Lamar - enough said.