In case you haven’t heard, our continent is exploding . . . in mobile technology consumption. Not only does Africa have the fastest growing mobile presence in the world but it also has, overall, the second largest mobile market next to Asia. Consequently, there is a huge potential for mobile development. Mobile Monday is an open meeting of visionaries and entrepreneurial minds as well as those curious about what’s next in the world of mobile technology. Mobile Monday Lusaka has been meeting since mid 2012 to focus on the development of Zambia in mobile innovation and review current trends in Africa.
During the last Mobile Monday session, we discussed some useful initiatives that are likely to impact Africa. Some important topics that were discussed were making use of the rapid growth of Africa’s web presence to virtualise education and the impact of mobile technology on national development. We also looked at the scope of electronic health care and how to make people more interested in their health through the integration of mobile gaming and health apps.
A large part of the Monday Monday session was dedicated to presentations on mobile products that could or may already be making huge waves here.
ZEduPad – On the topic of virtualising education, iSchool.zm has introduced a new product that is said to change our methods of teaching and make localized education more interactive. The ZEduPad is an educational touch-screen tablet computer that comes with thousands of lessons following the Zambian school curriculum. It is packed with primary school lesson for Grade 1 – 7. It also has other applications for education, farming and health. The apps and lessons are designed to be child-friendly, fun and interactive with Zambian made audio-visual material. The tablet is low power with up to 9 hours battery life and can also be used by teachers and parents to plan lessons.
Nokia Mobile Mathematics – Popularly known as MoMaths is an initiative started by Nokia in 2008. It allows users to learn and practice mathematics on their mobile phones. This isn’t just another smartphone app. In fact, it’s not a smartphone app at all. It can be accessed by any phone with internet capabilities so don’t fret if you’re still behind the smartphone game. Topics cover everything from Number Patterns to Finance to Euclidean Geometry. The project has already cycled through African students wanting to improve their skills over holidays and weekends.
Nokia Asha 501 – Smartphones are known for being costly, complicated and often have a much shorter battery life than their low tech counterparts. This is where Nokia once again shines with it’s innovative prowess. The soon to be released Nokia Asha 501 is a stylish low-power budget smartphone that boasts a battery life of up to 48 days – yes, you read that correctly. It also has a more cost effective browsing system that will limit data usage. This is the first in a line of Nokia’s many unique budget smartphones that will be rolled out by Nokia.
AppCampus – For those of you into mobile app development, here’s an incentive for you to kick your processors into high gear. AppCampus is a wordwide project under Microsoft and Nokia that sponsors the development of apps for Windows Phone and other Nokia platforms. For each unique idea, you may be granted between 20,000 and 70,000 euros of which the AppCampus takes no equity or commission. AppCampus also provides training to developers in mobile technology, design and usability, coaching and marketing support
These are but a few of the trending topics discussed during the Mobile Monday Lusaka sessions. Become a member by signing up on the Mobile Monday website here and we’ll keep you up to date on what mobile technology has in store for us and we’ll inform you of the dates of our next meetings.