Francophone African tech companies are using innovation and tech to provide people with internet access, maternal healthcare, electricity and other basic services that would otherwise be out of reach.
From fintech and transportation to healthcare and energy, companies in these sectors are benefiting one or more French-speaking African markets, and many are looking to expand into more markets.
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These startups specialize in tech solutions for the African market designed to expand reach and access to services in countries such as Senegal, Ivory Coast and Cameroon.
Here are the 10 Francophone African tech firms which are revolutionizing access to basic services.
Access to electricity remains elusive for many Africans. Senegal’s OniriQ aims to address this lack of basic services. The firm has combined the traditional solar home system with a set-top box to provide those living off grid with access to solar-powered digital services such as the internet, according to DisruptAfrica.
Working within the agritech sector in Senegal, BAYSEDDO 2.0 aims to empower farmers. The company’s research suggests that around 75 percent of African farmers find it difficult to access adequate and non-binding financing, and this is exactly what they aim to provide, with a platform that allows farmers to finance their crop through crowdfunding, according to CTA.
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CityTaps is a Niger-based company that develops technological and financial solutions to enable water utilities to connect all people to their networks. CityTaps is one of the startups selected for the World Bank’s L’Afrique Excelle accelerator, the francophone adaptation of the World Bank’s XL Africa tech accelerator, according to Ventureburn.
Access to funding for farmers is another of the services that are missing from communities across Africa, but Senegal’s Ama is trying to provide a solution for this problem. This digital lending platform enables small business owners in West Africa to apply for loans to fund their short-term business needs, according to Appsafrica.
Fintech company MaTontine provides users with the digital answer to a traditional savings tool. MaTontine provides financial services through the digitization of traditional, centuries-old, peer-to-peer savings circles, known as Tontines, which remain a popular way to save money in Senegal. The company was the winner in the 2017 Seedstars Dakar competition, according to Techmoran.
Ivory Coast’s Solarpak pioneered a backpack solar solution that provides users with access to power through solar energy. The bag features a solar panel and battery that recharges throughout the daylight hours. The bag includes a LED lamp which can be powered by the solar energy, allowing students to do their work at night thanks to the light source, according to Weetracker.
Ivory Coast-based company Lono is a cleantech startup that has developed tech which converts waste into energy for use in rural communities. Founded in 2016, Lono’s mission is to offer sustainable and affordable solutions to transform waste into value, according to its website. null
Cameroonian e-health startup GiftedMom is a maternal health education solution that aims to reduce maternal mortality rates. The medical support platform develops last-mile mobile health solutions geared at increasing maternal engagement in emerging markets through an artificial intelligence-based remote medical platform. The startup was the winner of the Seedstars Douala competition in 2017, according to ITNewsAfrica.
Removing the hassle from queuing for a bus ticket and enabling access to basic public transport, mTick has developed an online booking platform that provides users in Ivory Coast and Senegal with the ability to book inter-city bus tickets. Schedules are available online, and prices can be compared before a mobile payment method is used and the ticket received via email or text message. The service expanded from Ivory Coast to Senegal in 2018, according to Afrikatech.
Mobile app Kalejob provides a platform that connects young and unemployed Ivorians with available job opportunities. A profile is completed so that once a job becomes available that interests a particular person or involves a skill that they possess, that person is notified through a text message.