“No Man’s Job”

Latest personal project by photographer Anthony Kurtz. Kurtz took these dynamic portraits of workers at Femme Auto in Senegal.

holy wow I love these… 


PopTech colleague Gustav Praekelt and others launch JoziHub, a new African tech hub in Joburg, South Africa.

Africa For NorwayAfricans unite to save Norwegians from dying of frostbite. You too can donate your radiator and spread some warmth!

Reinvent Africa

The Chukudu Is a Small Ride That’s a Big Wheel in Congo

Despite its odd appearance, a chukudu goes amazingly fast and can carry heavy loads; an owner can earn up to $10 a day — a huge amount for the Congolese — transporting a variety of goods. And more than that, it can help liberate the women of this region from some of the backbreaking work they face every day. Imagine if the chukudu and international aid organizations worked together to help move Congolese women along the road toward embracing their rights.

Photos: Abby Ross

(via African Digital Art)

The future of education in Africa is mobile

While education struggles to cope, mobile communication has grown exponentially. Africa is today the fastest growing and second largest mobile phone market in the world. While in some countries – including Botswana, Gabon and Namibia – there are more mobile subscriptions than inhabitants, Africa still has the lowest mobile penetration of any market. There is plenty more growth to come. Over 620 million mobile subscriptions mean that for the first time in the history of the continent, its people are connected.

These connections offer an opportunity for education. Already, we are starting to see the beginnings of change. An increasing number of initiatives – some large-scale, some small – are using mobile technologies to distribute educational materials, support reading, and enable peer-to-peer learning and remote tutoring through social networking services. Mobiles are streamlining education administration and improving communication between schools, teachers and parents. The list goes on. Mobile learning, either alone or in combination with existing education approaches, is supporting and extending education in ways not possible before.

I’ve argued for years that culture matters as much as technology when you’re designing new products. Being surrounded by roboticists and synthetic biologists is a great inspiration to look for novel technical inspirations, but it’s worth trying these ideas out in the field early and often. While it’s frustrating to discover that many of my assumptions were wrong in pursuing this project, it would be vastly more frustrating to learn this six months from now, having developed an inappropriate prototype for the wrong market.

Unity Dow wears many hats. She’s a lawyer, a retired judge (who happens to have been Botswana’s first female high court judge), a prolific author of four works of fiction and one non-fiction, and an advocate for the rights of women and girls. In her PopTech talk, she shared her perspective on a spectrum of topics connected to her pursuits including rethinking the future of Africa, reimagining the role of women and girls, and reclaiming one’s self and identity in the process. Watch Dow’s talk or read our complete interview with her, which touches on some of the most salient points from Dow’s talk.