ICT Policy



City Profiles

18 apps and platforms that serve African social, content, and m-commerce needs

February 10, 2013  »  Mobile2 Comments

Rudy De Waele, founding partner of the world’s first PR agency for African entrepreneurs (Nyota Media) has shared his slidedeck from November 2012’s ForumOxford: Mobile Apps and Technologies Conference. Much of the presentation consists of mobile statistics, but many slides contain examples of how innovative local entrepreneurs are creating new opportunities with mobile across the continent.

Featured were no less than 18 platforms and apps that can serve African demands. Key themes we notice are offline music streaming and local shopping aids. Most apps have been developed by Africans, but only a handful of countries are represented (the usual SA, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana). We’ve listed all products mentioned by Rudy below. The SlideShare presentation is included at the end.

Social Media

Motribe: Easily build a mobile social network. Released MxPix photo app in June 2012 with over 1 million users. Founded in Cape Town, August 2010.

biNu: Turns most phones into a smartphone by providing easy access to Internet based apps and services. Founded in Sydney, Australia.

Saya: Brings SMS-like messaging to low-end devices. Founded in Ghana, August 2011.


Afrinolly: Watch trailers of movies produced in the African movie markets. Winner of Android Developer Challenge, 2011.

Deezer: Download music to your mobile device or computer, then listen to your music offline. Founded in France, 2007.

Streemio: Allows you to listen to unlimited music – anytime, anywhere. Similar to Deezer, but founded in Ghana, December 2011.

Spinlet: Brings media distribution to emerging markets in Africa. Headquarters in San Francisco and offices in Lagos, Nigeria and Tampere, Finland.

simfy: Streaming music service that allows for offline listening available in South Africa.

Zikify: Stream East African music from anywhere. Founded by five Ugandans, early 2012.

Africori: A synch licensing platform for African music, connecting artists with TV and film production companies, video games developers, and advertisers. Offices in London, Cape Town, and Lagos.

Mdundo: Download music to your phone from your favorite artists by redeeming scratch cards. Founded in Kenya, mid-2012.

mCommerce Discover, explore and locate local offers. Launched in Kenya, December 2011.

Mocality: Successful Kenyan business directory launched in 2010.

Zimbile: Free Mobile Website Builder designed to help businesses across Africa take advantage of the mobile Internet explosion. Founded in April 2011.

M-Farm: Up-to-date market information links farmers to buyers through a marketplace and current agri-trends. Founded in Kenya, 2010.

iCow: Developed in 2010, iCow helps dairy farmers manage their cows more sustainably. Kenyan.

MoBiashara: A free service which allows mobile phone users to find and purchase products and services over their phones via SMS. Founded in Kenya, 2011.

Pashash: Allows users to share real-world shopping finds. Winner of the 2012 Startup World Cup. Based in Cape Town.