By Alphonsus E.W
As we slowly make our way into 2014, here is a definitive list of companies to watch as the year progresses. The listed companies are in sectors as diverse as technology, mobile, food, sustainability, gaming, accounting, advertising, fashion, cosmetics, and more. The countries include Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Cameroon, Rwanda, DRC, Sierra Leone, Mozambique and Egypt. The founders are running established companies with quality teams and many are generating revenue.
Arusha Women Entrepreneur is a social enterprise operating in the Tanzanian cities of Arusha and Dar Es Salaam. The enterprise is focused on processing natural peanut butter under the brand Mr. Peanut Butter.
Nigeria-based Carl Commodities Nigeria Limited is a commodity trading company and a player in the agri-food value chain. The prime focus is on processing and packaging of raw peanuts into honey-seasoned peanut snacks.
Cassini Farms is an integrated agricultural company founded in 2012 by Bolaji Lawal, an investment banker turned entrepreneur in conjunction with other industry experts in Nigeria.
ChopUp is a Nigerian social platform that connects mobile device gamers across Africa and then allows them to interact based on in-game achievements and points that can be transferred across games.
Uganda-based Eco Stove is a product introduced by the Eco Group Ltd, a company that manufactures environmental, economic, social and technological innovated cook stoves.
FastCashier is an accounting and payment software package developed by FT Cashier Limited in Ghana, integrating accounting, payroll and payment unto a single platform.
GMobile is a set of VoIP apps for all smartphone operating systems: a soft-phone running on your smartphone, provided by Kenyan licensed Tier II company GeoNet Telecom Network (GTN).
Tanzania-based KARIBU Solar Power is an innovative solar social enterprise that makes high quality solar power affordable, producing a modular solar lamp (solar panel + rechargeable battery + light) with an innovative payment scheme.
Cameroon -based Kiro’o Games is working to set-up the first video game studio in Central Africa. Their goal is to create games based on an ”African-fantasy” in order to sell them to the world audience
L’Espace is a multi-brand concept store in Lagos, Nigeria. Le Petit Marche (LPM), its sister brand, is a monthly market that has made a substantial impact on the shopping culture in Lagos. Both won many prizes.
MalaïKa cosmetics works to be the first strong beauty-retail concept based in Kinshasa and also to have a powerful beauty presence in the Democratic Repubic of Congo. “Our products are more attractive than most of the ones found currently in the Congolese market”.
South Africa’s Mellowcabs manufactures, and operates attractive, high-tech electric pedicabs with advertisements. Mellowcabs are public transport devices, providing first and last mile transport services.
MMABON’ produces affordable casual and custom apparel, ranging from T-shirts, Tops, Dresses, Skirts, Shorts etc for men, women and children in Nigeria.
Rwanda -based Mobile Solar Kiosk allows franchisees to sell different type of products and services at the base of the pyramid. The primary service is a built in charging system for small electronics.
Ghana’s MyeCampus.net is an online teaching and learning platform with social networking options that allows users (teachers & students) to interact and compare test scores.
Sierra Leone-based Parene Healthcare is a venture that will provide much needed healthcare services with stable growth opportunities and returns in Sierra Leone. The care model has been successful in similar regions of Africa.
Pluspeople Kenya, a limited company incorporated in the republic of Kenya, offers innovative cloud-based IT-solutions focused on managing and running small and medium businesses in East Africa.
Tanzania-based Rasello Relationship Management System (RMS) simplifies how businesses owners and other professionals interact with the people that matter most to them (clients, employees or anyone else).
Rethink Education is an innovative, optimized approach to online and blended learning. The Rethink Team has developed an interactive online educational platform focused at the South African IEB and NSC Syllabus.
Save & Buy (S&B) is a web and mobile platform that enables the Nigerian consumer to save towards items they desire in an easy to use, fun and safe environment.
SleepOut.com is a unique Kenyan sms-driven booking process tailored for those off-the-grid destinations, connecting both commercial and peer-to-peer hosts with guests and agents.
Terra Nova recycles urban organic waste into natural ferilizer in Beira, Mozambique.
Kenya’s the Able Wireless Company provides an on-demand entertainment system and content delivery network that is localized to every single locale in the region.
Uganda’s Tugende is a for-profit social enterprise that invests in responsible motorcycle taxi drivers, helping them own, rather than rent, the key tool with which they make money: their bike.
Egypt -based ViViFi provides touch sticker technology: a new human-object interface that is capable of transforming all non-conductive surfaces with limited thickness (wood, glass, etc.) into touch sensors or screens.