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Meet Some of the African Housing Innovators to Keep Your Eye on in 2022

We are pleased to announce a new Habitat for Humanity partner: Eriez Magnetics.

There is no shortage of amazing people doing fantastic, innovative work in Africa.

In Kenya alone, there are currently more than 90 start-ups and entrepreneurs looking to improve the housing situation in the country. All of them are at various stages in their business journey.

Some focus on formalizing informal settlements, while others take other approaches to make a difference. It might be innovating the classic light bulb or developing a system to receive faster payments for small businesses.

In the first Africa Housing Forum on May 12-14, Habitat for Humanity will promote and celebrate technological innovations, solutions, and policies that improve housing conditions and increase access to decent, affordable homes in the African region.

In the lead up to the forum, get to know some of the the African housing innovators that are contributing to the goal of improving the housing sector in the region.

Nuru Energy Group

Did you know that over 1.6 billion people in the world don’t have access to electricity? Most of them live in rural Africa, which equates to approximately 600 million people. With grid electricity unlikely to come to these regions, Nuru Energy Group has stepped in with an innovative off-grid solution.

The POWERCycle converts human energy into useable electricity. This portable device can be used anytime and charge up to five Nuru Lights in about 20 minutes. The light is also an excellent device. It lasts up to 18 hours at a time and has three brightness levels. It’s multifunctional and can be hung from a ceiling or worn as a headlamp, depending on what you need it for.

Koolboks

The team at Koolboks has developed an eco-friendly refrigeration solution that is also affordable and accessible. Depending on the need, the device can function as a refrigerator or freezer.

The best part is that it can offer 24-hour refrigeration utilizing energy from the sun. It also stores it in the form of ice to allow the device to provide cooling for up to seven days without sunlight. Users can pay in small installments through pay-as-you-go technology, and its usage can be easily controlled to manage payments.

GAS360

GAS360 provides residents with clean cooking LPG fuel at reasonable rates. The company gives you a prefilled cylinder containing LPG, which you can pay in installments via an app. The software even monitors the levels and allows you to refill it easily before it runs out.

There are additional benefits too. You can earn carbon credit points by tracking your emissions. It also tracks your consumption so you can plan a budget. The company is still in the early stages, with a full rollout coming soon.

Payclide

Many African residents living in informal settlements also earn a living through non-traditional means. As such, they’re disadvantaged by banks and financial institutions. Payclide makes it easier for these citizens to accept payments and receive transfers to help them afford the essentials in life.

The company also allows users to manage savings, invest, create budgets, and access credit instantly. It even allows users to send and receive money from other countries without fees. Payclide is still at a beta stage but is in the process of scaling.

Messibat

With over 12 years of experience, Messibat has been developing the supply of affordable and green housing in Africa. They don’t do it on their own. They create these solutions in conjunction with their banking, finance, and technology partners.

To date, they have finalized 144 projects and built 98 homes. They’ve even won 8 awards for their efforts. Their goal is to be the leader in green construction in Africa, and they are well on their way to achieving it.

Instadriver

This portal makes it simple to connect employers with citizens who drive for a living and are looking for employment. Instadriver describes itself as a LinkedIn for drivers. It’s an exclusive social media platform designed to make it easy for them to find work.

It’s even easier for companies to find and hire a driver. They can select from categories such as personal, school bus, truck, and more. Once the location is entered and the driver type

confirmed, they will be provided with options. It even includes other features such as video calls, social groups, and online gaming to better forge communities amongst drivers.

Tuverl

The goal of Tuverl is to transform the public transportation industry to make it more efficient, accessible, and reliable. Their application utilizes real-time vehicle tracking, geolocation, and fintech to improve it in cities and rural areas around Africa.

You can book a bus, live track minibusses, pay digitally, and even rate your experience. Tuverl has started operating in Zimbabwe and is looking to expand throughout Africa in the near future.

Digiduka

This application aims to supercharge small businesses through the use of digital tools. Users can pay bills and sell digital vouchers for services. There’s no special device needed. It works through USSD, Android, and the web application. Setting up a store can be completed in minutes, and you can market your offering on Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp.

It also allows you to accept mobile payments without any fees. It can even track the money online and offline. You don’t need to be a tech expert to use Digiduka. The platform is simple enough for everyone to use.

The importance of housing innovation

While there is an importance on creating new shelters in Africa, the housing solution goes beyond four walls and a roof. It’s about providing a stable, secure place that allows people to continue bettering themselves whether it be through education or employment. It’s also about having access to essential services, including energy, clean cooking fuel, and public transport.

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