After exploring the leading tech heroes of Kenya in our emerging markets series, it seemed fitting to consider other African countries that are on their way to digital innovation with the help of some enthusiastic people in the digital field. Here is our take on Zimbabwe’s current leaders in online innovation.
1. Fungai Tichawangana
Founder and editor of ZimboJam, an online magazine that highlights many social, cultural, travel and local Zimbabwean news. The website also allows for members to upload personal blog posts that all available to view on one site. It hosts a calendar with the latest information about upcoming events of all kinds. Although more focused on lifestyle and social as opposed to digital, ZimboJam is certainly an effective way of bringing the Zimbabwe community together through technology.
2. Upenyu Makoni
Female tech junkie and new media activist, Upenyu is also the organizer of Zimbabwe’s first TEDx event, which took place for the first time this year, in August. The event follows the same form as a TED conference, usually hosted in the USA, however the TEDx event is an independently organised version of TED, licensed by TED.com. This aims to bring innovators and entrepreneurs together for a day to share ideas in Zimbabwe. The TEDx event hosted prominent speakers such as Max Soutter, a marketing and business expert who has worked with more than 300 businesses and entrepreneurs in over 30 different industries.
3. David Behr
Founder and CEO of Zimbabwe’s largest Internet service provider, Zimbabwe Online. Since releasing the initial product ZOL broadband, they now also offer ZOL dialup, ZOL Vsat and ZOL spot (WiFi).
4. Garth Drummond
Garth is the founder and Managing Director of Zimbabwe’s largest web hosting company, Webdev. This company develops web applications for clients by using cutting edge programming technology, and high tech design and layout. As descibed on their website, “Webdev has rapidly risen to be a globally competitive development house with applications in the USA, UK, Canada, Europe, Australia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, covering numerous industries.”
5. Brenda Burrell & Bev Clark
Brenda Burrell and Bev Clark are the visionaries and founders of the online project called Kubatana. The website combines IT skills with marketing and creative talents. They describe their website as one that “improves the accessibility of human rights and civic information in Zimbabwe. You can browse over 19,000 articles, reports and other documents, and use our directory to contact a variety of NGOs, civil society organisations and social justice groups.”
Once again, we will keep our eyes on these initiatives as development will continue, and Zimbabwe’s technological field steadily grows with the help of these digital heroes leading the way.