Your Podsite trial is ending soon. Put the final touches on it with our tips on how to make a great podcast website.

Claim your custom domain name todayClaim your domain

Toby Shapshak on Innovation in Africa at Login 2018

16 minutes

Toby Shapshak on innovation in Africa and mobile society

Innovation + Society + Africa + Mobile + Future + Technology + STUFF



Expert of Innovation in Africa KEYNOTE: Technology

Toby Shapshak is the evangelist of better innovation – innovation that’s solving actual problems. For the past 15 years, he has been writing about technology and business innovations, and the impact it all has on Africa. His take on innovation born out of necessity became one of the most watched TED speeches ever. Toby started a reporter’s career by shadowing Nelson Mandela during his presidency; he then interviewed Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and has been featured in the New York Times. Today he’s the editor-in-chief and publisher of Stuff magazine, also a contributor to Forbes, Financial Mail, CNN, The Guardian, SxSW, and others

"Innovation in Africa is the purest form: innovation out of necessity. Not Angry Birds, the innovations emerging from Africa allow farmers to check where they can get the best price for their produce, fishermen to be warned about storms, people to check whether medicines they are buying have expired, and rural cellphone users to send mobile money to each other using text messages. Even the pay–as–you–go payment system was pioneered in Africa."

Shapshak has been writing about innovation and technology for the past 15 years and is writing a book on how it has become innovation out of necessity in Africa. He spoke at TED Global in June 2013 about how Africa is solving real problems for the rest of the world.

East Africa accounts for about 80% of the world´s mobile money transactions, an industry that is projected to grow to $617–billion by 2016. All started in Kenya using the M–Pesa payment system which uses SMSes to send money like modern–day digital cheques. Now, half of Kenya´s GDP goes through mobile money.

An estimated 80% of adults in Africa are unbanked, or some 326–million people. But they have a SIM card – it´s the bank card of Africa.With 1–billion people, Africa has 14% of the world´s population, most under the age of 30. The continent is where China was when its boom years began.

Africa has been historically typecast as the “hopeless continent”. But a decade after being labelled that by The Economist, the magazine renamed it the “hopeful continent”.

Six of the 10 fastest growing economies in the last decade were in Africa, according to The Economist. Sub–Saharan Africa´s real GDP growth rate has risen to an annual average of 5.7% over the past 10 years.And it is set to continue. The IMF forecasts that seven of the top 10 fastest–growing economies over the next five years will be on the continent. African economies will grow at 7% a year over the next 20 years, making sub–Saharan Africa the second–fastest growing region in the world after Asia. [Text from / Edited Transcript tba]Toby Shapshak on STUFF Magazine

Other Writing

[Related] Quartz Africa: How a 20-year old mobile technology protocol is revolutionizing Africa


LOGIN 2018 – the first, largest, most uncompromising innovation bash in the Baltics. At LOGIN, the roadmap for INNOVATION is TECHNOLOGY x CREATIVITY x BUSINESS. Whether you’re a blockchain geek, a currencies philosopher or a sophisticated designer, if you believe your desk isn’t the only place where innovation happens – you must LOGIN!

Content isn’t everything. Context is everything.

Transit Lounge Radio brings you conversations from LOGIN 2018!

Thank you for tuning in, we hope you've had as much fun listening as we did making the program. Transit Lounge Radio is independently produced, your support keeps the conversation flowing!

Hang out in the Transit Lounge on facebook

Reviews and stars on iTunes make us happy

Listen on the TLR YouTube Channel


More episodes from Transit Lounge

Kudzai Mubaiwa talks women, finance and freedom at open:fora

Kudzai M Mubaiwa talks about why there is a clear need for women to have resources for them to attain real freedom, with a leaning towards strong networks they can activate for tangible …

Friedrich Lindenberg talks money laundering, data transparency and pirate radio at Dark Havens

Friedrich Lindenberg talks me through the investigative journalism data tools developed by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project …

Simon Shuster talks corruption, hitmen and civil society at Dark Havens

Simon Shuster talks in the Transit Lounge at Dark Havens about the importance of the work journalists do as the immune system of a society.

"Investigative journalists expose things most …

Frederik Obermaier talks Panama Papers, global crime & cocktails at Dark Havens

Frederik Obermaier on global crime & collaborative reporting, the demise of the 'lone wolf' investigative journalist, Panama Papers cocktails, …

RYBN talk art, algorithmic investment and offshore tourism at Dark Havens


RYBN walk us through the Offshore Tour Operator to explore local traces of the transnational and liquid financial industry, and introduce classic tax avoidance schemes the Double …

How you can listen to this podcast

You can listen to episodes right here on the website, or if you prefer, in a podcast app. Listening in an app makes it easier to keep track of what you’ve already heard, listen without using your data plan and many other conveniences.

Recommended apps
Start listening to Kudzai Mubaiwa talks women, finance and freedom at open:fora
Start listening to Kudzai Mubaiwa talks women, finance and freedom at open:fora