Ugandan innovations that are usable – I have used them

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In 2012, Uganda was ranked among the top three countries with advanced technological and innovation capabilities in Africa. This was according to a study conducted by Martin Prosperity Institute of the US.  Globally, Uganda was ranked among the 82 world
nations. Over time we have heard that while we have great innovations their life -span is albeit too short.

There are so many innovations in Uganda today. A lot of them are great because they are geared towards solving certain issues in society. They are meeting real and genuine issues and they are the kind that deserve to be highlighted. At the Social Media Day for Kampala that took place a few days ago – there was a conversation on if we share each other’s work to uplift one another. We are in a fast paced world that is becoming so individualistic – because we are busy trying to making things work so we don’t have much time for each other. But that  These innovations are ‘useable’. This is very
key. They come highly endorsed because I have used them.
Every time I think about seeing a doctor when I am not well, I get put off by the long lines and the fees that I have to pay to get the services. If you are a freelance person like I am – then you know that health insurance in most times is not an option, because it is a very expensive venture. With the use of social media platforms
one is able to get in touch with a group of doctors who will discuss at length what you are feeling and prescribe medication for you or send you to see a doctor depending on their diagnosis. I have used their service twice so far and it is such a great relief to be able to get onto the phone and consult a doctor without having to move an inch. They present the future of healthcare and the role of technology within.  It was founded by Davis Musinguzi and friends For more about what they do:
I have this platform to thank for my birthday dinner. A friend from Nigeria said they wanted to give me a birthday treat this year. But that was about 2:00pm and it was a Saturday.
There is no Western Union in Nigeria and there certain limitations on money leaving Nigeria. So I told them, that there was a platform that they could use. Within a few minutes I had received a message confirming that I have money on my mobile money account. REMIT gives you an opportunity to send money to Uganda
from a credit card and or bank account and it will come to the recipient’s phone via Mobile Money. This service is currently for MTN subscribers. It is easy, fast and very reliable. This was started by Stone Atwine and a few friends.
While this is not entirely a Ugandan local innovation, it gets a mention because it is meeting a ‘real need’with the people who use it. 130 restaurants are listed on this platform [Mobile site, web & Mobile app] that one can order food from and have it delivered to their homes, offices and or locations. My only issue with it is that it does not have the ‘Ugandan Local Food’ options. It could be that there are no tech savvy people that sell local food – but I don’t think that enough has been done to involve them. By that I mean: sensitization of how the platform works and its benefits. I would really like to order some luwombo and have it delivered for Sunday lunch with the family where I live.

 

Special Mention goes to MYACCOUNTS UG which this year scooped a Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation Grant. Its main mandate is to provide accessible accounting solutions which are critical for SMEs and the broader African economy. Accounting tools and skills are what SMEs need so as not to ‘operate blindly’ with no idea whether they are making money or not. A company also needs to know what their worth is- this innovation allows for this. If you have an SME – this is who you need to look out for.

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