Forbes’ Top 20 African Tech Startups

In the begining of 2012, Forbes Africa magazine issued its top 20 list of tech start-ups in Africa. The magazine has several criteria in its selection in order for a particular startup to be included in the list. First of all, the startup must be in operation of not less than ten years and have provided effective solutions to some pressing problems of the continent involving communication hurdles and socio economic difficulty. They must also be Pan – African in service offering and scope not to mention the required strong social media presence.

  1. Mxit – Founded in 2003, this startup offers a free online mobile instant messaging system and social networking platform where users will not only be able to join social network but also carry out other activities like shopping, online gaming, etc. Its founder is the Namibian tech entrepreneur Herman Heunis.
  2. Yola – Founded in 2007 by South African-born web entrepreneur Vinny Lingham is an online website creation toolkit. This is known formerly as Synthasite and it allows users to create their own website with user friendly multimedia features.
  3. Dropifi – This is Ghanaian web messaging portal founded in 2011 and offers services that helps companies to better visualize, analyze and respond to inward bound messages from all their contacts.
  4. Cobi Interactive – as a leading mobile software development company in South Africa, Cobi Interactive offers strategy consulting and top mobile technology mostly to leading corporations in Africa.
  5. FloCash – This startup enables users with mobile number and email address to instantly receive or send money all over the continent without hassles.
  6. Obami – The company was established in 2009 and has become one of the leading learning management system and social network platform for students, teachers, and schools in South Africa.
  7. Bandeka – This is an invite-only online community that works more like LinkedIn but is more exclusive and community centered. This is a good place where well-learned Africans can easily connect with other successful professionals.
  8. – This is one of the most comprehensive job sites in Nigeria that focuses mainly on matching pre qualified professionals with the most suitable job opportunities.
  9. Motribe – This is an online platform / aggregator that allows users, agencies, product brands, publishers, etc., to supervise and control their mobile social convergence.
  10. Pesapal – The company offers a payment service with similar attributes to PayPal. This enables users to process various types of online payments securely.
  11. Synaq – This company offers security products and messaging that have been created using open source solutions.
  12. Rupu – This startup has been modeled after Groupon which highlights on daily deals on various products and services from different companies in numerous industries including entertainment, health and beauty, food and beverage, insurance, and other types of products and or services.
  13. BongoLive – This is the first opt in based advertising services using SMS in Tanzania.
  14. Skyrove – This is the largest self-regulating Wi-Fi hotspot network in South Africa with over six hundred Wi-Fi hotspots in the region.
  15. – This is basically a search engine and job aggregator combined with similar features like but focused on African consumer base.
  16. Ushahidi – This is one of the mobile startups in Africa that uses an open source platform for crowd sourcing and crisis information distribution.
  17. SMSGH – The specialization of SMSGh lies in offering and creating business level SMS solutions.
  18. Hummba – This is a travel and social networking site that enables users to download audio travel guides for free.
  19. 10Layer – This is a CMS system based in South Africa that targets newsrooms.
  20. Sembuse – This offers a combination of instant messaging and social networking in mobile platform with features that are similar with MXit.



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About Mawuna KOUTONIN

Mawuna Koutonin is a world peace activist who relentlessly works to empower people to express their full potential and pursue their dreams, regardless of their background. He is the Editior of, Founder of, and Social activist for Africa Renaissance. Koutonin’s ultimate dream is to open a world-class human potential development school in Africa in 2017. If you are interested in learning more about this venture or Koutonin’s other projects, you can reach him directly by emailing at

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