News & Events

So in true ALU-fashion, we developed a list of seven game changers of the year. These are the innovations, businesses and individuals whose ideas or actions shifted our lives in some way. Some items on the list may have had immediate effect while others we will see in the years to come. However all of them happened this year, helping to mark 2014’s unique place in history.

Here is our list of Seven Significant Game Changers in 2014:



eric-mazur

Eric Mazur Wins Minerva Prize
This May, Eric Mazur’s peer instruction method of teaching won the Minerva Institute’s first-ever Minerva Prize for Advancements in Higher Education. Although Mazur’s peer instruction method was introduced before 2014, this year marks a milestone with such a prestigious organization recognizing the impact that this type of instruction has on the learning process.






Sterio.me_

SMS-Powered e-Learning Service Makes Moves to Change Education Landscape in Nigeria
Nigerian start-up Sterio.me rolled out a trial of its mobile e-learning service to 75 schools in Nigeria. The service uses SMS messages to give students access to material and lessons they can listen to outside the classroom. The lessons are pre-recorded by the educators and sent as a free voice call when triggered by a specific SMS code. Educators can be immediately notified of which students finished the lessons and how they performed, saving them grading time and helping them prepare for the next class session.






elumelu

Nigerian Entrepreneur Tony Elumelu Commits $100M to Next Generation of African Entrepreneurs
This year, Nigeria’s Tony Elumelu announced that he will support 10,000 African entrepreneurs and start-ups over the course of 10 years through his Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme. The idea is that through this programme, he will fund start-ups who can create 10,000 African-owned businesses and generate one-million jobs, which contribute to $10 billion in revenue across the continent.






Rethaka

Rethaka School Bags Power Students with Study Lamps at Night
This September, South African start-up Rethaka launched Repurpose Schoolbags, a line of solar-powered backpacks that also double as study lamps for students in rural areas unable to access electricity to continue their studies.






Mubser

Mubser Introduces Bluetooth Technology for Blind Communities Around the World
This year, Cairo-based technology company Mubser developed a wearable belt with a Bluetooth headset for the visually impaired. Using vibration motors, the belt notifies its wearer of the presence of objects or obstacles, while also calling the name of such objects/obstacles using a Bluetooth headset.






Gareth-Cliff

Cliff Central Brings Radio to Mobile Devices
Popular South African radio host Gareth Cliff made headlines this year when he announced that he was leaving traditional radio to launch his own channel powered via the Web and through mobile app WeChat. While the verdict is still out on whether his Cliff Central model is fully sustainable, there’s no doubt that he introduced a new way of listening to radio with its launch.






Gareth-Cliff

Cliff Central Brings Radio to Mobile Devices
Popular South African radio host Gareth Cliff made headlines this year when he announced that he was leaving traditional radio to launch his own channel powered via the Web and through mobile app WeChat. While the verdict is still out on whether his Cliff Central model is fully sustainable, there’s no doubt that he introduced a new way of listening to radio with its launch.






alu_mob

The Rise of Mobile-Operated Service Delivery
There’s no question that UBER has disrupted the taxi transportation industry in cities around the world. However this year, local entrepreneurs took a similar approach to using mobile technologies to provide improved services based on their markets’ unique needs. In Rwanda, Clarisse Iribagiza launched the ‘Hehe’ app, which connects riders with motorbike transportation in Kigali, while in Cape Town, the WumDrop mobile app allows users to coordinate deliveries and courier services on demand.