trends MaputoMedAfrica’s innovation is growing in leaps and bounds, to the point it’s setting its own trends, which while unique to the continent, are getting the attention of the rest of the world.

This month, Trendwatching.com took time to explore game-changing innovations from across Africa in their October Africa Pulse / Africa Trend bulletin report as well as the trends driving them. Here’s are the seven most mentionable:

CliffCentral.com

South African online ‘unradio’ station streams shows on WeChat

Launched in May 2014, CliffCentral.com is an online radio station spearheaded by popular South African radio DJ Gareth Cliff. The radio broadcaster, now free from the restrictions of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa, promises to be “uncensored, unhinged and unradio”. The interactive show can be accessed via multiple channels, and after an unprecedented partnership with WeChat, the show also streams on the instant messaging platform.

Trend highlight: On demand mediums.

Easy Taxi & Dettol

Nigerian based taxi company and disinfectant brand partner to raise awareness about Ebola virus

As the Ebola virus reached its peak in West Africa in August 2014, transportation provider app Easy Taxi and hygiene brand Dettol, offered Nigerian taxi drivers training sessions on how to diagnose and prevent the spread of Ebola. Taxi drivers were encouraged to become agents of change and attend monthly meetings as part of the Ebola Awareness Campaign. Here they learnt about the symptoms and preventive measures, with the intention of improving public knowledge and educating their customers.

Trend highlight: Brands that genuinely care about consumers.

Washr

App provides on-demand laundry service for Capetonians

Known as the ‘Uber for laundry’, Washr is a South African laundry service that promises to collect dirty clothes and return them clean within 24 hours. The online app allows users in Cape Town (and soon Johannesburg) to enter a convenient date and time to get their laundry done, and was launched to compete with the high proportion of local domestic workers in South Africa. Its ‘Washrs’ employees – who are also recruited via the app – are background checked, vetted and trained to ensure a premium, timely service and that clients’ clothing are treated with care.

Trend highlight: The ‘Outsourcing’ of daily tasks to online platforms.

Ma3Route

Kenyan mobile platform provides crowdsourced, real-time transport information

Launched in Kenya, Ma3Route crowdsources transport information, matatu directions and traffic reports for drivers. Aimed at developing economies typically lacking timely traffic data, the online platform also allows Kenyans to filter traffic feeds, form ‘road teams’ with other users, and customise preferences based on regular routes. In addition, Ma3Route provides transport data and trend analysis to city planning and public transportation providers.

Trend highlight: Citizens take charge.

Nando’s: Blue Light Brigade

South African fast food chain mocks government officials in controversial advert

In August 2014, South African fast food chain, Nando’s launched their Blue Light Brigade campaign. The controversial ad depicts the unlikely scenario of government officials clashing at an intersection, resulting in a stand-off between their security police escorts (blue light brigades). The comedic scene set within the ad reflects and parodies real life events, with the intention of sparking debate amongst South Africans about issues surrounding government ministers and corruption.

Trend highlight: The consumption of bite-sized, humour driven pieces of socio-political content.

263Chat

Zimbabwean startup facilitates citizen conversations on weekly Twitter show

263Chat initially launched in late 2012 as a Twitter handle “discussing Zimbabwean national issues by Zimbabweans” on a weekly basis via the social networking platform. Today, 236Chat also broadcasts live events and panel discussions on other social media platforms, and with almost 40,000 tweets and 30,000 followers on Twitter, the highly influential startup is renowned for tackling the most pressing issues regarding its citizens and those in the diaspora.

Trend highlight: Fearless and free social and political dialogue.

Guinness Nigeria: Orijin

Brewery launches premium alcoholic beverage made from local Nigerian ingredients

Launched by Guinness Nigeria in Lagos in April 2014, Orijin is a premium alcoholic beverage. Orijin is made from the typically bittersweet local herbs and fruits traditionally used in West African herbal alcoholic remedies. The beverage is bottled in contemporary and premium style packaging, remixing traditional Nigerian culture. It is also significantly more expensive than other local herbal drinks, in order to reflect today’s wealthier African drinker.

Trend highlight: Traditional herbal remedies that celebrate African tradition.

That’s all folks. For more detail on the report, visit http://trendwatching.com/trends/africa-pulse/.

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