For the love of all things tech, here’s one enterprise that I’m genuinely excited about. The African tech startup scene is a young budding industry. Unfortunately, it is also one that Ghana seems to be lagging behind in, at least up until now. Our well flaunted entrepreneurial prowess seems to have finally caught up to the present century.
Quite frankly, I’m just about as excited about this one as I’d be about my next VR trip, and that’s saying a lot. So come along let’s delve into why I’m so wound up about this one.
What is Aireceive?
Aireceive is a platform that allows you to communicate with people you care about even without the Internet. The age of the smartphone and internet is still in full swing and we’ll never be the same. With the invention of platforms so revolutionary and convenient like whatsapp, facebook and telegram, we seem to have no more use for more traditional forms of communication like SMS.
However, in most parts of Ghana and Africa to a large extent, Internet connectivity is shady at best. Exorbitant prices aside, the service itself is generally not good enough. And since these communication kingpins are primarily Internet services, access is not especially easy. This is where Aireceive comes in, the knight in shining armour to save us.
With it’s unique structure, Aireceive does not even require a signal from your network service provider. This is possible because it creates a mesh network using available network signals, bluetooth and peer-to-peer wifi. Aireceive transmits messages and pictures offline between devices that are located within 205 feet of one another.
Thanks to Aireceive’s innovative smart real-time multi-hop & store-and-forward capabilities, Aireceive users form a network that increases in size with the number of devices. It allows messages & content to hop from one device to the next in order to reach the recipient(s).
What that up there basically means is that your message, moves from on device to another till it gets to your destination. Oh and the more people are using Aireceive, the larger your network.
Of course, if you have a working network signal or Internet connection, your messages will be transmitted directly.
Road to Aireceive
The story of Aireceive is indeed one for the fables. Tales parents tell their kids to inspire them to wish for the finer things of life, nothing more. A couple of university students decide it was about time they did something to solve some of the problems plaguing their society.
According to the co-founder, Emmanuel Appiah, “Way back in the university in the early parts of 2009, we saw a set of problems that had to be solved but we had no idea how to solve them, nor did we have the skills required to solve them. We were mechanical engineers and the domain of the problems were mostly in information technology.”
Realising the depth and scope of the what they had set out to achieve, they went on a journey of skill addition, knowledge acquisition and competence building. The vision may have evolved over the years but the core values remain the same. It logically follows that Aireceive is the child of that vision.
The first challenge was in their own school, University of Mines And Technology(UMaT). A communication barrier resulting from a rather inefficient system. So they set out to remedy this problem.
” … we took about 3 days to collect and organize the schools basic contact informational database. We succeeded with over 97% of the student database well captured and were now able to provide a medium of sending them messages as and when the need arose. The number of transmissions grew. The demand grew even hockey stick style-ly. The customer base grew. We had groups, churches, banks, organisations, associations, radio stations, etc. now using our messaging services in a little over a year. We made some good money too. And we were a startup with bare understandings of how big companies work.” Emmanuel explains.
And so the story went. Being forced to evolve with time, especially with the advent of WhatsApp, Facebook and other messaging platforms. Going through a number of re-branding phases each time the vision evolved, and yet never once giving up.
The company plans on releasing the app in these three (3) phases
First, they intend to help you connect to your local network via USSD.
Enable aireceive users to be able to connect to non-aireceive mobile users to send messages. Upon the successful execution of this stage, enable a total offline messaging solution for all aireceive users.
Enable multiple applications that works efficiently even when there is no internet in the aireceive network such as but not limited to e-commerce, payments, calls, etc. Users would have to activate the sections of the aireceive app they want.
So to sum it all up, Aireceive is an app that is especially relevant in our world today. The implications of technology like this are massive. And it’s coming from our own, we’re finally stepping up to solve it ourselves.
So all you entrepreneurs out there, it’s not about how fancy your solution is. Just make sure to stay true to your beliefs and learn, evolve as often as necessary. It’s the only way to remain relevant.
If you’re interested in this app and want to try it out, you can get it from the playstore.
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Womenpreneur Digital Hub to Promote Digital Skills & More for MENA Women
The Entrepreneurship Academy of the SANAD Fund for MSME and Womenpreneur Initiative have once again teamed up to champion women’s economic equality in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In March 2021, the partners launched the Womenpreneur Digital Hub, an online knowledge and resource-sharing platform that aims to expand women’s access to skills-building tools in a time when lockdowns and economic contraction have disproportionately impacted female employment in the region.
The coronavirus crisis has forced many women out of the workplace through a constellation of factors: Economically, it has taken a particularly heavy toll on sectors where women are overrepresented, such as retail, care, and food service. School and daycare closures have added further pressure, with many households placing the responsibility for at-home schooling and childcare solely upon women. As a result, although women in MENA comprise only a quarter of the region’s total workforce, they account for over half of COVID-related job losses.
The Womenpreneur Digital Hub aims to help women regain their economic footing through a three-fold approach. First, online training will be offered free of charge for hub members to hone skills that empower them on the job market, such as financial knowledge, digital literacy, and business management. High-profile speakers will provide insights into current industry trends and tips on accessing career opportunities. Second, the hub will connect users for mutual information and support, experience exchange, and valuable network-building. In this way, the platform intends to accelerate the third factor, which is to open up potential employment paths for those whose careers have been upended by the crisis.
Ines Ebrecht, Chairperson of the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility which runs the SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy, said: “Women’s employment is not only a social justice issue, it is also an economic one. Women’s ability to participate in the workforce not only provides them with financial stability and freedom on an individual level, it also enables an economy to fully open the tap on creativity, entrepreneurship, productivity, and income generation. The SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy is glad to once again join with Womenpreneur Initiative to advance gender parity as a key to prosperity in the Middle East and North Africa.”
Womenpreneur CEO and founder Sana Afouaiz said: “The pandemic provoked a major setback in gender equality and threatens to walk back decades of progress. Yet we can also pivot to grasp the opportunities. As the world entered into lockdown, the transition to online work has created a growing demand for digital jobs. The Womenpreneur Digital Hub is targeted toward equipping women to future-proof their skills and give them valuable knowledge for the employment market. Our aim is to ensure that every woman and girl in MENA has access to the tools that will help her realize her full economic potential.”
Sign up for the hub at: www.womenpreneur-digital.com
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