The challenge of building “African” platforms…

Picture by The Economist

What is an African platform? What does it look like? and perhaps more importantly what does it do? Will it address a Need or a Want?

What exactly will make it African? Will it work elsewhere in the World? or Will it address uniquely African problems?

What are uniquely African problems?

Is there such a thing as an African Market Place? If so Where is it?

These are questions one must ask themselves in the quest of building “African Platforms”.

I subscribe to the view that the African Platform will be Mobile and it is on this canvas that relevant applications/services will emerge and those that will win will be those that help “The African”  thrive and not simply survive.

This is because if there is one things Africans share in common is hope for the future.

So get started with a local opportunity and then watch how it may just affect the World.

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About John Karanja

John Karanja is the Founder of which is a Mobile and Web social media platform where people interact using different forms of media. has over 120,000 members across East Africa and was a Winner at the Pivot 25 Mobile Technology Competition in 2011. John is also a Co-Founder of a Location Based mobile application which provides a market place for African Merchants and Businesses. Crowdpesa has been listed as one of the 40 startups to watch in Africa and appeared at the first DEMO Africa in 2012. John has a Masters degree in Political Sociology from the University of Oxford, England and a Bachelor of Business and Information Technology from Strathmore University, Kenya. John has been awarded the Vision2030 ICT Award 2011 for Innovation in Youth and Gender Sector by the Kenyan Government. He is also the First African Winner of the Nokia Open Screen Fund in 2009 as well as a nominee for the Tech4Africa Innovation Award 2011.