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15 African technology startups to watch in 2014
January 14, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Toby Shapshak has selected Africa's most interesting startups: "From the founders of real-time info site Ushahidi comes a brick-like device that they call 'the internet's backup generator.'
And that it is. The sturdy plastic-shelled device has everything you'd need to survive the wilds of the unreliably African internet, like Nairobi or Johannesburg. The BRCK has a big battery, so it can keep 20 devices connected for eight hours and is robust enough to handle power failures, poor line speeds and just general grumpiness."
9. Kopo Kopo
11. The Able Wireless Company
13. Karibu Solar Power
Special mention: Project Isizwe
- Toby Shapshak has selected the most exciting African startups to watch this year
- Click through the gallery to find out which ones make the list
Editor's note: Toby Shapshak is a technology journalist based in Johannesburg where he writes about tech and innovation in Africa. He spoke at TED about how Africa is solving the world's problems, in Edinburgh in 2013. He edits and publishes the South African edition of Stuff magazine and has been named by GQ as one of the top 30 men in media. Follow him on Twitter: @Shapshak
(CNN) -- Africa is not just a mobile-first continent. It is mobile-only.
As such, many of the most innovative startups address mobile for what it is: the gold of today, the new, digital equivalent of a railroad.
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Drawing up this list, I was struck by how readily I thought of good South African tech firms that deserved to be here -- so I shamelessly let my patriotic fervor guide me. Looking back, I still think they all deserve to be on this list.
Several of the names on this list come from the final 40 of this year's Demo Africa the African arm of this renowned launch event for tech start-ups, held in Nairobi.
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The most recent figures for mobile and internet usage are promising, and show room for growth. "Only 16 percent of the Africa's one billion people are currently online, but that share is rising. More than 720-million Africans have mobile phones, 167-million already use the Internet, and 52-million are on Facebook," reported consultancy McKinsey, in a report entitled " Lions go Digital: The Internet's transformative potential in Africa."
Click through the gallery above to see, in no particular order, the innovative companies at the forefront of Africa's tech revolution.
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READ MORE: Africa's techies hop aboard the StartupBus
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September 8, 2014 -- Updated 0924 GMT (1724 HKT)
Meet Kemi Kalikawe, the owner of Naledi Lifestyle Store which specializes in fashion and household items in Dar es Salaam.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1400 GMT (2200 HKT)
Five digital natives from five very different African nations have come together to transform the continent's approach to education.
September 3, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
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August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1046 GMT (1846 HKT)
Janet Fredman Designs transforms modest materials such as seeds, wood and leather into high-end jewelry.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1006 GMT (1806 HKT)
A lawyer by day and cake maker by night, Sungeni Mtalimanja turned her passion for baking into a business.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1044 GMT (1844 HKT)
In Kenya's capital city of Nairobi, a group of craftsmen are transforming bicycles into eye-catching modern furniture.
August 6, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
Meet the ingenious entrepreneurs wanting to get a slice of Nigeria's wedding industry cake.
July 29, 2014 -- Updated 1209 GMT (2009 HKT)
In Malawi, the craft of bamboo weaving is helping disadvantaged youth rise out of poverty.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1220 GMT (2020 HKT)
Former model Hiwot Gashaw graduated from Ethiopia's leading design school, and now she wants to create the country's first superbrand.
July 14, 2014 -- Updated 0907 GMT (1707 HKT)
Aromas of Zanzibar sells accessories crafted in vibrant prints. All products are made on site by local artisans, using only locally sourced materials.
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
Two entrepreneurs are making advertising go digital in Uganda Their start-up provides digital screens for the country's supermarkets and offices.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 1407 GMT (2207 HKT)
A Cape Town start-up which offers tours of the city in 3G Wi-Fi equipped vehicles, allows clients to upload holiday photos instantly to social media.
June 27, 2014 -- Updated 1011 GMT (1811 HKT)
Rwandan entrepreneur Teta Isibo is the owner of Inzuki Designs, a fashion brand which specializes in handmade jewelry and accessories.
See the full coverage of CNN's African Start-Up -- the show that follows entrepreneurs across the continent making their dreams become reality.
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