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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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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.
June 11, 2014 -- Updated 1428 GMT (2228 HKT)
African Start-Up hosted a Tweet chat with Kenyan entrepreneur Chris Kirubi and Senegalese businesswoman Magatte Wade.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1705 GMT (0105 HKT)
A Lagos-based start-up, Wecyclers, is using an incentive-based program to deal with the waste problem in the Nigerian megacity.
June 10, 2014 -- Updated 1652 GMT (0052 HKT)
From ambitious teens to tech pioneers, the latest research shows that when it comes to start-ups, Africa is a world leader.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1137 GMT (1937 HKT)
Meet Buken Makokha, the maverick slum dweller running three businesses -- all the while putting himself through university.
May 2, 2014 -- Updated 1335 GMT (2135 HKT)
Mauritius based company Oju Africa has launched first ever black emoticons, ahead of tech giant Apple.
April 9, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Former banker Fred Deegbe is on a mission to prove that high-end shoes that rival the word's top brands can be crafted in Ghana.
April 7, 2014 -- Updated 0900 GMT (1700 HKT)
At 23, many people around the world are still at university -- at that age, Gossy Ukanwoke had already started one.
March 26, 2014 -- Updated 1055 GMT (1855 HKT)
Regina Agyare, a leading Ghanaian tech entrepreneur, teaches young women coding, and encourages them to pursue a career in technology.
March 19, 2014 -- Updated 1109 GMT (1909 HKT)
Africa's top entrepreneurs share secrets to success.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Too lazy to have a shower? Worry no more, there's a lotion for that. DryBath let's you skip the bath by rubbing it vigorously over your skin.
February 28, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
Former doctor started the largest online supermarket in Nigeria, Gloo.ng, to cater to busy women with no time to shop at the grocery store.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 1511 GMT (2311 HKT)
Johannesburg entrepreneur Claire Reid invented a biodegradable tape which makes food gardening simple and effective.
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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