Top 10+ Websites from Africa

Listed below are some of the best websites from Africa and South Africa. Another good source of African IT news is ITWeb. My friend Thomas Otter writes some very insightful posts about technology in South Africa. Google recently expanded into Africa as well. Google has a specific site for South Africa.

Synthasite is a site where people can build their own Website, without needing any HTML or programming knowledge. Synthasite is a Web 2.0 platform; it uses drag and drop technology, and it’s free. Synthasite also offers free Web hosting and users can download their site onto their own computers. Vinny Lingham is Synthasite’s CEO. He’s also CEO of in Lingham Capital and founded incuBeta and Clicks2Customers.

Ushahidi – A place to track acts of violence in Kenya. Witnesses report what they’ve seen and where, and Ushahidi logs and maps it. Each reported and verified incident is marked on a map for viewers to see. Ushahidi offers buttons for others to use on their blogs and Websites to help spread the word and attract more users to the site.

Afrigator – A social media aggregator and directory for African citizens who publish on the Web. Afrigator showcases digital content – a blog, videocast, any site with an RSS feed – and markets it to the world. It also scans the Web for African-related tags and pulls them into the site. Categories for content include media, technology, competitions, for fun and HOWTO.

muti  is a social bookmarking site inspired by reddit and digg but dedicated to Africa. Registered users vote up or down on the content of links submitted by other users. Items can be viewed as hot, stats, new, top, most liked or most viewed.

Amatomu – tags itself as “the South African blogosphere, sorted.” Users can read blogs about business, technology, news and politics, entertainment, media and marketing, sport, life, humour and religion. Visitors can also search for their favorite bloggers or search for blog posts.

Blueworld (LassoSoft) – A software company producing products to create interactive, data driven Websites. LassoSoft offers a variety of products depending on the customer’s need. The site also has a community area where developers, providers and software enthusiasts can exchange information and ideas.

Zoopedup is a social networking site for car aficionados to meet and swap photos, videos, stories, tips and information. Members create an online garage for their autos and can also place their “ride” in a head-to-head “battle” with another car and have fellow users vote for their favorite. Events are also showcased at zoopedup.

Mamamikes – Web surfers with family or friends in Kenya or Uganda can send gifts safely and securely to their loved ones using this online service. Shopping vouchers are a popular gift at this site, as are the newly-added cell phone prepaid minutes. Other gift options include flowers, chocolates, restaurant and fuel vouchers, electronics and gifts for newborns.

Afrigadget – “Solving everyday problems with African ingenuity.” Bloggers and readers contribute stories showcasing innovations from around the African continent. These innovations help others overcome challenges faced in everyday life. There are a plethora of categories: Afrigadget, books, communication, energy, food, gadgets, health, how-to, ingenuity, innovator series, jua kali, material, metal, news, sanitation, toys, transportation, water and wood. The site also includes links to gadget sites and blogs of interest.

Clickatell – The Website of the world’s number one mobile message provider. Visitors to the site can learn about the products, the company, prices, and get product support. Pieter DeVilliers is the CEO and co-founder.

Ananzi – Devoted to servicing South Africa, Ananzi is a search engine and site directory. Ananzi is a free service to owners of South African Websites and sites of interest to South Africans. It was created in 1996.

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Mr SMS – Pieter de Villiers of Clickatell

Seems like Pieter de Villiers is a good name for South African success stories. There’s the rugby player, the hurdler, the business consultant, and the IT whiz. De Villiers (the whiz) is the CEO of Clickatell, the first (and leading) global high-speed service provider of bulk SMS messages. Its 8,000 customers can connect in over 200 countries. (Company motto: “Any Message, Anywhere”) Clickatell allows a business to communicate with its customers, suppliers and staff using a variety of formats (fax, land-line phone, pager, IP connected devices, and of course, cell phone) through a technology that is easy to use. Pieter and three other businessmen founded the company in 2000 in South Africa. Since 2006 Clickatell’s headquarters have been in Redwood Shores, Calif., but it has an office in Cape Town and in the United Kingdom. Clickatell just announced that it was selected by several leading health care organizations to improve communication with their patients. The organizations are using Clickatell to deliver critical information by cell phone. For example, in the United Kingdom a user can text “stop smoking” into their cell phone, then receive relevant information on kicking the habit. In the United States, a Georgia-based health care company is using Clickatell to help doctors and patients interact. Hospital discharge instructions, delivered by cell phone, can be more readily complied with. Other doctor’s orders can also be delivered by cell phone. Pieter started his career in 1997 in the optometry field and has sales, new business management and product development experience. In 1999 he was hired by Micrologix to identify Internet opportunities and to manage the organization’s ecommerce. Pieter also participates in several forums including Wireless Internet Caucus, GSM Association, and Open Mobile Alliance. Information on Pieter’s personal life isn’t readily available but you may get a chance to meet Pieter and the Clickatell group if you are attending the African Banking Technology Conference in Lagos, Nigeria May 7&8, or the NACHA Payments 2008, being held in Las Vegas May 18-21. Clickatell is participating in both events. Clickatell also powers the messaging for the world assembly of 140 parliaments.

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