Posts Tagged ‘technology’

RLabs and TanzICT visits Kigamboni Community Centre

Jukka and me with some if the little ones

Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting Kigamboni Community Centre to go and see the great work that  they are doing there.TanzICT and RLabs are seeing how they  can assist this organisation by  providing training to some of the core team members.Also TanzICT is looking at providing data and data modems to make this training possible.



The aim of the training is to transform this community through innovation and by providing citizens opportunities to be part of a social and economic transformation.To make use of the train the trainer approach and provide new local champions for the community.


The training will have a strong social and new media component (Google,Google Docs, Gmail , Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, etc)  where these tools are used in the form of digital story telling.

It will be also be used as a breeding ground for new champions from the community to be birthed.

Will also provide the participants with innovative ways in its “undisciplined” training method using a “Play & Learn” approach.

Kristiina Lahde (TanzICT) discussing the way forward with Richard Gorvett

Kigamboni Community Centre currently has a small computer lab with 3 operating desktop computers. This however will not stop us from going in to do the training with them. There is so much that the management of this wonderful organisation wants to do but resources seems to be a bit of a challenge at this point.

If there is anyway that you or your organisation can assist with laptops,pc’s or in any other way then please contact the centre. ( )


Breaking technological barriers-Social media excite rural Tanzania

This is a blog post by Yusuf.One of our RLabs champs in Iringa.He will be spear- heading the Living Lab initiative there:Read more about what he has to say:



Participants are eager to learn more about the world of Social Media

What started as a far fetched dream is finally coming to reality as TANZICT and RLabs have partnered with Iringa Living Lab to initiate social innovations that can impact people’s lives in a myriad of ways. Iringa Living Lab is one of the pioneer living labs in Tanzania. Yesterday, the first community training took place on how to use social media to expand their social networks and benefit from the opportunities of globalization and technology.

There was much excitement as some participants touched the computer for the first time. Indeed it was a Eureka moment for many who had always thought computers are for a select class of people. The training took place at Tumaini University, one of the key partners in the Iringa Living Lab.

Brent, a consultant from RLabs shared his story of how his life was transformed thanks to RLabs that opened doors of hope to people in his community who had lost direction. His story touched everyone in the room.

There is now new energy.

What a difference Hope makes!

Back at the 4th Euro- Africa Cooperation Forum on ICT Research

Last year I was invited to speak at the 4th Euro- Africa Cooperation to speak about how RLabs is: Transferring Innovation On A Grassroots Level. This particular conference was held in Finland which meant me going over seas for seven days. This year this same conference is being held in Cape Town and I was once again invited to come and speak here.

I am so looking forward to all the presentation and to see how ICT is being utilized in Europe and Africa. The aim of today is networking as well and looking forward to meeting with potential future partners for RLabs. I am grateful for this opportunity to be able to represent RLabs at this conference. That is what RLabs is all about,it is about growth ..and this is me growing.

Inside at the MXit API Launch

This morning we were sitting in Stellenbosch at the MXit API Launch. After arriving, registering and having a cup of coffee we were set for the morning. Lots of people were taking photos and I assume they are from the media. There were also the MXit team wearing their T-Shirts with an “M” on it and were all ready to help and make you feel pretty welcome.

Now MXit as we know it has had loads of publicity both good and very bad and others just really bad. The Ceo Hermantells us that publicity is always good forMXit.

I must admit that listening to Herman speak you cant help but be impressed with their vision and values on creating products to service its own community. Users don’t have to leave the MXit world. There is a wealth of apps inside this world that exposes the user to various possibilities that they don’t have access to elsewhere at such a low low or no cost to the user. The only costs the users will have to incur is the data charges attached to their mobile handsets.

Next up was the explanation of how by opening up its API, MXit is welcoming everyone to join in in developing apps or games to enhance the users experience on MXit.

To become a partner with MXit you can register on:

Important to note is that in the process of partnering with MXit:
- Your IP will always be owned by you
- Your revenue share will will include 70% of Moola generated
- Another way to generate revenue is to run link in with the advertisement

A few basic benefits of MXit:
Free messaging
Instant messaging
Data costs insignificant
Presence and status
Multi-group communication
Muti-media enabled
Location based info is available
Extensive user information available
Viral effect and social networking

The future of Mxit:
Enhance API
Multi-player games
Trading platform
CRM using MXit
Closer TV and radio interaction
New forms of mobile advertising
Create multiple sub-communities on MXit
User pills and market research
Social development in Africa
Location based services (LBS)

The official press release can be read here.

Managing Innovation From Idea To Innovation

Last week 3 of our team members MarlonRene and Craig attended a two day seminar. The seminar, brought to us by SAFIPA,  was focused  on Innovation leadership and best practices in leading innovative expert organization around the world.

The trainer was Minna Takala from QIS. Ms Takala earlier worked for Nokia Corporation in the areas of innovation, benchmarking, industrial intelligence and competence development. We had the opportunity to learn about the attitudes and behaviors that enhance innovative leadership.

Managing innovation from idea to innovation, is  finding the right balance between values based leadership and fact based management.

RLabs Value – Based Leadership: Presenting hope through motivating and encouraging people, openness to innovation, to lead by example.

RLabs Fact – Based Management: Meeting objectives through managing prepossess and targets, nurture relationships internal and external, managing of innovation processes.
There is no shortage of people with good ideas but innovation needs good leadership and management. Open Innovation is one of the areas that we are  encouraging our team members by pitching ideas to each other and if it sounds good you get to wear a pink,”Good Idea” badge . We have a reward system in place that encourages the ‘idea to innovation process’.

JamiiX launch in London

One of the first innovations part of the RLabs family is JamiiXthat will be launched in London today. JamiiX is a platform that allows you to manage multiple conversations via Instant Messengers and Social Networks. Below is an extract from theJamiiX Blog about the event in London (See Image for venue of event):

After an exciting week introducing JamiiX at the Mobile Web Africaevent in Johannesburg and the Mobile Africa Brain Bank in Helsinki we a few hours away of the launch of JamiiX in the United Kingdom. The launch in London is part of the JamiiX World Tour that started 3 months ago in Cape Town and it is with great excitement for us to see a local innovation from the Cape Flats now having the opportunity to enter the World Stage.

The event will be hosted at the OASIS Centre in London by our UK partnersNimbus Consulting and will give our guests the opportunity to have a sneak peek at the current version of JamiiX.


You Can Make it Work

I’ve been in Amsterdam since Wednesday (15 September) to attend the 1%Eventbeing hosted by the One Percent Club. The 1%CLUB is the marketplace that connects smart development projects with people, money and knowledge around the world at Although the main event was being held in Amsterdam it was also an online co-creation between Amsterdam (Netherlands), Nairobi (Kenya) and Douala (Cameroon) where various innovators, young professionals, entrepreneurs and change-makers could invest one day of their time and expertise, experience, talent, network and energy towards International Co-operation and making a difference in real projects on the ground.

The event had a mix of amazing talks (Check out Tiina Urm from Let’s Do It!!who cleaned Estonia in 1 day), open collaboration spaces where like-minded people could work together to make things work. It was my first experience of such an event that was beyond just amazing but it was life changing. I had the opportunity to share more about the Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs) and JamiiX. The talk was all about “What’s in Your Box” that could make a difference in the lives of others. There was such a buzz in the room and the people were all there to make things work. We saw so much fruitful things happening at the event with many projects receiving advice, websites and logos were created in a few hours and innovative solutions transpired in a few hours that will have an impact on society.

This was truly a life changing event that not only made an impact on those who were there but also proved that with International Co-Operation and partnerships we are able to see change and transformation in our Societies locally and globally. Thank you to the team at One Percent Club for making this event possible and for the lives you’ve changed and we are looking forward to making it work. You can read all about the event with well documented posts, videos and pictures on the One Percent Blog.


Sixth Sense: This blew my mind!!

I was blown away when Marlon Parker showed us this video. This is a clip of talk that was done  by Pranav Mistry at a Ted conference.  Pranav Mistry is the inventor of SixthSense, a wearable device that enables new interactions between the real world and the world of data. Check out his profile: This clip had changed the way I will be thinking and limiting technology.Check this out and be ready to be blown away.

From Cape Flats to Europe

Guest post on RLABS blog via Marlon Parker

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The second leg of the JamiiX World Tour was Helsinki, Finland where it would be the first time JamiiX will be made available to Europe. JamiiX is a Web 2.0 technology that manages and aggregates conversations via (Mobile) Instant Messengers and Social Networks in a central place. The story of JamiiX is that it is the first Web 2.0 technology conceived and developed on the “notorious” Cape Flats in the Western Cape, South Africa.

This European launch of JamiiX was a follow up of the Cape Town event a few weeks ago. With guests from various industries and technology companies including (Nokia, Mobile Brain Bank) including our hosts and partners (Pajat). The event was held at a stunning venue the Royal Ravintola Klub and Terrace where we welcomed the guests with some great South African tunes and Cape Town atmosphere.

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The event was co-hosted by Aalto University and sponsored by SAFIPA. The evening was an opportunity to share the history of JamiiX and the people behind it as well as share some key points about JamiiX:

1. It is currently using the FREEmium model.
2. It is a distributed system to manage mulitple conversations via web
3. It is easy to register
4. It is hosted on the Cloud and make use of the Software as a Service (SaaS) model
5. JamiiX eXchanges have special features that was on demo to the crowd
6. Push Technology and conversation management tool is changing the way people will manage conversations
7. Introduction to the JamiiX Open API
8. JamiiX as Contact Centre 2.0
9. JamiiX on mobile

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The partner in Europe was also revealed at the launch event with lots of interest from various sectors. The guests at the launch were able to play and test JamiiX after the presentation and Q&A session. Overall the JamiiX technology was very well received with possible contacts and clients to be revealed soon. Thank you to everyone who attended and Helsinki for opening the JamiiX doors to Europe. This adventure is also a testimony that innovations from the dusty streets of Africa can have a global impact. Well done to everyone at RLabs and the community who are the reason for celebrating. Next part of the journey will be in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Reconstructed Living Lab: supporting drug users and families through co-operative counselling using mobile phone technology

Mobile Couselling Session #DAS

Source from

Latest research by RLabs and the JamiiX Mobile Drug Counselling support system provided the following evaluation:

- In practical terms, the advisors have the capacity to help more people (n = 27) in a two-hour session than advisors at helplines (n = 4).20 The DAS system aggregates the conversations for the advisors, allowing them to respond to the requests more easily and faster.
- The DAS system enables multiple advisors to assist during a given session.
- When an advisor does not have the necessary experience or skills to deal with a case, it can easily be transferred to someone with the necessary skills.
- The advisor receiving the reassigned conversation can view previous conversations with the client, so questions need not be duplicated.
- The advisor can refer a person in need to any other organisation, and maintain a help directory of available services.
- The service proved to be particularly useful for families of drug users, and they were offered family sessions and help if required

The full research paper was publsihed in the South African Family Practice journal.


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