Public transport integration on the cards
INNOVATIONS| July 1, 2012, 12:31 p.m.
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
A radical initiative by one of Botswana’s foremost technological inventors, Pule Mmolotsi, is set to transform the face of the Botswana Public transport system for the better according to a blueprint shown to biztechafrica.com.
Mmolotsi is the CEO and founder of Olekard, a company that came up with a plan to introduce prepaid public transport system in Botswana come 25th of July 2012. In an exclusive interview with biztechafrica.com, Mmolotsi said: “the Olekard prepaid card will be given for free to commuters. What the commuters will have to do is to load money on to the card from selected participating vendors or agents, and presto! Off they go.”
In order to complete the system, transport owners will have to install a device in their buses which will communicate with the card in question. According to the inventor, the device is called a UID device or Unique Identification Device.
Stakeholders have bought into the grand idea and already, the big transport players in the country such as Seabelo, which operates a cross-border service, AT&T Transport and Motlogelwa, have all accepted the system. The government is a willing buyer as well according to Mmolotsi. “The government has also endorsed the idea from the regulator standpoint. For example the Department of Safety and the department of youth have all agreed in terms of empowerment,” explained Mmolotsi.
This is in addition to an agreement Olekard has with First National Bank (FNB) who will be the custodians of a pool account. The commuters will credit their terminal with virtual money only.
The idea is also touted as an employment creation venture too, as more than 1000 vendors or agents will be employed. In addition, the inventor has already set his sights across the width and breadth of the continent, in the form of a pan-African project. Mmolotsi said he has benchmarked this unique project on similar initiative in London’s oyster, Hong Kong’s octopus and as well as the neighbours South Africa with the recent Gautrain ticketing system.
“This is just a pilot project in Botswana; the aim is meant for Africa as a whole. We are looking for investors and we expect to raise in excess of USD60 million. We have already engaged an internationally recognised accounting firm KPMG because our main aim is to list on the stock exchange,” said the visibly exuberant Mmolotsi.
MORE INNOVATIONS NEWS
MTN joins forces with AMPION to develop entrepreneurial talent in AfricaMTN has joined three leading global technology companies as sponsors of this year’s AMPION Venture Bus, which seeks to enable entrepreneurial talent in Africa to develop innovative solutions on the continent by making best use of the power of mobile technology. Read More
Ministerial Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa underwayThe Second Ministerial Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Africa is underway at the Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology in Rabat, Morocco, to discuss boosting science and technology in Africa. Read More
Rwandan incubator think selects startups from four African countriesTigo-owned Kigali-based technology incubator think has announced the first four companies selected for support, with the winners to be offered US$15,000 in funding, access to Tigo networks across Africa, mentoring and business development education. Read More
TA Telecom on mobile mission to map identity of AfricaIn what is described as the first Big Data project of its kind in Africa, TA Telecom's Nafsi anthropological survey is now underway in Egypt, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa. Read More
Lenovo Innovation Centres to bridge university tech divideThe Durban University of Technology (DUT) and Lenovo, the world’s No.1 PC vendor, will launch South Africa’s first Lenovo Innovation Centre; a state of the art walk-in centre aimed at increasing the University’s interactivity with the latest technology. Read More
Philips, PET to commercialise Wind-Up Fetal Heart Rate MonitorRoyal Philips has announced a partnership with South Africa based not-for-profit organization, PET (PowerFree Education Technology), to further develop, test and commercialise a Wind-up Doppler Ultrasound Fetal Heart Rate Monitor. Read More
KPMG: ‘disruptive trio’ to have greater impact3-D printing, Internet of Things and biotech/healthcare IT are gaining momentum as top disruptive technologies, says KPMG. Read More
African startups fast-tracked by Microsoft’s second round of innovation grantsMicrosoft Corp. today announced seven new African startups to receive funding, technical support and mentorship to fast-track their growth and provide a roadmap to highlight Africa’s ‘future growth pole’. Read More
SAP Innovation Helps The Global Fund Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in AfricaExtending a longstanding partnership, SAP is a founding member of The Global Fund’s new Innovation Coalition to support disease prevention and treatment. Read More
Kenya to host a high level international discussion on ‘innovating in Africa’Senior participants from the Kenyan private sector, the international business community, the Kenyan government, media and international institutions are set to join a high-level breakfast meeting organised by The Economist Events on September 30th at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSCNN, MultiChoice name top African Journalist 2014
Kenyan journalist Joseph Mathenge has been awarded the top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2014 Awards Ceremony.