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
Aquila's first flight: A milestone toward connecting billions of peopleFacebook’s Connectivity Lab has reached a major milestone with the first full-scale test flight of Aquila, an unmanned solar-powered airplane that can be used to bring affordable internet to hundreds of millions of people in the hardest-to-reach places. Read More
DEMO Africa releases final 30 listDemo Africa, the continent's premier launch pad for emerging technologies and trends has released the list of its final 30 startups that will launch at this year’s DEMO Africa conference in Johannesburg. Read More
Etisalat Prize for Innovation announces 2016 call for entriesEtisalat Nigeria has announced call for entries for the 2016 edition of Etisalat Prize for Innovation. Read More
These Hands champion grassroots innovationBotswana Innovation Hub continues to nurture grassroots innovations and advance the ‘Made in Africa’ theme of the recent Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2016 that heralds a message of enterprise and prosperity for African innovators. Read More
Africa Innovators list released ahead of summitQuartz Africa has released its second annual Africa Innovators list, which includes technology executives and entrepreneurs from 14 African countries. Read More
First-ever Africa Barclays Accelerator programme concludesTen fintech companies have concluded the first-ever Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in Africa. Read More
Ericsson and King’s College London demonstrate 5G tactile robotic surgeryEricsson and King’s College London will be demonstrating a 5G use case of tactile robotic surgery at 5G World 2016 in London on 29-30 June. Read More
Boshwaen wants to leave “innovation legacy”Having successfully brought the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) event to Botswana, BIF’s Allan Boshwaen has set his sights on the completion of the BIH Science Park. Read More
Agon wins IPA prizeBenin is this year’s winner of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2016. The winner, Dr. Valentin Agon, who was pitted against nine other nominee, is the first person from Benin to grab the coveted prize. Read More
FEATURED STORYFirst-ever Africa Barclays Accelerator programme concludes
Ten fintech companies have concluded the first-ever Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in Africa.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHEthical Hacking students can’t get a heck of a job
Botswana ethical hacking students report that they are failing to break into the local job market.