Amin Abubakar – ZAACOAL

Meet Amin Sulley ABUBAKAR, a Ghanaian and founder of ZAACOAL. ZAACOAL is Ghana based coal company producing clean affordable charcoal from city waste. The coals are manufactured from coconut waste without cutting a single tree!

Listen to Amin as he talks about ZAACOAL, building a green impact brand with unique innovation and the future of Zaacoal in the global market. Connect with Zaacoal on social media.

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ISOKO AFRICA means African Market in the Swahili Language and our vision is to influence your habits to Shop Africa every moment. We deliver to you the best and most authentic of Africa's Brands from Pan-African Companies ranging from Startups, Tech, Products, Services and Marketplaces that are dominating the Local Market with the niche to compete globally. Discover Stories, Podcasts and Marketplaces on our platform and join our community @isokoafrica on every social media.

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Asoriba aims to put your entire church experience in your hands everyday and everywhere.

Four Ghanaians met at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST Africa), a technology incubator, and hit it off immediately. The reason; besides the fact that they are all technology enthusiasts they are passionate believers in their religion – Christianity. Each of them was also actively involved in their respective local churches.

The end product of this meeting is Asoriba, a web-based management platform for church administration. It was primarily birthed from pooling their collective experiences about the problems African churches face and trying to solve some of them with technology.

The brains behind Asoriba: Nana Agyeman-Prempeh (CEO), Saviour Dzage, Jesse Johnson and Patrick Ohemeng Tutu called the app “a tool/ platform that allows churches to effectively manage, engage and connect with their members”.

The Asoriba Team

 

 

Century old problems, 21st century solution

Religious institutions characteristically come off as archaic and rigid. Rightfully so too, as some of the core tenets are entrenched in century old customs and technologies. Time and time again; apologists, skeptics, adherents and bystanders have had debates about whether these tenets should evolve with time and technology. Or stay rigid and retain their orthodoxy. It is a tough nut to crack.

In one such discussions an acquaintance told me that the idea of churches using Point Of Sale (POS) terminals as a means of collecting tithes and offerings was rather desperate. But given the rise of technology and the diversification into cashless economies, isn’t ensuring that churchgoers can give their offerings easily, in itself, an act of service?

Asoriba’s creators, by making the app, seem to share my opinion – or at least a variant of it.

church administration

The Application

The heart of this web and mobile application is giving a technology based solution to some of the African church’s problems. These include: managing membership data and finances, easy communication with members and real time information about events and programmes.

As a church member you can download your church devotionals from the app, watch a live stream and download services. You can give tithes, offerings and pledges, receive event notices, send prayer requests and communicate with other church members. This last feature is perhaps the most impressive of all. It allows Christians to talk about sensitive issues bordering on life, money, health, sex and spirituality. Topics they might feel self conscious about and unsafe to say elsewhere. Kind of like a Christian-only Facebook.

some app features

As a church administrator or leader you can manage and monitor member data, church finances and attendance. You can receive notifications on member birthdays and special functions, track prayer request history. There are also features to manage the different branches under your church by transferring workers to other branches or groups, give out instructions in real time and do follow ups on new members.

The platform is basically a virtual assistant.

Get on the wave

All you have to do is go to the website at Asoriba.com, register your church and urge your members to download the app and connect. It is as easy as that. For churches with 100 members and below it is even free!

The app is available at the Google Play Store, the iOS store, and the Microsoft Store.

 

Service to humanity

Every business thrives on profit and needs money to survive, but beyond that there is a deeply inspiring ideology to the App. Nana described Asoriba as “a Christian technology company setup to win more souls, using technology as a tool”. Showing the company as sincerely service driven, with very serious religious undertones.

“We want to be able to know people came to Christ through our tools/ platform and we want to be able to account for the number of these people who got to know Gods word through us”, he said. Maybe that is where religion needs to be – in a place where it encourages technology and doesn’t see it as a competition of sorts.

The team at Asoriba ultimately believe that “Church should go beyond the typical Sunday service” and they want to “put your entire church experience in your hands everyday and everywhere.”

HTW Shoes: High-quality, bespoke shoes from Accra to the world.

 In 2009, Fred Deegbe, a trendy banker and shoe enthusiast wondered if some of the shoes he often bought from European and American shoe-makers could be made in his home country – Ghana.
A nearby shoeshine boy, some of his friends and family members said that it was impossible. This did not deter Fred, however, and in two years he quit his job and partnered with a friend, Vijay Manu, to start the HEEL THE WORLD brand. He has not looked back since.

Fred Deegbe, CEO, HTW shoes

The Brand:

HEEL THE WORLD makes bespoke, high-end shoes and leather accessories. Based in Accra, Ghana, the company is tailored after the founder’s vision which seeks to make the equivalent of the high-end shoes that Africans patronise from European and American stores to “kick Hermes and Louis Vuitton off their perch”. In an interview with CNN, Deegbe said, “They [Africans] want their friends to ask them, ‘Where did you buy that?’ and they say, ‘No, we made it; we made it in a garage, in Accra, with our own hands” inadvertently tapping into a teeming-but-ignored market.

HEEL THE WORLD shoes are handmade and bespoke, which means that finding your size or preferred style will not be an issue. You can simply take the reins and help craft the perfect shoes for yourself – with expert help of course. From handcrafting the shoes with locally sourced materials to importing the unavailable ones, HEEL THE WORLD’S brand ethos is clearly and purposefully reflected in every shoe, combining the tenets of creativity, excellence and dynamism.

 

Empowerment:

HEEL THE WORLD is also a social enterprise. Aside from making shoes that Africans can wear and be proud of, the founders also wanted a humanitarian aspect to the brand. “We want to be a brand that lets people around the world know that there is something incredible happening in Africa”, said Deegbe in an interview with Ayibamagazine. Therefore they decided to encourage and empower young Africans by launching a consultancy angle for smaller start-ups. They also launched a line of “empowerment beads” to show the importance of hard work and its resultant success. The black beads show work or struggle, while the singular gold bead represents the reward.

Products and Pricing:

HEEL THE WORLD primarily makes male dress shoes: From loafers to Oxfords, to brogues and monk straps, there is something in their catalogue for you. These go for between $100 and $300 depending on your choice. Besides the primary products, they also make leather accessories like belts, slippers, sandals, wallets and purses. The prices of the accessories range from $50 to $150.

 

Contact:

To check their catalogue and purchase a pair of shoes you can visit their website at htwshoes.bigcartel.com and order a pair, or visit the physical store, off Oxford street, Osu, Accra, Ghana.

Palabres: Understanding Business Development

Lucien Kancel is a Business Development Professional at ARBICO Plc, a full service building and civil engineering construction company with a franchise in NIGERIA. He’s been working in the construction industry in NIGERIA for 6 years and has developed several projects for various reputable companies. Lucien explains the Business Development market and how it influences building better companies that can sustain through time, political changes and generational habits. He also talks about the Construction industry and how one can succeed in Africa’s real estate business.

Listen to this Episode Below

If you listened to this episode, we love to hear your feedback, comments or questions.  Follow/Like ISOKO Africa on FacebookInstagram & Twitter and leave us a comment. You can also recommend your favorite African brands & personalities to founder@isokoafrica.com. Find out more on www.isokoafrica.com and kindly leave us a review & rating on iTunes Podcast here.

 

THE PALABRES PODCAST SERIES: INTRODUCTION

Join Tope & Alec, the wizards of African business, weekly as they host industry leaders of foreign franchises on how to navigate and build better successful Pan-African companies. Each week will feature a professional in a certain industry sector of a company franchise that has successfully scaled to Africa. PALABRES, pronounced as palab[r] means Proverbial sayings and conversations in the French Language.


 On this show, they talk about issues from Financing, Business Development, Bootstrapping and everything you need to structure and build a successful pan-African company.They are like the colleagues you never had helping you to navigate different subject matters inviting global thought leaders and entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses in the African environment.

Listen to the Podcast Below

If you listened to this episode, we love to hear your feedback, comments or questions.  Follow/Like ISOKO Africa on FacebookInstagram & Twitter and leave us a comment. You can also recommend your favourite African brands & personalities to founder@isokoafrica.com. Find out more on www.isokoafrica.com

Kelechi Udoagwu – SKRIFE

During our tour to Ghana, we met Kelechi UDOAGWU, Nigerian, YALI West Africa Region Member, Founder of SKRIFE and Communications Manager at MEST (Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology). Starting with zero knowledge in Tech when she joined MEST as an Entrepreneur in Training, Kelechi has developed an outstanding knowledge and experience in Digital and Tech platforms. She joined MEST as a Communications Manager and went on to start her brand called SKRIFE, a platform that provides written content for brands, startups and organisations to better enhance their digital marketing and content.

 

Starting SKRIFE from Chile where her team won a grant, the company has grown to cater to Clients from all over the World providing jobs for writers and digital professionals from all over Africa. Connect with Kelechi on social media via www.kelechiudoagwu.com. Listen to Kelechi as she dishes out tips and opportunities on reaching your next level with your potentials!

 

Podcast

Subscribe to our Podcast on Soundcloud and iTunes

If you love this episode, we love to hear your feedback, comments or questions.  Follow/Like ISOKO AFRICA on FacebookInstagram & Twitter and leave us a comment. You can also recommend your favorite African brands & personalities to info@isoko.africa.