gadget

Mobius Motors, Stima, One Electric Form Alliance to Improve Green Energy.

Mobius Motors partnered with Stima and One Electric to roll out motorcycles in Kenya in September. This multimillion deal is aimed at spearheading a local motorcycle assembly in Kenya.

The motorcycle sector is one of the biggest vehicle sectors in Africa and as a result, there has been a consciousness of electrifying the motorcycle industry to improve green mobility. There are over 27 million ICE motorcycles registered across Africa and around 80% of them are used in the motorcycle taxi industry.

The cost aspect of the motorcycle business has proven to be a big challenge as many operators face rising costs and dwindling profits due to high operational costs associated with frequent oil changes and maintenance services for internal combustion engine motorbikes, as well as the ever-increasing cost of petrol. This is why the solution of the electrification of the motorcycle taxi industry on the continent is called for.

Through the partnership between the Kenyan vehicle manufacturer, Mobius Motors, battery-swapping technology specialist Stima, and India’s leading electric motorcycle manufacturer One Electric, Mobius Motors will join the existing partnership of Stima and One Electric by taking on the local assembly of the CKD (completely knocked down) kits of One Electric motorcycles, which will be distributed by Stima in the country. The assembly of One Electric motorcycles in Kenya will drive down the cost of electric motorcycles for the Kenyan moto-taxi (boda boda) market while generating employment opportunities and enhancing local value creation.

Stima is a French-Kenyan startup building a SaaS technology platform for battery-swapping systems to support the deployment of electric 2-wheelers in Africa and emerging markets. Since 2021, Stima has refined its battery-swapping software platform in Nairobi, where it manages networks of battery swap stations. Stima is now licensing its proprietary software suite to empower enterprises in deploying scalable battery-swapping systems for electric 2-wheelers in emerging markets.

Mobius Motors, founded in 2011, is a Kenyan company that builds and assembles vehicles under the Mobius brand. Mobius Motors’ vision is to turn around the market from a predominantly used car market to new locally made or assembled vehicles for the same price or less than an equivalent used imported model. Mobius Motors is also preparing next-generation electric vehicles. Formed by Gaurav Uppal and Abhijeet Shah in 2019, One Electric Motorcycle aims to become the market leader in electric motorcycles for the Indian and African markets, in the 100cc up to 180cc segments. They are currently present in and conducting trials in six African countries, India, UAE, and Nepal. With constant R&D in battery, motor, and controller technologies, One Electric is striving to provide the most durable and long-lasting powerful electric motorcycles.

This strategic alliance leverages Mobius Motors’ expertise in local vehicle manufacturing to boost Stima’s deployment in Kenya of One Electric robust, high-performing motorcycles, tailored specifically for the African market. Building on the success of the initial rollout of One Electric motorcycle with Stima battery-swapping systems in Nairobi, this new partnership marks the beginning of the ambitious scale-up phase envisioned by One Electric and Stima.

Following Stima’s official announcement as an assembler of electric motorcycles under the East African Community (EAC) duty remission scheme in July 2023, the inaugural CKD batch of Stima-One Electric motorcycles has been assembled at Mobius Motors’ manufacturing plant, Sameer Africa in Nairobi.

With more than 1.5 million boda-boda riders in Kenya and a national electricity grid supplied with renewable energies by more than 90%, the partnership contributes to the sustainable transformation of the Kenyan transportation sector, fostering local added value and job creation in alignment with the priorities and supportive measures of the Kenyan government. Notably, the partnership will contribute to the nationwide rollout of electric motorcycles, a commitment announced by President Ruto in preparation for Kenya’s hosting of the Africa Climate Week scheduled between September 4th and 8th.

Nicolas Guibert, CEO of Mobius Motors, further says, “Mobius Motors is very excited to start its journey towards electric mobility with Stima and One Electric. We will provide the best of our resources and knowledge to make their proposition a game-changer. Our ambition is to further become a major player in the African sustainable mobility.”

Jason Gras, Co-Founder and CEO of STIMA, adds: “We found in Mobius Motors, the ideal partner to assemble our One Electric motorcycles in Kenya. We are delighted to benefit from their experience of building vehicles designed for the African mass market combined with their impressive Lean Manufacturing-inspired processes. Our collaboration with One Electric and Mobius offers us a great opportunity to implement our battery swapping management software platform at a large commercial scale in East Africa.”

Gaurav Uppal, Co-Founder and CEO of One Electric mentions: “This partnership with Stima and Mobius is key to ensuring that we scale production smoothly as demand is rising. Furthermore, it will be essential in ensuring timely after-sales service, while also contributing to the local economy and job creation. We are excited to position this Partnership as a major milestone in the advancement of E-mobility in East Africa.”

SOUTH AFRICA: JUWI PROJECT REACHES FINANCIAL CLOSE

JUWI Renewable Energies, leading global solar, wind, and hybrid project developer EPC and operations and maintenance (O&M) company, today announced that the 84 Megawatt (MW) Wolf Wind Project in the Eastern Cape has reached financial close.

 

 

The demand for large-scale renewables from both public and private has been off the charts, this has led to the rapid expansion of the clean energy leader’s footprint across the country, with over 1.5 GW of wind, 2 GW of solar, and 500 MW of hybrid projects incorporating storage in development for private and public energy users.

 

 

This Wolf Wind Project, located two hours from the city of Gqeberha, was successfully bid by Red Rocket in Round 5 of the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REI4P).

 

 

Richard Doyle, Managing Director, JUWI South Africa, while explaining said, “JUWI is committed to developing projects that help South Africa address the energy crisis and achieve the clean energy transition, and therefore the progress in rolling out REI4P projects is very encouraging. Concurrently, it is heartening to see the exponential growth in demand from the public and private sectors for large-scale renewable projects, and for hybrid projects that integrate battery storage. To support this demand, we plan to initiate the development of a further combined 1 GW of wind, solar and hybrid projects in 2023. Construction has started and the facility is projected to begin generating electricity for the South African grid by Q1 2024. It is the second wind project developed by JUWI to reach financial close under the REI4P – the first being the 138 MW Garob Wind Project that was successful in the previous REI4P bid round and which reached commercial operation in 2021.”

 

 

“As a South African company and an independent power producer, we’ve been investing in solutions to address the energy crisis for over ten years. We’re proud to have partnered with JUWI on this project and pleased to have started construction on this and other large wind projects,” said Matteo Brambilla, CEO, of Red Rocket.

 

 

“The Wolf Wind Project will be generating more than 360 GWh of clean electricity for the South African grid per year, offsetting 374,400 tonnes of CO2 each year and the project will bring over 200-million-rand community investment over 20 years through local social projects.”

 

 

“A key barrier to bringing large projects like Wolf online is grid capacity,” said Chris Bellingham, Head of Project Development, JUWI South Africa.

 

 

“Whilst we’re working on ways to overcome the challenges imposed on many of our projects by the Cape grid constraints, to meet the significant and growing demand for clean reliable power, we’re also actively developing a large portfolio of new and regionally diverse projects in unconstrained areas of the country’s grid.”

 

 

Recently, the energy regulator published an update on the lists of projects from private developers in the C and I sector where the number of projects registered by the regulator in South Africa in just the first two months of this year was already over 1000MW. This confirms that the demand for large solar, wind, and battery storage is growing nicely there.

 

 

This project is the second wind project developed by JUWI to reach financial close under the REI4P, the first was the 138MW Garob Wind Project which was successful in the previous REI4P bid round and which reached commercial operation in 2021.

 

EQUATORIAL GUINEA CONSTRUCTS A NEW CAPITAL CITY

  • The project was first announced in 2011 by President Obiang.
  • This city’s location was chosen for its easy access and benign climate.

 

Formerly known as Djibloho or Oyala, Ciudad de la Paz is a city in Equatorial Guinea that is being built to replace Malabo as the national capital. It was first announced in 2011 by President Obiang.

 

 

It was established as an urban district in Wele-Nzas in 2015. It is however, now the administrative headquarters of Djibloho, Equatorial Guinea’s newest province created in 2017, and is located near the town of Mengomeyén. In 2017, the city was officially renamed Ciudad de la Paz (“City of Peace”).

 

 

This city’s location was chosen for its easy access and benign climate. In contrast to Malabo which is on the island of Bioko, notably on the mainland. It was designed by the Portuguese Studio for Architecture and Urbanism, Future Architecture Thinking.

 

 

This project is projected to have around 200,000 inhabitants, a new Parliament building, a number of presidential villas, and an area of 8150 hectares. It will also have an opera house, a cathedral, and a five-star hotel with 400 rooms. Photographs show long cuts in the dense rainforest, suggesting wide avenues, along with twin 150-meter suspension bridges crossing the Wele River. A new six-lane highway, dubbed the “Avenue of Justice,” and a golf course have already been carved out of the virgin forest.

 

 

Oyala – Ciudad de la Paz is located near the center of Río Muni, the continental part of Equatorial Guinea. It is located between the cities of Bata and Mongomo and 20 km from the airport of Mengomeyén. The power supply relies upon the 120 MW Djibloho Dam in the district Djibloho Evinayong. The city will be situated in the remote eastern portion of the country, approximately 125 kilometers (75 miles) from the coast. Every nail, brick, and tile is imported. 

It also has a tropical climate that borders between a tropical monsoon climate and a tropical savannah climate. It has high overall rainfall, averaging 2142 mm a year, which supports the lush rainforests in the region. There is an extensive wet season, spanning 10 months of the year from September to June, and a brief and slightly cooler dry season covering the remaining two months, July and August. There is also a noticeably drier, though still wet, stretch in December and January.

 

Temperatures remain very warm throughout the course of the year, albeit lower than one might expect in other places with the same climate, especially considering its proximity to the equator.

SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESSMAN SET TO BUILD SMART CITY.

  • Mike Nkuna is building a $275.6 million smart city.
  • Phase one has been completed.
  • The new development will incorporate commercial, industrial, retail, residential, and hotel land use. 

Mike Nkuna is a South African businessman, he is the founder of Masingita group of companies that owns so many subsidiary companies. He has also acquired franchises in various retail filling stations including Exel Garage, Shell Garage, Sasol Garage, and BP Garage.

 

Growing up, he was his father’s herd boy, shepherding his father’s cattle and livestock.  He obtained his primary and probably his secondary school in Limpopo before relocating to Gauteng Province. He began working in his father’s butchery in 1979 to support his family. 

 

After three years of working at his father’s butcher shop, Nkuna decided to branch out and start a small housing building company at a time when the government was subsidizing black people’s housing. Nkuna’s first big break came in 1983. Soweto’s municipality was trying to sell a piece of property they offered to Nkuna. After securing a loan from Pem Bank, he purchased the plot for R100 000 with the intention of developing it.

British Petroleum proposed to buy the site from him and build a filling station on it after he purchased it. Nkuna, on the other hand, declined and instead asked BP to assist him in developing the property into a modest convenience retail center that would feature, among other things, a BP filling station. BP loved the concept and provided him with a zero-interest loan to help him develop the property.

kuna approached Shell with his narrative idea to see what kind of deal they could offer him at the same time. Shell outperformed BP’s offer, much to his surprise. In a game of one-upmanship, kuna returned to BP with Shell’s offer, causing BP to increase its offer.

In 2020, Nkuna was awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree by the University of Johannesburg for his outstanding contributions as one of the most successful commercial and retail property developers in South Africa.

 

This successful businessman has now set his eyes on developing a $275.6 million smart city in Limpopo, South Africa. Phase one of the project has been completed with the construction of a 20-square-meter shopping mall. 

The name of the city is Nkuna Smart City and upon completion, the mega-smart city project will create 8,250 construction jobs and 6,230 permanent direct jobs. 

 

Stan Mathabatha, the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition authorized $2.8 million in grant financing for the smart city. The new development will incorporate commercial, industrial, retail, residential, and hotel land use. 

South Africa’s Deputy Trade Minister, Nomalungelo Gina, added that the construction of the new city was a direct reaction to president Cyril Ramaphosa’s demand for new construction and the drive for post-apartheid smart cities. 

 

Made-in-Togo products get more accessible with local App

Inspired by peculiar market circumstances in the west African country of Togo, the DuSa Application, a search platform for selling local products, with more than 1,000 products already listed therein and more than 400 local product sales brands registered on the platform, offers patrons an avenue for interface with product agents, as well as provides information on prices and availability of products.

 

Dodji Tchalla, a young Togolese digital businessperson who is the brain behind DuSa, says the app lets clients search for local items’ sales platforms around them, suggesting that the app is gradually tackling the problems of low interest in Togo-made products and poor accessibility of products in the markets.

 

According to Abide Balouki, the Togolese promoter of Abi Food, increasing her clientele base and turnover was quite challenging until she put her local products store on the platform. She has since seen a significant increase in her following and, by extension, her business.  “The sale of local products is not well appreciated by the Togolese population. But we can say that this is starting to change. The fact of having more customers already brings more turnover” Balouki said.

 

Tchalla told journalists that he has recorded about an 80% satisfaction rate among the users of the app. He mentioned that people were quite sceptical initially seeing that it was new, but the enthusiasm about the app is rising fast today.

 

Kpatcha Akaba, a user of the Dusa app, says “The application has allowed me to have easy access thanks to the sales points. Currently, there is even a way to find a point of sale that is very close to us.”

 

According to first-hand feedback from users, the DuSa app has gradually positioned itself as an optimized search tool for the points of sale of local products, but beyond that, the application also seeks to serve as a platform where financial establishments and their support structures can get reliable statistics.

 

This digital key seems to have brought hope to entrepreneurs who deal with made-in-Togo products. It is also serving the local business community as a digital display for local products.

EGYPT SET TO OPEN AFRICA’S BIGGEST MACHINE TOOL FACTORY.

The Arab Organization for industrialization signed a partnership contract with DMG MORI to establish a factory for the production of CNC programmed automatic control machines in Egypt.

 

The Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly, President of the Arab Organization for Industrialization, Abdel Moneim al-Tarras, along with the General Manager of the company and Mahmoud Ali, Managing Director of the company in Africa were all in attendance in the meeting. 

 

The contract includes the manufacturing of a fully automated and highly programmable factory for the production of turning equipment on an area of about 60,000 square meters near Cairo Airport. 

 

This production is aligned to produce an annual capacity of 1,000 machines. This guarantees the industrialization of the nation while creating so many job opportunities for the masses. The revenue to be generated from this establishment will be massive too.

 

These sorts of establishments can only fully be utilized by well-qualified employees and as such, DMG MORI offers particularly young people good prospects with targeted training and further education programs for industrial manufacturing. They will offer state of the art CNC training in the new production plant.

 

Because of the fast growing developments, the industrialization of the nation, DMG OMORI is also planning a major training offensive at Egyptian schools and universities to prepare the predominantly young and motivated population.

 

This is the biggest and the first machine plant in Africa; it is made in Africa for Africa. The grand opening of this plant is in Autumn of 2023.

 

IGNATIUS ASABOR; NIGERIA’S OWN DRONE MAKER.

Ignatius Asabor is a 22-year old Nigerian that hails from Delta State. He graduated from Utagba Ogbe Technical College.

Ignatius started from building cars with tins and foams but he thought them not challenging enough. He proceeded to make his first plane with carton and foam after a lot of failures and loss of materials in the process.

He made his first drone at 9. He encountered a lot of failures but giving up never crossed his mind.

His mom was not in support of this dream as she wanted him to study law. However, he persisted and got discovered by a giant tech company in Finland called Radai Limited.

His parents were rather surprised albeit proud of what he had managed to do.

He has plans of making drones in commercial quantities later in the future.

TEENAGE BOY INVENTS A SIMLESS PHONE IN NAMIBIA.

Simon Petrus is a teenage 12 grader who goes to Abraham Iyambo Senior Secondary school. Simon has invented a simless phone that requires no airtime to call anyone, anywhere.

 

The phone was made from parts from a telephone and television set. It has taken two years for Simon to complete this Project. The financial aspect was a bit difficult as his unemployed parents had to scrape together $2,000 to make sure the project is successful.

 

One of his teachers described him as an average student in general but one who led his peers in sciences. Last year he won a gold medal at the Nam Power National Schools’ Competition after he invented a machine that serves as a seed drier and cooler. His science teacher Taimi Vatileni told New Era “when he won last year, some judges were of the opinion that there was an engineer at home who was helping him. But the only help he has is from us the teachers here at school. He came up with his own project”.

 

The phone is made up of a radio system. It is attached to a box and makes voice calls while also doubling as a tv, allowing the user to watch one TV channel. Calls can be made to anyone, anywhere as long as it’s done in a place  with radio frequency.

 

Apart from this simless phone being able to make calls without airtime it has other features like; a working radio, television, light bulb, fan, socket. He aspires to become an electronics engineer when he grows.

 

SOLARISE AFRICA RAISES $33.4MILLION TO EXPAND ON ITS PORTFOLIO.

A Pan-African solar company, Solarise Africa has raised $33.4 million to expand its portfolio in Kenya and other countries. 

 

Solarise Africa is a company that provides reliable and affordable energy solutions across Africa. It collaborates with only the most experienced and quality focused solar and other energy solution companies to offer innovative full-service solutions that cover designing, building, financing, and maintaining renewable energy installations.

 

Their expertise is in leasing, financing and investing in Africa’s renewable energy sector. They also specialize in captive rooftop and ground mounted solar projects ranging from 50 KW to 3 MW and are fast expanding.

 

The CEO and Co-founder, Jan Albert Valk said “throughout 2022 we have significantly grown our footprint and portfolio and with this new loan we will be able to catapult our efforts to advance renewable energy adoption in Africa. This proves that Solarise Africa has a solid business model. We are proud to welcome the three prestigious new investors”

 

The funding round was raised by the Facility for Energy Institute and Oikocredit. Oikocredit is a social impact investor and worldwide co-operative with over 45 years of experience funding organizations active in financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy.

 

KENYAN MAN BUILDS GLOVES THAT CONVERTS SIGN LANGUAGE TO AUDIO.

One thing every species has in common is communication. Man is not an island and in that vein we have to communicate with others. However, it is really difficult for some people because of speech disability or hearing impairment. Sign language has been introduced for these people but sign language is not a general language everybody understands or tries to learn because most people have not seen the need for it so this does not cover the bridge of communication. 

 

Roy Allela, a Kenyan tech-genius that currently works at Intel and Tutors Data Science at Oxford University designed smart gloves that turn language to audio speech.

 

Each finger has flex sensors, these sensors quantify the bend of the fingers and process the letter being signed. The gloves are connected to an app through bluetooth which then vocalizes the letters.

 

These gloves have been introduced to special needs schools in the rural area of South-West Kenya.

 

Speed of speech differs from individual to individual and this is the same for people that sign. With this knowledge, Roy integrated that into the mobile application so that it is comfortable for anyone to use it. The users can also pick native language, gender and even pitch of the vocalization. The accuracy of the result is usually 93%.

 

His inspiration for this invention is his 6-year old niece. She was born deaf and he feared how she would cope in the real world; in an interview, he said “I was trying to envision how my niece’s life would be if she had the same opportunities as everyone else in education, employment, all aspects of life. The general public in Kenya does not understand sign language, so when she goes out, she always needs a translator. Picture over the long term that kind of dependency, how much that plagues or impairs her progress in life. When it affects you personally, you see how hard people have it in life. That’s why I have really strived to develop this audio translator project to completion”. His niece pairs the gloves to her phone or his then starts signing and he is able to understand what she is saying.

 

He keeps trying to improve the gloves; the speed at which they translate. Apart from the software aspect, the gloves can be designed in different ways also; from the disney princesses to superhero characters. These cool designs will help to fight the stigma of being deaf.

 

The prize money gotten from these gloves, this tech-genius is using it to improve the sign language translation app and implement more accurate vocal predictions.

 

He has hopes of placing at least two pairs in every special needs school in Kenya. This could help a million children worldwide with hearing or speech disability.