A Kickstarter campaign is currently running to fund the completion of a film which documents the rise of mobile technology in Africa and its impact on the continent’s new generation of tech entrepreneurs.
Created by filmmakers Chris Larson and Scott Gorman, the documentary, called Mobile Africa, profiles numerous Eastern and Southern African innovators from different industries and showcases how they are leveraging the power of mobile technology to transform services in health, finance, insurance, education, agriculture and entertainment.
Initially the filmmakers set out to explore entrepreneurship in Africa but they shifted their focus to mobile tech innovators and the transformational impact of mobile phones on communities.
“We spoke with passionate entrepreneurs and innovators who are leveraging mobile technology to address issues across diverse industries. We hope our film can introduce new audiences to these incredible stories of innovation and ingenuity. We also advocate for greater investment in African tech, which was a common need we heard from entrepreneurs in every market,” said Larson.
Mobile Africa features over 30 leading startups across Africa as well as incubators, accelerators and policy experts, including CEO and Founder of local mHealth startup Vula Mobile, Dr Will Mapham, in order to capture the most comprehensive portrait of tech entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Vula Mobile was one of the many startups we profiled with global potential; their app connects people in rural areas with doctors who can remotely detect and diagnose common medical conditions when the patient is unable to visit a clinic or hospital in person,” said Larson.
Vula Mobile lets healthcare workers in rural areas send photos to a specialist who diagnoses the problem, suggests the solution and books appropriate surgery. The app’s chat function allows the healthcare workers making the referral to send photographs and chat directly with an experienced medical specialist. Since it launched in 2014 the app has expanded its services to cover 10 specialties including cardiology, orthopaedics and dermatology.
“Seeing a doctor can often be a costly and time-consuming endeavour, so the use of mobile phones through platforms like Vula Mobile has the potential to increase access to health services where doctors are not widely available or when specialists are needed. Mobile phones make that whole process easier and thereby improve health outcomes,” continued Larson.
The documentary also features another mHealth startup called Access Mobile, a platform that facilitates doctor-patient interaction through text messages and email. Doctors are able to send messages directly to their patients and in the process tackle issues like long waiting times, unnecessary queuing, missed appointments and prescription reminders.
The Mobile Africa Kickstarter campaign aims to raise $10K that will go towards post-production costs as well as entering the documentary into film festivals to expand its reach. The filmmakers hope to exceed their 10K mark to conduct additional filming in 2018 with a feature-length film release towards the end of the year. With additional funding Mobile Africa will showcase more innovators in western and central Africa and host a film exhibition and startup conference in Nairobi, Kenya or Johannesburg in late 2018.
To learn more about Mobile Africa and to view the full list of innovators featured in the documentary, visit: http://kck.st/2i1iKyM