Akon Lighting Africa solar
Up until a few years ago, Senegalese-American hip-hop artiste and singer Akon was better known for being lonely than anything else – recently though he has been carving out a role as a proactive champion of development, with an initiative called the Akon Lighting Africa Initiative. Despite some detractors, Akon has championed this two year old project to bring attention to the issue of energy poverty in Africa. The project involves a collaboration between Akon and others invested in transforming the fortunes of the continent vis a vis access to electricity.

The rise of  YABA valley
So far, Kenya has maintained a position in Africa as the place with the most vibrant tech start-up and innovation sector, but by all accounts – this year Nigeria started to give them more of a run for their money. The area of YABA with houses not only CC Hub, an innovation centre that recently announced that it will run a $5 million dollar investment fund, and Yaba Tech – a technical college in Nigeria’s largest city – is fast becoming the hotbed for innovation in the country.

The Rise of International Investors in Africa’s start up scene
We’ve seen a notable rise in international investment in Africa’s start up scene – here are a few to be aware of Rise in international investment –

The Rise of African Investors in African Start-Ups
If there is one trend we’re really happy about it’s this one: the rise of angel investing by African business leaders – African Angel Network

Rise of tech/innovation hubs
Everybody needs a space to create – particularly in the often challenging infrastructure environments of Africa’s economies – so the rise of more tech and innovation hubs are a welcome development.

Metro in Addis – infrastructure
Addis Ababa now has another string to its bow – apart from hosting the African Union – Addis now also boasts a new metro system – let’s hope this kicks off some positive competition across Africa to build better transport infrastructure in some of the more famously grid-locked cities of the continent.

Cape to Cairo Free Trade Zone
Most of Africa is now a free trade zone – at least in theory – so watch this space.
Launch of Facebook Africa

Facebook has clearly caught the ‘Africa rising’ bug with its first office on the continent – with over 100 million users on the continent, Facebook is waking up (belatedly?) to the potential of the continent.

Instant Messengers are the future of business?
Instant Messengers may very well be the future of business in Africa – but we can’t talk about this here – send us a message on WhatsApp.

Elections that went well… in Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire 
Last but not least, despite dire predictions – and challenging circumstances, three African countries, including the continent’s largest by population – held elections that went relatively peaceful and returned goverments chosen by the popular will.