Home » Business » Million Pixels For Africa – An entrepreneur’s answer to start-up funding

Zimbabwean entrepreneur Vuyo Sakala has always dreamed big and wanted to develop and provide great products and services for Africa. After studying Architecture in Australia, and noticing the lack of information he had access to about what was happening back home in Zimbabwe and the rest of the African continent as a whole, he came up with the idea of designing and building five regional information portals that would cover the continent one each for north, south, east, west, and central Africa.

Since 2010 Sakala has been living in Tunisia solely working on this project with the help of his part-time programmer whom he met in 2011. As a result of the lack of funding up until this point he decided to launch his own creative crowd-funding campaign that would not only give him access to the funds he would need to continue and finish this large project but would also create a platform for businesses to aertise themselves to a large audience for a reasonably small amount. After coming across The Million Dollar Homepage (a website conceived in 2005 by Alex Tew, a student from Wiltshire, England, to raise money for his university education) Sakala thought it would be a great way for him too to raise capital for his start-up and to also provide a platform for African companies and companies that do business with Africa to aertise on. And so, Million Pixels for Africa (www.millionpixelsforafrica.com) was born.

HOW DOES ldquoMILLION PIXELS FOR AFRICArdquo WORK?

The homepage consists of a million pixels arranged in a 1000 x 1000 pixel grid. Individualscompanies can purchase aertising space at a minimum of 100 pixels (10 x 10 block) at a rate of US$1 per pixel. The customer then sends an imagelogo to be displayed in the size of the pixels that have been purchased. The images displayed on the homepage will also show a link to the purchaserrsquos website when hovering a curser over the image, as well as being featured on the homepagersquos ldquoSponsorsrdquo page. This is a great aertising opportunity for businesses as it only costs a minimum of US$100 to join in and sponsor.

WHAT IS SAFRIP, AND THE OTHER FOUR WEBSITES, ALL ABOUT?

Currently there is a lack of information that is easily accessible in Africa. The information exists but it is currently not available online. Search engines that people currently use to find information, like Google for example, only work by finding data that already exists Google, and other search engines, do not create data. The search engine finds information that is available and displays it to the user in an order of popularity. This is why when searching for information about Africa, most websites that turn up in the results section are foreign owned. When I was living in Australia this is exactly the problem I was faced with. I wanted to keep up-to-date with what was happening back home in Zimbabwe but struggled to find any current information on events, projects, news, job opportunities etc. To find even a fraction of these things I had to search multiple often American owned websites. This has to stop! This is what sparked the development of Safrip and the other four regional websites.

The idea of SAFRIP, and the other four websites, is to create a one stop destination for all that you would want to know about each region whether you live there, are travelling there, or want to invest in the region. The websites will be free to join and all members will be able to find and share relevant and up to date information about local businesses, all social and cultural events, projects from the region, government information and services, and community news, just to name a few. Members will also be able to take aantage of many of the services we will also provide. Some of these will include educational apps, a buying and selling platform, and forum pages.

These websites are about strengthening and improving communities and the lives of people in these communities. The development and success of these five websites will create a lot of job opportunities in Africa. I will eventually need offices in every country on the continent which will not only employ people to manage and update all of the data but also for multiple teams across many sectors such as marketingaertising, traveltourism, education, app developing, journalism, photography, and real estate, just to name a few. The success of even the first website, Safrip, will let people know that we do not need to always look outside of Africa for successful ideas that implement change we just have to invest in our own good ideas.

Source : Safrip

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