Chao, Macharia & Siwo in top 30 Quartz Africa Innovators

In Innovation, Inspiration
Charity Chao Mbogo

Three Kenyan innovators are among the top 30 leaders listed by US business news portal Quartz Africa for driving development on the continent.

Dr Charity Chao Mbogo; a programmer and lecturer at Kenya Methodist University, Mr Joel Macharia; founder of Abacus — an online-based investment brokerage platform; and Mr Geoffrey Siwo a biologist at IBM Research Africa were listed following applications from 18 African nations.

Quartz ( is a website owned by Atlantic Media Co.[2] Its staff includes reporters formerly employed at BloombergThe Wall Street JournalThe Economist, and The New York Times.[3][4] The initial sponsors of Quartz were BoeingChevronCadillac, and Credit Suisse.[5]

Their innovations vary from technology to agriculture and healthcare. Dr Mbogo an avid traveler was recognised for developing a mobile application that enables students to learn coding through their cellphones due to high cost of computers.

She made an app as part of her doctoral research at the University of Cape Town to help students learn coding over phones.

Abacus, founded by Mr Macharia, enables users to set up an account transfer money, get news and updates on one platform.

Joel Macharia
Joel Macharia

He is targeting Kenyans sending money from the diaspora. Mr Macharia, who hosts classes on investing in Nairobi, plans to expand to Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria and Egypt in the next one year. The platform has 7,000 registered users.

RELATED: Charity Wanjiku, Africa’s best Emerging Female Techpreneur

Mr Siwo has “designed an algorithm that maps characteristics left behind by metastasizing cancer cells in order to create a molecular map of the cell.

Understanding cancer, he said, will equip scientists with an understating of many areas of biology and help in developing diagnostics and treatments for diseases beyond cancer.

Geoffrey Siwo speaking at TED Fellows talks, Session 1, TEDGlobal 2014, South, October 5-10, 2014, Copacabana Palace Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Ryan Lash/TED
Geoffrey Siwo speaking at TED Fellows talks

‘‘The influence of their work goes well beyond their immediate community and will ultimately impact millions of lives.

‘‘They’re taking leadership and control in a wide range of fields including finance, healthcare, education, agriculture, design and many other fields,” said Yinka Adegoke, the Quartz Africa editor.


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