#SMWMARA – How Mobile Apps and Social Media Are Fostering Collaboration In Africa

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ENTERPRISE54 – As experts and enthusiasts gather at Social Media Week Lagos 2015 to discuss and analyse trends and projections in the social media space, Mara Online joined in, advancing the discourse with a masterclass focused on how social media and user applications can play a major role in integrating African markets.

Leading the discussions at the SMWMara masterclass tagged: “Integrating Africa with Social Media and User Applications”, Mara Online demonstrated how its user applications – Mara Mentor (a social application that connects young entrepreneurs to industry experts) and Mara Messenger (a uniquely African instant messaging app) – have been able to leverage social media to drive collaboration and information sharing amongst its over one million users across Africa.

Speaking at the sidelines of the 2015 Social Media Week Lagos, Olamide Amosu, Mara Online’s Head Marketing and Communications said Mara has been able to drive integration in African markets through its first-of-its-kind entrepreneurship community Mara Mentor, which leverages on the ubiquity and proliferation of mobile devices in Africa.

According to her, “Mara has empowered thousands of Africans across the continent by taking advantage of social media to spread discussions on the platform.  This has inspired collaborations between Africans in different locations and mentorship between young entrepreneurs and industry leaders while birthing new businesses and driving user acquisition to Mara Mentor.”

Mara Online, which uses technology to drive innovation and integration on the continent, also challenged participants to create solutions that the world can borrow from, rather than reinvent what has been done in developed countries.

According to Mara, the impact of its content strategy has seen traffic increase from social media to the Mara Mentor platform, which is a non-profit entrepreneurship focused community that links aspiring entrepreneurs to captains of industries, drawn from different sectors of the economy, who mentor young Africans.

Speaking at the event, some of the business leaders on its entrepreneurship-focused social application Mara Mentor, were: Pade Durotoye (CEO, Oando Energy Resources), Niyi Yusuf (Country Managing Director, Accenture Nigeria), Mrs Onyeche Tifase (MD/CEO Siemens Limited – Nigeria), Anita Erskine (Founder, Brand Woman Africa), and Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi (Executive Director Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre), who reaffirmed the impact and potential of the mentorship and networking app by emphasising the need for young entrepreneurs to get mentored.

According to the mentors, this unique mobile-friendly strategy is bridging the gap between experts and rookies, thus the impact is reengineering young African entrepreneurs with skills and capacity to create solutions to societal challenges in the 21st century.

Currently, Mara has over one million users on the mobile platforms in Africa and is in partnership with public and private institutions across the continent as it strives to enable, empower and inspire a generation of African entrepreneurs.



Douglas Imaralu is a writer and international relations and diplomacy scholar, with significant experience in online journalism and content production. He was the former Online Editor at Ventures Africa and current Communications Manager at Mara Mentor, an initiative of Mara Foundation

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