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Africans Dial Up Innovation

No longer content to import technology, Africans are using cellphones to spur indigenous innovation

3 min read
Herman Chinery-Hesse.
Herman Chinery-Hesse.
Photo: Anders Pettersson/Getty Images

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Tired of hearing friends in Accra, Ghana, fret over the specter of home invasions, Herman Chinery-Hesse launched a text-messaging security service earlier this year that both addresses the problem of poor police response to property crimes and takes advantage of tight-knit neighborhoods.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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