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Tech, Electronics, and Software Made in Africa – No Longer an Exclusive Silicon Valley Story

kokou adzo



Jakob Hornbach BODAWERK

We talked to Jakob Hornbach of BODAWERK about finding solutions to real problems affecting those at the bottom of the pyramid.

First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times? 

Jakob Hornbach: The BODAWERK family is doing great. COVID is just a small distraction in the long run.

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded BODAWERK.

Jakob Hornbach: We funded BODAWERK in 2017 in order to develop frugal innovations that can solve real problems at the so-called ‘bottom of the pyramid.’ Since then, we have pivoted several times and evolved into a technology company with a strong focus on electronics, software, and business model development.

How does BODAWERK innovate? 

Jakob Hornbach: Radical thinking, fail fast, fail cheap, fail often, laser focus on the customer value proposition.

How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?

Jakob Hornbach: As a tech company that is currently testing and validating the developed technology, we haven’t been affected too much. Only some supply chain interruptions delayed our RnD process.

Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?

Jakob Hornbach: No, we were able to maintain our staff count throughout the pandemic and are still moving fast.

How do you deal with stress and anxiety?

Jakob Hornbach: I don’t get stressed or anxious in the first place.

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

Jakob Hornbach: Others would call Zembo in Uganda, Opibus in Kenya, or Ampersand in Rwanda, our competitors – shout out to all of them! We do not see them as competitors but team players sitting on the same and right side of the climate change negotiations table. We hope to avail our technology to every player in the market, from ASOBO over PowerHive to SIEMENS Foundation, supporting their individual success stories. We believe we have an edge because of locally developed technology, local assembly and maintenance capacity, and our fantastic & diverse team behind.

Your final thoughts?

Jakob Hornbach: Thank you for your good work, increasing the visibility of startups!

Your website? 

Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at

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