Tag Archives: AFRICA

Ford – Helping Deliver Healthcare In Africa


Ford Sensor Technology Applied to Motorcycles for New Mobility Insights; Improves Medical Care for Rural Africans

1970 Ford Torino King Cobra
1970 Ford Torino King Cobra

    Ford is now equipping motorcycles with sensor kits inspired by its OpenXC hardware platform to map areas of community health care services in rural West Africa. Capturing data on additional transportation types to help researchers detect patterns and develop new mobility solutions

  • Researchers have used OpenXC technology to collect real-time data from vehicles to better understand driving habits and help create new, innovative features for today’s car
  • OpenXC has been used in several experiments tied to Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to take connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and data and analytics to the next level. Learnings could be expanded to other transportation modes – helping ambulance and emergency services providers improve efficiency across the world

Ford is expanding its use of sensor technology to motorcycles, allowing researchers and programmers to better understand how cars, bikes and other modes of transportation in combination can create new mobility solutions and help make people’s lives better – including improving how healthcare is delivered rural West Africa.

“OpenXC started as a project to make a car send a tweet five years ago, but has since become a platform, or an ‘Internet of mobility’ that allows us to use data to better understand how people move around the world,” said Ken Washington, Ford vice president, Research and Advanced Engineering. “Now, the same open innovation mentality behind OpenXC has inspired our team to create a sensor kit for bicycles and motorcycles to learn how other transportation options might best serve people in urban, suburban and rural areas, including improving their health.”

Ford’s open-source hardware and software kit provides real-time access to vehicle data, such as sensors, GPS receiver and vehicle speed. Ford has been using OpenXC to support some of its Ford Smart Mobility experiments for more than a year.

The company is gathering and analyzing vehicle data collected by OpenXC as part of Ford Smart Mobility, its plan to take connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics to the next level.

Data-driven motorcycles

The broad insights learned from vehicle data, including how people drive and use their cars, first inspired Ford researchers to create a sensor kit for bicycles to collect additional data. Now, the company is rolling out the new sensor kit to motorcycles helping Riders for Health.

The medical services group collects GPS data and mapping coordinates to reach people who need medical care – vaccines, medications and live-saving hospital care – in rural West Africa.

Ford helped Riders for Health improve its maintenance systems and vehicle fleet logistics, equipping Ford Ranger pickups with OpenXC technology. This allows Riders for Health to track stops, timing and routes for their work in The Gambia.

The data collected also is being used to create maps of remote regions – a first.

After learning that more than half of the group’s fleet of service vehicles are motorcycles that cannot capture the right level of data, Ford created a new sensor kit that will be upfitted on 50 motorcycles early next year.

“Our goal is to understand what mobility means to people who don’t have access to their own vehicles,” said Arthur Zysk, Ford research analyst who leads the project. “Ford’s commitment to smart mobility innovation is driving real, measurable change.”

Longer-term lessons and applications from this project could be used to help ambulance and emergency services providers improve efficiency across the world, including in rural areas.

Urban mobility learnings

Engineers at Ford’s Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto have been using sensor kits that gather information from bicycles and other common forms of transportation in urban areas.

The devices gather information such as wheel speed, acceleration and altitude, as well as traffic patterns, pedestrian data and road conditions, which is difficult to obtain from vehicle sensors.

Researchers continue exploring how bike and vehicle data can be analyzed together to gain greater understanding of how different transportation modes might best meet future mobility needs.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 197,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

  By Peter O’Shea 

Fashion Cities Africa

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Brighton, UK

30 April 2016 to 8 January 2017

The first major UK exhibition dedicated to contemporary African fashion will open at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery in April 2016.


Exploring fashion and style in four cities at the compass points of the African continent – Casablanca in Morocco, Lagos in Nigeria, Nairobi in Kenya and Johannesburg in South Africa – Fashion Cities Africa will consider recent and contemporary fashion practices in these distinctive metropoles, from couture to street style.

Designs by Marianne Fassler,  photographed by-Simon Deiner SDR
Designs by Marianne Fassler, photographed by-Simon Deiner SDR

The exhibition will focus on the style choices of individual ‘fashion agents’ from each city; from designers and stylists to photographers and bloggers. Helen Mears, the Museum’s Keeper of World Art, Martin Pel, its Curator of Fashion & Textiles, Africa fashion specialists Hannah Azieb Pool and Helen Jennings and researcher Harriet Hughes visited the cities in summer 2015* to explore their fashion scenes and identify key players.


Helen Mears says: “There’s been a surge of interest in contemporary African art and design in Europe and the US in recent years, but this is the first major UK exhibition dedicated to contemporary African fashion.  We want to reveal the diversity that exists across the continent – and within single cities – and show that wax print is only part of the story of African fashion.

“Each of the cities featured has its own fashion scene: in some cases emergent, in others more established. Some African designers are now major players in international fashion, while others are experimenting creatively in the interface between global fashion and local identities.

“The exhibition aims to provide a snapshot of fashion practices in four specific cities and an introduction to some of the stories behind the style, whether it’s the widespread practice of tailoring or the impact of the huge market for second-hand European clothes.”

The exhibition will occupy three large galleries and include diverse apparel from couture to street style, alongside images, film, sound and even a reconstructed tailor’s workshop evoking the drama, creativity and dynamism of the distinctive cities.  Highlights will include:

New commissions, including by Nairobi-based brother and sister duo 2Many Siblings  


Controversial high-fashion outfits worn by one of Kenya’s hottest bands, Sauti Sol (MTV Europe’s Best African Act 2014)

Garments and accessories associated with The Sartists, a Johannesburg-based creative collective documenting their lives and style in post-apartheid South Africa (https://instagram.com/thesartists)

Exquisite hand-crafted ‘caftan couture’ pieces by Casablanca-based designer Zhor Raïs

Apparel by Maki Oh (TBC), the internationally acclaimed Lagos-based label worn by figures including Michele Obama

A parallel project, undertaken by members of some of Brighton & Hove’s African diaspora communities, will explore the relationship between fashion, identity and the African continent from a local perspective. Powerful images from the project, which will be co-ordinated by Sarah Naomi Lee, will accompany the exhibition.

Fashion Cities Africa is part of the wider project Fashioning Africa, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Collecting Cultures programme – which supports strategic collecting projects for museums, libraries and archives.

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery already holds an important collection of historical African textiles, mostly gathered 1880-1940.  Thanks to National Lottery players,Fashioning Africa will research recent developments and establish an African textile and fashion collection representing 1960-2000.  Running until 2017, the project has appointed a collecting panel from BAME and fashion communities, and will be delivered in partnership with the University of Brighton and the Sussex Africa Centre at the University of Sussex.

Fashion Cities Africa will also be accompanied by a book of the same name, edited by Hannah Azieb Pool with contributions by Helen Jennings (Intellect, 2016, £20).  This will showcase street styles in the four cities through images of their fashion agents by high-profile fashion photographers (Sarah Waiswa, Victor Dlamini, Deborah Benzaquen and Lakin Ogunbanwo), accompanied by profiles and essays.

By Ronke Lawal

Tina Lobondi Showcases At We Are Africa Fashion Extravaganza

Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi

The Department of Arts & Culture, as part of its Africa Month Festival, hosted  the We Are Africa Fashion Extravaganza on 27 May 2015. Appointing African Fashion International (AFI), the leading fashion promotions company in Africa, to coordinate the Fashion Extravaganza. The event, held at the Museum of African Design in the fashionable and culturally diverse Maboneng area in Johannesburg, featured fashion designers from across the continent.

Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi

The evening celebrated the style, design and heritage of the African continent. Showcasing designers include Taibo Bacar (Mozambique), ARAPAPA at Santa Anzo (Uganda), Sindiso Khumalo (South Africa), Alphadi (Niger), Sophie Zinga (Senegal), Tina Lobondi (DRC), Kiko Romeo (Kenya) and MaXhosa by Laduma Ngxokolo (South Africa). Garments, rooted in African heritage and re-imagined in a global context, were showcased on a runway, worn by models from South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and the DRC.

Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi

Fashion and clothing is a central aspect of cultural identity. In further celebrating this, guests were be given the unique opportunity to view a fashion exhibition of garments created by The Carnival Company – in conjunction with the Department of Arts and Culture – as part of We Are Africa Month celebrations. These garments are inspired by the diverse African heritage, particularly African masquerade and carnival attire.

Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi

The evening’s event was held together by Master of Ceremonies Gaetano Kagwa, a Ugandan media personality. Alongside the fashion showcase, Xhosa songstress Simphiwe Dana and spoken-word by poet Naima McClean, known as the First Lady of Urban Cool, performed, bringing together the evening’s celebration of African culture. Adding to the cultural experience of the night, Sanza Sandile (a Swaziland-born chef known as the ‘king of Yeoville’) served a “journey through African cuisine”, his take on Afro-fusion cooking with a modern twist.

Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi

The We Are Africa Fashion Extravaganza was part of the exciting programme for Africa Month that took place throughout the month of May. Africa Month is a festival of ideas and cultural exchange, organized by the Department of Arts & Culture. It provided a platform and network for conversations about the African continent. These will go beyond the challenges to successes experienced and a recommitment to work for the continued development and integration of the continent. The theme for this inaugural Africa Month, launched by the Minister of Arts & Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa at Freedom Park (Pretoria) on 1 April 2015, is We Are Africa – ‘Opening the doors of learning and culture to promote peace and friendship from Cape to Cairo’.

By Marica Quarsingh

Jeu de Couleurs – VLISCO inspires Again!

Sartorial chic sets the tone for this collection. Sharp lines provide a fabulous frame for Vlisco’s exuberant prints, while exaggerated shapes show off the collection’s interplay of form and colour. The collection features four coordinated colour stories, which allow designers to make matching outfits.

This 60’s inspired cape dress shows off the whole fabric, with the print starting on the shoulder and finishing on the hem. The simple, square shape provides a stunning backdrop for the geometric print.




A simple shift shape makes the most of the bright colours in this bold all-Java outfit. The strategic placing of the playful print creates a flatteringly feminine shape. Give this just-above-the-knee style a chic spin with high-heeled sandals, a colourful clutch and a matching scarf.






Like the expressionist art that inspired the fabrics, this outfit ignores all the rules. It teams a bomber jacket style with voluminous sleeves, while adding a slouchy-chic fit to tailored trousers. Effortlessly elegant, this urban look in an oversized print is sure to get you noticed wherever you go.






Constructed entirely from 100% silk fabric, this floaty tunic top beautifully accentuates the painterly feel of the trompe l’oeil print. The edge line of the scarves creates a stunning contrast seam feature, incorporating the famous Vlisco border trim. Team with sleek slim-line trousers and simple high-heeled sandals for a contemporary look.




Mixing up different patterns in the same colour family creates an eclectic effect. Here, a geometric pattern, a swirly floral and a playful print have been combined in an outfit that features both sharp en soft sartorial touches.







Statement prints are still at the top of the fashion hit list. Use them to dramatic effect by placing the fabric symmetrically, so that the design repeats itself at the shoulders and sleeves. Featuring a beautifully placed floral motif, this piece uses the darker fabric on the side panels to create a sleek, slimming silhouette. Team with classic black accessories to set off the vivid colours.



Complicated to construct, but dazzlingly simple in effect, this outfit is an ode to the terrific art of tailoring. Perfect placement of the fabric in this cape dress allows the print to continue uninterrupted in a bold, beautiful line and leap to life.







Strong, sharp tailoring in a bold ball print creates a fabulously feminine suit that brings together the best of both worlds. This style is an excellent example of Vlisco’s contemporary approach to style. For a polished look, wear with simple accessories, such as high-heeled sandals and an oversized clutch in matching colours.

Team street style with red carpet glamour for the ultimate in high-low contrasts. This bold jacket in degradé floral print looks great with a long, flowing gown in photo print silk. Mixing up different patterns in the same colour family creates an even more playful effect.

Inspired by cheetah print, this sophisticated fabric puts a contemporary spin on classic style. The cut-out shoulders of this polished piece add an ultra-feminine touch. Mix up your accessories to wear this dress to a business lunch or when heading out to after work drinks.






This gown radiates elegance with its high halter neck, wide skirt and feminine open back. The combination of the graphic wax print with a flowing photo print silk fabric creates a dramatic contrast.




This fashion-forward outfit was inspired by menswear tailoring. It is sure to make you feel comfortable yet chic. The 100% silk suit in vibrant fuchsia and sky blue is an ode to colour blocking, a major theme of the Jeu de Couleurs collection. The edge line of the scarves creates a stunning contrast seam feature, incorporating the famous Vlisco border trim.





This retro gala dress features a stunning asymmetric cut, which works wonderfully with the sloping shapes of the geometric print. Simply add a tonal clutch and towering heels to complete the look.









Sharp lines provide a fabulous frame for Vlisco’s exuberant prints in this outfit. The cut of the 60’s inspired top provides a stunningly simple canvas for the bold pattern of the fabric. Team with sleek slim-fit trousers in a contrasting print and an oversized bucket bag to create an elegantly eclectic mix ‘n’ match look.




This piece features the same print in two different colours, punctuating the vivid colour palette of the Jeu de Couleurs collection. A refined and elegant look is achieved through the precise placement of the fabric so that the pattern continues in another colour. The darker fabric has been used on the side panels to create a sleek, slimming silhouette.





Fashion’s florals are in full bloom in this feminine dress, which plays with colour and form to create an interesting silhouette made of square, pointy shapes that softly drape. Made with almost a whole yard of fabric, the dress echoes the colour blocked theme of the Jeu de Couleurs collection to perfection.