Entrepreneur of The Week: Mark Davies – Founder of Esoko

Entrepreneur of The Week: Mark Davies – Founder of Esoko



The information-technology scene in Africa is gradually taking shape, but there are still lots work to be done. Mark Davies is one of the few technology entrepreneurs who has consistently advocated for an urgent need to open up the ICT market in Ghana through creating an enabling environment, stimulating the growth of outsourcing and other new ICT business opportunities. Mark is currently leading a team of developers building specific technology innovations for African markets – with a focus on market information systems.

  1. Mark Davies is the Founder and CEO of Esoko (A mobile communication platform for rural development that allows farm groups and businesses to manage their information collection and distribution needs through automatic polling, SMS push, web advertising, and market updates via SMS.).
  2. He is also the Founder and Chairman at BusyInternet Accra, Ghana (SME Incubator, ISP, Cybercafe, and Data Centre)
  3. Born to a Welsh father and South African mother in Cardiff, Wales, Mark studied at Downside, a Benedictine school in Somerset, and graduated in Social Anthropology from Cambridge in ’86.
  4. In 1993 Mark setup his first enterprise, Sky Electronic Publishing, where he started designing and publishing directmail catalogs for companies like the Body Shop and Budweiser.
  5. In 1995 he began Metrobeat, an  online local guide that merged with California’s CitySearch a year later. Together, Metrobeat and CitySearch setup cityguides in 70 cities over four countries.
  6. In 1998 whilst in the UK,  he co-founded First Tuesday, an internet social networking platform, which spread to 120 cities in 5 continents, connecting entrepreneurs with investors.
  7. Davies used the funds from the sale of Metrobeat and First Tuesday to establish sub-saharan Africa’s largest private technology centre in Accra, Ghana: BusyInternet.
  8. Mark founded BusyInternet in Ghana in 2001 with a unique mission to provide the best public ICT services in Africa.
  9. Busy is a social investment, it focuses on incubation activities to promote the use of ICTs and best practices among small and medium size enterprises.
  10. Mark Davies founded Esoko in 2005 to allow groups and individuals to exchange market information via SMS.
  11. Mark is currently leading the Esoko initiative, which is registering farmers and traders throughout Africa and connecting them with each other and international buyers through mobile alerts and services.