The Kenyan government has spared no expense in supporting tech startups of the country, and as a result, Kenya has quickly become the tech hub of Africa. With tons of tech startups facilitating the economy of the country. With facilities like NTSA TIMS, Kenya’s people can easily make it big in the tech industry very quickly. Below are the top 5 reasons why Kenya is a leading Tech Hub in Africa.
1. Performance Breeding Performance
Let us remember the first two technological success stories that have emerged from Kenya during the last decade. These advances have centered on the growth and prospects of mobile technologies in the world.
Safaricom launched the first M-PESA in 2007. With 42% of Kenya’s GDP streaming into a revolutionary mobile payment network and more than 677 billion payments, it is undoubtedly the country’s most successful breakthrough to date.
The Ushahidi crowd visualization applications reached the scene. Following the 2007–2008 elections in Kenya, the software was used to classify mansion areas. According to Ory Okolloh, one of the company’s founders, the venture started as an “ad hoc group of technicians and bloggers hammering out applications to find a way to gain more and more information about post-election violence.”
Since then, the technology has been used in a broad range of applications in more than 20 countries worldwide, from tracking lions and wildlife elephants in Tanzania to helping search and rescue teams save lives during Haiti’s 2010 earthquake.
The success of these two initiatives has given rise to a development culture of innovation in Kenya. Just a few years after Ushahidi’s performance, one of its founders, Erik Hermann, founded iHub, a community of entrepreneurs, architects, academics, and scientists focused on Nairobi’s innovation.
The network has more than 16,000 users, and some of its most significant ventures include mFarm — a mobile agriculture app, Rupu — Group for Kenya, and the EatOut Restaurant Search Engine. iHub encourages an atmosphere in which the ecosystem of start-ups and entrepreneurship will flourish.
2. If you create it, it is going to come
The iHub ecosystem and the like created a wealth of technical talent in Nairobi, putting together several top tech firms worldwide, such as Google, Cisco, Nokia, Siemens, and Airtel. Corporations have also established offices in the region to capitalize on the growing talent pool.
In addition to tech centers and incubators, Moringa’s roles are reinventing the US boot camp coding model to fit the East African market. Moringa School has students designing software and learning advanced coding languages from day one.
3. Government finance for growth
Maybe the most critical reason for Kenya’s rise in the technology debate in Africa is its government encourages the ideology of entrepreneurship and creativity in the country.
In 2006, Kenya’ Government contributed to the Information Communication Technology ( ICT) infrastructure of the country, partnering with the Emirates Telecommunication Establishment (Etisalat) to create its U-boat fiber optic cable network, which improved internet speed and reliability in the area.
On the regulatory side, the Government launched an e-Registry Team to help businesses get licensed more quickly by rising infringement risks and offering a centralized online forum for entrepreneurs to access business licensing and registration information.
It is real that innovation is taking place across Africa, not just in Kenya. For example, Nigeria, South Africa, and Rwanda are three central regions where innovation thrives, and change provides fresh investment prospects and disrupts traditional industries.
Yet something new is happening in the ‘Silicon Savannah,’ as Kenya is affectionately called.
The best elements for innovation, creative community, environment, and government support have come together to create something unique in the nation. An atmosphere of imagination that I believe has only just started.
I look forward to my visit to Nairobi and get a first-hand view of the environment of entrepreneurship and early-stage investment opportunities. I am going to make sure that I make a follow-up to my conference.
4. The Silicon Savannah
Kenya’s so-called Silicon Savannah is just trailing South Africa’s upper-middle-income market, with Mauritius coming eighth.
“Kenya has a record of a high rate of innovation, outperforming innovation levels compared to GDP for the ninth straight year, an outstanding record in the same period as other low-middle – income countries such as India, the Republic of Moldova and Vietnam,” reads the study.
Kenya’s creative success has been due to the convenient access of entrepreneurs to credit and micro-finance loans.
Kenya’s $1 billion software hub is home to more than 200 entrepreneurs and well-established businesses, including IBM, Intel, and Microsoft. They are trying to address technology challenges, but here the issues are a bit different from locating a parking space or having the laundry folded. For example, BRCK links off-grid schools to the Internet via solar-powered routers and tablets. AB3D transforms electrical waste into an inexpensive 3D printer that spits out artificial limbs. According to Stroisch, AB3D creator Roy Mwangi “wants to see Kenya as a nation with talent and innovative potential.”
Thanks to a robust private sector, government funding, and outside investment, the artistic capacity was unleashed about ten years ago.