HOW KENYA BECAME THE CRADLE OF AFRICA’S TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION
Bitange Ndemo is the former permanent secretary for the Ministry of Information and Communications in Kenya. This piece is an edited extract from Digital Kenya: An Entrepreneurial Revolution in the Making , co-edited by Ndemo and Tim Weiss and published by Palgrave Macmillan. An e-version of the book is available to download for free here.
A paradigm shift is underway in Kenya. New innovations are destroying old ways of doing business, and smart young startup entrepreneurs are at the forefront of this quiet but historic transformation. Teams of skilled developers and programmers have sprung up in innovation hubs, incubators and accelerators across the country to build information and telecom solutions that capitalize on the country’s mix of challenges and opportunities. At the same time, we have seen a number of spinoffs of Kenya’s unique entrepreneurial revolution reach across Africa and into other corners of the world, attracting global recognition for the country.
Digital Kenya addresses the many different aspects of these technological changes, innovations and entrepreneurial activities, including policy formulation, impediments and opportunities. It is the first book to chronicle the digital entrepreneurship revolution in Africa and describe how it has emerged in the face of high unemployment rates, poverty, lack of technological infrastructure and disparate cultural interpretations of entrepreneurialism and risk-taking. In this context, the book heralds a new way of thinking about and understanding emergent opportunities in the digital world and how best to exploit them in the face of significant developmental challenges.READ MORE