Switching on: Africa’s vast new tech opportunity

A somewhat dated article on Africa’s technological rebirth which has been the subject of numerous posts in this blog and in other observant media and net channels for some while now, is still interesting in that the innovation and action found in African Cities which can be seen beyond the surface “noise”  that usually lmakes European and American observers cry out “hopeless” and look no deeper. The late 20th Century project by Rem Koolhaas’  Harvard Project on the City resulting in 2005 DVD of LAGOS which I only recently saw is a fitting contrast even though Rem points out in it how over the 4 years of their project they could see deeper into the City and saw how it was changing ,  By Pete Guest  on Wired.co.uk

In 2011, visitors to Africa looking for war, famine and pestilence have to dig a lot deeper than in the past. At Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, hardened missionaries have been replaced by gap-year students clustered around iPads, and on the streets the bad old days have given way to another holy trinity: Premier League football, Toyota Hiace minibuses and cellphones.

Isis Nyong'o, Nairobi

Africa’s national economies have grown consistently over the last decade. Even in the depths of the financial crisis, GDP growth exceeded three percent: more than in any other region of the world. Improvements in security, Chinese investments and soaring commodity prices have all played a part in transforming the continent’s prospects. Continue reading

John Waibochi, Kenya’s mobile mega-entrepreneur

More of Africa’s entrepreneurs who are leading the world – when the world thinks Africa is asleep and believes everything that is said in the media about it – there is another side of Africa – one which does not depend on aid and the WTO – but gets up and does amazing things with technology and people – linking and blurring the urban and the rural as technology like the mobile internet platform of the cellular phone is able to do .By MANDY DE WAAL on DAILY MAVERICK 

The winner of the Innovation Challenge Award, John Waibochi’s “Virtual City”, has become a formidable force in East Africa because it is not only transforming logistics management for big companies, but because it is addressing the real issues by pioneering mobile business management solutions for smaller traders. By MANDY DE WAAL.

Watch:  John Waibochi being interviewed on Kenya’s K24TV

Acquiring high-level technological talent is what keeps John Waibochi up at night. There are enough entry level programmers in Kenya for Waibochi to take his pick, but when a business becomes as successful as his, growth drives a hungry demand for top talent. It’s the technology engineers and systems architects that Waibochi is finding hard to acquire locally for Virtual City. Continue reading