Kenya has never been the best place for a budding tech innovator. Not enough capital to start, not enough incetives from the goverment , and a market that is not well positioned or perhaps hardly recognzed in the international scene.
Enter 2010, the year that is poised to turn things around by creating for the first time, the right environment for a Kenyan ‘geek in biz’.
With initiatives from the government, the private sector and the international community, this year could be the year that things completely turn around and this country lands on the path of becoming a technology driven economy. This is probably the year that interpreneurs(internet enterpreneurs) will become household names cashing in on web based business ideas.
First of all, tweetverse has been buzzing with iHub. iHub is an incubator cum investor hub cum innovators hub that will provide open space for techprenuers and a chance to meet with investors. Simply put, iHub is going to be a local Silicon Valley. Set to launch on 3rd March, iHub will be based in in the cool surbubs of Nairobi along Ngong Road. Any guy in software and web development or mobile apps will be freely welcome to exploit the redundant 10mbps internet connection. As a techpreneur myself, I don’t know what more i would wish for.
Internet has become cheaper and faster. And this is just the beginning. All internet modems from the major providers can now be purchased for only Ksh2000. At the same time, th providers are offering with internet packages that are ever cheaper. This is stimulated by the landing of the optic fibre cables that provides faster internet and competition among the ever increasing IT companies in a market that was initially dominated by a single corporation.
In a bid to provide laptops to citizens in an affordable package several banks have now patnered with the government and other organisations to acheive that. Such include the Jipange na Laptop programme of Family Bank and KDN. Plus there is the Youth Fund and business plan competitions like Chora Bizna and Jitihada thet are coming back thi year as sources of startup funding.
According to the the PS of ICT Dr. Bitange Ndemo, the software development section of the ICT sector has potential to create employment and revenue for the country. That is why the State is sourcing for funds from the Treasury and donors to market local content. The goal is to empower developers to create and make Kenya a major software exporter in the global market.
Apparently the coders don’t have much to complain about anymore. All that is left is to work, work, work. Aristotle once said, “Give me a pulley and a place to stand, and I will move the world”; and here is a my nerdy spinnof “Give me a keyboard and a place to sit, and I will move the world”. Good luck to all the techpreneurs out there.