What does Microsoft acquiring Nokia mean for the African Mobile Market?

I remember on university graduation, my father bought me a Nokia 9210i (Communicator) it was a timely upgrade from the Psion 3C I had bought from my friend in England which got me very fascinated with the future of mobile computing. At the time I was in the leading edge of mobile application development (I […]

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Exploring the idea of the Creative Class in an African city: A case study of ICT professionals in Nairobi

Written by Lauren Rosenberg (see below for her bio) Securing urban economic growth in new economy is less dependent on access to physical resources and increasingly dependent on attracting talent who can create economically useful new ideas. Urban theorist Richard Florida calls this type of talent the ‘Creative Class’ – knowledge workers who derive a […]

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Musings on the on the 'Silicon Savannah': Past, Present & Future

Kenya has come to be closely associated with technology innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in the area of mobile technology, raising the country’s profile internationally as one of the up-coming tech hubs in Sub-Saharan Africa. The country has even been dubbed the ‘Silicon Savannah’, a term that embodies the aspirations of the country to dominate technology […]

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Critical Mass in Mobile Money: Case of Marketing and Distribution & Math in Unpacking M-Pesa's Meteoric Rise

Creating a viable mobile money service is fundamentally a question of marketing (driving appropriate use cases tapping into clear customer pain points) and distribution (creating a sufficiently dense, liquid agent network). But success on both fronts requires getting to scale quickly: on the marketing side because payment solutions are only really useful if enough other people and businesses […]

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Bitcoin Crypto-currency and the opportunity for a truly Pan-Africa money revolution

NOT AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE: Imagine you are a freelance coder in Zimbabwe during the collapse of the financial banking system in the last decade. Your local currency is going through world record inflation meaning anything you earn locally is worthless. Any foreign currency you earn, say through accepting paypal transactions cannot be withdrawn to a […]

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Africa Spotlight: Global Entrepreneurship Congress Report from Rio, Brazil

Last week over 1,500 delegates from 100+ countries involved in entrepreneurship ecosystem building descended on the lovely city of Rio De Janeiro for the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Congress backed by Kauffman Foundation, supported locally by the city of Rio, Endeavor Brazil and other sponsors including Dell. You would be forgiven for thinking parts of Brazil remind you […]

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E-commerce & Mobile Payments in Africa will not scale without Business Process Integration

E-Commerce (or M-Commerce) and Mobile Payments in Africa gets a lot of attention.  I get a number of mobile payments pitches every month, and you can imagine how tough my skin has become over the last 6 months. Especially as I have personally transitioned from a plastic world into a mobile money world- I carry […]

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Looking North: Investigating Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship in North Africa

Much of our focus in the past has centered around Sub-Saharan Africa and in particularly key ‘hubs’ in the region – Nigeria in Western Africa, Kenya in Eastern Africa and South Africa in Southern Africa. However, it goes without saying that though these areas are much discussed and have received a lot of attention for […]

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Rocket Internet may be just what is needed to Turbo-charge African E-commerce

It might be an entrepreneur’s worst nightmare. Take co-founder of red hot Silicon Valley payment startup Stripe Patrick Collison’s recent visit to Nairobi, I quickly let him have it, “Hey, did you see that you have been cloned by the Clone Masters, Rocket internet!“. Patrick was quick to shrug off that they can’t copy the […]

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Startup Culture = Entrepreneurship Culture + Innovation Culture (SC = EC + IC)

Part of our recently released ebook “Innovative Africa: The new face of Africa“, studies startup ecosystems or clusters, what makes them tick and what it takes to create one. As far as creating startup ecosystems especially as far as technology goes, Silicon Valley is usually the model deferred to and most observed. This has evidenced […]

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