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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Scaling Internet-Based Startups in African Markets

We’ve all heard of the idea that entrepreneurs are people who see a ‘gap’ in the market and then create a product or service to address that gap. The implication is that there’s a ready market there that will snap up your product if you can address that need. However, this can be a challenge […]

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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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Comparisons and Lessons from the Kenyan and Jordanian Startup Ecosystems

In 2009, Yahoo acquired Maktoob a thriving Arab online community that had 16 million users at the time, Mashable.com reported a suspected price of $85M Sitting at a lively roundtable discussion between young technology entrepreneurs during Amman’sMixNMentor at Oasis500, a leading seed investor and incubator in the Middle East and North Africa, an unlikely individual walked through the […]

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Where Opportunities Lie in the African Mobile Space

This is the second in a 4-part series on Africa: The Present frontier.  Africa straddles two realities. One is underpinned by the belief that Africa is the next frontier and measures the continent’s progress against an expected trajectory and momentum modeled on that which developed economies have followed in the past. As the continent leapfrogged […]

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Disruptive Innovation in the African Tech Context

What is it really to disrupt, or what is a disruptive innovation? And to put it in the African context, what does ‘disruption’ mean for the continent and what are the opportunities to disrupt? A dictionary definition of the term ‘disrupt‘ is: to throw into turmoil or disorder to interrupt the progress of (a movement, […]

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From Mobile Money to Mobile Finance: Effects of Mobile Money on household, community and national economics

Back in 2011,  Erik Hersman, Ken Banks & Rudy De Waele curated a presentation dubbed “Mobile Trends 2020 Africa“, a collaborative outlook. Essentially they sought the views of different people across the continent who are players in one way or another in mobile on what they thought the future of mobile in Africa held and what […]

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MFarm Makes Unreasonable Institute Finals: How You Can Help

Kenyan mobile tech startup MFarm, launched at the first IPO48 contest in Nairobi in October 2010 by the all-girl tech team of Jamila, Sue and Linda. The 48 hour “idea-to-business” contest pit them against more than a dozen other contenders and they came out top winning £10,000 from Kresten Buch and HumanIPO. In 20122, MFarm was […]

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Visa gets serious: Let the Africa Mobile Payment Wars Begin

A student at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania was asked by a former lead engineer at paypal during a mentoring session almost a year ago “Why are you not using Amazon web services for cloud computing?”, he replied “I don’t have a credit card to set up the service”…. The student could […]

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