Boom in the Silicon Savannah

The new tech hub where mobile has leapfrogged computers, allowing for an explosion of growth in a pristine market, according to this article in the Economist
An astonishing two thirds of Kenya’s adults have used mobile money, the most in the world by a long shot. As Main Street USA comes round to the idea through the likes of Square – though paying for your Starbucks coffee is about as far as we’ve got, it’s instructive that Africa is leading the way. The lessons to be learned will be invaluable. No surprise that Google is getting involved with a vengeance.

Yet this may ultimately be the key to Kenya’s success. “We have so many problems that can also be opportunities,” says Mr Ndemo. M-Farm, a service that gives farmers access to market prices for the cost of a text message and allows them to group together to buy and sell products, has won several supporters and awards. It is the sort of thing Kenya could export to other poor countries. “You can create mobile apps from anywhere in the world,” says Chris Locke of GSMA, citing the success of Angry Birds, a Finnish phenomenon. Angry matatu drivers could be next.

I wonder what Nairobi’s like this time of year?

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