Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, has transformed into a technology epicenter. An agile mobile banking system has created new market opportunities for digital entrepreneurs. 3G internet connections became more and more affordable, mobile payment services are booming and the promising start-up scene and ecosystem is constantly reinventing itself. Silicon Savannah has positioned itself as an epicenter of start-up weekends, innovation meet ups, accelerators, incubator events and a place where investors meet. True to that form, Nairobi has one of East Africa’s highest concentrations of US dollar millionaires accounting for 8400 in number as of 2016.
These three intertwined factors have positioned and transformed Nairobi as the Silicon Savannah, mimicking Silicon Valley in California, USA:
- The Kenyan government at the forefront of technology development – investors are being lured to invest in Nairobi, and are heeding the call positively.The city has positioned itself as an investor friendly city by being open to aid agencies, development funds and foreign NGO’s.
- The birth of M-Pesa revolution by Vodafone in 2003 and subsequent launch by Safaricom in 2007- This revolution inspired many to be tech entrepreneurs and proactively launch start-ups.
- The launch of iHub in 2010 – as an open space for start-ups, positioned in Kenya’s capital,Nairobi, is the future of start-ups, technology and innovation.
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