ICT Revolution in Kenya.

Dear Friends.

As the world hurtles ever closer to digital convergence Kenya has made some important steps to close the digital divide and may even begin to outpace some more advanced economies. Recent developments indicate some reaon for hope.

First SEACOM the fibre-optic cable connecting South Africa, Kenya, India and Europe has announced the completion of it’s physical construction and the commencement of testing. This is a laudable step and means that Kenya is only days away from 1.2Tb/s of bandwidth.

Second TEAMS is scheduled to land any time during the month of June 2009. E-marine the company carrying out the cable laying has announced already completion of phase one which involved laying 2000km of cable. The second phase is expected anytime within weeks. This cable will also avail 1.2Tb/s of bandwidth. being a government/private patnership the costs will potentially be cheaper than the private SEACOM though that remains to be seen. You can see African submarine developments here 

Last week Barclays bank joined other commercial banks (Cooperative, Equity and Standard Chartered) in launching it’s own mobile banking service. What this says is that the debate of whether to offer mobile banking is over. The issue now has moved into the regulation arena where the providers and the regulator are talking about security and ways to provide an efficient and seamless service. 

The main driver into mobile banking is the realization that nearly 15million Kenyans are now into mobile phones. This means that Kenyans are now increasingly adopting digital gadgets to aid not only in voice communication but also SMS and other digital content like ringtones, games and even the internet.

The completion of the undersea cables will see the attention turn into the development of local content. This coupled with the promising explosion of the BPO sector could see Kenya emerge as a sigificant player in the internet realm. Many people think of Africans consuming western content read music, film and news. However much of the world is also looking forward to Africans uploading interesting content from Africa which is new and different to what they are used to.

Beyond that there have been some very important developments in the field of development of software and digital phenomena from Kenya that indicate we could be a source of innovation. Ushahidi, Mpesa, Txteagle and new internet startup firms by local developers all point to an emerging class of talented people.



2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    kenyantykoon said,

    We will soon be connected and as an entreprenuer i can only see the opportunity to become rich. This is the era of young Kenyan internet millionaires like the facebook, youtube myspace, wordpress etc… groups.
    If there was ever a better timeto start an internet business, this is it


  2. 2

    jellyfishcoolman said,

    Hi Kenyatykoon.

    Thanks for your comment. I couldn’t agree with you more. This is the best time to start a webbased project or business. The opportunities are just amazing and numerous. For example imagine the person who gets the contract to digitize the Kenyan judiciary. That’s a lot of work waiting to get done.

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