Kenya’s former permanent secretary for ICT, Professor Bitange Ndemo and Stanford University-based Tim Weiss, have published a book on Kenya’s digital revolution and how it stacks up on the international scene.
The book dubbed ‘Digital Kenya, An Entrepreneurial Revolution in the Making’ is available as an open-source digital download and in print and assesses the cultural, economic and political forces at play for the “Silicon Savannah,” and looks at what powers the globally celebrated Kenyan success stories of the likes of the iHub, BRCK, M-Pesa and M-Kopa, all of whom have been instrumental in playing out Kenya’s tech narrative on an international stage.
According to Bitange Ndemo, Digital Kenya co-editor: “Kenya’s ICT sector is booming, with unimaginable potential, producing some of the most disruptive innovations on the continent. However, entrepreneurs are still faced with significant challenges when it comes to scaling their businesses, and we felt compelled to find out why, by collating insight and analysis from expert voices working in the area.”
Ndemo adds that Digital Kenya is documenting the Kenyan ICT journey, not only to spark lively debate, but also to provide a stable reference point from which investors, academics, students and commentators can make better informed decisions about how they interact with and embrace Kenya’s technology eco-system.”
Ndemo and Weiss interview many of the sector’s most well respected, battle-hardened entrepreneurs and business people on the challenges they have faced, the opportunities they have lost out on and, importantly, their take on the future of this emerging tech landscape.
The chapters and interviews detail remarkable insights from leading lights of the sector. Professor Ndemo’s insider perspective brings the policy process behind “Silicon Savannah” to the fore. This analysis is paired with a compelling interview with Omidyar Network’s Ory Okolloh that assesses how public policy affects entrepreneurs’ business reality. Another intriguing contribution by social media expert Mark Kaigwa focuses on how Kenyans have harnessed the power of social media and managed to create a powerful voice with profound implications for Kenyans.
The book also has guest contributions from Kenya’s leading ICT industry experts, management, communications and economic geography scholars who provide a frank and open forum to push the debate around entrepreneurship and technology forward and explores how the new wave of African entrepreneurship has emerged.