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Inadequate Infrastructure Stifling Innovation at the Coast

nailabmsaTech entrepreneurs in Kenya’s coastal city, Mombasa cannot compete on the same grounds as their counterparts in Nairobi even with the great hunger for innovation.

Unlike Nairobi, Mombasa has no single hub exclusively for techies. The only association working with techies, the Mombasa Tech Community (MTC) is yet to find a home and occasionally meets in university halls or hotels.

Alifya Ganijee and Said Fuad Said, co-founders of the Mombasa Tech Community told TechMoran, “We have no physical venue of our own. Every time we have an event, the university gives us a venue.”

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Apart from not having a physical location, the co-founders said lack of a reliable internet access and computers also deters tech entrepreneurship in the city compared to their friends in Nairobi.

“Techies in Nairobi have access to over five hubs, have reliable and high speed internet and are exposed to major hackathons and tech events over weekends. They even take it for granted, but what can our developers do without internet?” pondered Ganijee.

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“You can see that most members in the teams are sharing computers. Computers are not that expensive. Camara, an NGO sells 15 computers at Ksh 125, 000, it must just be a culture. Some of them even have computers at home. I think there is need for more awareness than we think.”

Ganijee and  Said were speaking to TechMoran at the Mombasa Hackathon, an event they organized in partnership with The Nailab, The ICT Authority and JKUAT.

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The Hackathon was held on September 21-22 at JKUAT Mombasa and was attended by over 100 developers. Mostly students from various universities across the coast.  The developers formulated ideas on day one, formed teams and began working on their ideas. The best idea or prototype will get virtual incubation from Nailab to build into a successful company, and will also win prizes.

Sam Wakoba
Sam Wakoba
Taking you on tour through Africa's tech and business ecosystem, one story at a time since 2010! Based out of Nairobi, Kenya, Sam is the founder and managing director of Moran Media, which runs, various other digital platforms and a startup incubation hub for Kenya's youthful entrepreneurs. Drop me a mail at [email protected]

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