In the history of my short/long life, I’ve never done more online transaction than I have this year , my PayPal activity for this year alone is the $ 417 cumulatively I’ve done close to $1000 worth of transactions online this year. I know this doesn’t seem like alot but from someone who considers himself as an early adopter its pretty decent.
Similarly the government and private sectors have achieved major technological milestone, some the services I have personally used and was amused that they actually worked are; in no particular order of preference.
1. ITax KRA – Online KRA portal
If you have ever done KRA returns you know how annoying it is, the meandering lines on the 20th at times tower are out of this century however KRA knew exactly how to solve this problem but they put very little effort towards solving it, this is the problem of allocating peanuts money on ICT development as they like to call it in government. For year we have been lied to that you can return your taxes , apply for Vat and Pin number online but we all knew that’s was bunch of BS, some PR stunt.
However, this year they actually walked the talk, their new iTax portal (powered by TATA) actually works, although it needs some improvement on the user experience but it works. I can confidently say that after applying for our company VAT online, and having done monthly VAT returns on the portal for more than 3 months now.
2. Huduma centre
The idea of having a one stop shop for the most sought out documents is by far the best initiative this government have put in place. I personally haven’t used any of their services but there are a lot of praise going on around, I understand the document processing time has exponentially reduced to a couple of days.
— Ory Okolloh Mwangi (@kenyanpundit) April 9, 2014
3. E citizen
This is where I went this week when I wanted to renew my driving licence, of course I was sceptical of how far I would get through the process. Its surprisingly easy and straight forward, it took me less than 10 min to apply, pay and get my licence on pdf and if that works then it’s safe to assume the rest of the offered services are flawless. Other government services offered
By end November every year very few crucial business activities happen, we have already switched to holiday mode and all pending decision are pushed to the next year. That in mind, I can assume that nothing crucial will emerge between now and Jan 2015 here is what I consider to be the highlights we’ve have had in the Kenyan start up world.
1. Card planet being accepted to 500 Accelerator in Silicon Valley
I recently wrote [Card planet article] I still believe this is a big leap forward every Techprenuer. Being with someone at the being of the journey and growing to see them being accepted to the 500 accelerator in Silicon Valley you get a great feeling of gratitude.
When the news broke this week that Safaricom had acquired M-ledger, the Mpesa accounting app , I was like, ‘Hold up, Safaricom did what ?’ well, it was actually a partnership but still it’s a big achievement and a long time coming for Safaricom to start acting up. Having used both Safaricom’s selfcare portal which is free and Mledger’s web portal which is paid for I preferred the latter.
When I think of ecommerce in Kenya, I think of Jumia Kenya, they had mastered the art in Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt therefore when they came to Kenya they knew exactly what to do. They have been so influential online this year that there is no time I have thought of buying an electronic device that I didn’t subliminally visit their site. I Doubt they are profitable but they sure seem to know their game. They have currently launched in 10 countries including the United Kingdom.
Barely and year old they have made ripples through the start-up world, they recently pitched at Slush 2014, a Eurasian startups and technology talent to meet with top-tier international investors, executives and media additionally in the same month they were among the Kenyan sites chosen for the free access internet.org Facebook’s app