This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license.
Presenting rigorous and original research, this volume offers key insights into the historical, cultural, social, economic and political forces at play in the creation of world-class ICT innovations in Kenya. Following the arrival of fiber-optic cables in 2009, Digital Kenya examines why the initial entrepreneurial spirit and digital revolution has begun to falter despite support from motivated entrepreneurs, international investors, policy experts and others. Written by engaged scholars and professionals in the field, the book offers 15 eye-opening chapters and 14 one-on-one conversations with entrepreneurs and investors to ask why establishing ICT start-ups on a continental and global scale remains a challenge on the "Silicon Savannah". The authors present evidence-based recommendations to help Kenya to continue producing globally impactful ICT innovations that improve the lives of those still waiting on the side-lines, and to inspire other nations to do the same.
Bitange Ndemo is Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and the former Permanent Secretary of Kenya's Ministry of Information and Communication. In his previous role he transformed the country's ICT sector through initiating international and countrywide fiber optic connectivity, conceptualizing Kenya's first technology cluster, and facilitating M-Pesa. Tim Weiss is a research fellow and ethnographer in organization and globalization studies at Zeppelin University, Germany. His research focuses on the impact of today's global phenomena on the lives and organizations of Africans and on Africa's unique responses to grand global challenges.
INTRODUCING DIGITAL KENYA.- Chapter 1 The Paradigm Shift: Disruption, Creativity and Innovation in Kenya (Bitange Ndemo).- Conversation 1 with Jimmy Gitonga: The Past, Present & Future of Digital Nyika: How to Fix an Aircraft in Mid-Air.- PART I: LOOKING BACK AND LOOKING AHEAD.- Chapter 2 The Internet Journey for Kenya: The Interplay of Disruptive Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Fueling Rapid Growth Kenya (Muriuki Mureithi).- Conversation 2 with Eric Hersman of BRCK: Exploring the Ideal Role of Government, NGOs, Angel Investors, and Universities for Technology Entrepreneurs NGOs.- Chapter 3 The KINGS of Africa's Digital Economy (Eric Osiakwan).- Conversation 3 with Anne Githuku- Shongwe of Afroes: Changing the Game: Building Mindsets of Hope and Possibilities in Africa's future leaders- One Game at a Time.- PART II UNCOVERING UNIQUE MARKET OPPORTUNITIES.- Chapter 4 Addressing the Voids: How Digital Start-ups in Kenya Create Market Infrastructure (Marissa Drouillard).- Conversation 4 with Timbo Drayson of OkHi: Finding the Right Problem to Solve.- Chapter 5 Reimagine What You already Know: Towards New Solutions to Longstanding Problems (Jay Larson & Michael Munger).- Conversation 5 with Elizabeth Rossiello of BitPesa: To Keep Disrupting, You Have to Listen Closely to What the Client Wants.- Chapter 6 iEntrepreneurship: Changing Lives through Technology (Amolo Ng'weno and Carmen Wamukoya).- Conversation 6 with Su Kahumbu of Green Dreams Tech: How Technology Makes Farming Sexy Again.- Chapter 7 From Cyber to Smartphone: Kenya's Social Media's Lens Zooms In on the Country and Out to the World (Mark Kaigwa).- Conversation 7 with Munyutu Waigi of Umati Capital: Toward Digitizing Information for the Benefit of the Many Rather Than the Few.- PART III THE INNER LIFE OF TECHNOLOGY ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN KENYA.- Chapter 8 Building ICT Entrepreneurship Ecosystems in Resource-Scarce Contexts: Learnings from Kenya's "Silicon Savannah" (Johannes U. Bramann).- Conversation 8 with Judith Owigar of AkiraChix: Women Working in Tech: Making The Invisible Visible.- Chapter 9 The Challenges of Technology Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets: A Case Study in Nairobi (Marlen de la Chaux & Angela Okune).- Conversation 9 with Jessica Colaco & Ibanga Umanah of Brave Venture Labs: Towards a Systematic Approach in Building Ventures.- Chapter 10 Organizational Cultural Hybrids: Nonprofit and For-profit Cultural Influences in the Kenyan Technology Sector (Eleanor Marchant).- Conversation 10 with Conrad Akunge of Innova: Reflections on the Hiring Process: What Happened to Curiosity and Passion?.- PART IV MANAGING THE FINE DETAILS OF DOING BUSINESS IN KENYA.- Chapter 11 Inside a Policy Maker's Mind: An Entrepreneurial Approach to Policy Development and Implementation (Bitange Ndemo).- Conversation 11 with Ory Okolloh: Why Policy matters for Entrepreneurs.- Chapter 12 The Art of Managing World Views in Kenya's International Technology Sector (Tim Weiss & Klaus Weber).- Conversation 12 with Ken Njoroge of Cellulant: How to Be a Rebel and Build a Business at the Same Time.- Chapter 13 Developing Strategies to Harness the Power of Parallel Entrepreneurship (Eskor John).- Conversation 13 with Mikul Shah & Ritesh Doshi of Naked Pizza: The Hustling Entrepreneur on Trial.- Chapter 14 Venture Capital in East Africa: Is There a Right Model? (Stephen Gugu & Wilfred Mutua).- Conversation 14 with Ben Lyon of Kopo Kopo: Creating the PayPal Mafia of East Africa.- CONCLUDING REMARKS.- Chapter 15 Entrepreneuring for Society - What's next for "Africa"? (Tim Weiss).