June 26, 2013

Silicon Savannah: the technological district of the future is in Africa

Economy

Silicon Savannah: the technological district of the future is in Africa

Silicon Savannah seems almost an oxymoron: it embodies both the most advanced place in the world and that least touched by man and progress. It is the name of a technological district that is being developed in eastern Africa: in Nairobi, Kenya, a country that in recent years has witnessed a rapid process of digitalisation.

In Kenya exports related to technology services have increased 20-fold in recent years, broadband connections are now 6 million and almost all Internet connections are mobile. Here, digital start-ups have found an ideal ecosystem in which to flourish, and even hi-tech giants such as Google, Intel and Microsoft, have opened offices in Nairobi.

Today, the Kenyan government also seems to have understood the potential of the Silicon Savannah project and has decided to join the bandwagon: in fact, in the next two years it will invest approximately 15 million dollars to create a “technological city” in Konza, south of the capital, where a university campus will also be created.

A while back, in a post, I mentioned economic growth in some African countries: I had hoped that the increase in GDP constituted only the start of a journey that would lead to a real improvement in the living conditions of the people. Apparently, it is (in fact, it already was) happening.

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