The Economist lauds Kenya's innovative sector

The globally respected Economist magazine has shone a spotlight on Kenya's cutting edge technological innovations but asked the million dollar question as to whether it can spur job creation.

According to Baptist Simon of The Economist, Kenya has a vibrant tech scene that is the most active in East Africa and one of the top clusters in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Kenyan government has done a lot to liberalise telecoms and IT over the last decade, which has allowed places like iHub to flourish.

Despite all the activity, there are some structural issues for the telecoms sector in Kenya. Most mobile operators are not profitable, and the internet is still subject to occasional outages. Indeed, these outages spurred the development of the country's only hardware startups—BRCK, a mobile power source and wifi hub.

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Innovation to fill a need is a recurring theme of the Kenyan startup community, with lots of developers working on products with applications in health, agriculture and basic education in remote areas. Financing and commercialization of innovations are, however, key challenges.

The biggest question for Kenya's tech sector is whether it can spur the job creation necessary to take advantage of the demographic bulge in the country's workforce. Do you think it can? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter @Baptist_Simon or via email on [email protected]

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Technology innovation iHub Kenya