East African technology entrepreneurs to watch
“Across Africa, we have seen countless examples of people taking control of their destiny, and making change from the bottom up.” – President Barack Obama
Like elsewhere, Africa is full of innovators.
However, innovation is often the easier part. There are two very difficult things in the techology business. One is making money; a lot of money. There have been a few cash-rich digital innovations in East Africa, where the most successful mobile application (it is also among the most successful in the world) is Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom’s money transfer service, M-Pesa.
The second difficult thing in innovation is to stay the course; not to give up and keep trying, trying, and trying again until you succeed. Many have despaired, but East Africa has a core of young and dedicated innovators who won’t give up.
We have compiled a list of mobile app developers from East Africa who are highly like to make headlines in the months and years to come.
Kariuki Gathitu, Kenya – Founder, Zege Technologies
As a young boy Kariuki Gathitu wanted to invent a telepathic device. He now develops applications that can transfer money from Turkana (Northern Kenya) to Lamu (at the Coast) with the click of a button. Gathitu is one of the brains behind Equity Bank’s M-Kesho, an app that enables clients to transfer money from their bank accounts to M-Pesa. His latest development M-Payer, helps small businesses manage their payments. “The difference between small businesses and large businesses is not the product but the payment systems,” he says. Gathitu thinks techies are the game changers in Africa’s development “they will overturn the very basis of reason, and challenge the status quo, pushing the boundaries of innovation for the benefit of society.”
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