Kenya IT

When a self-styled “twiplomat” – a.k.a the UK’s High Commissioner to Kenya – throws a tweet-while-you-eat dinner party for the twitterati of Nairobi, then a milestone of sorts may have been passed in Africa’s social networking journey.

Christian Turner, who has just shy of 30,000 Twitter followers, hosted the evening – called #EatTweet2 – to emphasise the growing importance of social media in Kenya’s political and social life. Attendees were encouraged to juggle forks and smartphones to keep a running commentary on Twitter as the conversation ebbed and flowed over curry and cheesecake. Read more

The growth in sub-Saharan Africa’s telecoms industry has created global stars in the likes of M-Pesa and MTN, but its continued success rests upon having the right infrastructure to back them up.

So the acquisition of Altech Group’s east African telecoms assets by Liquid Telecom is worth noting. If it gets the nod from regulators, the deal will give Liquid access to the potentially lucrative Kenyan broadband market and a base to expand into other fast-growing data markets in the region. Read more

Artist's impression

Kenya has begun converting 5,000 acres of savannah dotted with antelopes and ringed by hills into “the most modern city in Africa”. Contractors begin work this week on the $10bn Konza Techno City project, 60km south of the capital Nairobi, which has been dubbed Kenya’s Silicon Savannah. Read more

Konza, Kenya’s $7bn techopolis, has taken a significant step forward with the appointment of HR&A Advisors as initial developers for six months.

The US consultancy beat competition from Finland, Korea and Sweden to start work on the 5,000-acre project between Nairobi and Mombassa, which Kenya wants to be a tech cluster to rival that of Mauritius’ Cyber City, and even Silicon Valley. But after holdups, can the project get back on track? Read more

Kenya’s ambitions to become Africa’s information-technology hub have received a boost from the US technology giant IBM, which is establishing a research laboratory in Nairobi’s Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

The project announced on Monday is a joint venture, with the Kenyan government’s ICT Board and IBM each contributing $10m of funding over the next five years. While the Kenyan government will cover overheads and local research staff, IBM will provide technology, senior scientists and access to intellectual property for the project which will come into operation in September. Read more