Innovation in sub-Saharan Africa

Published on Sept. 4, 2019, 11:10 a.m.

For a long time, Kenya has been known to be one of the biggest technological hubs in Africa. It comes in third after South Africa and Egypt. A good number of innovation spaces are in the country’s capital city, Nairobi, making it an extremely attractive spot for investors. Over the recent years, tech hubs have emerged in other towns across the country including Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Voi, Machakos and Nyeri. The spur in technological growth across the country affirms that Kenya is in for brighter days ahead.

According to the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2019 report released by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Kenya has been ranked the second leading innovation hub in sub-Saharan Africa. The Global Innovation Index ranks over 100 economies globally on a yearly basis. For the ninth consecutive year, Kenya has shown an outstanding performance in innovation growth and technological advancements.

Technological developments have had a huge impact on the global market which means that businesses must keep up with the trends. Today, a good number of businesses can hold their meetings online via Skype, videoconferencing and teleconferencing which has greatly reduced travelling costs since for the longest time, distance has been a huge barrier to communication. Interested parties are automatically able to network via Linked In, Facebook and Twitter. In the same way, financial transactions can be done online through various platforms like Bank transfers and Mpesa.

The modern-day Kenyan business operations are advancing rapidly. One UK based multinational company that is taking advantage of technology is Safaricom. In the first half of 2019, statistics have shown that Safaricom’s mobile payments (Mpesa) hit nearly Kes2.14trillion.

Key sectors in the economy are constantly integrating mobile money in their transactions. This means that several businesses are forced to keep a tab with the ever-changing technologies which ultimately contribute to Kenya’s Vision 2030.