From a cartoonist to innovators to urban Africa
Our second Learning Journey to Silicon Savannah, Nairobi
From a cartoonist …
“Yes, there have been improvements”, concedes even Gado. Gado is East Africa’s most renown cartoonist. He comes from Tanzania, his real name is Godfrey Mwampembwa
Our intense, open-end discussion with him was one highlight of our Learning Journey to Silicon Savannah last week. Intellectual voices criticizing inefficiencies and irregularities of the African public sector are increasing and becoming also increasingly substantiated.
With all its weaknesses and problems, an intellectual middle class is rising, alongside a class of nouveau riche.
… to innovators …
And yes, we have been with Safaricom and M-Pesa, the innovator of “mobile money”. We have learned, it is the velocity of circulation which makes mobile money so effective in pushing back poverty. Meanwhile, more than hundred million mobile money users live on the African continent.
And we visited Andela, an impressing American initiative to make Kenya and Nigeria a hub for software engineers.
… to urban Africa
Another important point of our Learning Journey was our visit of people living in Kibera. It is an informal settlement, many call it the “biggest slum” in Africa.
Kibera has to be understood as a transition zone, for people coming from the rural area and trying to move on to better urban zones. Some of its inhabitants succeed and become part of a more formalized life.
Apropos, the informal sector we -Europeans – tend to see as Africa’s biggest problem. Most probably, it is the other way round: The informal sector keeps the economy alive and is Kenya’s and Africa’s biggest asset to develop, grow and – one day – change the world.
Looking very much forward to the next Learning Journey to Silicon Savannah in January 2019.