Kenya’s answer to Sillicon Valley?

15 08 2011

It seems the Kenyan government are looking to advance to the forefront of technology development in Africa and are reportedly seeking private sector investment in the construction of a multi-billion dollar ICT City Park known as Konza Technology City.

The first phase of the development project is expected to cost around US$3 billion. Permanent secretary in the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communication, Dr Bitange Ndemo said upon its completion the project is expected to be Africa’s home of computerization – the equivalent to California’s Silicon Valley, complete with a skyscraper business centre.

Konza City will be a 5000 hectare technology park, which will be located in Mochakos County in Eastern Kenya. The first phase will comprise a science park, business process outsourcing centre, international finance centre, research centre and even a tourism centre…..In phase two, it is expected that 39 000 jobs will be created nationally, with half of those direct jobs to be found within Konza Technology park….

The Tanzanian government has also announced plans to develop a similar ICT park known as Raphta City….

Albeit that I can’t stem my enthusiasm at the prospect of some true technology development originating in Africa…..I must admit: it seems that the willingness of the Kenyan government to invest time and effort into the development and advancement of technology by its people, for its people, has put the South African government’s attempts to do likewise to shame….


Sentech faces court challenge by eBostwana

2 08 2011

An interesting case has recently hit the courts in the dispute between Sentech (the SABC broadcast distributor) and eBostwana (eTv’s Botswanan sister channel) regarding an alleged unencrypted SABC signal spillover into Botswana.  Full article available here.

eBotswana is alleging that the unencrypted SABC channels are being watched by up to 70% of people in Botswana by means of a pirated decoder, known as a Philabao decoder. It is alleged that this is costing eBotwsana and the Botswana broadcasting and advertising industries millions in lost revenue. In particular, it seems that it is Sentech’s use of its Vivid platform which is being disputed: this being Sentech’s means of reaching about 65000 South Africans who cannot access the SABC channels through conventional means i.e. transmitters using terrestrial signals……..the articles published on the matter thus far certainly make for interesting reading………..