Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

Against the backdrop of a rapidly growing tech startup culture in East Africa (see “Kenya’s Startup Boom”), major corporate interest in African innovation continues to grow. Already companies including Google, Microsoft, Nokia, HP, Accenture, Samsung, and Huawei have offices in Nairobi; now IBM is establishing a research lab in the city, its 12th worldwide.

Among other things, IBM says it hopes to help modernize government services through IT, starting with new tools for reducing traffic congestion and improving the  management of water supplies in the region’s cities.

Kenya particularly holds vast potential to deliver new services, such as health care and education, through mobile phones. More than 26 million of the nation’s 41 million people at least have simple feature phones.

And the population is sophisticated in its use of those phones: more than 18 million use them for everyday banking and other transactions through M-Pesa, a banking service run by the country’s dominant wireless provider, Safaricom. IBM explained the lab’s function in more detail here.


0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Computing

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me