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.
Why China is still obsessed with disinfecting everything
Most public health bodies dealing with covid have long since moved on from the idea of surface transmission. China’s didn’t—and that helps it control the narrative about the disease’s origins and danger.
These materials were meant to revolutionize the solar industry. Why hasn’t it happened?
Perovskites are promising, but real-world conditions have held them back.
Anti-aging drugs are being tested as a way to treat covid
Drugs that rejuvenate our immune systems and make us biologically younger could help protect us from the disease’s worst effects.
A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of
The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.