Week 13: How Affordable Internet is transforming Kenya

Nairobi — Internet access is not only a catalyst for economic growth, it is also increasingly a prerequisite for people to access critical government services and be engaged in the society. However, a sky-high connectivity cost remains one of the biggest obstacles to achieving the universal access with about 50 percent of the world connected to the Internet. The Internet is considered affordable if 1GB of data costs less than two percent of one’s income, according to the Alliance for Affordable Internet (AAI). Based on this indicator, only five countries in Africa provide affordable internet including Mauritius, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Sudan states a 2017 AAI report.

Here in Kenya 1GB of mobile broadband is said to cost an average of 9.72 percent of the average monthly incomes – making Kenya’s Internet more expensive than other comparable countries such as Rwanda, Ghana and Botswana. „Affordable access to the internet is important for countries. The government cannot do it alone, we need the private sector to come in and support the government in access to affordable internet,“ Lutz Ziob Dean for Microsoft 4Afrika told Capital FM Business. Allafrica.com


Off-grid cold storage tech competition now open: The Global LEAP Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge (OGCCC) – a competition to develop innovative and energy-efficient off-grid cold storage technology – launched in Nairobi, Kenya this week. Part of the UK Department for International Development’s (DfID)’s Ideas to Impact programme, the OGCCC will offer £250,000 ($351,587) in prizes for off-grid cold chain technologies deployed in select Sub-Saharan African countries. Esi-africa.com

Nairobi slum offers technology test bed to help the world’s unbanked: In the slums of West Nairobi, up a plastic-pockmarked street lined with ditches flowing with sewage, is Kaka Shop. Selling everything from bread and eggs to candy and scratch cards, it is a convenience store similar to hundreds of others serving the Kawangware district of Kenya’s capital—except for one invisible difference.

Kaka Shop is patient zero in a financial experiment aimed at digitizing the world’s unbanked. Starting in the poorest regions of East Africa and—if successful—spreading to other developing nations, like India, a new platform called Kionect is aiming to provide basic financial services and security to people and businesses forgotten by the formal economy. Newsweek.com

Jumia Food Kenya Bets on New App to Better User Experience: Online food delivery service provider Jumia Food has today announced the launch of a new mobile app which it says will revolutionize online food delivery in the country.  The new app will further improve online payment flow as well as the chat function; allowing customers to ask questions about Jumia Food restaurants to the customer service

We are committed to delivering the best digital services to our customers, while guaranteeing speedy delivery of food to your locations. Improving our App is part of our 2018 agenda, to increase affordability and convenience in the food ordering process,” said Joe Falter, Jumia Food CEO.

Jumia says the new app has 35% share traffic. Orders via desktop laptops still take the lead with 40%, while the current iOS App takes 25% across all African countries. Techtrendske.co.ke

World Bank Touches on Africa’s Health Investment: Many African countries are not offering services to their citizens as expected. This has led to poor investment according to the World Bank’s Lead Health Sector Specialist and Head Health in Africa Initiative, Khama Rogo. He said that the whole health spending per capita in the countries is below 5% of sub-Saharan Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). There is a need for the African governments to do away with inefficiencies. They should rather take in smart procurement and smart financing. This will help them to get the Universal Health Cover (UHC). African countries are better placed to be economically stable. Worldbank.org techinafrica.com

  • France 24 launches digital free air channel in Kenya: capitalfm.co.ke
  • Kenya words to attract more Chinese Investments: Xinhaunet.com
  • How people fail Tech. Initiatives and blame Technology: capitalism.co.ke
  • Lewis Wanyekia (19)’s motivation to design 3DS_PRISM: nation.co.ke



Arizona suspends Uber’s self-driving vehicle testing
: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has suspended Uber’s ability to test self-driving vehicles in the state following last week’s deadly crash. The crash, which occurred late at night in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe, killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she was walking her bicycle across a dimly lit city street. The local police chief initially called the incident unavoidable, but sentiment quickly changed after the release of video of the crash. The video, which depicts both internal and external views of the Uber vehicle, shows the car’s safety driver looking down away from the road as a pedestrian suddenly emerges into the headlights. A „New York Times“ report also revealed that Uber’s robotic vehicle project was not living up to expectations months before the fatal accident.
npr.org, nytimes.com

Norway plans to buy electric planes, mimicking green car success: Norway has announced that it wants to buy electric passenger planes in the coming years to help slow climate change, building on its success with big tax breaks that have made it the world leader in electric car sales. State firm Avinor, which runs 45 airports in Norway, said the commitment to battery-powered aircraft could encourage development of electric and hybrid technologies by companies such as Airbus or Boeing. “In my mind, there’s no doubt that by 2040 Norway will be operating totally electric” on short-haul flights, Dag Falk-Pedersen, head of Avinor, told reporters at an aviation conference in Oslo. Among airlines, “Airbus told us they need a customer and they need a market – and we can offer them both,” he said. “Of course they need a bigger market and more customers. But someone has to start.”

Macron wants France to win AI ‚arms race‘: French President Emmanuel Macron has set his sights on artificial intelligence as the next technological frontier France cannot afford to miss, and will launch a major offensive, according to officials. Macron wants to avoid seeing France and Europe fall behind Chinese and US giants such as Alphabet’s Google, Microsoft and Alibaba in this area. The officials, who were speaking on condition of anonymity, declined to give more details on the announcements expected on Thursday, when Macron will speak at the elite College de France research center. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the field of computer science that focuses on the creation of machines able to perceive their environment and make logical decisions.

    • EU: European Commission’s Initiatives in Artificial Intelligence oecd.org
    • China: Ford and Alibaba unveil car vending machine techcrunch.com
    • Twitter: The next tech giant to ban all cryptocurrency-related advertising cnbc.com