Tracking Nairobi on the innovation map

20pingxlarge1Last summer, the New York Times examined Nairobi as an innovation hub, asking the question, “Inside Nairobi, the next Palo Alto?” Perhaps the comparison was a bit of a stretch, but it did recognize Central Africa as ripe with potential. Even IBM, along with other large tech companies, finally included African countries in their definition of emerging markets, exploring sustainable economic development in the region.

Having lived in Nairobi during the seventies, my memories of it are mostly of my family navigating political chaos, until we finally left in 1979. So I’m particularly interested in learning about new developments there — beyond the lightweight apps that the lucky few with Net access are able to commercialize.

While there hasn’t been much coverage about it lately, a blog I’ve been following to learn more about developments in Africa is Shashank Bengali’s Somewhere in Africa, where he covers innovation, business, politics, and snippits of life in the continent, through a journalist’s eye.

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