M:Lab East Africa officially opened

MOBILE

|
Image: Paul Kukubo, CEO of Kenya’s ICT Board. By iHub
Paul Kukubo, CEO of Kenya’s ICT Board

The World Bank, together with Nokia, Kenya’ s iHub consortium and other stakeholders, have officially opened a mobile business incubation hub for East Africa.

The new facility, m-Lab East Africa, will serve as an incubation centre for new business in the mobile space. The facility is situated in Nairobi, Kenya, and will initially house seven start-ups.
The facility, based at Bishop Magua Building on Ngong Road, is hosted by the iHub Consortium that includes Nairobi’ s iHub, eMobilis, the World Wide Web Foundation, and the University of Nairobi School of Computing and Informatics.

The centre was officially opened this week, after the close of Pivot25, a conference staged for the mobile application sector in the city. This event, sponsored by Samsung and Nokia, among others, included the opportunity for 24 mobile application developers pitch their applications to an industry panel.  

m-Lab will assist entrepreneurs with infrastructure, as well as technical and business training. It aims to foster innovation and the growth of Kenya’ s ICT sector as a whole.

Dr. Bitange Ndemo Permanent Secretary at Kenya’ s Ministry of ICT, told guests at the official opening: “ We must move to change from a minimalist approach as a government to something better. We are going to do whatever it takes. We must begin to invest in research. We must free up the government data. I have persuaded the Ministry of Planning and Ministry of Health and they have given us government data to open up to the public. We are currently putting it into a format so all can access it online.”

“A problem to overcome is that people don’ t collaborate enough. If we can begin to widen and collaborate through facilities like m:lab, the mobile applications emerging from the region will become more successful.”

“In Kenya, it’ s clear is a lot of potential in ICT,” World Bank country director, Johannes Zutt said. “ We are working with Kenya to promote areas where we think it will flourish – tourism and ICT.” He said that in Kenya, it is clear that ICT is one of the sectors where Kenya has been doing very well and thus there is a lot of potential for Kenya.

m-Lab East Africa is one of the labs World Bank is supporting globally through the infoDev programme, in partnership with Nokia and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

It has also selected hosts for m-Labs in South Africa, Armenia, Pakistan and Vietnam. Ken Oyolla, general manager for Nokia East and Southern Africa said the firm will support testing labs with equipment, training and events.

Finnish ambassador Heli Sirve, noted that Finland considers innovation and ICT as an important part of its development strategy. Private-public partnerships can be particularly important (like that of Nokia, Government of Finland and infoDev). Technological innovation can turn into economic growth in almost any sector. She said: “ I hope that m:lab will succeed in generating new mobile applications and improve people’ s lives in Kenya and East Africa. An old town in Finland, 25 years ago started a similar “ m:lab” and today, the people of the region have benefited greatly and are very successful.”

Paul Kukubo, CEO of Kenya’ s ICT Board, said at the opening: “When you talk about an ecosystem, you talk about the talent, the academic community, the researchers, the partners, and the developers. But you also have to talk about the leadership! We are very lucky to have Dr. Ndemo to set the tone of this sector in Kenya. We need to appreciate that this sector has gone through a very nice ride up to this point, thanks in large part to Dr. Ndemo. The enormous energy of the entrepreneurs in the past year is really encouraging and exciting.”



stephen okoth ochola - Oct. 17, 2011, 8:18 p.m.

Hi?! i am a second year student at Mount Kenya University-Thika Main Campus.I undertake Bachelor of Business Information Technology(BBIT).I have a passion in ICT Industry,could you kindly help me to be steadfast in this Field.I happen to know you through the poster which was and is still pinned on some of the school's notices boards,about your activities to do with the Mobile Computing.Kindly update me.

Caroline Mutua - Nov. 24, 2011, 10:21 p.m.

I am a fourth year student in Jomo Kenyatta University Juja campus. I am interested in mobile application development. Do you offer training programs for mobile development?

Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE MOBILE NEWS

Mobile telephony makes inroads into rural DRC

Mobile telephony continues to make its way – slowly but triumphantly – into the rural areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Read More

Zim moots new taxes on telecoms

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. PA Chinamasa, has proposed new taxes on airtime, data and handset costs among moves to raise additional revenue. Read More

Samsung opens three retail outlets in Abuja

Samsung Electronics West Africa, in partnership with accredited local partners, has stepped up its nationwide market expansion drive in Nigeria with the opening of three more direct-to-consumer stores in Abuja. Read More

Microsoft urges SON to act on fake imports

Microsoft has expressed dissatisfaction over the influx of fake and substandard mobiles into Nigeria. Read More

Vodafone Icons Remix holds final auditions in Accra

Ghana’s capital city, Accra, came to a standstill when the final audition of the Vodafone Icon Remix edition hit town.  Read More

STK Accessories expands in Nigeria

STK Accessories has announced further success in Nigeria with the launch of four product lines on Jumia.com. This latest announcement follows the brand’s launch with Sapphire distribution earlier this year. Read More

Samsung showcases biometric scanner-enabled Galaxy Tab S

Samsung Electronics has announced the availability of its new flagship tablet, the Galaxy Tab S, in Nigeria.  Read More

MTN Cameroon launches youth development programme

MTN Cameroon has announced the launch of the YEP programme to develop Cameroonian youths.   Read More

Orange, Emmaüs International launch phone recycling facility in Abidjan

Orange and Emmaüs International have launched a fifth mobile collection facility in Africa, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.  Read More

Mobile device greenhouse gas emissions surge

Smartphone charging will consume almost 14,000 Gigawatt-hours of dirty energy by 2019, says a new report. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

MFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmersMFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmers

Ugandan smallholder farmers are benefitting from an ambitious innovative ICT mobile phone initiative that offers weather reports and up-to-date market information about changes in prices for agricultural commodities, thus granting them lucrative returns from their farming ventures. 

IN DEPTH

NIG President speaks his mindNIG President speaks his mind

Bayo Banjo, CEO, Disc Communications and President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) says the proposed licensing of infrastructure companies by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) will breed corruption and entrench monopolistic practices. Kokumo Goodie reports.

COMPANY NEWS

SAP innovation transforms how Governments conduct business

SAP Africa kicked off its public sector innovation roadshow in Johannesburg, to highlight how the SAP innovation solutions portfolio including, cloud and big data, supports all levels ...

VMware announces general availability of new solutions for building, managing and protecting softwar

VMware has announced the general availability of VMware NSX 6.1, VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.8, VMware vCloud Suite 5.8, VMware vRealize Operations Insight, VMware vRealize Suite ...