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

Orange to distribute Juliani album

Orange has signed an agreement with local Kenyan musician Juliani that will see the popular musician sell his third album, ‘Exponential potential’, exclusively through the Telco’s 35 flagship outlets across the country. Read More

TNM donates K500,000 to paediatrics group

Mobile phone provider TNM has donated K500,000 to the Paediatric and Child Health Association (PACHA). Read More

YooMee Côte d’Ivoire launches TD-LTE

After becoming the market leader of broadband Internet in Cameroon, YooMee Africa continues its expansion by deploying its network in Côte d’Ivoire. Read More

tn mobile 3G now in Tsumeb

Telecom Namibia’s mobile business, tn mobile, has extended its 3G+ and 4G (LTE) based mobile network to Tsumeb in the Oshikoto region. Read More

Vodafone Healthfest train stops at James Town

Vodafone Ghana, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility through the Vodafone Foundation, has held another ground breaking health initiative dubbed the HealthFest.  Read More

Orange to power Nakuru free Wi-Fi

Nakuru is to become the first town in Kenya to have free Wi-Fi access. Read More

Nokia unveils 6 inch smartphones in Ghana

Nokia Lumia launch in Accra, Ghana Nokia has announced the introduction of its first 6 inch Lumia smart phones into the Ghanaian phone market, the Lumia 1520, Nokia’s top of the range Windows Phone and affordable Lumia 1320. Read More

tn mobile 3G now in Oshikoto

Telecom Namibia’s mobile business, tn mobile, has launched its 3G service at Omuthiya, the regional capital of Oshikoto region. Read More

Orange launches low cost WiFi at KU

Orange has launched a low cost wireless Internet solution at the Kenyatta University’s main campus that will provide the varsity’s students with reliable and affordable Internet access.  Read More

Telecom Namibia launches Speedlink Lite

Telecom Namibia has announced the launch of its first ever Speedlink broadband packages for residential, small office/home (SOHO) customers. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN Business

FEATURED STORY

Kenyan shift to Green Economy would generate USD 45bn by 2030 Kenyan shift to Green Economy would generate USD 45bn by 2030

Kenya’s transition to a green economy could produce major economic benefits  equivalent to an estimated USD 45 billion by 2030, a new  study shows.

IN DEPTH

E-waste threatens Ghana’s beachesE-waste threatens Ghana’s beaches

Many beaches in Ghana, already stressed by pollution and poor maintenance, are now facing a new threat: e-waste.

COMPANY NEWS

VMware Reports First Quarter 2014 Results

VMWare has announced Year-over-Year revenue growth of 14% to $1.36 Billion in its Q114 results.