Nairobi has always been a flourishing technological hub. From EdTech tools and e-government platforms to fintech creations and renewable energy solutions, the products created and deployed for Kenyans have never failed to make waves across the country.
The Kenya News Agency even reports that the government is encouraging the growth of this sector. With its public and private partners, it’s working to both lower the barriers to ICT entrepreneurs and spur the adoption of emerging technologies like the blockchain.
Today, the tech innovations making waves in Kenya are not just making lives easier, but addressing social concerns in unique and effective ways. We discuss a few of them below.
Biofuel retail platforms
Fossil fuels are a major source of energy in Kenya. Though initiatives that encourage renewable energy have been initiated amid the climate crisis, many available solutions are not particularly accessible to lower-income households.
Biofuel tech enterprise Koko Networks seeks to change all that aims to change all that by distributing biofuel directly to dukas in its network. Here, customers can use Koko’s proof-of-stake system to sign up and be issued an electronic card for buying Koko products. In turn, these products are sourced straight from manufacturers. By shortening the supply chain, Koko keeps their prices low and competitive, increases access to clean energy, and supports local businesses.
Mobile interactive quizzes
COVID-19 impacted education across the globe, and Kenya was no exception. Though learning shifted online, many pupils were not able to join due to a lack of infrastructure like computers or stable Internet connections. Bridge Kenya, which is part of a continent-wide school network aimed at increasing access to education, immediately sought to rectify this with its @Home program.
Arguably the most notable feature of this program is its mobile interactive quizzes. These can be taken directly on WhatsApp and don’t consume any data on the pupil’s end. With Business Today reporting that Kenya leads Africa in smartphone usage, @Home may even stay as a viable solution to accessibility in post-COVID education.
Due to high fares and fuel prices — especially amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict — transportation in rural Kenya can be difficult. In response, university students Charles Ogingo, Robert Achoge and James Ogola founded Pfoofy Power & Light Ltd. One of their standout innovations is the Ecotran, an electric motorcycle powered by solar energy.
On a full battery, the Ecotran can cover 70 kilometres. So far, the students have established one charging station capable of generating 250 kilowatts of electricity. Now that they’ve received funding from the United States African Development Fund and Power Africa, they aim to expand their charging network and perfect other solar solutions aimed at improving lighting and agriculture in rural areas.
Digital investment apps
We’ve previously discussed that at 14%, Kenya’s saving rate is one of the lowest in the continent. We recently featured Kwaku Foh, whose Cashlet aims to revolutionise our saving culture. This personal finance manager makes it simpler for everyday Kenyans to budget and save money. Additional features allow users to start investing in unit trusts — which are known for their simplicity, diversity, and ability to earn attractive interest — with as little as KES 500. By mostly targeting the millennial age group, Foh and the rest of the Cashlet team wish to change the fact that 8 out of 10 Kenyans are not financially healthy.
Thanks to their innovations, tech experts are only further cementing not just Nairobi but Kenya as a whole as Africa’s “Silicon Savannah.” We can only expect a brighter future as we embrace these unique and problem-solving creations.