In the News…

Hi everyone! Time for a round-up of all the things that have caught our attention here at Indigo during the month of May. Comments, thoughts and musings below – enjoy!

Kenyan FlagThis article takes a tour of Kenya’s burgeoning supply of agrarian apps and includes our very own iCow, along with some others. Using technology to link farmers to information and markets is simple, it works and, in many cases, is an African innovation to the intractable problems of small holder farming and the creation of a sustainable livelihood.

This is an area of work that Indigo has not had much contact with, but this article in the Guardian set us thinking! As our own work demonstrates there is still a need to solve simple market-based problems for many African farmers, but without doubt farming, at all levels, will increasingly have to adapt to remain viable in conditions of climate change. There is much work to be done, but as always, technology can help!!

With the cabinet of newly elected President Kenyatta in place a new raft of legislation, regulation and policy is sure to be unleashed on Kenya. Of interest to us is Kenya’s commitment to open data. Kenya has been a very early mover in terms of open data in Africa and we will be watching the project develop. Undoubtedly there will be both Kenyan idiosyncrasies, but open data has proved a difficult nut to crack across the globe. President Obama has started an American drive, the UK has a framework in place, and will Kenya soon be added to this growing list?

There are clearly ICT and internet leaders and laggers across Africa and this article takes a look at some of Africa’s tech hotspots! Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt and Nigeria take a bow.
And staying on the hotspot theme is this blog post about Lagos. Having recently returned from this amazing city our very own Loren and Matt can attest to both the chaos and the optimism, to the grime and the sublime. Truly a fast-paced place full of possibilities!

According to this article a new hub is opened in Africa every fortnight! The idea of the hub is somewhat unique to Africa but it really is taking on a life of its own. It might not be very long before this African innovation is being exported across the world!

In the meantime, the Kenyan government has plans to see ICT hubs in every county by 2017 – maybe the statistic about one hub every fortnight isn’t far off at all!

Motorbikes are cheap to buy and cheap to run. They can still function on even the worst Kenyan roads and they provide an income for many young Kenyans who work as ‘borda-borda’ taxi drivers. Without driving tests, safety equipment and traffic laws however motorbikes can prove deadly. This app-based campaign in Kenya to increase rider safety is another innovative use of technology that could result in many saved lives.

 

As the movement for a sprint finish to reach the MDGs gains credence and leaders meet to formulate the post-2015 agenda in development this Guardian datablog takes a look at where we are, and how far we have to go, to reach the MDGs taking each country in turn.

That’s it for May. Time to start work on June’s!