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Sunday, Mar 25th

East Africa open to tech disruption

East Africa open to tech disruption

Businesses in East Africa are increasingly interested in Internet of Things (IoT) and big data to propel businesses forward.

This was raised at East Africa Com held in Nairobi this week, under the theme: Championing the transformational impact of digital communication on lives and businesses.

"This year the event has gone ahead so well. There is a lot of excitement about the East African market and operators seem more open to disruption here," said Tom Cuthell, the Portfolio Director for the Com Series at KNect365.

Cuthell said, "Telecom companies are enablers in that space and they are looking at what that means for digital transformation."

In his keynote speech, delivered by Mercy Ndegwa, Head of ICT Regulation and Public Policy at Safaricom, Stephen Chege, Director Corporate Affairs at Safaricom, said that Kenya's population had embraced technology and were open to innovation making East Africa a good starting point for technology development.

"The digital revolution is changing at a faster pace," said Chege. "Today you can send M-Pesa across the East African nations of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. This would not have been imaginable ten years ago, but consistency in innovation and investments in networks have made this possible."

"Technology, for example, has turned banking on its head. A lot of transactions are done from branchless networks," he said.

Chege added that services that leverage technology such as M-Tiba, which is a mobile health insurance provider, and M-Kopa have changed the lives of many Kenyans.

The explosion of trends such as Big Data, IoT, self-driving cars and 3D printing will ultimately change how business is done in this region, he added.

"More investment in broadband can only mean a better deal for East Africa," he concluded.


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