Unlocking the potential of Silicon Savannah: an interview with His Excellency Mr Bitange Ndemo, Ambassador of Kenya to Belgium

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Interview with His Excellency Mr Bitange Ndemo, Ambassador of Kenya to Belgium

In the realm of technology investment, what sets Silicon Savannah apart and makes it an enticing opportunity for IT companies?

Silicon Savannah’s unique allure lies in its pool of young ICT talent. Kenya has witnessed a surge of innovative applications developed by a talented workforce. Additionally, Kenya boasts a robust legal framework for data protection and fosters an environment conducive to innovation. Prominent tech giants like Microsoft and IBM have already established their presence here, tapping into the rich vein of talent available for investors.

Besides Microsoft and IBM, could you tell us about other major companies that have a presence in Silicon Savannah?

Silicon Savannah, especially in Nairobi, has undergone significant infrastructure development. We’re witnessing increasing investments, notably from South Korea. They are actively supporting the Korean Advanced Institute for Science and Technology (KAIST) and bringing along several Korean firms. Moreover, we’re seeing interest from technology companies worldwide, not limited to U.S. tech giants, who are keen on establishing their facilities in the region.

How is the Kenyan government facilitating companies in setting up their operations in Silicon Savannah?

Silicon Savannah enjoys tax-free status, offering incentives for new entrants. The government provides tax exemptions for businesses operating within this economic zone.

What are the expectations from Kenya concerning the development of Silicon Savannah?

Our expectations are multi-faceted. Silicon Savannah aims to nurture the tech sector, generate employment opportunities for our youth, and bolster their capacity. It’s a key contributor to our economic development as ICT plays a substantial role in our GDP.

How do you envision Silicon Savannah’s growth in the next five, three, and ten years?

Over the next few years, Silicon Savannah will become a hub for innovation in Africa. Our continent faces numerous challenges that serve as fertile ground for innovative solutions. Expect to see advancements in areas such as optimizing agricultural output, streamlining healthcare, and revolutionizing smart farming through technologies like AI. Silicon Savannah will be at the forefront of solving these critical issues.

Are there any initiatives or companies working to provide training and education to the youth in Silicon Savannah?

Certainly. Kaist, for instance, is planning to establish a campus within the Silicon Savannah, dedicated to developing capacity. Kaist’s history is a testament to its transformative impact on Korea, and we aim to replicate that success here.

Nurturing Innovation in
Silicon Savannah

A digital revolution is underway, driven by the collective energy and talent of Kenya’s vibrant ICT community. As we explored the landscape in this interview, it’s clear that Silicon Savannah is more than just a geographical location; it’s a crucible of creativity and innovation.

With a burgeoning pool of young ICT professionals, a robust legal framework, and a welcoming environment for innovation, Silicon Savannah has attracted the attention of global technology leaders like Microsoft and IBM. Yet, it is not just the giants that are drawn to this vibrant ecosystem; companies from around the world are eager to establish their presence here.

As Silicon Savannah continues to evolve, it is set to become a symbol of African innovation, a beacon of hope for tackling complex challenges, and a testament to the power of technology to transform lives. The journey has begun, and the future holds great promise for Silicon Savannah and the entire African tech ecosystem.