In what seems like a validation of the growing technology community in Nairobi, Kenya, the Chairman and former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt has suggested that the East African country may become the Silicon Valley of Africa.
During a one-week African visit which included business meetings in the Sub-Saharan cities of Lagos and Nairobi, the Google boss made a tour of Kenya’s first innovation hub, the iHub, hung out with the techies, visited some of the startups there and gave a presentation at Strathmore University about the importance of education to enable young people solve the world’s most challenging problems.
According to the Google chief in a Google+ post:
“Nairobi has emerged as a serious tech hub and may become the African leader…Incubators are hosting potential solutions to many problems, including connecting M-Pesa (their mobile money solution on simple phones using SMS) with payment systems for local stores.”
Since its inception, Google has been one of iHub’s major partners, collaborating in projects, working with the tech community and funding the expansion of the iHub space, and in recent times, the build out of the UX Lab and the iHub Cluster.
The iHub has also hosted Google-related events such as Ladies Mapping parties, Trainings on Google Earth, Fireside Chats with Marissa Mayer, Office Hours with Bob Aman as well as Hackathons.
Images courtesy of iHub