Last week was a very busy one in terms of tech, with AITEC East Africa, and Google’s GKenya over-lapping on two days.
This coming weekend has the second edition of TEDx Nairobi at the Leakey Auditorium, National Museum of Kenya, on Saturday September 18. There have been other TEDx events held in the last few weeks including TEDxKibera, TEDxMathare, and a running series of TED videos at the Westgate Cinema.
Also starting the same day as TEDx, is the SAMOSA Festival; this has no correlation with the popular snack, but it stands for the South Asian Mosaic of Society and the Arts, which is a weeklong celebration with various events staged at different locales in Nairobi from September 18 to 25. It also features a mentorship program for young entrepreneurs and professionals.
The Africa Union Peace Day is being observed on September 21 2010, and will be marked by cessation of conflict hostilities, distribution of humanitarian supplies, one minute of silence at 10.00AM (GMT), development work by members of the armed forces, football games, and lesson plans in schools.
Rounding off the month is the grand Storymoja Hay Festival over three days, from October 1 – 3 at the Railway Club grounds in Nairobi. It has over 60 events bringing together writers, business & cultural leaders to share stories, ideas and unique talks like “Demystifying the American Visa Process,” “Peculiar Kenyans,” “How to buy and sell real estate,” and “Publish your own (Children’s) book in two hours.”
EDIT: The Nairobi Book Fair takes place at Sarit Centre from September 22-26.
Others ideas from Twitter
– @firesidecom: Safaricom is taking on Access Kenya & Zuku with unlimited residential broadband at Kshs. 3,999 (~$49) for 512Kbps via wimax for residential areas – its available of prepay and postpaid, with free quick installation, equipment,. Also available is 1mbps for Kshs 6,000 and 2mbps for Kshs 7,000.
– @akcorporate Did you know that you can listen to Classic 105.2 FM through Access Kenya?
– @MTrackKenyaLtd: MTrack – Personal tracking (Children & Elderly) services
Tech September this week in Nairobi has two (unfortunately) simultaneous tech events on-going. One is Google’s G-Kenya at Strathmore University and the other is AITEC East Africa at KICC. Look for news and tweets about them besides the Android announcements. What’s interesting on the AITEC site is a banner reminding south African companies that exhibit at AITEC Nairobi that they may get a refund of between 80 -100% of their costs from the south African Department of Trade (DTI) a nice incentive for SME’s to advertise overseas
Web Comic last week saw the release of a new web comic by @chiefnyamweya; Emergency Web Comic is about the life of Dedan Kimathi, with some straight history lessons thrown in.
T-shirts give away by AfricaUnsigned.com and Afrinnovator Africa Unsigned is an initiative aimed at exposing the world to new music of Africa and is now using the internet as a stage for sharing these sounds and Afrinnovator is about telling the unique stories of African innovations and inventions especially in technology. They are jointly running a competition where 5 individuals can win a one of a kind, original t-shirt of their choice by Africa Unsigned. Check the AfricaUnsigned.com website for more details…
Corporates on Twitter: Safaricom (@safaricomltd) and Zain (@zainkenyaltd) have stepped up in the online space with active messages on twitter as they respond (selectively) to customer queries & complaints and promote their price tariffs and press releases.
Unfortunately, two other recent arrival on twitter seem to have given up on the medium; Kenya Airways (@KenyaAirways) and the Kenya Government’s Ministry of Lands which have not used twitter in almost two months. step back for e-government?
Ugandan politician in Nairobi to give Kenyan counterparts some identity ideas
The Grid, a mobile only social network owned by Vodacom, has gone global.
First heard about The Grid when ‘Portfolio Manager’, Vincent Maher, spoke at Mobile Web in Nairobi earlier this year.
– The Grid is a mashup of instant messaging, content sharing, location based services
- They target ads by location gender age time of day. Also they use location based adverts. To use LBA one needs user location, ad server that support this (Google does) and application that adds location. This is good for very small businesses e.g. hairdresser, plumbers, and they can expect to see low volume of impression but a high click though rate
– Users don’t need to have GPS to use the service as the Grid uses aerial photographs and their own maps (not Google maps)
– What is coming next? - Ambient (mood based) advertising
- Desire line anticipation (plot where you will be and advertiser prompts you to buy later when you get there)
The Grid has about two million users in South Africa, Nigeria and Tanzania. It rivals MXit, which dominates South Africa, and was launched in Kenya with Vodafone-managed Safaricom in May 2010.
Twitter is a micro-blogging tool that is really nifty for doing mini-posts, forwards and other remarks that (are on any subject) and are maybe not worthy of a full blog post. Here’s a summary of my week on Twitter in a Dave Letterman top 10 format covering tech events, new planes, sluggish car sales, strange naiorbians and other topics
10 Mainstream Blogging: #F1 blogger quits work to blog full time-best wishes @f1fanatic_co_uk! http://tinyurl.com/yegm5l3
– Great reads: the 75 best business-blogs of 2009 http://www.businesspundit.com/the-75-best-business-blogs-of-2009/ includes @emeka_okafor
9. Tech Nairobi @whiteafrican is live blogging from @AfricaGathering today, refresh this post for the latest: http://bit.ly/75WgJ3 #agathering #agnairobi09
– Look out for @afromusing’s guide to buying solar gadgets.(via @sciculturist) <-----it's about time! #giftsforocha
– Stealth Startups, Get Over Yourselves: Nobody Cares About Your Secrets http://goo.gl/fb/hLw6 (via @rafiq)
– R/t: on the @ushahidi blog – 3 misconceptions about #ushahidi
8. Brew Chatter SA giant beer brewer SAB considering re-entering kenya market after Deal with EABL in tanzania sours (Via @Nairobi star)
– konyagi vs waragi http://chickabouttown.com/2009/12/20/konyagi-vs-uganda-waragi/
7. GoK Absurdities 1. We dont accept sealed letters for PS, unless you have delivery book 2.This gate is locked between 9am and 4pm
– Harambee house is a corruption free zone, @SupremeGREAM – and so is a police roadblock #nyayohouse
– So new Police comm. Iteere got the 3rd class Moran/Golden Heart of Kenya; but so did Pauline & Ida
– Labour leader Atwoli sermons on #citizentv opposes privatization of #nationalbank #KCB #newKCC and kenya ports authority
6. Plane Chatter– know everything about today’s maiden boeing 787 flight (weather permitting) http://tinyurl.com/yewg5pl (via @flightblogger)
– 787 has taken off, take that copenhagen. R/t @coldtusker #787 is supposed to have a lower carbon footprint so supports #Copenhagen goals
– via @FlyingEmirates a Kenyan wins Emirates A380 dream prize (to Bangkok, Sydney or Seoul ) <----i'm so jealous! http://bit.ly/8yKvNA
– @coldtusker @alykhansatchu crown will fight to keep emirates independent as long as it can (perhaps pare down new plane buys to do so)
– #onejetone among airlines appying for licenses again – mombasa, harare, london
4:43 PM Dec 18th from web
5. Investor Awareness – ICT Kenya board tender for digitization of court records http://www.ict.go.ke/images/pdfs/6593719R_2.pdf @kenyanpundit
– Securities Industry Training Institute launched in Uganda-progs on capital markets,corp.fin, asset-mgmt, entrepreneurship, corp.govnance etc
– Send Nairobi Stock Exchange complaints by SMS to 8485, cost 10/= (also to receive) http://www.nsecomplaints.co.ke/ (via @NSEKenya)
– r/t @alykhansatchu Kenya Economic Update 2009 from the World Bank http://bit.ly/90sYCp simply definitive and full of Data that will surprise
– On CitizenTV ‘how to be rich’ is a golden dream prod .i.e @alfredmutua – they had ad for cobra squad season 2 DVD as perfect x-mas gift
4. Cars, Cars, Cars – r/t @SupremeGREAM today i was at biggest car yard on ngong rd and the only people there were salesmen, wash guyz and suppliers-grim(econ)! are you seeing some slowdown in autos? soe eyards have KBE and KBH that are gathering dust. – got a KBC Mark II been in the yard that long. today took it for a random drive. 780k bring the money. down from 1050k @inexes – Wambie wapunguze bei ya hizo magari! lol @bankelele
– r/t @Shitawabah saw a LAMBOGHINI today morning at 8;59 a.m yellow KBK 001A… ! eeeiy ! * but nid t say it was hot! <--wow! really? pics?
– r/t @karuoro If you own a Toyota-use toyodiy.com to look up part numbers so you know what to order (thanks-1/2 cars in kenya are toyota)
3. Peculiar Nairobi – @mountainous nation wrote that the only 3D theatre in kenya to watch #Avatar is in Nyali. Also #F1 off-season more
– Reading sundaynation about kayamba africa new album: ‘ KA is made up of 45 members who were all present. It has 6 band members’ (huh?)
– My dad was scandalized by the food portions at ONami, full house though
– Labour leader Atwoli sermons on #citizentv opposes privatization of #nationalbank #KCB #newKCC and kenya ports authority
– Family bank atm’s are so f’n unreliable these days. Spend some of that rights issue cash propely will ya? #gotissuez
– Peculiar habits of Nairobians http://sogomo.blogspot.com/2009/12/ten-nairobi-pecularities-i-could-do.html
2. Credit Crunch – @coldTusker wouldn’t be uchumi be a better pick for al-waleed ‘distressed asset’ philosopy? @coldtusker – I think Al-Waleed looks for management as well. Kingdom doesn’t supply management. Maybe he will look at Uchumi as well
– At empty local; not sure if its mid-month economy or competition from new joint up the road with #kidum playing tonight
r/t @siphojanuary More than 8 million South Africans are 3 months behind on their debt repayments – National Credit Regulator
Dubair/t @ coldtusker Read the signs. The day Emirates stops serving alcohol means the new owners are in control. Dubai may keep Emirates in name only. Who knows who owns it now? Not for public consumption. – There is no free lunch. Something has to give. I think Emirates is the ‘guarantee/collateral’
r/t @alykhansatchu Dubai = Ozymandias Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’ Nothing remains http://bit.ly/1wWz2g
1. Phone Woes
Safaricom I thought my phone had gone schitso calling me every minute! But its some dude who sent big #mpesa to wrong number one digit off (not me!)
– dear #safaricom there are black hole spots (no service) in Nairobi CBD #gotissuez
– Safaricom have had a really crap network in Nairobi CBD all week. Only way to call their subscribers is by using zain or orange
– #barclays call centre number works and calls picked up instantly 3900000 #safaricom should learn http://www.moseskemibaro.com/?p=763
Zain #ogilvy media clarify that they are NOT repsonsible for advertising & PR of #zain africa #passthebuck #itwasntme (via @NationMedia)
– R/t @JustDes – #Zain PR and Advertising is handled by #ZKAdvertising. #Zain Media will be handled by #OgilvyAfricaMedia. @PeterNjenga – Any URL for this #Ogilvy media #Zain Africa #advertising thingie? Wanna know who’s getting paid but screwing up Zain #marketing?
– @JustDes thanks for clarifying about ZK and Zain http://www.zekgroup.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6&Itemid=10 @peternjenga
mobile phones need messengers – Paying telkom,kenya power and safaricom bills this morning-if you are post-paid anything,you need a messenger to hoof around Nairobi – Where can one pay safaricom post pay bill on sunday, other than westgate?
– r/t @tmsruge True, because banks won’t allow transfers to mobile, which I think is another missed rev stream 4 banks – Sounds to me like a biz opportunity to me! Kenyan mobile $$ innovations are a bit one-track minded!
r/t @zulusafari even with mobile $ you still have to physically visit an office to put $ in ur account – seriously! it’s ridiculous. And why can I not pay by cc’d online!!!! @whiteafrican
r/t @ kahenya @whiteafrican @bankelele it keeps messengers busy and employed
r/t @whiteafrican which makes absolutely no sense in this day and age of digital money transactions locally.
competition for MPesa r/ @ Obopay Essar Telecom Kenya & Obopay Launch Mobile Money Transfer Service http://su.pr/21Vq0y