Digital Development in Kenya: Challenges and Opportunities

Kenya is an African leader in technology adoption, especially in major cities such as Nairobi and Mombasa. However, in Northern Kenya, which forms 70 percent of the total landmass of the country, the information and communications technology (ICT) sector is less developed. Poverty levels are also high, further increasing barriers to technology implementation. In 2020, Engineering for Change, Huawei and iGov joined forces to conduct an ICT landscape analysis to identify the challenges and opportunities in Northern Kenya. This webinar will discuss the research outcomes and further analyze ICT in Kenya, focusing on the potential to improve agriculture, health, education, jobs and more.

In this webinar, Ronald Osumba, Founder and CEO of iGov Africa moderates a panel discussion with Abdinoor Alimahad, Nomadic Hub Founder and CEO of M-Lugha, Caroline Kiarie-Kimondo, Head of Exploration, Accelerator Lab at UNDP-Kenya and Jacob Mugendi, an E4C Fellow who led this research collaboration.

When: February 24, 2021, 10 AM ET

Invited speakers

Jacob Mugendi lives in Nairobi, Kenya and is an electrical engineer with experience in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Currently, he is a consultant at Aslan Afrika Limited where he is involved in empowering people to use digital technologies. He is also a columnist with iAfrikan Media and Techmoran, where he documents issues in the field of technology, business, and how digital technology is impacting people in the East Africa region. Previously, he worked as the Team Leader with  Truehost Cloud – a Kenyan startup seeking to provide affordable Cloud computing services in various African countries. He was involved in the transformation of the company from a little startup to become the leading cloud provider in Kenya with significant presence in Nigeria and South Africa. Prior to that, he worked as Business Development Executive and Engineer with Ryanada Limited.

Abdinoor Alimahadi is a Kenyan telecom engineer (Optical networks), education technologist (MSc) and founder of M-Lugha App. Born in Wajir county, brought up and currently living in Garissa county. He worked for 10 years in the telecom industry and left it as a regional head before switching to the education space. The level of education inequality and the crisis that exist in the region – the disruption of learning by conflict, famine and the nomadic lifestyle- could not put his mind at ease. From unending mass failure, mass exodus of non-local teachers due to security after the Garissa university attach where 148 innocent lives were lost and to, above all, poor command in the language of instruction. Since he had no education or teaching background, he had to enroll for MSc ICT in Education and instructional design. While in school, he developed the M-Lugha offline app that helps young learners access basic literacy and numeracy using the language they understand. Nomadic Hub is registered under the umbrella of the Association of Countrywide Innovation hubs and it is aimed at mapping and supporting innovations in ASAL regions. The hub works with FCDC and Garissa university. Abdinoor has been recognized in Best 11 startups Africa tech summit (Kigali), Best 10 outstanding Innovations (Africa Union), 1st Runner up in the Africa Telecommunication Union Innovation challenge, Best 200 pitches at Africa Innovation week, and Best 100 startups StartupIstanbul.

Ms. Caroline Kiarie-Kimondo is the Head of Exploration in the Accelerator Lab at UNDP-Kenya. The Accelerator Lab is a new service that works with people, governments and the private sector to reimagine development for the 21st Century. Caroline has over 10 years’ experience in human rights philanthropy, non-profit leadership and strategic communications. She was formerly with Urgent Action Fund-Africa, a Pan-African women’s rights fund as a Programme Coordinator, Grantmaking, and the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders-Kenya as a Board Trustee. Caroline is a social impact strategist with a passion for forging partnerships, framing narratives and exploring opportunities for greater social impact. Caroline is skilled in human-centered design thinking, agile project management and adaptive leadership. She has written and published extensively on different topics including women’s human rights, strategic communications and conflict management. Ms. Caroline holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Communication and a Master of Arts Degree in International Conflict Management both from the University of Nairobi. She also holds professional qualifications in Social Impact Strategy from the University of Pennsylvania and Public Leadership from Harvard Kennedy School.


Ronald Osumba has 18 years of experience in the private sector, public service and entrepreneurship, having held leadership positions in technology and government corporations. He is Founder and Chief Executive Officer at iGov Africa Limited, a boutique innovation house, and also Co-Founder of mSafari, a passenger manifest, digital payments and data analytics platform that provides the Kenyan government and public transport stakeholders with commuter data insights, and helps in contract tracing for COVID19. Ronald is also serving as the Team Leader of the Kenya Catalytic Jobs Fund, a £5 million UKAID funded program that is testing competitively selected innovations that have potential to unlock market constraints and create jobs, including for the most vulnerable. As the Head of Public Sector at Oracle Corporation, Kenya, Senior Manager for Government Relations and Public Sector Sales at Safaricom Limited, and Chairman of Youth Enterprise Development Fund, Ronald developed high-performance teams that shaped policy decisions both at the national and county government levels while maintaining a private sector approach to socio-economic solutions. He is a Tutu Fellow, Aspen Institute graduate, a Crans Montana Leader of Tomorrow and serves a Trustee of Uzima University and Vice Chairman of the Uzima University Foundation.

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