Yesterday Kenyan Tech community celebrated the launch of one of the greatest initiative which has the potential of changing Kenya and Africa at large in a big way. iHub is ready to provide a conducive environment where smart, ambitious tech gurus can exchange ideas, services and even money to create wealth. The aim is to encourage the people to think outside the box and create new and interesting things.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
It is an open secret that Africa is at cross road at the moment and thirsty for ideas and solutions to solve its socio-economic problems. As already shown by the way mobile phones have changed the way people do things and actually improve the lives of many, it is possible that technology is the way out for African problems. The starting point would be to look at each problem as a source of new invention or innovation.
Kenya in particular has living proves that technology developed out of necessity can turn out to be a great tool which can be deployed to help people all over the World. Ushaidi created in the in the wake of Post election violence in Kenya in 2008 has been used in many other places such as South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and now Chile. Ushahidi is an online mapping tool used to collect and plot reports coming in from citizens via e-mail and SMS. Another one is the Mobile Money Transfer System MPESA. The MPESA story is well documented worldwide, and it is now being tried or a version of it being tried around the world.
For iHub to succeed it has to become self-sustaining knowledge ecosystem. A place which will continuously appeals to great minds and produce wonderful applications, systems and ideas. Not all animals were equal in animals Kingdom and the same will applies here but in a good way. Yeah the doers will be given priority over the talkers. The reason is bright, innovative people like to be around other bright, innovative people. According iHub blog:
?We have never promised equality within the iHub, doers will be given preferential treatment to talkers and browsers. It?s a meritocracy, where those who create new and cool things are given more and better access.?
The Role of Government is critical in this, and it was refreshing to hear Mr.Paul Kukubo pledging that the government through ICT Board will be actively involved as a partner in iHub. We have seen amazing results in many places where Governments provide genuine support and funds for research and innovation. It would not make sense when young Kenyans work day and night to create applications and they have no money or means of pushing them out for the public consumptions. It would not make sense if the techies come up with systems while the Government continues to source for the same from abroad. It would not make sense if the researchers find things and nobody talks about them.
And that brings me to the role of the media and the blogging community. At the moment most tech stories are all about Google, Microsoft, Apple, Nokia and the likes but for the greater good of Kenyans and Kenyan economy the media should turn the spotlight on the local tech initiatives. Media has the ability to build and create the necessary interest on the local innovations, ideas and the research findings
Who qualifies to be a member? Anyone can become a member of the iHub, provided they work in the tech field (programming, design or research), and they have 2 referrals from current iHub members.
There are three types of membership Green, Red and Black. Green is the membership level which available to anyone which has the basic requirements. It allows one to access the iHub : surf the net, have a meeting, work on projects
Red Membership levels is somehow restricted for the small businesses willing to pay 10k per month for a desk while Black Membership is for the officials of the iHub. For more info on Membership go to iHub.
Investments and Ideas
iHub still needs investment and support necessary for its smooth operations . Kenyan Corporate members with deep wallets will do a great deal of good for Kenya in supporting this wonderful initiative.
At the same time iHub needs ideas?
The Nairobi iHub will be many things ? a collision of Ideas, Innovations, Interests, Investments. We need as many ideas as possible on activities, projects, concepts, anything, for the iHub. Send in your ideas via email to ideas (at) ihub.co.ke
That was iHubastic launch attended by the dynamic tech community, thanks to @iHubNairobi team for a great launch party ?