Kenyan Tech Watch – This Week’s Tech stories around the Net

This week…Kenyan tech stories around the web

Kenya Tweets is back

You remember the site and twitter account which used to track the number of Kenyans on Twitter? Yeah, they went for a long  holiday and now they are back.. Writing on Techweez the guy who nicknamed himself kenyatweets says:

As a culmination to the come back of Kenya Tweets site slated for this Saturday 10thDecember, the folks at Kenya Tweets have decided to reward Kenyan tweeps. First off if you have no clue what is Kenya Tweets it is a website that tracks Kenyans on Twitter and their activities. It has been in operation for the last 12 months but took a remodeling hiatus for a while.

For this reward, Kenya Tweets in conjunction with Nightingale Apartments Mombasa are offering a night for two on the 31st of December – on a Bed and breakfast basis.  The plot is pretty simple; nominate a friend via twitter and we will choose one #KenyanOnTwitter who gets to take a person of their choice to Nightingale and party the year away.

Read full story here

You need just your voice to change the World

Erik Hash of the Ushahidi fame and iHub is telling you how to make it big:

What we’ve seen since that time is that Ushahidi has proliferated, not because of the technology, but because of the use cases that it makes possible. It is a free and open source platform for gathering and visualizing information and it has been used for everything from disaster response to election monitoring, citizen journalism and community engagement.

There are now over 20,000 deployments of the Ushahidi platform operating in 132 countries. Our goals for Ushahidi are simple; to disrupt the way information flows in the world by providing the best tools for democratizing information with the least barriers to entry.

In the beginning this meant take what took us 3 days to build and make it available to others so they didn’t have to start from scratch. Something that would take them only 3 hours to deploy. Last year we dropped that to 3 minutes with the launch of Crowdmap, our cloud-based version of Ushahidi.

Get it all here

Stop being Fake, Buy Genuine

The guys at Microsoft are being tough with fakes. On their new site , they are listing those who have suffered as a result of using pirated software:

You might think it is cheap to pirate a software but if you are caught, Kenyan courts could make you kiss goodbye the good life you enjoy. A case in point, back in 1999, In Microsoft Corporation v Microskills Kenya Ltd. Microsoft Corporation sued a local hardware and software reseller. Microskills Kenya Limited , for copyright infringement. Microsoft alleged that Microskills illegally bundled Microsoft’s business software on hundreds of computer systems that it sold to its customers.

The High Court found Microskills liable for copyright infringement and awarded Microsoft over USD 342,365 in damages. In today’s current rate that is KES 30,949,796.52. Thereafter, Microskills moved the High Court on a bankruptcy and winding-up cause ostensibly because it was not in a financial position to settle the award. It remains unclear how much of the award was settled during the winding-up proceedings. Whether they were able to pay or not, that was a serious wake-up call

Get it all here

Crowd Sourcing and Mapping Somali Voices #Somalispeak

This has been long overdue, somebody needed to give the good people of Somalia a channel to express themselves. Patrick is doing exactly that.. From the Ushahidi blog:

The basis of my pitch to Al-jazeera was to let ordinary Somalis speak for themselves by using SMS to crowdsource their opinions on the unfolding crisis. My colleagues at Al-jazeera liked the idea and their editorial team proposed the following question:

Al Jazeera wants to know: how has the conflict of the last few months affected your life? Please include the name of your hometown in your response. Thank you!

In sum, the purpose of this project is to catalyze global media attention on Somalia by letting Somali voices take center stage—voices that are otherwise not heard in the international, mainstream media. If journalists are not going to speak about Somalia, then this project  invites Somalis speak to the world themselves. The project highlights  these voices on a live, public map for the world to bear witness and engage in a global conversation with people of Somalia, a conversation in which Somalis and the Diaspora are themselves at the centerfold. It is my sincere hope that advocacy and lobby group will be able to leverage the content generated by this project to redouble their efforts in response to the escalating crisis in Somalia.

Full story here

Mobile Strategy

Mbugua Njihia on his blog is talking about clueless CEOs and Marketers..Yes..i know them:

With everyone jumping onto the mobile apps bandwagon, the decision makers will be forgiven for being clueless about where to begin or even what would provide best fit for their operations given that agencies are also not doing a good job of education.

Many are just getting to realize the impact of web and the mobile story may be a bit too heavy to digest. As the year comes to a close and we begin to strategize for the coming year for our business operations and looking at how to connect in more meaningful ways with our consumers, mobile needs to form a key component of digital strategy.

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.me Personal Branding Offers from Kenic

The Kenya Network Information Centre (KENIC), the body established in 2002 to manage Kenya’s “.ke” or dot KE country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), wants you to take domain names at discounted price.  I know you did not know that but don’t worry coz KariaKore  of has laid it down:

In a post made today on the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) online discussion list by KENIC’s chief executive David Wambua, and titled Personal Branding Online, the organization is urging Kenyans to brand themselves with a “ domain name this festive season.”

“Did you know that the use of domain name can provide a unique identity for you on the Internet space, hence giving you personal branding advantage and by extension a competitive edge in the market compared to generic names?” writes Mr Wambua.

He states adds that the use of “” domain name has the effect of improving one’s personal image and creates greater opportunities for business, provides distinct and fast access on the Internet due to the “.KE” identity , uniqueness and above all protecting an individual’s name space on the internet.
He adds that when people go to search for you when you don’t have a “” domain name or haven’t built a website for yourself, then other people will control your brand.

The Story here

Nokia is still the Phone to beat in Kenya

They might have a problem here and there but according to, Nokia is still the phone to own:

So why should you go for Nokia?

*Nokia handsets are know for their durability and ability to with stand the toughest of conditions
*Availability of Nokia accessories and spare-parts
*Nokia’s wide customer care support centres in almost all major towns in Kenya
*Availability of thousands of apps in Nokia’s ovi store
*Nokia’s user friend handsets.
*And affordable phones

It comes as no surprise that Nokia is the phone to go for.

Great post about Nokia , you need to check it out here

Social media, Sms and Post Election Violence 

I know that sounds familiar. Our friends in DRC are almost at it and to avoid that the Government has banned the use of SMS and access to social media networks on phones to curb the escalating  violence.. Michael Malakata of is telling the dark moment in DRC:

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has banned the use of SMS and access to social media networks on phones in what it says is a bid to curb the escalating violence following last week’s presidential and parliamentary elections, whose partial results put incumbent President Joseph Kabila in the lead.

The country is now on the verge of slipping back into civil war as the opposition parties have rejected the election results. Several people have already been killed by security forces during clashes with protesters.

Full story here

Saving Mount Kenya

Africanpoint and a number of bloggers, yours truly included,  last weekend went to Mount Kenya to plant trees. And the bloggers have a tree called Bake growing up there…Savvykenya wrote  about planting trees 101 and what you need to do on social media to help Save Mount Kenya:

This past Saturday, some representatives from Africa Point, Nature Kenya, Rotaract Club (not sure which branch), bloggers and other partners turned up for a ceremonial tree planting session at Hombe, Mount Kenya. Sadly we never got to see the mountain as it was cloudy.

We were instructed on how to plant a tree (it’s not just a matter of digging a hole and burying the tree!), watering and caring for it. We then got a chance to each plant a tree. Luckily, it rains a lot there so there was no need to keep watering the trees.

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Kennedy Kachwanya1080 Posts

--- Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.


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