Google’s Boss Eric Schmidt Projects Kenya As Africa’s Tech Leader

Oluwabusayo Sotunde | Ventures | January 24, 2013

After a week’s visit to sub-Saharan Africa that included meetings in Lagos and Nairobi, Executive Chairman and former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt has labelled Nairobi as the ‘maybe’ silicon valley of Africa. “Nairobi has emerged as a serious tech hub and may become the African leader, “Schmidt said on his Google+ post yesterday.

He added that “A combination of relatively stable politics, the British legal system, and a benign climate seem to attract a significant share of foreign investment.  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.  If they manage to get through the upcoming March elections without significant conflict, they will grow quickly.”

During his visit to Nairobi, Schmidt toured Kenya’s first innovation hub, the iHub. He 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. In his post, Schmidt said “Rwanda is a jewel with a terrible past” and Nigeria has an “international image problem.”...