Nairobi – Kigali
August 25-September 2, 2018
“We don’t want help, we need investment!’’
The cliché of a continent steeped in poverty and stagnation, from which only migration to Europe offers the possibility of a better life, stands in contrast to our week spent in Kenya and Rwanda. What we saw, were two countries on the rise. Nairobi has, like Cape Town and Lagos, a vibrant – although insufficiently financed – start-up scene: the so-called “Silicon Savannah”. From this new sector emerged MPESA, an app-based financial service through which even Kenyans living in rural societies can send and receive money digitally. Rwanda sees opportunities in digitalization as well. Although Volkswagen’s recent investment in a Kigali-based CKD production center is more modest than what the international media has reported, its new ride sharing model, through which Volkswagen sees new opportunities to improve and expand its mobility services, is ground breaking. A young Rwandan developer – after teaching himself programming skills through online tutorials – designed the app on which Volkswagen’s new venture is based. For developing nations such as Kenya and Rwanda, digitalization presents enormous opportunities.