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Exploring the Start-up Tech Hubs in Africa

Chrissy Martin, MEDABy Chrissy Martin, Guest Columnist

Silicon Savannah. Maybe you’ve heard this term (maybe you’ve even read why it’s a misnomer.)  It has been coined to describe Nairobi, Kenya, the unofficial capital of the rapid rise of technology innovation in Africa.

Kenya is home to M-Pesa, the mobile money transfer service that is used by over 60% of the Kenyan population.  It is also home to the iHub, an innovation and start-up incubator which appears to be increasingly like Silicon Valley in its ability to spin off successful, profitable technology companies.

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Exploring the Mobile Banking Revolution in Tanzania

Jason KohnBy Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

In most developed economies, people can be forgiven for taking banks for granted. After all, an ATM machine is rarely more than a couple blocks away with easy access to funds. People can easily connect with their banks online to pay bills without ever handling cash, and loans and lines of credit are readily available.

In much of the developing world, however, this infrastructure simply doesn’t exist. Thabiso Mochiko recently laid out the latest statistics on the issue at Business Day:

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What is a City, and How Does it Get Smarter?

The journey to smarter cities and communities has gained momentum in recent years, as a recent BBC article highlights. I’d like to offer a few points from my experiences over the last five years exploring this territory:

  • First, the critical issue is how to move beyond visions and prototypes, to scaling and adoption.
  • Second, the whole notion of smart cities should also be reappraised.
  • And third, the Internet of Everything Economy will fuel a transformation across communities, industries, and social interactions.

We are looking at a dynamic concept to which bounded definitions — whether physical, digital, organizational, or technological — seem increasingly inadequate.

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Common Traits of Intelligent Community Superstars

Howard Baldwin - Photograph

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Lou Zacharilla, co-founder of the Intelligent Community Forum, has a foolproof way of identifying which cities are most likely to be successful deploying broadband networks: business cards.

The ones who do well at broadband, he says, are the ones whose municipal employees collaborate across departmental boundaries, and with elected officials.

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Broadband Update: Progress and Prognostication

Howard Baldwin - PhotographBy Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

The beginning of a new year is always time for taking stock and looking forward. In an area as vibrant as broadband telecommunications, there’s plenty to recap from 2012 and look forward to in 2013 – both good and bad.

Similarly, as Broadband Breakfast’s Drew Clark noted in its top-ten-events roundup, the wireless standard LTE became available to some 400 million people between AT&T and Verizon, and Comcast completed the rollout of the next version of its cable modem technology, DOCSIS 3.0, bringing speeds of 100 megabits per second potentially to 52 million subscribers.

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