Szabolcs Szolnoki – University of Pécs, Pécs, Ifjúság útja 6, 7624 Magyarország, Hungary
Árpád Papp-Váry – Budapest Metropolitan University, Budapest, Nagy Lajos király útja 1-9, 1148 Magyarország, Hungary

 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31410/ITEMA.2019.149

 

3rd International Scientific Conference on Recent Advances in Information Technology, Tourism, Economics, Management and Agriculture – ITEMA 2019 – Bratislava, Slovakia, October 24, 2019, CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS published by the Association of Economists and Managers of the Balkans, Belgrade; Printed by: SKRIPTA International, Belgrade, ISBN 978-86-80194-23-3, ISSN 2683-5991, DOI: https://doi.org/10.31410/ITEMA.2019

 

 

Abstract

In Africa, where 60% of the population is under 25 years, the enormous and diverse business
environment suffers from a number of problems, ranging from access to funding to gaps in government
support and weaknesses in the education system. Undoubtedly, there is the need for better governance
among the continent’s nations in order to catch up and to develop creative economies with high added
value products. Considering Kenya, the information and communication industry can be a breakthrough
point thanks to positive, “enabler regulation” and governmental support. The authors believe that the
IT sector could serve as an “escape card” from the captivity of history and geography. Astonishingly,
85% of the population is employed in agriculture while the country is called ”Silicon Savannah”. 43
financial institutions, around 1000 startups and an emerging FinTech ecosystem can be identified with
several dominant Chinese and Indian corporates. Furthermore, Google, IBM and other tech multinationals
are also present. IBM opened its 12th development center in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital found in
1899 with a current population of 5.6 million. Large technology companies are promoting business and
idea competitions across the continent in the field of internet and communication technologies. Since
half of the 580.367 km2 country is arid or semi-arid, the Kenyan market is also interesting for foreign
AgriTech companies besides the IT industry. It is indisputable that large companies cannot replace the
government in creating the basis of a prosperous business environment, nonetheless they do have a
beneficial effect on the building of networks and providing opportunities for ideas to emerge. Universities
can achieve similarly positive results. The Stanford alumni network has already been successful
in Africa. By the coordinated activities of former students outside California the organization creates
jobs, generates revenue, and has a positive social impact. Kenya has undergone significant political,
structural and economic reforms over the past decade, largely contributing to sustainable economic
growth and social development. The August 2010 Constitution introduced a new system of political and
economic governance that promoted a greater level of investments, strengthened accountability and the
development of local public services. Forecasts for the near future show that GDP growth is expected to
rise to 5.8 percentage points in 2019, supported by a boom in agriculture, a more favourable business
climate and a reduction of political uncertainty. In the medium term, GDP growth is projected to 6% in
2020, depending on private sector credit growth, ongoing remittances, debt and expenditure management
and global oil prices. However, the main challenges are still poverty, inequality, climate change,
economic exposure and vulnerability to internal and external shocks. Kenya has every chance of becoming
a success story for Africa through its growing young population, dynamic private sector, highly
skilled workforce, better infrastructure, new constitution and central role in East Africa. Key economic
and social goals include reducing the poverty rate and inequality, improving governance, creating cohesion
between market needs and educational curricula, adapting to climate change, achieving rapid
and sustained growth in investment and corporate productivity.

 

Keywords

Kenya, African Startups, Innovation, Startup Savannah.


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