Kenya becoming a startup nation – Kenyatta

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta used his State of the Nation address to Parliament yesterday to praise the innovations of tech hubs such as iHub and Nailab, saying the country was becoming a “startup nation”.

Kenyatta dedicated part of his speech to praising young Kenyans for their capabilities in driving growth and progress in the country.

“I have been delighted by the vibrancy of their innovation, energy and commitment. From the innovators at iHub, nailab and the 16 technology hubs, to Equity Bank’s Wings to Fly, Kenya’s youth are proving repeatedly that they are holding the present and future of our nation in their hands,” he said.

“Kenya is becoming a start-up nation. In the last year, we have witnessed the growth of homegrown technological innovation of cutting edge global standards. Herein, lies an unprecedented opportunity to leverage relevant technology to respond to our needs, drive our economy, job market, and improve service delivery.”

Kenyatta perhaps demonstrated his liking for the hubs last Friday, when the president made an unannounced visit to iHub, m:lab East Africa and Nailab to hear about and meet innovative startups based at the incubators.

Earlier this month, the country’s Ministry of ICT and ICT Authority launched Enterprise Kenya, aimed at supporting and building the technology entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country, with Kenyatta urging that Kenyan innovation be encouraged.

In his State of the Nation Address, Kenyatta also called upon all government ministries and agencies, as well as the private sector to explore these homegrown innovations and support young innovators before turning to solutions from abroad.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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