Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Business of Tech

Kenyan President pitches Silicon Savannah investment to Silicon Valley

Article Image
Kenyan President William Ruto has invited American technology companies to set up manufacturing operations and regional offices in his country.

During a US-Kenya business roadshow in San Francisco, California last week Ruto met with several Silicon Valley tech CEOs to pitch Kenya's 'Silicon Savannah' as a prime investment destination for US-based tech companies.

"Kenya is a full package investment destination; economically stable, entrepreneurial, secure, innovative with a favourable tax environment, skilled labor force, technological expertise, green energy credentials and a gateway for six undersea fiber-optic cables providing reliable data connectivity," Ruto said in a statement.

"If you set up in Kenya. Your African footprint is guaranteed," he added in a thread on X, formerly known as Twitter.

According to Ruto, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company will consider setting up a developer's academy and will also tap into Kenya's green data center potential.

"We welcome the consideration by Apple, the world's most valuable multinational technology firm to work with the Government on the growth of Kenya's innovation and startup ecosystem," he continued on X.

"Kenya's green data center potential is one other area that Apple will look into tapping for achieving the company's sustainability goals," Ruto added.

Apple partners with M-Pesa

During the meeting with Apple, Ruto also announced a partnership between Kenyan operator Safaricom's mobile financial services platform, M-Pesa, and Apple which is expected to further enhance M-Pesa's global reach.

M-Pesa allows both banked and unbanked users to send and receive money, pay merchants, pay bills and buy airtime through the M-Pesa wallet.

"Safaricom is developing a partnership with Apple to integrate M-Pesa and its PayPal platform to extend M-Pesa's transactional reach globally," said Ruto.

Even though Safaricom already has M-Pesa Global, which was launched in 2018 as an expansion of the carrier's financial services to other countries, Ruto said this partnership is a new node in M-Pesa's global growth.

Moreover, the partnership between the two companies is set to create a broader ecosystem of services accessible to M-Pesa users.

Ruto meets other Silicon Valley executives

The Kenyan President also met with executives of Elon Musk's Starlink and said the company presents a promising solution for achieving universal Internet access by overcoming traditional infrastructure limitations.

Ruto urged Starlink to work on lowering the cost of Internet connection in Kenya, and across Africa.

Starlink launched in Kenya in July 2023, and is also available in Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda and the French department islands of Reunion and Mayotte off the African coast.

Ruto met with Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger, whose company has established an AI Developer Lab at Kenya Technical Trainers' College.

Kenyan President William Ruto met with Silicon Valley executives including Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger to pitch his country as a prime investment destination for American tech companies.   (Source: The Official Website of the President of the Republic of Kenya).
Kenyan President William Ruto met with Silicon Valley executives including Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger to pitch his country as a prime investment destination for American tech companies.
(Source: The Official Website of the President of the Republic of Kenya).

Moreover, the Kenyan President also met with Microsoft executives and highlighted the tech giant's partnership with Mawingu which has enhanced access to wireless broadband for Kenyans in rural areas.

Mawingu is an Internet service provider that delivers rural Internet access via solar-plus-battery-powered radio towers and in May 2023, launched the first outdoor Telecom Infra Project (TIP) OpenWiFi network in Kenya.

Ruto also met Alphabet's CFO Ruth Porat and had talks with executives from clothing companies GAP, Nike and Levi Strauss.

"Kenya has plenty of opportunities to offer American technology and manufacturing companies, particularly its potential as a vital African base and prime center for tech, manufacturing, connectivity, infrastructure development and garment fabrication," Ruto added.

Related posts:

*Top image is of Kenyan President William Ruto and Apple CEO Tim Cook. (Source: The Official Website of the President of the Republic of Kenya).

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Video

Interview: Juliet Ehimuan on Africa's next wave of innovation

Juliet Ehimuan, founder and CEO of Beyond Limits Africa and ex-MD of Google West Africa, spoke to Connecting Africa about the next wave of innovation in Africa and the continent's digital future.

Story

InDrive enters Zimbabwe's Bulawayo

Ride-sharing platform InDrive is expanding its services to Zimbabwean city of Bulawayo after successfully introducing its services in the capital of Harare in May this year.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Sponsored video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

Story

Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

Nextv Series Africa
October 4-5, 2023
Hotel Sky Sandton, Johannesburg
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Flash poll

All polls

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: August 2023

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in August 2023 in the Middle East and Africa included a commercial 5G launch from Ethio Telecom and the signing of a virtual wheeling agreement between Vodacom South Africa and Eskom – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up
Tag id I-0000192