USAID Impact Photo Credit: USAID and Partners

Archives for Sub-Saharan Africa

Silicon Valley in the Savannah

We had a great start to our day in Nairobi — we met an inspiring group of Kenyan media and technology entrepreneurs who are the driving force behind Kenya’s blossoming technology community.

Silicon Valley, watch out. This group of entrepreneurs is forging the next frontier in digital media and mobile based technology. From mobile banking and SMS crowd sourcing technology, to mapping slums and watch-dogging government, I’m convinced these are the kinds of transformational actors that are driving Kenya’s future – and Africa’s future.

They’re the likes of Ory Okolloh, founder of Ushahidi and Mzalendo; Joseph Macheru from Google Kenya, Karanja Macharia, founder of Mobile Planet, Kwame Nyongo, founder of Animations; Mike Rabar, founder of Home Boyz Entertainment and Salim Amin from A24. They’re just a sample of a much broader community of entrepreneurs whose influence and impact is building across the continent.

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Packing for Africa

I’m packing for Africa; I’ve been many times before, but this will be my first trip there as head of USAID.

In both Kenya and Sudan I’ll focus on the development and progress of President Obama’s Global Health Initiative and Food Security Initiative, while gaining a deeper understanding of U.S. bilateral  and regional investments in agriculture, health, democracy and governance.

I’m looking forward especially to engaging with our African partners in health care, including visits to clinics, and to meeting local entrepreneurs. I’ll also be eager to confer with USAID Country and Regional Team officials — Nairobi is home to a regional office running a broad array of dynamic projects across East Africa. And, I’m going to sound out some of our stellar local staff, who are the backbone of US government missions around the globe.

Stay tuned: We’ll let you know when the trip gets under way, and will provide updates throughout.

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