Mark Zuckerberg In Kenya To Explore Its Pioneering Mobile Money Ecosystem

After a great outing in Nigeria, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg in Kenya, will witness what he calls its pioneering mobile money ecosystem. He flew in to Nairobi to visit the iHub technology hub, meet with developers and partners.

Here is what the press release we received said about the purpose of his visit:

“Zuckerberg is in Kenya to see how technology innovation is changing the country, learn more about what mobile entrepreneurs are doing with the latest technology, and find out how Facebook can better support small businesses, developers and content creators across growing markets.”

iHub an innovation hub and hacker space started in March 2010 received Mark Zuckerberg in Kenya. It was his first stop in the country. The hub was founded by TED fellow and entrepreneur, Eric Hersman.

Mark met the following developers and entrepreneurs:

  • Edna Kwinga, Chief Human Resource Officer and Marie Amuti, UX designer at Twiga Foods, a mobile based-business-to-business supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Eric Thimba and Porgie Gachui co-founders of Mookh, a digital payments start-up.
  • Wandia Gichuru, CEO, and Makena Mutwiri, Head of Marketing of Vivo Active Wear, an online women’s clothes store does most of its business via Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp. The transactions are conducted with mobile money.

Here is what Mark said about his visit to iHub:

“Just landed in Nairobi! I’m here to meet with entrepreneurs and developers, and to learn about mobile money — where Kenya is the world leader” says Zuckerberg. “I’m starting at a place called iHub, where entrepreneurs can build and prototype their ideas. Two of the engineers I met, Fausto and Mark, designed a system to help people use mobile payments to buy small amounts of cooking gas, which is a lot safer and better for the environment than charcoal or kerosene. It’s inspiring to see how engineers here are using mobile money to build businesses and help their community”

Mark also spent some time with developers in The Community Space. He also checked out ‘BRCK, an American-owned, Kenya-based start-up that built a rugged, self-powered, mobile WiFi device which connects people and things to the internet in areas of the world with poor infrastructure’.

Mark Zuckerberg in Kenya later posted that he met with Joseph Mucheru, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary of Information and Communications. According to Mark, they ate “at a place everyone recommended; MAMA Oliech Restaurant”.

We may all have to be playing a game of “Where will Mark Zuckerberg stop by next” as he continues to make his surprise visits across Africa. I’ll try a guess here, maybe Rwanda or South Africa. What do you think?


Originally published at Techvoize.