Report on ICT Impact Investing in East Africa

In my last post I wrote about the launch of the EA Impact Investing Report commissioned by CMA and the Rockefeller foundation.  I got my hands on it a couple of days ago, and I was not disappointed.
The report looks at the ICT industry in its entirety from startup to growth to maturity, and is concise with each item looked at properly queried and recommendations given.  I will look at the chapters two and three and then the last three chapter in conclusion in the subsequent post.
Broadly, the EA ICT industry is segmented into four; Telecoms, Software, Hardware and IT enabled services, with the software segment being the largest, followed by a significant telecoms segment.  The industry can be said to be at the start-up/early stages as majority of the firms are small and medium sized.
The telcoms segment accounts for a majority of the ICt sector’s revenue, upto 90% as this is where the telephony service providers are.  With the penetration of the mobile phones in the region cuopled with the attendant usage, this explains its share of the revenue pie.  Regionally, growth in the ICT sector has been mainly driven by this segment.
This segment mainly comprises of local repsentatives of international manufacturer, eg HP, IBM, both as resellers and distributors.  Most of these are mature companies and there is high level of competition in this segment.  It is also a high volume-low margin industry.  Another thing to note is that there is virtual no PC assembly done in EA and so this firms will need to look at emerging and alternative business models to further grow.
This holds the largest number of ICT firms operating in the region accounting for approximately 67%.  This are small outfits developing proprietary and non-proprietary software and some customizing the same.  Due to their sizes the face typical SME challenges of lack of proper financial and reporting systems.  This hinders their growth prospects.
Information Technology (IT)enabled services
Herein lie the Business Process Outsorcing firms, in EA the BPO industry is not fully developed but is growing rapidly as compared to the international scene.  It is relatively new and as the industry grows worldwide it is expected that they same will happen in the region.
Below is a table illustrating sources of financing in the industry, in the region
SME Financing
SME Financing
From the above it is clear that majority of the firms were started from internal loans ie loans from the owner, friends and family.  This is something that is prevalent in most SMEs and not specific to the industry.
Challenges faced by firms is accessing finace/capital were noted as:
  • Lack of Collateral
  • Risk profile
  • Irregular Cashflows

among others.

The report goes into depth analysing this challenges and offfers recommendations on how to overcome them.

You can download the report here.


My Position On KenyaFeb28 (via Diasporadical)

I do not entirely agree with this, but interesting all the same…

My Position On KenyaFeb28 I'm certainly not the first to delve into the subject of #KenyaFeb28. The lovely 3CB, who's also a writer on DR, touched on the subject on her blog. Another blogger Kachwanya eulogized the event weeks before its perceived death. Let me also clarify that though I am in support of #KenyaFeb28, I do not speak on behalf of the organizers. I just happen to a be a blogger and tweep (@Nittzsah) who doesn't mind singing the National Anthem, for the whole … Read More

via Diasporadical

Launch of EA ICT Impact Investing Report

Tomorrow, the Capital Markets Authority, CMA, will launch a report from a taskforce it appointed to look into ICT Impact Investing in the East Africa region. In appointing the taskforce the CMA set out to:

To encourage the growth of impact investing in the ICT sector in East Africa and thus improve ICT services to the poor while also contributing to the growth of the financial market…

The taskforce with Richard Bell as the chairman undertook a three-phased research and will be launching their report on Thursday 24th February at the Nairobi Serena.

The taskforce’s major objecitves were:

  • Identify the impediments to socially impactful technology investments in the region.
  • Identify possible technology investments that could be attractive to Impact Investors
  • Develop tangible recommendations on steps that could be taken to overcome the existing obstacles to successful impact investing and venture capital in the East African ICT sector.

The most important output of this report is the fact that actual and relevant data available to groups and individuals interested in investing in the ICT sector in the EA region.

Another issue I am most interested in is the recommendations from the taskforces on tax and legal requirements obtaining in the EA region. One thing to note is that in so much as the EA governements have tried to streamline tax and legal obligations to investment, they still are dissimilar, thus exposing investors to bottlenecks.

From the extensive expertise of the taskforce members, we expect a thorough and detailed report, I’ll be writing more on this once I after the launch..

Quick hits for the morning

My morning ritual consists of emails, then Google Reader so here is what I have been reading this morning;

Tech Industry Stuff:

Some Politic:



Hope you enjoy.  Cheers.

Trying Out Something New..

Seeing as I have become too lazy, I will be trying something new, starting today apart from regular posting, I will be putting up links to posts from my Google Reader and beyond, more or less sharing with you guys whatever seems interesting to me.  This will be both from the local interwebs/blogs as well as from blogs from beyond our .254 borders.

I’ll also try an do website and blog reviews basically what I used to do at KenyaImagine.

First off a couple of links for today:


Letter to my 13 year old self

Bobby in his infinite wisdom decide to tag me on this so here goes..

Dear Victorious,

Vipi Boss, this me, you but from the future, it aint that confusing is it?  I have couple of things and I think you’ll be alright from now if you follow even two of them.

One, the fact that you are the tallest dude in class, does not mean that you are the strongest, know this and it’ll save you from the thrashing that is just about to come your way.  Eric the guy with the big ears, avoid him like plague he is itching to slap you…..

I know by now she has told you that she does not feel you, get over it mopping around wont change anything kwanza you’ll look like a fool and act like one.  I mean those flowers you plan to buy will be put on display for everyone to laugh at and the letter you plan to write will be chambuliwad by all the chicks in her class, its going to be a rough couple of weeks for you so chin up.  This is when you’ll decide to start writing poetry, a misadventure you should abandon as soon as possible, love poetry aint your thing.

When mum and dad tell you stuff, listen to them very carefully, they’ve got your back no matter what, you’ll find this out very soon.

Now this business of you wanting to be a lawyer forget about it, it’s overated and you and maths were never meant to be friends so the fact that you got a 48 in that last paper should  not worry you that much, what you’ll be doing later on wont involve the two.  That computer should be your friend, love it and yeah also embrace the fact that you are a news guy, watch the 1 o’clock, the 7 o’clock and the 9 o’clock, read newspapers, magazine, books and all of that, you’ll congratulate yourself later.  Another thing, next year’s KCPE, you will fail so look forward to high school it’ll be better.

You are going into high school after that and rugby is going be your life, it’ll come with many benefits so don’t even think of joining the choir, that girl you are following will be shouting your name during your first match.

Lastly keep away from cigarettes and alcohol, I know you think you look cool smoking that one you stole from Dad’s room, you dont!!  You’ll regret this!  Heed this last one and you are exempt from the others

I’ll make sure to do another letter when you are 18 and going to Uni..


Victor from 2010

On this note I tag, Nziokxs, Muniu and Muendo my partners in crime..

Rough Afternoons

It’s one of those rough afternoons where you are fighting with various documents, with constant interruptions from you inbox, for what you’d think is an important email but turn out to some American Viagra dudes who happen to harvest your email from a comment you left on a website. So you decide the best course of action is to read more blogs and make sure not to comment, lest the some other (French maybe) Viagra dudes mail you.

So Firefox gets opened and before you know it you have like 24 tabs open and the other docs hovering on your taskbar, not to worry. You lie to yourself that you are reading cerebral intellectual stuff but the tabs that hogs your attention is the one with details of Lindsay Lohan and her new girlie and you wishing that they could maybe give you a call, you discuss a few matter of mutual importance ;-). The NatGeo Page is languishing with no attention at all.

Nothing’s going well from the time not moving to you feeling hungry though you just had chapati mbili na ndegu. You brain is totally blank like a new foolscap. You are trying to look busy, kumbe you are dreaming of solitaire, thinking of spicing it up by playing spider solitaire that how rough it is.

You decide to go offline despite the fact that you are supposed to be working online in the first place, work on the documents before the boss figures out you are doing nothing.