AOk. Nairobi "as a test-bed for tomorrow’s technologies"

This quote touches on what becomes heavily popularized discourse in the early days of the iHub (~2010-2013) that because of the numerous limitations present in the everyday lived experiences of Kenya (frequent blackouts, expensive and slow Internet, low-end devices, etc, etc.) if technology developed in the "global south" can work in the global south, then it can work anywhere else. Erik Hersman, co-founder of Ushahidi, iHub and BRCK articulates this explicitly: "if it works in Africa, it will work anywhere." This is a sticky narrative that makes a case for why companies should invest in establishing a base on the continent to test and develop their technologies (because if they can first get it to work in Africa, then they can get it to work anywhere else).

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"The prospect of marrying low-end mobile phones with the Internet is earning Nairobi notice from outsiders, who wonder whether the city might emerge as a test-bed for tomorrow’s technologies."


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