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Safaricom is not the problem, app developers are

Kenyan developers have been told to stop complaining that Safaricom, the leading telecommunications services provider, is killing the local tech scene by overlooking locally produced digital content.

Speaking yesterday at Mobile Web East Africa (MWEA) 2013 conference in Nairobi, Nzioka Waita, Safaricom’s director-corporate affairs, said: “Can you deliver quality, timely, innovative and unique solutions to problems? We are ready to work with you.”

Waita said Safaricom has already taken up local inventions that it saw as of good quality and that can be easily be scaled, citing Kopo-Kopo as an example of a social partnership it has had in the local arena.

Speaking at the same event, Jimmy Gitonga, Manager at iHub Kenya, said: “Let us stop this culture of passing on the blame. We should inculcate the delivery culture in all that we do, embrace good work ethics and a learning mind, and we will see our content sell more.”

Will Mutua, founder of Afrinnovator, argued developers should look at other ways of making money out of their creations rather than just relying on Safaricom.

“With the introduction of low-cost smartphones in the country, there is a huge potential for developers and other content developers to monetize their work,” Mutua said.

According to Ken Mwenda, MD and Strategic Business Development at eMobili Mobile Tech Academy, developers should embrace professional ethics while conducting their businesses.

“The world out there has space for nothing less, and that is a gap that is missing in the current market,” he added.

Posted in: Startups

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