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Palgrave Studies of Entrepreneurship in Africa
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Digital Kenya

An Entrepreneurial Revolution in the Making

Editors: Ndemo, Bitange, Weiss, Tim (Eds.)

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  • Presents a unique insight into the digital revolution in Kenya
  • Includes first-hand experiences from entrepreneurs and investors
  • Provides recommendations for policy makers in developing countries  
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-57878-5
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on
Hardcover 29,12 €
price for Spain (gross)
Softcover 20,80 €
price for Spain (gross)
About this book

This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license.

Presenting rigorous and original research, this volume offers key insights into the historical, cultural, social, economic and political forces at play in the creation of world-class ICT innovations in Kenya. Following the arrival of fiber-optic cables in 2009, Digital Kenya examines why the initial entrepreneurial spirit and digital revolution has begun to falter despite support from motivated entrepreneurs, international investors, policy experts and others. Written by engaged scholars and professionals in the field, the book offers 15 eye-opening chapters and 14 one-on-one conversations with entrepreneurs and investors to ask why establishing ICT start-ups on a continental and global scale remains a challenge on the “Silicon Savannah”. The authors present evidence-based recommendations to help Kenya to continue producing globally impactful  ICT innovations that improve the lives of those still waiting on the side-lines, and to inspire other nations to do the same.

About the authors

Bitange Ndemo is Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and the former Permanent Secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communication. In his previous role he transformed the country’s ICT sector through initiating international and countrywide fiber optic connectivity, conceptualizing Kenya’s first technology cluster, and facilitating M-Pesa.

Tim Weiss is a research fellow and ethnographer in organization and globalization studies at Zeppelin University, Germany. His research focuses on the impact of today’s global phenomena on the lives and organizations of Africans and on Africa’s unique responses to grand global challenges.


Digital Kenya is a candid look at the backstory of Kenya’s celebrated entrepreneurial revolution. It combines insightful analysis with honest conversations in the unique voices of the nation’s tech leaders. A sober look at Kenya’s dream of becoming the ‘Silicon Savannah’ — and an essential guide to the new African narrative.” (Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom)

Digital Kenya is a vibrant and striking contribution not just to technology entrepreneurship in Kenya but to the world. It will inspire more ICT revolutions across the globe!” (Stella M Nkomo, University of Pretoria (SA) & President Africa Academy of Management)

“Insightful, thorough, and revealing. Digital Kenya thrusts the nation’s tech entrepreneurs, policymakers, financiers, and thought leaders into the limelight. How is Kenya transforming itself into an unprecedented world tech leader? What historical, cultural, and other barriers is it facing? Will it succeed? Digital Kenya tells all from a truly African perspective.” (Joseph Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications)

“This book just will change your vision of what’s possible in life, when people dare to think big. Digital Kenya explores the country’s astounding emergence as a tech powerhouse on the world stage — and the challenges still ahead. It’s comprehensive, colorful, and one-of-a-kind.” (Victor Kyalo, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications)

Digital Kenya is an exceptional book highlighting the digital progress to date, and future of, digital business in Kenya.  The changes and experiences in Kenya are laying the groundwork for the spread of the revolution across the continent.  Scholars focused on entrepreneurship, corporate strategy in emerging markets, digital business, or Africa need to take advantage of this significant book and the great insights it provides.” (Garry Bruton, Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University & associate editor of Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal)

Digital Kenya is an essential resource for anyone who wants to understand, leverage, or replicate Kenya’s remarkable digital revolution. In this eclectic volume, academicians, Internet entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers join forces to explore and unravel the wide array of political, cultural, and technological forces giving rise to the “Silicon Savannah.” (Alan Meyer, Lundquist Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Oregon)

“Today, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship make the buzz of the “Africa rising” narrative. The authors of Digital Kenya however go beyond, by providing instructive, provocative insights and first-hand experience from knowledgeable entrepreneurs on how to take advantage of emerging digital dividends. The lessons are relevant for Africa and beyond. This is a required reading!” (Moses Kiggundu, Sproot School of Business at Carleton University & founding editor Africa Journal of Management)

“This book is a pioneering guidebook on digital entrepreneurship in Kenya. It is a rich source of lessons for other African countries and beyond. Digital Kenya is as relevant to policy makers as it is to practitioners and students.” (Calestous Juma, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, USA)

“Bitange Ndemo and Tim Weiss have successfully captured the exciting and game-changing digital narrative of Kenya and its resolute march toward connectivity and creativity.  A must-read for anyone who wants to play in the tech space in Africa.” (Zain Verjee, former CNN anchor)

Table of contents (15 chapters)

Table of contents (15 chapters)
  • The Paradigm Shift: Disruption, Creativity, and Innovation in Kenya

    Pages 1-23

    Ndemo, Bitange

  • The Internet Journey for Kenya: The Interplay of Disruptive Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Fueling Rapid Growth

    Pages 27-53

    Mureithi, Muriuki

  • The KINGS of Africa’s Digital Economy

    Pages 55-92

    Osiakwan, Eric M.K.

  • Addressing Voids: How Digital Start-ups in Kenya Create Market Infrastructure

    Pages 97-131

    Drouillard, Marissa

  • Reimagine What You Already Know: Toward New Solutions to Longstanding Problems

    Pages 133-160

    Larson, Jay (et al.)

Buy this book

  • ISBN 978-1-137-57878-5
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on
Hardcover 29,12 €
price for Spain (gross)
Softcover 20,80 €
price for Spain (gross)

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Digital Kenya
Book Subtitle
An Entrepreneurial Revolution in the Making
  • Bitange Ndemo
  • Tim Weiss
Series Title
Palgrave Studies of Entrepreneurship in Africa
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and the Author(s)
eBook ISBN
Hardcover ISBN
Softcover ISBN
Series ISSN
Edition Number
Number of Pages
Number of Illustrations
22 b/w illustrations

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