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NJIHIA: Building Africa’s second last mile cloud platform

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Africa’s digital landscape
Africa’s digital landscape presents a ripe opportunity for transformational products and services. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Africa has been trending for a while as a hot ticket investment destination and as a continent we have quite a bit going for us. We have a growing youthful population, rising middleclass, fast rate of urbanisation and carry little baggage by way of established legacy systems.

Africa’s digital landscape presents a ripe opportunity for transformational products and services.

However, to capitalise on this opportunity one needs stable, high availability platforms that can scale. Many technology entrepreneurs have gone on to make use of infrastructure (IaaS), backend (BaaS) and platform (PaaS) as a service from providers such as Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Alibaba Cloud, IBM BlueMix, Oracle Cloud among others that offer suites covering compute power, networking, databases, storage, analytics, management and deployment tools, developer kits et al, that can be mixed and matched to one’s solution delight.

With the total cost of ownership reduced by competitive pricing and features such as discounts on reserved instances, continuous use or generous credits, the only checkbox that remains unmarked to have these as near perfect solutions, is that of availability zones.

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Simply put, availability zones are fully-fledged physically isolated data centeres within a region that are connected to each other by low-latency private network connections and allow for the alignment of services built on them, to regulation that governs issues such as data residency and user privacy, up and above the benefit of being closer to the end user.

Most global cloud service providers do not have active zones anywhere on the African continent which leaves most techpreneurs inclined to either Ireland, London or Frankfurt as the shortest hop. What needs to be done to close on this second-last mile is very clear and a number of players have taken notice. There are startups such as Node Africa and Angani that are helping frame value for the small to medium size business segment while bigger players such as Liquid Telkom, Seacom, Orange, Safaricom, Tata Communications, Djibouti Data Center, Icolo, East Africa Data Center among others, go for the enterprise wholesale B2B segment, split between providing bare metal, carriage capacity and last mile.

Financial services, gaming (MMOG’s), education (MOOC’s) and the emerging IoT verticals make a good case for faster, more responsive user experiences that discerning consumers are starting to demand. Partnerships and collaboration on the B2B segment is the clear winning strategy. Physical rails must be laid for the digital dividend to be fully realised and no one player can manage it all.

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Haraka Haraka app to link customers with service providers

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A new App dubbed “Haraka Haraka” has today been unveiled in Kenya to help customers find the right service providers in their current location within a specified range of choice.

The platform was invented by three former Meru University of Science and technology students and with the app, they seek to make it easier for people to find services such as a plumber, retailers, shops and house agents that have been difficult to get physically.

The team, Mr Kelvin Muinde, Mr Pius Momanyi Nyachio and Mrs Naum Mutie said there are currently about 3,500 users who are potential clients and service providers on the platform who include carpenters, hairdressers, plumbers and mechanics, and more.

“We are taking away the burden of searching for experienced and reliable professional businesses in a hassle-free model to deliver critical services to individuals who are in need of their specific location,” said Pius Momanyi Nyachio who is the Marketing Manager.

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Mr Kelvin Muinde, who is the head of the project said the idea to start Haraka Haraka was initiated out of his observance of people having difficulty in finding a reliable service in an area that they are not well conversant with.

“The biggest challenge customers face is finding the right service providers at any area, mostly if you are not familiar, most people end up getting poor services that cost them time and resources,” he said.

To find any service or to register as a service provider, individuals are requested to first download the Haraka Haraka App on Google and register where later one can choose a range between 100m to 30km to find the service they are in need of.

The app also comes with an option of reviewing and rating a service provider which acts as an advantage to next service seekers enabling easy referrals to new clients.

‘’The registration to the app is free for both users and professionals,’’ said Mr Kelvin Muinde. The company’s aim is to hit 10,000 users by the end of this year. Ideally, they plan to have a maximum of 30,000 professionals on the platform.


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Haraka Haraka app to link customers with service providers

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on

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A new App dubbed “Haraka Haraka” has today been unveiled in Kenya to help customers find the right service providers in their current location within a specified range of choice.

The platform was invented by three former Meru University of Science and technology students and with the app, they seek to make it easier for people to find services such as a plumber, retailers, shops and house agents that have been difficult to get physically.

The team, Mr Kelvin Muinde, Mr Pius Momanyi Nyachio and Mrs Naum Mutie said there are currently about 3,500 users who are potential clients and service providers on the platform who include carpenters, hairdressers, plumbers and mechanics, and more.

“We are taking away the burden of searching for experienced and reliable professional businesses in a hassle-free model to deliver critical services to individuals who are in need of their specific location,” said Pius Momanyi Nyachio who is the Marketing Manager.

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Mr Kelvin Muinde, who is the head of the project said the idea to start Haraka Haraka was initiated out of his observance of people having difficulty in finding a reliable service in an area that they are not well conversant with.

“The biggest challenge customers face is finding the right service providers at any area, mostly if you are not familiar, most people end up getting poor services that cost them time and resources,” he said.

To find any service or to register as a service provider, individuals are requested to first download the Haraka Haraka App on Google and register where later one can choose a range between 100m to 30km to find the service they are in need of.

The app also comes with an option of reviewing and rating a service provider which acts as an advantage to next service seekers enabling easy referrals to new clients.

‘’The registration to the app is free for both users and professionals,’’ said Mr Kelvin Muinde. The company’s aim is to hit 10,000 users by the end of this year. Ideally, they plan to have a maximum of 30,000 professionals on the platform.


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Balala wants investigation into alleged harassment at Ol Jogi launched – KBC

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Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala

Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has directed the Kenya Wildlife Service to commence investigations into the alleged harassment of a victim by private game ranchers at Ol Jogi Conservancy in Laikipia County.

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It is reported that the victim known as Mordecai Ogada in the company of his children was harassed on Saturday while driving on a public road in the conservancy.

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In a statement, Balala has asked for speedy investigations and findings to be concluded by Wednesday this week.

The CS added that no discriminations will be allowed to any Kenyan at any conservancy in the country.

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“The government of Kenya and my ministry will not condone any undue harassment or intimidation of Kenyans who are going about their normal businesses and enjoying their God given heritage by anyone,” said CS Balala.

He urged Kenyans to report any such incidents with facts for action to be taken.

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