#digitalfordevelopment: Alexander De Croo on a tech mission to Kenya

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation and Digital Agenda Alexander De Croo will be heading on a two day mission for Kenya, Africa’s “Silicon Savannah” . He will be accompanied by Startups.be and Close the Gap. Nairobi is one of the most important tech hubs in Africa with a thriving start up scene. Under De Croo’s tenure, Digital for Development (D4D) has taken a central place in Belgium’s Development Cooperation policy, leveraging digitalization for development.

Alexander De Croo will be accompanied by 40 Belgian startups, companies and NGOs. Together, they will get to know better the Kenyan tech ecosystem and explore new opportunities for cooperation.

D4D-platform
The startups and NGOs were selected by Startups.be and Close The Gap. Both are part of Alexander De Croo’s D4D platform launched by the Minister last year. Aim of the platform is to bring together companies, organizations and projects to improve the effectiveness of the Belgian Development Cooperation policy.

Minister De Croo will also meet Kenyan ICT Minister, Joseph Mucheru.

Entrepreneurial and innovative Africa
Alexander De Croo: “The thriving start up scene shows us another kind of Africa : young, entrepreneurial and innovative, embracing the future. Kenya has learned that digitalization and a dynamic private sector are crucial factors for sustainable development. It is exactly that approach Belgium is supporting.”

The Belgian tech delegation will visit M-Kopa, a young scale up selling small solar home units. More than 600.000 homes have been provided with electricity in Eastern Africa by the company.

More Belgian startups in Kenya
The mission will also include a co-creation session at the Nailab incubator, where Belgian and Kenyan companies will brainstorm and work on new ideas.

Karen Boers, CEO of Startups.be: “Thousands of startups have been created the last few years in Kenya, Nigeria and South-Africa. They come with fresh ideas and innovations and become an ever more important factor of employment. At the same time, more and more Belgian startups develop activities in Kenya. The high number of participants in the mission confirms the need for bringing the Belgian and Kenyan tech ecosystems together.”

Olivier Vanden Eynde, Managing Director Close the Gap: “Beside the existing and essential role of NGOs in developing countries, a growing number of for profit social impact enterprises have great potential in stimulating the region. These new actors reinforce themselves continuously through working with their stakeholders. This is the way to go for creating prosperity and self-reliance at the base of the pyramid on the African continent.