Wrapping up Kenya visit, UN chief says technology can change future of Africa

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pays a visit to the offices of the non profit technology company Ushahidi and its offshoot, iHub, while in Nairobi, Kenya. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

31 October 2014 – Technology can help fuel Africa's development, facilitate peace and secure the continent's future, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, as he wrapped up his trip to Kenya with a visit to a technology hub in the country's capital of Nairobi.

In remarks made during his visit to the iHub/Ushahidi technology incubator in Kenya's 'Silicon Savannah', the Secretary-General praised the work done there by young creatives and developers, telling them that the technology and ideas they were developing would promote “a great transformation for our society” in the same way that steam power revolutionized the 19th century.

“Technology can be used as a great power to change your life, to change our lives, particularly the life and future of Africa,” Mr. Ban said, celebrating Kenya's role as an African technological innovator and regional economic powerhouse.

“Now I can call you the power of creativity. This technology and creativity should be used not only by you Kenyans, not only by Africans, but should be used everywhere.”

According to its website, the iHub/Ushahidi has helped build East Africa's technology community, growing to over 14,000 members and incubating 150 start-ups.

In addition, the Secretary-General celebrated the presence of “so may young women” among the iHub/Ushahidi developers, declaring that Kenya's technology experts were utilizing “the potential of women's resources to the maximum.”

“When we use your creativity and ideas, I can bet you that the productivity and greater progress of the country will be at least 50 per cent more than in the past,” Mr. Ban concluded.

“This needs to be used by all people around the world, particularly those countries in the developing world, including your country and also the African countries.”


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