How much will technology boom change Kenya?

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Nairobi City Council recently piloted a scheme to allow motorists to pay parking fees - and fines - on their mobile phones. By eliminating cash payments, the government hopes to reduce corruption and increase its own revenues.

"You remove all these inefficiencies, you improve governance," says Bitange Ndemo, the top civil servant at Kenya's Ministry for Information and Communication.

His grand plan is to put the whole of Kenya's notoriously corrupt government online.

"If we also automated the procurement systems, we would raise another $1bn [£624m]. We would gain far [more] than going out there to look for money from donors."

Ndemo believes that IT has the power to change life in Africa as radically as steam changed life in Europe in the 19th Century. "[There is] a new industrial revolution that is coming in this digital age," he says.

Civil servant Bitange Ndemo says he wants digital tools to help beat corruption
"We in the third world, we have so much youth. We can leverage on that and be able to leapfrog the economy, instead of going through the same steps that most countries went through."

But Ndemo says his plans for a digital revolution frequently meet with resistance, from Kenyan officials who prefer the status quo, to foreign aid donors wedded to an older system. But his biggest obstacle may be infrastructure.

Only around 30% of Kenyans currently have access to the internet. For Ndemo's dream to succeed, Kenya will need to move beyond the low-tech mobile app.

"We're at a very early stage in East Africa's technology boom," says Mr Hersman.

But he says he is optimistic about the future. "We don't know quite yet what it will grow up to be."But I am very bullish on the ability of the technology sector in Kenya to push this country forward for a long time to come."