Kenyan Firms leading in IT Innovation

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As Kenya becomes the leader in computer and information technology we have chosen to highlight a few organizations. Eneza Education, ChamaSoft and Shamba Shape Up recently won the 2014 Innovation awards sponsored by Kenya’s Information and Communication Technology Authority.

Eneza Education

Eneza’s mission is to make 50 million kids across rural Africa smarter. In Kiswahili, “eneza” means “to reach” or “to spread.” Their content is aligned to the local context, and uses the most common form of technology in Kenya, which is the mobile device.

In addition they give schools and parents access to meaningful data and tips for helping the students. They also believe that even schools that don’t have access to the internet or latest technological gadgets deserve quality educational materials too.

Eneza education was founded by Toni Maviglia, Kago Kagichiri and Chris Asego. Their 2013 Impact Report showed that students who used Eneza had a:

    • 37 point difference between students using Eneza for 2 hours per week for 5 months and students that do not
    • Higher marks in every subject, especially in mathematics
    • 9 point difference between students using Eneza for only 1 hour per week and students that do not

Chamasoft 

Digital Vision East Africa is a leading power house in provision of web based solutions, content applications and technological innovation in Africa. They are based in Nairobi Kenya and started their operations in 2005. As a technology-based, customer-focused organization, they seek to assist organizations within the African region leverage ICT technology in order to achieve their business objectives. Chamasoft is desgined to be a complete suite for modern day investments. Chamasoft is an investment group management software from web design and development house Digital Vision EA. It is modelled to suit the needs of hte Kenyan Investment groups by the name “Chamas” to help them seamlessly manage group operations.

Shamba Shape Up 

Shamba Shape Up is the third “edu-tainment” production created by Mediae, and the first of its kind in Kenya. Aimed at East Africa’s rapidly growing rural audience, the make over style TV show aims to give both farmer and audience the tools they need to improve productivity and income on their farms.

The Shape Up team visit a different farm each week in a different area of the country. The team involve the film crew and a number of experts from partner organisations who specialize in the topics to be covered in the episode. The core of the series tackles issues surrounding livestock, poultry, crops and soil fertility. Other relevant topics such as financial planning, solar power and harvesting rainwater are also included depending on the needs of the farmer in the episode.


Typically the film crew spend 4 days with one household, allowing enough time to build any improvement structures and invite the experts in to advise. These experts include veterinarians, soil analysists and specific crop specialists from partnering companies in Kenya. At the end of each episode, viewers are encouraged to SMS their name’s and addresses in order to receive a free leaflet on the topics covered in the show, as well as follow updates and video clips on the Shamba Shape Up Facebook page.

Mediae is entirely research led and based, and invests a lot in monitoring the changes in knowledge, attitude and practice of viewers across all their productions. The company has a vital two-way relationship with viewers pioneered by the soap series “Makutano Junction.” Indeed Tonny Njuguna and Naomi Kamau, who present Shamba Shape Up, where two favourites from Makutano.

Shamba Shape Up’s estimated audience in the first series is around 7 million, with this number rising to 11 million by the end of series 3. If even just 10% of the viewers of series one adopt new practices as a result of the show, that’s 700,000 farmers who’s sustainable livelihoods have become more informed and productive.

Courtesy of Eneza Education, ChamaSoft and Shamba Shape Up 2014

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