Space research and mobile tech: Kenya's next 50 years

Published 3:52 PM ET, Thu December 12, 2013
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Technology can drive economic transformation in Kenya, says Calestous Juma.
Pictured, Konza Techno City is a development planned by the Kenyan government to foster the growth of the country's technology industry.
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Kenya gained independence from Britain in 1963. It is now one of East Africa's leading economies. "Kenya's 50th independence celebrations come at a moment of great economic promise for the continent," says Juma. Authenticated News/Archive PhotosGetty Image/
Much of Kenya's economic growth has been driven by export of raw materials, investment in infrastructure and trade in consumer goods. The discovery of oil in 2012 added a new resource to the country's portfolio. AFP/Getty Images
As part of its "Vision 2030" development program, Kenya has singled out scientific and technological advancement as a key driver for growth.
Pictured, Nairobi's iHub is a co-working space that's become the epicenter of Kenya's burgeoning tech scene.
Kenya's M-Pesa pioneered mobile money transfers. Pictured, a Safaricom customer in Kenya uses the system to carry out a cell-phone banking transaction. Courtesy Safaricom
As Kenya celebrates 50 year of independence, "the country is overdue to reinvent itself using technological innovation as the engine of economic transformation," says Juma. SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images