Africa, especially the sub-Saharan region, is a hot spot of “frugal innovation,” which focuses on technology that meets the market’s needs. While this sounds trivial, frugal technology’s precise alignment to specific needs is unlike industrialized Western nations, where products come with hundreds of surplus features that consumers will never be able to use. As an illustrative example of this overfeaturing, it would clearly be overkill for a consumer intending to get some fresh milk from the farmer around the corner to buy a Ferrari to drive there.
The high-speed undersea Internet cable arrived in Kenya in 2009 and, combined with increasingly affordable mobile phones, meant that ordinary Kenyans had consistent access to high-speed Internet on mobile devices. This access drove the demand for the applications and infrastructure development that connected Kenyans to the rest of the world. Companies like Safaricom, Jamii Telecommunications, and Zuku have joined the government in efforts to spread fiber connectivity. Companies like Fireside Communications bring last-mile connectivity to Kenyans across the country.