Nairobi

Currently in Nairobi doing some work for TechnoServe, from where I assumed it would be easy to upload photos etc. I had assumed that Kenya, having a bigger economy and more western companies would have a much more robust connection to the net that Tanzania. How wrong I was. The national phone company has a monopoly on internet communication out of the country. ISPs exist with varying download speeds, but they have to channel all their uploads through JamboNet. This has meant that the internet connections available aren’t really fast enough for the sector to take off here. Result is very high costs of connection – TechnoServe Kenya has little choice but to pay $350 a month for a 16kb per second leased line. Ridiculous – they can’t even send and recieve attachments of any useful size. Insane. I have shopped around, and there aren’t many better options. They are going to double their connection to 32kbps, but it isn’t very exciting…

Tonight I am flying to Mombassa to set up a network for the TechnoServe office there.

Lots of fun (I am actually enjoying working very very hard), but we aren’t really seeing much of the real Kenya. We went to a night club the other night where the president’s kids hang out really. Personally I prefer the sort of place that taxi drivers hang out. We saw the first bull shit testosterone fuelled fight we have seen in a year, and it was shocking. Not something odd to see out on the town in London or Carlisle, but we had forgotten how lame wealthy people are.

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