23 Mar 2015

Interview with CIO Forum chair Edwin Moindi, Managing Partner at Moindi Consulting

 

Edwin Moindi, Managing Partner at  Moindi Consulting talks to us ahead of East Africaom to give us his insights into the trends and challenges affecting the ICT and telecoms industry within East Africa.

Edwin will be chairing the CIO Forum which will be held on Thursday 7th May, Day Two of East AfricaCom; uncovering the best solutions and future steps towards ICT excellence. To find out more about the CIO Fourm, click here.

East AfricaCom: How is your company positioned in East Africa and what are its future objectives within ICT?

Edwin Moindi: We assist organization in developing economies align technology with their strategic goals. This is achieved collaboratively with clients, by harmonizing global best practice with local dynamics. Our core values, unique interaction with different cultures and internal structures – geared towards client satisfaction – sets us apart.

We partner with businesses and governments that have a preference for excellence in service delivery and who seek thought leadership that brings forth enduring value. Our focus is in establishing long-term relationships and high levels of integrity drive each of our endeavors.

We foresee an increasing desire to attune services to business outcomes in the region. This is a trend that will take root as outsourcing becomes acceptable and as outsourcing in the region moves through the technology adoption cycle. The drive is towards reducing costs, increasing efficiencies and becoming more competitive in line with growth strategies.

We offer services along these lines strategically assisting organizations achieve their strategic objectives using technology.

EAC: What do you think are the 3 major trends that are affecting ICT and telecoms development in the region?

EM: The dropping costs of smart phones and the provisioning of universally accessible and democratized broadband across the region may allow more people to become value creators on the Internet.

Over The Top (OTT) providers will continue to disrupt the telecom industry and force telecoms to look for more innovative ways to compete/collaborate with OTT providers in order to secure and increase their revenues.  I will watch carefully what the internet.org consortium says in the next few months.

Information security will continue to be a major discussion point as organizations embrace big data and cloud computing.

EAC: What are the remaining challenges in terms of connectivity and quality of services in the region and which technologies are most likely to resolve these issues?   

EM: Africa energy needs outstrip its current production. Electricity is a luxury for the urban areas and outages are a constant occurrence. There is need for cheap renewable energy to charge mobile phones and run telecom masts. What this calls for are mobile phones that use less power and have longer capacity batteries, solar chargers that are very cheap to acquire for rural areas, and an incentive in the form of government subsidies and innovation around cost efficient renewable power sources for telecom masts.

The battle between ultra mobile and ultra fixed broadband is currently skewed due to the inherent lack of fixed infrastructure across the region.  While cities and towns across the region are slowly getting connected to fiber through a combination of private and public sector initiatives.

The last mile huddle is still very real to many rural villages in Kenya, and the battle is likely to be won by innovative ‘dirt’ cheap solutions that are privy to the limitations of electricity and offers redundancies when there is need.  I see BRCK being one of these solutions. We cannot also discount advances that will be made by ultra fast low-orbit satellites or the 4G technologies geared for rural areas.

EAC: Do you consider affordability of high-speed connectivity and broadband for both mobile and fixed line is holding back development of SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs?

EM: Yes I do. I think more needs to be done to bring down the cost of high-speed connectivity be it mobile or fixed broadband.  I believe this will happen as more people come online across Africa, and the high cost of setting up connectivity infrastructure is spread or absorbed by consortia of public and private institutions.

EAC: In your opinion, which companies are spearheading innovation in the region and what can be learnt from them?  

EM: I think there are quite a number of companies striving to innovate across the region. But for me the team behind BRCK takes the price for their consistent innovation.

EAC: Please share with us what you are looking forward to at East Africacom 2015 and any message would you would like to deliver to the telceoms/ ICT community attending?

EM: I am looking to establish contacts and build relationships. I am also looking to pick the minds of practitioners in the technology ecosystem along the lines of advancing Africa through innovation in the areas of education and healthcare.

East AfricaCom will be taking place on 6-7 May 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information or to register, visit: http://eaafrica.comworldseries.com/