Not so long ago, in 2011, I returned from providing some very successful in-house PRINCE2 Foundation & Practitioner training in Kenya, my delegates being employees of the Kenyan government revenue services.
Hosted by the Kenyatta University Conference Centre, about 20km outside Nairobi, the 25 delegates and I enjoyed relating the PRINCE2 method to interesting local projects in Kenya, such as the Thika Highway upgrade – a £2 billion rebuilding of the road system in the capital.
The exam results from the course were excellent, with one delegate scoring 67 out of 70, and I left this beautiful country feeling confident my delegates would make great use of the PRINCE2 method in their future projects.
Looking back on my time training in Kenya, I have often wondered what sort of projects are happening there nowadays.
Since I completed training the PRINCE2 course in Kenya, the economy has grown considerablyi, and the Kenyan government’s Kenya Vision 2030 is gradually developing the country through a number of economic, social and political projectsii.
One of the projects that is currently being built as part of Kenya Vision 2030 is Konza Technology City, an exciting plan to build a new city which welcomes information technology, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and software development businesses, hopefully creating thousands of jobs and boosting the economyiii.
Costing £9.1 billion, the creation of Konza, dubbed ‘Silicon Savannahiv, looks set to build on the successes of the tech industry boom in Kenya, with ventures such as iHub in Nairobi, an innovation space which has attracted hundreds of young entrepreneurs and start-ups, laying the foundations of Kenya’s tech revolutionv.
One of Kenya’s tech success stories is M-Pesa, a mobile phone money transfer app which enables users to transfer, deposit and withdraw money from their phone, making it a highly useful method of banking in such a largely rural country, where 74 out of every 100 people own mobiles, but whom seldom own laptopsvi.
In fact, M-Pesa has been so successful that it is now used in countries such as Egypt, South Africa, India and, pretty soon, Romaniavii.
Alongside the start-ups, more established tech companies have also sought to make Kenya their base, with IBM and Nokia opening research labs in the capital, and both Google and Cisco Systems basing their regional headquarters hereviii.
Another project that has commenced as part of the Kenya Vision is the Lamu Port and South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor projectix.
With the discovery of oil in Kenya in March 2012x, the government will certainly want to capitalise on the wealth that this will bring, and the creation of new infrastructure will hopefully generate jobs and a better quality of life in the region.
So LAPSSET, a large and ambitious construction project, aims to link the three countries of Kenya, Ethiopia and Southern Sudan with a road and railway, which will boost trade, not only amongst these African countries, but also internationally, with the aim for Lamu port to become the ideal area for exporting the region’s producexi.
Oil pipelines will also be constructed as part of LAPSSET for the recently discovered Turkana oil fields, to transport oil to Lamu port for exportxii.
To be so successful, it is highly likely the project managers and teams who worked on these projects in Kenya were all qualified in a project management method such as PRINCE2, and as a PRINCE2 trainer myself, I can say that having PRINCE2 certification is vital for gaining employment in project management.
As a country which has developed quickly over the past few years, the future looks fantastic for Kenya, as a great many projects are in progress across the country which look set to improve the lives of millions.
With the entrepreneurial spirit of the young Kenyan population inspiring innovative tech projects that sound very interesting, I am proud to say that I have worked in a country with such a bright future, and I wish Kenya the best of luck in projects big and small.
Interested in PRINCE2 training in Kenya? We now offer PRINCE2 Virtual Classes, a new interactive way to learn in the comfort of your own home. Contact us on or +44 (0) 207 148 5985.
iWorldbank.org (June 2014) ‘Kenya’s Economy Continues to Grow in a Challenging Environment’. Accessible: http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/kenya/publication/kenya-economic-update-economy-facing-headwinds-2014-special-focus-delivering-primary-healthcare-services
iiVision2030.go.ke (unknown) Kenya Vision 2030 official website. Accessible: http://www.vision2030.go.ke/
iiiVision2030.go.ke (unknown) ‘Flagship Projects – Establish Konza Technology City’. Accessible: http://www.vision2030.go.ke/index.php/pillars/project/Economic/227
ivBBC.co.uk (23 Jan 2013) ‘Kenya begins construction of 'silicon' city Konza’. Accessible: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21158928
vAfritorial.com (4 May 2012) ‘Step Aside Silicon Valley, Here Comes Nairobi iHub!’ Accessible: http://afritorial.com/nairobi-ihub/
viEconomist.com (25 August 2012) ‘Upwardly mobile’. Accessible: http://www.economist.com/node/21560912
viiOut-Law.com (02 April 2014) ‘M-Pesa mobile payment scheme could be launched across EU under 'passporting' rules’. Accessible: http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2014/april/m-pesa-mobile-payment-scheme-could-be-launched-across-eu-under-passporting-rules-says-expert/
viiiForburyinvest.com (unknown) ‘The Kenyan tech boom, Africa’s first?’ Accessible: http://www.forburyinvest.com/Content.aspx?id=97
ixVision2030.go.ke (unknown) ‘Flagship Projects – Lamu Port and New Transport Corridor Development to Southern Sudan and Ethiopia (LAPSSET)’ Accessible: http://www.vision2030.go.ke/index.php/pillars/project/macro_enablers/181
xBusinessweek.com (18 Sept 2014) ‘Kenya Sees Oil Resources Almost Doubling With More Drilling’. Accessible: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-09-18/kenya-sees-oil-resources-almost-doubling-with-more-drilling
xiVision2030.go.ke (unknown) ‘Flagship Projects – Lamu Port and New Transport Corridor Development to Southern Sudan and Ethiopia (LAPSSET)’ Accessible: http://www.vision2030.go.ke/index.php/pillars/project/macro_enablers/181
xiiAllafrica.com (17 March 2014) ‘Kenya: Turkana Oil Pipeline to Be Complete in Late 2016’. Accessible: http://allafrica.com/stories/201403180117.html