Kenya’s biggest problems pose the greatest opportunities for the country’s students, who should focus their technical efforts on finding solutions to help the country progress, according to Dr Bitange Ndemo, former permanent secretary of the old Ministry of Information and Communication.

In an interview with HumanIPO, Ndemo said the development of gadgets to monitor and solve pressing real problems in Kenya – such as transportation accidents – provides the biggest opportunity for students.

“The many problems that we have are actually our greatest opportunities,” Ndemo said.

“There are opportunities in monitoring gadgets especially in transportation where we have had significant problems, especially accidents.”

According to Ndemo, students are too transfixed on further developing mobile money solutions, and should start focusing on the other opportunities presenting themselves.

“Students have spent inordinately a large amount of time on mobile payments when there are many other opportunities,” he said.

Consumers should this year begin to take notice of the huge opportunity presented by the declining cost of broadband in Kenya, Ndemo said, with broadband access providing the perfect opportunity to improve education in the country. Ndemo is honorary chairman of the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI).

“The cost of broadband continues to decline. Consumers must start to leverage on broadband to bring quality education to children,” he said.

Free educational content available online has the potential to build the next technological generation of Kenya, and should be taken advantage of more widely, he said.

“There is free content especially in teaching mathematics that should help students to focus their attention on science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) which is largely considered the future of our livelihood.”