Kenya’s tech space has recently had a hit with the Angani kerfuffle that requires a real conversation among the people who mean well for the space. As a backgrounder, Angani, a Kenyan startup dealing in virtualized cloud services had a boardroom wrangle that led to customers feeling the pinch when services went down for over 2 weeks. This according to many sources was as a result of the Angani board feeling that the previous CEO wasn’t going to take the company to the heights they had plans for. The transition was messy. You may have read it in any of the links below:
Why Angani Limited Should Compensate their Suffering Clients
STARTUPS Angani CEO Ousted | Customers Planning to Sue for Downtime,
Angani’s Cloud Service Goes Down, Taking Dozens Of Kenyan Apps And Web Services With It,
Evidence Suggests Erik Hersman & Riyaz Bachani Orchestrated The Ousting Of Angani Founders
Corruption in the Silicon Savannah
Startup Governance in Silicon Savannah
All with various angles and insights onto the matter. This also made it to various forums including social media. It was huge.
Sam Gichuru of Nailab has called out on the main players in the Kenyan tech space to meet up later today Wednesday 25th at Nailab on Bishop Magua on Ngong road. The aim of this meeting is to get the “elders” to discuss this matter, chart a way forward as it needs a way out. Sam confirms to me that several people have confirmed attending and this includes Ushahidi and BRCK leadership and other well-established individuals. He promises that the setting will be a heavily moderated session that will be devoid of name calling, less focus on who did what and more on what we need to do. Reason for this is because the situation Angani has been in does not only affect the company, but the wider ecosystem, so we need to discuss on how to overcome the bad PR we are already in.
We need that to ensure both startups and investors don’t lose faith in the industry and that we can decide what defines us. Either as problem solvers or victims. It is during such settings that we have had projects like Enterprise Kenya that sought to address the gap that was Kenyan firms as government suppliers and we have had quite some progress on that end. This is now another dimension that we, the players need to chart the way forward for, and get things working for us the way we would like it to be.