ナイロビをHackした #2



Nairobi is the city of hustlers – this could mean both good and bad. Especially in the Central Business District (CBD), you see all kinds of people hustling – young and old, men and women, good and bad, sellers and buyers. So just like in any other city’s busiest district, you need to be attentive and need to act like you know everything about what’s going on around you even if you are there for the first time.

Obviously, that’s too much asking for the first timer even with the help of internetable devices, GPS, and Google map especially for the first few days after arrival. Luckily, I was able to use some human help – I successfully tapped into the social capital.

My host mother’s cousin showed me around CBD in Day 1. We took a local bus, Matatu, together: She showed me how I should get on, pay, enjoy the ride (typically there’s some upbeat music on the way and soothing one on the way back), and get off. She showed me how to cross the road (I generally have no problem with that as I once lived in Shanghai and Bangkok where are known for busy traffic), and where the supermarket is (because I love/need it.).

Day 2, I was on my own to get to the city on a Matatu, but I wasn’t still quite familiar yet with CBD or where to take the next Matatu to go to another place. Luckily I had a local (hustling) entrepreneur helped me out. He used to work at Nairobi Securities Exchange, but now does some sort of delivery services to help businesses. So I meet up with this guy where I get off the bus, and then he would walk me to the next spot where I should get the next bus (the picture is the one I took en route). It was almost like a safety escort service you get at university campuses in the US when you work late in the library and need to go back home in the middle of the night.

So that’s how I could hack CBD and was pretty much on my own from day 3 and get around the city as I wrote in the previous post.






ケニアTICAD6 ジャパンフェアに出ます!

TICAD VI Japan Fair


In 2 weeks, one of the most anticipated events that signify the relationship between Japan and African countries begins: TICAD VI – The Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) Summit will be held at Kenyatta International Convention Center in Nairobi, Kenya on 27th -28th August 2016.

And during TICAD VI, JETRO is organizing a Japan Fair (trade expo) as an official side event that takes place at the same venue where 100 Japanese companies are participating to showcase their products and services to government officials, industry professionals, and media of Japan and African countries.

While many companies are large and established companies, we also decide to take this opportunity to join the Japan Fair together with a Hyogo-based design company. It is exciting because this TICAD is the one that will happen in the African continent for the first time. I always love the opportunity like this – I also went to the World Cup in South Africa the first World Cup held in the African continent. It is also important for us to be present at the event because we believe that establishing strong creative economy can also contribute to many African countries to prosper and build competitiveness. Africa’s creativity can strengthen Africa’s nation branding as well. We are really excited for the opportunity to build a new kind of diplomatic relationship with Africans at the event!

あと2週間で、日本とアフリカ各国の関係を物語る上でとても期待されているイベントである、TICAD VI、第6回日本アフリカ開発会議が、8/27-28の期間ケニヤのナイロビのケニヤッタ国際会議場で開催されます。


参加企業の多くが大企業ですが、私の会社Maki & Mphoも兵庫県ベースのデザイン会社シーラカンス食堂と共同で出展することにしました。今回はTICADが初めてのアフリカ開催ということもあり非常に楽しみです。初のアフリカ開催というのは、ちょっとワクワクします!(私は初のアフリカ開催だったワールドカップの南アフリカ大会にもいきました。)加えて、こういうイベントへの参加は結構重要視している理由があります。それはクリエイティブエコノミーの強化も、アフリカの経済繁栄と競争力の強化につながるものだと信じているからです。アフリカの創造性は、アフリカの国のブランディングの強化にも影響します。TICADのジャパンフェアでどんな新たな外交的関係が構築できるか、非常に楽しみです。

















I believe that the bright future of the African continent is summarized into one word: Leapfrog. It is not just The Economist that talked about Africa as “The leapfrog continent“: I came across a number of examples where African innovators do leapfrog when I was researching emerging market businesses in the grad school in the US.

The leading example is the mobile phone technology. According to GSMA Intelligence, the unique mobile penetration rate in African as of 2015 is 46% and is expected to grow by 54% by 2020. You may think that the rate could be higher, but the power of mobile phones is beyond communication: Mobile phone technology is delivering financial inclusion to the unbanked populations in 42 countries in Africa via 157 service providers as of June 2016 according to the same source. This means that some Africans can go directly from cash transaction to mobile money by leveraging the latest and affordable technology.

Leapfrogging, I believe, can apply to Africa’s creative class as well. By leveraging the latest and affordable technologies such as digital printing, social media, and internet (yeap, no more capital I), Africans can realize their creative ideas without much infrastructure or can easily access to infrastructure elsewhere.

Africa may still luck key infrastructures to address basic human needs, but by means of leapfrogging, I believe that Africans can rather quickly build globally-competitive businesses. And that’s what I’m trying to realize with Mpho and fellow African creators, and that’s why it is absolutely crucial for us to create an African business that is born global.







Africa Nouveau


Last year, I was traveling around a number of cities in Southeast Africa including Nairobi, Kigali, Addis, Joburg, and Capetown. But I have to say, by far, Nairobi was the most entrepreneurial and creative city among them.

I was lucky to see cultural/creative events in consecutive weekends, and I met so many creative entrepreneurs there! One of the events was called Africa Nouveau, which was started by a musician, Muthoni Ndonga, who wanted to address the lack of platforms for artists, musicians, and other creators to showcase their creative work and started an event called Blankets & Wine, a previous format of Africa Nouveau. As the name of the event suggests, it is basically an opportunity for Nairobians to hang out in the park with blankets and wine while enjoying local designers, musicians, creators, and artists showcase and perform their work.

Such event is also the best way to meet up with many creatives at once – you basically meet all key people there! I had an amazing fun while efficiently getting know many creators in the area.

Do check out their website for more info!!


ちょうど滞在中、2週間連続でカルチャー・クリエティブ系のイベントに参加できたのもラッキーで、そこで多くのクリエイティブ起業家と出会いました!その一つがAfrica Nouveauというもので、自身もミュージシャンであるMuthoni Ndongaが、アーティストやミュージシャン、クリエイターらが自身のワークを発表する場がないということに機会を見出だして、もともとBlankets & Wineというかたちで始めたイベントでした。Blankets & Wineは、その名のとおり、ナイロビの若者がブランケットとワインを持ち寄ってパークに集まって、地元デザイナー、ミュージシャン、クリエイター、アーティストなどの展示やショーを楽しむというイベントです。


Blankets & Wineのカッコイイウェブサイトもぜひみてください!



The African Renaissance: It is time for Africans to take ownership of their own culture and bring it to the global audience.

This is the fundamental philosophy of my business partner, Mpho Muendane. Often portrayed as the last frontier, some people see the African continent as the place where things are lacking. But it is not necessarily true.

Africa is about abundance. It is about richness. That’s what Mpho wants to show to the world using her artwork. And more importantly, it is not just her who wants to do that – there are many creators who are expressing their voices to show the world the richness and diversity of the African culture.

Here’s a website where you can browse some of them! Enjoy!!!





はじめまして、Kenya Fruits Solutionsの山本歩です。


皆さま、はじめまして。Kenya Fruits Solutionsの山本 歩です。ケニアのティカ(首都ナイロビから車で約1時間)で果物加工事業をやっています。









Mixed dried fruits









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