Not Your Mother’s Microfinance
Friday, September 27, 2013
Duncan Chege is someone who sees possibilities before they become reality. In 2009, convinced that information technology is the key to the future, he left a secure job as an accountant with a bank in Kenya to launch his own cybercafe business. In response to customer demand, he began to provide computer training in addition to browsing and printing services.
Mr. Chege’s computer school and cybercafe business is located at the edge of Nairobi’s Mukuru slum, a place notorious for its hideous poverty. Open sewers line the mud streets and residents cover them as best they can with pieces of wood. Police and criminals alike extort bribes. Parents unable to compile sufficient cash for school fees have cobbled together dozens of makeshift academies, where bright-eyed pupils crammed into sheet-metal classrooms sit on dirt floors and recite the alphabet. The ambition for a better future is palpable here.