An interesting approach on how social networks can be used to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information can be found in Kenya.
According to africanews, young innovators in Kenya have created the social network vibecampo.com. It is designed for young Kenyans aged 18 to 35 years. The social network seems to be mainly adressing students, since it’s userbase consists of four main segments: Pre-University Youths, University/College Youths, Post-University/College Youths and Organizations/Companies and Institutions (Source: vibecampo.com). The platform was officially launched in 2014 and currently has a userbase of almost 9000 members.
Now, while a new social network in Kenya for sure is something exciting, while reading about Vibecampo I was asking myself about the relevance of this social network for innovation in Kenya. Is Vibecampo something worth keeping up to date on, or is it just another social network designed for young people to kill time?
According to the Freedom House Report 2015, the press in Kenya is only partly free (In terms of Freedom of the press the country reaches a score of 58 on a scale from 0 = Best and 100 = Worst), whereas the internet is free. Thus, it goes without saying that in terms of guaranteeing the free flow of information in a country with only partly free press, there are numerous benefits to the internet and to social networks. Obviously, the free flow of information and exchange of ideas is an important prerequisite of innovation. Thus, the benefits of a social network designed to connect students, organizations and alumni all over Kenya, is obvious.
Time will tell, if and how Vibecampo will grow and whether it will foster innovation in and around Kenya. I will keep you posted.
Do you know of any similar projects in Africa? And in what way do you think, can the internet benefit the free flow of information and the exchange of ideas? Let me know in the comment section!