Young innovators could be our acres of diamond


Innovation Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.
The past year has seen the ICT growth go up starting from the implementation of the national broadband strategy,whose overall objective is to provide quality broadband services to all citizens.

The past year also saw the piloting of the huduma centres, By His Excellency President Uhuru. The centres are envisioned to be aone-stop shop Centre in provision of e-government services.

Moreover,  there was also the  introduction of the phases of the digital migration that has faced many controversies, the introduction of the cashless payment in the PSV that is yet to be implemented by July 1st .CCTV introduction in the Kenyan Roads is also another major step. The various platforms set by various organisations which include Pesamob by Family Bank, vuma online by Safaricom among others.

We would talk of the jubilee government having tried in the nine months in relation to ICT and the economy growth. But I still believe we have a long way to go as a nation. We have lots of potential laying within us and especially in our young innovators who are always coming up with different apps to curb issues and make life easy, yet most times their ideas end up not taken into consideration or even lack enough funds to run them .

When I talk of looking at the potential of the youths, I remember a story  by a famous speaker Russel H. Conwell, the author of the book acres of diamonds.Where the story is about a guy called Ali Hafed who owned a very large farm, that he had orchards, grain-fields, and gardens; that he had money at interest, and was a wealthy and contented man. He was contented because he was wealthy, and wealthy because he was contented. One day there visited that old Persian farmer one of these ancient Buddhist priest. He sat down by the fire and told the old farmer how this world of ours was made.

He also told him of diamonds. A diamond is a congealed drop of sunlight. Now that is literally scientifically true, that a diamond is an actual deposit of carbon from the sun. The old priest told Ali Hafed that if he had one diamond the size of his thumb he could purchase the county, and if he had a mine of diamonds he could place his children upon thrones through the influence of their great wealth.

Ali Hafed heard all about diamonds, how much they were worth, and went to his bed that night a poor man. He had not lost anything, but he was poor because he was discontented, and discontented because he feared he was poor. He said, “I want a mine of diamonds,” and he lay awake all night.

Early in the morning he sought out the priest. I know by experience that a priest is very cross when awakened early in the morning, and when he shook that old priest out of his dreams, Ali Hafed said to him to show him where he will get diamonds.

The priest asked him what he wanted with the Diamonds for and he answered he wanted to be  immensely rich. The priest adviced him to go along and find them. But he said he didn’t know where to go.

“Well, if you will find a river that runs through white sands, between high mountains, in those white sands you will always find diamonds.” “I don’t believe there is any such river.” “Oh yes, there are plenty of them. All you have to do is to go and find them, and then you have them.” Said Ali Hafed, “I will go.”

So he sold his farm, collected his money, left his family in charge of a neighbor, and away he went in search of diamonds. He began his search, at the Mountains of the Moon. Afterward he came around into Palestine, then wandered on into Europe, and at last when his money was all spent and he was in rags, wretchedness, and poverty, he stood on the shore of that bay at Barcelona, in Spain, when a great tidal wave came rolling in between the pillars of Hercules, and the poor, afflicted, suffering, dying man could not resist the awful temptation to cast himself into that incoming tide, and he sank beneath its foaming crest, never to rise in this life again.

The man who purchased Ali Hafed’s farm one day led his camel into the garden to drink, and as that camel put its nose into the shallow water of that garden brook, Ali Hafed’s successor noticed a curious flash of light from the white sands of the stream. He pulled out a black stone having an eye of light reflecting all the hues of the rainbow. He took the pebble into the house and put it on the mantel which covers the central fires, and forgot all about it.

A few days later this same old priest came in to visit Ali Hafed’s successor, and the moment he opened that drawing-room door he saw that flash of light on the mantel, and he rushed up to it, and shouted: “Here is a diamond! Has Ali Hafed returned?” “Oh no, Ali Hafed has not returned, and that is not a diamond. That is nothing but a stone we found right out here in our own garden.” “But,” said the priest, “I tell you I know a diamond when I see it. I know positively that is a diamond.”

Then together they rushed out into that old garden and stirred up the white sands with their fingers, and lo! there came up other more beautiful and valuable gems than the first. “Thus,” said the guide to me, and, friends, it is historically true, “was discovered the diamond-mine of Golconda, the most magnificent diamond-mine in all the history of mankind, excelling the Kimberly itself. The Kohinoor, and the Orloff of the crown jewels of England and Russia, the largest on earth, came from that mine.

This year having started at a high note is promising as it will also will see the first phase of the digital migration take place sometime in February after a court ruling was passed and the dates moved with an additional 45 days.

I believe even as the government looks out for investors to develop ICT may be they should start by looking locally, for young innovators and give them maximum support maybe this is what our nation needs the young minds.There are many apps that have been developed and thanks to organisations that are supporting the innovators but still our government has a role to play.

Just like Ali Hafed our nation could be sitting on acres of diamonds and yet too blind to notice our ‘acres of diamonds’ in regards to the young innovators and app developers.

We hope this year our government will at least find ways to support our young minds especially those in the ICT industry!


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  1. Bill Gates once said ”I believe in innovation and that the way you get innovation is you fund research and you learn the basic facts.” that is how we should be working to ensure we do more research hence come up with more innovations

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