Ndemo is known as a pioneer for Internet access in Kenya. He led the establishment of TEAMS, the fiber optic cable system from Mombasa to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, linking Kenya to the rest of the world. The history of the effort to create TEAMS, it turns out, relied on government investment and trust for Ndemo’s vision.
In 2018, following the devastation of hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico, People-Centered Internet fielded a team of experts, working with the RAND Corporation, to offer recommendations for leveraging the Internet for the archipelago’s recovery plan. This initiative followed extensive disaster response work by PCI community member, Melvin Cordova, through his “Project Coqui.” PCI team members — including Marci Harris, Mei Lin Fung, and Lin Wells — traveled multiple times to Puerto Rico to engage with local business leaders, innovators, academics, and policymakers. They also participated in a knowledge-exchange trip, organized by Mei Lin Fung, for leaders from Puerto Rico to visit Singapore and engage with their counterparts in business, government, and academia to learn from Singapore’s post-colonial transformation. PCI’s work culminated in 11 recommendations (courses of action or “COAs”) for leveraging federal programs and private resources for Puerto Rico’s recovery and were included in the plan submitted to Congress.
This is the first article in which PCI appeared, written in 2015 by Bitange Ndemo in Business Daily Africa.