The Kenyan capital of Nairobi has become a host of thriving industries and innovations based on the production, consumption, and domestication of digital payments platforms such as M-Pesa. Adapting these mobile phone–based applications to its informal economies and urban culture, Nairobi has developed into a seedbed for information technology advances and constellations of new services. These platforms have played an especially prominent role in filling infrastructure gaps in the provision of water and electricity. The author argues that these processes should provoke us to extend our outlooks and dialogues toward such modes of smart urbanism and trajectories of technological development that may exceed the modernity of Western models.
© 2022 by The Regents of the University of California