Kenya: Safaricom offering developers app testing platform

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore (image: UN Foundation)
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore (image: UN Foundation)

Safaricom is in the process of offering app developers a platform in which they can test their innovations on at no cost.

Safaricom chief executive officer, Bob Collymore, stated that: “offering support to app developers can propel innovative solutions for numerous challenges plaguing the country.”

Safaricom has also revealed a test bed on SMS and USSD for developers to test applications upon. Collymore  added: “The short codes for SMS and USSD will be free for developers to test their applications. The SMS will cost Sh0.50 for testing and USSD access will be free.”

While SMS transactions are a once-off sessions, USSD works slightly differently and is charged on a per session basis.

According to, Safaricom is targeting to connect at least 20 learning institutions with its test bed over the next four months. In the mean time, only app developers affiliated to iLab and iBiz – which were launched yesterday at Strathmore University – will benefit from this offer.

The telecom has invested Sh30 million in the two centres to nurture talent in the ICT industry and improve youth entrepreneurship skills. iLab and iBiz will offer business incubation, marketing and legal mentorship services.