Richard Bell


Richard Bell is a seasoned ICT entrepreneur who currently consults on technology, telecoms and renewable energy projects while exploring opportunities to leverage his knowledge through; academia, board appointments and targeted strategic investments in selected technology and renewable energy businesses.

Richard founded Kooba a 3rdparty co-location data center project between 2015 and 2017 before it had to be abandoned due to interference by the Mombasa County Government.  Richard spent a decade between 2007 to 2017 as a Founder and Director of Wananchi Group which is a multi-media infrastructure company across 7 countries in Eastern Africa.  Under their Zuku brand they were the first to deploy large scale fiber to the home infrastructure in Africa.  They also own a media business, Direct-To-Home-Satellite TV business, and a corporate voice & data business.  He stepped down from the board in April 2017.

Richard was a Director and Investor in African Lakes Plc (the owners of Africa Online and UUNet Africa) between 2006 and 2007. Previously he had started Swift Global one of the first ISPs in Kenya and Uganda in 1995/96 which he then used to launch Kenya Data Networks the first data infrastructure company in Kenya before selling them all to his financial partners in 2004.

His early career was as a commissioned officer in The Royal Marine Commandos where he specialized in Mountain & Arctic Warfare.

Richard has been actively involved in the development of ICT in Africa.  He was Chairman of the Kenya Capital Markets Authority Task Force on ICT Impact/venture investing in East Africa and a founding Director of the Kenya ICT Board within the Kenyan Ministry of ICT.  He was also founding Chairman of the Kenya Network Information Center (KENIC), founding Chairman of the Telecommunications Service Providers’ Association of Kenya (TESPOK), founding Chairman, Kenya Internet Exchange Point (KIXP), and a founding Director of the Africa Network Information Center (AfriNIC).

Richard holds a BSc (Hons) from the University of St Andrews, Scotland & is a Sloan Fellow (MSc) of the London Business School, England. He is a Kenya Citizen living in Nairobi with his wife and 4 children and is an enthusiastic amateur aviator, bush pilot, and, conservationist.


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