"Outside of South Africa, there is little to no capacity for cloud computing on the continent," wrote Erik Hersman on his blog, White African. "This means that few of the programmers in this region have the skill sets necessary to work and build out this infrastructure. We have a severely limited foundation on which to build future services in an increasingly cloud-based computing world."

Hersman is co-founder of the iHub and the crisis mapping software outfit Ushahidi.

Steps have now been taken that will lead to HPC capability, creating a 24-node cluster that will come online at Kenya's fantastic iHub idea factory this summer.

Google Africa has provided capital for the initial deployment, and Intel has provided a MultiFlex server to act as the HPC's master component.