Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Adobe CS5 Launch in East Africa

Rahim Kara is Adobe’s East Africa representative. They’re having the big Adobe CS5 launch today from the iHub (which is still under construction) in Nairobi.

Adobe’s Africa Problem

The biggest problem for Adobe in Africa has always been cost. It just doesn’t make sense for most African creative professionals to buy it, the return on investment isn’t there. Where this hurts the worst is when young creatives are just getting started, they have to start on other platforms (or pirated versions).

I don’t know if there’s an easy way to handle this issue. It’s likely not that important of a market for Adobe, so nothing will be done, which is too bad as there is some real talent here.

On to the Launch!

Now, I’m a big fan of Adobe’s creative suite, especially Photoshop and Illustrator. Both of which are being demo’d first. Really cool to see what’s happening with the way they have content aware tools. For a good look at Photoshop, head over to Thomas Hawk’s post. Flash Catalyst looks interesting too, but I’m not a big fan of Flash, so I probably won’t use it.

Production Premium looks awesome. Jason Levine (looks like the Wolverine), their product evangelist, is on camera talking about it. Something that I’m too much of a noob to use, but fascinating to see and watch demo’d.

“Experience blazing fast playback due to the new Mercury Playback Engine, an enhancement to Premiere Pro.”

Creatie Suite “Web Premium” looks great.

Besides the whole, “design in Flash and compile for the iPhone” thing, it’s a really impressive build. However, I agree with Jeremy Schultz, “Of all the CS5 apps, Photoshop impresses me the most. Merge to HDR Pro, Content-Aware Fill and the painting tools are striking.”

Some Kenya/Africa Notes

Rahim is now tells us that Adobe South Africa and East Africa are working together to bring all the creatives together in one place. This initiative is called Go Create, and it’s about “doing more as a continent”. We (Africans) are able to do more and better than the world realizes.

  • They’re trying to figure out a way to get a new licensing structure set for Africa, but no final word on that.
  • There will be official Adobe authorized training centers in Nairobi, hopefully within the next 6-8 months.
  • The first Adobe user group in Nairobi is the InDesign user group that happens at Kenya Polytechnic each month, it averages 350 people per session.
  • Photoshop and Flash user groups will be starting soon.


  1. Not to be a downer but seriously! Come on!
    Adobe products are beyond the reach most practically all people. I am not sure what all of the iHubs objective are but the emphasis on and promotion of what is essentially an un-affordable tool saddens me.

  2. @eebrah – Adobe products are the tool of choice for most designers, web or otherwise. It’s a big part of the tech community. Also, the iHub is neutral territory, it’s a great place for creatives to come as well as developers. Equally, it’s a place where we can listen to Adobe or Apple, Google or Microsoft talk about the things that are interesting to the local community. Adobe certainly is that.

  3. I really hope the authorized training centers bring alot more credibility and excellence to the “creatives”-users of Adobe products in Kenya. Everyone and his grandmother purport to have done training in Photoshop and Illustrator, but when you see the quality of their work…oh my.

  4. @E-Nyce – hah. I spoke with one of the very experienced creative attendees after the event, and he lamented that the problem was that those who could afford the schools/training/software weren’t always the most skilled.

  5. The Puppet Warp and Content Aware Fill blew me away. Now this is the only reason I still have a Windows install on my dev PC.

  6. I’m waiting for Adobe to do something more realistic about the web-end of the creative suite. Photoshop and Illustrator are clearly superior to anything else in their respective fields and so demand the premium price, but when I can buy a great wysiwyg like Coda for 60 USD, it’s hard to justify the cost for the web suite. Especially sense we may not need flash in a year or so to create interactive content with excellent feedback. #html5 That being said, I bet it was a really interesting demo.

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