Kenya's Digital Revolution

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Kenya’s Digital Revolution

MICHAL STAWICKI STWMIC003
2012

Contents
Welcome to the World Wide Web: Kenya’s Internet and Mobile Surge………………………....1

Some Perspective: Kenya In Context…………...................................................................................1

The Mobile Driving Force…………………………………………………………….……................2

The Changing Landscape: Traditional Media& Free Speech...........................................................3

The Future of Media Advertising………………………………………………………………….....5

Kenya Connected: Serving Community Interests………………………………………..................6

A Digital Future: Opportunities for Mobile Agencies………………………………………….......8

Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………………………10

Welcome to the World Wide Web: Kenya’s Internet and Mobile Surge

Since its inception, the World Wide Web has become a driving force for commercial activity throughout the world, particularly in developed nations. But in the last few years, it is the developing countries with large populations that have attracted the attention of corporate investors. African developing economies are showing enterprising growth in technology and internet adoption and are poised to reach unprecedented growth rates in technology diffusion. This research report aims to analyse the current state of online portals and mobile usage in Kenya from a marketing perspective. Having made significant strides in the last decade with an exponential increase in internet penetration, particularly in the mobile sector, Kenya’s traditional media is being forced to adapt to a new communications landscape. This review will offer some insights pertaining to the impact on traditional media, social and community benefits as well as the impact on freedom of expression. Based on the observations made, the report will introduce a platform for discussing what the future holds for the Kenyan media and where opportunities exist for digital and mobile agencies.

Some Perspective: Where does Kenya Stand?
As a developing nation, Kenya is Africa’s 11th largest economy by GDP contributing to 1.85% of Africa’s total GDP (Wikipedia,2012). Despite being a relatively small economy, Kenya is fast becoming recognised as of one of Africa’s fastest growing contributors to internet communications technology (ICT) development. Since 2000, the ICT sector has outperformed all other segments of the economy, growing on average by 20% annually. Since 2000, Kenya’s economy grew at an average of 3.7%. Without ICT, growth would have been a much less impressive 2.8% (Lui,2009) Kenya’s level of internet usage of approximately 10.5 million users approximates to a population penetration of 25.5% compared to Nigeria’s penetration of 30%. As figure 1 shows, this is the fourth highest user-base in the African Continent which itself has a total penetration of 13.5% compared to the global average of 32.7%. (Internet World Stats, 2011) In addition to this, the top 10 African countries account for approximately 87% of the internet usage in Africa, while the remaining 41 countries make up the other 13%. Figure 1:

1

The Mobile Driving Force

It was in 1994 that the Internet first flickered on Kenya’s PC monitors and despite a slow uptake due to lack of infrastructure, by 2007 Kenya was experiencing one of the world’s most rapid internet diffusion rates. Figure 2: Internet Penetration % 1990-2011

There were numerous enabling factors for rapid growth in internet penetration; but it was the development of a pioneering mobile application that was at the forefront of the Kenya’s Internet surge. M-Pesa was a micro-financing application which served to meet the needs of many Kenyans who did not have access to banking services due to the fact that they did not have a permanent residential address or a regular stream of income. Figure 3: M-Pesa subscription boom 2007-2009

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As can be seen from the graphs above, the black arrows demonstrate that the...
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