The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.
In Kenya, that tomorrow is already here, with more than 30 million Internet users recorded by last year, up from about 6 million in 2010, according to available online statistics. Kenya’s innovation & Internet penetration has become the envy of every other country on the African continent. In fact, the country’s 70 per cent Internet usage is much greater than that of all of its five neighbours in the East African Community put together.
According to an Internet world stats website, this translates to more than 30 million users against, for instance, only 18 million for Tanzania and Uganda combined. The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) statistics also indicate that , there has been an increase of almost 20 per cent in terrestrial wireless data subscriptions since the same period last year, and an extremely impressive growth of 113 per cent in the satellite data subscriptions also during that time.
This Internet penetration has also helped to lay the foundation of Africa’s ‘Silicon Savannah’, which has been essential for technological innovation and attracting international high-tech investment and interest.
Disrupt Africa, a website which monitors Africa’s startup infrastructure, last year demonstrated that Kenya’s technology startups chalked up more than Sh4.7 billion ($43 million) in funding from several investment calls.
Kenya’s ICT Master Plan and National Broadband Strategy outline the desired path to a knowledge-based economy where ICT underpins service delivery, and provides the bedrock for the required activities in critical sectors of the economy, especially agriculture, health and education.
Kenya is well on its way to becoming the town square for innovation in Africa and beyond.