Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Connectivity

Kenya Internet usage lags mobile penetration

Article Image
Despite strong mobile money usage and a high mobile penetration rate, only 40% of Kenya's population is using the Internet in 2021.

That's according to the Digital 2021: Kenya report from DataReportal.

Kenya's mobile penetration grew 11% between January 2020 and January 2021, to 59.24 million mobile connections or a penetration rate of almost 109% (many people have more than one SIM card).

But there were only about 21.75 million Internet users in Kenya in January 2021, giving an Internet penetration rate of just 40%.

Almost 73% of Kenyans aged 15 and above have a mobile money account and nearly 98% of Kenya's mobile connections are prepaid SIMs, the report said.

Source: Digital 2021: Kenya report from DataReportal and partners Hootsuite and We Are Social.
Source: Digital 2021: Kenya report from DataReportal and partners Hootsuite and We Are Social.

Kenya had a population of 54.38 million in January 2021 with 28.2% in urban centers, while 71.8% remain in rural areas.

There are also only around 11 million social media users in the country, but this number has jumped up by 2.2 million, or 25%, between 2020 and 2021. Still only about 20% of the population is connecting on social media.

Mobile centric

It is also clear that the majority of people connecting to the Internet are doing so via a mobile phone, 96.1% to be exact.

Device ownership is also an interesting metric. When it comes to Internet users aged 16 to 64, 99.7% own a smartphone; 14.4% own a feature phone; about 60% have a laptop or desktop computer; and almost 20% have a tablet. Around 14% of those Internet users have a smart watch and 4% have a smart home device.

Source: Digital 2021: Kenya report from DataReportal and partners Hootsuite and We Are Social.
Source: Digital 2021: Kenya report from DataReportal and partners Hootsuite and We Are Social.

The report also said that Internet users aged 16 to 64 spend on average four hours and 58 minutes using mobile Internet each day.

The average download speed on mobile Internet connections in Kenya is about 25 Mbit/s, an increase of 21.4% compared to last year. Meanwhile the average download speed on fixed Internet connections was slightly slower at 20.7 Mbit/s, but it also increased 11% year-on-year.

In Kenya, about 74% of all web traffic comes from a mobile device, and almost 25% from laptops and desktops; just 1% comes from tablets.

Financial inclusion

Kenya is of course the birthplace of mobile money, with M-Pesa launched in 2007 by Safaricom, after which the concept spread across the continent.

It is therefore not surprising that 72.9% of Kenyan's aged 15 and above have a mobile money account. For this same group 81.6% have an account with a financial institution, but only 5.7% have a credit card.

There is also a clear gender divide when it comes to financial inclusion, with 8.1% of men in Kenya having a credit card and only 3.5% of women.

Online shopping shows a similar divide. Just over 26% of Kenyans aged 15 and above make online purchases or pays bills online, with 33.5% of men shopping online and just 19.6% of women.

Source: Digital 2021: Kenya report from DataReportal and partners Hootsuite and We Are Social.
Source: Digital 2021: Kenya report from DataReportal and partners Hootsuite and We Are Social.

The e-commerce market is however seeing a lot of growth. In 2020, 15.59 million Kenyans shopped online and spent $1.1 billion.

Annual growth in the total value of the consumers goods e-commerce market also rose 65.8%. On average, annual spend per user on online consumer goods was $70.

Related posts:

*Top image source: Background photo created by www.slon.pics - www.freepik.com.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Hot startup of the month: SA's Snode

This month's hot startup is South African company Snode, which is applying a data-driven approach to cybersecurity.

Story

Twitter announces first African office in Ghana, begins hiring

Twitter has announced it is planning to open an office in Accra, the Ghanaian capital – the first in Africa for the social media giant.

More Innovation hub

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: April 2021

By Omdia Analysts

This month, Omdia's analysts provide context around Ethiopia's spectrum licensing process, Millicom's plans to exit Tanzania and Ghana, and Airtel Africa's successful capital raise.

Story

Factors influencing fintech adoption in Nigeria

By Yusuf Opeyemi Akinwale and Adam Konto Kyari

This article is a collaboration with the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development and explores the factors impacting the adoption of financial services technology in Lagos, Nigeria.

More Guest Perspectives

Flash poll

All polls

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Story

How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Latest video

More videos

Upcoming events

More Upcoming events

Partner perspectives

The moving target that is telecoms fraud
By Clémentine Fournier, Regional VP Sales, Africa, BICS

How mobile operators in Africa can address signalling threats and secure the network
By Katia Gonzalez, Head of Fraud and Security at BICS

SD-WAN and satellite – how MNOs and telcos can enjoy the best of both worlds
By Ofer Asif, SVP BizDev, marketing and strategy at Spacecom

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up