Kenya’s digital innovation ecosystem development

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Senior Researcher, Centre for Transition Economy Studies, Institute for African Studies RAS
Affiliation: Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Occupation: Senior Researcher, Centre for Transition Economy Studies, Institute for African Studies RAS
Affiliation: Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 10

The article analyzes the features of Kenya’s economy transformation characterized not so much by the industrial sector development, but the growth of the service sphere associated with the introduction of digital technologies, which determines the creation of new direct and indirect jobs and professions. Kenya has created one of the largest and fastest growing technological ecosystems in Africa. It was due to several factors, such as the emergence of Internet service providers in the early 1990s, the network building for mutual traffic exchange in the early 2000s, the launch of the M-Pesa mobile payment platform in 2007, the laying of submarine cables in 2009 and the formation of a technology cluster in Nairobi. E-business is becoming more widespread in the country, including financial technologies, banking, e-commerce, logistics services, the usage of digital automated technologies for industry, agriculture, healthcare, and education. Digital innovation is driving productivity gains in key sectors of the economy.

The creation of adequate ICT infrastructure and access to Fiber Optic Broadband infrastructure for all the citizens, including low-income population, are the base for Kenya’s digital transformation. It is a key enabler in delivering Kenya’s Vision 2030 flagship project. The expanding of mobile broadband technologies 3G/4G/5G is vital for socio-economic growth. Some new technologies, which oriented at the conditions of developing countries, are used for increasing digital integration: BRCK that assures consistent internet access even in the very remote areas and new technology of wireless internet on the base of light beam. The very important problem is the creation of qualified specialists for digital economy.

KeywordsKenya, digital transformation, technology ecosystem, mobile technologies, fiber optic broadband infrastructure, digital literacy
Publication date11.11.2022
Number of characters25427
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