CEO Weekends: Kenya Not too Digital After All



We have been hoodwinked to think Kenya is a digital country by our elite or not so elite politicians, well at least most of us. I decide to get analytical and see just how digital we are.

ICT has been a term common on almost all organisations. We have an ICT policy to capture the online market they say government and Privates alike. While it’s a good gesture we need to put it into context. Kenya’s Communication Authority formerly CCK is the governing body that regulates most technology related business in Kenya. The Authority is responsible for facilitating the development of the Information and Communications sectors including; broadcasting, multimedia, telecommunications, electronic commerce, postal and courier services.

It also releases annual report about the specified industries. I’ll concentrates on the internet and data users report specifically for years 2012- 2013 crunch the number to show how big the internet and mobile market is in Kenya.

According to CAK reports

THE NATIONAL BACKBONE FIBRE BACKBONE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT (NOFBI) - Sector Statistics Report Q4 2012-13.pdf 2014-09-17 16-25-20

How exactly do they arrive at these numbers?

THE NATIONAL BACKBONE FIBRE BACKBONE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT (NOFBI) - Sector Statistics Report Q4 2012-13.pdf 2014-09-17 16-25-11

What does this mean to the Internet entrepreneurs in Kenya? Let’s crunch this number

Firstly CAK / Telcos calculation is based on non-human aspects, Pings and users accounts, numbers and mac addresses  ignoring the human aspect and local factors like most users have at least more than one device, maybe A laptop , 2 phones, a work computer and a majority use cyber computers. CAK counts this as single users that mean the actual number of users is half or less the reported figure.

Let’s analyse the top internet business in Kenya and see how true my deduction are. The top most sites in Kenya according to Hapa kenya are; *Drum rolls*



All these site gross over 1 million visitors every month while it’s easy to understand why the first 4 have made their way to the top, Ghafla is an interesting phenomenon. Here are stats from Alexa   Wolfram Alpha

However the truth is they are able to gross such a number on the virtue that they get all get traffic all over the world users from the diaspora and other countries as shown below. Site Overview


Mathematically if they only get 80% from the local users than means

Local users is 0.8*120,000 = 96,000 users

Actual users 96,000/2 = 48,000 users per day

If you are starting an online business the logical addressable market per day is 48,000 that is if you have a marketing budget rivalling OLX, Nation media and Standard, otherwise it much smaller.

Behavioural factors

Mathematics aside, the online culture is very different among the Kenyan user compared to the rest of the world. Statistics from Safaricom shows that the average user spends at most 5 mb per day. This is shared between Facebook, whatsapp, emails, twitter, Main news site and your internet start-up site. i.e. if they actually know you exist and are really interested with your offering otherwise you are out of the question.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t make money online matter of fact most bloggers with much less traffic have monetized their traffic and are making a living out of it. The underlying factors is do what you can to stay afloat, make money through your networks and wither the storm coz winter is coming. The market may not be as big as the statistics show but its growing and that graph can only go upwards. Lay your foundation now.

All is not lost I’ll wait and see what happens in five years.