This chapter includes the following articles.
Kenya’s telecommunications sector plays an important role in the country’s economy. The industry as a whole has been on an upward trajectory over the last decade, as a burgeoning, tech-savvy middle class drives demand for smartphones and data, helping companies offset slowing growth in the voice and messaging segments. Operator Safaricom holds the dominant market share but competition has been increasing, and the rollout of new spectrum and a push to expand data services is creating new revenue-generating opportunities. As Kenyan residents increasingly embrace mobile broadband technology and data demand rises, the country’s telecommunications industry is set to remain on a mid-term growth path, bolstered by a diversified portfolio of innovative offerings. Kenya’s IT sector has risen to become an important contributor to economic growth, as the expansion of mobile broadband, WiMAX and fibre-optic networks has driven internet usage and subscribership in recent years. Increasing internet usage has also driven growth in both the e-commerce and start-up segments, with Nairobi standing as East Africa’s most vibrant technology hub. Although access gaps remain and high-speed internet availability is largely constrained to major urban centres, the combined efforts of the public and private sector should see Kenya meet its ICT goals by 2030.
This chapter contains interviews with Prasanta Das Sarma, Managing Director, Airtel Kenya; Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom; and Aldo Mareuse, CEO, Telkom Kenya Limited; James Mwangi, CEO and Managing Director, Equity Bank; Mike Macharia, Founder and Group CEO, Seven Seas Technologies.