Kenya has witnessed an increase in Internet users to 17.38 million from less than 10 million in 2011, according to the Julisha ICT Survey report released today by the Kenya ICT Board.
According to the report, in addition to mobile phones increasing ICT expansion in Kenya, they boosted Internet usage.
The Julisha ICT Survey report, which was conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) and commissioned by the Kenya ICT Board, further revealed the market is slowly shifting to services with the necessary infrastructure in place.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Kenya’s permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication Bitange Ndemo said the government expects there will be increased investment in startups and vendors with investors likely to rush to serve devolved governments that come into place later this year.
“Overall, the Kenyan ICT market continues to thrive and we expect that from 2013 onwards, the most notable issues will include the new government structure as county governments wean themselves from national governments to become more autonomous, increased investment by vendors, increased venture capital activity aimed at start ups and developments with the 4G shared network infrastructure,” he said.
The report put Kenya ahead of South Africa and Nigeria in Internet usage, though behind continental bigwigs such as Egypt.
It stated that the main uses of Internet remains searching for information at 75 percent, communication at 64 percent and downloading content at 59 percent.
Over the period of review, the report indicates there was a 70.4 percent increase in Internet users compared to a 30.4 percent in subscriptions, as percentage of total population jumped from 11.5 percent to 14.8 percent.
The percentage of population with Internet access continues to grow, from 26 to 36 percent.
The Julisha report recommends subsidising of devices and Internet services be considered by the government, with the cost of gadgets and Internet services cited as a constraint to ICT adoption by new users and increased usage from current users.
This concurs with the last CCK quarterly report that indicates investment and revenue dropped by 9.9 percent and 33.5 percent respectively over the 2010/2011 period.
Other notable highlights in the report include a 42 percent increase in students connected to broadband, an increase in universities connected to broadband and a 35 percent increase in the number of .ke domain names.
According to the report, the number of registered governmental domain names reduced in 2011 largely due to lack of renewal by local government entities.