December 09, 2021

Kenya's digital journey and what the future holds

Original article by Tonny Tugee, SEACOM East and North East Africa Managing Director

Since 2016, Kenya's information and communication technologies (ICT) sector has grown at an annual rate of 10.8%, making it one of the continent's fastest-growing tech environments. This success can be attributed in large part to numerous developments in our digital space, with the ICT sector on track to generate 250 000 jobs and contribute up to 8% of GDP.

The Silicon Savannah, as it has been dubbed, has firmly established itself as Africa's digital trendsetter. Here are some of the noteworthy developments and partnerships that have been implemented, and how they may define Kenya's digital environment in the future.

Connectivity - a cornerstone of digital transformation

Kenya has a number of projects in the works to achieve countrywide connectivity. The Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology has begun construction on a 630-kilometer high-speed fibre optic cable that will benefit communities, government and enterprises in Kenya's North Rift region. This project will also encourage cross-border trade with South Sudan.

Airtel Kenya, the second-largest telecoms company in the country, has teamed up with Nokia to roll out 4G and 5G infrastructure across the country. SEACOM has partnered with Vodacom to serve more corporate clients across Africa. In addition, Google's parent company, Alphabet, has revealed a roll-out plan for Project Taara, which will use light beams to provide super-fast connectivity.

When it comes to access to any internet-based technology, these advancements in connectivity will benefit Kenyan people and businesses significantly. This will also allow more individuals to participate in the country's developing digital economy, which will improve educational opportunities and employment prospects. Connectivity is not only required for digital transformation; it also serves as a stimulus for economic growth – but only if it is fast and reliable.

Improving manufacturing and agricultural sectors

The adoption of ICT has been identified as a critical component in the manufacturing sector's overall improvement and growth. Modernising operational tools, such as application programming interfaces (APIs), can provide workers with more control over various processes from a single virtual dashboard, but this also necessitates digital training of the workforce. The Kenya Association of Manufacturers has released a policy framework aimed at enhancing digital capabilities, fostering competitiveness and managing digital change in an inclusive manner.

In agriculture, 70% of Africans rely primarily on income from this sector and farmers are struggling to keep up with demand as the continent's population grows. Fortunately, digital tools are starting to take the place of manual processes and online commerce platforms are becoming more popular.

Technological advancements in the agricultural sector will result in the creation of more jobs, increased food security and economic prosperity. In the last two years, some international agritech start-ups have grown by 110%, demonstrating that technological solutions are defining a new era of agriculture.

Kenya’s bright digital future

Kenya possesses all of the necessary ingredients to accelerate its digital transformation. It has a young, tech-savvy population with a desire to learn, as well as a well-established government capable of financing large-scale IT projects.

While connectivity is beginning to reach every part of the country, our mobile platforms are empowering people with financially inclusive services. For more information or to get a quote for our various connectivity solutions, email us at or leave us a message.

SEACOM owns Africa’s largest network of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, including fibre optic networks and subsea cables. We offer a wide range of industry-leading scalable ICT solutions for large companies that operate throughout the region.

SEACOM is privately owned - making it adaptable to the needs of the client. We are the preferred ICT and internet connectivity supplier for African enterprises. We can guarantee fast, reliable and secure internet and networking services at affordable prices.

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