NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
After completing his university studies in
August, Habil Amuko stayed with his uncle in Kenya’s capital
Nairobi for a month as he tried to get an internship.
After he failed to
secure an opportunity, he travelled back home in Busia, western
Kenya, to stay with his parents as he continued to scout for an
Before heading back
home, Amuko was jittery about the things he would miss. One of
them is internet connection since at his uncle’s home, he had
access to free Wi-Fi through which he would search for
“My initial fears
were unfounded because upon reaching home, I realized that I
could readily access the internet through my phone and
affordably,” said Amuko on Wednesday, adding that he got an
internship opportunity in Kisumu, some 70km away, last month
after seeing an advertisement on the internet.
penetration across the east African nation has come as a
blessing to hundreds of Kenyan youths, giving them opportunities
that include jobs and internship, and enabling them to market
their produce for those who are farming.
Internet costs have
further declined as citizens’ use of smart phones rises amid
stiff competition among the three telecoms in the east African
currently accessing up to 2 GB for 50 Kenyan shillings (0.49
U.S. dollar), down from 4.9 dollars over two years ago.
“I do online work
and all this is because of easy internet access and
affordability,” said Martin Kibochia, an online writer.
“I access the
internet through my smart phone by sharing data with my
computer, get the assignments, work on them and sent them back.
I have been doing the work for two years, earning eight dollars
to 10 dollars per article,” added Kibochia, who studied English
and literature at a university.
penetration stood at over 41 million subscriptions by June, the
latest data from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA)
showed. Over 99 percent of internet subscribers access the
service via mobile phones.
has been rising over the years, and CA attributes this
transformation to the rollout of Universal Service Fund
projects, increased investment in network upgrades by service
providers and the rollout of Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G
availability of affordable smart phones and cheap data bundles
has also played a major role in facilitating internet
penetration,” said the regulator, noting other means Kenyans
access the internet include high speed fiber and satellite.
added that the internet market is expected to continue growing
as the government undertakes initiatives such as the
establishment of more information and communication technology
“If it was not for
the internet and social media, I would not be a happy farmer,”
said Simon Mutua, an auditor working in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
Mutua, 34, who is a
farmer on the side, sells his farm produce - mainly honey -
exclusively via social media.
“I have 30 hives and
each offers me at least 15kg every three months. A week before I
start harvesting, I normally visit my farm in Makueni, I post on
my social media accounts mainly on Facebook and on WhatsApp
groups inviting buyers and wait for orders and all this is
because of affordable internet,” he said.
To boost internet
penetration further, Kenya is working on setting up internet
villages to allow citizens access Wi-Fi hot spots, according to
the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology of
The project, said
the ministry, would spur business and opportunities in both
rural and urban areas.
Bernard Mwaso, a
consultant with Edell IT Solution in Nairobi, said Kenya is
among the countries in the world with the highest internet
penetration though the majority is on mobile phone.
“Still this has
created opportunities as Kenyans are selling their wares on
social media and doing freelance jobs, especially for the
unemployed youths,” he said, calling on the government to
prioritize provision of free Wi-Fi across the country.
Kenya seeks to tap
into China’s industrial technology to boost exports
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s business community is seeking to tap into
China’s industrial technology in order to boost its exports,
officials said on Wednesday.
national vice chairman of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (KNCCI), told a business forum in Nairobi that local
manufacturers are facing stiff competition from foreign
industrialists leading to a stagnation of the sector.
“We are therefore
keen for joint ventures with Chinese firms so that Kenya can
benefit from advanced manufacturing technology that will make
the country a major exporter of products,” Mureu said during the
first edition of the China Home Life Kenya Exhibition and
Business to Business Forum.
Over 600 Chinese
suppliers of home products such as consumer electronics,
furniture, textile garments, lights and lamps from eight Chinese
provinces in China are showcasing their products for three days.
The KNCCI has
already signed memorandum of understandings with four provincial
chambers of commerce in China in order to boost bilateral
director of bilateral trade at the Ministry of Industry, Trade
and Cooperatives said that the Chinese fair provides a very good
platform for Kenyan buyers to network with Chinese suppliers.
“The interaction may
culminate in joint ventures, which are significant in expansion
of trade and investment,” Kiptoo said.
He revealed that
Kenya’s main exports to China were titanium ores, niobium,
tantalum, tea, plastic waste, leather, sheep, lamb skin and
other oil seeds while top imports from China included telephone
sets, non-electric rail locomotives, cars and automatic data
official said that trade plays a significant role in both
countries’ growth and development through its linkages with all
sectors of the economy.
Konje said that
Kenya welcomes increased Chinese investments especially in
manufacturing and value addition.
“This will help
bridge the wide trade deficit between the two countries and
support the government’s big four agenda,” he added.
He observed that
Kenya is working tirelessly on improving the investment
environment in order to reduce the cost of doing business in the
Li Xuhang, Charge
d’Affaires of Chinese Embassy in Kenya said that the China Home
Life Kenya Exhibition is not only a platform to promote the
development of bilateral trade but also a bridge for
communication and cooperation.
According to the
envoy, the exhibitors are from the major economic and trade
provinces in China that have their own characteristics in
industrial development, which are highly complementary to Kenya.
“We hope that on
this fair, participants will have in-depth and extensive
exchanges, establish contacts and lay a foundation for future
cooperation. At the same time, apart from commodity trade, we
hope that participants from both sides pay more attention to
industrial investment cooperation,” he added.
He noted that the
Chinese government encourages Chinese enterprises to invest in
Kenya, adding that as a gateway to East Africa, Kenya’s
significant geographical advantages, stable political status,
solid economic foundation and relatively superior business
environment make it an attractive destination for Chinese