COUNTRY FOCUS : KENYA
New Nyali Bridge in Mombasa , Kenya
Efforts to address digital safety concerns are becoming an increasingly important factor in supporting Kenyans ’ embrace of digital services . Many Kenyans are concerned about digital fraud and 30 % reported they have experienced it . About 71 % of small business owners and self-employed people indicated concerns about digital fraud limited their usage of digital services for business . Additionally , the study revealed that greater user awareness and more robust redressal mechanisms are needed to enhance users ’ protection . However , regulatory changes aimed at providing greater protection for individuals and businesses in their digital usage are already underway in Kenya and globally .
The study revealed that access to hands-on support is critical in helping Kenyans deepen their use of some digital services and 81 % of e-governance users indicated that they have used Huduma centres for support .
The study also confirmed that Kenyans who are geographically , financially or socially vulnerable are more likely to use only basic digital services like sending and receiving payment on their mobile phones or topping up air time . The study goes a step further by pointing out where the divide is most evident . Eightyfive percent of rural residents with lower than primary education , 45 % people with disabilities , 44 % of older people and 37 % of adult farmers or homemakers use only basic digital services or no digital services at all .
With regards to the gender divide , the study also corroborated the commonly understood gender divide in Kenya with 35 % of women are advanced digital services users , compared to 54 % of men . The study sheds light on how through concerted effort and intervention , some advanced digital services that are reaching some portions of “ typically left-behind ” segments and helping to improve lives . A case in point being the agtech platforms , which are transforming small-scale farmers , most of whom are females , into agribusiness through digital capacity building and access to markets .
“ The next few years offer an opportunity to build on Kenya ’ s exceptional digital progress and to embrace lessons from surveys like this to advance the nation ’ s commitment to ensuring every citizen , enterprise and organisation is participating in the digital economy ,” said Robert Karanja , Director , Responsible Technology , Omidyar Network . p
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