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William Ruto banks on broadband for economic recovery in Kenya

Kenya , 12 Dec 2022

President William Ruto’s administration is banking on the increased rollout of affordable, accessible broadband connectivity to encourage job creation and economic recovery in Kenya.

According to the World Bank, Kenya’s economy grew by 6% year-on-year, amid several economic challenges – including rising cost of living and drought.

The government aims to lay 100,000km of fibre optic and extend broadband reach to at least 80% of the population.

A report by the World Bank notes: “Broadband access rates are increasing but network coverage remains insufficient particularly in rural and underserved areas where over 70%of the population resides.”

The newly adjusted termination rates between telecommunication companies in Kenya is a positive step in being able to lower costs and extend accessibility in the telephony sector.

Market analysts say dominance in the telecommunications and money market industries should be addressed to ensure adequate competition and to maintain the pace of investment, innovation and reduction in prices for consumers that have driven Kenya’s digital economy growth.

The World Bank expects the strong resilience in the Kenyan market to continue until next year.

It adds that the country’s medium term growth prospects remain positive with GDP projected to grow by 5.2% on average in 2023–24, notwithstanding current global and domestic shocks.

The baseline assumes robust growth of credit to the private sector, continued low COVID-19 infection rates, a near-term recovery in agricultural production, and high commodity prices favorable to Kenyan exports.

These developments are expected to catalyse private investment to support economic growth over the medium term.

“Private sector led growth is critical to job creation and a steady increase in household living standards over time,” said Naomi Mathenge, World Bank Senior Economist for Kenya.

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