At the heart of The Filing Room’s core values is a deep interest in data. The service we provide is rooted in the belief that data should be stored safely, it should be easy to access, and it should help businesses and communities to grow. 

In this article, we explore the main vehicle for data creation and movement today: the internet. In order to get all Kenyan communities thriving and developing, we need to look at the recent statistics for internet usage in Kenya so that we can do more to boost data exchange and interconnectivity.

Internet Usage in 2000

The internet first became available in Kenya in 1993. However, full access wasn’t achieved until 1995. Multinational corporations, international organisations, and NGOs were the main users of the internet at the turn of the century. 

It is estimated that there were approximately 200,000 users of the internet in Kenya, back in 2000. This equates to penetration of 0.7%. At the same time, South Africa had 2.4 million internet users. 

Internet Usage in 2019

Nowadays, there are only a few African countries that have more internet users than Kenya. With nearly 47 million active users, only Egypt (49 million) and Nigeria (123 million) can rival Kenya. South Africa has 32 million, falling way short of Kenya’s total. 

This is even more remarkable when looking at penetration for 2019. The internet is used by 89.8% of the Kenyan population. Compared to the rest of Africa, where penetration is at 39.6%, it suggests a remarkable level of interconnectivity in Kenya. Indeed, penetration across the whole world sits at only 58.8%. 

As we move into the digital age, it is clear to see that Kenya’s data infrastructure is remarkably advanced and sets the foundations for Kenya to be one of the strongest economies in Africa. 

The Facts Behind Internet Penetration

Whilst internet penetration in Kenya is extremely impressive, it should be taken with a pinch of salt. The main reason behind such high penetration is the extensive mobile broadband services provided by Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom. 

Kenyans across the country can access the internet through smartphones, which is a good starting point. However, despite the laying of fibre optic cables in the Indian Ocean 10 years ago, home internet access in rural areas remains patchy and expensive. 

In Nairobi, home internet access has improved greatly and led to the development of a Silicon Savannah with tech companies and start-ups popping up across the city. Many of these innovations will lead to new ideas about attaining better internet access in rural areas. 

At The Filing Room, we know how internet access benefits the creation of new businesses and opportunities for all Kenyans. We hope to see the government making more efforts to lay fibre optic cables and connect Kenya’s regions even further.