Kenya ranks among the top digital and tech economies in Africa. This is as a result of its advancement in the development of large-scale ICT infrastructure, broadband connectivity, and other digital services.
Often referred to as Africa’s Silicon Savannah, Kenya is the regional ICT hub of East Africa. Kenya has an ICT sector that accounts for up to 7% of the country’s GDP through IT-enabled services and has become a significant source of economic development and job creation. Kenya has some of the best digital legal frameworks on the continent like its ICT Masterplan and Digital Economy Blueprint. The frameworks have brought about an improvement in the Kenyan economy and are estimated to lead to more growth in various sectors. The such digital economy for instance is expected to contribute to about 9.24% to the nation’s GDP by 2025 according to Africa’s iGDP Forecast, Accenture.
The major sectors driving the continued growth of the digital economy in Kenya include the E-commerce industry where firms such as Jumia are thriving. Then there are Fintech services like MPESA and other mobile money services, which have gained acceptance across both rural and urban areas in Kenya. The growth in Kenya’s digital economy is supported by an increase in the number of people who have access to smartphones and internet services. This growth is expected to continue into 2023 with new innovations. Below are the ICT/Tech innovations that are expected to take place in 2023:
Increased adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are expected to play a significant role in Africa in 2023. In healthcare, AI and machine learning are expected to improve medical diagnoses and treatment options. In the agricultural sector, AI and machine learning are expected to improve crop yields and food security. AI-powered irrigation systems can optimize water usage, leading to more efficient practices.
Continued growth of the e-commerce sector
The growth of e-commerce in Africa has been significant in recent years. According to a 2019 report by the African Development Bank, the e-commerce market in Africa is expected to reach $75 billion by 2025. This growth is being driven by increasing internet and mobile penetration, as well as the rise of digital payment platforms.
Expansion of high-speed internet and mobile networks
With more than 600 million mobile phone subscribers on the continent, Kenya has one of the highest rates of mobile penetration in Africa. In 2023, we expect to see further development of a vibrant mobile app ecosystem, with Kenyan developers creating more innovative solutions for everything from mobile banking to healthcare. Additionally, due to the expected increase in internet connectivity around the country, there may be an increase in the use of cloud computing services such as servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence servers.
Increased use of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind
Many parts of Kenya still don’t have access to electricity, with numerous people unhappy with the increase in prices of electricity. Renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, can help improve access to energy in rural and remote areas. Additionally, diversification of the sources of electricity would reduce the cost of electricity.
The tech and digital landscape in Kenya is expanding. As 2023 approaches, we can expect to see new innovations, new regulations and more opportunities. With time, the Silicone Savannah’s growth will mirror that of Silicon Valley putting Kenya on the technological global map.