How mobile phones shaped the last decade
SEE ALSO :MTN to sell tower units in Ghana, UgandaOver the decade, mobile subscription in the country grew 138 per cent from 22.3 million in 2010 to 53.2 million as of September last year, according to the latest statistics by the Communications Authority (CA). The decade also saw the rise in internet penetration, especially in mobile phones. The decade started with phones having basic ‘edge’ internet before evolving to the current fast 5G that is still being rolled out. As of 2010, internet penetration in the country stood at 7.8 million Kenyans, before growing to over 26 million currently. However, the digital economy has not come without its fair share of challenges, especially with regulators. For example, the digital lenders have been accused of being rogue due to lack of proper guidelines to govern them. We take a look at some of the impacts of the mobile phone in the last 10 years
Between July and September 2019 alone, Kenyans conducted mobile money transactions worth Sh1.7 trillion.
SEE ALSO :How to secure your privacy on your phoneClose to three million Kenyans have been blacklisted by the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) for defaulting on mobile loans. Due to lack of regulations, the digital lenders charge interests as high as 17 per cent monthly, especially for the "small" amounts ranging between Sh500 and Sh6,000. A 2019 report shows that 400,000 of those listed with the CRBs are for amounts less than Sh200. Transport The mobile phone enabled digital taxis to flourish in the decade. Since the entry of Uber into the Kenyan market in 2015, the country now has at least five digital taxi firms operating. Heck, there’s even a boda boda hailing app! However, it has not all been rosy, especially for the drivers of the digital cab-hailing apps who spent the better part of the last year fighting with the platforms over their commissions. E-commerce Kenyans are buying more products daily from the convenience of their phones. Some surveys even show that online shoppers in the country are responsible for pushing the country’s internet usage. The country ranks fifth in Africa in terms of e-commerce, according to a UN report last year. Sports betting Increased mobile phone penetration propelled gambling in the last decade. The industry minted new millionaires but also wrecked countless lives as millions of youths fell into gambling. New regulations last year such as the introduction of a 20 per cent excise tax on betting stakes saw the exit of giant betting firms Sportpesa and Betin after months of a back and forth with the government. Food industry Food delivery became the newest fad in the last decade. From the convenience of their homes, Kenya’s through their mobile phones can now order and have their favourite meal delivered to their doorstep. [email protected]
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