Growing Digital Access: Kenyans encouraged to invest in smartphones

Egerton University students recording their lectures using their phones during the official lunch of Egerton university lectures strike the university on October 17,2022. [Kipsang Joseph,Standard]

Kenyans have been encouraged to invest in smartphones in order to achieve easy access to government services, build their businesses, help in education, and overall help build the digital economy

Over 20 million Kenyans do not own or have access to smartphones in the digital era of today, a problem Onfon Mobile is keen to solve by offering cheaper solutions to owning powerful smartphones, especially during these hard economic times.

Interestingly, Kenya is a leader on the continent when it comes to access to digital infrastructure, a fact that is hard to believe because a majority of Kenyans especially in the semi-urban areas still use 2G.

The country's ICT sector has on average grown 10.8% annually since 2016 and its digital economy is expected to contribute to 9.24% of the country's GDP by 2025.27

The digital economy is the worldwide network of economic activities, commercial transactions, and professional interactions that are enabled by information and communications technologies (ICT).

Onfon General Manager Dennis Kuria during an interview with KTN News.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

The Digital Economy has gained substantial importance within the global economy as a driver of innovation and competitiveness.

As part of the global village, this new ecosystem presents a unique opportunity for economic growth and it takes the Government, businesses, and individuals’ effort to adapt to the reality.

To achieve 100 percent digital transformation in the country, the Government in conjunction with private investors is at the forefront of facilitating investments and innovations in core digital infrastructure and also facilitating a thriving technology startup ecosystem.

The growth in Kenya’s digital economy is supported by the number of people who have access to smartphones and internet services.

This is why Onfon Mobile seeks to raise the number of Kenyans using smartphones from the old 2G ‘Kabambe’ phones.

“We have over 20 million Kenyans still on Kabambe. Our goal is to move these numbers from 2G to 4G/5G devices. In the past five years, over 800,000 Kenyans have moved from Kabambe to smartphones, a number we believe we can beat,” said Dennis Kuria, Onfon Mobile GM.

Onfon Head of Sales Brian Okoth during an interview with KTN News.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

Brian Okoth who is the Head of Sales explained that through Onfon, you can get an expensive phone at the cost of paying in bits, a problem solver to Kenyans who want easy government services through the palm of their hands.

“We want that common ‘mwananchi’ or mama mboga to have a smartphone. We understand they cannot get that Sh10000 or Sh15,000 to buy the desired phone instantly and therefore when they come to us, we will agree on a payment plan and give you the phone,” said Okoth.

Onfon Assistant Operations Dolce Mayanga said they have 52 shops in Kenya and they will expand more. She said Onfon was created to spearhead the supply of affordable smartphones across Africa.

Onfon Group CEO Denis Makori and General Manager Denis Kuria Onfon mobile pausing for a photo on Instagram placard board.[Courtesy]

Currently, Kenyans can now access over 5,000 Government services online.

President William Ruto said the digitization will enhance efficiency and inclusivity in service delivery.

To facilitate universal access to smart-enabled telephones, the ministry of ICT in partnership with mobile network operators has embarked on local assembly of low-cost digital telephone gadgets at an affordable retail price of USD40 per unit which is soon being rolled out in the Kenyan market.

Kenya’s digital transformation has picked up apace, with the digital superhighway having been identified among the five pillars of President William Ruto’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda.

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