Kenya’s ICT sector growth declined to 7.3% in 2015 as ICT Exports Rise

CS, Ministry of ICT speech at the opening of the Connected Summit 2016


The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics released the 2016 economic survey highlights today. According to the report the Kenya’s GDP expanded by 5.6% in 2015 as compared to 5.3% in 2014. This expansion was as a result of significant growth in some key sectors among them agriculture, construction, real estate and financial and insurance. Some sectors such as ICT, mining and trade witnessed declines.

The ICT sector was a significant contributor of growth in 2014 with an expansion of 13.4% from 12.3% in 2013. However, the sector’s growth slowed to 7.3 per cent in 2015. The value of ICT goods exported increased by 64.1 per cent to KSh 2.1 billion in 2015 compared to KSh 1.3 billion in 2014.  The value of ICT equipment imports increased by 23.1 per cent to KSh 51.3 billion in 2015.

According to the report, internet subscriptions increased significantly from 16.4 million in 2014 to 23.9 million in 2015. The Communications Authority of Kenya has put the internet penetration at 35.5 Million users representing 88% of the entire population, a figure the KNBS puts at 54.2% in 2015 from 38.3% in 2014.

In 2015, the country successfully concluded the digital migration for TV broadcasting this allowed for the freeing up of TV broadcast spectrum facilitating the growth of digital television from 36 in 2014 to 62 in 2015. Mobile telephony also contributed to the sector with mobile telephone subscriptions
increasing in penetration from 78.3 per cent in 2014 to 85.4 per cent in 2015.

During the year under review, ICT penetration rate improved for all categories except fixed line, which declined from 0.52 in 2014 to 0.19 in 2015. The improvement in the uptake of ICT was partly attributed to the affordability of mobile phones in the market; cheaper internet bundles offered by mobile operators and finalization of phase one of laying the fiber optic cable.