Safaricom Makes a Staggering 86% of Total Telco Revenue in Kenya

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Safaricom airtime and data usage

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics recently released its Economic Survey 2020 report that gives a look into Kenya’s economy.

The ICT sector is an important part of the economy and the telco industry is a part of it. We use their network to call, send texts, send virtual money and use data daily. This means they make a lot of money and it shows from the statistics.

According to the report, telecommunication operators in Kenya made 291 billion in 2019, which is up 7.5% from 2018’s statistic. The interesting bit is that we know how much money Safaricom made in their last business year so it will be easy to gauge what is their total contribution to this statistic.


According to Safaricom, they made 251 billion last financial year. If we do the math, it means that Safaricom made 86% of all revenue in the industry last year. This means that the telcos combined only made roughly 14% of the total which equates to Kshs 39.9 billion. In comparison, Safaricom made Kshs 36 billion from mobile data alone in 2019.


KNBS data goes back to 2015 and Safaricom’s contribution to the total is consistently at 86% if you put it side by side with Safaricom’s financial results. In 2018, they made 234 billion which was 86.58% of the total. In 2017, they made 215.3 billion which was 87% of the total. In 2016, Safaricom made 195.9 billion which was 84% of the total telco revenue in 2016.

This revelation about the total telco revenue in Kenya is quite startling. We knew that Safaricom would be leading by quite a mile but not by this much. Safaricom’s revenues are generated mostly from voice revenue, mobile data and MPESA which enjoy growth year on year.


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