Surprising Digital Gap: Kenya Lags Behind Somalia in Free Wi-Fi Hotspots

Number of Free Wi-Fi hotspots in Kenya

Currently, Kenyan government officials are shuttling around the country to launch free Wi-Fi hotspots. The move has drawn mixed public reactions. Nonetheless, a well-executed program will enhance connectivity and bridge the digital divide.

Wifimap is a company that claims to run the largest Wi-Fi hotspot database in the world. Based on their data Kenya has 11,420 Free Wi-Fi hotspots. This puts Kenya 12th in the continent and lagging behind its neighbour Somalia. In comparison, Somalia has 11,805 free Wi-Fi hotspots.

Overall in the continent, the Wifimap database of hotspots ranks Egypt first and the country is followed by Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. This means the top spots all go to the North African countries.

Regionally in Eastern Africa, Kenya is third after Ethiopia, and Somalia. Globally, the top country is Indonesia which is followed by Brazil, Iraq, and the USA closes the top four.

Take note, these statistics are based on the Wi-Fi Map database of free Wi-Fi hotspots. Wi-Fi Map gives users a list of millions of hotspots with free Wi-Fi.

The data is dependent on users downloading the app and scanning nearby hotspots to discover those available to the public. This is how the app populates its database. Hence, the data may be a representation of countries where the app is popular not the total number of hotspots.

Nonetheless, a country that prides itself as a digital leader needs to be higher on the list. This should be a call to the government to step up its efforts

Take Caution With Free Wi-Fi Hotspots

Free Wi-Fi hotspots have been a boon for many users. Thus, they have become a popular feature in most public areas and a selling point to lure customers for businesses.

Unfortunately, the same features that make free Wi-Fi desirable for consumers make them desirable for hackers; namely, it requires no authentication to establish a network connection. This creates an amazing opportunity for the hacker to get unfettered access to unsecured devices on the same network. Hence, limit the number of times you connect to free Wi-Fi and choose networks you can trust.

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