Kenya’s mobile market has witnessed phenomenal growth rates since the second GSM operator launched in 2000. Mobile phones now outnumber fixed lines by around 20:1. Enormous further potential remains. Meanwhile, Kenya’s broadband market has been transformed by a combination of increased investments in network upgrades among the key providers as well as the landing of four fibre-optic submarine cables. This international connectivity ended the country’s dependence on limited and expensive satellite services, while vastly increased bandwidth has led to wholesale prices tumbling to a fraction of the former rate. The development has helped make broadband services affordable for the mass market, while also providing the key backhaul network for the burgeoning mobile broadband sector. The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) is responsible for regulating both broadcast and online media.
While Kenya has a growing entrepreneurial middle class and faster growth, its economic and development trajectory is threatened by weak governance and corruption. Unemployment and under-employment are high, but reliable numbers are hard to find. Agriculture remains the backbone of the Kenyan economy, contributing 25% of GDP. Inadequate infrastructure continue to hamper Kenya’s efforts to improve its economic growth to the 8-10% range so that it can meaningfully address poverty and unemployment. Inflationary pressures and sharp currency depreciation peaked in early 2012 but have since abated following low global food and fuel prices and monetary interventions by the Central Bank. Chronic budget deficits, including a shortage of funds in mid-2015, hampered the government’s ability to implement proposed development programs, but the economy is back in balance with many indicators, including foreign exchange reserves, interest rates, inflation, and FDI moving in the right direction, while tourism is increasingly holding a significant place in Kenya’s economy.