Saturday, 30 January 2010

National Survey Shows Kenyan Internet Market Heading Towards 'Critical Mass'

National Survey Shows Kenyan Internet Market Heading Towards 'Critical Mass'
From Angola Press, Saturday, 30 January 2010:
(London) - The latest national survey from market research company Synovate shows Kenya's Internet market is growing fast and on the basis of this growth will soon reach "critical mass". The growth in users is coming from both urban and rural areas and is predominantly amongst the young and well educated.

The total sample for this random survey was 1,500 people, with 500 of those in a boost sample from across the major districts of Kenya. Therefore the coverage is nationally representative of adults 15 and above and has a sampling margin of error of + or - 3%. It makes comparisons with a similar survey it carried out in 2007.

On the basis of this sample, Synovate estimates that there are now 3.5 million Internet users in Kenya. However, daily Internet use has grown from 2% of the respondents in 2007 to 5% in 2009 and weekly use from 5% to 12% over the same period. The daily use figure is
the crucial one as it shows users who are finding that that they cannot do without Internet services.

If the weekly Internet use is broken down on an urban vs rural basis, urban use grew from 22% of respondents in 2007 to 30% in 2009. Rural use grew from 4% to 9% over the same period. These results confirm a lot of anecdotal evidence that has been reaching us about young people using the Government's new Internet centres and cyber cafes in rural areas.

The lower income groups recorded a much more fast paced growth in internet access.

However Internet penetration within middle class and below is still very low, making it the group with the highest growth potential. And following the expected drop in Internet costs LSM 4-10s should provide the highest growth in usage. At least half the non-users across all social categories said they would be interested in using the Internet if they had access.

In terms of age, 50% of the respondents using Internet were aged 15-34 with 21% in the 18-24 age bracket. The upcoming generation of Kenyans will be regular users of the Internet and it will form as much part of their lives as mobile phones. Over 56% of the Internet using respondents were college or University educated. Therefore those countries with better education levels in Africa will show markedly higher Internet penetration levels.

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