SHIFT

Covid-19 accelerates digital explosion in Kenya

Digitization has become an integral part of numerous day-to-day activities

In Summary
  • Go Gaga Experiential Co-Founder Rita Njuguna said there has been a huge spike in the adoption of digital technologies in major sectors in the economy.
  • There was also an uptick in online business performance during the pandemic as many Kenyans resorted to shopping online.
Panelists at the Social Media Week 2021 event in Nairobi
Panelists at the Social Media Week 2021 event in Nairobi
Image: HANDOUT

Covid-19 lockdown has accelerated digital explosion in various sectors of the economy in the Kenyan Market, an industry leader has noted.

Go Gaga Experiential Co-Founder and Director Strategy and Programs Rita Njuguna said there has been a huge spike in adoption of digital technologies in major sectors of the economy that has changed the way of life during the pandemic.

Remote working registered one of the biggest spikes as the government asked citizens to work from home in a bid to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Purchasing and consumption habits also changed drastically as more people ordered items online,” she said during the sidelines of Social Media Week 2021.

There was also an uptick in online business performance during the pandemic as many Kenyans resorted to shopping online as they sought to avoid contracting Covid-19.

Digitization has become an integral part of numerous day-to-day activities and service delivery and this will be key drivers of the growth of trade in the country and the continent,” said Njuguna.

She urged companies to develop a digital workplace strategy to keep employees engaged and productive as well as innovate to digitize customer experience and create digital products and services. 

“Customer interactions must be digital while products and services must either be sold online or go digital to provide revenue for firms. Companies need to find ways to increase productivity for employees unfamiliar with working from home,” she said. 

According to a report by Mckinsey & Company, firms were able to adopt digital changes 20-25 times faster during the pandemic than they would have expected. 

Specifically, in the area of remote working, businesses were able to implement solutions 40 times faster than they would have expected in the pre-pandemic conditions.

What employees would have expected to take a year to implement at their organizations took an average of 11 days,” the report states.

 

Kenya is the 64th largest market for eCommerce with a revenue of US$1 billion in 2020, placing it ahead of Algeria and behind Ecuador according to ecommerceDB.

 

With an increase of 66 percent, the Kenyan eCommerce market contributed to the worldwide growth rate of 26 percent in 2020. .

 

“We see revenue for eCommerce set to increase in the next few years, with new markets emerging and existing markets having the potential for further development,” she added.

 

In 2019, Kenya developed and published a Digital Economy Blueprint that presents a framework to improve Kenya’s and Africa’s ability to leapfrog economic growth. 

 

The Blueprint has five pillars as foundations for the growth of a digital economy that include digital Business; Infrastructure; Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship and digital Skills and values.