Internet Usage in Kenya: A Comprehensive Overview

Internet Usage in Kenya: A Comprehensive Overview

Last updated on January 19th, 2024 at 01:13 pm

In recent years, Africa has witnessed a rapid surge in internet access, although the level of connectivity varies significantly across different countries.

Among them, Kenya stands out as a dynamic player in the digital landscape.

In this article, we delve into the statistics and facts surrounding internet usage in Kenya, exploring key insights, mobile connectivity trends, the impact on e-commerce, and the pervasive influence of social media.

Internet Penetration in Kenya

Internet Penetration in Kenya

The internet penetration in Kenya has been increasing steadily.

According to the Digital 2023 report, Kenya’s internet penetration rate stood at 32.7% of the total population at the start of 2023, with 17.86 million internet users.

This was an increase from 42.0% at the start of 2022, which equated to 23.35 million internet users.

The report also mentioned that the penetration of smartphones was at 60.2% against a total population of 49.4 million at the end of 2022.

The growth in internet penetration reflects the increasing connectivity and digital adoption in the country.

Mobile Connectivity in Kenya

As of March 2023, Kenya had 66.1 million mobile (SIM) subscriptions, with a mobile (SIM) penetration rate of 130.5 percent.

The number of registered mobile money agents increased by 3.9 percent to 331,065, and mobile money subscriptions stood at 38.4 million, translating to a penetration rate of 76 percent.

According to Communications Authority of Kenya, penetration in smartphones increased from 54 percent in June 2022 to 61 percent in June 2023, while penetration in feature phones dropped from 67 percent in June 2022 to 64 percent in June 2023.

The total number of mobile phone devices connected to mobile networks stood at 62.9 million in March 2023, with a device penetration rate of 124.4 percent.

According to a data review and reprocessing exercise, 18,544,529 (44.4%) of Kenya’s population own mobile phones, of which 9,179,775 (49.5%) are women and 9,365,225 (50.5%) are men.

E-commerce Boom: Fashion and Electronics Lead the Way

The advent of mobile internet has revolutionized the shopping experience in Kenya, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

E-commerce has witnessed a rapid surge, with the revenue per user in the market reaching 163 U.S. dollars in 2021.

Although projections indicate a slight decrease in the coming years, e-commerce remains a pivotal aspect of Kenyan consumer behavior.

Fashion and electronics emerge as the top categories for online purchases, with 44 percent of respondents indicating buying clothes online and 43 percent purchasing shoes.

Additionally, 35 percent reported buying bags and accessories, as well as consumer electronics online.

The surge in online shopping is reflected in the attitudes of Kenyan consumers, with 26 percent emphasizing the importance of customer reviews and 26 percent expressing a desire to physically assess items before purchase.

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Social Media Landscape

Beyond online shopping, the Internet is a platform for communication and self-expression in Kenya.

Instant messengers like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger dominate, with 86 percent of Kenyan respondents using them in 2023.

Social networks, including Facebook, are popular among 74 percent of users, while media sharing platforms such as YouTube and Instagram are utilized by 71 percent of Kenyans.

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Projections and Challenges

Looking ahead, the trajectory of internet usage in Kenya is poised for continued growth.

Projections suggest a significant increase in internet users, reaching an estimated 38.71 million by 2028, reflecting a 72 percent rise.

However, challenges persist, particularly in extending connectivity to underserved areas.

The ongoing journey to develop internet infrastructure will play a crucial role in shaping Kenya’s digital future.


In conclusion, the landscape of internet usage in Kenya is evolving rapidly, driven by mobile connectivity, e-commerce expansion, and a vibrant social media culture. As the digital ecosystem continues to mature, Kenya is navigating challenges to ensure widespread access, setting the stage for a digitally connected and empowered society.

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