ICT sector continues on upward trajectory to emerge second

Thursday April 30 2015

From left- Ministry of Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) director general Zachary Mwangi, Planning Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti and KNBS chairman Terry Ryan during the release of the 2015 Economic Survey Report at KICC in Nairobi on April 29, 2015. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU

From left- Ministry of Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) director general Zachary Mwangi, Planning Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti and KNBS chairman Terry Ryan during the release of the 2015 Economic Survey Report at KICC in Nairobi on April 29, 2015. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

By LILIAN OCHIENG
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ICT sector has defied the country’s overall slow growth, expanding 13.4 per cent with an output of Sh262.3 billion on the economy. 

The 2015 economic survey, published by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, classifies the sector as a top performer.

ICT is  in the same category as building and construction which expanded by 13.1 per cent and transport which grew by 13.7 per cent. The GDP growth expanded 5.3 per cent in 2014, lower than the previous year’s 5.7 per cent. 

Increased mobile money transactions, high internet usage and sound ICT policies are among the contributing factors to the robust performance. 

“The performance of the ICT sector has been robust resulting in it being a major driver of economic growth. Kenya has managed to keep in tandem with rapidly evolving technology and is a leading country in mobile money transfer system,” said the survey. 

COMPETITION LAWS

Mobile telephone connections and mobile money transfer expanded during the review.

Mobile money transactions rose by 24.7 per cent to Sh2, 372 billion in 2014 compared to the year 2013 when Sh1, 902 billion was transacted. 

Among policies that were reviewed driving upwards the sector’s growth are; one area network policies for harmonisation of international roaming charges, ICT master plan and the National Fibre Optic Infrastructure (NOFBI). 

The sector has recorded positive growth for the past five years with an output of Sh169.2 billion in the year 2010 compared to the current value output of Sh263.3 billion. 

Upcoming changes in policies such as harmonisation of competition laws in telecommunication and deepening of internet penetration through the Universal Service Fund are likely to increase ICT contribution to the economy. 

Growth in the ICT sector now contributes an estimated 7.5 per cent to the GDP, with well guided policies, the sector will hit the Vision 2030 target of contributing 10 per cent to the country’s GDP by 2017.

The survey was unveiled by Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Anne Waiguru was launched at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) on Wednesday.