Mobile and internet penetration has been increasing globally for the past couple of years with about 52.7% of the world’s population accessing the internet from their phones in 2015 and this is anticipated to go up to about 61.2% by the end of 2018. In Africa, Kenya is leading with an internet and mobile penetration estimated at 83% and this fraction is an indication of Kenyans having access to the internet through mobile services in bigger numbers than those of other African countries. Nigeria which is the most populated country in Africa has an estimated penetration of 81%.
Notably, access to the internet is a luxury and privilege that not every Kenyan can afford because of the prevailing economic conditions. It is with this knowledge that Safaricom and Google have partnered for a 3-month long campaign to increase the smartphone uptake in the country. To make their campaign a success they have unveiled a smartphone dubbed the most affordable one so far that will be going for Shs. 3499 which is also payable in 3 instalments. The phone in question is the Neon Kicka 4 which will also come loaded with free 500 MB data for the past months and subsequently for the following 5 months it will be possible to unlock 500 MB data upon purchasing data worth Shs. 50 or more. The users of this new phone will be able to enjoy the benefits of Safaricom’s wide network coverage.
Immense benefits are realized when brands and corporate fully participate in encouraging or subsidizing the costs that people would otherwise incur to have access to mobile smartphones and the internet. The partnership with Google brings with it many of these advantages that play a key role in ensuring that Kenyans regardless of their social class at the very least can afford the access to information. Technology has been revolutionary so far with its multitudes of innovations and inventions and it is paramount that we live no one behind as we progress further.
Almost half of the Kenyan population lives below the poverty line and therefore there is a dire need to connect people with people, people with knowledge and people with opportunities in order to improve the general living conditions in the country. The informal sector has and will improve tremendously from this as we have seen with the transport sector leveraging technology-related opportunities to increase and boost their income.
Availing and increasing access to the internet and its services in developing countries is a game changer. Various sectors in these countries like the education, government, business, and finance etc. have the potential to expand and grow with access to an opportunity like this. Kenya’s population is made of young people as the majority and that means that the same young people make up a major share of those living below the poverty line, therefore, this opportunity is promising to the Kenyan youth at large.
Image courtesy of Safaricom PR & Corporate CommunicationsThis phone can be purchased from Safaricom Shops countrywide, masoko and any other Safaricom dealers who are widespread in the country and notably with every purchase, the customers will get a screen protector, phone case, and the digital self-education starter park all for free. The importance of promotions like these in Kenya can be seen through the associated results that all fall back to the power affordable of mobile and internet services. Safaricom and Google’s partnership is certainly going to be a game changer for the country at large through the trickle-down effects.
Caroline Mumbe is passionate about anything money related. She is an entrepreneur and writer who enjoys simplifying financial concepts and making sure people lead their best financial lives. She reads a lot and knows the best coffee joints in Nairobi.