Former Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph noted Kenyans have ‘peculiar’ calling habits. We protested, pontificated and vilified the executive for saying what Safaricom data showed. Although a lot has changed over the last 10 years in the telco space, there are habits the 26 million internet users have kept peculiarly Kenyan.
According to a Pew research, over half (53 percent) of internet users in Kenya use the web to look for work or apply for jobs, more than any other African country and slightly behind Bangladesh and India. Quite peculiar considering the international average for people looking for jobs online is 35 percent. Google trends confirm Pew’s research with ‘jobs’ being among the all time search terms in Kenya.
But while only a half of Kenyans internet users are looking for jobs online, a whopping 88 percent use social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, second only to Philippines at 93 percent in the emerging nations.
“Among people in emerging and developing nations who have access to the internet, nearly two-thirds (a median of 66%) access it daily,” states the Pew Global research.
In Kenya, and for most parts of developing countries, the smartphone has become the primary access to the internet. The Communications Authority reveals nearly 99 percent of active internet users in Kenya browse the web using their smartphones.
Another peculiar habit for Kenyan internet users is how we interact with e-commerce platforms. A majority of Kenyans will use the internet to research on the products they want to buy, but finalize the purchase off-line. Nigeria and South Africa lead the continent in e-commerce uptake despite Kenya’s strong mobile money dominance.