In this first installment of Shallow Dives Around The World, we will take a not-that-deep look at the trending topics and Twitterati that are shaping this East African economic powerhouse.
A quick background:
About half way between the pyramids of Egypt and the southern tip of Africa, Kenya is a former British colony that gained independence in 1963 and now boasts a relatively free press, a growing economy, and a fascinating tale of a culture that produces more marathon runners than anywhere else on Earth.
Speed and Connectivity:
Kenya has a population of over 44 million people and of those and nearly 20 million are connected to the Internet, producing a large and increasing market for social media, Internet news, and e-commerce.
However, the country’s Internet download speeds still only average 1.9 Mbps, a little over half of the global average of 3.9 Mbps, according to Freedom House/Akamai’s “State of the Internet” Report.
Kenya’s current President, Uhuru Kenyatta, has one of the biggest Twitter followings of any Kenyan. While mainly politically on-message with outgoing tweets, his opponents also use it as a platform to lambaste him, especially on his birthday.
Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, is one of the easier places in the world to pay for things using your mobile phone, according to The Economist. A home-grown app, M-Pesa, is used by 17M people in Kenya alone allowing them to use their phone as a “branch-less” bank – transferring and receiving money via phone.
The most popular trending topics in Kenya touch on the war on terror, its vibrant Christian community, and a how its a key player in the fight against AIDS.
Kenyans were none too pleased earlier this year when a CNN anchor referred to Kenya as a hotbed of terror in the lead-up to a visit by US President Barack Obama.
Twitter responded by using #tellcnn to spoof CNN and to reveal the everyday Kenya.
In religious news, Pope Francis will arrive at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on the 25th of November and the visit already has its own twitter handle.
We are definitely counting down to the Papal Visit #22DaysToGo #PopeInKenya https://t.co/22HUiJmGWI @dailynation
— Papal Visit, Kenya (@PopeVisitKE) November 3, 2015
With more than 1.4M Kenyans living with AIDS, it is a hot topic in the country.
Kenya has scaled up its war against HIV/Aids by setting aside $26 million in its 2015/16 budget for the purchase of anti-retroviral drugs — Uhuru Kenyatta (@UKenyatta) October 30, 2015
The team here at The Sociable isn’t savvy enough with Kenyan current affairs to comment on any of the following memes, but we are assured by a search engine that these are 50 of the best.
Kenya is a modern, diversifying economy with a vibrant internet community worth keeping an eye out for. Find out more about Kenya and its tech scene here.