Kenyans imported computers, laptops, and smartphones worth 8.01 billion shillings in a period of four months to July 2020 according to stats from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
The purchase was almost double what Kenyans spent on purchasing computers, laptops, and smartphones in four months to July 2019 where Kenyans used 5.18 billion shillings.
A surge in the demand for computers, laptops, and smartphones was realized after millions of Kenyans opted to work from their homes in an effort to cut down on the spread of the Covid-19 virus that landed in Kenya in March.
In March, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered all learning institutions to be shut down to reduce the risk of the virus spreading among the students. Closure of schools increased the demand for e-learning services, especially in private schools.
“We shall never go back to the old ways of working. That means we are going to reconfigure our office space. We will perhaps require less working space because people are going to be enabled to work from home,” said an expert from the Federation of Kenya Employers.
Globally, Kenya had the highest share of internet usage from mobile phones as compared to desktops. Internet access through the mobile phone in the country recently hit 83 percent, overtaking Nigeria.
Jumia Kenya, an online shop in Kenya, reported 70 percent of their traffic coming from mobile phones while 50 percent of payments done through the mobile also.
The rising demand for smartphones and laptops in Kenya reflects the move by Kenyans to embrace the use of technology in conversations via social media platforms and the carrying of business activities via e-commerce platforms.
From March, internet service providers such as Safaricom and Telkom witnessed a surge in the uptake internet data. At one time, Safaricom announced an increase by over 200 percent in demand for internet services while Telkom Kenya registered more than 80 percent in demand.