The government has raised concern on how Kenyans use technology online, with only 35 percent using it for productivity.
Eunice Kariuki, Director of the ICT Authority at the Social Media Week independent (SMWi) Partner launch held in Nairobi on Wednesday said, the data that they have showed that 73% of Kenyans follow sports on social media, 61% politics, and 53% religion and called for the need to change the numbers.
“The point of interest for the government is how the numbers can be changed and used for productivity to transform lives,” she said.
She said many people are losing on the opportunities that come with technology together with social media which equalizes the field for everyone. She noted that the government is still on course everyone is connected as they try to look for ways to bring the cost of the devices down.
“However, with all these aspects being done by the government, there is need for more digital literacy in Kenya,” she noted.
The National Treasury has allocated Ksh 13.4Billion for the Digital Literacy Programme (Laptop Project) for the 2016/17 Fiscal Year to enhance quality and relevant education for all Kenyans.
In Kenya, There are 5.5million Facebook users and 1.5million tweeter users.
During discussions at the event, technology was seen as a key sector that creates many good jobs and stimulates the economy.
The panelists from different sectors provided insights on how they have tapped into social media to drive their companies’ products and services.
Peris Gathu, Cooperative Bank of Kenya in the communication department said, they are online because that is where their customers are and with content marketing they are now ranked number 4 as a brand. “If you are not online, other people are on social media shaping the opinion of your brand.”
Mark Kaigwa founder of Nendo a Nairobi-based consultancy said with online social media growth, expectations have dipped, but going forward, old tools like email and SMS will remain critical as they deliver more than social media.
Brian Mung’ei, a digital strategist with Safaricom Ltd said the company uses digital tools for customer care, marketing and the data they gather they use it to customize information to specific target segments.
The first ever Social Media Week will be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 12th to 16th September. This is the first time the globally acclaimed conference will take place in Kenya.
The event will focus on the theme, “Harness the power of technology and social media to transform businesses, culture and lives”, the delegates will have an opportunity to sample week-long events during the conference. They include Expo and Plenary Sessions that will take place at KICC while the workshops and master classes will be held at iLab Africa at Strathmore University.
Other cities that will be running SMWi simultaneously with Nairobi are London, Rome, Sao Paulo, Miami and Mumbai creating a buzz on Digital and Social Media Advertising. There are four editions of the conference happening globally in February, June, September and November.
Rita Gitobu-Njuguna of Go Gaga Experiential, SMWi’s Kenya franchise holders, said the September’s conference will bring together industry stakeholders and leaders in the ICT industry who will discuss technology’s role in the country’s future and what it means for businesses and our globally connected society.
“This will act as a leading platform that will curate and share the best ideas, innovations and insights into how social media and technology are changing business, society and culture around the world.”