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Expats rank Kenya top in Africa on access to the internet

Kenya-based expatriate workers have ranked the country top in Africa
Kenya-based expatriate workers have ranked the country top in Africa based on ease of access to the Internet. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya-based expatriate workers have ranked the country top in Africa based on ease of access to the Internet.

The Digital Life Abroad Report by InterNations placed Kenya first in Africa, well ahead of South Africa, Morocco, Uganda and Egypt on the parameter of accessing high-speed Internet at home and online freedom.

“Ranking as the best African country, Kenya appears to offer a good digital life. Almost nine in ten expats there (89 percent) are happy with their unrestricted access to online services, which is nine percentage points above the global average (80 percent),” said the survey.

Kenya also surpassed the global average in making cashless payments.

“What is more, Kenya comes in fifth in the world for the ease of getting a local mobile phone number, just beaten by Myanmar, New Zealand, Israel, and Estonia. Close to every expat in the country (95 percent) says it is easy, compared to 86 percent globally.”

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Expats in Kenya are also satisfied with their unrestricted access to online services and the possibility to pay without cash almost anywhere, says the report.

To identify the best and worst countries for digital life, survey respondents were asked to rate their satisfaction with factors on a scale from one to seven including: unrestricted access to online services such as social media, the availability of government/administrative services online, the ease of getting a local mobile phone number, the ease of paying without cash, and the ease of getting access to high-speed internet at home. 18,135 expatriates took part in the survey.

Access to government services online has, however, proved a struggle for Kenya with two in every five expats unhappy with the lack of reliable online services.

“Dealing with the government for routine matters takes forever,” said an expat from the USA quoted in the survey.

The official digital platform by Kenyan government, dubbed eCitizen, was introduced in 2014 to enable the public to access and pay for government services online. The platform has been successful for some services such as renewal of driving licences, visa application and payment; while services such as work permit and passport application still entail endless queues at government offices even with online applications.

Globally, Kenya (31st) ranks middle, followed by South Africa (49th) and Morocco (58th). Coming in 59th and 66th, respectively, Uganda and Egypt are among the ten worst countries in the world.

The positive digital rating for Kenya serves as a boost for its position as an expatriate destination after it dropped 14 positions to 51 in 2018 from 37 in 2017.

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