The “Kenyan App” Market?

It seems that the Android operating system is getting to be really popular in Kenya. Reportedly, over 60,000 Huwaei IDEOS phones have been sold in Kenya in just a few months. The Huwaei IDEOS is the primary Android-powered device in Kenya. It is rumoured that Safaricom has ordered for 200,000 of these phones.

Think about it. That is 60,000 people and may rise to over 250,000 if Safaricom have its way.

In other countries, one of the”side effects” of the widespread use of Smart Phones has been the business of selling applications (“apps”) for these smart phones. This business is set to grow into a $12 billion industry by next year. That is, an industry that generates Kshs 1,020 Billion every year.

Obviously, Kenyan entrepreneurs should think hard about making apps and try to cut a niche for themselves in this huge, huge market.

What about the local “app industry”? How large is it? I would argue that it is nearly insignificant at this moment in time. But, as I said earlier, we shall soon have a quarter of a million Kenyans owning Smart Phones. Let’s analyse this:

  • Most, if not all of the people will be using apps made elsewhere and targetted at other markets, not Kenyans
  • The mobile phone is still the primary method through which the vast majority of Kenyans “use a computer“, or access the web
  • We are a distinct market and while we may appreciate and use apps made for other markets, we undoubtedly have needs that cannot be met by apps made for other markets

What does this mean? Well, if you ask me, there is an opportunity for smart Kenyan entrepreneurs to pioneer an industry that shall grow to be significantly large. Yes, I am saying that an opportunity exists for someone to make and sell “Kenyan apps” in the local market.

What do you think?

Additional Resources


  1. i so wish Google had a physical university in Kenya where they teach the android OS. that way a lot of jobs could be created for the big number of idle youths. They could partner with existing universities to roll out this program. *just saying*

Speak your mind