Byte by Byte: Kenya Case Study

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The Malabo Montpellier Panel’s report —Byte by Byte: Policy Innovation for Transforming Africa’s Food System with Digital Technologies—Summarizes the key findings of a systematic analysis of what seven African countries at the forefront of progress on digitalization of the agriculture sector have done right. It analyzes which institutional and policy innovations were implemented and what actions were taken by the private sector and agtech start-ups to increase the development and use of digital tools and services in the agriculture value chain.

Kenya has an advanced digital environment. According to the World Bank’s EBA ICT index, Kenya ranks top among African countries on the index. With a score of 7.0 out of 9, Kenya offers a superior system of laws, regulations, and policies that promote an enabling environment for the provision and use of ICT services, particularly in rural areas. In addition, according to GSMA’s Mobile Connectivity Index (MCI), Kenya performs particularly well on the price of handsets, gender equality and network coverage (85 percent of the population has access to 3G coverage). However, owing to weaker network performance, that is, upload and download speeds, Kenya’s performance on the MCI scores an average 51.ii Even so, Kenya has the second fastest internet in Africa according to the Worldwide Broadband
Speed League (after Madagascar). Nevertheless, as part of its long-term development plan, the government aims to roll out 4G networks across the country to provide faster internet and increase bandwidth capacity. To date, strong institutional, policy and programmatic developments ensure that Kenya sustains its leadership on digitalization in agriculture across the continent.

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