Internet use in sub-Saharan Africa is on the rise, supported by growing smartphone ownership and connections to multiple undersea communications cable systems. Broadband uptake grew 34% per year between 2008 and 2015, and penetration is anticipated to reach 80% by 2020, up from 20% in 2015.
The east African coast occupies a strategic position that allows maritime connections between the African continent and the Middle East and Asia. The ports of Mombasa, in Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, in Tanzania, are the most important in the region.
Vital to the economies not only of Kenya and Tanzania, but also to the landlocked neighbouring countries, these ports are connected to their neighbours through a network of roads and railways that allow trade with other east African countries and with the rest of the world.
Rife speculation abounds in Kenya as the debate intensifies over the credibility of the banking sector’s corporate governance structures and overall soundness. Following a turbulent period that witnessed three mid-sized banks fall into receivership since 2015, including the most recent case of Chase Bank this past April, an emerging pattern suggests a possible widespread existence of systemic challenges in the banking sector: questionable governance practices, weak supervision and rampant fraudulent activities.
At the end of August, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta shocked the domestic banking sector by signing legislation that imposes limits on bank lending and deposit rates. The amendments peg commercial lending rates at four percentage points above the benchmark Central Bank Rate (CBR), and set interest granted on deposits at a minimum 70% of the CBR. Lending at rates above those prescribed by the new legislation would be considered a criminal offence.
TECHNOLOGY has played, and continues to play, a vital role in the development and advancement of African economies at large. Technology is constantly reinforcing regional trends in business, investment, opportunities and modernisation, which accelerates globalisation in developing countries.