Kenya’s depreciating currency and its gigabyte effects on Internet marketing


The effects of the continuing depreciation of the Kenya shilling have been felt by the entire economy. Oil importers, manufacturers and consumers are paying more because imported components and finished products and services have become expensive. On the other hand, exporters of horticultural produce and the tourism sector are benefitting because our produce and destinations have become more affordable.

Internet marketing will undoubtedly experience stiffer challenges because of the depreciating shilling. It’s unlikely that ISPs will reduce bandwidth prices further, for their claim will almost be that they purchase wholesale bandwidth prices in US$ which has strengthened against the Kenya shilling.

So, what are the likely scenarios of the weakening shilling on Internet marketing?

  • If Kenya can’t grow the current 4.7 million Internet subscriptions because of high prices, then Internet marketing is in trouble.
  • If prices of computers and mobile phones and accessories rise, then Internet marketing is in trouble.
  • If mobile phone service providers increase their Internet access prices like Safaricom recently did, then Internet marketing in Kenya is in trouble.
  • If brands can’t market their services online through platforms like paid search because they can’t forecast what they will pay tomorrow, then Internet marketing in trouble.
  • If Kenya can’t attract seminars and other events that are about the Internet, or if only a few people can afford to pay to attend, then Internet marketing is in trouble.
  • If multinational marketing services companies set up Internet marketing subsidiaries in Kenya because it’s cheaper for them, but they pursue alien marketing tactics because they don’t see the need to understand the market, then Internet marketing is in trouble.

Kenya won’t realise the much hyped vision 2030 if a basic requirement like Internet access is still a luxury to most Kenyans.


  • Well, I don’t think there’s that direct a correlation between internet marketing and the depreciating currency. I don’t think that for instance,there’ll be a free fall of Kenyans accessing the internet simply coz internet providers might be arm-twisted by the depreciating currency.

    If anything,it means that online marketers are going to have to be more shrewd,make their marketing strategies inbound or something.strained resources and the slight possibility of reducing numbers of people online means that internet marketers put on their thinking caps and make lemonade out of the lemons handed.

    Posted by nanjira | October 13, 2011 1:59 pm
  • Hi Nanjira
    Thanks for your response. Yes, you are right, Kenyan Internet marketers have to put on their thinking caps and make lemonade out of lemons.
    Enjoy your weekend and keep reading.

    Posted by Festus | October 14, 2011 6:26 pm
  • the depreciation of shilling i hoped to have a greater impact that you anticipate, offcoarse if shillings change with 20% obvioursly import will change with almost the same rate

    Posted by kamaa | February 20, 2012 12:02 pm
  • a good article but i dont agree somewhere.if the kenyan mission 2030 is releted to the internet usage…dont you think that this can help improve the currency instead?.it is said that current world moves with the technology.ok you said luxurious internet…i doubt if these users will be those aiming to score these goals.

    Posted by samson osunga | February 23, 2012 5:59 pm
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