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Speaking during the sidelines of Social Media Week 2021, Go Gaga Experiential Co-Founder and Director Strategy and Programs Rita Njuguna said there has been a huge spike in adoption of digital technologies in major sectors of the economy that has changed the way of life during the pandemic.
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Covid-19 lockdown has accelerated digital explosion in various sectors of the economy in the Kenyan Market. 

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Speaking during the sidelines of Social Media Week 2021, Go Gaga Experiential Co-Founder and Director Strategy and Programs Rita Njuguna said there has been a huge spike in adoption of digital technologies in major sectors of the economy that has changed the way of life during the pandemic.

“Remote working registered one of the biggest spikes as the government asked citizens to work from home in a bid to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Purchasing and consumption habits also changed drastically as more people ordered items online,” she explained.   

There was also an uptick in online business performance during the pandemic as many Kenyans resorted to shopping online and having goods delivered to their doorstep as consumers sought to avoid contracting coronavirus. 

“Digitization has become an integral part of numerous day-to-day activities and service delivery and this will be key drivers of the growth of trade in the country and the continent,” she added announcing that SMW will be rebranding to Digital and Technology week with the aim of enhancing the scope of discussions in a bid to effectively meet Africa’s digital needs.  

She urged companies to develop a digital workplace strategy to keep employees engaged and productive as well as innovate to digitize customer experience and create digital products and services. There is also a need to build algorithms to monitor customer behavior and discover new client needs to address. 

“Customer interactions must be digital while products and services must either be sold online or go digital to provide revenue for firms. Companies need to find ways to increase productivity for employees unfamiliar with working from home,” she cautioned.  

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According to a report by Mckinsey & Company, firms were able to adopt digital changes 20-25 times faster during the pandemic than they would have expected. 

Specifically, in the area of remote working, businesses were able to implement solutions 40 times faster than they would have expected in the pre-pandemic conditions. 

“What employees would have expected to take a year to implement at their organizations took an average of 11 days,” the report states.

Kenya is the 64th largest market for eCommerce with a revenue of US$1 billion in 2020, placing it ahead of Algeria and behind Ecuador according to ecommerceDB. 

With an increase of 66 percent, the Kenyan eCommerce market contributed to the worldwide growth rate of 26 percent in 2020. . 

“We see revenue for eCommerce set to increase in the next few years, with new markets emerging and existing markets having the potential for further development,” she added.

In 2019, Kenya developed and published a Digital Economy Blueprint that presents a framework to improve Kenya’s and Africa’s ability to leapfrog economic growth. 

The Blueprint has five pillars as foundations for the growth of a digital economy that include  digital Business; Infrastructure; Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship and digital Skills and values. 

SMW Nairobi is Africa’s premiere Digital and Technology conference and its mission is to create a platform where professionals at the intersection of technology in the various sectors of the market can gain insights, ideas and opportunities they need to advance themselves and their organizations in a globally connected world.

The 6th Edition of SMW 2021 is themed  “Reinvention: Reimagining Digital and Technology for a Better Tomorrow,”  and is a hybrid conference consisting of Breakfast and Networking Sessions, Masterclasses, Workshops, Fireside Chats, Cocktail Sessions, Product & Brand Launches while discussing and analyzing various trends in the market.

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Some of the 2021 sponsors and partners are Ministry of ICT, Innovation & Youth Affairs, Wowzi, Safaricom, Citizen Digital, Turn Left Media – LinkedIn Partners, Cellulant, IHRM – Institute of Human Resource Managers, East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL), Oracle, KENIC, Meltwater, Nestle, Oracle, Go Gaga Experiential, Digital Media Awards.

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About the author

Daniel Maithya is the Founder and CEO of RoyalTrendia. He is the 2019 Top 100 Most Influential Young Kenyans according to Avance Media, FOYA East Africa Social Founder of the year 2020 award winner and a Digital Media Strategist. Cell: 0705 921 599 | danielmaithya@gmail.com
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