The Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) data dump of form 34As from 46,232 polling stations has created a wave of citizen participation in the electoral process beyond just casting their votes.
Kenyans have become more engaged in the democratic process through tallying the results of presidential winners from the IEBC portal, something never witnessed before.
The IEBC transparency has opened up the electoral process in a revolutionary way that has eased poll tensions and eliminated all doubts of foul play.
The move has even sparked ingenuity among the politicos who are even calling on open-sourced verification where citizens can tally results for their constituencies and pool with other like-minded citizens to quickly establish the winner of the presidential polls.
What is however being overlooked is the capacity and the extent to which Kenyans have access to the internet and are actually able to track the polls.
Kenya has one of the highest internet connections in the world with 2G Coverage for 96.6 per cent of the population and 3G/4G Coverage: for 96.3 per cent of the population.
The rollout of 5G technology is expected to expand the coverage and make the internet even faster.
In 2021, Safaricom launched the new 5G technology in Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii and Kakamega, and plans to be extended to 150 locations across nine municipalities.
The leading telco has been at the forefront in ensuring all Kenyans have access to the internet with a target of achieving 100 per cent 4G coverage.
As of last year, Safaricom’s 3G and 2G population coverage stood at 96 per cent and 97 per cent respectively.
And it is not just the internet coverage, Kenyans can actually follow the election at home thanks to the new frontier of internet penetration, the home fiber business.
Safaricom had 269,397 fixed data subscriptions as of last December according to the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) data, maintaining its leadership ahead of Zuku.
The telco has not only been expanding its coverage but has been offering enticing offers since 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic when millions of Kenyans were forced to work from home.
Since March 2020, Safaricom offered customers double bandwidth which enabled users to access high-speed Internet at half the price as a way of supporting the government’s call on Kenyans to work from home.
Early this year the telco introduced discounts on its home fixed Internet service by asking some of its customers on its Sh2,999 package where it offers speeds of 8Mbps to pay Sh2,500 only on their next subscription.
Kenya’s internet infrastructure took off when President Mwai Kibaki plugged in East Africa Marine Systems (TEAMS) cable in 2009, the first fibre-optic submarine cable due to make landfall in East Africa.
Today, Internet connectivity in Kenya is widespread, every county has a fiber access network, and nearly the whole country has access to 4G.