Kenya's 3rd quarter mobile money use dips on election heat
By Bedah Mengo
Mobile money use in Kenya dropped in the third quarter of the year by 2 percent, the time when the country was in an electioneering period.
Central Bank of Kenya data released on Monday shows that the east African nation's citizens transacted on their mobile phones about 8.7 billion U.S. dollars during the period, down from 8.9 billion dollars in the second quarter.
The slight decline is attributed to the elections, with Kenyans having gone to the first polls on Aug. 8, the presidential results of the elections were however cancelled on Sept. 1 by the Supreme Court.
The apex court ordered a repeat poll which was done on Oct. 26, but in September, the country experienced a lot of political bickering that led to slowdown of the economy.
During the period, there was fear of violence with people cutting down on spending and business, therefore, on movement of money.
In the three months, the least transactions were done in August, where a record low of 2.8 billion dollars being transacted. In July, transactions stood at 3 billion dollars and rose marginally in September to 2.9 billion dollars.
Ernest Manuyo, a business management lecturer in Nairobi, noted that decline in transaction was expected as business slows down when the political climate is unfavourable.
"During such times, all the people think about is their safety, therefore, in case they have disposable income, they cannot send it to others but keep for emergencies. That is how elections are disruptive but the 2 percent decline is marginal," he said.
In 2016, Kenyans transacted 26 billion dollars on their mobile phones, with the figure expected to rise this year.