n Journal of Gender, Information and Development in Africa (JGIDA) - The diffusion of mobile phones for business and information management in Kenya

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2050-4276
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4284


Diffusion of innovation (DOI) is the process by which an innovation is adopted and gains acceptance by members of a certain community. Innovations that are perceived by individuals as having greater relative advantage, compatibility and less complexity may be adopted more rapidly than others. Observations show that information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as computers and the Internet have been widely adopted by people in western countries, while in developing countries they have taken much longer to be adopted. Mobile phones on the other hand, have been widely adopted by both the western and developing countries in the past decade. The rapid spread and use of mobile phone technology has been extended to the use of innovative mobile money transfer services which has increased the speed of economic activities for Kenyans, especially low income people who were not served by financial institutions such as banks. Money transfer services were first introduced in Kenya in 2007 in the form of 'M-pesa', a financial transaction medium, which has had phenomenal growth since its introduction and has greatly impacted economic activities. The M-pesa mobile money transfer service has been described as a revolutionary way of making cell phone technology work to serve a basic need by providing a fast, safe, cheaper and easy way to transfer money.

This article examines the rapid diffusion of mobile phones and related mobile money transfer services in Kenya. It is based on an on-going research study on "The diffusion of ICTs in the informal sector in Kenya".

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