Zwischen wirklichen Räumen und digitalen Aneignungsmodi: Nutzerkonstruktionen des Internets in Nairobi/Kenia

Researcher:

Dr. Johanna Rieß

Research Area:

B


Technical improvements and cheaper access are helping increase the significance of the Internet in Kenya today. For years, Internet cafés were the most important and popular means of accessing the Internet. Today a number of people own PCs or notebook computers or are able to access the Internet at work. However, the most important change is the rapid spread of mobile Internet use in Kenya.


The Kenyan Internet and mobile phone market is growing at a breakneck pace and there is no denying that Kenyan society is rapidly changing as a result. Mobile phone shops, Internet cafés, computer and mobile phone repair services and private computer colleges are an integral part of the nation’s infrastructure. M-Pesa is an accepted form of payment just about everywhere and practically every Kenyan has a mobile phone. Young people find it very important to have a Facebook account. There are statistics on the number of people who use the Internet in Kenya, the number of mobile phone owners and the number of Kenyans who use Facebook. However, there are no data on how people use the Internet and related technologies on a daily basis and how this behaviour changes the life of the users in the short term and Kenyan society as a whole in the long term.


The question this thesis seeks to answer is thus: How do Kenyans with different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds use the Internet and how will the Internet and Internet technology shape the everyday experience of the users and Kenyan society as a whole in the future?