NAIROBI — A recent study commissioned by the World Bank suggests that increasing numbers of Kenyans in the poorest socioeconomic group are foregoing food and transport or opting for cheaper alternatives, to buy credit to use mobile phones.
Mobile phones were once considered luxury goods in Kenya. But with decreasing prices, people of all socioeconomic levels have come to rely upon them for both personal and professional needs.
iHub Research and Research Solutions Africa recently released a study commissioned by the World Bank exploring mobile phone usage among Kenyans making less than $2.50 per day.
Angela Crandall, project manager at iHub Research, conducted research for the report. She says one out of five people interviewed for the report chose to forgo necessities like food or transport to purchase mobile phone credit. Some would eat cheaper food, such as rice and vegetables, instead of something more expensive like meat so they could buy credit. Crandall says there was a rationale to their decisions.