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By Nikki Cortoos of ATiT for Re.ViCa and minor updates for VISCED.

For entities in Kenya see Category:Kenya


Partners and Experts situated in Kenya

No partners are situated in this country, but one of our International Advisory Committee members is located in this country.

Kenya in a nutshell

Map of Kenya, originally from the CIA web site

Kenya, in full the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the north, Somalia to the northeast, Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, and Sudan to the northwest, with the Indian Ocean running along the southeast border. The country is named after Mount Kenya, a very significant landmark and the second among the highest mountain peaks of Africa.

The capital city is Nairobi, Kenya's official language is English while the national language is Swahili.

Kenya is a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President is both the head of state, of government and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly.

Kenya has an estimated population of 34 million people with approximately six million people living in the urban areas. It has a diverse population comprising of 42 ethnic groups. Kenya is 582,646 sq km2 and it is the world's 47th largest country.

Kenya comprises eight provinces which are headed by a Provincial Commissioner (centrally appointed by the president): Central Province, Coast Province, Eastern Province, Nairobi Province, North Eastern Province, Nyanza Province, Rift Valley Province, Western Province. They are subdivided into districts, then into divisions, then into locations and then into sublocations. The City of Nairobi has the status of a full administrative province. The government supervises administration of districts and provinces. Local governance in Kenya is practised through local authorities.


Education in Kenya

Kenya education policy

Although the Kenya Constitution guarantees citizens rights, but is silent on education as a basic right and need.

Relevant document: the Constitution of Kenya.

In 1963 the Kenyan government promised free primary education to its people. Citizens were expected to contribute to the education fund by paying fees, taxes, and labour services while most parents did not have the money to pay for their children’s education and were subsequently locked out of the school system. This promise did recently take effect. The Kenyan government is slowly, but surely working to make education in Kenya better. In 2007 the government issued a statement declaring that from 2008, also secondary education would be heavily subsidised, with the government footing all tuition fees. The first twelve years of school are now free, although this has introduced an issue of overcrowding that now needs to be dealt with.

Funding from the UK will help reconstruct some of the (primary) schools and hopefully make them a better learning environment. The UK announced in 2006 that:

The UK would be providing a £55m grant to support implementation of the Ministry of Education’s five year plan, the Kenya Education Sector Support Programme (2005-2010).
The UK has contributed £35m to the education sector in the past five years through the Strengthening Primary Education Programme. The support has assisted the Ministry of Education to help children get into and stay in school through the development of a simplified and cheaper primary curriculum; the provision of textbooks and learning materials in all schools; training for all primary teachers which has improved lesson planning, classroom practice and enjoyment of lessons by students; implementation of a successful large scale HIV/AIDS prevention programme in primary schools and strengthening monitoring and evaluation systems.
Source: UNGEI Kenya Press Releases - UK announces major support for Education in Kenya

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) strives to make all Kenyans literate and its vision is Quality Education for Development. The MoEST has set specific targets against key priorities:

  1. Universal Primary Education (UPE) by 2005 and Education for All (EFA) by the year 2015;
  2. Achievement of Transition rate of 70% from Primary to Secondary from the current rate of 47% by 2010;
  3. Enhanced access, equity and quality in Primary and Secondary Education supported through capacity building for 45,000 education managers by 2005, and construction / renovation of physical facilities/equipment; and
  4. Developing a National Strategy for technical and vocational education and training in 2004, leading to the rehabilitation of physical facilities and equipment and making sure that Vocational and Technical Institutions are appropriately equipped by 2010
Source: Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST)

Educational Institutions:

  • Teachers Service Commission which takes care of registering, recruiting, employing, assigning, remunerating, promoting, transferring, disciplining, delegating teachers and it has the function to Compile, publish, amend the Code of Regulations for Teachers. It's goal is to to keep under review standards of education, training, fitness to teach appropriate to persons entering the service.
  • Kenya Institute of Education
  • Public Universities Inspection Board which lists all sessional papers, parliament acts such as the Education Act, draft legislation, information on Kenya universities and tertiary institutions, reports, news ...
  • Kenya National Examination Council is the national body responsible for overseeing national examination in Kenya for primary and secondary education.
  • Commission for Higher Education: assures accreditation of HEIs

Relevant Laws and Acts:

The growth of Kenya's education sector has exceeded expectations: now that education is free, attendance has increased which has even resulted into a shortage of teachers and classrooms; overcrowding of classrooms. This is a result of both children attending that could not afford to before, and children being taken out of lower-tier private schools in order to take advantage of free education. This has created demand for low cost private school where parents that could afford to pay the fees can send children to learn in a better environment. Some believe that a solution for the overcrowding in schools is to create more vocational training programs in order to creat alternative routes to employment.

Also for higher education the demand has risen: after the first university was established in 1970, five others have been created and the demand for higher education has resulted in the formation of many private universities. Kenyan universities are more difficult to get accepted to due to the high demand for higher education as there is not enough room in universities. Some parents choose to send their children to different countries; many believe that the United Kingdom has the best universities, and that it would be a great opportunity for their children to attend a university there.

The facilities in some public universities are so small that when incoming freshman arrive most of the upper classmen have to be sent home for a while to make room. Universities, like primary schools, lack the funds that are needed. There are not nearly enough computers, and labs are small and unequipped. Some students will pay a little more to go to private universities because they do not want to get involved in the competition for admission. Also, private universities have better facilities and computer labs.
Source: Wikipedia’s page on Kenyan education


Kenya education system

Estimates of the Kenyan literacy rate range between 75 and 85 percent, with the female rate about 10 points lower than the male. The education system, beset by non-enrollment and low completion rates, offers eight years of compulsory primary education, beginning at age six, four years of secondary school, and four years of university education. The language of instruction from the secondary stage onward is English.

Source: Library of Congress – Federal Research Division Country Profile: Kenya (PDF), June 2007

Kenya's education system is a three to four tier system. In 1985 Kenya introduced the current 8-4-4 system:

  • Primary education: 8 years: age 6-13 (free and compulsory)
  • Secondary education: 4 years: age 14-18(subsidized for students in Day Schools and the Government provides fees guidelines to all public schools)
  • Higher education: 4 years: age 19-21 (subsidized for those selected through the Universities Joint Admission Board)

The 8-4-4 system was created to help those students who do not plan to pursue higher education. It has helped reduce the drop out rates and help those that leave primary school to find employment.

The system is silent on the pre-primary education, which makes four tiers. It lasts 3 years and targets children from age three to five and is an integral component of the education system as it is a key requirement for admission to Standard One (First Grade). It is also called preschooling, kindergarten or early childhood education.

Primary school age is 6/7-13/14 years. At the end of primary education, pupils sit the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), which determines those who proceed to secondary school or vocational training. It is free, but school uniforms and books are not provided by the government.

There are three types of secondary schools:

  1. Private schools: mostly offer British O-levels, followed by A-levels or the International Baccalaureate with the exception of a few schools that follow the American system. A few private schools offer the KCSE program alongside foreign systems giving students a choice of which to follow, e.g. Saint Mary's School, Nairobi.
  2. Government-aided public schools (mostly boarding schools): more selective and only one out of four children are accepted and acceptance is based on a child’s score on the Kenya Certification of Primary Education (KCPE). The public secondary schools are funded by the Government or communities and are managed through a Board of Governors and Parent Teacher Associations.
  3. Harambee schools: make up 75 percent of all secondary schools in the country and are less selective. Students who score lower on the KCPE exam attend harambee schools, trade schools, or drop out. The facilities in these schools are not as good as the government-aided ones and often lack books, qualified teachers, desks, etc.

The Kenya National Examinations Council is responsible for the Kenya Certificates for the schools (primary and secondary), adult education and business education. Its mission is to objectively test and evaluate the curriculum to enhance and safeguard globally acceptable certification standards and its vision is the efficient testing and evaluation for quality education

Source: Kenya National Examinations Council

Lifelong learning

All Kenyan public universities and two of the private universities have introduced distance learning programmes in order to meet the increased need for lifelong learning.

Source: Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (PHEA) - Educational Technology Initiative: Report on Kenya (PDF - 14 pages), 2008


Higher education

There is a national examination at the end of Form Four in secondary education: the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), which determines those proceeding to the universities, other professional training or employment.

The Joint Admission Board (JAB) is responsible for selecting students joining the public universities. Other than the public schools, there are many private schools in the country, mainly in urban areas. Similarly, there are a number of international schools catering for various overseas educational systems.

Middle level Colleges are two or three year colleges that offer certificate, Diploma and Higher National Diploma qualifications. These colleges offer Technical hands-on skills in various fields such as Engineering, Medical Sciences, education, computer Science etc. They include Teacher Training colleges (TTCs), Kenya Medical Training colleges (KMTC), Kenya Polytechnic, Mombasa Polytechnic, Eldoret polytechnic, Kenya Institute of mass communication and many others. All these institutions are set up by various acts of parliament,


Schools in Kenya

For a list of schools see Wikipedia: or, where divisions are made between:

  • GCSE Schools
  1. Lukenya Academy IGCSE
  2. St. Patricks Senior Academy
  3. Pioneer School
  4. The Precius Angels School
  5. Muguga Schools
  6. Marion Group of Schools
  7. Marben School Mixed Day & Boarding School
  8. Kitengela Vineyard Secondary School
  9. Kimana Central Academy
  10. Christian Secondary School
  11. Arthur Memorial Academy

  • 8-4-4 and GCSE
  1. Brookshine School
  • Public schools


  • Private schools


Further and Higher education

Universities in Kenya

Public Universities

  1. Kenyatta University - Kahawa, Nairobi
  2. Moi University - Eldoret
  3. Nairobi University - Nairobi
  4. Egerton University - Njoro, Nakuru
  5. Maseno University - Maseno, Kisumu
  6. Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology - Juja, Thika
  7. Kenya Armed forces technical college (KAFTEC) - Nairobi
  8. Masinde Muliro University of Science & Technology - Kakamega
  9. Kenya Polytechnic University College - Nairobi
  10. Kenya Technical Teachers College - Nairobi
  11. Kimathi University College - Nyeri

Private Universities

  1. Africa Nazarene University – Kajiado
  2. Aga Khan University, Highridge, Nairobi
  3. Catholic University of Eastern Africa CUEA - Karen, Nairobi
  4. Daystar University - Hurlingham, Nairobi
  5. East Africa School of Theology - Nairobi
  6. Great Lakes University of Kisumu (GLUK)
  7. Gretsa University – Thika
  8. Kabarak University - Kabarak, Nakuru
  9. KCA University-Ruaraka, Nairobi
  10. Kenya Highlands Bible College - Kericho
  11. Kenya Methodist University (KEMU) - Meru
  12. Kiriri Women's University of Science & Technology (KWUST) - Westlands, Nairobi
  13. Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (N.E.G.S.T.) - Karen, Nairobi
  14. Nairobi International School of Theology (NIST) - Kilimani, Nairobi
  15. Pan Africa Christian University - Nairobi
  16. Scott Theological College - Machakos
  17. St. Paul's University Theological College - Limuru
  18. Strathmore University - Nairobi
  19. United States International University (USIU-A) – Kasarani, Nairobi
  20. University of Eastern Africa, Baraton - Eldoret
  21. Mt Kenya university - Thika

Colleges in Kenya

  1. Africa college of social work - KCB plaza, Jogoo road
  2. St. Andrew's Pre-Medical College - Mumbasa, Mumbasa
  3. Nairobi Institute Of Business Studies - Cooperative Bank House
  4. Nairobi Institute of Technology - Westlands
  5. Alphax College, Eldoret
  6. Amani College
  7. AUGAB Computer College, Garissa
  8. Augustana College - Kasarani, Nairobi
  9. Australian Studies Institute (AUSI), Westlands Nairobi
  10. Bandari College – Mombasa
  11. Baraton College – Baraton, Nandi Cenral Kapsabet
  12. Baraton Teachers' Training College,Nandi Cenral Kapsabet
  13. Career Training Centre, Nairobi
  14. Century Park College, Machakos
  15. Coast Institute of Technology
  16. College of Management Sciencies, Nairobi CBD
  17. Compugoal College, Nairobi
  18. Computer Pride Training Centre - Nairobi
  19. Cornerstone Training Institute - Nairobi
  20. Digital Resource Center (DRC) - Karama Estate, Nakuru
  21. East African School of Aviation - Embakasi, Nairobi
  22. East Africa School Of Journalism(EASJ)Jamuhuri show ground
  23. East African School of Media Studies, Nairobi
  24. Eldoret Polytechnic - Eldoret
  25. Elgon View College - Eldoret
  26. Government Training Institute (GTI), Mombasa
  27. Graffins College - Westlands, Nairobi
  28. Great Lakes University, Milimani Kisumu
  29. Gretsa University, Thika
  30. Gusii Institute of Technology, Kisii
  31. Hemland Computer Institute – Thika (Thika Arcade 5th Floor)
  32. Hi-tec Institute of Professional Studies, Mombasa CBD
  33. Holy Rosary College - Tala
  34. Institute of Advanced Technology, Loita House, Loita Street, Buruburu, Nairobi
  35. Institute of Advanced Technology Campus, Westlands
  36. Institute of Zaburi Technologies -{Nairobi} {CBD}
  37. Inter-Afrika Development Institute - NACICO Plaza 4th Floor Nairobi
  38. International college of Kenya, Nairobi/Machakos
  39. InterWorld College, Nairobi
  40. Kabete Technical Training Institute, Kabete
  41. Kagumo College
  42. Kamagambo Teachers College - Sare Kamagambo, Rongo
  43. Kenya College of Communications Technology - Mbagathi, Nairobi
  44. Kenya Forestry College, Londiani
  1. Kenya Institute of Administration (KIA) - Kabete
  2. Kenya Institute of Development Studies (KIDS) Nairobi
  3. Kenya Institute of Management (KIM), Nairobi
  4. Kenya Institute of Mass Communication - South C, Nairobi
  5. Kenya Institute of Professional Studies - Nairobi
  6. Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) - Kasarani, Nairobi
  7. Kenya Institute of Social Work and Community Development (KISWCD) - CBD, Nairobi
  8. Kenya Medical Training Centre (KMTC)
  9. Kenya Polytechnic University College, Nairobi CBD
  10. Kenya School of Monetary Studies - Ruaraka, Nairobi
  11. Kenya School of Professional Studies (KSPS) - Parklands, Nairobi
  12. Kenya Science Teachers College - Jamhuri, Nairobi
  13. Kenya Technical Teachers College – Gigiri, Nairobi
  14. Kenya Utalii College - Nairobi
  15. Kenya Water Institute - South C, Nairobi
  16. Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute - Naivasha
  17. Kericho Teachers College – Kericho
  18. Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology – Kiambu
  19. Kigari Teachers College – Embu
  20. Kilimambogo Teachers College - Kilimambogo
  21. Kima International School of Theology (KIST) - Kima, Western Province of Kenya
  22. Kimathi Institute of Technology - Nyeri
  23. Kinyanjui Technical Training Institute - Riruta, Nairobi
  24. Kisii College (Egerton Campus) – Kisii
  25. Kisumu Polytechnic - Makasembo, Kisumu
  26. Kitale Technical Institute, Kitale
  27. Machakos Institute of Technology – Machakos
  28. Mawego Technical Institute, Kendu Bay
  29. Meru Technical Institute - Meru
  30. Migori Teachers college, Migori
  31. Moi Institute of Technology - Rongo, Migori
  32. Moi Institute of Technology, Rongo
  33. Mombasa College – Mombasa
  34. Mombasa Polytechnic – Mombasa
  35. Mombasa Technical Training Institute (MTTI) – Mombasa
  36. Mosoriot Teachers College – Eldoret
  37. Murang'a Institute of Technology – Murang’a
  38. Nairobi Institute of Technology - Westlands
  39. Nairobi Technical Training Institute
  40. Narok Teachers College – Narok
  41. Narok Teachers Training – Narok
  42. National Youth Service Engineering Institute - Nairobi
  43. Nairobi Aviation College, Nairobi
  44. Nkabune Technical Institute
  1. Oshwal College - Parklands, Nairobi.
  2. Pan African School of Theology (PAST) - Nyahururu, Kenya
  3. PREMESE Africa Development Institute, Vision Plaza, Msa Rd. Nairobi
  4. Railway Training School - South B, Nairobi
  5. Ramogi Institute of Science & Technology
  6. Regional Training Institute - CBD, Nairobi
  7. Riccatti Business College of East Africa
  8. Rift Valley Institute of Science & Technology - Nakuru
  9. Rift valley Technical Institute - Eldoret
  10. Rochester Business School - View Park Towers, Nairobi
  11. Sagana Institute of Technology
  12. Pioneer's Training Institute -Nairobi, Umoja 1, Mutindwa junction
  13. School of Professional Studies - Parklands, Nairobi
  14. Shalom Information Technology Center, Shalom House, Off Ngong Road, Nairobi
  15. Shanzu Teachers College - Shanzu, Mombasa
  16. Skynet Business College - CBD, Nairobi
  17. Star Media Institute - South B Estate, Southgate Ctr 1st Floor, Nairobi
  18. Starnet College - Nairobi
  19. Stonebic College - Westlands, Nairobi
  20. St Mary's school of clinical medicine, (Mumias)
  21. SMA Swiss Management Academy- New Muthaiga, Nairobi
  22. Tambach Teachers Training College - Kerio Valley, Rift Valley
  23. Tangaza College
  24. Taznaam Tutorial College - Nairobi
  25. The Kenya Polytechnic, Nairobi
  26. The Regional Institute of Business Management, Nairobi CBD
  27. Thika Advanced Institute of Science and Technology – Thika, Landless
  28. Tom Mboya Labour College, Kisumu
  29. Universal Group of Colleges - Nairobi CBD
  30. Vision Institute of Professionals (Nairobi & Mombasa)
  31. Thika Institute of Technology - Thika
  32. Royal Institute of Applied Sciences - Meru
  33. Nairobi Film School-Kipande Road(opp National Museum of Kenya)
  34. Motion City international -Multimedia school (Nairobi Kenya)
  35. Naivasha Computer & Business Studies College (Naivasha Kenya)
  36. Bible College of East Africa; Kasarani, NAIROBI
  37. Mt Kenya University;General Kago Road,THIKA
  38. Rehoboth College (Nairobi, Ngumo area)
  39. Eagle College of Management Studies
  40. Rift Valley Institute Of Science & Technology, Nakuru.
  41. Rift Valley Technical Traning Institute
  42. St.Joseph Vocational Training Centre Mlolongo.
  43. Emanex Computer College, Kahawa
  44. Elix Centre of Informatics, Lokichar-Turkana.
  45. Regional Institute of Business Management Studies – {Nairobi} {CBD} {Pioneer House)


Education reform

As mentioned before, Kenya's education system is a three to four tier system. In 1985 Kenya introduced the current 8-4-4 system:

  • 8 years Primary education: age 6-13 (free and compulsory)
  • 4 years Secondary education: age 14-18(subsidized for students in Day Schools and the Government provides fees guidelines to all public schools)
  • 4 years Higher education: age 19-21 (subsidized for those selected through the Universities Joint Admission Board)

Related Document:



Administration and finance




Public and Universities Students Enrolment by Gender 2004 /2005

ENROLMENT Mode 2004/2005
Male Female
1. Nairobi
Full time 9987 5250
Part time 11281 6456
2. Kenyatta
Full time 4313 2887
Part time 6939 1916
3. Moi
Full time 4304 3195
Part time 2492 2019
4. Egerton
Full time 5540 1960
Part time 810 287
Full time 2201 999
Part time 2114 660
6. Maseno
Full time 2260 1960
Part time 753 478
Subtotal 53394 28097
Total 81491
Male Female
Accredited 3796 4546
Unaccredited 801 907
Subtotal 4597 5453
Total 10050
Overall Total 91541

Source: Commission for Higher Education > Public and Universities Students Enrolment by Gender 2000/2001 -2004 /2005

Funding for HEIs

The universities are autonomous but receive funding from the Ministry of Education. The private institutions on the other hand are mostly theological HEIs that raise funds from their own sources and do not receive any grants from the government.

Related news article: Kenya: Varsities Get Sh1 Billion for Expansion, 2008: "By 2012, the public universities should be able to absorb 5,000 to 10,000 more new students yearly in order to contain the high number of those who miss out," The assistant minister, who was accompanied by the Juja Member of Parliament, Mr George Thuo, praised the role played by private universities and colleges, and said that the Government was encouraging more individual entrepreneurs to invest in higher education.

This means sponsoring to HEIs to cut down on costs but also to award individual students with scholarships.


Daystar University also mentions sponsorships in their Fee Structure for 2008-2009 (PDF).

To help the students, the University of Nairobi (UoN) for instance signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Basco Products (Kenya) Limited Company on 17th April 2007 that guarantees UoN Students scholarships: the company will grant cash awards for excellence in academics to 20 students annually.

Source: University of Nairobi > News & Events > Students Set to Benefit from 250,000.00 awards

Bursaries for Students

The Joint Admission Board (JAB) is responsible for selecting students joining the public universities. Other than the public HEIs, there are many private HEIs in the country, mainly in urban areas. Similarly, there are a number of international schools catering for various overseas educational systems.


There are two types of admissions by students:

  1. Sponsored by the Kenyan Government students: This is done through the national Joint Admission Board (JAB), the body that does admission of students for all public universities in Kenya.
  2. Self Sponsored students (for programmes commonly known as the ‘parallel programmes’): because the government sponsorship can cater for very few qualifying candidates, the university gives an option for self sponsorship. In this option, the admission will be done internally at the university.
Source: University of Nairobi (UoN) admission web page

Loans to students

The Government established the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to administer the Student Loans Scheme. In addition, the Board is also empowered to recover all outstanding loans given to former university students by the Government of Kenya since 1952 through HELF and to establish a Revolving Fund from which funds can be drawn to lend out to needy Kenyan students pursuing higher education. The establishment of a revolving fund was also expected to ease pressure on the exchequer in financing education, which currently stands at 40% of the annual national budget.

In accordance with the current cost sharing policy, a student is required to pay Kshs.50,000/- per year to train at a public university. Out of this amount, HELB can award a maximum loan and bursary of Kshs.55,000/- and Kshs.8,000 respectively.

We must note however that the site states the following: it (HELB) is currently not in a position to provide loans to students studying outside the country and those on self sponsored programmes. Therefore, at the moment, it gives loans to needy Kenyan students who are admitted to public universities through the Joint Admissions Board and to those attending private chartered universities.

Source: HELB Frequently Asked Questions

Related documents:

Quality assurance, inspection and accreditation



The Commission of Higher Education is responsible for the accredidation of Higher Education in Kenya and was established by the The Universities Act Cap 210B (DOC).

The Commission “developed the “Establishment of Universities - (Standardization, Accreditation and Supervision Rules, 1989” (PDF), which provide for the establishment and accreditation of Universities. Accreditation in Kenya means public acceptance and confirmation evidenced by award of a Charter, which a university meets and continues to meet the standards of academic excellence set by the Commission. For any institutions to be accredited, the Commission must be satisfied that the institution concerned has adequate physical, human, library and financial resources, viable relevant academic programmes and sound structure of governance.”

The Standards and Guidelines that stipulate the establishment, accreditation and governing of university-related matters:

Also, for the establishment of each University an Act is established, such as the Kenyatta University Act, 1985 (PDF).

In addition to the public universities there are also private universities in the country offering a range of degree programmes, which are supervised and controlled by the Commission for Higher Education.


Information society

Towards the information society

One of the main priorities of the Government towards the realisation of national development goals and objectives for Wealth and Employment Creation was the e-Government, which the government committed to establish by June 2004. Effective and operational e-Government will facilitate better and efficient delivery of information and services to the citizens, promote productivity among public servants, encourage participation of citizens in Government and empower all Kenyans.

Related Documents:


The main users of the Internet in Kenya are multinational corporations, international organisations and NGOs.

A government policy to lift duties on imported computers and related equipment has resulted in an increase in the number of Internet cafes in rural areas: about 2 per cent of Kenyans in rural areas have access to the Internet and they use it to get information on current affairs, to communicate and for commercial and agricultural purposes.

However, there are still significant barriers:

  • cost: given that 50 per cent of Kenya’s population live below the poverty line, the cost of Internet access is relatively high due to the local telephone call rates in areas outside the major cities.
  • lack of electricity or shortages in supply: most Internet cafes use generators or solar power.
  • language: The use of ICT in urban areas has been may have been influenced positively by the wide use of English, one of Kenya’s official languages, in which most IT services are conducted. However, there are at least 40 indigenous languages in the country, and sometimes this has been seen as a barrier to the spread of ICT. If rural communities are to reap the benefits of the Internet, then the service must be presented in their own languages.
  • low literacy levels
  • poor telephone infrastructure, travelling distance to reach Internet cafe

In Kenya, ICT integration in education is more recent, of a smaller scale and experimental in nature. However, the use of computers in education has progressed slowly from the acquisition of basic computer skills to computer-aided teaching, communications and research.

Source: Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (PHEA) - Educational Technology Initiative: Report on Kenya (PDF - 14 pages), 2008

The Kenyan government has initiated several ICT programmes targeting the youth and the Kenya Vision 2030 identifies the potential of ICT in accelerating GDP growth rate to more than 10% by 2012 through Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). The full implementation of BPO will generate employment of more than 7,500 direct jobs by 2012. The government is also supporting the establishment of digital villages at the constituency level in order to provide avenues for full utilization of Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) and facilitate online delivery of services. Recent survey on Kenya connectivity levels showed that 2.5 million people had access to the internet, less than 8% of the population. With the completion of two twin projects, the cost of accessing Internet will drastically reduce to 70% implying that more Kenyans will have access. These twin projects are:

  1. The East African Marine System (TEAMS) will connect the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa to Fujairah port in the United Arab Emirates and will provide broadband connectivity.
  2. Fibre Optic National Network (FONN) will ensure maximum utilization of capacity and add connectivity in all districts within the country.

Source: Ministry of Information & Communication > News article > Fibre optic cable to significantly improve Kenya’s connectivity , 2008

To show the progress, the 2006 Kenya ICT Strategy lists Mobile Connectivity: 4,295,000 in 2004 and 1,500,000 Internet users.

Related Organisations:

  • The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) is responsible for developing and co-ordinating the policies and strategies with respect to development and operation of telecommunications services in Kenya. In this regard, the Commission licences telecommunications operators and service providers, and monitors their performance on a continuous basis to ensure that they discharge the obligations as stipulated in their licences, and in keeping with the provisions of the Kenya Communications Act 1998 and the Kenya Communications Regulations 2001 (PDF).
  • The African Council for Distance Education (ACDE)(Kenya) is a continental educational organization comprising African universities and other higher education institutions, which are committed to expanding access to quality education and training through open and distance learning.
Related Documents:

Pilot project - handhelds

In the Kenyan school, Mbita Point primary school, a pilot project is being run by EduVision, which is looking at ways to use low cost computer systems to get up-to-date information to students who are currently stuck with ancient textbooks. The students can do exercises in their school textbooks which have been digitised. The non-governmental organisation uses a combination of satellite radio and handheld computers called E-slates. They connect via a wireless connection to a base station in the school. The system is cheaper than installing and maintaining an internet connection and conventional computer network.

Source: Ministry of Information & Communication > News article Kenyan school turns to handhelds, 2008

Related Sources:

Information society strategy

The national ICT policy of Kenya is a product of the Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation (2003–2007) and was developed by the Ministry of Information & Communication in 2006 (see MIC, 2006). Its mission is to improve the livelihoods of Kenyans by ensuring the availability of accessible, efficient, reliable and affordable ICT services. This policy is based on the model adopted by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) in 2003 (see Kenya ICT4D National Policy, 2006).


There is also the 2006 Kenya ICT Strategy, that mainly focuses on the economic implications rather than the impact on education.

The Ministry of Information and Communications also published its Strategic Plan for the period 2006-2010, 2008 which adopts various approaches that aim at improving productivity in the Ministry and facilitate the growth of the ICT sector in the country as well as the region.

Related documents::

Information society organisations:

  • Kenya ICT Federation (KIF) is an independent association, also acting as the ICT Board of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance. Its goal is to achieve a high quality of life for Kenyans, and national competitiveness, by stimulating effective ICT policy, strategy and usage. Its mission is to partner with other stakeholders in advising and influencing the Government to develop and implement a national ICT Strategy.
  • Women's Voices is part of the international Women's Information and Communications Technology (WICT) project which works with poor urban women in Kenya, Peru and Zimbabwe by supporting their existing communication skills. The women in each country received brief training in video use before taking control in using it to reach, inform and influence those who have the power to affect their lives.

Source: UNESCO Communication/Information Portals - Observatory Portal: Regions: Africa: Kenya

ICT in education initiatives

Computers for Schools Kenya (CFSK) is a non-governmental organisation that was formally registered in October 2002. Our vision is the establishment of an information-rich Kenyan Society actively participating in sustainable development. In the nine years that they have been in existence, CFSK has sourced over 50,000 personal computers that we have deployed in over 3,000 public secondary and primary schools, technical training institutes, teacher training colleges, medical training centres and several universities.

Virtual initiatives in schools

Virtual initiatives in post-secondary education

Interesting Virtual Campus Initiatives

The African Virtual University (AVU) is located in Kenya. It has a separate Re.ViCa wiki page: African Virtual University.

The AVU is an independent, intergovernmental organisation that was started in 1997 and has its headquarters in Nairobi. Its main objective is to promote and support initiatives in open, distance and electronic learning (ODEL) in Africa (Dzvimbo, n.d.).

The AVU is a network of African tertiary education and training institutions that are involved in the use of various ODEL methodologies to increase access to their own demand-driven programmes in an affordable, cost-effective, flexible and sustainable manner. The AVU has made this possible by developing a learning platform that allows institutions from different countries with different levels of technological and educational development to network through the use of ODEL. In such a networked environment, e-learning should thrive because it allows for the rapid updating and sharing of information, and instruction. This environment promotes group interaction, institutional collaboration and self-learning.

Source: Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (PHEA) - Educational Technology Initiative: Report on Kenya (PDF - 14 pages), 2008

Its partner institutions for HE in Kenya are:

  1. University of Nairobi
  2. Egerton University
  3. Moi University
  4. Maseno University
  5. Kenyatta University
  6. Alma Training Institute, Mombasa

See also the separate entry on Kenyatta University.

Interesting Programmes

Several African universities are using virtual learning environments (VLEs) to collaborate in content development and delivery practices; the African Virtual University (AVU) is an example of this.

Re.ViCa Case Study

At the moment, there is no case study for Kenya.

Lessons learnt

General lessons

Notable practices


  1. Government of Kenya – official web site
  2. Government’s web page on Education
  3. Ministry of Education
  4. Wikipedia's page on Kenya
  5. Wikipedia’s page about Kenyan education
  6. Kenya Higher Education Profile, by the Boston College Center for International Higher Education (CIHE)
  7. Wikipedia’s page on Kenyan Schools and Universities
  8. Wikipedia’s page about Kenyan education
  9. The Commission of Higher Education (EN)
  10. Guidelines for Commission of Higher Education Accredidation
  11. Establishment of Universities)(Standardization, Accreditation and Supervision) Rules, 1989 (PDF)
  12. Kenya National Examinations Council
  13. Public Universities Inspection Board
  14. Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (PHEA) - Educational Technology Initiative: report on Kenya (PDF - 14 pages)
  15. UNESCO Country background for Kenya

> Countries

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