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Problems Affecting the Day To Day Lives of a Kenyan and How We Can Solve Them

  by Isaac Thuku  

Long Queues to Access Services in Kenya


Long queues are a common site in Kenya whether it’s at the bank, hospital, public utility office or during the elections.

Long queues lead to loss of man hours which could be better used to carry out productive activities that can rejuvenate Kenya’s economic growth. Simply put they waste a lot of time which equals to money gone down the drain.

An entrepreneur standing in queue to acquire or pay for a utility service means he/she is not out there hustling for new business or service existing clients. That boils down to loss of revenue on the entrepreneur’s part and loss of service or downtime for their clients. This is not an efficient way for the economy to operate.

  Long Queues in Kenya  
  image courtesy of  

What Causes long queues?

  Long queues and wait times are caused by slow service delivery times and so the queue does not move in an efficient way. To a business a long queues especially at peak times mean more revenue but the client waiting in line to be served does not see it that way. This could lead to dissatisfied clients and loss of business.  

How do you reduce queues?

  You can reduce the length of queues by understanding when and why they occur.
Once you have found an answer to the when and why, you need to come up with a realistic target on how to deliver efficient service during peak times.

What resources do you need?

  A dynamic staffing system to compensate during peak hours is a good point to start. This would mean you avail extra staff to cater for the increased flow of clients. They do not need to be available during off peak times. This will help you to save on labour costs while at the same time ensuring higher customer satisfaction.  

What resources are already available?

  - Kenya has a lot of skilled and semi skilled labour

- Easy access to Internet and telephone services. Some services do not need the agent to be at the same location as the client. For example billing and some administrative services. In this case, hiring remote agents who can work from home to serve clients over the phone or Internet would be a more efficient solution.

- In this day and age, every business should have a website where their clients can access information and services 24/7. An ecommerce website allows your business to process transaction at the convenience of the client. Self help service is highly satisfactory for modern day clients if delivered safely and efficiently. This is an easy way to make sure your client’s never have to wait.

- Mobile payment gateways offer an invaluable resource for business in Kenya. It makes it easy for clients to make payments from their mobile phones on the go.


What are the opportunities?

  - Online and mobile payment processing systems

- Web development for ecommerce sites and mobile apps

- Private call center services

- Data and network security services (VPNs, Firewalls and Anti virus software)

- Training for personnel

- Internet Access and Hosting Services

- Security, catering and transportation for 24 hour service centers

- Human Resource (HR) agencies

- Filling in the shortage gaps by providing similar goods and services

What are the challenges?


- Lack of funds and financing

- Lack of specialized skills in certain areas

- Lack of adequate security for a 24 hour economy

- Corruption and government bureaucracy

- Increased network security vulnerability

- Monopolies

- Some public services may be too sensitive to be privatized

- Politics

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