In the run-up to this summer's presidential election, Kenya's ruling Jubilee party has contracted the services of a London-based global data analysis and strategic communication company that played a role in both Donald Trump and Brexit campaigns.
Following a series of primaries ahead of Kenya's high-stakes general election on 8 August, Jubilee elected current President Uhuru Kenyatta, who will be running for a second mandate.
According to sources in the Office of the President cited by The Star newspaper, the Jubilee coalition contracted Cambridge Analytica, which "uses data to change audience behaviour" and lists Republican candidates Trump, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson as former clients on its website.
"Cambridge Analytica provided the Donald J. Trump for President campaign with the expertise and intelligence that helped win the White House, causing the most remarkable victory in modern US political history", in November last year, the firm states.
With over 25 years of experience and having supported more than 100 campaigns across five continents, Cambridge Analytica is also credited with helping the Leave side win in the Brexit referendum in the UK in June 2016.
Based on a Guardian expose, The Star newspaper writes that in the Kenyan context, Cambridge Analytica is expected "to pay Facebook and other third-party data companies for information about Kenya's undecided voters whom it will then bombard with social media posts and adverts".
According to The Star, Jubilee has also contracted British PR firm BTP Advisers, which successfully brought Kenyatta to power in 2013 under the now-defunct National Alliance (TNA) banner.
Cambridge Analytica, which has already dispatched a small team to Kenya, will work alongside BTP Advisers. The latter has already commenced campaign planning.
In March this year, an official inquiry was launched into how personal data has been collected and exploited in political campaigns such as Brexit and Trump's presidential race.
It comes after it was revealed how data science firms such as Cambridge Analytica influenced millions of voters with targeted messages based on online activity.
Cambridge Analytica – which is backed by the US billionaire Robert Mercer – has supported campaigns in Iran, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.