In the last few years, the Kenyan government has been actively involved in laying a digital super highway to improve the country’s communication and digital infrastructure. With 25,000 km of fiber optic cable already laid, the government has elaborated plans during the connected summit plans to add 100,000 km of cable in the next five years. This ambitious project aims to position Kenya as an African ICT hub and boost the country’s economy significantly.
According to Information Communication and the Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo, the government has already onboarded contractors to lay an additional 52,000 km of fiber optic cable, while the private sector will lay 48,000 km. This expansion is a significant step towards developing a robust digital infrastructure in Kenya. The high-speed connectivity offered by fiber optic cable will enable businesses to operate more efficiently, support the growth of new technologies, and provide citizens with better access to information and services.
The Plan for WiFi Hotspots, Digital Hubs, and Labs
Along with the fiber optic cable expansion, the Ministry of ICT plans to establish 25,000 wifi hotspots, with at least two in each county. These hotspots will provide free internet access to Kenyan citizens and businesses, allowing them to connect to the digital world easily. The ministry also plans to establish 100,000 digital hubs across the country, providing training and resources to empower the youth with digital skills. Furthermore, 1450 village hubs will be constructed to extend digital literacy programs to rural communities. Additionally, the ministry will partner with TVET institutions to build 250 laboratories through the jitume program, aiming to promote technology innovation and research.
Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo believes that once the above plans are implemented, they will position Kenya as an African ICT hub. The development of the digital super highway, the establishment of wifi hotspots, digital hubs, and labs, and the provision of digital skills to youth across the country will enable Kenya to compete globally in the digital space. The government’s ambitious project will also improve the country’s economy by providing better access to information, supporting new technologies, and empowering its citizens with digital skills.
Digitization of Government Records and Services
The Ministry of ICT has embarked on digitizing all government records and services, which will enable Kenyans to access government services online. Additionally, conversations are ongoing with the health ministry to create an electronic health management system. The implementation of these plans will enable the government to improve efficiency, provide faster access to services, and enhance transparency in government operations.
Plans for Digital Identity and National Addressing System
The government is also developing plans for digital identity and a national addressing system. A digital identity system will enable Kenyans to access services easily, while a national addressing system will help businesses and individuals identify their locations accurately. These developments will enhance the country’s digital infrastructure and provide a foundation for future innovations and advancements in the digital space.
Review of ICT Policies and Computer Misuse and Cyber Attack Act 2018
Finally, the Ministry of ICT is engaged in stakeholder engagement to review existing ICT policies and the Computer Misuse and Cyber Attack Act 2018. The objective is to align Kenya’s ICT policies and regulations with global best practices and create a conducive environment for digital innovation.