The Computer Society of Kenya

Since 1986


Wednesday July 27, 2016

The Ministry of ICT in partnership with the Constituency Development Fund Committee intends to roll out innovation hubs in the 290 constituencies across the country offering free Internet.

Information and Communications Principal Secretary  Victor Kyalo says the national rollout follows a successful pilot in Limuru constituency.

Under the partnership, Mr Kyalo said the ICT Ministry will cater for the cost of bandwidth as well as provide technical skills while the CDF committee will undertake the cost of equipment installed at the hubs.

The project is also geared towards augmenting youth empowerment, innovation and creativity, access to online opportunities and research.

“We (the ministry) are in agreement with the CDF committee about the concept and have already shown them how the hub will work. We will be soon advertising for the tenders and thereafter announce the timelines of rolling out the project,” Mr Kyalo told Business Daily in a telephone interview.

The ministry’s Internet connectivity support will be limited to one site per constituency. However, this can be scaled up to four depending on the lobby by Member of Parliament, read part of a statement on ICT Authority website.

The Internet access equipment constitutes Satelites, WiFi mounts, lighting arrestors, antennas, routers, solar kits (in case of absence of grid power).

Most  of the innovations hubs including iHub, iLab Africa, mLab, and NaiLab  are currently hosted in Nairobi  with an estimated 3,000 number of software developers.

Other than offering a fertile ground for nurturing innovations, the hubs have also attracted local and foreign equity firms that have helped commercialise some of the innovations.

The innovations range from apps linking farmers with produce buyers to monitoring if a patient is taking a prescribed drug ,to locating a restaurant.

The government now want to replicate such hubs across the country and to benefit youths in areas that still don’t have such facilities.

The free Internet initiative is also part of the government manifesto to enhance Internet and information access around the country for a digital economy.

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