The Government of Kenya has stepped up its drive to ensure more Kenyans are connected to the internet. To this end, the ICT Authority and the State Department for Training and Skills Development is working with Huawei, the private sector to ensure last mile internet connectivity from the government’s fibre optic infrastructure that runs across the country.
Speaking during the addition of Bosto Primary School in Bomet to its National Schoolnet Programme, Alfred Cheruiyot, Principal Secretary in the State Department for Training and Skills Development said, “For us to achieve this ambitious target, we are working with ICT Authority and Huawei to deploy appropriate technologies for schools depending on their locations and technology presence. This includes laying an additional 100,000 Km of fiber optic cable countrywide and setting up more microwave and satellite points.”
Mr. Cheruiyot was accompanied by Dr. Kipronoh Ronoh, the Acting Chief Executive Officer at the ICT Authority and Dr. Jerotich Sirma, a Director at the ICT Authority. According to Dr. Ronoh, the government plan to bridge the national digital divide remains on course and the Schoolnet Program and the Kenya Education Cloud are key planks in ensuring learners across the country access quality education content, consistently.
He urged the community to embrace technology as a new way to tap into their talents and investments so as to spur economic growth. He noted that in order to ensure stability of the internet services, the ICT Authority had the support of the security agencies to protect infrastructure and asked the members of the public to report any cases of vandalism.
Echoing his remarks, Dr. Sirma, a member of the ICT Authority Board of Directors said that Bosto Primary School illustrated the model that the government is pursuing in partnership with Huawei. This is to set up wireless microwave radio link masts in or close to the school compounds then connect these to the National Optical Fiber Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI).
“Broadly, in order to bridge the digital divide, the government aims to train 20 million citizens in the country on digital skills and roll out broadband connectivity to the rural areas under the rural digitization programme. Plans are also underway to digitize rural areas and connect over 10 million homes and 24,000 businesses upcountry to the internet,” she said.