The Government of Kenya yesterday evening launched a $2.9 billion National Broadband Strategy (NBS) in a move expected to develop broadband infrastructure, support national capacity building and awareness and up content creation and innovations.
The NBS is expected to of the strategy is to provide quality broadband services to all citizens in the country.
Deputy President Hon. William Ruto said in a statement, ‘‘National economic development and prosperity in this age cannot be fully realized in the absence of a robust broadband ecosystem. This is why we need a clear road map that defines, and articulates the national ICT agenda.’’
According to the deputy president the government will increase sub-sector budgetary allocations from 0.5% to over 5% in the coming years.
The Ksh250 billion budget will be sourced from innovative financial instruments such as launching a Broadband Infrastructure Bond, a Broadband Venture Capital Fund and exploiting existing instruments such as the Growth Enterprise Market available within the Capital Markets as well as increased government spending on ICT of up to 5%.
Information, Communications and Technology Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i lauded the launch and called for increased consultations to make the broadband a reality for Kenyans.
‘‘We hope to deepen digital literacy among our people. We are adopting an inclusive approach,’’ said Dr. Matiang’i.
Kenya’s ICT industry captains called on other stakeholders to join them in realizing the broadband for all goal.
CCK Director General, Mr. Francis Wangusi said ICTs is a critical pillar of development and called for the establishment of an infrastructure that would enhance communication networks in the country.
‘‘ICTs, and in particular Broadband networks, are now as important as transport, power or water networks. This is therefore a very cheerful moment for us as we launch the framework for the deployment of broadband in Kenya,’’ he said.
Kenya becomes the second country in Africa, after South Africa, to launch an elaborate broadband strategy.