Liquid Telecom is investing KSh54m into a state-of-the-art metro network in Kisumu in partnership with the County government that will increase Internet speeds in the lakeside city ten-fold, making Kisumu City Kenya’s first “Smart City” in the next two years.
On completion, the 12.4km metro network will cover Kisumu Central Business District, Milimani, Kondele up to Kibos, Kicomi and Migosi Junction. It will be the first step towards transforming Kisumu in to a Smart City, as part of an initiative developed under the sponsorship of the Rockefeller Foundation in Italy last month.
Smart Cities integrate multiple ICT systems to manage a city’s assets, including county government information systems, schools, libraries, transport systems, hospitals, power plants, water supply networks and waste management. Some of the best known Smart City examples are Vienna, Toronto, Stockholm, Paris, New York, London, Tokyo, Berlin, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Barcelona and Dubai.
“We recognize that technology is a critical enabler that will help make our vision for Kisumu a reality,” said H.E. Jackton Ranguma, the Governor of Kisumu during the ‘Transforming Kisumu: Enabling Technologies for Smart Cities and Resilient Economies’ workshop at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, Italy in July 2016.
The new metro network from Liquid Telecom Kenya is expected to create an enabling environment towards this transformation to a Smart City, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation.
According to the World Bank, for developing countries, a 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration leads to a 1.38 per cent in GDP.
As well as residential and business areas, the move will benefit colleges and polytechnics such as the University of Nairobi, Maseno University, the Catholic University of East Africa, Kenya Institute of Management and Kisumu Polytechnic, as well as hospitals such as Aga Khan, Milimani Hospital and Marie Stopes. It will also benefit Kisumu International Airport and hotels in the area.