Jubilee Gov Reforms - All 47 county governments to get fibre internet


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Counties to be connected to high-speed internet
Oct. 13, 2017, 12:00 am
By ABEL MUHATIA @abelmuhatia

All 47 county governments will be connected to high speed internet by the end of next month, Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei has confirmed.

This is set to actualize after completion of the second phase of the National Optic Fibre Backbone project that aims at bridging the digital divide in the country.

The firm was responsible for building a national fibre optic infrastructure in all the 47 counties through funding by the Kenyan and Chinese government.

“We expect to unveil this project next month. It connects all the 47 counties to high-speed fibre internet and in each of these counties, there are three physical locations with active internet and a local area network connection,” the firm's director of Public Affairs Adam Lane said.

The phase has seen 2,100 kilometers of fibre laid, this is in addition to 4,300 kilometers laid in the first phase, and an additional 500 kilometers for military use.

The project also aims at improving government service delivery to locals such as application of national identity cards, passports and registration of birth and death certificates.

Lane was speaking during a Memoranda of Understanding signing ceremony between Huawei and the ICT Authority held in Nairobi yesterday.

The 2017 MoU is focused on ICT research and innovation, sharing ICT best practices, development of ICT infrastructure and e-government services, building ICT capacity amongst government and the ecosystem, promoting digital skills for university students and promoting ICT literacy amongst the disadvantaged and unemployed.Enabling of smart traffic lighting, provision of e-health and construction of a data centre are some of the projects in the pipeline.

The cost of the project will be shared between the government and Huawei.

However, Lane noted that Huawei has set aside an approximate Sh5.16 to Sh10.33 million annually for the said projects.

“Huawei is keen on partnering with the government and other agencies on ICT projects that will go a long way in boosting the country’s economy. For us, the signing of this MoU is proof of our continued commitment towards growing the ICT sector in Kenya,” Huawei’s deputy CEO Frank Zhou said.

This signing of MoU came after the end of the 2014 MoU signed by the two firms that called for the launch of Huawei’s flagship projects in the country and seeds for the future programme that in May this year was extended from 2018-2020.

The program provides students with an opportunity to travel to China for two weeks for intense ICT training on top of a two-month internship in Kenya.

This year, 9 students from Kenya have been selected to travel to the Huawei headquarters in Shenzhen, where they will go through this training alongside others who have been selected from other Huawei offices around the world.

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