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The ICT sector in Kenya

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The ICT sector in Kenya

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector plays a crucial role in the Socioeconomic Development of the Country. The Government has recognized the importance of ICT as a powerful tool in accelerating the productivity of all sectors and empowering people to meet the challenges of the 21st century. To optimize the sector’s contribution to the development of the entire economy the government is currently offering investment opportunities to the private sector.

The ICT sector in Kenya provides investment opportunities in the following areas under the
Public-Private Partnership arrangement.

1.  Data Centre and Disaster Recovery Centre

A secure information system requires a data center and recovery site. The government will partner with the private sector to build a National Data Centre (NDC) and a Disaster Recovery Centre to provide world-class services to both public and private sector operators.

The services to be provided will include disaster surveillance and management and early warning. The operations of the NDC will be managed and controlled from a Network Operations Centre (NOC) that will need to be established. The establishment of this data center will include site identification, construction of ideal premises, procurement of equipment and requisite services, and establishment of the NOC. The projects are expected to be undertaken through Public-Private Partnerships.

2. Deploying of Digital Broadcast Network

The government has developed the analog to digital broadcast switchover strategy by 2012. The government is proposing to initiate a public-private partnership for deploying a digital broadcast network to provide signals to broadcasters countrywide. This will improve the signal quality, and increase broadcast coverage area countrywide.

3.  Rolling out of E-government services

The government is digitizing most of its services to improve service delivery. The government is, therefore, looking forward to partner with the private sector in PPP arrangement to roll out e-government services. Major areas include motor vehicle registration, pension services, judiciary case management, land registration, and many others.

4. Multimedia Technology Parks (MTPs)

The government considers the establishment of an ICT Park as a top priority since they have a significant potential to contribute to ICT infrastructure development in particular and enhancement of economic growth of the country in general. The government has already
identified the land where the first ICT Park would be established. This will be a Public-Private Partnership initiative where investors will be invited to venture.

5. Software and Hardware Development

The government is promoting locally produced software and hardware in order to help build skills and capacity in the assembly of the various hardware components into complete IT equipment. Because of the favorable fiscal policy environment such as tax holidays on ICT hardware, and the relatively low cost of domestic labor, it is anticipated that per-unit price of such locally assembled IT equipment will be relatively much lower than an imported one.
Investors are therefore invited to take advantage and invest in the development of software and assembly of hardware. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, University of Nairobi, Strathmore University and Kenya College of Communications Technology have been selected as “Incubation centers” to run this program.

6.  Business Process Outsourcing Park (BPO)

The government is committed to market Kenya as a premier center of excellence in Information and Communication Technology. The government, therefore, plans to develop special economic zone in Nairobi that will be served by superior telecommunications infrastructures, affordable and readily available energy and that is easily accessible to international transport facilities. The Zone will encompass Multimedia Technology Parks, Malls, Office Parks, Industrial Park and Recreational Facilities among others. The special
economic zone is expected to provide opportunities that will stimulate Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) activities across the borders.

To achieve this, the government will partner with the private sector to construct a state-of-the-art ICT Park within the zone. This would, in turn, seek to transform the country into a major ICT hub particularly for the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) which holds a huge potential for job creation and economic development. The parks will be used to promote locally produced software and hardware in order to help build skills and capacity in the assembly of the various hardware components into complete IT equipment.

The government has already identified 100 acres of land in Athi River which is only 30 Kms away from Nairobi City Central Business District. The area is along Mombasa road and is well served by transport telecommunications and energy infrastructure. This will be a Public-Private Partnership Initiative where international investors will be invited to venture. Investors are therefore invited to take this advantage and invest in hardware and software development locally.
7. Konza Technology City

Konza Technology City will be developed on a Greenfield site 60 km from Nairobi easily accessible via Mombasa-Nairobi Highway. Kenya’s Vision for the project centrally positioned within regional population hub of 110 million, is to create 200,000 jobs in business outsourcing services and related sectors over 20 years (to be implemented in Four Phases). Approximately 5000 acres of land for the project has been acquired and fenced. The estimated cost of Phase 1 (2012-2016) is USD 2.3 billion for both infrastructure and project development with investment make up of USD 1.3 billion. The Government will fund backbone infrastructure and master planning.

8.  Development of International Teleport (Exchange Point) in Mombasa- Co-location Facility

Co-location facility of Communication Interchange including a Primary and Secondary Network operations Center that will manage both National and Regional Fibre Network and that aims at transforming Mombasa into an International Teleport (Exchange Point) such as London, New York, and Amsterdam is key investment opportunity. Posta Towers in Mombasa has been purchased for this purpose.

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