NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 8 – The Government is dedicated to building crucial Internet infrastructure to enable access to faster, efficient, affordable connections by Kenyans and others in the East and South African region.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said the use of fibre optic cable in Kenya will enhance business process outsourcing and software development.
He said that Kenya is at the threshold of becoming a digital economy which will be instrumental in building and broadening the investment base in the country and its neighbours who are benefiting from the connectivity.
"The government has in the past few years, undertaken a series of policy, regulatory and structural reform initiatives to enhance the ICT sector and increase its contribution to the economy," the VP said.
The Vice President was speaking on Monday during the official opening of the 37th Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) meeting at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi.
The five-day meeting brings together participants from around the globe.
Mr Musyoka said the meeting was crucial since the Internet had become a key resource in modern day economies as it has opened doors of unknown opportunities and made global communication and other transactions a lot
“The government has now automated services through various digital village projects, facilitating access to services such as e-procurement, e-registry, integrated land management system and e-health,” he said.
The Vice President said that the government was collaboration with the private sector and civil society has played a crucial role in ensuring that the country is active in the Internet arena.
He singled out the laying of the East African Marine System (TEAMS) fibre-optic undersea cable that landed in Mombasa last year as one the projects financed by the government.
Mr Musyoka said the laying of the privately-owned SEACOM cable, TEAMS, and the Orange’s Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION) cable has brought world class connectivity across Eastern and Southern Africa. He added that a third submarine cable, EASSy, is expected to land at the Kenya’s coast by June 2010.
He disclosed that the government has deployed digital arteries countywide to link rural, under-served and un-served areas to enable people access full benefits of the submarine cables.
“The implementation to the arteries also aims at stimulating private sector participation in the provision of rural telecommunication services,” he said.
Mr Musyoka said due to the increase of Internet users there was need for Internet security to guard against cyber attacks and high speed exploits of new broadband connections.
Present were the President of ICANN, Rod Beckstrom, Chairman of ICANN Board Peter Dengate Thrush and the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information and Communications, Bitame Ndemo among other dignitaries.