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Firms to increase spend in ICT

NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 3 – Kenyan companies are likely to increase their budgets for ICT development in 2011 as they seek to exploit emerging business opportunities.

Over the last decade, ICT has outperformed all other sectors of the economy growing by an average of 20 percent annually compared to an average growth rate of 3.7 percent in 2009.

Intel Corporation Country Manager Omar Bajaber said on Friday that the ICT revolution in the country has changed the way companies use innovative solutions to deliver products and services to consumers.

"Businesses will be investing in data centers in preparations for emerging technologies. We are going to see massive investments in servers and general infrastructure mostly around consolidation of technology," Mr Bajaber said.

Intel is targeting emerging economies like Kenya by investing millions of dollars worth of technology projects aimed at bridging the digital divide and boost the country\’s quest to become an information hub in Africa.

Mr Bajaber said the company viewed Kenya as a key market with huge growth opportunities in computing for the next few years.

This stems from the fast growing usage of technology as well as a largely untapped market in both businesses and individuals.

He said affordable yet high speed broadband access would be the key considerations for consumers in 2011 hence they will expect new and affordable devices that would ensure they stay connected.

"In 2011 Intel in Kenya will be looking at ways to make computers more affordable to teachers and students, have localised digital content to be distributed to schools, extend our education programmes for teachers and ICT in classrooms to private schools and strengthen our partnership with CCK (Communications Commission of Kenya) on development projects," he said.

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Over the last three years, Intel has committed millions of dollars to support successful rollout of e-learning initiatives in East Africa targeted at teachers and students – largely improving the quality of education.

In addition, it has partnered with KIE and Microsoft to establish a School Technology Innovation Centre in Nairobi – a model that has been promoted in other countries.

Mr Bajaber said Intel would be engaging with local developers in an effort of spurring development of innovative solutions.

"Definitely, we have seen the exciting stuff that is being done by the local developers and we expect to engage with them where we are able to transfer knowledge," he said.

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