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Sh320m for digital centres countrywide

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – The government has released Sh320 million for the establishment of digital access centres across the country.

The money to be distributed as a loan facility through Family Bank will be given out to entrepreneurs who would like to set up the centres, which are commonly known as \’Pasha Centres\’.

Speaking during the launch on Monday, Information Permanent Secretary Dr Bitange Ndemo said through the partnership with the bank, they hope to have the money distributed to all counties, with the target being the disbursement of at least one loan per county within the next one year.

"We expect to have set up at least one Pasha Centre in each constituency. The loan application period will last for one month from today (Monday). For the majority of Kenyans, without access to computers, this government project will bring the benefits of digital communication within reach" he said.

The PS said the introduction of the centres would help the government bridge the digital divide in the country and contribute towards the attainment of the country\’s economic blue print.

"Technology continues to play a critical role in the achievement of the Vision 2030 goals. As part of this process, the government is paying special attention to the role of ICT as a conduit for the development of Kenya. The project is funded by the World Bank and the Government of Kenya.

Pasha Centres will provide a variety of services that include the following: Internet access, training and educational material provision, mobile and agency banking, government services and data collection for government as well as Business Process Outsourcing.

An entrepreneur will obtain a loan from Family Bank for up to a maximum of Sh3 million to set-up or expand an existing digital access centre as well as provide technical consultancy to support the technical set up, management and continuous training and skills development.

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