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China to fund Kenya’s fibre optic project

Finance Permanent Secretary Joseph Kinyua said the two governments were currently putting together the details of the draft ahead of a formal signing by the end of July 2012/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 28 – The government has struck a deal with China for a Sh6.04 billion soft loan to fund the National Optic Fiber Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI) and e-government expansion projects.

Finance Permanent Secretary Joseph Kinyua said the two governments were currently putting together the details of the draft ahead of a formal signing by the end of July 2012.

The NOFBI project will include the construction Fibre optic links (systems which provides a data connection between two given points) to connect the Larger Area Network(LAN) of 36 administrative District Centers across the country with the National Fibre optic, hence allow the locals to access faster internet services.

Kinyua said this will facilitate implementation of various e-governance initiatives such as e-health, e-banking and e-education, thereby facilitating economic growth.

“Once this is completed, the project will also provide a safer, more reliable, stable and efficient basic communication network for the government and the Kenya citizens,” Kinyua said.

So far the Fiber Optic cable has been connected in several provincial headquarters but Kinyua said the fiber links are yet to be put in place to allow use.

“We are now at the district level, but we will ensure we get to the location level, for everyone to enjoy internet services,” he added.

On his part China’s Vvice-Minister for Commerce Chen Jian says the China his government will ensure that the project is implemented to the letter.

‘’The project will create more transparency and bring e-services to every Kenyan people. And I want to assure the Kenyan government that we will be part of this to the end,” said Chen.

To date China has contributed a cumulative Sh109.43 billion to the development of infrastructure in Kenya.

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“And we still have more investments that we would want to undertake; so we would want to encourage our minister here (Chen) that we will be soon knocking at his door for additional resources,” reiterated Kinyua.

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