The reason why most Kenyans have dissociated themselves from the government is because leaders don’t care about our needs, and the few that care are swallowed by ignorance. Now, everybody wants internet connection in the 47 counties to be a success. Imagine a broadband passing besides your house and the nearest electric pole is 20 kilometers from your village. Which one should be prioritized? In my village, Facebook is for the white and gmail is for job seekers. These people don’t need broadband network, they need ICT know how; ICT centers should be channeled to these areas and people be educated on the basics before being exposed to internet connections.
The government announced that it will connect broadband network in the 47 counties by June this year. This is a good move, but it can turn out to be a mere stunt. The National Broadband Strategy should probably focus on schools first before going deep in the villages. However, big businesses that produces massive data will benefit from the connection. The ICT Cabinet Secretary provided that broadband is no longer a luxury but a fundamental right. The government deployed the National Optical Fibre Backbone across major towns.
“International connectivity has been achieved through the landing of four submarine cables that provide quality and reliable international connectivity to the country at competitive costs.” Mucheru said.
What should be considered
Digital platforms and solutions should be channeled across the country, but this will be effective if the stakeholders start with the basics. Now, you have to go to Huduma Center or Attorney General’s office to search for a company name; sometimes this is done manually. Well, it will be realistic if the government comes up with a way where someone is allowed to Google the names or search on a particular platform, and then attach something that will show the originality of a name.
I believe background studies and awareness should be considered before announcing or delegating some of these projects in the country. Believe you me these broadbands might not be used for internet purposes, people will probably decide to dig the plastics out and use them to light up their jikos.
For the last 12 years, the government has been working on a digital platform that will allow people validate and trace land records. The initiative has many gaps and it has not been actualized in most towns. People are still going through the tough hassles and cases at the Lands office, this includes; misplaced files, thieves, fraud etc.
Another project that was started in 2011 dubbed digital villages, would have bridged the digital divide between rural and urban areas. This project failed because the government never supported it and local officials never understood the initiative’s objectives.
The 100 buses could have also helped the government in many ways. It was estimated that the buses could rake 20 million every month while providing affordable transport. In addition, the class one laptop project was a joke. Why would you give class one students laptops and the school doesn’t even have a computer lab or electricity?
I think the ICT authority should institutionalize these projects instead of giving them to brokers who end up failing to deliver. The released BRCK – Kio is a good move where kids will receive reliable tech gadgets. The partnership between the government and the tech company is a good move which should be applied in all the projects like internet connection in the 47 counties.