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Kenya’s ICT sector gets $144 million credit facility

 

Kenya has received $144.4 million in credit from the International Development Association for the Transparency and Communications Infrastructure Project (TCIP).

Kenya ICT Board chief executive officer, Paul Kukubo, told the media on Friday that part of the funds $7 million (Sh525 million) will subsidise bandwidth costs for local Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) entrepreneurs.
“The board intends to apply part of the proceeds for bandwidth capacity support, for the business outsourcing industry. The current costs are high because of satellite-based connectivity,” he said.
Facilitation
According to The Nation Newspaper the other funds will go into e-services facilitation, digital villages (pasha), infrastructure, local content development and BPO marketing. Some of the services will be digitisation of land registry and judiciary records.
The subsidy is a great relief to BPO firms that incur huge costs because, unlike other parts of the world, the East Africa region is not connected by a fibre optic cable. The costs are expected to reduce after three undersea fibre optic cables are completed from mid-next year.
The firms use satellite for internet connection, which is 20 times more expensive, making the business uncompetitive against market leaders.
Kenya is competing for business with China, India, South Africa, Egypt and Malaysia.
“This bandwidth capacity support will help us build a competitive BPO industry and put Kenya on the global outsourcing map. This will go a long way in advancing the performance of BPO operators in Kenya, through reducing operating costs,” Mr Kukubo said.
He added that bandwidth capacity support will be open to all BPO operators, but will have to register with the ICT Board.
Meanwhile, Kenya will send a delegation of officials that will include the private sector to Silicon Valley, to develop partnerships as part of positioning the country in the global map as an ICT hub.

 
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