The Kenyan Government has launched several projects to accelerate digital transformation and make it a pillar of socio-economic development. Nairobi wants to rely on public-private collaboration to quickly achieve its goals.
The Kenyan government is studying the possibility of giving private investors a share of 48% in its plan to build a 100,000 kilometer national fiber optic network. This was revealed by Eliud Owalo, Minister of ICT and Digital Economy, on the sidelines of the Connected Kenya 2023 Summit.
Thus, the State will install 52,000 km of fiber optic cable, while the remaining 48,000 km will be deployed by the private sector. "We have already held meetings to discuss and agree who deploys which component of this fiber and we have come out of them with resolutions on the responsibility centers for the deployment of the fiber, including deadlines, objectives and everything that entails," declared the minister. .
For his part, Safaricom's ICT director, George Njuguna, stated that the telecommunications company is committed to "supporting the Government in the deployment of the 100,000 km of fiber, of which we already have 13,000 km."
The construction of the 100,000 km of fiber optic network is part of the initiatives of Kenya's "digital highway project", the execution of which requires approximately $600 million. The Government intends to strengthen the national ICT backbone network by expanding the coverage of the fiber optic network to the entire country, reducing the cost of Internet connectivity and improving the provision of e-government services.
Private sector participation is expected to reduce public spending and accelerate the deployment of the national fiber optic backbone network. Once completed, the network is expected to improve the quality and coverage of telecommunications services in Kenya.
It is also expected to accelerate the Ruto government's digital transformation ambitions by connecting 40,000 schools and other educational institutions, 20,000 government institutions and 13,000 healthcare facilities.