Kenya ICT Board
Kenya ICT Board was created in 2007 as a parastatal in Kenya in the Ministry of lnformation amd Communications. Its mandate is to market Kenya as an ICT destination, especially in business process outsourcing (BPO), advise the Government on development and promotion on ICT and provide Government and stakeholders with skills, capacity and funding for ICT projects.
The Board spearheads the development ofteclmology parks and promotes competitiveness in the sector. lt develops and drives a national system of innovation, spearheads capital development for ICT entrepreneurs and business owners. Its aim is to develop world class ICT institutions, position the Board as a global innovator, become the principal partner in the digitisation ofGovernment and e-initiatives, accelerate the development of ICT skills in tertiary institutions and establish a central repository of ICT knowledge.
The board also aims to identify, develop and support ICT communities, boost grassroots awareness of ICT and develop a national framework for ICT skills development. The board has a calendar of industry events prepared in col-laboration with the ICT and business process outsourcing industry. The objective is to host and attend global and regional events that help position Kenya as a major player in ICT.
The board engages stakeholders on ICT matters at public panels. Stakeholders debate issues, make recommendations and
outline strategies that inform the board’s programmes The ICT Board will develop BPO parks with ultra-modern infrastructure that meet the needs of demanding ICT companies. The Government has identified land in Malili (illustration right), Machakos, that is opti-
mally located in relation to Internet backbone cables, highways, airports, electricity grids, water and sanitation. It will also set up Pasha e-centres designed to provide services to the public, including e—government and e-learning. The centres will be equipped with Internet, digital cameras, printers, fax machines and other communication infrastructure.
The board will market them and ensure that people living near them understand the opportunities they present. In this way,
e-centres will become relevant and essential to their lives. This will result in wealth creation, employment and poverty reduction.
Strategies are being implemented to ensure increased ICT access in an equitable manner. Bandwidth subsidy will be disbursed to various sectors and institutions to bring the cost dovm like it has happened in many parts ofthe world. The subsidy is also aimed
at spurring growth in ICT business, consumption and quality. The following institutions will be the first to benefit;
Universities, under the Kenya Education Network (KENET), have received subsidised and sullicient bandwidth to boost learning and research.
E—government supports pension administration, driving licence registration, wealth declaration forms and the High Court registry.
BPO and call centres will receive bandwidth subsidy to compete with their counterparts in the more established outsourcing
countries. Eligibility is open to all operators who offer services to local or overseas customers.