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American tower helps connect remote Kwale village to internet

The American Towers Corporation (ATC), in collaboration with the Kwale County Government, has opened a community digital centre in Busho, Mackinnon Ward, Kinango Sub-County.

The project by the United States of America (USA) digital infrastructure group seeks to serve low-income tiers of the population in underserved areas with digital and broadband services.

The Kwale official launch of the Busho digital village center in Kinango was graced by area Governor Fatuma Achani and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ATC, Thomas Sonesson.

Governor Achani says the digital center will focus on community education, digital literacy, health access, financial inclusion, career development, and community empowerment engagements, among other activities.

“As a devolved government, we commit ourselves to strengthening our partnership with ATC in other areas of development in our county,” she said.

Achani welcomed the opening of the new digital site, saying it has come at an opportune time when over 5,000 government services are now available online.

Sonesson says the Busho Digital Community Centre in Kwale is the second in the country after a similar project in West Pokot County.

He says the Kwale and West Pokot digital sites will offer computing devices and high-bandwidth connections for people to improve their digital skills through courses and training for people of all ages.

He says digital villages are computer-equipped kiosks that use uninterrupted power supply and broadband connection from ATC sites to provide local communities with free education and training in technology and access to digital services.

The ATC CEO says the American Tower seeks to grow its Kenyan presence with more digital community centers that provide local communities with free education and training in ICT.

“ATC Kenya aims to bridge the digital divide through its digital community’s program, with more set to be rolled out across the country in the coming years,” he said.

Sonesson says American Tower, a global provider of wireless communications infrastructure, is working to close the digital divide, especially in the third world.

He says the reach and benefits of the internet remain limited in many areas of developing countries due to geography, the cost of devices and services, and a dearth of digital skills.

Sonesson says without the benefits of internet connectivity, marginalized communities have limited opportunities for equitable inclusion and growth as digital transformation accelerates around the world.

He says ATC seeks to build 2,000 digital communities across the globe by the end of 2026 to help expedite the delivery of digital services for underserved populations.

Established in 1995, American Tower is one of the largest global Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) that operates and develops wireless and broadcast communications.

Its portfolio includes 171,000 communications sites, with 41,000 properties in the US and 130,000 properties internationally.

By Hussein Abdullahi

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