Information, Communications and The Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mr Eliud Owalo Thursday launched a government public Wi-Fi service at Moi Gardens in Kericho Town.
Owalo said the free internet connectivity will spur social and economic activities within the County, thus contributing to the national economic advancement, since residents will now be able to market, promote and sell their goods and services online with ease.
The CS urged the youth not to rely on white-collar jobs which are hard to come by, instead, he urged them to capitalise on the government initiative by tapping into the available digital platforms that offer jobs online that can transform their lives by earning decent wages through online writing, transcription, affiliate marketing, product reviewing jobs among others.
“Our intention as the government is to leverage technology for digital jobs for the youth in order to achieve a range of 1.5 million to 2 million digital jobs over the next two years,” he said.
The CS revealed that so far 17 other hotspots have been launched countrywide in Nairobi, Nyeri, Bondo, Ahero and Kapsabet, adding that the government intends to roll out 25,000 hotspots by the year 2027, targeting people in markets, schools and various value chains within the Kenyan economy.
“Every year in the next five years the government will be launching 5, 000 Wi-Fi hotspots in all counties and we are confident that we will meet our targets for the benefit of Kenyans,” said Owalo.
According to the CS, the government is collaborating with Google and local telco providers in commissioning of the hotspots countrywide to cover 1,450 villages, adding that the government is rolling out 100,000 Kilometres fibre of optic cable to ensure all parts of the country are ICT enabled.
Meanwhile, the CS intimated that the digitization of all government services and records was on course, starting with the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning in a move aimed at making the country efficient, paperless and people friendly.
Owalo was accompanied by the Kericho County Governor Dr. Eric Mutai, Deputy Governor Eng. Fred Kirui, County Commissioner Kamau Karungo, ICT Authority Leadership led by Board Chairman Prof. Fredrick Owino, acting Director ICT Programmes and standards Thomas Odhiambo, Soin Sigowet MP Justice Kemei, as well members of the local County Assembly.
By Dominic Cheres and Kibe Mburu