Business persons in Marigat have welcomed the free WIFI courtesy of the government and Jitume digital free WIFI programme, being the second after Eldama Ravine town noting that it will go a long way in boosting business hence improving livelihoods.
Information, Communication and The Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eliud Owalo who launched the Jitume centers on Saturday May 20 at Marigat town, Baringo South sub-county said the department was keen on ensuring that every youth and business person has access to free WIFI and plans were underway to fix 100,000 kilometers of fiber optic across the country to enable Kenyans earn a living online.
“Free WIFI was one of the manifestos of our president William Ruto and all residents will benefit from this initiative in order to boost trade hence development. As a department we are keen on technological advancement through digital laboratories,” Owalo said.
Owalo said all government services will soon be digitized to avoid time wastage going to offices but instead by the click of a button get access to these services online and together with the private sector the department will manufacture cheap smartphones in the country to cost less that Sh 5000.
ICT principal secretary Eng John Tanui who accompanied the CS said the centers will equip the youth with digital skills and boost access to government services.
Governor Benjamin Cheboi who was also present hailed the government for the free WIFI saying it will boost a 24-hour economy, boost youth employment and businesses as Marigat was the business hub of the county.
“The digital laboratories will assist youth get gainful employment and ‘kazi kwa vijana’ will be a success,” Cheboi said.
ICT Authority regional manager Leonard Rotich said the department was committed to providing technical support in case of any technical hitches.
Martha David, a trader in the market thanked the government for the initiative saying it would go a long way in saving them from buying bundles every time they want to transact business online.
“Paying of county fees will be easier as our receipts will be digital and we are very happy about it, “David said.
Sharon Mutai, a youth and a cyber café owner in the town said the free WIFI will enable her to boost her business and urged more youth to take advantage of the initiative to undertake online businesses, online studies and connect with the world since it is a global village.
“Let us be responsible as the internet comes with many social ills and it is important that youth avoid such sites and use the internet for gainful development,” she said.
Other leaders present included area member of national assembly Charles Kamuren, women representative Florence Jematia, Senate ICT chairman and Trans Nzoia senator Allan Chesang, KONZA Technopolis CEO Okwiri John Paul, ICTA CEO Stanley Kamnguya, Postmaster General John Tonui and other local leaders.
By Caroline Cherono