The Ministry of ICT,Innovation and Youth Affairs and its implementing agency, the ICT Authority has announced plans to connect the over 31,000 government institutions with high-speed internet capacity.
Institutions to be plugged in include 18,000 government offices, 13,000 health facilities, 400 police stations and 54 Huduma Centres.
At the same time, plans are in the works to digitize some five billion manual records as well as fully automate government systems in a bid to enhance service delivery.
According to ICT,Innovation and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Joe Mucheru, the main objective of the initiative will be to realise a fully digitised government.
Mucheru says they are also keen on changing the way government works and interacts with the citizen, businesses and other governments.
“The power of technology can no longer be underrated looking at the current world order which has been shaped by the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has created a new normal when it comes to delivery of services to citizens, work ethics and learning institutions,” he said.
There are plans to train 20 million Kenyans on how to utilize the internet under the Rural Digitization Programme.
The pool will add to the over 1.2 million youth who are currently making a living online through Ajira Initiative. Further, Mucheru says that the programme will see over 10 million homes and 24,000 rural businesses connected to high speed internet.
The Ministry will be relying on the existing internet infrastructure that they laid down for the launch of the SchoolNet Programme, which was piloted on Friday last week in 13 primary schools across the country. SchoolNet is running on the National Optic Fibre Backbone which has been famed for improved service delivery in government agencies like hospitals, police stations and the criminal justice systems. “The connection of internet to schools are a critical component in rural areas as the same infrastructure will be used to ensure that the whole rural ecosystem is digitally enabled,” said Acting ICT Authority Chief Executive Officer, Kipronoh Roho.
By Ann Ngure and Wangari Mwangi