July 23, 2024

Government ups Efforts for Power Lines to Distribute Internet

Owalo at Weru Technical and Vocational College in Kilifi County during the launch of Jitume digital hub. (Photo By hALIMA Mohammed)

By Halima Mohammed

Email, thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

The government has resolved to use power transmission lines to distribute high speed internet in the country.

Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo said the government had already contracted the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) to start laying fibre optic cables alongside power lines to every transformer and ultimately to every meter in the country.

The CS, in charge of the Information, Communications and the Digital Economy docket, was speaking on June 21, 2024 at the Weru Technical and Vocational College (TVC) in Malindi, Kilifi County where he launched a Jitume Digital Hub.

The hub, which is the 205th to be launched in the country, is equipped with 50 computers donated by the Konza Metropolis Development Authority, and is connected with high speed internet.

“We have been digging trenches to lay fibre optic cables but we have now changed the strategy. We shall be using power transmission lines to ensure that fibre optic cables reach every electricity transformer in the country and eventually to every house that has a meter,” he said.

According to him the contract has already been given to Kenya Power that has started work and would soon resolve the problems facing internet distribution and accessibility.

The government intends to connect all wholesale and retail markets across the country with internet to enable traders to do their businesses online.

“We also have a plan to connect all markets in the country to internet so that our women can do their businesses online.”

On the digital laboratories, he said his ministry would work with members of the National Assembly (MPs) to build digital laboratories in all the 1,450 wards in the country.

He expects the MPs to use their NG-CDF kitties to construct the labs while the ministry, through its relevant organs will equip them.

“We started this programme in technical and vocational education training centres (TVETs) and since we are through with the TVETs, we want to go to the grassroots where we intend to have digital hubs in every ward so that our youths can get online jobs.”

Since the programme started, 460,000 youths had been trained on internet use with 189,000 linked to jobs.

Jitume is an initiative aimed at providing the youth with access to digital services, digital skills, and opportunities to enable them take advantage of technology for job creation with a view to reducing the rate of unemployment in the country.

The CS said the government was committed to ensuring that all government services are offered through the e-citizen platforms in order to minimize corruption and the cost of travel to seek such services.

“When the Kenya Kwanza government took over about one and a half years ago, there were only 350 government services on the e-citizen platform. Now, we have put 17,020 services to the platform.”

He said it would no longer be necessary for government to force wananchi to seek its services in offices, which encouraged corruption as some officers put a lot of roadblocks in order to get bribes.

“Under the e-citizen portal, we shall eliminate corruption and brokerage and ensure that Kenyans get services without having to give bribes.”

Malindi MP Amina Mnyazi welcomed the opening of the digital lab at the Weru TVET College saying it would go a long way in ensuring the youth make use of the facility to empower themselves intellectually and economically.

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