The government has embarked on a free WiFi initiative with a target of putting up 25 000 hotspots across the country.
Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Eliud Owalo, on Wednesday, November 9 launched the pilot internet hotspot at the popular City Market in the Nairobi central business district.
“In our Kenya Kwanza plan during the campaigns, we did say that one of our areas of focus is the digital superhighway and that’s exactly what we are doing here today. We are taking the internet to the people. From here we will be launching similar programmes in other trade centres so that we can facilitate e-commerce,” Owalo said.
“We are ready as a ministry, apart from bringing internet here, to also ensure that those who have got challenges in skills are well trained so that there is optimal uptake of the technology.”
CS Owalo described the free internet hotspot as a game-changer that will help traders grow their businesses. He noted that he will personally benefit from it.
“This free Wi-Fi is a game-changer for me. It will save me greatly. Now I will be able to communicate with my (fish) supplier freely and he or she will be able to share with me the sizes of fish available in the market. I will be able to order the fish and it will be delivered on time,” Owalo said.
The CS urged city market traders to capitalize on the initiative and market their goods and services.
The Free WiFi project will extend to Muthurwa Market and thereafter across all 17 constituencies in Nairobi before expanding to other parts of the country.
Additionally, 100 000 fibre optics will be laid as the country moves towards a digitized economy.
“Over the next five years, the Government will ensure universal broadband availability by hastening the roll-out of connectivity throughout the country. The laying out of an additional 100,000km of the national fiber-optic network is expected to deliver this target,” President Ruto said in his Mashujaa Day national address.