World Bank lines up to fund Kenya’s digital drive

Kenya is set to roll out an initial 5,000 of the planned 100,000 kilometres of fibre optic cable by June this year aided partially by funding from the World Bank.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo, speaking on Thursday at the ongoing third edition of the digital summit organised by the Nation Media Group in Mombasa, said the National Treasury is currently engaged in talks with the global financial institution to secure part of the funding for roll out of the digital superhighway.

“With Cabinet approval already in place, we are now set to roll out an initial 5,000 kilometres by June 2023. We are also in talks with the World Bank, through the National Treasury, to secure part of the funding for the digital superhighway, through the Kenya Digital Economy Acceleration Project (KDEAP),” said Owalo.

Under the infrastructure pillar of the country’s digital transformation agenda, the ambitious five-year plan to lay an additional 100,000 kilometres of the national fibre optic cable was first announced by President William Ruto in October last year, a month after he assumed office.

The project, to be carried out in partnership with the private sector, is aimed at hastening internet connectivity across the country, as well as making its access stable and reliable.

CS Owalo said the government will deploy a facilitative fund dubbed the Universal Service Fund (USF) to take internet to remote parts of the country.

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