In a digital age where the world is increasingly interconnected, Kenya is making strides to ensure that no part of the country is left behind in the race for connectivity. Information, Communications, and Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo recently unveiled an ambitious plan to lay 100,000 kilometers of fiber connectivity across the nation. This move, aimed at fostering digital inclusion, holds the potential to transform the lives of Kenyan citizens.
Owalo’s announcement was made during the official launch of the Jitume Digital Laboratory at David Mbithi Wambuli Technical and Vocational College. The ministry has already established 112 Jitume Laboratories in Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institutions (TVETs) throughout Kenya. Looking ahead, there are plans to expand this initiative further, with the help of Members of Parliament (MPs), ensuring that every ward benefits from this digital leap.
The collaboration with MPs is not limited to mere financial support; it extends to the provision of electricity in these digital learning spaces. The national government will also contribute by providing computers and offering free digital skills training to the youth. This approach is a strategic move, acknowledging that the workplace is evolving, and the new arena is the digital space. By equipping young Kenyans with the necessary skills, they can tap into global opportunities with companies in America, Belgium, India, and elsewhere, thereby contributing to their financial stability and supporting their families.
But the digital transformation doesn’t end with Jitume Laboratories. The government has plans to introduce Wi-Fi in 25,000 markets across the country, making government services more accessible to the general population. This move aims to reduce the need for physical visits to government offices, which is particularly pertinent in today’s global landscape. As the year progresses, all government services will find a home on the E-Citizen platform, a digital hub that currently hosts over 13,000 services. The end goal is clear: to streamline public service delivery and minimize corruption within government offices.
Makueni Deputy Governor Lucy Mulili has also called for the extension of Jitume Laboratories to other colleges in the county, promoting a more widespread acquisition of digital skills among the youth. Furthermore, she advocates for the introduction of Wi-Fi in modern markets, such as those recently commissioned in Mukuyuni and Emali, to boost local businesses and economic growth.
Makueni County Assembly Majority Leader Kyalo Mumo’s request for prioritizing water projects in the county aligns with the broader vision of comprehensive development. Access to clean water is a fundamental human right and a vital component of any thriving community. The provision of basic amenities, along with digital empowerment, contributes to a holistic approach to improving the lives of Kenyan citizens.