Cash in On Local Content urges official in Kenya

Digital Content

The web content market offers a great opportunity for Kenyans to make money, a government official has said.

The PS in the Ministry of Information and Communication, Dr Bitange Ndemo said with the laying of the fibre optic cable nearing completion there is need to generate web content for the enormous bandwidth that will be in place early next year.

Dr Ndemo said the Government is spending billions of money to create the infrastructure and hence the private sector has to take advantage of the available opportunity to generate income.

"We don't want a situation where Americans or Europeans will use this resource to drive their content and we later end up not having ours. We have already created an enabling environment to make the cost of access low," he said.

He noted that the economy will grow faster once the technology is fully instituted, adding that the Government was digitalising judicial and land records for easy access to the public.

Dr Ndemo said that Kenyans will be able to access public information if the Freedom of Information bill in Parliament goes through. He was speaking during the launch of Google Maps for Kenya. Dr Ndemo said a task force has been instituted to locate and digitise streets in major towns in Kenya.

Mr Joe Mucheru, head of Google East Africa said this was the first step on the content strategy the Government is adopting. "This is a good start for content and in line with the Government's initiatives such as TEAMS (The East African Marine Systems undersea cable) and digital villages. These villages will be a resource for generating local content," Mr Mucheru said.

Google maps for Kenya have been developed by graduates from Kenyan universities and a team from India. The maps, Mr Mucheru said, can be used to access information and once it is on mobile phones, businesses or products can be available to customers on the maps. Google Maps cover over 100 countries across all continents. Kenya is the first in East Africa for Google.

The Nation