ICT Gets Large Bite of Budget in Kenya

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Players in the Information, Communication and Technology sector emerged as the biggest winners after the Government announced a raft of incentives meant to create more jobs to the youth.

Among the stimulants for the sector is a plan to establish a Sh900 million Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) park within the 2008/9 financial year that would eventually create 10,000 jobs.

"The minister turned our initiatives into practical ones and it will now be easier to market Kenya as a BPO hub," said the ICT board chief executive, Paul Kukubo.

Such a park would also mean small and medium enterprises would enjoy better tax incentives, he added.

The park's construction would also coincide with the plans to complete the National Fibre optic network and the laying of the East African Marine System.

This financial year, the Government announced an additional capital injection of Sh700 million to compared to the Sh1 billion allocated towards the TEAMS project last year. It was set to be completed by the end of this year, but there is now a mention of April 2009.

Another sure winner was the removal of import duty on small-scale printers, a move meant to increase their usage on the market due to reduced prices. The telecommunications sector, previously favoured by the Government during Budget day, only had import duty on telecommunication equipment scrapped.

ICT was also mentioned among the sectors set to benefit from plans by Mr Kimunya to raise Sh52 billion locally through an infrastructural bond.

The Nation