WORLD BANK TO FUND ICT BUREAUX IN KENYA

Computing

The World Bank will fund the setting up of information communication technology (ICT) bureaux in all constituencies. The establishment of the bureaux or ICT villages is part of a project the bank is funding to the tune of Sh4.3 billion that will result in computerisation of land records, motor vehicle licensing and procurement procedures. The bureaux will be rolled out from July. World Bank country director Collin Bruce said the Government would greatly improve efficiency once the computerisation was completed.

"The amount for the ICT villages component is being worked out but it's part of the whole project that will cost $60 million (Sh4.3 billion)," Bruce said. Part of the funding will go to giving credit to entrepreneurs who want to set up the ICT centres.

Speaking during the opening of an ICT expo at Kenyatta International Conference Centre last week, Bruce said the country had made a leap in the ICT sector in the past year but added great opportunities still existed. The expo's theme is 'Bridging rural-urban digital divide'.

He said he country's teledensity was at 21 per cent which was lower than frontrunners in the continent like Mauritania with 26 per cent. Bruce said studies had showed that an increase in 10 mobile phones per 100 people boosted growth in national wealth (GDP) by 0.6 per cent while one per cent increase in internet users increased total exports by 4.3 per cent.

The Nation