Kenya’s Digital Village initiative, which was rolled out in 2008 with the purpose of narrowing the digital divide between rural and urban areas, and accelerating the growth of ICT in Kenya, received a boost this week when a team of IBM Corporate Service Corps consultants (CSC) from seven different countries arrived in Nairobi for a one month project aimed at defining a rollout strategy for the project. Under regulations introduced by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) in 2009, each constituency in Kenya should have at least five digital centres, complete with computers and internet connectivity. IBM’s eleven-strong team will start work in Machakos, joining forces with the ICT Board and the Ministry of Information and Communication. The IBM-guided initiative will run alongside similar programmes that are currently being rolled out by other Kenyan telcos as they seek to meet new regulatory requirements.
IBM CEO Samuel J. Palmisano commented: ‘People are on the ground in Machakos to help the government realise its aim of extending the reach of digital services to rural areas. This will form part of our drive to boost ICT use in countries like Kenya. IBM is well known for helping public and private sector organisations around the world to leverage technology to drive innovation and do things smarter. The Kenya initiative is part of a programme in Africa which began in 2008 through which IBM has deployed teams to Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa’.