Kenyan  entrepreneurs get Sh28m in for digital centres

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

Upcoming Kenyan entrepreneurs have been awarded Sh27.9 million (USD0.34million) as a start-up capital for digital centres.

This is part of the plan by the government to bridge the digital gap between the urban and rural areas.

The 26 entrepreneurs were among 10,000 that applied for the government’s revolving fund. Each will get Sh1 million (USD12,048) loan.

The loans will be disbursed through Kenya’s Family Bank, payable in three years at an interest of 10.5 per cent per annum.

The entrepreneurs are expected to provide a bouquet of services such as e-mails, government services such as applying for PIN and online tax returns at a fee.

 Bitange Ndemo, Information permanent secretary, said the government is keen on empowering entrepreneurs to provide a missing link in provision of online services.

 “We are serious about improving Internet connectivity, building local digital content and creating awareness about ICT products and services in rural Kenya… electronic voting and access to government services through the web is only possible if digital villages are near the people,” Dr Ndemo said.

Statistics released on Tuesday by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) shows that there are 6.4 million Internet subscribers with mobile Internet accounting for 98.8 per cent. The number of broadband subscribers stands at 651,738.

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