Africa’s leading data, voice and IP services provider Liquid Telecom has invested 400,000 in USA Dollars to Kilifi county. The company is setting g up fiber connectivity in the county which is part of the firm’s $50m Dollars investment in partnerships with the 47 counties. 33 counties have already benefited from data connectivity.
11 ministries in Kilifi county will be connected on a 10-kilometre Wide Area Network (WAN) via fibre optics and two more ministries connected via microwave, and four remote sites connected on very small aperture terminal (VSAT).
Kilifi will enjoy first-in-class Internet connection as well as reliable and affordable access to the Internet necessary for the delivery of services to the public. Revenue collection system will ease as the county plans to upgrade it. The county’s prominence, as a tourism hub is expected to attract more investment. Companies and organizations that view fiber connectivity as a major enabler of business will benefit by establishing businesses in the area.
“The role that Internet connectivity plays in bettering the economic prospects of a region has been seen all around the world, in Africa and beyond. As we venture into Kilifi, we seek to facilitate the opening up of the county to new business opportunities, and also enable Kenyans in Kilifi access to government services enjoyed by residents of Kenya’s cities,” said Paul Statham, Chief Commercial Officer, Liquid Telecom Kenya.
Internet infrastructure will see Kilifi County in Kenya opened up for inter-connectivity for businesses and the county government premises. One of the major benefits of Internet connectivity is employment creation.
Senegal is one of countries in Africa that has so far benefited from connectivity. It is predicted to create approximately 240,000 new jobs in 2015 through the improvement of Internet infrastructure.
The Internet’s contribution to GDP rises to 3.3 per cent, placing it at par with Japan, US and Malaysia in terms of Internet contribution to GDP. This is according to McKinsey and Company. In Kenya, Internet connectivity contributes about 2.9 per cent of GDP.
Fiber connectivity in Kilifi will see major banks set up operations in County as they seek to meet the needs and demands of their customers with the availability of relaiblae Internet infrastructure.
The banks operating in Kilifi now include Kenya Commercial Bank, Barclay Bank , Imperial of Africa Bank, and Equity Bank.More Banks are expected to come in as Internet infrastructure is expanded to facilitate connectivity for service provision.
The installation process will employ 30 staff with roles being created for maintenance of the infrastructure and wireless network in the county. The project is expected to be functional in four months time. Liquid Telecom plans to undertake similar installations in Kisii, Meru, Migori and Kisumu counties.
“We are still on course to having all the counties in Kenya connected. This way, investment and development are no longer confined to the cities but is also channeled to, and felt, across the whole of Kenya for the benefit of all,” said Paul Statham.
The parent company of Liquid Telecom Group, has put itself as one of biggest investors in Africa’s Internet connectivity. Its independent fibre network now stretching over 18,000kms across Africa. In East Africa, the firm has invested $20m Dollars, equivalent to Ksh1.75 billion, the East Africa Fiber Ring, the first fully redundant regional fiber ring in Africa. It has ensured high speeds and on going up-time for Internet users.
Kilifi hosts various universities and colleges including: Mount Kenya University, Kenya Medical Training College, Kenya Utalii College and Bandari College, which stand to benefit from the Internet infrastructure, at a time when e-learning has been identified as a major differentiators in the quality of education that tertiary institutions offer.