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Kenya@60: The evolution of ICT

The Free Public WiFi Hotspot is among the 25,000 Hotspots being rolled out by the MIC-DE countrywide, in line with Kenya Kwanza digitalisation agenda

As the country celebrates its 60th independence anniversary, many industries in Kenya have made remarkable strides that have transformed the country’s social, political and economic environment.

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Authority reflects where this journey began and here are some key decade-categorised milestones to recognize.

Channel 1

1960’s – Radios

Kenya was the first British Colonial Territory to have a regular public wireless broadcasting service radio introduced in the late 1920’s; the services targeted European settlers.

In 1959, regional broadcasters were created in Mombasa (Sauti ya Mvita) Nyeri (Mount Kenya Station) and Nyanza (Kisumu Station). In the 1960’s, people gathered in round groups to listen to radio programmes as a community.

Radio-based telecommunication played an important role in relaying information to people in both urban and rural areas quickly and simultaneously.


1970’s – International Phone Calls

For a long time, international communication was limited to letters and telegrams. With the onset of international calling, communications between Kenya and the rest of the world became easier.

Kenya’s first President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta making the first international call from Kenya to President Tito of Yugoslavia (photo/NMG)

1980’s – Computer

The age of computer brought about the automation of many operations within institutions which enhanced service delivery significantly.

Operations at the Kenya Railways Office (Photo/Courtesy

1990’s – Mobile Phone

The mobile phone revolution gradually removed the barriers to communication by enabling access to portable telephone gadgets for the regular person.

2000’s – Fiber Optic

The arrival of The East African Marine System (TEAMS) fiber cable ushered in an era of unprecedented growth and innovation in Kenya’s ICT landscape. It made it possible for Kenyans to communicate extensively through the use of high-speed connections.

2010’s – The ICT Authority & Kenya’s Connectivity

The ICT Authority was established in August 2013. The Authority is tasked with rationalizing and streamlining the management of all Government of Kenya ICT functions. Our broad mandate entails enforcing ICT standards in Government and enhancing the supervision of its electronic communication. We also promote ICT literacy, capacity, innovation and enterprise. Since then, the connectivity of the country through the ICT infrastructure has been enhanced, leading to more connections and vibrant digital economy.

2020’s – Kenya National Digital Master Plan (2022- 2032)

The Government of Kenya developed the Kenya National Digital Master Plan (2022-2032) will define our efforts, in the next ten years, to create business opportunities, wealth creation, employment and the contribution of ICT to the growth of the economy through our medium to long-term road map as we strive towards the realisation of our goal in transforming lives, better for the citizens.

Through East Africa Regional Trade Transportation Development Facilitation Project (EARTTDFP), which is financed by World Bank, we have rehabilitated 630 Km of Fibre and installed new fibre. The EARTTDFP ICT component entail’s the enhancement of internet connectivity along the development corridor from Eldoret to the Nadapal/Nakodok Border Post is also known as the South Sudan link.

The Public Wi-Fi service is being rolled out and so far sites have been installed in: Mombasa, Kwale, Makueni, Kitui, Machakos, Embu, Nyeri, Muranga, Migori, Homa Bay, Siaya.

The Free Public WiFi is designed to enable small businesses at the market to participate in e-commerce, in Kenya’s emerging digital economy.

1,450 ICT Hubs will be developed countrywide. The ICT Authority has adopted the Integrated Infrastructure Model between with road agencies.


SOURCE: Ngulamu Jonathan







Margaret Kalekye/Release
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