The new five-storey Githurai Market in Ruiru Constituency, Kiambu County, has received twelve active public Wi-Fi access points seven days after the official opening by President William Ruto.
The 12 public Wi-Fi access points with a capacity of serving more than 4,000 users at one time are positioned to benefit the traders in the new market that was officially opened on August 5th by President Ruto during his tour to the Mt. Kenya region. The traders are yet to move into the new market following an ongoing allocation planning.
Speaking during an assessment tour at the market on Saturday 12th, Stanley Kamanguya, CEO of the ICT Authority, noted that they had installed public Wi-Fi to drive e-commerce and the digital economy.
He said: “We are here on tour to access the installation and performance of the Public Wi-Fi as guided by the President during his tour here one week ago. We are glad to report that the Wi-Fi has been installed, and traders can now use the Wi-Fi to drive their businesses online.”
“If you look at the 12 installed access points, more than 4,000 people, including traders and customers will be able to benefit. Owing to the fact that traders communicate with their customers online, the traders are now in a position to leverage online market platforms by using the Wi-Fi,” said Mr. Kamanguya, adding that the ICT Authority has gone a step further to develop an online market platform to support traders.
“As the Authority, we have developed an online market platform known as Jikonnect Soko where traders can buy and sell. Once the traders move in, we shall come back here, register them and train them on the use.”
Mr. Kamanguya further added that through a partnership with the private sector, the government is seeking to develop 25,000 Wi-Fi hotspots to drive the digital economy. He noted that they have installed more than 450 Wi-Fi hotspots so far.
During the tour, Hon. Kingara, Simon Nganga, MP of Ruiru Constituency, lauded the President and his administration for keeping the promise of delivering the installation of Wi-Fi.
“Last week, the President was here and he gave a directive that this market should get public Wi-Fi. We are glad that through the ICT Authority, we have the Wi-Fi up and running today. As we all know, the public Wi-Fi will benefit our traders to boost their businesses online. In view of this, I urge our traders to utilize the Wi-Fi to trade online and to use it appropriately.”
Hon. Kingara noted that the digital development in the area is a game changer for empowering the youth in the region.
On her part, Peris Wambui, Chairperson of Githurai Pamoja Traders, noted that public Wi-Fi would help them to leverage the online market space, which is a trend that is on the rise.
“Today, I sell my products online. So usually, I buy data and sell to customers who are not in this region. As a result, the installation of this Wi-Fi will expand the wings of our businesses to reach broader markets.” she said.
The Public Wi-Fi project is one of the components of the Digital Economy Pillar in the Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) and is being delivered through the ICT Authority.
The Government, in partnership with private sector actors, plans to roll out 25,000 hotspots across the country and so improve connectivity and bring all citizens online.
Apart from promoting e-commerce, the market leadership was also urged to use the Public Wi-Fi to access e-government services while also injecting their internet budgets into their businesses.