Kenya has over the past few years seen tremendous development in the use of ICT. There are many positive factors and good signs in terms of developing the Kenyan ICT sector, and the opportunities in Kenyan ICT remain numerous. One of these elements is the continued growth of the ICT sector, which is as a result of the liberalization measures and continued Government commitment to providing an enabling environment. The cabinet, through the office of the president published an e-government strategy in March 2004, which came even earlier than the National ICT Policy, and is in so many ways a far more developed and precise document.
Analysts envisage that with a well-educated workforce that communicate well and a strong high-end ICT sector Kenya would be able to be a strong rival to countries such as India in the competition for business process outsourcing.
But, access to information remains a challenge in many parts of the country, especially as international connectivity is limited – though many projects are seeking to provide East Africa (including Kenya) with much better connectivity. National connectivity is improving rapidly, but cost remains a major constraint for many potential users of ICT. Therefore, like in many other developing countries, shared access is a requirement, thus the many telecentres initiatives across the country.
However, these telecentres are facing many challenges including:
(a) weak multi stakeholder national networking activities to ensure that the telecentres initiated are well informed and supported for their sustainability and success.
(b) limited capacity of telecentres stakeholders to efficiently use new technologies, develop partnership and mobilize resources.
(c) limited capacity (including unreliable and cost effective connectivity) to mobilize and manage (local) content for the benefit of rural communities
(d) gap in the structures required to provide the vehicle for the various activities required to be undertaken, especially in the rural areas where there is greater need for information use and access