I’ve said it before: the moment, bandwidth becomes available at reasonable rates in Kenya, I – and I guess a lot of other KenyaTourists (KTs) – will resettle to Kenya. Ama?
“The entry of the cable is expected to cut bandwidth costs, currently standing between $6,500 (Sh435,500) and $7,500 (Sh502, 500) per megabyte to around $400 (Sh26,800) per megabyte.” ??? (src)
Seriously, with this initiative by the WB / GoK to subsidise broadband costs in Kenya for the Business Processing and Outsourcing (BPO) Sector, let’s hope that things are improving a little bit faster and that it will help to create a healthy competition within the Kenyan ICT sector + enabling them to compete with other regional players.
If you’re already on broadband, you may be interested in this video where the CEO of Kencall, Nicholas Nesbitt, talks about the relatively high monthly costs of running a call center in Kenya today. Other videos on regional players (aka the competition) are available here.
Imho, it will eventually come down to a few big players who are a) able to afford all these membership fees to this and that political lobbying group, b) able to afford 24/7/365 power supply to their machines and c) able to afford a serious admin team who will make use of *secure* software so that business doesn’t stall just because someone distributed a virus or other malware.
However, the following quote from the above mentioned article really impressed me the most:
To ensure more Kenyans access the digitized services easily, the government is also facilitating installation of Digital Villages countrywide.
This will save citizens the agony of traveling to urban centres to access the online government services and encourage growth of the sector.
To me, this is exactly what people like Prof Ayittey are trying to explain: helping the “Atingas” to promote their business in rural areas as they are the ones who contribute the biggest part to the economy.
And for me, as an environmenatlist/marketing guy for proper sanitation facilities, anything that helps to reduce urbanisation (= by creating local incentives, even if it’s the availability of enough bandwidth in rural areas) is the right approach to promote growth in rural areas. We urgently have to create a good framework for the next generation so that they want to stay in their home area.
On another note: what happens to the Raila/Kibaki virus once the elections are over? Is there any expiry date on them? :-D