Kenya ICT Board is set to host the Connected Kenya Summit 2011 in partnership with Safaricom . The event will be happening at Leisure Lodge Resort from the 18th of April to 21st April 2011.

The event was previously called the Connected Government Summit and it will this time include a bigger representation of the private sector. The underlying theme for this year’s event is, “Innovating for the Citizen”.  The event is sponsored by Safaricom, IBM, CIO East Africa, Orange Telkom, Equity Bank, Seven Seas and Huawei Kenya.

Before joining the ICT Board and Safaricom for the connected Kenya summit briefing, I had the chance to attend the Orange Kenya press conference. Mr Ghossein who is the CEO of Orange Kenya, also one of the sponsors of Connected Kenya Summit, said that he doesn’t think that the country needs content. You and I might argue over that but he asserted that he seriously think that the country needs a local platform.

The government has already approved the plan for Konza Technology City. PS Ndemo also talked of E-voting being implemented and might be used in the 2012 general elections if fully implemented. Dr Ndemo gave the example of Brazil where more than 85 Million voters did vote through a pure electronic system with faster turn around and less errors.

The Connected Kenya Summit’s main aim is to set some collaboration platform where sharing of priorities between the government and the private sector take place with a view to linking and speeding up implementation of government ICT projects on a world-class standard. The participants at the summit meet to deliberate on key priority areas and identify areas for greater cooperation to help achieve service delivering to the public in a transparent, efficiency and effectiveness manner.

Paul Kukubo, Kenya ICT Board CEO, informed the mete that the government has;

  • Distributed more than 8,000 laptops to qualifying universitystudents under Wezesha with 15,000 more students targeted in the next two months.
  • 8.5 Million internet users in the country while just 3 years ago we had 3.5 Million.
  • 80 Mbps of subsidised bandwidth to all public universities,
  • 700 applications have been recieved by Kenya ICT Board for Pasha loans. The short list will have 50 entrepreneurs.

The key projects which might be speeded up with the Connected Kenya idea are BPOs which are projects where the government is working with IBM, Digital Villages where the government has in collaboration with Safaricom installed more than 500 Digital Village centres, Konza Technology City which is the Kenyan government working in partnership with IFC as the financier, Pasha Centres where the government is working with Family Bank, and many others.