The government has commissioned a Sh100 billion software plant in Mulot, Bomet county. The Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs held a ground-breaking ceremony in the area prone to some of the most sophisticated online criminal activities.
Mulot is popular in the News for hosting some of the country’s high-level digital scammers ranging from sim-card fraud to cyber crime. The Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) has on many occasions busted various syndicates conducting high level crimes from rental units and rural Mulot.
The ICT Ministry said it had noted the talent by the youth in the area, and was seeking to tap into this skills by setting up the software plant.
According to ICT Authority Board chairman Prof. Fredrick Owino who attended the event on behalf of ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, the government had seen the potential of the houth in the area and the software hub would help them come out and put their skills to good use.
“The decision to set up the plant is because of the potential and creativity by the local youth, which needs to be tapped to help on developing software that can be consumed locally,” said Prof. Owino.
He said the plant is one of two software factories which will be set up in the country.
“Bomet and particularly Mulot is lucky to host the first factory thanks to locals youth who have caught the attention of stakeholders,” Owino said.
The project is part of Kenya’s Digital Master Plan launched in April this year.
ICT Authority Chief Executive Officer Dr Kiprono Rono said youth in the area had displayed impressive skills in ICT. He gave an instance of a group from Mulot who tried gaining access to the Ministry of Education website.
According to Dr.Rono, despite the criminal activities that are popular in the area, statistics had shown that some of the best computer scientists in the country had been traced back to Bomet county.
“There is a potential in this area and the government seeks to employ up to 100,000 home crown software engineers from the plant,” Rono said.
Bomet Governor Hilary Barchok urged the youth to come out in large numbers and put their skills to good use.
“Let us now use our skills rightly by coming out and embracing the plant,” Barchok told the youth.
He also dispelled rumours that the government was using the plant to lure criminals out of their hideouts to arrest them.
“Some may think this is a bait so that you get arrested, which is a lie. We want to tap your skills and help you grow,” Barchok said.
The plant is expected to be complete and operational within the next three years.