Kenyans in the lowest social and economic cadres need technological support, to tap into the benefits of the recently launched Hustler Fund, the CS for Information, Communications and the Digital Economy has said.
The CS was speaking in Kawangware in, Nairobi, at the launch of Airtel Kenya’s Internet Mashinani platform of affordable digital access.
Owalo said that the success of the Hustler Fund depends significantly on affordable Internet and inexpensive hardware. “Only Wednesday, the President Dr William Ruto launched the Hustler Fund. The fund is going to be cyber-driven. Individuals, micro and small enterprises need facilitation, so as to tap into the opportunities and benefits that the Hustler Fund has brought,” he said.
The SC identified lack of digital skills, cost and signal instability as some of the urgent issues to be addressed, for the success of the fund. “(People) need to learn how to get on the platform and how to use it. In short, they need to be a part of the digital communication, and to have access to the digital infrastructure that houses government services, including the Hustler Fund.”
Owalo hailed Airtel Kenya for introducing the Internet Mashinani platform, as its contribution to universal digital access in Kenya.
Speaking at the event, Airtel’s CEO, Ashish Malhotra, said that the company has now rolled out 4G sites across the country, including in market places and villages throughout the country.
“We are taking advantage of our investment in 4G sites across the country, to provide Internet access to all,” Malhotra said.
The Cabinet Secretary urged more enterprises and individuals to support the Government’s efforts to make universal access universal.
“As the Government, we welcome as many partners as possible, to join us on our mission to bring all Kenyans into the cyberspace, and to raise the quality of life through digital participation.” Owalo said.
Adding that: “We especially want to see women and the youth on board the digital train.”
Also present was Communication Authority of Kenya’s Director General, Ezra Chiloba.
Chiloba told the gathering that digital technology has made it very easy to register new business in Kenya, a factor that is fast transforming the business environment in the country.