US Collaboration to Bridge Internet Affordability Gap in Kenya

In a bid to narrow the Internet affordability gap in Kenya, the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) partnered with Kenyan telecoms company Wilken Group to conduct a feasibility study.

US Collaboration to Bridge Internet Affordability Gap in Kenya
US Collaboration to Bridge Internet Affordability Gap in Kenya

The study aims to assess the viability of constructing new fibre optic and 5G infrastructure between Mombasa and Malaba, two key locations in Kenya.

Key Points of the Agreement

  • The feasibility study, funded by USTDA, will evaluate the potential for installing a wholesale open access fibre optic network and several 5G-capable towers along a 730-mile (1,170 km) stretch of railway between Mombasa and Malaba.
  • Anticipating a surge in demand for fibre connectivity, the study aims to address the limitations of the current infrastructure in meeting this growing need.

USTDA’s support for this project aligns with the priorities of the Biden-Harris Administration, including the Digital Transformation with Africa initiative, Prosper Africa, and the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment.

The grant signing ceremony witnessed by US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo underscores the significance of US-Kenya collaboration in enhancing digital infrastructure.

Significance of the Grant

Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director, highlighted the project’s potential to provide secure, affordable, and high-quality Internet connectivity, which can catalyze economic growth in Kenya and the wider East African region.

The grant funding from USTDA will validate capacity demand and measure project impact, supporting the Kenyan government’s efforts to enhance the digital space.

Graham Shaw, CEO of Wilken Group, expressed appreciation for USTDA’s grant funding, emphasizing its importance in enhancing the project’s significance and impact nationally. The grant will support Kenya’s mandate to bolster the digital infrastructure.

US Commitment to Partnership

US Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman, emphasized the critical role of reliable connectivity in fostering economic prosperity in Africa. The USTDA grant signifies the United States’ commitment to collaborating with Kenya to develop digital infrastructure that empowers its citizens.

The partnership between USTDA and Wilken Group represents a significant step toward improving Internet accessibility and affordability in Kenya, ultimately contributing to economic development and empowerment.



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