The Kenyan government will replace the 10-year old National ICT Sector Policy Guidelines with the announcement next month of a new framework for sustained development of the information communication technology (ICT) sector for the next five years.

The Cabinet Secretary Minister) for ICT, Joe Mucheru, said here Monday that the new policy, which would be ready by the end of June, would lead and guide the regulations of the ICT sector in the country.

“This is a long-term policy that will address several issues that are critical to our economy, and currently, stakeholders are giving their views on the document,” said Mucheru.

The new policy will address infrastructure proposals, prevailing legal and regulatory instruments with a view to optimising the strategies on environmental issues arising from infrastructure development as well as identifying human capacity requirement among other issues.

The Cabinet Secretary, who was speaking at the Catholic Relief Services-sponsored 8th Information, Communication and Technology for Development Conference at a Nairobi hotel, said the government had rolled out fibre optics in all 47 counties and connected broadband to 34 counties.

The conference has drawn participants from 70 countries across the world.

Mucheru said the government was establishing ICT hubs across the country in order to address the ICT disparities between the urban and rural populations.

He noted that by establishing the digital villages, the government would be able to provide online services to all Kenyans, including those from the marginalised communities and the university fraternity.

He said the initiative was vital as it would improve the quality of life of the people in the marginalized areas, provide employment to the youth in remote villages, improve business skills and knowledge, as well as enable local entrepreneurs to respond more rapidly to the changing market demands.

He noted that ICT also had the potential to deliver great benefits cross the health-care systems in the urban and the remotest parts of Kenya by providing health workers with important diagnostic support and latest information that to help those in remote areas with few medical personnel to respond effectively to health issues.

Source: Nam News Network