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KENYA ICT BOARD EXTENDS DEADLINE FOR BANDWIDTH CAPACITY SUPPORT TO THE BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING (B.P.O) INDUSTRY

Nairobi, 13th January  2010

The Kenya ICT Board, the state corporation charged with developing and promoting the Business Process Outsourcing Sector ( BPO) has further extended the deadline for bandwidth capacity support to the BPO Industry.

The board through the Government of Kenya has received credit from the International Development Association (IDA) to fund this initiative aimed at assisting industry players meet the cost of internet connectivity.

The first phase of capacity support ran from 1st July 2007 to Feb 2009. During this time, USD 508,937.29 (circa Ksh 40m) out of a budgeted amount of USD7M was disbursed.  It is predicted that the extension of this support will significantly increase the uptake of the subsidy by industry players and give the industry the necessary boost to grow and be able to compete on a global scale.

This subsidy, funded by the World Bank will  now be extended from March 1, 2009 to 31st March 2010. This is the final extension in response to the board’s request on behalf of the industry with an aim to mitigate the high prices of internet access in the country which is reducing albeit slowly following the landing of the Teams and Seacom fibre optic cables.

The capacity support will be disbursed effective immediately and will close on March 31st 2010.
Eligibility for the bandwidth capacity support is open to all BPO operators in Kenya who currently offer outsourcing services. The Kenya ICT Board will audit the companies and oversee the disbursement of the funds to the BPO operators upon receipt of applications from operators.

Mr. Paul Kukubo, CEO Kenya ICT Board says, “Increasing Kenya’s competitiveness in the global BPO sphere is vital for the growth of the industry. With the fibre Optic cables now in place, Kenya has become a significant competitor in the global BPO space. We expect the cost of internet connectivity to drop significantly. But this will take some time.  This extension of bandwidth capacity support will help the industry reduce operating costs and thus increase global competitiveness in the short term.”

The criteria and procedure for bandwidth capacity disbursement remains:

Step 1: BPO companies to register with Kenya ICT Board as a BPO operator by completing a registration form available at Kenya ICT Board Offices and on our website (www.ict.go.ke)

Step 2: Sign a “BPO Capacity Purchase Scheme MOU Agreement” with the Kenya ICT Board. The MOU documents are available at Kenya ICT Board Offices – 12th Floor Telposta Towers, Koinange Lane.

Step 3: Audit and verification of the required submissions will be carried out. Upon completion, the capacity support will be provided.

Step 4: Post award, monitoring and Evaluation will be carried out consecutively and concurrently by a Kenya ICT Board at regular intervals

Enquiries:

Lucy Odhiambo Email: [email protected] 0737 839047 or

Haji Tomno  Email: [email protected] Tel: +254 020 2089061/2211960

About Kenya ICT Board:

The Kenya ICT Board was established by HE President Mwai Kibaki, as a state corporation under the State Corporations Act Cap. 446 on 19th February 2007. The achievement of an information-based society is one of the main priorities of the Government towards the realization of national development goals and objectives for wealth and employment creation. ICT is one of the fastest growing sectors in the country. Harnessing of ICT will therefore help the Government to realize a number of its key public policy objectives.

The objectives of the Kenya ICT Board include: To develop, launch and sustain a globally compelling brand marketing campaign for Kenya ICT, To develop and promote competitive ICT industries in Kenya, To develop world class Kenyan ICT institutions and  To increase ICT access.

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