World Bank Grants Kenya $390m to Boost Digital Economy

Kenya’s Digital Economy Acceleration Project is receiving a $390 million grant from the World Bank. The first tranche of funding will be used to improve the quality of education and certain government services, expand access to high-speed internet, and prepare the local workforce for the digital economy.

The funding will be distributed over two periods using a Multi-Phase Programmatic Approach (MPA), the first from 2023 to 2028 and the second from 2026 to 2030.

Kenya hopes to close the connectivity and digital skills gap brought on by the expanding online market by implementing this plan to improve last-mile broadband connectivity and more evenly distribute digital networks.

Kenya’s digital agenda seeks to make the country a regional ICT hub by digitizing 80% of government services and expanding fiber optic coverage to 100,000 kilometers. The project also hopes to improve Kenya’s ability to promote digital integration across the region, which would benefit other nations.

Kenya’s innovation and government support have helped it become a leading tech center in East Africa.

The administration of President William Ruto, which took office in August of 2018, has stated its intention to expand and accelerate the digital space to increase employment opportunities and attract foreign investment.

Kenya’s government highlighted the country’s digital economy growth and development at the Connected Summit 2023 earlier this month.

Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo presented the government’s strategic initiatives, including the Kenya National Digital Masterplan – 2022-2032, highlighting technology as a central tenet of the country’s Transformation Agenda. Agriculture, micro- and small- and medium-sized enterprises, health care, housing and settlements, the information superhighway, and the creative economy are the master plan’s five focal points.

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