India and China fight for IT contracts in Kenya

With the new technological advancement in Kenya, more companies from outside the country are striving to get lucrative ICT contracts in the country, with India and China tripping each other to grab contracts.

The East African newspaper reports of various contracts that have been awarded to the two countries. It is just over a month ago that China had given the country KSh 6.1 billion (US$72 million) to streamline the fibre-optic network.

Another Chinese company has quickly set up itself to reap from the digital broadcasting switch set for later this year in Kenya. StarTimes, a Chinese company, began broadcasting in digital earlier this year and it has since introduced remarkably cheap set boxes.

4G Identity Solutions has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. The Indian company bided for the Biometric Voter Registration and gave the lowest bid but cried foul when they were not awarded the contract.

An Indian firm is looking to clinch a contract to digitize the land registry. RMSI specializes in GIS integrated geographic information systems.

The sad turn-around to this is that few technology companies are being given government contracts and hence they are not reaping from the technology development in the country.

Yesterday, Kenya opened its doors to the new parliament chambers. The Finance Minister, Hon. Njeru Githae commended the refurbishment of the chambers saying that local materials were sourced from the country, except the digital phase of the refurbishment.

This puts a big spotlight if the country would only be importing technology and not exporting it to other countries.

Companies like Craft Silicon and Seven Seas Technologies are just some of the few tech powerhouses Kenya has. They have made their names internationally without clinching local government projects and they have concentrated on the private sector.

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