Google Chips in USD 350,000 to Boost Kenyan ICT

Last week Friday Google donated USD350,000 to two Kenyan organizations, iHub and KENET, to strengthen an independent Internet community in the country.

The funding directed to Nairobi innovation Hub (iHub) and the Kenya Education network (KENET) will enable the organisations to expand their infrastructure as well as purchase tools to serve the developer and academic communities in Kenya.

KENET will receive USD 200,000 and iHub USD 150,000, Google’s Dorothy Ooko told HumanIPO.

“We work with organizations that share our vision of improving internet access, relevance and sustainability in Africa including strengthening the developer community and empowering the academic community with knowledge, infrastructure and tools to support research, technological innovation, and capacity building,” she said.

IHub, an institution that hosts many of Kenya’s young entrepreneurs, Web and mobile programmers, designers and researchers was founded about two years ago and has grown to become the one of the leading technology hubs in East Africa. It’s has also emerged as the link to investors and venture capitalists.

IHub’s relevance in Kenyan ICT sphere complements that of KENET, a non-profit institution that connects educational institutions with a private, affordable high speed Internet network.

KENET has six Internet access points connecting over 80 learning institutions in Kenya. Currently, it supports major Kenyan universities, tertiary colleges and research institutions and has invested more than USD 10 million into its network through several partners.

Google hopes the funding would promote researches by academic communities sponsored by the two organizations.

Google, an American multinational Internet and software corporation that specializes in Internet search, relies on the efforts made by the organizations to increase access to Internet and to create locally-relevant content on the Internet.

“We are very happy with the partnership we have with Google to support innovation and technology in Kenya. This contribution will help KENET improve the Internet connectivity in six educational institutions in Kenya, leading to increased affordable broadband Internet access by students, faculty and researchers,” Meoli Kashorda, KENET’s Managing Director said.

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