Speaking at the third Huawei Broader Way Forum, which focuses on the social economy benefits, chief executive officer Paul Kukubo said the target that is part of the ICT master plan is achievable.
“By 2017, every citizen should be connected for Kenya to be Africa’s ICT hub,” he said.
This target means that Kenya has just 5 years to increase its Internet penetration from the 28 percent estimated by Internet statistics website Internetstatistics.com putting internet penetration.
Kukubo says the five-year master plan targets on robust connection in the countryside, with the ministry ready to embark on increasing the necessary infrastructure.
He says he anticipates that by 2015, Kenya will have a market size of between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, with 500 ICT companies employing 50,000 jobs.
The government projects that most Kenyans will access Internet, mostly through mobile devices, saying there is a need for more people to have computers to share the net, hence the one million laptop campaign.
Speaking at the same function, Huawei’s regional president in East and South Africa Li Dafeng said Internet access is the only way to bridge the digital divide existing between Africa and the rest of the world.
Citing a study by the World Bank, he said growth in broadband penetration has shown similar increase in GDP. A related study by the European Union shows that broadband will employ an extra 2 million jobs and an approximated 636 million Euros in GDP.
“Broadband has therefore become an important enabler for social services and a key engine for economic growth,” he added.
Other issues discussed in the forum include network security, LTE technology and inspiring ICT innovation.
Broader Way forums have been previously held in South Africa and Uganda bringing stakeholders in the industry from across the world.