INTERNATIONAL –Kenya is considering rolling out a raft of tax incentives in order to enhance broadband access across the country, an official said on Thursday. Jerome Ochieng, principal secretary, ministry of information, communication and technology (ICT) told journalists in Nairobi that the government is keen to promote private sector investments, joint ventures, and public-private partnerships (PPPs) within the ICT sector.
"We plan to introduce tax and regulatory incentives for infrastructure investment that will enable the provision of digital services in underserved areas by the private sector," Ochieng said during the launch of the 20th edition of the Kenya Economic Update by the World Bank.
In May, the east African nation launched the digital economy blueprint which is governed by five pillars including digital government, digital business, infrastructure, innovation-driven entrepreneurship, digital skills and values.
The government official said that Kenya has embarked on its digital transformation journey to ensure that the digital economy becomes a reality.
"Kenya has leveraged on technology to drive innovation, economic growth, job creation and improved service delivery across several sectors of the economy," he added.
"This digital environment has given rise to the growth of various digital applications and services for government, banking, health, housing, transportation and agribusiness," he added. According to the ministry of ICT, the digital economy is propelling Kenya's economic growth which has mainly been driven by mobile telephony.
Ochieng said that Kenya is one of the world leaders in driving financial inclusion through the use of digital finance solutions such as the mobile money transfer platform M-Pesa.
"Adoption of such innovations has contributed to improved and efficient business environments, increased accessibility, connectedness and better standards of living," he revealed.