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Nakuru becomes first town to enjoy free Wi-Fi connection

RIFT VALLEY
By Karanja Njoroge | March 31st 2014

By Karanja Njoroge

Nakuru, Kenya: Nakuru Sunday became the first county to launch a free Wi-Fi connection, which will enable residents access free internet.

With the launch, Nakuru joins Kigali, Rwanda, and the City of Tshwane, South Africa as the three cities in Africa with free Wi-Fi connection for residents.

The free internet service covers the town’s Central Business District and is a collaboration between the County Government and the State House Digital Team.

Speaking during the launch, State House Director of Digital, New Media and Diaspora Dennis Itumbi said the connection currently covers only 52 per cent of the town’s CBD.

“We have connected 52 per cent and hope by April to cover the remaining  48 per cent,” he said.

Share information

Governor Kinuthia Mbugua said the initiative will herald rapid access to information which is important for economic development.

“We are privileged to be the first county to launch free Wi-Fi. Let us utilise it to access useful information which we can use to transform the county as a regional business hub,” the governor said.

Mbugua said the 24-hour connectivity will help residents share information and enhance public participation and improvement in public service.

Itumbi said the county government should take advantage of the Wi-Fi connection to improve service delivery especially in the Health, Tourism and Agriculture sectors.

“The County Government can, through communication with tour companies abroad, inform them of what the county has to offer and the areas they can visit,” he added.

And Richard Tuta, a security expert who works with the governor’s office said the connection would be useful in communicating with the public and enhancing security.

“This development will boost even the security in the county and minimise crime,” Mr Tuta said.

Digitalise hansard

Mr Itumbi challenged the County Assembly to digitalise its hansard reporting and enhance public participation in the budget-making process using the service.

County Assembly Speaker Susan Kihika said the installation has placed the county among the few towns and cities in the world which enjoy free internet services.        

“Residents will now be able to look for jobs and know what is happening around and we believe our county is now ahead of others,” she said.

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