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Govt may offer tax incentives to boost ICT investment

01 April 2015, 12:32

Nairobi -  Kenya may offer tax incentives to firms in the information communication technology (ICT) sector to encourage investment and boost its contribution to economic growth, the Cabinet Secretary for Information has said.

Fred Matiang'i said his ministry had put forward a proposal to the finance ministry on measures to boost growth in the sector. He said the measures include investment in additional infrastructure to increase Internet access and lower services costs.

"The question we need to answer is, how do we speed up growth in this sector?," Matiangi told Reuters on the sidelines of an ICT conference in the coastal resort of Diani.

"We need to offer Internet access (even) to the trader in the village," he said on Tuesday, adding that roaming charges between several east African countries have been lowered to boost trade.

Internet usage in east Africa's biggest economy stood at 26.1 million of the population last December, regulator Communications Authority of Kenya said, or roughly 64 people per 100.

Also read: President urges use of locally-developed ICT solutions

The government is laying 1,600 kilometers of fiber-optic cable nationwide in the financial year ending in June. It will add another 1,000 kilometers next financial year, Matiangi said.

He said the government aimed to fund 50 innovators in the ICT sector every year to turn their ideas into start-ups, as it seeks to turn the country into an ICT hub modeled on Silicon Valley.

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- Reuters


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