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Internet Transforming Lives in Kenya Says Vice President

H.E. VP Kalonzo Musyoka

Kenya’s Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has said the investment that the government has made in Kenya’s fibre optic infrastructure has opened a completely new market for the local ICT vendors, software developers, writers and other related business ventures.

Musyoka articulated that most of these new ICT consumers will be outside Nairobi, expanding the usage and market opportunity across the country.

“No doubt, technology is the key to development,” he said, adding that “one of the greatest excitement of modern times is the invention of the internet. This revolutionary technology has done just that – made it possible. It has collapsed transnational boundaries, eliminated distances incredibly, and fundamentally changed the way the world moves.”

The VP was speaking during the opening of Cisco Expo 2011 after his visit to Malaysia, one of the Asian economic Tigers. He pointed out that the internet allows business orders to be discussed on the net with customers, goods can be obtained faster, customers can e-mail queries, new books and other services on the net in real time.

He stated that the digital divide of the 80s and 90s between the technologically advanced countries of the North and the largely poor countries of the South has substantially narrowed. It is no longer a question of ideas and innovation flowing from the rich to the poor nations. The concept of the world being a global village is more real than it ever was a couple of years ago.

The Cisco Expo 2011 delegates and participants were urged to tap into the insight on how technology can be used to improve education, healthcare and the quality of life. “These are issues at the centre of our development priorities and as a government, I assure you that we welcome and value all efforts that compliment our strategies to achieve our goals as articulated in our national development blueprint – Kenya Vision 2030,” the VP said.

The Kenyan Government is committed to developing a communications infrastructure in the entire country with special emphasis on rural communities. Already, its has rolled out a countrywide fibre optic infrastructure to supply more efficient broadband and ICT network services.

“This is because we firmly believe that ICT can transform every aspect of the lives of the Kenyan people, and offer solutions to the myriad development challenges besetting us in our efforts to facilitate world class service across the country,” explained the upbeat Musyoka, who was accompanied by Information and Communication, minister, Samuel Poghisio and his permanent secretary, Dr Bitange Ndemo.

The Ministry of Information and Communications has argued that Kenya has not been left behind in this technological rush as officials pointed out that the IT sector is growing significantly and Kenyans have started reaping the fruits of innovation. “That is why we are excited that our partnership with Cisco, given its global presence and experience, will add value to our campaign to transform our country’s economic and social fortunes,” thus said the VP.

During the opening ceremony of the two day Cisco Expo 2011, Cisco released a report titled Cisco 2010 Annual Security Report which indicated that cybercriminals are shifting their focus from Windows PCs to non – Windows systems and mobile platforms.

“Scammers have begun shifting their focus away from Windows – based PCs to other operating systems and platforms, including smart phones, tablets computers, and mobile platforms in general,” the report says.

The report also finds that 2010 was the first year in history of the internet that spam volume decreased, that cybercriminals are investing heavily in “money muling,” and that users continue to fall prey to myriad forms of trust exploitation.

In response to the last decade of cyber – exploits targeting PC operating systems, the report further indicates that “PC platforms and application vendors have shored up security in their products and taken a more aggressive approach to patching vulnerabilities.”

As a result, the report says scammers are finding it harder to exploit platforms that were once their bread and butter – in particular, the Windows platform – and are looking elsewhere to make money.

“Just as important in driving this trend is the widespread adoption of mobile devices and applications. Third – party mobile applications in particular are emerging as a serious threat vector,” explains the annual report.

About Robert Okemwa Onsare

Robert Okemwa Onsare
Robert Onsare is pursuing Electronics Technology at the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton. He is a Cluster Strategy trained facilitator by Kenya's National Economic and Social Council (NESC). Mr Onsare has been an incubation student at the University of Nairobi, School of Engineering, FabLab, a venture project of the university and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a member of the African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) and a published poet. Mr Onsare is based in Kenya.

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