The County Connectivity Project through the devolution of Kenya‘s government, shifting a large share of responsibilities from a centralized government base to the governments of its 47 counties.
Technology bolsters the transfer of power in Kenya. The County Connectivity Project is laying the foundation of a new e-government strategy in the Republic of Kenya. This project is part of Kenya‘s 2010 constitutional imperative to devolve governmental power to 47 counties, and is managed by the consortium of Siemens Enterprise Communications and the Belgian Soulco Projects. “Having access to efficient e-services from the government should be as easy as buying a loaf of bread,” says Dr. Katherine Getao, ICT Secretary in charge of Kenya’s e-Government Directorate.

Getting inside the customer’s mindset, We got inside the customer’s mindset,” the Belgian Ambassador Bart Ouvry said . “We started to work together before the devolution scheme was decided. Since then, the project dramatically changed. The consortium showed its flexibility and willingness to talk and participate in this evolution, and developed a strong community presence by participating in local meetings and being available daily to work closely with the e-Government Directorate and county governments.”

“The scope of the project changed,” says Dr. Getao, who joined the President’s Office when the original project was already in roll-out. Dr. Getao has prioritized the implementation of the constitution through the use of ICT to deliver public services to all Kenyans, and to achieve the country’s Vision 2030 by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government. “We are now developing a private cloud-based enterprise system that will allow the national government to offer a wide range of services to its citizens. The project has grown as our national aspirations have risen. That is why it’s a high-visibility project here.”

Soulco Kenya’s CEO Kris Verspecht underscores the importance of the County Connectivity Project to help governments become more efficient. “Key departments that will rely heavily on the platform include branch offices representing the President, the Treasury, Immigration, and Kenya Revenue Authority. Future offices may include the Judiciary, and Police as well as the Ministry of Lands, among others.

Soulco has also designed and installed ICT & Security solutions for Ghana’s parliament and administrative tower block, the government of Tanzania and the Presidency of Algeria.

Soulco Projects consortium has provided the following:

  • HiPath 4000 V6 platform with OpenScape Video
  • 5,500 OpenStage 20 telephone sets
  • Last-mile connectivity using IP-based Wireless Outdoor Routing Protocol radio systems for connection to the country’s national fiber optic network
  • Secure Enterasys data components for WAN and LAN applications
  • Readiness to incorporate the country’s changing institutional ambitions into the project
  • Financing according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) procedures granted by the Belgian government

IP platform provided, facilitate more efficient, reliable public service to citizens. The project addresses the constitutional duty of the public authorities to provide equal municipal services throughout the country, which satisfies the Office of the President,

In addition to the above, the provided infrastructure will help in driving economic growth. “With the IP network, the maintenance issues of our old telephony network belong to the past,” says Thomas O. Odhiambo, Senior Assistant Director of the e-Government Directorate at the Office of the President.

“The centralized monitoring and support provided over the IP network allows us to properly manage all the new equipment installed.” The IP platform will promote transparency, ensuring greater public responsibility among staff while lowering administrative costs.

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