Big boost as Kenya begins manufacturing fibre optic cables

Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications and the Digital Economy Eliud Owalo (third left) and ICT PS Eng. John Tanui (centre) among other leaders from the Ministry during a tour of the Athi River-based Nia Fibre Ltd which is producing cables for the local and export markets.

The country has started manufacturing fibre optic cables locally as it seeks to expand internet connectivity, ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo announced on Thursday.

Mr Owalo said the initiative is part of efforts to install 100,000km of National Fibre Optic Cable network.

Athi River-based Nia Fibre Ltd is manufacturing the cables for the local market as well as for export.

“I had the opportunity to tour the Nia Fibre plant in Athi River, the first and only fibre manufacturing firm in Kenya,” Mr Owalo said.

The production of the cables comes few months after President William Ruto launched a smartphone assembly plant, putting Kenya on the map as a cellphone producer.

Eng. John Tanui, the Principal Secretary in the State Department for ICT and Digital Economy, said there has been need for quality, affordable and accessible fibre optic cables as the country races to install 100,000km of national fibre network in five years.

Eng. Tanui said that the government-backed firm has already manufactured some 12,000km of fibre optic cables for various firms in Kenya and exported approximately 30 percent of its products to over 10 countries in Africa.

As at the end of 2023, the government had installed 8,419km of fibre optic cables in partnership with private sector players as part of the 100,000km target.

It had also set up 1,261 free public Wi-Fi hotspots, facilitating communication and business as well some 247 digital hubs out of a target of 1,450 as it trains to train the youth to enable them access opportunities in the digital space.

Easy access to faster internet as well as skilling are key to accessing digital jobs, with the government targeting to train up to 20 million youths to enable them access opportunities online.

As part of its mandate to enhance government communications, the Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board (KYEB) is documenting these successes in its publications to promote public awareness on the various government initiatives and opportunities in the ICT sector.

Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications and the Digital Economy Eliud Owalo (centre), ICT PS Eng. John Tanui (left) and ICTA CEO Stanley Kamanguya are shown cables produced by the Athi River-based Nia Fibre Ltd.


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