In an effort to address the persistent issue of high internet costs in Kenya, a new initiative has emerged aiming to dismantle the barriers hindering access to affordable internet connectivity, particularly in informal communities. This initiative seeks to bridge the digital divide and make the digital world more accessible to populations that have been left behind in the digital revolution.

One of the major contributing factors to the high cost of internet in Kenya, as highlighted in previous studies, is the near-monopoly held by major telecom players who control more than half of the market. Additionally, the absence of a national fiber optic backbone further exacerbates the issue, making it challenging for new players without significant financial resources to enter the market.

As a response to these challenges, Ahadi Wireless (Konnect) has partnered with the Livelihood Impact Fund to provide households with low-cost data connectivity. This partnership is set to have a significant impact, particularly in informal settlements such as Kibera, where residents are poised to benefit from the initiative in the first phase.

For individuals like Alfred Ochieng, a young entrepreneur who sells second-hand clothes online, this initiative represents a significant opportunity for growth and empowerment. The affordability of internet packages provided through this initiative is expected to boost businesses like Alfred’s and empower youth in communities like Kibera to enhance their income-generating activities.

Johnstone Namusasi, Director of Konnect, emphasized the importance of internet access in today’s digital age, stating that access to the internet has transitioned from a luxury to a basic necessity. Namusasi highlighted the significance of providing quality internet at affordable rates, enabling individuals in low-income areas to access information and opportunities that were previously out of reach.

The sentiment expressed by Alfred Ochieng is reflective of the optimism within the community regarding the potential impact of this initiative. Beneficiaries like Lindah Aduda praised the user-friendly approach of the affordable internet packages, noting the contrast with standard internet bundles and emphasizing the immediate benefits experienced.

Daniel Muthama, Project Manager at Livelihood Impact Fund, reiterated their commitment to supporting initiatives like Ahadi Wireless Internet, emphasizing the broader benefits of internet access, including employment creation. Muthama highlighted the transformative potential of the initiative, signaling a step forward in addressing the digital divide and promoting inclusivity in Kenya’s digital landscape.

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