The department of Information Communication and Technology in Homa Bay has indicated that the county residents’ uptake on ICT is below the minimum required in terms of hardware and software usage.
According to the Director for ICT Homa Bay County Emmanuel Athoo, the low uptake is due to the negative perception that has hindered the department’s investment in ICT.
“The people of Homa Bay do not know about ICT because their perception is still low. Our statistics show that the county uptake is below 80 per cent hindering the department’s investment, which can be seen from the limited budget approved and made available for the implementation of our policies,” he noted.
Speaking Tuesday in a stakeholder’s meeting in Homa Bay town, Athoo said that the funding for operationalization of key ICT projects by the government has also been inadequate, something that has hindered training in the county
“When there is a budget that is being allocated, you find that a huge amount of it goes to the education sector because nobody in the assembly understands ICT. They only want to improve ward-based projects that benefit them directly, “said Athoo.
The sector now requires a timely disbursement of Sh.27.3 million to deliver on the priority projects.
The director further explained that in partnership with the ICT Authority, they have trained over 560 youths from the eight wards in Homa Bay on Ajira online jobs, however, he said that youths in Homa Bay Sub-County never showed interest in the training.
“Youths within Homa Bay town never showed up for the 4-weeks training because they wanted to be given tokens before participating in the training,” he noted.
A report presented by Athoo pointed out challenges facing the sub-sector including unreliable power supply which undermines access to ICT services, unreliable power supply undermining ICT services among others.
However, despite the many challenges faced, the sector has been able to achieve a number of things including the establishment of a model ICT Innovation hub at the sub-county with internet connectivity, a user supports automation of county revenue and management system, procurement of digital printer with a bigger printing capacity among others.
“Currently we have one model ICT innovation hub here in Homa Bay with internet connectivity where you can do all your research for free,” said Athoo.
The director recommended the need for escalating Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) to the departmental level to ease operations.