THE Kenyan government needs a total of $1.8 billion to fund its free laptops for schools initiative for the next five years, which is expected to begin by January next year, according to Ministry of Information and Communication Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo.
His comments come after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced plans to locally assemble laptops in a bid to boost local technology take-up. During the election campaign period, Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, pledged to provide free solar-powered laptops to each of the 800,000 children joining Class One in 2014.
“My government will deliver on its promise of free laptops next year,” Kenyatta said while giving his maiden speech to parliament and senate last month. “Our vision is to have the laptops assembled locally. Class one laptops pledge is not over ambitious, indeed with parliament’s help, we can have them assembled in Kenya.”
However, it is not clear what the exact price cuts could be if the machines are assembled locally.