The Kenya ICT Board is a state owned corporation under the Ministry of Information and Communication, set up to mainstream ICT for economic and social good of citizens.
This is in line with Kenya Vision 2030 goal of economic, social and political prosperity for all.
Kenya ICT board is carrying out a Kenya Transparency Communication Infrastructure Project (KTCIP) which aims at generating growth and employment by leveraging ICT and Public Private Partnerships to create IT Enabled Services industry and contribute to improved efficiency and transparency of selected government functions through e-government applications.
This KTCIP component will support the Government through the Ministry of Information and Communication over three (3) years to roll out and scale up Digital Village (Pasha Centers). This initiative aims at providing internet access and various online services at the grassroots.
The achievement of an information-based society is one of the main priorities of the Government towards the realization of national development goals and objectives for wealth and employment creation.
The project has three (3) objectives:
1. Provide affordable access and use of ICT resources to rural communities in a sustainable way.
2. Increase connectivity of the rural areas to other parts of the country.
3. Create economic opportunities that will spur rural economic development.
Digital Villages- Pasha Centers
What is a Pasha Center?
Pasha centers provide a suite of services to the public via computers connected to the internet.
Role of Pasha Centers
To provide Kenyans in rural areas with access to information; the increased access to information will serve to:
• To enhance business skills and knowledge in rural areas as well as expose rural communities to world news and trends that may positively enhance their lives;
• Provide employment for Kenyans both directly through economic activity that the centre will generate and secondarily through the opportunities that the information will provide;
• To bring online services closer to rural communities.
Pasha Centers are generally modeled under three (3) categories: Basic, Standard, and Advanced.
Each category is defined by the number of computers and services to be offered and will depend upon the scale of the Pasha Centre proposed by each applicant, but importantly should include a blend of the following:
• Internet access
• Computer training
• Vocational training
• ICT retail
• Access to government services
• Entertainment and gaming
• Typing and data entry
• Printing services
• Copying and scanning
• CD/DVD burning, faxing, IP telephony, cell phones and SIM card sales
• M-Pesa and/or other financial services
• Office supplies and stationary sales, printer supplies, laminating and photography and other IT enabled services.
Who runs and owns the Pasha e-centers?
The Pasha Centers are run by private entrepreneurs. Prospective entrepreneurs who apply for the Digital Villages Revolving Fund and are successful will be eligible to set up Pasha Centers.
Support will focus on two main activity areas:
1. Technical Support
2. Pasha e-centre Revolving Fund (soft loan)
Over the first (1) year the project will support the provision of technical and maintenance support to Pasha Centers. The support will be on-Line/ on-call as well as physical visits.
Pasha Centers Revolving Fund
How the revolving fund will be administered;
1. A call for application shall be made by Kenya ICT Board for prospective entrepreneurs to submit Digital Village Revolving Fund loan applications;
2. Prospective entrepreneurs submit complete applications to the nearest Bank that is working in partnership with the Kenya ICT Board to disburse the revolving fund (Family Bank);
3. Submitted applications are vetted by Family Bank and Kenya ICT Board’s Grants Committee;
4. Successful entrepreneurs are informed and invited to sign a loan agreement and Kenya ICT Board service level agreement;
5. Successful entrepreneurs begin loan repayment after a grace period of three (3) months.
The funds allocated to each entrepreneur will be repayable over a three (3) year period. These repayable funds received by the entrepreneurs can be used to finance set-up costs and or upgrading of an existing facility.
Interest Rates: The Interest Rate shall be 11.5% p.a on the reducing balance.
Repayment Period: Repayment period shall be a maximum of 3 years (36 months). Whereas there is no minimum repayment period, the entrepreneurs will be allowed to take the option of repaying their loans in shorter periods if they are able.
Grace Period: The Grace Period shall be three (3) months. This is the period within which they have to invest in advertising and engage in such promotional practices and introductory price offers.
Call for applications
The Kenya ICT Board will do a call for applications for potential pasha centre entrepreneurs to submit business plans. After the call for application, the format for application will be available on the Kenya ICT Board website, at the Financial Institution (that will be working with the Kenya ICT Board) and in published designator areas. The submission/ deadline for the submission of business plans will be published as part of the call for applications announcement.
Submission of applications
An application form and a business plans will be submitted to the nearest branch of the Family Bank. On submission the Financial Institution shall register the application and issue the applicant with a registration number
At the branch level Family Bank will evaluate the business plans submitted, then present the best three to the Kenya ICT Board.
The evaluation of the best three business plans from each constituency will be done by the Family Bank in conjunction with the Grants Committee of the Kenya ICT Board.
At the branch level Family Bank will inform unsuccessful applicants.
Kenya ICT Board will inform the unsuccessful applicants that make it to the second round.
The Kenya ICT Board shall inform the successful applicants upon completion of the evaluation process. These applicants will be invited to sign the loan agreement including the terms and conditions (service level agreement) for the management of a pasha centre.