Liquid Telecom Kenya, part of the leading pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, is working on an ambitious plan that will help improve Kenya’s rural road network.
The company this week announced that it is connecting the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) headquarters to all 47 of its regional offices over the next two weeks. Access to high-speed internet will accelerate road bidding and commissioning and reduce costs for the agency, allowing it to focus more funds on road construction.
KeRRA is a State Corporation that operates within Kenya’s State Department of Infrastructure under the country’s Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development. The Authority’s primary mandate is to develop, construct and maintain the rural road network in the country.
The new connection will facilitate the complete digitisation of KeRRA’s operation through an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform that will be accessible from all 47 regional offices and the headquarters, and enhanced communication between the branches through Voice over Internet (VoIP) services.
KeRRA’s 47 regional offices will be connected to a Wide Area Network on MPLS with a 2Mbps capacity, while the headquarters will have an aggregated 40Mbps internet link.
“Our comprehensive point of presence (PoP) network across Kenya means we can now provide networks for organisations at enormous speed. We are providing last mile connectivity through fibre links to three of KeRRA’s offices and its headquarters, while four more are located in fibre ready areas. A further 23 will be served by high-speed wireless broadband links and 13 with radio internet links,” said Francis Otieno, National Account Manager at Liquid Telecom Kenya.
The impact of the network on KeRRA’s efficiency will be far-reaching, enabling the agency to access and identify the best-suited contractors for rural road building and renovations in just a few clicks after the closing of bidding.
“We are looking to improve on efficiency by connecting and harmonising all our internal functions, across IT, finance, and human resource management, and achieve an end-to-end platform with a minimum human interface for maximum efficiency in our service delivery,” said Fred Bitta, KeRRA’s ICT Manager.
The new communications platform will also increase speed of decision making at the authority.
“The new connectivity across all our regional offices and headquarters will allow us leverage on digital platforms and solutions, such as video conferencing and VoIP to enhance and speed up information sharing,” added Bitta.
Poor roads remain the single largest barrier between millions of small-scale farmers and the marketplace, despite agriculture accounting for over 60% of Kenya’s employment and contributing over 45% of government revenues.
The repositioning of KeRRA is one of a series of new contracts for Liquid Telecom, secured following its infrastructure investment in all 47 of Kenya’s counties. “Achieving reach into every corner of Kenya has positioned us to be able to offer national solutions in a way that is increasingly transforming lives – be it Wi-Fi in schools, the laying of fibre with Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO) and now in connecting KeRRA nationwide,” said Adil El Youssefi CEO Liquid Telecom Kenya.