Why government should enforce 40% local sourcing by Telco’s

Tech Community at iHub

The Kenyan Government back in 2008 introduced a 40% local content rule for Kenyan Television Stations and the result has been a rapid growth of local programming that has seen  fairly rejuvinated local production companies emerge.

What has surprised many is that the Stations which had previously protested the move are now tripping over each other to secure lucrative deals with Kenyan Production Companies.

Much thanks has to go to Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo who has been at the forefront of ensuring that these policies are implemented.

Now if he can re-enforce a similar rule for Kenyan Telco’s he will be able to witness a similar but more rapid revolution in the development of Kenyan oriented  solutions made in part(40%) by Kenyans.

This is even more critical considering Telco’s are a huge chunk of Kenya’s economy generating almost 1 Billion Dollars in revenues and expenditure each year.

Why should this money go outside the country.  If 40% – $400 million remained in the Kenyan economy  the planned Malili Technopolis would undoubtedly materialize over the next 15 years.

But instead we have big monopolies that have virtually conned almost every Techprenuer i know. This has had the most unfortunate effect of driving this techies underground.

Many argue that Kenyan techies are not good enough to be awarded contracts. Even if this were true the only way to develop the necessary skill sets is through exposure.

Thankfully government is also providing alternative investments in this sphere (See ICT.GO.KE) but to ensure that the big boys of the private sector are reined in more needs to be done.

What are your thoughts?