State to guarantee loans for laptops

Organisations or individuals seeking to take advantage of this year’s budget stimulus package on laptops are free to negotiate with any banking institution, computer vendors or the telecommunication companies.

This follows the announcement by the government through the Permanent Secretary for Information, Dr Bitange Ndemo. that the government will only facilitate the process but the negotiations will be done by interested parties on their own.

The incentive was offered by Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta during this year’s budget and aims at accelerating computer access in the country.

In the one million computer campaign, the government will guarantee money borrowed either by individuals or organisations to buy the laptop between now and June, next year. The government will also pay the interest on the loan .

“The country now has a number of high speed connectivity and it would be a crime if we don’t utilise this because of lack of computers,” said Dr Ndemo. The penetration of computers stands at less than three per cent.

During a public private sector meeting held yesterday to brain storm on how institutions or interested parties can benefit from the incentives, participants drawn from the learning institutions, banking sector and the telecommunication industry said they needed more information on the project.

Prof Henry Thairu of Jomo Kenyatta University said it was good to know the specifications of the laptops for a university students and the average price from the different vendors and who will do the negotiations with the banks.

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