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Nairobi City is Kenya’s Capital City and a County under the devolved form of government. Kenya’s devolution system was brought in by the Constitution 2010. Unlike other urbanized counties in Kenya, the whole of Nairobi is a city.

Nairobi City County has a department dedicated to Information, Communication Technology (ICT) development. That is the Information, Communication and e-government department. There are three programmes under the department. These are:

  1. Information and Communication Services
  2. Mass Media Skills and Development
  3. ICT Infrastructure Development

A comparative study of budgetary allocations for various programmes reveals a lot about county spending on ICT.  In FY 2015/2016, Nairobi City County spent Ksh. 72 million on the sector. In FY 2016/2017, the City set aside a total of Ksh 455 million for the sector. This is a 532% growth from the previous year (FY 2015/2016). Thus, indicating that the City is prioritizing ICT as a tool of development.

A closer look at the FY 2016/2017 ICT budget shows that Ksh. 353 million will be spent on Information and Communication Services Program. It takes the lion’s share (78%) of the total ICT development budget for FY 2016/2017.

It is important to note that the ICT Infrastructure Development and Mass Media Skills programs were newly introduced in FY 2016/2017. This is simply a re-organization to respond to the emerging needs in the county. A study of the budget does not explain the changing priorities in terms of introduction of new programmes.

A deep dive into the ICT development sub-programs reveals that Nairobi City will spend Ksh. 200 million (approximately USD $2 million) on News and Information Services. The money will be spent on generating news and feature articles on the county.

A look at the Economic Classification of the Programme Based Budget reveals that the recurrent expenditure has increased from Ksh. 72 million in FY 2015/2016 to Ksh. 305 million in FY 2016/2017. This means that most of the money will be used for compensating employees and purchasing goods and services or recurrent expenditure. On the other hand, capital expenditure (money used to buy equipment or construct buildings) for FY 2016/2017 stands at Ksh. 150 million.

The Nairobi City County projects that over the next three years (they call it the medium-term) the budgetary allocation will keep growing. The City County is projecting that it will spend a total of Ksh. 477 million (FY 2017/2018) and Ksh. 502 million for FY 2018/2019. This shows the importance that the City County attaches to the ICT development sector.

ICT sector has been influential in promoting revenue collection through adoption of e-payments and improving service delivery. One study reveals that the e-payments has helped increase revenue collection by over 92 percent!

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