Kenya Gets Major Internet Access Support from U.S. Agency

U.S. Trade and Development Agency Director Enoh T. Ebong will sign new agreements to help expand high-speed internet access in Kenya and nearby African regions.

1 min read
Kenya Gets Major Internet Access Support from U.S. Agency
U.S. Trade and Development Agency Director Enoh T. Ebong (Phoro credit: USTDA)

Enoh T. Ebong, the head of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency visits Kenya week to strengthen the country’s digital infrastructure and advance other key development projects. During her visit which started from April 21, Ebong will participate in the American Chamber of Commerce Business Summit and sign new agreements to expand high-speed internet access across Kenya and the broader region.

These new agreements support the U.S. Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA) initiative. The goal of DTA is to increase digital connectivity across Africa. At the Business Summit in Nairobi, Ebong will join U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman in opening the DTA pavilion. The DTA pavilion will highlight the promise and progress of the DTA initiative, showcasing how it is working to mobilize U.S. private sector resources and partnerships to develop critical digital infrastructure in Africa.

To further DTA’s mission of increasing internet access in Africa, Ebong will sign two grants. One grant will pay for building internet cables and towers stretching from East Africa all the way to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Hundreds of thousands of Africans who currently lack affordable internet will gain access through this project.

The other grant aims to make internet more affordable within Kenya itself. It will fund laying fiber optic cables and setting up 5G wireless networks between the major Kenyan cities of Mombasa and Malaba.

While in Kenya, Ebong also plans to visit Mawingu Networks Limited, a company providing internet to rural and underserved communities in East Africa. Previously, USTDA funded a study to help Mawingu expand its services to more people.

In addition to internet projects, Ebong’s visit will focus on healthcare infrastructure. She will tour two hospitals in Kenya to see their latest medical technologies. Her visit will explore opportunities for USTDA to financially support improving healthcare facilities across the country.

Enoh T. Ebong is a Nigerian-American attorney and trade official who was appointed as the Director of the USTDA by President Joe Biden in 2021.

Prior to becoming Director, Ebong had a long career at the USTDA, serving in various roles including attorney-advisor, acting regional sub-director, assistant general counsel, deputy general counsel, general counsel, acting director, and deputy director and CFO.

Since 1992, USTDA has funded over 50 projects in Kenya related to agriculture, clean energy, transportation, digital connectivity and more. In 2021, Kenya partnered with USTDA’s Global Procurement Initiative to access high-quality, sustainable infrastructure technologies at lower costs.

Ebong’s visit to Kenya aligns with several priorities of the Biden administration for Africa. These include investing in global infrastructure, increasing prosperity across Africa, sustainability, and supporting the DTA digital initiative. Her trip follows commitments made at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in late 2022.

The core mission of USTDA is creating U.S. jobs by facilitating American companies to provide goods and services for infrastructure projects in developing nations like Kenya.

Leave a Reply