Since 2008, the government through the ICT Board has invested more than $ 6 million in local content generation and if you count the money for software and other services, then its $114 million, as part of the World Bank fund.
Recently Tandaa awards were announced and you can read more from Techweez and in 2008, I wrote a story on the first Tandaa grants of $ 4.1 million.
What do PS Ndemo and Kukubo feel about content generation? Here is a response I got a month ago when doing research on local peering and internet cost reduction issues. I just copy pasted from the email.
From Dr. Ndemo:
Personally I am still disappointed with the speed at which we are developing local content. By now we should be having local vernacular wikis as a strategy to preserve our cultures. Universities are still sleeping withe several shareable research yet others cannot access such valuable information. You cannot locate many places in Nairobi yet this is a good content proposition. We cannot have these many opportunities with huge unemployment at the same time. I am happy that GOK has taken lead with open data.
I don’t know what the growth figures are as evidenced through bandwidth uploads, but I can suggest that there is growing local content development.
From a user generated content perspective, Facebook would probably be a great driver. Institutional content continues to grow with open data, development of educational and health content.
I have not interpreted what it but I guess you can do it better.
If I remember well, part of the reasons we were excited about fiber was that it would lower latencies and better still, it would allow people to generate content and such content would be accessible to people.
Yes, Joe Mucheru of Google argued with significant force of reason that it doesnt matter if content is hosted locally or internationally, because the internet is global. Ali Husein, Kenic board member (or former) termed my post as simplistic, because the hosting business is international and Kenyan government has no business promoting local hosting companies. You can read it all in the comments section in this post and you can read another I have done on the disappointment of local hosting.
Back to the $114 million fund. I know I am simplistic but why invest all that money in content and applications then host it abroad? Yes, there are critical applications and websites that must go on the Amazon or whatever cloud because of SLAs and stuff but is this the case in all the content or majority of it.
So, is Kenya hosting that bad? Why haven’t the grants improved that? Maybe there should be a grant to help this…
For instance, today CCK launched this website, where is it hosted? You have guessed right, not in Kenya, maybe the CCK or the UPDK team could not get Safaricom, AccessKenya, Telkom Kenya or Wananchi group to host it free in their cloud. I am imagining at this rate, all that talk of big cloud content by 2015 is looking very bright.
Well, I just could not let this go….. here is a boring conclusion. Here is the traceroute of the CCK sponsored site. Check how long it takes and the route it takes…… and we were trying to bring down latencies from 600ms…..
traceroute to www.kenyadisability.or.ke (18.104.22.168), 64 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 192.168.0.1 (192.168.0.1) 1.184 ms 0.854 ms 0.654 ms
2 192.168.1.1 (192.168.1.1) 4.720 ms 1.476 ms 1.442 ms
3 41-139-171-69.safaricombusiness.co.ke (22.214.171.124) 890.652 ms 1033.720 ms 915.801 ms
4 41-203.209-65.safaricombusiness.co.ke (126.96.36.199) 780.050 ms 975.362 ms 686.306 ms
5 41-139-255-18.safaricombusiness.co.ke (188.8.131.52) 948.681 ms 864.720 ms 836.259 ms
6 184.108.40.206 (220.127.116.11) 889.112 ms 909.568 ms 1014.824 ms
7 18.104.22.168 (22.214.171.124) 1051.909 ms 582.662 ms 565.692 ms
8 if-12-1-3.core4.LDN-London.as6453.net (126.96.36.199) 904.593 ms 1070.709 ms 1069.041 ms
9 if-6-1504.tcore2.L78-London.as6453.net (188.8.131.52) 1190.310 ms 1078.289 ms *
10 if-20-2.tcore2.NYY-NewYork.as6453.net (184.108.40.206) 908.698 ms * 1350.263 ms
11 Vlan570.icore1.NTO-NewYork.as6453.net (220.127.116.11) 1177.123 ms Vlan569.icore1.NTO-NewYork.as6453.net (18.104.22.168) 880.283 ms Vlan582.icore1.NTO-NewYork.as6453.net (22.214.171.124) 1013.940 ms
12 pos-1-9-0-0-cr01.newyork.ny.ibone.comcast.net (126.96.36.199) 1174.197 ms * 998.332 ms
13 pos-0-5-0-0-cr01.350ecermak.il.ibone.comcast.net (188.8.131.52) 842.497 ms 864.748 ms Vlan581.icore1.NTO-NewYork.as6453.net (184.108.40.206) 1192.667 ms
14 pos-1-9-0-0-cr01.newyork.ny.ibone.comcast.net (220.127.116.11) 1387.871 ms pos-1-2-0-0-pe01.350ecermak.il.ibone.comcast.net (18.104.22.168) 1493.622 ms pos-1-9-0-0-cr01.newyork.ny.ibone.comcast.net (22.214.171.124) 1246.973 ms
15 126.96.36.199 (188.8.131.52) 1237.928 ms 1067.814 ms *
16 184.108.40.206 (220.127.116.11) 1100.651 ms * pos-1-2-0-0-pe01.350ecermak.il.ibone.comcast.net (18.104.22.168) 1349.609 ms
17 * 22.214.171.124 (126.96.36.199) 1428.182 ms *
18 188.8.131.52 (184.108.40.206) 1464.183 ms * 1434.943 ms