Sh17bn laptops tender bid to start on Friday

Wednesday January 6 2016

Pupils use laptops during the launch of the Laptops and Tablets Assembly Plant by Deputy President William Ruto at Rivatex East Africa Limited in Eldoret town on July 22, 2015.

Pupils use laptops during the launch of the Laptops and Tablets Assembly Plant by Deputy President William Ruto at Rivatex East Africa Limited in Eldoret town on July 22, 2015. A total of Sh17 billion will be spent to supply Standard One learners with laptops. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ISAAC ONGIRI
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The Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Authority will on Friday open tenders to kick-start the process of acquiring 983,271 laptops for Standard One learners under the Digital Literacy Program.

An elaborate plan, being worked on by the authority under the Ministry of ICT and seen by the Nation, reveals that the first batch of the devices is expected to be delivered to schools in July.

A total of Sh17 billion will be spent on the program that has stalled since 2013 due to a hitch in the procurement process then conducted by the Ministry of Education and won by Indian firm Olive Pvt that ended up in court, leading to a government decision to rework the plan.

According to the plan, 294,981 laptops and 23,951 teacher digital devices will be supplied to schools by July.

Another 10 per cent of the total number of gadgets required will be supplied in September and a similar number in November.

“The devices will be delivered over two financial years using funds budgeted for under the financial years 2015/2016 and 2016/2017,” read part of the tender document.

Bids will be opened at the ICT Authority headquarters this Friday after 10 companies and consortiums were shortlisted for one of Kenya’s most controversial tenders under President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government.

“Tenders will be opened in the presence of the tenderers or their representatives who choose to attend at the ICT Authority Board Room, Teleposta Towers, 12th Floor on Friday January 8, 2016, at 10 am,” read a notice by ICT Authority CEO Victor Kyalo.

In the procurement, global industry giants are partnering with local universities to compete for the multibillion-shilling project.

Unlike in the last process, this time successful bidders must assemble the expensive gadgets locally so as to make it easier to maintain them.

The consortium of Haier Electricals and Strathmore University is among the giants competing for the bid.