KenTel is a not for profit entity that seeks to support the activities of telecentres across Kenya for better service delivery to different communities as well as promote and build the capacities of community information access points, or telecentres.
KenTel was formed in February 2007 with an aim of establishing a national network for different models of telecentres in Kenya. The idea came about after some telecentre organizations in Kenya participated in regional telecentre activities namely, the East Africa Telecentre Leaders Forum conference held in Uganda Kampala in October 2006 and the Africa Telecentre Leaders Forum in Benin in November 2006.
The Kenyan delegates who participated in these conferences continued interacting and exploring on ways to initiate and strengthen telecentre movement in Kenya. In February 2007 Ugunja Community Resource Centre (UCRC) through the support of Microsoft Corporation and Ugabytes Initiative hosted the first national meeting that brought together telecentre leaders in Kenya. It is out of this three days workshop that KenTel was born, when all telecentres managers present at this meeting clearly expressed the need for such a network.
To ensure that KenTel runs its activities effectively, through support from IDRC it managed to register as a company limited by guarantee. This enables KenTel to link with more telecentres, government, learning institutions and corporate in order to continuously support and ensure the sustainable growth of the network and telecentre it serves. KenTel is currently affiliated to over 30 telecentres in Kenya (see list on page 16) and this number is expected to grow. KenTel has a website (www.kenyatelecentres.org) and manage a mailing list which is used by telecentres to share experiences through online discussions on issues that affect telecentres like sustainability, technical support, fundraising, management of telecentres and connectivity among others.
In December 2009, KenTel actively participated in the study visit organized by CTA in India. The lessons learned especially on the implementation of PPP (public private partnership) model at large scale, has definitively opened up new avenues for the network strategy and alliance building.