Ahead of the Kenya Blog Awards, The Bloggers Association of Kenya ( BAKE) has called on the government to speed up the last mile internet connection to enable people create local content for online consumers.
In an interview, BAKE chairman Kennedy Kachwanya noted lack of reliable internet connection in some parts of the country more so in marginalised areas making it hard for locals to generate online content.
“There is still not enough local content coming from rural areas, we attribute this to lack of last mile connectivity making internet inaccessible to many in these areas,” he said.
“We want the government and internet services providers to address this issue as soon as possible to enable people open up blogs and contribute on areas such as education, health, and agriculture,” he said.
He noted that many people were looking for local content online and the only way to satisfy the demand was to increase internet penetration in the country including rural areas. Mr Kachwanya added that the Kenya Blog Awards were one way that they were working with corporates such as Airtel to increase interest in local content creation.
By 2014, the Communication Authority estimated Kenyan Internet users to be at 21.6 million. Kachwanya anticipates that the number will grow in the coming years following a raft of measures they have put in place to drive up local content.
“We have discovered that many Kenyans surf Internet to look for issues closer to them and they want to get it from home grown sites as opposed to BBC or CNN, we are currently moving across the country trying to educate Kenyans on how to run professional blogs,” he said in an interview.
“Part of our programme also includes talking to advertisers to consider working with local bloggers in promoting their products as a way of supporting the industry.”
BAKE was formed in 2011 with an aim of bringing like-minded people to write on various topics to improve Kenya’s local content online. The association members follow code of ethics and train individuals on how to run professional blogs and make money.
In less than a week, big names in the media and blogging industry are scheduled to grace the annual bloggers awards event which will be held on May 2.
The decorated Awards launched the voting phase of the BAKE Kenyan Blog Awards 2015 and revealed the nominees in each category on April 2, 2015 to end on April 30 2015.
This year’s awards, sponsored by Airtel and themed “Content is King” will bring together various online content creators including corporate organizations, celebrities, SMEs, county governments, and national government agencies for an evening to celebrate the growth of the Kenya blogging space.
The awards will fete bloggers in 18 categories; technology, photography, creative writing, business, food, environmental, agriculture, fashion, politics, sports, topical, corporate, Lifestyle/Entertainment, Travel, New Blog, County, Education, Health & the Kenyan Blog of the Year. Over 1800 blogs were submitted and people are still voting for their favorite Kenyan blogs in the competition till April 30th 2015 at www.blogawards.co.ke/vote.