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Safaricom "working hard" on Kenya's national security system

Safaricom “working hard” on Kenya’s national security system.

Phase one of Kenya's hi-tech surveillance network is expected to be completed by year-end, says the chief executive officer (CEO) of Safaricom Bob Collymore.

Safaricom, which is Kenya's biggest mobile phone company, is carrying out the $170 million government tender.

The 'National Service Police Project' spans Nairobi and Mombasa, and the project was fast-tracked amid attacks carried out by Somali militant group al Shabaab in the country.

"[The system] will enable the entire security apparatus including those relating to disaster management, to have a more proactive approach to avoiding most of the criminal incidents affecting the country, and at the same time allow them a faster response time," Collymore said.

"We are working hard to ensure that we complete the first tranche of this assignment in Nairobi and Mombasa within the next four months," he added.

Work on the project's first phase comes after the tender was frozen by Kenya's parliament in June as lawmakers questioned whether government followed correct procedures in awarding the contract to Safaricom.

But Kenya's Public Procurement Oversight Authority and parliament's Administration and National Security Committee subsequently re-approved the contract in July.

And the first "tranche" of the project includes the setup of the Central Command Centre, the laying of the network infrastructure and the installation of CCTV cameras in Nairobi.

Once completed, the project is planned to have 1,800 CCTV cameras, 7,600 new police phones, and 600 vehicle mounted systems.

"[The system] will enable the entire security apparatus including those relating to disaster management, to have a more proactive approach to avoiding most of the criminal incidents affecting the country, and at the same time allow them a faster response time," Collymore said.

Safaricom said it also envisages that over 1,200 jobs could be created as the project progresses.

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