The youth in the country have been challenged to explore the digital space that is currently growing for the betterment of their lives.
Speaking during the official launch of Pwani Innovation Week in Mombasa, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru told young people that the cyber space has created immense opportunities for them to utilise and improve their livelihoods.
Mr Mucheru said that the opportunities that came along with the new connectivity have opened Kenya to the world making it among the competitive nations when it comes to advancement in technology.
“Kenya has positioned itself as a regional technology and innovation hub due to massive investment in ICT. Huge amount of investments are coming in because of the environment. Investors can see the opportunities that are there,” said Mucheru.
He told youth to explore extensively some of the advancement made in the introduction of another submarine fiber optic cable system that is expected to provide high-speed internet connectivity in Kenya and the rest of the east African region.
The new cable brought in by Telkom Kenya will be the sixth linking Kenya with the rest of the world and is expected to connect the country with Asia and Europe.
Other submarine cable service providers connecting Kenya and east Africa to the world include East African Marine System (TEAMS), the East African Submarine Cable System (EASSY), the Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION), SEACOM and Djibouti Africa regional Express 1(Dare1).
Following this development, CS Mucheru said that the government will stay committed to continue working and collaborating with investors in a bid to ensure the environment is conducive for innovation and technology to thrive.
He further asked young investors to at least have financial knowledge before investing in any technological field so as to be able to understand how value is being created.
“Look at the business side of your innovation, if it’s a social good, how is it going to be funded. The government is providing the platform, regulations that you need to make your idea work and grow,” added Mucheru.
ICT Chief Administrative Secretary Nadia Abdallah said the platform provided will offer an opportunity to discuss how opportunities can be harnessed to solve some of the country’s problems like unemployment among the youth.
“Pwani innovation week has provided an environment where technology and innovation will be promoted,” she said.
Pwani Innovation week is a consolidated effort by Swahili pot hub, a community space focusing on youth’s interests in technology and arts and its partners to help create a widespread culture of innovation in the coastal counties of Kenya.
Executive Director of the Pwani Innovation Week Mahmud Noor said that the aim of the innovation week is to inspire innovators, policy makers, corporates, funders, researchers and other players to take risks on new ideas and friends, collaborate across sectors and transform the Kenya Coastal region through the scaling innovation.
The four-day activity will focus on the innovative ways of working that have evolved as a result of the pandemic and its catastrophic impacts.
There will be booth camps and master classes together with hack tons to build a collaborative network for investors to unlock their potential.
“Everything you see during PIW is geared towards enabling innovators to flourish in the Coast Region that should see them leapfrog systematic change to alleviate poverty, drive inclusiveness while meeting our country’s agenda,” said Noor.
In the setting up of cyber security booth camp organised by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK), Huawei Kenya and Safaricom limited, one Charles Koome exceled and he received a certificate of excellence from the CS during the opening ceremony of the Pwani Innovation Week.
Other partners for the event are the Kenya Chambers of Commerce and Industry Mombasa Chapter, Mombasa County, Cisco, National Museum of Kenya, the Ministry of ICT, the British High Commission among others.
By Chari Suche