The government is committed to working with the private sector on the potential presented by emerging digital technologies for the benefit of our national economy, Information Communications and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary (CS) Joe Mucheru has said.
Mucheru said that many of our people are yet to fully appreciate the benefits that emerging technologies will bring to their lives, adding that adoption of these emerging technologies will transform the Kenyan economy by creating opportunities to solve current problems, including unemployment, corruption, insecurity and poverty.
“I am therefore pleased to note that the industry is alive to the reality that leveraging on technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) is a progressive step towards streamlining Government operations and enhancing public service delivery,” said the CS.
In a speech read in his behalf by his advisor Dr. Jane Munga on Thursday during the opening of the third East African IoT and AI summit at a Nairobi hotel, Mucheru said that these technologies will create new opportunities for Kenyan workers through the Ajira platform and propel the country forward and position Kenya as a regional and international leader in the ICT domain.
“The digital revolution has also given rise to new technology-enabled and platform-driven business models, which have had a profound transformation on the digital economy. These digital platforms create value by aggregating ecosystems of end-users and producers, and using technology to facilitate transactions between them. Such platforms enable information sharing and promote collaborations that lead to the creation of new products and services,” explained the CS.
Mucheru added that the government of Kenya is deliberately working with industry to chart the country’s path towards digital transformation saying, “We appreciate that the advent and adoption of disruptive technologies has totally transformed the global economy, revolutionised business models and has even changed the nature of jobs.”
The CS said that new possibilities for our businesses have been created and companies are now able to increase productivity by scaling. Customer service is improving and new revenue and earning streams have been created.
“Last month, we launched the Distributed Ledger and Artificial Intelligence Taskforce Report which outlines the emerging technologies opportunities for Kenya,” said Mucheru.
He went on to say that the report contextualises and lays a foundational framework on how emerging technologies can transform Kenya and help solve some of our lingering problems such as reducing the problem of corruption, ensuring food security by minimising waste and losses on the supply chain, delivering adaptive learning and reducing the number of young people discriminated in the current educational system.
“The key conclusion in the report is the need for government to invest in a supportive ecosystem and to develop effective regulations to balance citizen protection and private sector innovation,” said the CS adding that these solutions, will take concerted government and Private sector partnerships.
“I therefore, invite you to review the report and share your views on how we actualise the recommendations therein,” he said.
Mucheru said that all these technological advancements are being supported by the government’s heavy investment in the National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI), which has enhanced broadband connectivity to all government facilities such as police stations, hospitals, court-rooms, schools, TVETs and institutions of higher learning, among others.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a