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Government urges swift transition to Digital Services

The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communication and the Digital Economy (MICDE) Eliud Owalo has urged both the Public and Private sectors to prioritize digitizing their services.

He said that embracing Digital Technologies unlocks numerous benefits and efficiencies, driving innovation, fueling job opportunities, and fostering economic growth.

Speaking during the Inaugural Digital Transformation Public Sector (DTPS) Forum and Awards at Sarova Whitesands Resort, Mombasa, the CS emphasized the importance of digitizing the Kenyan Economy, citing examples of establishing 1250 digital hubs in villages, training 119,000 individuals, and enabling 135,471 youth access digital jobs.

The two-day event was hosted by the Ministry of ICDE in collaboration with Greydale Africa, a Marketing Agency. Also in partnership with Amazon Web Services, Intel Africa, and Computer Revolution Africa.

Owalo emphasized the intersection of technology and governance, demonstrating how both public and private sectors are adopting digital solutions to improve service delivery with a focus on meeting citizens’ needs.

“As we identify the different gaps in institutional capacity and explore various strategies to strengthen the digital capabilities of public institutions, let us use this forum as an opportunity for leaders to learn from each other’s experiences and share best practice methods in driving digitalization,” Owalo said.

He noted that in a participatory manner, the Ministry set up a Sector Working Group three months ago to enable them to scan the operational environment, analyze the emerging issues, the technological advancements, and put them into context by way of recommendations on what needs to be done from a policy, legal and regulatory perspective.

“We want to internalize, integrate, synchronize, and synthesize everybody’s ideas so that we can come out better in the pursuit of our goals and objectives as a country,” CS emphasized.

He highlighted that with the government’s ongoing establishment of digital infrastructure, including the digitalization of services, record digitization, and initial stages of digital skill development, physical interaction between the public and government for accessing services will become unnecessary.

He urged participants at the DTPS forum and Awards ceremony to focus on digitizing all aspects of their companies, emphasizing its pivotal role in achieving success.

“I would like to reaffirm the Ministry’s unwavering commitment to advancing the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda and harnessing the power of digitalization to drive inclusive growth and prosperity for all Kenyans. Together, let us embrace the challenges and opportunities of the digital age and build a brighter future for our nation,” the CS said.

ICDE Principal Secretary, John Tanui, on his part, said that the two-day event enriched conversations on leveraging technology and digital infrastructure to achieve Digital transformation in the Public Sector.

“We have had presentations, shared successful case studies, and discussed the process of implementing digital transformation across different levels of leadership in our Ministries’ Departments and Agencies,” Tanui said.

He further explained that they used the forum as a platform to demonstrate the advancements achieved and the Ministry’s national vision, acknowledging the extensive opportunities within the digital realm.

He emphasized that leveraging these opportunities will unlock potential and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery to the nation.

However, he noted that for the citizens to benefit from these digital opportunities, there is a need to provide avenues for digital skilling, access to online education, and fostering digital entrepreneurship.

The event concluded with the awarding ceremony where the County Government of Nyandarua won the ‘Overall Winner, Digital Transformation Public Sector Awards 2024’ Category while the Nairobi County Government bagged the ‘Leader, Digital Innovation County Governments 2024’ Category.

By Fatma Said

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