The 11th ICT ‘Connected Summit 2022’ in Kwale County, came to a close, yesterday, with organizers and participants agreeing on a ten-year ICT Master Plan (2022-2032).
The Master Plan is anchored on four pillars of digital infrastructure, digital services and data management, digital skills and innovations and enterprise and digital business was unveiled.
The four-day conference which was guided by the theme ‘accelerating digital transformation’ was organized by the Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Authority.
The forum held at Leisure Lodge Resort, brought together a broad range of industry players from the private and public sector and academia and deliberated on issues that are shaping the ICT landscape and the transformational role it plays in all sectors of the economy.
The Conference covered a broad range of topics such as digital infrastructure growth, emerging and smart technologies, ICT as an economic accelerator, open data and data protection, digital currency, cyber security and catalyzing e-commerce for employment and wealth creation among other relevant topics.
The master plan seeks to provide the roadmap for the structured delivery of ICT in Kenya and create a digital society and economy that is able to exploit the national, regional and global opportunities presented by the dynamic sector.
The summit that attracted local and international digital technology exhibitors were informed that Kenya has the highest percentage of internet users in Africa, opening opportunities for the country to transform into a globally competitive digital economy.
This will allow the populations to take part in business, governance, democracy and social services.
ICT and Innovations Principal Secretary (PS), Jerome Ochieng, who presided over the official closing ceremony thanked the participants and presenters alike for their invaluable contributions that will go a long way in accelerating the country’s digital transformation.
Ochieng said the annual summit offers the platform where industry players, government, innovators and other key stakeholders share and exchange on how ‘ICT can continue to be a catalyst of service delivery’.
“Indeed by its very nature technology is ever changing and disruptive and it is the very reason why as a sector and experts three is need to have deep discussions on how to accelerate digital transformation in Kenya,” he said.
The PS said this year’s ‘connected summit’ comes at a time Kenya is fast transforming into a regional ICT hub courtesy of huge investment in the sector propelling the country into a ‘globally competitive digital economy’.
“It has been about building networks and enhancing partnerships among stakeholders and has highlighted the critical role of ICT in achieving sustainable socio-economic development,” said the PS.
Ochieng said the government will continue to pursue reduced digital gap, digital economy transformation and open and inclusive digital governance.
He acknowledged the importance of modern technology in policy and informed decision making, noting that ICT is at the ‘heart of many sustainable development issues globally’.
Ochieng said he hopes the summit will adopt a permanent stature and become a vibrant showcase not only in Kenya but also become an ‘African spectacle with lasting impact beyond our borders’.
“By going continental we will be able to showcase Africa’s capabilities, build better cooperation among industry players and open new markets and spur socio-economic development,” he said.
Ochieng said these ambitions are strongly echoed in Africa’s Agenda 2063 and African Continental Free Trade Area strategic framework, which aims to accelerate intra-African trade and boost Africa’s trading position in the global market by strengthening its common voice and policy space in global trade negotiations.
ICT Authority Ag Director-General (DG), Dr. Kipronoh Ronoh, says the Annual Summit provides a crucial platform where industry players can showcase and present their latest technological innovations and inventions.
Dr. Ronoh says the event over the years aims to promote the information technology sector besides strengthening and fostering long-term relationships between all ICT stakeholders.
He said the Authority is out to create an ICT ecosystem that will provide Kenyans especially the youth requisite environment to unleash their innovativeness where the fruits of their innovations will be harvested.
The DG said innovators, entrepreneurs, investors and corporates from all around Kenya and beyond gather to get inspired, learn and share ideas at the connected summit.
“We have managed to achieve a lot over the last ten years, among them deployment of over 9,000 Km of National Fibre Optic cable across the country, which has been made possible through partnerships with the private sector,” said Dr. Ronoh.
By Hussein Abdullahi