The government will continue to expand the ICT space as it seeks to leverage on technology as an enabler to the big four agenda.
Ministry of Information Communications and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary (CS), Joe Mucheru said that during the initiation of the big four agenda, ICT was cited as an enabler and the focus is on how to make this a reality.
Speaking during the official opening of the ICT week on Wednesday, Mucheru said that the local manufacturing of the school laptops by two universities – Moi and the Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT) – has proved that the country can venture into the manufacturing and assembly sector.
“We have people who want to come in and participate in the manufacturing and assembly of mobile phones and other products, this will go a long way in reducing the prices of electronics, as well as employing many youths,” said Mucheru.
He said that on universal access to healthcare agenda, ICT will be used for speedy identification of people at the health facility, enhanced records management, tracking of medical delivery among others.
“Technology will also allow us to explore the adoption of telemedicine and use of artificial intelligence capabilities for diagnosis which will increase efficiency and better use of resources,” he explained.
“Leveraging on block chain in the digitization of lands records will create efficiency and speed in the processing of land records, Kenyans will be assured of the transparency by the government providing a trusted platform for verification of ownership,” said Mucheru.
“As you are aware the national assembly recently passed the computer and cybercrime bill which has now being signed in top law by the President.”
Mucheru said that they are cognizant of the need to conserve the environment and as a ministry they will be plant 400, 000 trees in Konza city.
“The Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI), the Konza Metropolis and the Communications Authority (CA) will jointly set up a trees planting nursery with a capacity of one million seedlings and they will offer these seedlings to the neighboring schools and communities at no cost.
“I have directed the heads of department that each employee of the Ministry of Information Communications and Technology (MOICT) starting with myself to plant 1, 000 tress minimum which will translate to 600, 000 trees as we target 10 percent tree cover in the country,” said the CS.
The Communication Authority (CA) Director General, Francis Wangusi said that they target to connect all the 8, 500 public secondary schools in Kenya to high-speed broadband connectivity over the next five years.
“This initiative aims at improving the delivery of educational content and quality learning facilitated by ICT platforms. This being the initial year of the project the authority aims to connect 896 public secondary schools with broadband access by the end of June,” said Wangusi.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a