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Gov’t challenges ICT suppliers, contractors to embrace innovations

The Principal Secretary, State Department for ICT and Innovation Jerome Ochieng’ has challenged the government ICT suppliers and contractors to be more creative and innovative to promote their businesses beyond the country.

Speaking during the forum to sensitize the accredited government ICT suppliers and contractors in Kisumu on Thursday, Jerome stressed that the government has put up measures to support local home-grown ICT innovators as well as suppliers who have embraced home grown ICT solutions.

“Government’s ICT procurement will prioritize award of tenders to Kenyan built solutions, new and innovative local businesses to allow greater participation by emerging enterprises,” stated Jerome.

The forum sponsored by the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Authority brings together the national and county government officials together with the accredited ICT suppliers and practitioners to train the players on the accreditation framework and the set ICT Standards.

The ICT Authority conducts the accreditation of government ICT suppliers and contractors to ensure order in the implementation of government ICT services as well as build the capacity of firms to undertake regional and international assignments.

Kenya, the PS said, is one of Africa’s fastest growing ICT markets where the sector has contributed hugely in spurring the national economic growth and job creation.

“ICT have increased productivity in all spheres of production process and enabled expansion of skills, contributing to improved standards of living for Kenyans,” he stated.

According to the Economic Survey 2021 report, ICT output has increased by 2.5 per cent to Sh538.3 billion in 2020.

The Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs has developed and administered the ICT standards aimed at rationalizing and streamlining the management of all Government ICT functions.

Further, Jerome said the government has invested heavily in providing ICT infrastructure across the country to support the over 250 government services that have been digitized, with plans underway to incorporate even more services online.

He urged the County governments to invest and promote the adoption of ICT and embrace the sharing of infrastructure and enterprise applications for efficient service delivery.

ICT Authority Ag. CEO Dr. Paul Ronoh while addressing the participants said the annual sensitization forums of the accredited government ICT suppliers and contractors, has improved service delivery with no supplier blacklisted for violating procurement procedures in the last 5 years.

In addition, Dr. Ronoh confirmed that there are suppliers with innovative products that needed to be invited to join government delegates during international trips to exhibit their products to the global markets.

During the workshop held at a Kisumu hotel, over 20 ICT suppliers and contractors showcased their technological solutions to attract potential business opportunities.

By Robert Ojwang’

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