Plans are underway for the government to enhance digital transformation in the country through the digitalization of all government services which aims at boosting digital competitiveness.
The Ministry of Information Communication and The Digital Economy is now implementing the Kenya National Digital Master Plan 2022-2032, as the prime enabler of the country’s digital priorities.
The Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo said the plan has five key pillars driving the digital transformation agenda.
These include: digital infrastructure, digital services and data management, digital skills, digital entrepreneurship and effective alignment to policy, legal and regulatory frameworks.
Speaking during the official opening of the Third Nation Digital Summit on enhancing Africa’s digital transformation, Owalo said the government is leveraging ICT to deliver more efficient information and public services by digitizing government records and digitalizing 5000 government services.
He said through the E-citizen platform some 839 services have already been boarded on to the portal with an average of 300 services being on boarded weekly to reach the target by June 2023.
“Our proposition of 5,000 services by June is realistic and attainable. We are targeting the private sector so that we get an impact on our economy through the shortest time possible,” he said.
“As part of our digitalization agenda towards a paperless government, the cabinet office and meetings have already been digitized, for efficiency and effectiveness,” said Owalo.
“We are correspondingly ensuring that KRA is able to chip in and ensure we have adequate resources for our tax revenue to be able to expound and bring more people on the tax base and enhance our recurrent and development expenditure,” added Owalo.
He said plans are underway to also establish and operationalize the national digital identity which will enable use of digital technologies to identify Kenyans through a national integrated identity management system that will facilitate a central master database for all citizens.
The CS noted that the database will serve as a primary source of identity for citizens adding that it will enable them access government services from the comfort of where they are.
Under the digital infrastructure pillar, the government has embarked on providing adequate internet that is available and accessible everywhere.
Owalo said they are expanding the national digital superhighway fiber optic cable by 100,000km over the next five years in partnership with the private sector.
“With cabinet approval now in place, we are now set to roll out an initial 5,000 km by June 2023 and the rest will be done by the private sector,” he said.
On the skills pillar, Owalo said the government is making people digitally literate, equipping them with digital skills for optimal uptake of online opportunities.
With digital skills, the CS said citizens can adopt, use and monetize online technical, commercial and creative artistic opportunities.
He noted digital village smart hubs and studios in each of the nation’s wards are to be designed to support learning, innovation and entrepreneurship by offering free working spaces and Wi-Fi to facilitate uptake of online jobs by youths across the country.
“So far the ministry has established and operationalized 240 hubs in collaboration with partners. This will enable citizens to access government services, engage in e-commerce and communicate with each other,” he added.
The CS noted that the country remains a trustworthy member of global digital technology forums thus making the country to be on board the global digital migration that is called the fourth industrial revolution.
By Chari Suche and Shamim Musa