The government is committed to avail State of the art technology devices that are affordable to all Kenyans, across the country.
Information, Communications and The Digital Economy (IC-DE) Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo said since ICT has become the driver and enabler of all sectors in the country’s economy, the government is keen in the development of the sector, to hasten her pursuit to become a digital economy in the areas of education, communication, innovation, finance, commerce and industry.
“It is behind this background that the Kenya Kwanza government under President William Ruto, celebrates service providers in the ICT sector, for the invaluable contribution they are making,” he said.
Owalo noted that for the country to have a vibrant digital economy, his ministry will work in partnership with other government agencies to address issues that enhance the ease of doing business, sustain a conducive policy and regulatory environment, support innovations, as well as those that encourage coordination, collaboration and stakeholders participation.
“Because of the centrality of ICT in the development of both cities and the rural areas, my ministry is keen to working with other ministries and state agencies at the National level and in County governments to support the growth of ICT for socio-economic development across the country,” said the CS.
He announced that his ministry has also embarked on availing affordable internet to all Kenyans, through state sponsored digital hotspots that will link the populations at the bottom of the society into the digital economy.
The CS was speaking during the Technology Service Providers of Kenya (TESPOK) meeting held at a Nairobi hotel where he was accompanied by the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary Esther Koimett.
Owalo said the government also has plans of expanding the digital superhighway by 100,000 km of fibre optic over the next ten years and called upon service providers to support the digital hotspot initiative and the Public Private Partnership component of the fibre optic agenda.
“The digital economy is the way to the future. Let us all work together to make Kenya a digital powerhouse in the region and beyond,” said Owalo.
He said the IC-DE Ministry, in collaboration with other relevant government Ministries, is committed to resolving regulatory challenges in the sector and singled out the on-going review of the Kenya Information and Communication Act (KICA) and the attendant regulations.
Owalo said the aim of the review is to ensure that the sector keeps pace with the rapid technological changes that have significantly impacted on the current Act and regulations, noting that in this digital era, resilient ICT services have been recognised as the backbone of critical services singling out e-Health, e-Justice and e-education, among others.
On ease of doing business, the CS said the government has committed to the digitization of 80 percent of government services to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in provision of service.
He said his Ministry will be progressing the finalisation of the legal instruments that will support the implementation of initiatives such as National Addressing System to support the roll-out of other government strategies such as the E-Commerce Strategy.
The CS said in pursuit of making Kenya an empowered digital nation the IC–DE Ministry will support like-minded partners to foster innovation.
The ministry will also support technical capacity building around governance for innovation and the development of policies and legislations that seeks to spur innovation.
“We are keen to be, not just consumers of technology but also, innovators in the digital economy,” said Owalo.
By Bernadette Khaduli