Ministry hails strides in Kenya's ICT sector

Gideon Moi,Chair,ICT Senate Committee (right) flanked by Ngene Gituku,Chairman,Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) during the launch of the World Telecommunications and Information Day and Annual ICT Week at the Intercontinental hotel,Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina.Standard]

Kenya is on track to being an active participant in the fourth industrial revolution, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has said.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the ICT Week 2019, which coincided with The World Telecommunications and Information Society Day, Mucheru said since 2013 his ministry had facilitated the laying of over 6,000km of fiber optic broadband infrastructure network across the country’s 47 counties.

“The government aims to increase access to broadband coverage of 3G to 94 per cent of the population by 2020; and increase digital literacy in schools to 85 per cent,” said Juliana Yampan, administration secretary in the ICT ministry, who read the CS’s speech.

This is a significant given that the government has identified ICT as one of the key drivers of the Big Four Agenda. Studies have shown that of all ICTs, broadband has the highest economic impact.

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“It is anticipated that completion of the fiber optic project shall go a long way in easing the cost of doing business, as well as enhancing efficiencies in service provision,” said Ms Yampan.

She said the 2019-2023 National Broadband Strategy aims to have broadband coverage of 3G to 94 per cent of the population by 2020, an increase in digital literacy in schools to 85 per cent and 50 per cent digital literacy amongst the workforce.

Kenya has a competitive advantage over others, thanks to mobile money technology, among other innovations, and the government seeks to maintain the edge. This began by establishing a taskforce that has completed its research on Blockchain technology.

Senate Standing Committee on ICT and Innovation chairman Gideon Moi said empowerment of youth was one of the strategies to be at par with developed countries in terms of technology.

“We support innovation by Kenyan youth in tech hubs. We have a programme at the Senate to encourage youth to nurture ICT skills,” he said.

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KenyaICT Cabinet SecretaryJoe Mucheru