Government's plan to deliver digital economy is gradually taking shape

A person plugging in a cable to a wireless router. [iStockphoto]

One of the key promises by the Kenya Kwanza administration was to transform provision of services by leveraging technology. Well, the promise is on course with ongoing implementation of the Kenya National Digital Master Plan 2022-2032 which underpins the country’s digital plans.

The ambitious plan centres around five pillars; digital services and data management, digital skills, digital entrepreneurship, and effective alignment to policy, legal, and regulatory frameworks. The ultimate aim of the project is to enable the government to deploy technology to improve public services by digitising government records and services while fostering an innovation and entrepreneurship culture. Going digital will be a game-changer in transforming the economy, creation of the much needed jobs and in driving financial and economic inclusion. 

In a revolutionary move, 5,000 services are now accessible through the e-Citizen portal. The president set the pace by quickly making the Cabinet office and meetings digital with the aim of fostering efficiency and effectiveness. Now this shift to a paperless government can only gather momentum.

As part of the plan to attain efficiency in rendering public service, the government also plans to implement the national digital identity, which will converge all crucial identification documents through a national integrated identity management system. 

Among the biggest challenges that Kenya is grappling with today is lack of employment, especially among our youthful population. In fact, joblessness is one among the top crises facing our country. However, it inspires hope that the government is making deliberate and serious interventions in a bid to address this challenge.

The government has identified technology as the centre-piece of its plans aimed at fostering job creation. This explains why Kenya Kwanza administration is focusing on projects such as digital superhighway, Konza Technopolis, digital hubs in wards, and free Wi-Fi in markets and trading centres.

Konza has made admirable progress, inching closer to being a reality. Besides generating thousands of jobs, the smart city, alongside other digital initiatives will cement Kenya’s profile as a Silicon Savannah.

The projects that are currently ongoing in Konza are an Intelligent Transport System and Integrated Control Centre, the establishment of a Startup Ecosystem and the development of Smart Logistics.

The government has also allocated Sh5.74 billion for construction of the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, a digital university domiciled within the Konza Technopolis.

The university will train and produce graduates of science, technology and innovation as part of the government’s interventions to drive digital transformation through skills enhancement. Under the country’s digital masterplan, Konza is also tasked with driving promotion of cloud services and data management.

The setting up of digital hubs in all the 1,450 wards across the country will bring massive benefits once fully implemented. These hubs will not only be instrumental in provision of digitised government services, they will enable innovative youths to tap the rapidly growing global e-commerce and digital economy for jobs and to boost their enterprises.

Besides provision of high-speed internet connection, the hubs are designed to offer cutting-edge technical facilities and services which include meeting rooms, event and training spaces. Entrepreneurs and small businesses will also be able to interact and network which will help in sharing ideas and insights regarding their respective sectors. With such features, the centres have a huge potential to turn tide of widespread unemployment in the country.