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CS Joe Mucheru
The Ministry of ICT has passed a policy that proposes artificial blockchain and critical infrastructure laws, Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said recently.

Mr Mucheru, who was speaking at the Pwani Innovation Week said if enacted, they will make life easier for sector players. He said the data protection policy will also help in attracting investments creating new opportunities, programmes and jobs.

Noting that Huduma number was just the beginning, the CS observed that the country’s youth stand to gain more with plans to digitise the whole government. This, he noted will offer new opportunities.

“New opportunities will emerge. There are big opportunities in the digital economy,” he noted

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Mr Mucheru said Kenya is doing well in the film industry, adding that the film “the elephant queen” based in Kenya was bought by Apple and is one of the most popular movies at Apple.

Infrastructure layout

 He said the ministry will ensure every Kenyan watches it, noting that in Mombasa, Swahili Pot can host the movie show.

University of Nairobi lecturer and former Communications PS Prof Bitange Ndemo was among the speakers drawn from the country’s most innovative companies--Safaricon, Cellulant, Seacom, KENIC and others. He called for infrastructure layout including that for broadband internet.

“Knowledge and skills are also needed to support the 4th revolution. Despite the digital learning programme having covered 95 per cent of the schools, the teachers’ unions remain the greatest barriers.,” said Ndemo. “As such we have capacity issues. As actors should offer probono capacity building in our villages.”

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The Pwani Innovation Week is a platform for innovators and trend-setters to showcase their work, inspire creativity and identify areas of collaboration, and support the push to meet potential partners.

The event dubbed ‘Digital Economy’ was meant to explore and support creativity and innovation, the distinctive role of art; and the region’s authentic and diverse culture.

The event brought together innovators, industry leaders, opinion-makers and game-changers to showcase and discuss the latest trends and innovation in technology, art and creativity. The Innovation Week 2019 also saw a geographical expansion to all the six counties of the Coast region and had more sponsors other than before.

The climax of the innovation week was the annual “Pwani Gat Talent” that provides artists with a platform to showcase their talents and forge strategic linkages with the sector actors.

Mahmoud Noor of the SwahiliPot Hub said the platform provides a shared working space, fast internet, and access to reliable electricity, something that the continent overall still grapples with.

SEE ALSO: Lawmakers accuse Big Tech of crushing rivals to boost profits

This year, the innovation week was further devolved and had activities in Lamu, Kwale and Taita Taveta counties - growth from the previous year.

Pwani Innovation Week Chairman Michael Onyango said the initiative reaches out to the coastal communities to take up opportunities presented in the digital economy.

British High Commission envoy Suzy Kitchen said the UK has supported a number of digital solutions in Kenya, targeting agriculture and nutrition where mobile phone apps are used to give farming tips including innovation and control of pests and disease.

Others are health sector, education by use of online education content the establishment of a hub for People with Disabilities hub offering assistive technology. “The UK is committed to supporting innovation from idea, seed, growth and maturity through catalytic programmes,” she said.

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