CS Owalo: We want to position Kenya as global ICT hub

Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Kenya needs to enhance its tech infrastructure and digital skills to position itself as a global ICT hub, Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo has said.

The CS, whose docket also handles ICT, said the country had the potential of becoming a manufacturer and exporter of digital skills rather than an importer.

Owalo, who spoke at the opening of the Jamhuri Tech and Innovation Summit 2022, detailed how the government was gearing towards transforming the country into a global ICT hub.

He said that could happen if the government works with both local and international partners to expand the national fibre optic network by 100,000 kilometres.

The end goal, as earlier revealed by President William Ruto, is to have every home connected to power which is 8.5 million, and every market centre estimated at 29,000, be connected to the Internet.

"We have begun to provide government-funded Internet to the public through State-funded hotspots," said Owalo. "We expect to provide up to 25,000 of these over the next five years."

Owalo said the hotspots would transform villages and marketplaces into digital hubs.

He reiterated the President's pronouncement to digitise all government services in six months.

"We have digitised 350 government services and processes. We are now working on bringing the number to 5,000 over the next six months which will also see the Cabinet work digitally," he said.

He said all government records would be digitised in five years.

He said the initiatives would create jobs and reduce the cost of living.

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