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Unpacking Kenya’s ambitious ICT master plan

FINANCIAL STANDARD
By FRANKLINE SUNDAY | April 22nd 2014

By FRANKLINE SUNDAY

Kenya: The 2013/14 ICT Master Plan was relaunched last week. It banks on increased access to cheaper ICT solutions to propel Kenya towards being the East African region’s ICT hub within the next four years.

The master plan, which relies heavily on public-private sector partnerships, is expected to help the country’s ICT sector become a standalone economic sector in two years’ time, create 180,000 jobs and contribute 8 per cent of national income.

Digital manifesto

Speaking at the launch, ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the master plan, which was a revision of one launched last year, was tweaked to include the Jubilee administration’s digital manifesto.

“This is in recognition of the fact that ICT has a critical role in driving the economic, social and political development of Kenya as espoused in Vision 2030. It is a roadmap to a knowledge economy and society that will lead to real socio-economic growth.”

The master plan is anchored on three major foundations: ICT human capital and workforce development, integrated ICT infrastructure, and integrated information infrastructure.

It also expects stronger participation from the education sector within the next three years by turning the spotlight on ICT academics.

The report calls for “increased PhD output from local universities in the areas of computer science, information systems and electrical/electronic engineering by at least 100 per year by 2017”.

Further, 30 to 40 per cent of the ICT faculty in local universities will be expected to have doctoral degrees and become active researchers.

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