Senator Allan Chesang elected as Senate ICT Committee Chairperson

Senate chambers during the pre-swearing sessions of the 4th Senate at the Senate grounds, Parliament buildings, Nairobi on September 7, 2022 [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Trans Nzoia Senator Allan Chesang and Nominated Senator Gloria Orwoba have been elected as Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Senate Information, Communication and Technology Committee.

Chesang and Orwoba were unanimously elected by all members of the committee drawn from Kenya Kwanza Alliance and Azimio La Umoja Coalition and have promised to spearhead the ICT Sector which is key in the country's economic growth.

Chesang said that currently, digital connectivity penetration in the country stands at 92 per cent and that his agenda is to work with the Government of President William Ruto to ensure that the reach is 100 per cent which will enable the update of transactions from manual to digital from the Ward level.

"The National Government has laid the National Optic Fiber Backbone across the 47 Counties but some areas are still experiencing challenges with the project including connectivity and damaged infrastructure which require urgent attention," said Chesang.

Chesang said the committee is looking forward to working with the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) digital academy to educate more Kenyans at the county level to be able to shift their efforts and invest in the country and access digital platforms to be able to trade at the NSE.

The Senator said that 13 years have gone by since the launch of what was first trumpeted by the Kenyan government in 2008 as being the future "best-planned" city in Africa and the country's vision to become the silicon Savanah of Africa dubbed as the Konza City.

"An agenda we are quickly going to look into is Konza Technopolis Development Authority since we have many Fintech companies starting in Kenya, we can look into using them to revive Konza City and make it a pride of Kenya being created jobs for many youths," said Chesang.

Senator Orwoba said that they will make use of expertise in ICT having worked as Facebook Data Centre Manager in Denmark to promote the ICT Sector in the country since it is a major cogwheel in the country's development and it is being given priority by President Ruto.

Orwoba said that having majority of Kenyans with skills in ICT is a priority to the committee and that they will liaise with the relevant players to ensure that this is achieved during their five years tenure in efforts to ensure that the Kenya Kwanza Alliance Manifesto is achieved.

"ICT is one of the fastest growing industries directly creating millions of jobs, but it is an enabler of development which is crucial in reducing poverty, improving access to health and education services and creating new sources of income and employment for the poor," said Orwoba.

Committee Members: Samson Cherargey (Nandi), Godfrey Osotsi(Vihiga), Shakila Abdalla (Nominated), Issa Boy (Kwale), Karen Nyamu(Nominated), Beatrice Oyomo (Nominated) and Miraj Abdulrahman(Nominated) pledged to work with the leadership to achieve its goals.

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