Kenya's digitalisation agenda aligned to SDG 8

As Kenya embarks on a transformative journey, the Ministry of Information, Communication, and the Digital Economy takes pride in leading at this pivotal time. Our mandate focuses on leveraging digital technology for inclusive growth and aligns with the ambitious Kenya Kwanza Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8.

Kenya's digital transformation, under the leadership of President Dr William Samoei Ruto, is not only a technological revolution but also a strategic alignment of the Kenya Kwanza agenda with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8.

This alignment is pivotal in fostering consistent, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, productive employment, and decent work for all, reflecting the core values of the Kenya Kwanza agenda.

SDG 8, which focuses on promoting consistent, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all, is at the core of our digital strategy. Through expanding digital infrastructure, fostering digital literacy, and creating economic opportunities, we are laying the groundwork for a future where every Kenyan thrives in the digital age.

Key to our mission is the expansion of digital connectivity. In partnership with The World Bank and others, we are embarking on a plan to add 100,000 kilometers of digital connectivity and rejuvenate the National Optical Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI). This is more an infrastructure project, it's a lifeline connecting the most remote areas of the country to the global digital economy.

Beyond the optic fiber backbone, the establishment of 247 digital hubs and 518 public Wi-Fi hotspots across all 47 counties democratizes access to digital resources, empowering communities and creating employment opportunities. This aligns with the belief that digital connectivity is a right, not a privilege, crucial for promoting decent work and economic growth.

Digitizing 16,691 government services redefines citizen-government interaction, advancing the Kenya Kwanza agenda’s focus on effective governance and contributing to inclusive economic growth aligned with SDG 8.

In youth development, initiatives like Jitume Digital Enablement and Ajira Digital Programs equip over 390,000 youths with vital ICT skills, aligning with the Kenya Kwanza agenda that emphasises youth empowerment and SDG 8’s productive employment goals.

Collaborating with mobile network operators to produce low-cost digital devices supports digital entrepreneurship, fostering innovation and economic growth, in line with the Kenya Kwanza Agenda and SDG 8.

The Open University of Kenya, a digital learning platform, transforms education accessibility, reflecting our commitment to aligning with SDG 8 and preparing the workforce for the future.

While celebrating milestones, we acknowledge challenges. The gig economy, while offering flexibility and new opportunities, also brings to the fore issues of job security and fair wages. We are committed to creating a balanced ecosystem where innovation thrives alongside the protection of workers' rights.

Looking ahead, we continue to explore emerging technologies like AI and blockchain. These technologies are not just about keeping up with global trends, they are about reimagining the future of Kenya's economy, governance, and society.

In conclusion, our united efforts must be unwaveringly directed towards steering Kenya into a digital future that epitomizes ambition, inclusivity, and sustainability. This pivotal journey, integral to the Kenya Kwanza agenda, signifies a transformative leap in establishing a resilient digital economy that benefits every Kenyan. In this era, digital technology transcends its role as a mere tool, emerging as a pivotal force for inclusive growth and development, perfectly aligned with the goals of SDG 8.

This transformative phase demands more than just technological advancements; it calls for elevating the digital skills of every Kenyan, enabling them to navigate the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities of our times.

 The writer is the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communication and the Digital Economy in Kenya.

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