Each university in Kenya has developed its own ICT policy. How will current trends shape our lives as citizens and businesses for the economy, society and jobs of the future? Vision 2030 Blueprint views ICT and innovation as an economic enabler for the growth of other sectors.
Known as the Silicon Savannah of Africa, Kenya has seen its ICT sector grow an average of 10.8% annually since 2016, becoming a significant source of economic development and job creation with spillover effects in almost every sector of the economy. County and national government efforts must be more investment in digital infrastructure and thus result in increased competition and falling prices for internet access and ICT products.
To encourage technology innovation and the growth of the global digital economy will require stronger digital foundations, such as new regulations and policy guidelines designed to support the digital transformation. Following the President’s action to grant charter to the National Defence College, ICT and Innovation PS, Jerome Ochieng said, “the ministry prides itself in being able to impact the lives of all Kenyans, young and old, to experience technology in its full capacity.”
“As Kenya looks forward to becoming newly industrialized middle-income economy in less than a decade, the ICT sector is key in the attainment of the country’s development blueprint, the Vision 2030.”
“In this regard, the Ministry of ICT, Innovations and Youth Affairs has prioritized the key areas of the development of the National ICT policies and legal framework, infrastructure development, capacity building, content and application development, employment and wealth creation, and public private partnerships,” PS Jerome Ochieng
Currently telecommunications regulation has struggled to keep pace with the evolving market dynamics and emerging technologies, and the digital entrepreneurship space faces limited growth-oriented financing and lacks a firm pipeline of digitally-skilled talent.
Dynamic Reforms Are Crucial to Streamline Rapid Growth of the Industry
According to the PS, “the ICT ministry also aspires to develop a world-class ICT infrastructure that ensures availability, efficient, reliable and affordable ICT services. All this will be done in an effort to foster development of ICT applications and innovations in Kenya.” This will provide a larger customer base for Kenya’s digitally enabled firms and enable wider access to e-commerce and digital services for Kenyan consumers.
According to recommendations by the World Bank Economic Update, several critical reforms and investments aimed at accelerating a dynamic and inclusive digital economy for Kenya include:
Among the various tasks involving ICT Policies and Regulatory Framework whose development his State Department has already coordinated include the Draft Digital Economy Strategy, Block Chain Report, Huduma Bill, Draft Huduma Namba regulations and Public Participation, Operationalization of the Data Protection Policy (MCK developed an internal Data Protection Policy).
There remains widespread gaps in basic digital skills still limit wider usage and application of digital tools, and services and gaps in advanced digital skills limit business development.