On Friday January 22nd 2016, stakeholders in the ICT industry from captains of industry to scholars and even enthusiasts converged at the Nairobi Serena Hotel with the intent of presenting their ICT wishlist for the first 100 days to the newly appointed ICT CS. The wishlist consisted of policy and legal issues, regulatory issues, human capital issues as well as ICT information infrastructure losses gathered from the Public. Here are the key highlights from the wishlist
Policy & legal issues
Stakeholders sought inclusivity in policy development/implementation by including civil society, academia, media, tech community. In addition, holding consultative meetings with industry and community on ICT regulation including East African Electronic Transactions Act; CA Regulations and Data Protection Bill. Stakeholders also sought regular project status updates for ICT projects and initiatives to enhance clarity in management of government ICT projects. One key area singled out was the Universal Service Fund with stakeholders asking to have it opened up to public participation as far as policy development, concepts, & selection of projects is concerned. Others raised including the restructuring of Telkom Kenya as well as the establishing of the office of government CIO as well as empowering Ecommerce through tax incentives. These will be reviewed after 100 days.
Stakeholders asked the CS to work towards increasing household internet penetration in the counties. This is in addition towards taking steps aimed at bringing the cost of internet access down. Stakeholders also asked the CS to revitalize engagement with the Kenya ICT Community, through KICTANET, the KE-IGF, roundtables, particularly on internet governance. Other measures to be taken include giving incentives to companies like Zuku, Safaricom & JTL to roll out broadband in as many counties as possible which will make it easy to set up an ICT business anywhere in Kenya. In addition, ensuring roll out of 3G and 4G in counties beyond Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Nakuru.
Human Capital Issues
Stakeholders asked the CS to in 100 days enhance the Digital Literacy Program (Laptop project) by extending it to university students through Wezesha Laptop project. In addition, provide high-end skills to the youth in order to target high-end BPO jobs with the intent of leveraging technology to tackle unemployment. Other key issues highlighted with the intent of solving human capital needs include creating linkages between industry and academia to bridge the gap between university and labor markets. This will also include ensuring quality of computer science/IT/Eng curriculum and faculty in the universities.
ICT Information infrastructure issues
Stakeholders proposed the automation of processes in Huduma Centers. This is in addition to implementing the government shared services. Another proposal sought to leverage technology to streamline traffic flow in Nairobi. Further included was encouraging creation of local content as well as creation of an electronic health record.