The ICT Authority and the Ministry of ICT and Digital Economy have revealed that the Connected Kenya summit will be held in Kwale County, starting from April 2 to April 5. The show was also held last year (2022), after a hiatus following the pandemic.
During the announcement of this development, ICT CS Eliud Owalo, who was present revealed some plans that the government has in place to accelerate digital adoption in Kenya.
Ideally, and based on his presentation, the government has been implementing various initiatives to promote digital transformation and create a knowledge-based economy.
Among these initiatives are several flagship projects that aim to enhance the country’s digital infrastructure, provide internet access to more people, and promote the use of technology in government services.
Owalo has revealed that the government is keen on fibre optic infrastructure development. To this end, the government is developing 100,000 km of fiber optic infrastructure to improve internet connectivity across the country. This will provide faster and more reliable internet access to more people, especially those in rural areas.
Secondly, state-funded Wi-Fi hotspots will be pursued extensively this year. This, according to the CS, is geared toward making the internet more accessible to the public. Thusly, the government is rolling out 25,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country to enable more people to access the internet for free, especially those who cannot afford to pay for their own connection.
Owalo has also mentioned innovation hubs, for which he says that the government is setting up 1,450 of them across the country to support the growth of the technology industry. These hubs will provide a space for tech entrepreneurs and innovators to collaborate, share ideas, and develop new products and services.
Automation and digitalization of government services were also mentioned at the start of the Ruto government tenure under the Digital Superhighway program. The CS reports the government is accelerating the automation and digitalization of all core government services at both the national and county levels. This will make it easier for citizens to access government services online, such as applying for permits or paying taxes. Some services such as access to birth and death certificates will also be digitized in the coming days.
There is also the case of the National Physical Addressing System, which has taken a very long time to implement. Nonetheless, Owalo says that the government is implementing the same to help businesses and individuals locate and access services more easily. This will also promote the growth of e-commerce in the country.
Lastly, the government is providing digital literacy training to citizens to ensure that everyone has the skills and knowledge needed to fully participate in the digital economy.
These flagship projects are just some of the ways that the government of Kenya is working to promote digital transformation and create a more inclusive and equitable society. By investing in technology and innovation, Kenya is positioning itself as a leader in the technology industry.