ICT CS Eliud Owalo Calls for Investors to Support Digital Economy Agenda

Eliud Owalo

Eliud Owalo, the CS for Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy, has invited both local and international investors to collaborate with the government in fulfilling the nation’s comprehensive Digital Economy Agenda.

This Digital Economy Agenda is one of President Ruto’s goals and was mentioned widely in his manifesto before the 2022 August polls.

This development was announced during the launch of the National Mind Education Program by IYF, where the CS was represented by the Director of Administration (ICT and The Digital Economy), Mr. Wesley Maritim.

Owalo expressed openness to new partners in their projects, stating that the ministry’s mandate had expanded to include the Digital Economy due to the realization that the country was increasingly becoming a knowledge-based economy.

The plans

Over the next few years, the Ruto administration aims to achieve universal broadband access across the country by deploying connectivity nationwide.

To meet this goal, the government plans to lay out more than 100,000 km of fibre optic network, as well as digitization of 80% of its services.

The National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure Project (NOFBI) has already facilitated the creation of over 9,000 km of terrestrial fibre optic network, linking all Kenyan counties, and the last-mile connectivity program has connected 1,650 public institutions and offices.

A report from the Fibre Broadband Association predicts that households will require 2,141 Mbps speeds in the next decade.

The government is also planning to reduce the cost of calling and buying data bundles to encourage more young people to use the internet for business, learning, entertainment, and socialization.

This initiative aligns with efforts to enhance the creative economy and increase cultural production and the arts industry.

The administration adds that it is committed to developing more arts and culture infrastructure such as theaters, music auditoriums, and art galleries and refurbishing existing facilities to expand spaces for artistic and cultural expression and production.

The President had mentioned that digitization and automation of all critical government processes would enable greater convenience and availability of government services throughout the country.

The government is also pursuing the installation of 25,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots across the country.

Other significant initiatives include the completion of the Konza Technopolis and the reform of national broadcasters such as Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), Postal Corporation of Kenya (Posta), and the Kenya News Agency (KNA).