Connected Kenya kicked off yesterday, and the official event was marked by a number of speeches from key guests and organizer, the ICT Authority. This time around, the show, which ends on Thursday this week, has managed to round up more than 50 partners from the private sector.
Read More: Connected Kenya 2023 Kickoff: Media Gag, Local Smartphone Assembly, and Expanded eCitizen Use Cases
Also critical to the first round of speeches was an assessment by telco Safaricom, which was represented by its Director for ICT, George Njuguna.
It emerged that Safaricom is committed to cybersecurity as the government pushes for digitization.
Similar to recent trends, cybercrime is on the rise globally, and Safaricom says it is focused on providing accessible and affordable technology with cyber protection as its core to safeguard critical assets and data.
In 2022, Africa incurred a total cost of KES 400B due to cybercrime, with Kenya accounting for KES 54B of that amount.
The carrier, which has more than 43 million SIM card subscriptions as of December 2022, launched Lipa Mdogo Mdogo, a device financing initiative that has provided device affordability options to over one million customers who could not have afforded a 4G device.
The service has been successful to a notable extent after selling more than half a million devices, and companies such as HMD Global, which has a presence in Kenya with its Nokia devices, plan to launch a similar program in partnership with M-KOPA in the near future.
Build solutions in Kenya for Kenya (BOSS)
Safaricom developed the BOSS initiative to build solutions in Kenya and create job opportunities for young people.
According to Njuguna, over the last six months, the company has engaged over 3000 university students through Build by Safaricom and worked to influence curriculum and projects toward the growth of ICT skills in the country.
Safaricom’s Engineering Community was also launched in 2022 and has since garnered more than 5000 members, ten times the membership at its start.
“We graduated over 600 students from our Digital Talent Program at the Jamhuri Day Celebrations, but also launched our Safaricom engineering community in July last year with many of the partners in this room, and have now grown to over 5000 developers across the country,” said Director Njuguna.
My County App
The My County App by Safaricom is a notable development that offers a single platform with shared architecture to enable every county to launch a digital services platform.
This platform provides an open architecture to support services for counties, including revenue management and citizen services, that are accessible via the web, mobile, or the My County App.
It works similar to eCitizen, where the government plugs in its services for Kenyans to access them digitally (it has since onboarded more than 4000 services, and the goal is to hit the 5000-mark by June 2023).
Recently, Safaricom announced a partnership with the Nairobi City County Government to digitize their services and develop a My Nairobi App to provide all their services digitally.
Safaricom is also working closely with the Council of Governors to pilot these digital solutions, including Elgeyo, whose governor has challenged Safaricom to partner in transforming the lives of communities across the county and the country.
The Governor, Wisley Kipyegon Rotich, has also challenged other tech firms to use the county as a test spot for their products and services.
Fibre across the country
Remember, the Kenya Kwanza government promised to lay over 100k km of fibre across the country by the end of its first term in accordance with its Digital Superhighway promise. So far, it has managed to install over 25k km of fibre.
Reportedly, it is partnering with Safaricom for this exercise, although there could be other partners such as Telkom Kenya that have done substantial work in terms of expanding their fibre coverage in Kenya.
“We are committed to supporting the government in the roll-out of the 100,000kms of fiber, already we have 13,000kms of fibre,” said George Njuguna.
We will keep updating you about the developments at the summit.