The GIZ Digital Transformation Centre (DTC) Kenya launched The Green and Digital Innovation Hub Kenya (gDIH) on Tuesday during this year’s Kenya Innovation Week (KIW). The gDIH is an initiative to support micro to small and medium-sized enterprises in Kenya (MSMEs). The initiative will provide MSMEs and start-ups country-wide with access to technology and innovation resources.
The Green and Digital Innovation Hub will focus on Agriculture, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), and Energy as foundational sectors. Underpinning these sectors are cutting-edge technologies including Automation (AI, IoT/Sensor Networks), Cyber/IT Security, Cloud Computing, and Smart Cities. The gDIH believes that focusing on the aforementioned sectors and technologies has a huge potential to shape the digital and green transition.
In efforts to foster a culture of digital innovation and entrepreneurship, the Hub will equip MSMEs with a comprehensive range of services necessary to thrive in a digital economy. This will include skills development, access to finance, testing facilities, and innovation ecosystem building. Additionally, the Hub will serve as a platform for collaboration, learning and growth while promoting environmentally sustainable business practices.
The gDIH will open next month. It will be operated by a consortium led by the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS). Other entities part of the consortium include Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute, the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Kenya National Innovation Agency and Konza Technopolis. Notably, the gDIH will be located in Nairobi but accessible to all MSMEs in Kenya, regardless of their location.
The launch ceremony also featured the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by representatives of GIZ and the ACTS Consortium. In addition, the launch also included the unveiling of the official gDIH website.
Mr. Bernd Lakemeier, Programme Director Sustainable Economic Development, GIZ Kenya, emphasized, “This Hub marks a significant stride towards a more sustainable and digitally advanced Kenya, with its potential to bring about transformative effects on the market and industry. As the digital economy evolves and competition becomes more intense, the gDIH stands as a distinctive platform for MSMEs to level the playing field, ensuring equitable access to digital innovation opportunities for all MSMEs in Kenya, irrespective of their geographical location.”
Prof. Tom Ogada, the Team Lead of the ACTS consortium, added: “Embedding a green ethos into technological advancements holds substantial implications for Kenya’s sustainable development and economic growth. By fostering collaborations with diverse stakeholders and organizations, we are committed to extending the Hub’s influence beyond Nairobi to encompass all 47 counties, facilitating linkages to expertise, markets, and access to capital beyond the borders of our nation.”