Ministry’s roadmap sets new vision for ICT sector

CS Information, Communication and the Digital Economy, Mr Eliud Owalo (sixth left), with ICT PS John Tanui (fifth left) and Broadcasting PS Edward Kisiang’ani (fourth right) and CEOs of State corporations in the ministry and development partners representatives during the launch of the Strategic Plan in Nairobi. Third right is Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board CEO Lilian Kimeto.

Kenyans should expect increased broadband connectivity, enhanced e-government initiatives, heightened war on cybercrime and enhanced entrepreneurship in the technology industry in the next five years.

This is according to the Information, Communications and the Digital Economy Ministry Strategic Plan 2023-2027 that was launched last week in Nairobi.

The document outlines the roadmap for the ministry and the sector during the period, with CS Eliud Owalo noting that the bigger plan is to put digital technology at the centre of the country’s transformation and boost its contribution to the economy.

During the period, the ministry will also foster digital literacy programmes, ensure that citizens have the necessary skills to participate in the digital economy, make e-commerce vibrant, deepen access to low-cost devices and universal access to information and internet services.

Efforts to ensure that the public complies with the data protection laws will also be enhanced, according to the strategic plan.

“This plan ensures that the ministry’s vision of an informed and digitally-empowered Kenyan society is aligned to the government’s transformative agenda, Vision 2030, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Africa Agenda 2063 and other national government priorities,” the CS said.

The document identifies seven key result areas namely policy, legal and institutional frameworks, digital superhighway and telecommunications infrastructure, digital government services and products, universal access to information, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and local content development, governance, finance and human capital development and cyber security, data governance and emerging technologies.

“This plan is part of efforts to ensure that priority programmes and projects in the sector are implemented under the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA),” said Owalo.

The Principal Secretary, Broadcasting and Telecommunication, Edward Kisiang’ani said that main agenda of the strategic plan is to ensure that the government speaks in one voice, to serve the people and ultimately ensure its key institution achieve their goals.

“The policy in government is that we must help our national institutions to operate by adequately availing the required resources. We must protect national institutions and give space for the private sector to operate freely,” he said.

Eng John Tanui, the ICT and the Digital Economy PS, observed that the strategic plan prioritises the development of enabling infrastructure to ease the cost of doing business and expressed optimism in its success.

“I have no reservation that the Strategic Plan 2023-2027 will be a catalyst towards the future direction for the ICT sector, as well as spurring Economic Growth and Transformation,” the PS remarked.

An estimated Sh456 billion would be needed for the effective implementation of the plan, according to the document. The bulk of the money, Sh314 billion, would be used in the creation of a digital superhighway and telecommunications infrastructure.

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), IT Enabled Services (ITES) and local content development would need Sh38 billion, digital government services and products Sh37 billion and administrative costs Sh28 billion.

In the last one year, the ministry has expanded ICT services, including through the installation of 8,419km of fibre in partnership with private sector players, as part of the 100,000km five-year target, set up over 1,261 free public Wi-Fi hotspots and on-boarded 12,692 services fully to the eCitizen platform.

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