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Judiciary e-filing portal, Huduma Centre desk boosts access to justice

Chief Justice Martha Koome, (far right), is joined by CS Public Service Moses Kuria for the launch of e-filing

The launch of e-filing for all courts countrywide promises to take Judiciary services much closer to the people.

The Data Tracking Dashboard and a Cause List Portal was launched at the Supreme Court in an event attended by Huduma Kenya Ag CEO Mugambi Njeru.

Chief Justice Martha Koome and Public Service CS Moses Kuria attended the event.

The CS said the newly introduced Judiciary Desk at the various Huduma Centres in different parts of the country will ease access to justice at the grassroots. He also emphasised the importance of automating all government services.

St George’s Girls shines in STEAM competition

Girl power displayed by five students from St Georges Girls Secondary School who emerged first runner’s up in a STEAM competition in Nigeria

Five girls from St Georges Girls Secondary School showcased their innovative prowess on the international stage, securing the first runners-up position in the Sahara STEAMers Grand Demo Competition 2 held in Nigeria.

Under the banner of Team Smart Blind Walking Stick, the Kenyan students crafted a cutting-edge solution aimed at aiding visually impaired individuals in their mobility.

Comprising Amina Hussein, Isabella Otieno, Halima Ibrahim, Stella Kabui, and Vennesa Kerubo, the team utilised Arduino technology, distance sensors, and a buzzer to develop their product. The competition, organised by Sahara Group Foundation and Asharami Synergy Kenya in collaboration with STEMCafe, drew participants from Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Tanzania. Over 200 students from across Africa participated in the programme, which aims to foster innovation and excellence in STEAM education.

STEAM involves the application of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math to guide student inquiry, discussion, and problem-solving.

Expressing delight at the students’ achievements, Ejiro Gray, Director of Sahara Group Foundation, emphasised the program’s goal of cultivating a new generation of socially conscious innovators. Adebola Adesanya, Country Manager at Asharami Synergy Kenya, lauded the Kenyan teams’ innovative spirit, highlighting the significance of such initiatives in nurturing future leaders and problem solvers.

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.

Kakamega woos investors

Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa says investors will receive numerous incentives from the county government

All is set for the Kakamega International Investment Conference (KAIICO), which kicks off today at the Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in the town. The landmark event seeks to accelerate the county’s economic growth through attraction of investors and sustainable investments.

“The county is committed to creating a conducive environment for investors, with streamlined licensing processes and efforts to reduce the cost of doing business,” Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa said.

The Governor noted that the county is strategically located, has advanced road networks and infrastructure and highly qualified and innovative citizenry – ingredients that should woo investors.

“We seek to offer a unique opportunity to share knowledge, best practices and experiences for investment in sustainable projects that will create wealth and improve livelihoods. This forum will bring together foreign and local investment networks, angel investors, venture capitalists, corporations and development partners,” he said.

Additionally, the conference provides a platform for local investors to connect with key stakeholders, access valuable resources and explore investment opportunities in the county. Mr Barasa said the county welcomed all investors, as it offered various incentives including streamlined regulatory processes, access to government support programmes and opportunities for collaboration with local enterprises.

KAIICO focuses on the following investment areas: Agriculture and value addition, health care, social development, natural resources and environment and climate change. Agriculture is one of the key priority areas of the county. The sector accounts for approximately 52.3 per cent of the Gross County Product presenting a wealth of opportunities for investors.

“Thanks to the county’s favourable climate, fertile soils and administration’s proactive agriculture-friendly policies, we’ve witnessed significant improvements in food production.

One of the key areas of investment is agriculture due to the favourable climatic conditions of the county

Our focused interventions have already reduced food poverty from 47 per cent to 33 per cent, with further reductions expected by the time the bureau of statistics does its survey in 2025/2026,” said the county boss.

The major crops are sugar cane, tea, coffee and groundnuts, as well as dairy. “Currently, farmers face challenges that include high transportation costs and food wastage due to limited preservation capabilities. Additionally, despite our investments in fish, dairy and apiculture, the lack of processing industries remains a notable gap,” said Mr Barasa.

With the highest rural population in the Kenya, standing at 2.1 million, Kakamega County has significant potential for investments and economic growth

In terms of tourism, Kakamega is home to the only tropical rainforest in Kenya, offering a unique and diverse experience to tourism.

The Kakamega rain forest teems with White Columbus monkeys, over 400 bird species, snakes, butterflies, and exceptional historical trees, serving as a haven for nature enthusiasts and researchers alike.

Additionally, the forest’s rich vegetation and pristine atmosphere make it an ideal destination for academic and scientific research. Mr Barasa said the county government is committed to infrastructure growth to spur investment. “By mid-March, we would have built 600km of gravel roads, enhancing transport and communication in rural areas, crucial for agriculture and commerce. This momentum continues as outlined in the Kakamega County Integrated Development Plan 2022-2027,” adding the county is also upgrading major roads to bitumen standards.

The county has teamed up with the national government to expand the Kakamega Airstrip into a full-fledged airport.

“By extending the runway by an additional 1.5 kilometres, we’ll accommodate larger aircraft, making access easier and boosting tourism in the region. This upgrade will ensure smoother transportation of people and goods in and out of the county,” said Mr Barasa.

The county’s dependency ratio is expected to decline by 64.7 per cent by 2027, a move that the governor said would offer anyone investing in the devolved unit a substantial consumer base and a rising pool of skilled labour. “As poverty levels decline, the quality of our workforce is on the rise, making Kakamega an increasingly attractive investment destination,” he said.

To boost electricity access, the county has secured Sh3.6 billion from the national government to enhance penetration through last-mile connections.

Further, the Governor said they have a partnership with Hydrobox Kenya Limited, a private firm that offers sustainable and renewable energy solutions in a collaboration that will see the establishment of three power plants, each covering an 18-kilometre radius, thus, ensuring reliable electricity supply covers 97.6 per cent of the population.

“This initiative will not only address industrial, commercial, and domestic electricity needs but also provide a significant boost to businesses, making Kakamega even more attractive to potential investors,” he said.

In the healthcare sector, the Kakamega Teaching and Referral Hospital, whose construction is in the final stages, will introduce numerous openings, including equipment placement services, sterile line manufacturing for hospital fluids, efficient medical waste management, and the production of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical products.

The conference, which has attracted up to 2,000 delegates and at least 50 exhibitors, is being hosted in collaboration with KenIvest and other partners.

KenInvest has been a critical player at both national and county levels in regards to encouraging international investments, and has supported several investment forums such as the recently concluded Homa Bay International Investment Conference.

Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board is among the participants at the event as the institution seeks to deepen synergies and content partnership with the devolved units through its AgendaKenya County Edition, which is published every week.

Story by Dibo Willis-Ambetsa, MPRSK, ILA

KYEB, MCK to forge strategic partnership

KYEB Board Chair Sande Oyolo (right) and CEO Lilian Kimeto (centre) hand MCK CEO David Omwoyo “Moi Cabinets”. The book is one of KYEB’s publications under the Cabinet series.

The Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board (KYEB) and the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) have committed to work together to ensure citizens get better services from the two organisations.

In a meeting attended by KYEB Board chairman Sande Oyolo and CEO Lilian Kimeto as well as MCK chief executive David Omwoyo, the teams acknowledged the valuable strengths of the two institutions as they called for closer collaboration.

Their discussions delved into identifying areas for cooperation that would culminate into the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Their discussions delved into identifying areas for cooperation, which would include co-messaging and co-branding. This would culminate into the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

“The communication space is quite huge and very little is happening within it. We will turn things around through collaboration,” he said.

Ms Kimeto expressed her desire to deepen the existing relationship between the two organisations and formalise it by signing the MoU.

The collaboration between KYEB and MCK holds a big promise for the communication industry. By combining KYEB’s storytelling prowess with MCK’s regulatory expertise, the partnership would create positive outcomes for citizens.

Government turns to green growth for sustainable governance

Representatives from ministries, departments and agencies who make up the CCUs have their inaugural training and agree on how to help the government achieve the NDCs.

Kenya has been in the forefront in addressing climate change within its unique national circumstances notwithstanding its high vulnerability. The country has puts in place a conducive policy and legal environment to allow for all stakeholders to have adequate space to address climate change.

It is in line with this that the government has adopted the concept of green growth for sustainable governance. Through the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, a national Climate Change Unit has been formed that is made up of senior government officials from different Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Green Growth advocates for complimenting actions between how the government utilises natural resources and its daily development endeavours. Furthermore, it orients policy and associated subsequent actions in regard to climate change issues.

Eng Festus Ngeno, PS Environment and Climate Change has noted that the country is committed to mainstreaming the climate change action plan

“The Ministry has adopted a whole of government and whole of society approach to ensure that climate risks are adequately integrated into our planning, strategies, policies, decisions, and implementation,” noted Eng. Festus Ngeno, the PS Environment and Climate Change.

The adoption signifies a crucial milestone in Kenya’s journey towards sustainability and compliance with legislative obligations outlined in the Climate Change Act of 2016. Further, it is in line with the Kenya Kwanza government priorities of climate mitigation.

“Kenya’s has committed itself for an ambitious goal to restore and conserve 10.6 million hectares of degraded landscapes and ecosystems with the target of planting and nurturing 15 billion trees by 2032. This is a key Ministry’s deliverable and is hinged on the governments BETA manifesto,” added the PS.

The country has submitted its updated NDC with an increased ambition of 32% from 30% emission reduction target, and has finalised its Long Term Low GHG Gas Emission Development Strategy up to 2050 outlining long term ambition towards net zero target. It has also amended the Climate Change Act, 2023 to include carbon markets, which is one of the innovative mechanisms for enhancing green climate finance.

Due to the fact that climate change affects all sectors of the economy, effective delivery of all government mandates irrespective of state department is affected directly or indirectly by climate change.

“We have witnessed floods cut off schools and displace pupils, destructions of roads and other critical infrastructures by floods, escalation of insecurity due to competition for scarce resources during droughts, emergence of vector borne diseases where they never use to exists as a result of warming temperatures and excess precipitation, flooding of hotels by rising lake levels, mass death of wildlife during droughts, destruction of forests and trees are but just a few examples,” noted the PS, “so each state department has a role to play in climate mitigation.”

Notably, despite the delayed implementation of the Climate Change Act of 2016, the inclusion of the MDAs in the implementation process suggests a commendable commitment to rectify past oversights and embrace proactive measures against climate change.

The basis of inclusion of state and public officers in the national climate change unit is enshrined in the Climate Change Act of 2016. “The role of state and public officers in climate mitigation is stated in the Climate Change Act, 2016 section 15 (5) (c), which calls for all public entities to designate a unit with adequate staff and financial resources and appoint a senior officer as head of the unit to coordinate the mainstreaming of climate change action plan and other climate change statutory functions and mandates into sectoral strategies for implementation,” asserted the PS.

The PS is hopeful that with the establishment and operalisation of the units, the country can fast track the implementation of its climate mitigation priorities. State and public officers will henceforth receive trainings and hold frequent meetings to achieve set objectives that are customised to different state departments.

Story by Dibo Willis-Ambetsa, MPRSK, ILA

ICT Ministry Strategic Plan launch pictorial

The Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy on Wednesday launched its five-year strategic plan, which seeks to deepen the sector’s role in the country’s economic development.

CS Eliud Owalo, while unveiling the plan in Nairobi, said the document will guide the ministry’s implementation of activities, projects and programmes in the period 2023-2027.

The plan is the culmination of concerted efforts by the ministry and key stakeholders in the ICT sector to ensure that priority programmes and projects in the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) are implemented as planned.

Here is the story in pictures:

KYEB CEO Lilian Kimeto (left) with managers Elijah Muli (Production) and Jane Mareka (Planning and Strategy) during the launch of the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy Strategic Plan in Nairobi on Wednesday.

 

Eliud Owalo, CS of the Ministry of Information, Communications and The Digital Economy at the launch of the Ministry’s Strategic Plan.

 

KYEB Board director Jimmy Mauta at the event.

 

 

KYEB chairman Sande Oyolo (left)and ICTA CEO Stanley Kamanguya at the launch.

 

 

CS Eliud Owalo (left), PS Edward Kisiang’ani (second left), KYEB CEO Lilian Kimeto and Development Partner representative at the launch.

 

CS Eliud Owalo (sixth left), Broadcasting PS Edward Kisiang’ani (fifth left), and ICT PS John Tanui (seventh left) with development partners representatives, CEOs and senior officials during the event

 

 

KYEB Board director Mulei Muia, at the event.

 

 

Director KYEB, Kennedy Buhere at the launch.

 

CS Eliud Owalo (left), PS Broadcasting Eliud Kisiang’ani (second left), KYEB Chairperson Sande Oyolo (second right) and CEO ICTA Stanley Kamanguya (right) at the event.

 

KYEB Staff Humphrey Odanga at the event.

 

KYEB manager Susan Naitore at the event

 

KYEB Head of Internal Audit and Risk Assurance, Timothy Mwangi at the event.

 

Alice Mutua, KYEB Staff at the event.

 

KYEB’s managers Jane Mareka (Planning and Strategy) and Elijah Muli (Production).

 

KYEB Chair Sande Oyolo (left), ICT PS Eng. John Tanui (center) and Broadcasting PS Edward Kisiang’ani at the event.

 

KYEB manager Peter Okong’o (left) at the event.

Owalo unveils ministry’s five-year roadmap

CS Eliud Owalo (left), Broadcasting PS Edward Kisiang’ani (second right), and ICT PS John Tanui during the launch of the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy Strategic Plan 2023-2027.

The Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy on Wednesday launched its five-year strategic plan, which seeks to deepen the sector’s role in the country’s economic development.

CS Eliud Owalo, while unveiling the plan in Nairobi, said the document will guide the ministry’s implementation of activities, projects and programmes in the period 2023-2027.

“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 plan is the culmination of concerted efforts by the ministry and key stakeholders in the ICT sector to ensure that priority programmes and projects in the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) are implemented as planned, he added.

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.

During the five-year period, the ministry said it would expand broadband connectivity, enhance e-government initiatives, expedite development of smart cities, intensify cybercrime and increase entrepreneurship in the technology industry.

The ministry will also foster digital literacy programmes, ensuring that Kenyan 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 as envisaged in the constitution, Vision 2030, Medium Term Plans and the BETA.

Owalo said the ministry would also strengthen the Office of Data Protection Commissioner to ensure compliance with data protection laws and establish a centre to deal with cyber-crime.

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.

His ICT and the Digital Economy counterpart, Eng John Tanui, 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.

CS Eliud Owalo (sixth left), Broadcasting PS Edward Kisiang’ani (fifth left), and ICT PS John Tanui (seventh left) with development partners representatives, CEOs and senior officials during the launch of the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy Strategic Plan 2023-2027.

Present at the event were Communications Authority of Kenya Director-General David Mugonyi, Konza Technopolis CEO John Paul Okwiri, ICTA CEO Stanley Kamanguya, Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board (KYEB) CEO Lillian Kimeto, Kenya Institute of Mass Communication CEO Peter Wakoli, the chairman of the Universal Service Fund Advisory Council James Ongwae, KBC Ag. MD Paul Macharia, Media Council of Kenya CEO David Omwoyo and KYEB chairman Sande Oyolo, among other senior government officials and key stakeholders.

State fortifies border security with launch of new initiative

Government’s commitment to border security evident in new training programme

The border security programme launched recently seeks to better the management of the entry and exit points to strengthen the country’s national security.

The Principal Secretary for Internal Security and National Administration Raymond Omollo said the Border Management Programme would ensure the security and efficiency of all ports of entry and exit.

The programme encompasses critical dimensions of border management, including governance structures for cooperation and emerging trends and technologies.

“It is crucial to ensure that all border officers are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively manage the complexities of border operations,” said PS Omollo.

The border management system coordinates domestic agencies in the country “as well as international coordination involving collaboration between neighbouring countries and trading partners to enhance security and promote economic and social cohesion”.

The PS said Kenya, through the programme, would have a more coordinated and efficient approach in tackling organised crime and other threats that undermine peace, security and sustainable development.

He underscored the link between security and development, and advocated for investments in administrative officers and local governance structures to bolster security at grassroots.

“Due to the intrinsic link between security and development, we seek support for the investment in our National Government Administrative Officers, who are pivotal in coordinating government policies and programmes at the grassroot level,” said the PS.

The Interior ministry has already laid the groundwork by reviewing the National Government Coordination Act, the Chiefs Act and the peacebuilding architecture to improve government service delivery.

According to Mr Omollo, another critical aspect of border security is the collaboration with development partners. Through strategic alliances with entities such as the European Union, the International Organisation for Migration and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Kenya has garnered support for training, technological advancements and infrastructure modernisation at border points. Development partners such as the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme have played pivotal roles in fortifying Kenya’s resilience on border security.

The significance of international collaboration for enhanced security in the country was underscored by United Nations Resident Coordinator, Dr Stephen Jackson, who said there is interconnectedness between border security, peace and sustainable development, advocating for a comprehensive approach to addressing global challenges.

Kenya’s strategic location in East Africa underscores the importance of effective border management in enhancing trade, national security and promoting regional integration.

The country in January implemented a visa-free policy that allows anyone from across the world to get in after only applying for electronic authorisation. To stem threats of terrorism as well as organised crimes like human trafficking and money laundering, Kenya has over the years modernised its border operations.

Conservation agriculture to the rescue of farmers as climate change effects bite

Climate smart agriculture proving critical in reducing soil erosion in Taita Taveta

Obadiah Mjomba started farming maize, sorghum and green grams more than 10 years ago. “But as a farmer today, I can tell you that the weather is most unpredictable and low yields have negatively affected the community’s perception on agriculture,” he notes. Mjomba resides in Chawia Ward, Mwatate, Taita Taveta County, and is one among many farmers in the area who are affected by the adverse effects of climate change. Taita Taveta is considered an arid and semi-arid area despite the fact that it once was the breadbasket of the coastal region.

The decline in agricultural productivity is tied to environmental degradation due to climate change.

“We are using conservation agriculture, which is progressive and helps us retain soil structure,” he adds. He dug a hole during the recent heavy rains, and it filled with water.

“I got a donation of a dam liner from a local NGO, so it is a good reserve for water that I can use on my farm if I need to,” he states. Mjomba is preparing his land to plant cereals such as maize, sorghum, and pulses such as green grams and cowpeas for the upcoming season.

“I am also going to plant other crops such as tomatoes as I am not scared whether the rains fail or not,” he adds with great satisfaction.

He is looking forward to the more support from the county government which supports farmers, especially with proper investments in irrigation systems to reclaim the region’s former glory.