The government is committed to expanding the ICT sector to drive economic growth and development. Mr. Eliud Owala, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy, emphasized the role of ICT as a catalyst for progress.
Mr. Owala highlighted the Government Digital Transformation Agenda (GoDTA), which aims to digitize 80% of government services within five years. The agenda also focuses on improving connectivity through the deployment of 100,000 kilometers of fiber and 25,000 WIFI hotspots nationwide. Additionally, ICT hubs will be established in all 1,450 wards across the country.
During the opening of the ICT week, Mr. Owala expressed the potential of local assembly of smartphones and smart gadgets in Kenya’s manufacturing and assembly sector. The affordability of ICT devices and data costs were identified as important considerations, and the government has been engaging stakeholders to explore options for producing low-cost smartphones.
Mr. Owala emphasized the need for inclusive access to ICT services, ensuring that all citizens, including women, differently-abled individuals, and older people, can benefit from technology. Universal internet access through last-mile connectivity was highlighted as a crucial initiative to connect Kenyan citizens globally.
The government has already initiated the deployment of 100,000 kilometers of fiber, supported by 5 billion Kenyan Shillings from the Universal Service Fund (USF). This project will provide last-mile connectivity to underserved counties, with the potential to significantly impact the economy.
The Communications Authority of Kenya, as the industry regulator, acknowledged the efforts of licensees in enhancing access to communication services across the country. Key performance indicators included 65.7 million mobile subscriptions, 47.7 million mobile data subscriptions, and 11,970 Gbps of available international bandwidth.
The ICT week serves as a platform for stakeholders to discuss emerging technological issues and ensure the provision of high-quality ICT services to citizens, thereby fostering a vibrant sector.