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Local ICT Innovators Assured of Government Support
President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked Government institutions to use locally-developed ICT solutions to promote Kenyan innovators. said the Government does not have to spend billions on imported innovations while the same could be developed locally.
“Why do we have to look for other solutions while we have our own,” President Kenyatta posed. The President spoke at Kenyatta International Convention Centre where he opened the first-ever national ICT Innovation Forum.
Having earlier launched the Government ICT platform – mygov.go.ke – after a tour of the innovation village at KICC, President Kenyatta said Government should use the web portal instead of spending billions on advertisements.
“Mygov” is a web portal where Kenyans can access news and information on Government activities. He said the Jubilee Government is determined to use ICT to improve the lives of Kenyans.
“We look to ICT to transform the way we do things in all sectors. Innovation will continue to transform service delivery in agriculture and food production, transportation, health, education, security, fiscal and financial management, justice, law and order among other sectors,” he said.
President Kenyatta urged all stakeholders to contribute to the addition of more ICT incubation hubs into the existing network. “This will enable more people to engage in innovative activity throughout Kenya,” President Kenyatta said.
He said the ICT Ministry must lead efforts by various stakeholders to ensure that Enterprise Kenya takes off and begins to nurture innovation in the sector.
“We are determined to expanding our ICT exports by directing our innovations to the regional and global market,” he said.
The President called for greater partnership between Government, the private sector and educational institutions to strengthen Kenya’s leadership position in ICT.
He said ICT extends opportunity to all irrespective of location, background, gender or disability.
“Indeed, by supporting innovation in the ICT sector, we are transforming opportunity,” the President said.
He added: “Our ICT Master-plan projects that the sector can comfortably generate more than 180,000 jobs between now and 2017. It is also expected to contribute at least 8% of our Gross Domestic Product in the same period.”
ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said his ministry will work with all stakeholders to ensure the innovators succeed in achieving their goals.
We will take all suggestions we have received here including the establishment of the Enterprise Kenya Fund and work with my colleague Ann Waiguru and the Youth Fund to set aside funds to support the innovators in the country,” he said.
ICT Authority Chair Edwin Yinda expressed hope that the forum will translate to opportunities that will create jobs and boost economic growth.
“The authority is committed to sharing its experiences with the private sector to help the country achieve its development objectives as laid out in the Vision 2030 and the national ICT master-plan,” said Mr. Yinda.
Other speakers included the ICT Authority Chief Executive Victor Kyalo and Safaricom Chief Executive Bob Collymore who said Kenyan creativity and innovativeness has greatly contributed to the rapid economic development in Kenya and made life easier for the citizens.