Governments key players in ICT capacity building

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Governments are key players in ICT capacity building according to delegates at the ITU Global Capacity Building Symposium 2016, which ended yesterday in Nairobi.

Held under the theme: “Embracing capacity building opportunities in the digital era”, the Symposium comprised of ICT Ministers from across the world who discussed objectives and means of ICT capacity building in the digital era.

The ministers used to Kenyan example to emphasize that governments are key players in ICT capacity building. The Kenya government’s support of the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) the ministers concluded that governments globally should be at the forefront of promotion of digital literacy. The DLP programme targets to deliver over 1.2 million digital learning devices to all Standard One learners in over 22,000 public primary schools is in a move to socialise them to digital learning and introduce them to 21st century skills at an early age.

According to Mr. Francis Wangusi, Director General, Communications Authority of Kenya (CA)  during the opening of the Global ICT Capacity Building Symposium, “In the same vein through partnerships, we have rolled out initiatives that have seen us establish; 16 School-based ICT Centres; 4 Community ICT Centers; 8 ICT Centres in Learning Institutions for Persons with Disabilities; 10 e-Resource Centres in Public Libraries; digitized our Secondary Education curriculum and at the moment.”

Working with Ministry of Education, Kenya’s Communications Authority is also set to to roll out schools broadband connectivity project targeting up to 1000 public schools.

The CA is also about to launch additional 46 e-Resource Centers in public libraries across the country to ICT capacity building amongst some rural and marginalized areas.

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Another programme, the Presidential Digital Talent Program (PDTP), an ICT management trainee program aimed at producing quality ICT leaders in public service recruited 400 ICT Management Trainees this year and deployed them in national and county government offices countrywide. Last year PDTP saw 100 Management Trainees get training, 89 of whom completed and are working in both the public and private sectors.

Mr. Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology, lauded the programmes saying they are a vital component of Kenya’s human capital strategies.

“The Presidential Digital Talent Program (PDTP) is an ICT management trainee program aimed at producing quality ICT leaders in public service,” he said. “The Digital Literacy Program (DLP) is another key initiative that aims to build 21st century skills amongst primary school students through the use of digital technologies in education. In the long term, it is envisioned that we will have a generation of digitally able youth capable of consuming and developing ICT services and products that meet the needs of the industry and government.”

Several other ministers shared experiences of their countries and emphasized the need for renewal in the delivery of public services and bringing on board young digitally skilled people. They stressed the importance of partnering with the private sector to train public servants. They also urged governments to lead in re-engineering and modernizing government; training decisions makers to build capacity for top-level executives to enable them support digital economy initiatives.

Led by the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya and Ministers, the delegates had very fruitful discussions on a wide range of topics on capacity building in ICTs for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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“Kenya has taken a bold and deliberate step to roll out digital learning programme in all public primary schools starting from next year.  We believe that this programme will prepare the ground for the next generation of ICT innovators in Kenya,” concluded  Mr. William Samoei Ruto, Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya.