Countries across Africa and Europe are putting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the heart of their own national development plans in a bid to drive economic growth and reduce inequalities.
According to the United Nations, to date, 64 countries have voluntarily reported on their implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Most of these countries realize that technological progress is a main driver of economic growth and improvements in living standards over the long term.
Technology increases overall productivity, thereby boosting per capita income and consumption. Kenya, which has been known for mobile money innovation is also making the much-anticipated shift towards digital transformation, with new and exciting advancements underway.
With great advancements in the country, Microsoft partnered with Strathmore University in Kenya to launch a Policy Innovation Center, to drive discussions around policy and digital transformation, in a move to achieve Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the SDGs.
Microsoft and Strathmore University agreed that new advancements in technology are changing the way people live and interact. The benefits are endless, having the potential to transform businesses, countries, and make way for innovations for consumers and create economic opportunities.
The Policy Innovation Centre will therefore be used to address an challenges and issues that emerge due to digital transformation. The space will also enable collaboration and discussion on readiness of the effects and the advantages of the technologies of the future by both the public and private sectors, academia and civil society.
It will therefore be a home to academia, industry and policy experts, and government among others to address emerging issues at the forefront of the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals, Industries and Digital Transformation and explore the policy challenges Kenya and East Africa faces.
Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence are already hotly contested topics, Microsoft and Strathmore will forge discussions around legal and compliance, as well as discuss cloud, mobile and cybersecurity for efficient governments, appropriate education and national security among others.
To center will also provide a forum to foster dialogue, discussion around policy issues that affect the biggest development challenges we face in the world today, as posed by the Kenya Vision 2030 to transform Kenya into a newly industrializing, middle-income country providing a high quality of life to all its citizens by 2030 in a clean and secure environment.
Recently, Microsoft partnered research and policy firm Dalberg to launch a series of conversations dubbed Digital Transformation Series to help aid in deciphering misconceptions and questions that exist around technology policy to support the design of resilient technology and innovation policy across Sub-Saharan Africa.
The series will run over the course of 2018 – curating conversations that aim to understand where policy is able to play a role in supporting and accelerating digital innovations that drive inclusive growth for the continent.