Kenya has announced a Ksh 5 billion ($43,308,791) National Digital Master Plan to close the digital divide, deploy ICT services across the private and public service and accelerate socio-economic growth through ICTs.
With 19 flagship projects, the Masterplan will guide the government’s response to gaps such as closing the digital divide, unstructured deployment of ICTs across the Public Service and the need to enforce standards and addressing the current skills shortage within the region. The master plan has incorporated the use of emerging technologies such as block chain, internet of things, artificial intelligence, big data and quantum computing.
“The Master Plan will define our efforts, in the next ten years, to create business opportunities, wealth creation, employment and the contribution of ICT to the
growth of the economy through our medium to long- term road map as we strive towards the realisation of our goal in transforming lives, better for the citizens.
Working together we certainly can do more,” said Hon. Joe Mucheru, EGH Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information Communication and Technology, Innovation and Youth Affairs.
The National Digital Master Plan 2022 – 2032 has consolidated ICT initiatives into a 10-year plan hence becoming a single point of reference for all government ICT Plans. The Master plan builds on the pillars of the Kenya Digital Economy Blueprint, and the achievements of the Kenya National ICT Master Plan
2014 – 2017. The previous Master Plan was implemented through programmes and projects that facilitated efficient and effective delivery of government online
services. It was a 5-year plan and faced challenges due to a shorter time frame, poor coordination and inadequate resources for implementation of critical projects’ activities.
A sequential progression of the Master Plan 2014-2017, the National Digital Master Plan 2022 – 2032 streamlines ICT projects across government, ensures interoperability of systems by eliminating technology Silos, share and reuse Viable ICTs assets, guarantee privacy and data protection and provides Cyber Security Assurance. It has also provided an elaborate 10 year government plan which guides ICT investors in addition to providing resource mobilization strategy.
The Master Plan’s four pillars responsible for the provision of digital services to citizens, businesses and other stakeholders. They include digital Infrastructure, digital government services, digital skills and digital innovation and enterprise. In addition to these four pillars, the Master Plan has two types of strategic themes which include Policy, Legal and Regulatory Framework; and Research and Development and Information Security and Cyber Management; and Emerging
In basic terms, the primary objectives of the Kenya National Digital Master Plan 2022 – 2032 are automation of all government services, digital literacy training of citizens, broadband connectivity, Metro-Cities infrastructure, Cloud infrastructure, adoption of smart technologies, ‘government paperless office strategy’ and online platforms for ‘common services’. These will spur economic growth, promote job creation, enhance innovation and creativity.
Some of the notable ICT flagship projects include deployment of 100,000 kms of national fibre optic connectivity network, 25,000 hotspots in public areas and a government digitization Centre to automate 500 million government records annually or 5 billion records by 2030 to ensure paperless government offices as well as build digital literacy capacity for 20 million Kenyans and the creation of 1,450 community training centres, 290 Constituency hubs in five years.
The Kenyan government also plans to set up laptop manufacturing and assembling plants to supply 1.2 million laptops to universities and colleges, train 350,000 ICT teachers and connect 40,000 schools to the internet. Over 10,000 public servants will be trained in high end specialized ICT areas and 20,000 ICT professionals as well as 300,000 civil servants and 250,000 county staff. The master plan also proposes to train 20 million citizens in digital literacy, train 300,000 public servants and building adequate technical support through training of 10,000 ICT professionals.
Speaking at the launch of the digital master plan at the annual ‘Connected Kenya summit’ holding at Leisure Lodge Resort in Kwale County. Mucheru said the master plan proposes establishment of two software factories and another two electronic manufacturing factories that will serve Kenya and the region and hire over 10,000 software engineers to make Kenya a digital powerhouse in the region.
Mucheru was accompanied by the ministry’s Chief Administrative Secretary Maureen Mbaka, Principal Secretaries Jerome Ochieng (ICT) and Esther Koimett (Broadcasting and Telecommunications), ICT Authority Ag. Director General Dr. Kipronoh Ronoh as well as the Government Spokesperson Col. (Rtd.) Cyrus Oguna among other dignitaries.
In attendance were Uganda’s ICT Minister Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, his Tanzanian counterpart Dr. Faustine Ndugulle and Rwanda’s Director General for Digital Transformation Gordon Kalema.
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