The GIZ Digital Transformation Centre (DTC), in collaboration with the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) Consortium, launched the Green and Digital Innovation Hub (gDIH) during the Kenya Innovation Week 2023-Commonwealth Edition.
Distinguished guests during the launch ceremony included Principal Secretary, Ministry of ICT & Digital Economy, Eng John Kipchumba Tanui, representatives from the German Embassy, EU in Kenya and various other dignitaries including industry leaders.
The gDIH, slated to commence operations next month, is a groundbreaking initiative aimed at empowering micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) across Kenya by providing widespread access to technology and innovation resources.
This strategic move aligns with the hub’s core focus on foundational sectors: Agriculture, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), and Energy, incorporating cutting-edge technologies such as Automation (AI, IoT/Sensor Networks), Cyber/IT Security, Cloud Computing, and Smart Cities.
The gDIH anticipates playing a pivotal role in steering the digital and green transition in the region by fostering a culture of digital innovation and entrepreneurship.
To achieve this, the hub will offer MSMEs a comprehensive array of services essential for thriving in a digital economy. These include skills development, access to finance, testing facilities, and the establishment of an innovation ecosystem.
Moreover, the gDIH aims to serve as a collaborative platform for learning and growth while promoting environmentally sustainable business practices.
Operated by a consortium led by the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), the gDIH will be physically located in Nairobi but accessible to MSMEs nationwide.
Other entities forming part of the consortium include Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Kenya National Innovation Agency, and Konza Technopolis.
The launch ceremony witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between representatives of GIZ and the ACTS Consortium.
Additionally, the event featured the unveiling of the official gDIH website.
Programme Director Sustainable Economic Development, GIZ Kenya, Mr Bernd Lakemeier, emphasized the gDIH’s potential to significantly contribute to a more sustainable and digitally advanced Kenya.
He highlighted,”The hub’s role is to provide equitable access to digital innovation opportunities for all MSMEs in Kenya.”
Team Lead of the ACTS consortium, Prof Tom Ogada underscored the importance of infusing a green ethos into technological advancements for Kenya’s sustainable development and economic growth.
He expressed the consortium’s commitment to extending the hub’s influence beyond Nairobi to encompass all 47 counties.
Founder/CEO of GlobalX Investments Ltd/GlobalX Innovation Labs, Sylvia Mukasa expressed her excitement about the official launch of the gDIH during the Kenya Innovation Week.
“I undertook the responsibility of establishing the Green and Digital Innovation Hub (gDIH). This initiative was entrusted to me by GFA Consulting Group GmbH through the SKIIVE project under GIZ Kenya’s Digital Transformation Centre.”
Ms Mukasa further noted, “Key achievements over the past 15 months include: the identification of focus sectors, engagement with stakeholders locally and internationally and the establishment of a reference group for validation of their work.”
The hub is now live, operating under four key pillars: Skills Development, Access to Finance, Testing Facilities, and Innovation Ecosystem Building.
It aims to be a one-stop-shop contributing to the digital transformation of Kenyan enterprises while promoting sustainable development, circular economy, environmental protection, and tackling climate change.