The 12th edition of the Connected Kenya Summit has commenced at Diamond Leisure Lodge in Diani, Kwale County, focusing on digitization, data privacy, digital trust, e-commerce, and the government’s role in digital implementation.
The conference under the theme, “Endless opportunities shaping our future” had more than 50 private companies sponsoring the event.
Speaking at the summit where he was the chief guest, Prime Cabinet Secretary, Musalia Mudavadi stated that to leverage new opportunities brought about by digital changes, a new domain of governments, the private sector and general society should be created.
“Digital transformation should then become the driving force for innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth because innovations and digitization stimulate job creation, contribute to addressing poverty, reducing inequality, and contributing to the development agenda in the continent,” Musalia said.
The conference also addresses the future of work in the digital economy and the government’s collaboration with academia.
Mr Mudavadi stated that the government has seven tasks and goals that it is focusing on including modifying the national and county services through digital technologies, creating a digital society by improving the digital knowledge and skills of our citizenry, improving and supporting education, agriculture, land reforms and healthcare in the country.
In addition, the government aims to use new capabilities to change conventional sectors of the economy, while applying artificial intelligence to increase workforce productivity and make the country a regional hub for technology transfer and a more inclusive innovation economy essential for the nation’s growth, competitiveness, domestic harmony, and national security.
Data protection and women in tech are also major topics of consideration.
Cabinet Secretary of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) and Digital Economy, Eliud Owalo said the summit has previously yielded far-reaching results, anticipating that Kenya will be able to host Africa Connected Summit in the next three years and Global Connected Summit in the next five years.
In addition, the CS said the government aims to increase connectivity in the country and has begun the process of laying 100,000km of fibre, which will do 52 per cent of the job and 48 per cent by the private sector.
The CS noted the government is moving towards the digitization of its sectors saying, “We have identified about 5,300 government services that can be digitized.”
Principal Secretary of ICT John Tanui, noted that the summit is a platform for capacity building.
“Our industry experts will share insights regarding Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud, cybersecurity, digital currencies and data,” said the PS.
The summit has also discussed technology’s role in the justice system, reducing litigation costs, and promoting transparency through videoconferencing.
Representing the Chief Justice, Presiding Judge of Mombasa Court, Olga Sewe noted, “Lawyers don’t need to travel to represent their clients, they can do that via videoconferencing. Video conferencing has also streamlined access to justice, helped courts preserve documents digitally and promoted transparency from live-streamed court proceedings. However, we have to ensure the cyber security of our information.”
A cybersecurity firm, Cisco has partnered with the ICT Authority to bring its CPS Cloud Builder Accelerator service to Kenya, with the aim of training 3 million Kenyans in the next decade.
Safaricom, one of the sponsors, has surpassed 90% in financial inclusion, with over 18 million Kenyans receiving Hustler Fund via the Safaricom network.
The previous summit has had a major impact on the country with ground-breaking projects like the Kenya Open Data Initiative, Huduma Centers, and the E-Citizen portal, being discussed and refined at Connected Kenya.
Other successes include the Digital Literacy Program, National Fibre Optic Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI), Ajira Digital, and Presidential Digital Talent Program.