ICT nominee Owalo’s roadmap for digital economy, paperless government

Owalo also promised to support automation in government across all sectors including health, transport, education, and logistics by providing the requisite technological support.

Kenya’s Cabinet secretary nominee for   Information, Communication, Technology, and Digital Economy, has promised to step up efforts to attain a digital economy and paperless government through provision of low-cost broadband internet.

Eliud Owalo promised to champion automation sectors such as health, transport, education, and logistics by providing the requisite technological support.

At the same time, Owalo said he will speed up the building of the Konza Technopolis in a bid to make Kenya an ultramodern world class ICT hub.

Kenya, he noted, will borrow from successful models in countries such as the Philippines, India, and Latin America, to bridge the global tech labour requirements  in a strategy aimed at creating digitally-enabled jobs, while spurring the creative economy and harnessing employment in other sectors of the national economy.

Speaking in Parliament during his vetting, Owalo further undertook to drive policies and legislation that will propel Kenya’s journey towards a digital economy.

“My team in the Ministry, and the sector at large, will facilitate the economic transformation of Kenya, by leveraging ICT for competitiveness and sustainable development,” he said.

He promised to leverage the national data centre at Konza Technopolis to move more government services online.

He said Konza, a tech hub,  “will allow the country to develop cloud and cyber security capacity as it is the way of the future and for job creation.”

Mr Owalo also promised to spearhead efforts to take fibre optic to every part of the country by taking advantage of other existing infrastructure such as electricity lines and roads, to facilitate universal access. Every village, he said, would be connected and have an ICT hub.

“This should be followed by computer labs and afterwards laptops,” he noted

Despite this, he said, his ministry would embark on a robust programme to take computers to schools that have the necessary infrastructure, as soon as he got into office, if he is approved by Parliament-

Owalo said that there is no place in the emerging world for anyone without computer skills.

“One of our first priorities should be to provide the right equipment and to develop specialised skills in our young learners. These include such things as the Internet of Things (IoT), the blockchain technology, data science, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics,” he said.

“This will be made-cost effective through supporting local production of devices for affordability.”


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