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CS Owalo assures digital economy drive for economic growth

CS for Information, Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Eliud Owalo, giving his keynote address on ICT Infrastructure development, Legal and Policy Framework, at stakeholders’ engagement Retreat in Mombasa.

The Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications and Digital Economy, Eliud Owalo has emphasized the government’s commitment to boosting economic growth through ICT and the digital space to spur job creation in the country.

Owalo highlighted the ongoing efforts, including the construction of the Digital Superhighway, thus driving a sustainable economic Project aimed at bolstering the country’s ICT infrastructure and positioning Kenya in the global digital marketplace.

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This, he said when giving his keynote address during the opening session of the Senate Standing Committee on Information, Communication and Technology Stakeholders’ engagement and work planning retreat that was held at Serena Hotel, Shanzu Tuesday.

He noted that the strategic initiative aims to not only enhance connectivity but also to create opportunities for innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment in the digital development and prosperity for all Kenyans

The 3-day retreat themed’ Strengthening ICT sector policies and legal frameworks in Kenya’ is set to deliberate on the State of the ICT sector in the country and the implementation status of the ICT in County functions to improve service delivery.

Present at the retreat were Senate Committee members including Chairperson Sen. Allan Chesang; Vice Chairperson, Sen. Miraj Abdulrahman; Sen. William Kisang; Sen. Issa Boy Juma; Sen. Beatrice Ogola; Sen. Shakila Abdalla and Sen. Karen Nyamu. Also in attendance were the Governor of Elgeyo Marakwet Wisely Rotich, who is the Chair ICT and Knowledge Management at the Council of Governors, and James Ongwae, Chair Universal Service Advisory Council.

CS Owalo was accompanied by PS ICT and Digital Economy, Eng. John Tanui; ICTA CEO Stanley Kamanguya; Postmaster-General John Tonui; KBC Ag. MD Paul Macharia; Data Protection Commissioner Immaculate Kassait; KIMC Principal Peter Wakoli; Secretary ICT E-government and Digital Economy Mary Kerema, among other senior ministry officers.

“Internet connectivity throughout the country has experienced significant expansion under the auspices of the Ministry with a deliberate effort to establish digital hubs nationwide,” Owalo said.

He went on to underscore the progress at the Konza Metropolis, highlighting the signing of agreements for the establishment of data centers. The milestone has garnered international interest, with global partners expressing keenness to participate in the project.

Such initiatives are pivotal in positioning Kenya as a hub for digital innovation and fostering economic growth through ICT infrastructure development.

Owalo also emphasized the importance of developing a robust legal framework to facilitate the establishment of more smart cities across the country.

“This initiative aims to leverage technology to enhance urban planning, infrastructure development, and service delivery,” he noted.

Both the senate and Council of Governor’s chairpersons in the ICT committees emphasized the necessity of creating an e-commerce platform to foster a conducive environment for business activities in Kenya.

Governor Wisley Rotich urged his counterparts nationwide to be behind the Ministry’s efforts to roll out fiber optic connectivity, recognizing its significance in expanding access to high-speed internet and driving economic growth through digital innovation.

“This collaborative effort between the government entities and stakeholders are essential in advancing Kenya’s digital transformation agenda and promoting inclusive economic development,” he said.

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