Govt targets additional 100,000 software engineers to support digitization


The government is a targeting to create at least 100,000 software jobs when construction of the Kenya Software Factory in Mulot, Bomet County is completed.

In a speech read during the ground breaking ceremony by ICT Authority Chairman Prof. Fredrick Owino on behalf of ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said this will be among two factories to be established in the country as the government continues with investments towards building a digital economy.

“To speed up establishment of this factory, the government will be partnering with private sector under Public-Private Partnership [PPP] arrangements as it is the most appropriate method of collaboration for such a project,” said Mucheru.

Under the 10-year Kenya Digital Masterplan launched in April this year, the government has prioritized investments which Mucheru says will drive the digital transformation agenda.

Among projects included in the plan include the Regional Sub-Marine Maintenance which will be established at the coast and the two electronic factories in both JKUAT and Moi University.

“This will go a long way in building the capacity of local industry in addition to job creation for Kenyan youth and leveraging on homegrown technological and innovation expertise,” he added.

ICT Authority Ag. Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kipronoh Ronoh said the project will be key in encouraging innovation in the country and cement Kenya as an ICT hub in the continent.

During the ceremony, the authority announced the setting up a free wi-fi zone in Mulot which is expected to be complete Saturday.

In the last 10 years, the government has laid 9000km of fibre optic cable connecting government institutions and county headquarters with the next phase targeting to connect wards, schools, rural businesses as well as homes to reliable internet.

Additionally, 1.2 million youths across the country have acquired digital skills through the Ajira Programme which has seen over 154,000 transcriptions and 7 million records by the Judiciary automated.

On the other hand, 2,100 ICT graduates have been trained under the Presidential Digital Talent Programme.

Mucheru said the choice of location for the software factory was driven by availability of talent in Mulot area.

Bomet County Governor Prof. Hillary Barchok said his administration will support the project to ensure it is completed within schedule after the county allocated 4 acres of land for the establishment of the factory.

Upon completion, the factory is expected to develop software solutions for the region, support development of software solutions and required skills for this region as well spur development of business enterprises for the country.

The factory will be one of its kind in the region and will be a strategic power house for software development for export, Mucheru said during the groundbreaking ceremony.


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