The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has unveiled the Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) portfolio and the signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), on partnership with the Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy to drive inclusive digital transformation.
The partnership marks a pivotal moment in Kenya’s digital revolution and sets the stage for bridging the digital divide across Africa.
The partnership focuses on key areas, essential for driving an inclusive digital transformation. They include digital skilling and upskilling, data governance, e-government delivery, and promotion of digital jobs and businesses. By equipping workers with the necessary digital skills, breaking down data silos, automating government services, and fostering the growth of digital jobs and businesses, both parties aim to ensure sustainable and inclusive digital transformation in Kenya.
Anthony Ngororano, the Resident Representative of UNDP Kenya, expressed his excitement about the partnership, stating, “This unveiling and partnership demonstrates our commitment to accelerating inclusive digital transformation in Kenya. By addressing the challenges related to digital skills, data management, and access to digital jobs, we can unlock the full potential of Kenya’s digital economy and bridge the existing digital divide.”
Kenya has emerged as a leader in digital transformation on the African continent, with its digital economy contributing an impressive 7.7% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), surpassing other nations such as Morocco and South Africa. Accenture’s Africa iGDP Forecast predicts that by 2025, the digital sector in Kenya will add KES 1.4 trillion or 9.24% to the country’s GDP. However, despite these achievements, Kenya, like many African nations, still faces the challenge of a widening digital divide.
CS Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy, Eliud Owalo, highlighted the importance of collaboration and partnership in achieving digital transformation goals.
“Kenya has emerged as a frontrunner in digital transformation in Africa, but we recognize the need for inclusive development. Through collaboration with UNDP and other stakeholders, we can address the challenges of digital skills, data governance, e-governance, and digital job creation. This partnership will enable us to build an ecosystem that effectively supports our National Digital Master Plan (2022-2032) and accelerates Kenya’s inclusive digital transformation,” said Owalo.
Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP’s Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa, stressed the transformative potential of Africa’s digital public infrastructure, stating, “Africa stands at the cusp of a digital revolution that has the potential to transform economies, empower communities, and bridge the digital divide. With Africa’s digital economy projected to reach $712 billion by 2050, investments in digital public infrastructure are crucial for catalyzing economic growth, diversifying economies, and fostering sustainable development across the continent.”
Collaboration among various stakeholders is paramount to fully unlock the potential of Africa’s digital public infrastructure.
Governments, private sector entities, and civil society organizations must work together to create an enabling environment that promotes investment, supports research and development, and nurtures local talent. Collaboration at regional and continental levels can further enhance knowledge sharing, resource pooling, and the development of scalable solutions to address common challenges, ultimately paving the way for a prosperous and inclusive future.