The government has reaffirmed its commitment to formulate, implement laws and policies that support digitization, and create an enabling environment for the uptake of ICTs in the country and among the youth for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Maureen Mbaka said that these policies include the National ICT Policy, the Kenya’s Digital Economy Blueprint for Africa which was launched at the Smart Africa Summit in Rwanda in 2019 and the Draft Digital Economy Strategy for Kenya which is a five-year implementational roadmap to operationalise the Digital Economy Blueprint.
Speaking virtually during the National Council of NGOs consultative meeting on governance and sustainable development, Ms Mbaka said that NGOs play a critical role in reaching out to the vulnerable in society and challenged them to ensure that these people are not marginalised as the world migrates to the digital era.
She said that the Covid-19 pandemic is generating an unprecedented crisis that threatens progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The CAS explained that according to the World Bank report titled ICT Competitiveness in Africa, Kenya is one of the leading countries in ICT development in Africa alongside Morocco and Nigeria.
“Kenya is, therefore, a leader in digitalization in both private and public sectors with a growth of roughly 25 per cent in internet penetration in the periods 2001 to 2016. Further to this, Kenya’s digital economy has been advancing with the growth of ICT as a development pillar in the country’s comprehensive development strategy or the Vision 2030,” she explained.
She said that the Digital Economy blueprint recognises five fundamental pillars as catalysts for a robust Digital Economy. These are: Digital Government; Digital Business; Infrastructure; Innovation Driven Entrepreneurship and Digital Skills and Values.
“The Digital Economy Blueprint and the Digital Economy Strategy both recognise the cross-cutting issues necessary to support the five pillars, one of them being the existence of a Data Protection framework. For these reasons, the ICT Cabinet Secretary Mr. Joe Mucheru enacted the Data Protection Act in November 2019,” she explained.
- By KNA