Kenya launches its first National ICT Master plan in its endeavor towards transforming the country into a knowledge-based economy through digital empowerment. The five year master plan aims at driving the adoption of priorities of Vision 2030 by the citizens. This will be implemented through ICT initiatives and policies projects. It is estimated that by 2017 Kenya’s ICT industry will be contributing an estimated US$2 billion (around 25 percent of Kenya’s GDP). This would increase employment generation creating around 500 new tier-1 ICT companies and over 50,000 jobs.
The commencement of the National ICT Master Plan comes just two days after a draft National Cyber Security Master plan roundtable This was a final review session for the country’s first document that seeks to establish a regulatory and policy framework in information security
Dr. Bitange Ndemo, Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Information and Communication sector contends that the ministry is working on standardizing business processes and developing sub-plans to realize this goal, arrangements that will allow the delivery of innovative public services within the government. However, in order to remove barriers that might act as an impediment towards building a society based on knowledge, a strong system of governance and growing ties between the government and the private sector is inevitable.
Key Tenets of the Master Plan
Guided by the ministry’s policy objectives and to achieve the intended full benefits of ICT, the Master plan plugs into the vision 2030’s social and economic pillars in seven key intervention areas. Education and Training, Water and sanitation, the Health sector, Environment, Gender, Housing and Urbanization, Youth and other Vulnerable groups, poverty reduction and Social Equity are included in the social pillars. Additionally, the economic pillar includes tourism, retail and wholesale trade, agriculture, manufacturing, the creative industry as well as financial services and business process outsourcing.
What began as a stakeholder engagement on the hypothesis of what had been formerly adopted in countries like Singapore has taken about two years, culminating in the birth of the ICT Master plan.
The crux of the Master plan is spelt out within three strategic pillars that will be used as a measure of success. Enhancing public value through service delivery and access of public service, secondly in strengthening ICT as a driver of industry by establishing an ecosystem for ICT adoption; third is the development of ICT business that will lead to an understanding of the emerging market needs.
Mr. Paul Kukubo, CEO of the ICT Board asserts that in the process of securing channels that will stimulate the set up of ICT related businesses, there will be more opportunities for employment generation. This actually means enhancing the value of citizens of the country in incorporating them into knowledge-based economy as outlined in Vision 2030.
While Mr. Kukubo reiterated that the plan was really a guideline that will be open to the public which means that they are flexible in terms of receiving feedback. The Strategy and Plan play a fundamental role in managing risks to government processes through securing the information assets.