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President urges use of locally-developed ICT solutions

04 March 2015, 13:17

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday called on government institutions to use locally-developed ICT (Information and communication technology) solutions to promote Kenyan innovators.

Kenyatta said his government does not have to spend billions on imported innovations while the same could be developed locally, adding that innovation will continue to transform service delivery in agriculture and food production, transportation, health, education and security.

Speaking in Nairobi where he opened the first-ever national ICT Innovation Forum, Kenyatta urged all stakeholders to contribute to the addition of more ICT incubation hubs into the existing network.

"This will enable more people to engage in innovative activity throughout Kenya," Kenyatta said, noting that the ICT ministry must lead efforts by various stakeholders to ensure that Enterprise Kenya takes off and begins to nurture innovation in the sector.

Having earlier launched the Government ICT platform -- mygovt. go.kem, the Kenyan leader said the government should use the web portal instead of spending billions on advertisements.

"Mygov" is a web portal where Kenyans can access news and information on government activities. Kenyatta said the Jubilee government is determined to use ICT to improve the lives of Kenyans.

Read Also: Safaricom to construct 47 computer labs in all 47 counties

"We are determined to expanding our ICT exports by directing our innovations to the regional and global market," he said and called for greater partnership between government, the private sector and educational institutions to strengthen Kenya's leadership position in ICT.

The president said ICT extends opportunity to all irrespective of location, background, gender or disability.

"By supporting innovation in the ICT sector, we are transforming opportunity," Kenyatta said. "Our ICT Master-plan projects that the sector can comfortably generate more than 180, 000 jobs between now and 2017. It is also expected to contribute at least 8 percent of our Gross Domestic Product in the same period."

ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i said his ministry will work with all stakeholders to ensure the innovators succeed in achieving their goals.

ICT Authority Chair Edwin Yinda expressed hope that the forum will translate to opportunities that will create jobs and boost economic growth.

"The authority is committed to sharing its experiences with the private sector to help the country achieve its development objectives as laid out in the Vision 2030 and the national ICT master-plan," said Yinda.

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- Xinhua


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