Introduction to ICT, youth and the future of work

An NSE agent converses with a client on phone. The Kenyan Government targets to increase the overall size of the digital and traditional economy to 10% of GDP by 2030.

The government’s development agenda for the next three years is built on the four pillars of Food Security, Manufacturing, Affordable Housing, and Universal Health Coverage. Together, these make up the Big 4 Agenda of the Kenya Vision 2030.

The Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board (KYEB) has aligned its publications with the Big 4 Agenda through a series of publications that communicate to the public the progress of projects under the four pillars. This publication is one of them, following in the footsteps of the books: – Towards Food Security, Road to Universal Health Coverage, Building Sustainable Homes and Manufacturing.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a key enabler for all four pillars, making it the common success driver for the Big 4 Agenda. The government sees ICT as the key to unlocking jobs for the youth – the millions of Kenyans between the ages of 18 and 35 years – who make up the majority of the country’s unemployed.

Among the main priorities of the government towards the attainment of Kenya Vision 2030 development goals and objectives for wealth and job creation is the achievement of an industrialised information society and knowledge economy.

The overall objective is to facilitate the creation of dignified jobs that provide financial security and independence to allow greater innovation and future thinking. By providing local and international connectivity across the country and region, and developing in-country solutions, the government will enable creation of online and digital jobs, markets, and quality skills allowing Kenyans to embrace the shared economy.

In this way, citizens will transition from traditional ways of working to innovative and digitally-enabled forms of work. The National ICT Policy 2019 provides many of the key strategies essential for achieving Kenya’s national development targets. These include speeding up the development of new generation mobile; high-speed, secure, and ubiquitous ICT infrastructure; developing a modern technology-enabled industrial system; implementing the national big data strategy; and, enhancing national cyber-security.

By harnessing the power of ICT, private and state-owned enterprises are expected to improve their sourcing, sales, and logistics systems; streamline operations, track market trends and boost their marketing, research, and innovation capabilities.

Enterprise operations will become more efficient, translating into productivity gains and the creation of new markets for innovative products and services. The strategies and action plans developed as a result of this policy will create jobs for the youth and bring about the rapid transformation of Kenya.

The objectives are to:

  1. Create the infrastructure conditions for use of available, high-speed, wireless Internet across the country.
  2. Provide enabling infrastructure and frameworks that support the growth of data centres, pervasive instrumentation (Internet of Things), machine learning, and local manufacturing, whilst fostering a secure innovation ecosystem.
  3. Grow the contribution of ICT to the economy to 10% by 2030, by using ICT as a foundation to the creation of a more robust economy, providing secure income and livelihoods to the citizenry.
  4. Leverage regional and international cooperation and engagements to ensure that Kenya is able to harness global opportunities.
  5. Position the country to take advantage of emerging trends such as the shared and gig economy by enhancing our education institutions and the skills of our people, and fostering an innovation and start-up ecosystem that is able to lead on a global scale.
  6. Gain global recognition for innovation, efficiency, and quality in public service delivery. Services will be delivered in a manner that ensures we have a prosperous, free, open, and stable society.

These objectives will be actualised through four thematic focus areas:

  1. Mobile-first: which will ensure that every Kenyan can access inexpensive Internet and reasonable access to locally produced devices.
  2. Market: designed to increase the overall size of the digital and traditional economy to 10% of GDP by 2030
  3. Skills and innovation: which outlines a careful plan designed to jump-start a self-supporting ecosystem that will produce world-class research, technology products, and industries
  4. Public service delivery: requires that all government services are available online, that every Kenyan has online access, and that government services are delivered quickly and fully at the time and place that they are needed.

The government will also promote broadcasting and telecommunication services through:

  1. Provision of infrastructure to enable expansion of digital TV coverage in unserved and underserved areas, encouraging development of high quality, easily accessible, and relevant local content.
  2. Development of a National Language Policy to encourage the use of local languages in developing content.
  3. Ensuring that the radio frequency spectrum is managed in an equitable and transparent manner with specific and clear conditions.
  4. Encouraging sharing of infrastructure and enforcement of quality of services regulations to ensure availability of reliable services by service providers and realisation of an effective postal and courier ecosystem to drive the development of eCommerce and the digital economy.
Share this post

Comment on post

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *