Discuss the role of ICT in the achievement of Vision 2030.
ICT has a vital role in the economic, social and political development in the Vision 2030. This will enable Kenya to become the Africa’s most globally competitive economy and offer a high quality of life to its all citizens by the year 2030. By developing and strengthening ICT as driver of industry to enhance their productivity and global competitiveness. As a result, every Kenyan citizens will be provided with accessible, efficient, reliable and affordable ICT services.
Kenya Vision 2030 conceive a Kenya to be fully connect to one another networks of roads, airports, railways, ports and telecommunications. This plan of developing the ICT Sector will modernized the Kenya’s ICT infrastructure to become the ICT hub for Africa. To achieve this, these are key structures to look at including energy, security, education and training to encourage the generation to be attracted towards science and technology, and trade and industry.
Through Vision 2030, Kenya intends to a globally competitive and suitable human resource to encounter the requirements of a booming industrializing economy. IT literacy of Kenyan citizens will play a vital role in developing the country into informative and knowledgeable economy. To achieve this, ICT education and training will be required to enhance the development of much needed human capital required for the ICT sector. According to World Bank noted in Kenya Economic Update report that was published in 2010, ICT has contributed to 14% growth to Kenya’s GDP between the years of 2000 and 2009. Therefore, introducing ICT in all sectors would improve regional trends in investment, business, opportunities and modernise the nation.
Developing ICT sector will create mega opportunity to develop e-commerce in trade and industry sectors. The development of e-business will remove traditional to a beneficial ICT enabled businesses which will promote more employments. The international trade will be eased and more products and services will be provided into the Kenyan market.
As reliable energy is important in utilisation of ICT such as electricity and eco-energy such as solar and wind energy. It is expected that more energy will be needed to generate and meet the demand for energy through existing source and alternative sources. Therefore, the universal access to affordable ICT will also be needing to provide a reliable energy supply throughout the nation including the rural areas.
To develop ICT sector, the ICT hardware is very important part of ICT infrastructure. In Kenya they must be imported from developed countries and to import them are costly. Therefore, government has set up policy of zero-rated taxes on ICT as an encouragement of universal access to affordable ICT services. To make use of these and be able to assemble such ICT products, there are institutes who have been selected as Incubation centres such just few examples are the Kenya Multimedia University, University of Nairobi, Strathmore University to ensure quality standards of such products. These standards are noted in Kenya Bureau of Standards. The use of e-applications and online courses will provide training and a source of improving the distributing of education in Kenya so that Kenyans nationals will not have to travel and suspend what they are doing just to attend the college and universities to attain the education. Hence, Government focuses on making Kenya a more information and knowledge economy which will create an availability of skilled manpower throughout Kenya. This will make Kenya to become the preferred destination for Business Process Outsourcing Sector (BPO)s in Africa. In 2015, Kencall was first international call centre based Nairobi in Kenya and it offers services to wide range of countries including US, Europe, Tanzania and even within Kenya.
ICT entrepreneurship growth is one of the strategy. Few examples, a locally made software named Ushahidi which is a geo-mapping software that was developed in 2007 to pinpoint violence during disputed 2007-2008 years of Kenya’s presidential election. Currently Ushahidi is being used worldwide providing detailed maps of environmental, elections and human right abuses in 159 countries around the globe. A locally made portable internet connectivity device called BRCK was created by same group to connect people in rural and urban areas that has problematic in electricity and internet connectivity. The National Optic Fiber Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI) consist of TEAMS, SeaCom and EASSy to ensure maximum capacity of connectivity to every district in Kenya.
The East Africa Marine System (TEAMS) was a joint venture with United Arab Emirates (UAE) to have a submarine cable system which costed 130 million US dollars. The other two SEACOM and EASSy are also fiber-optic live international cable ensuring better connectivity. According to IST-Africa report published in 2015, more than 50% of Kenyan population have access to internet connectivity and according to conclusion drawn by Mckinsey in 2013, the internet sector contributes to 2.9% of Kenya’s GDP.
The government introduced Madaraka PC projects which will act as an incubation model for students in local universities which will give Kenyans access to affordable ICT while providing an opportunity and environment for local Kenyan entrepreneurs to develop and manufacture the hardwares and software products locally. Digital Villages will play vital role in affordable universal access of ICTs in Kenya and will provide the demand for locally produced PCs with the help and efforts of Ministry of Information and Communications. Government is currently planning programmes aimed at improving connectivity to ensure the major wider coverage of the country which will result in improved communication through the nation and with the globe. ICT Parks are also another source of facilitating and increasing the usage of ICT in the society and communities.
Malili will be first smart city to be built in Kenya which will be located 60km outside of capital city, Nairobi. This will be a city for technology firms that transform Kenya in a globe ICT arena. The Malili Technopolis will be technology business park similar to Silicon Valley in United States of America. BPO, software innovations, call centres, data centres, manufacturing assemblies will be the main drive to the growth of the city. The government will ease the licenses obtaining, tax returns and lower transaction costs to encourage investor to invest in smart city. There is development of another city which Konza Technology City valued at USD14.5 billion.
When comes to Financial sector ICT is heavily involved both in bank and non-bank institutes. As the use of ICT facilities, the management and development of the financial sector which is a vital part in economic development. Using ICT, the financial data are easily available on the internet or television to the investors and key people that will be willing to invest in the country if the financial sector and economic sector of the country is stable. These will encourage the foreign investors to get involved, as the Kenya is able to communicate with the globe through ICT. An invention that is country wide use is M-Pesa service which is a mobile money transfer introduced by mobile network service provider Safaricom. Safaricom with the help of Equity bank created M-Kesho which enables M-Pesa users to access mobile phone saving account which will allow them to operate a bank account and withdraw access loans through their mobile phone anywhere they are without the need to go to a bank or financial provider. Over 80% of mobile money transaction is done through Safaricom’s M-pesa. The average daily value of M-pesa transaction noted is USD30million among roughly 20 million M-pesa users.
Agriculture plays significant role in the livelihood of Kenyans, as in 2006, the agricultural sector contributed 26% to Kenya’s GDP. The e-agriculture applications, using ICT, will provide important data to the nation which will empower the population to make a better judgement and decision-making opportunities leading to increased productivity and providing national food security. Through ICT, Government will be able to improve land management agricultural land. As mobile network is available throughout the country, the farmers can get all information on agricultural produce market and can easily communicate with traders through mobile phone. They receive information about neew technologies, rainfall forecasts, and agronomics practices from International Centre for Insects, Pests and Ecology (ICIPE) through their mobile phones. They can easily use banking services such as M-Pesa to transfer money quickly or get a loan quickly through M-Kesho. This enables the farmers and traders to deposit or withdraw money using their mobile phones. Therefore, the farmers are can purchase seeds, tools, machineries, pesticides and fertilisers from their suppliers without having to travel to nearest town or city.
Tourism is a productive sector in developing of Kenya’s economy as tourism is one of the provider of foreign currency into the country. The bringing of foreign currencies into Kenya improves the local currency rates and improves the local currency. As well as provides vital source of employment in foreign exchange industry. By increasing ICT use benefits the tourism by improving its management and facilities the tourist to be able to organise their whole visits online and are provided with important information on the country they are about to visit for holiday through internet and ads. This will encourage more numbers of tourist visits as Kenya will become visible global and what the destination has on offer such as safari tours with beautiful animals and savannas, local tribes and their cultures and many more. This will encourage more job opening to accommodate the needs in the tourism industry.
Health is important and with addition of ICT that will make the health service more efficient and will be much more successfully useful to fight against the severe health issue and major injuries. The X-ray machine and MRI scanner machine are globally used to determine injuries and health problem inside the patients which are less likely to determine without such equipment. The availability of such equipments throughout nation can make lives of doctors and practitioner easier to determine illness or injuries in time to be able to cure if patient that arrive in right times. This can improve the life expectancy of the Kenyans and will enable Kenya to control its high birth rates. The e-health application will provide better medical information and services to the population no matter where ever they are. The patient can contact the doctors through ICT even if they are miles away and can seek guidance without doctor physically being present at the patient’s current location.
Another achievement for Kenya in the ICT sector is the availability of e-Government services. This has led to making use of delivering information and services to the citizens, encouraging participation with the Government. This is to enriched lives of Kenyans through ICTs. One of such systems available is the e-citizen portal which has replaced the traditional paper system where people living in or outside Kenya are rather no longer needed to wait in long queues to make applications and renewals of passports, licenses and other official documents which now successfully can be done through online portal on which all your information required is submitted. This is an improvement in government services regarding online application for public service job, tracking of the status of ID and passports, the record of submission of tax returns is easily found, and through e-registry issuing business licensing can be done. The E-Gov will provide electronic interactions between government agencies and private business and sharing of information between governmental organisation
ICT in industry manufacturing, upsurges their productivity which forms part of a Vision 2030. With the use of ICT
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