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Kenya, Korea rekindle digital transformation ties

By , Kenya Correspondent
Kenya , 06 Mar 2024
Engineer John Kipchumba Tanui, Kenya's principal secretary: Department of ICT and Digital Economy.
Engineer John Kipchumba Tanui, Kenya's principal secretary: Department of ICT and Digital Economy.

Kenya has strengthened its digital transformation agenda through renewed collaboration with South Korea.

This is part of the third phase of the Economic Innovation Partnership Programme (EIPP) in collaboration with the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency.

The cooperation aims to develop Konza Technopolis, Kenya's Silicon Valley.

Kenya is constructing the Konza Technopolis project, a massive technology hub that will be developed 64 kilometres south of Nairobi. The project is being marketed by the government as a key component of its Kenya Vision 2030 development strategy.

Engineer John Kipchumba Tanui, Kenya's principal secretary: Department for ICT and Digital Economy,  said the East African country's long-standing partnership with Korea has been beneficial in a variety of sectors, including ICT, infrastructure development, healthcare, water, and education.

"The third year of EIPP is expected to provide support for the establishment of a stable infrastructure, incubation complex, smart farm, diversification of energy sources, green transition and enhancement of energy independence for Konza including integrated information and transportation network," Tanui said.

He was addressing in the capital, Nairobi. Korea's EIPP grant methodology is based on prolonged cooperation.

EIPP has so far established smart city development, the Konza Digital Media City, and the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

These initiatives are putting Kenya on the path to a knowledge economy.

KAIST is modelled after the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, which is responsible for the Asian country's economic transformation.

The growth of links with Korea corresponds with Kenya's Digital Transformation Agenda, which commits to transforming the country into a digital economy.

Since assuming office, President William Ruto has emphasised technology as the key to boosting efficiency, increasing inclusivity, and fostering openness and honesty in Kenya.

According to Ruto, Kenya should embrace technology to 'deepen and reinforce' public confidence in the administration.

The Kenyan government has since digitised government services, and Kenyans may now access over 5,000 government services online via an improved e-Citizen platform that was recently launched.

Ruto stated the e-Citizen platform will improve service delivery by eliminating inefficiency, corruption, waste, and prejudice.

With digitalization, the president stated that formerly underprivileged communities will no longer be denied access to government services.

Kenya has increased its efforts in recent months to expand its ICT sector in order to boost productivity and competitiveness.

The largest economy in East Africa announced its budget for the financial year 2023/2024, spending $109.6 million (KES 15.1 billion) to fund ICT-related initiatives.

The financial assistance helps the growth and development of the developing ICT sector, as the country works to establish itself as an ICT innovation hub in order to realise the digital economy's potential.

The country has since implemented strong steps to ensure the growth of the digital economy.

These include the national ICT policy, the Kenya Start-Up Act, the Data Protection Act, the Digital Economy Blueprint, and the Computer Misuse and Cybercrime Act.

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