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Kenya bets on digital economy in youth empowerment drive

By , ITWeb
Kenya , 08 May 2023
President William Ruto.
President William Ruto.

Kenya is betting on the digital economy in creating more career opportunities for the growing youth population.

President William Ruto says his government is keen on making Kenya an ICT innovation hub to unlock the digital economy potential.

To this end, the president said his government has put in place ‘robust measures’ to ensure successful implementation of the country’s digital economy.

Ruto cited the National ICT Policy, the Kenya Start-Up Act, Data Protection Act, Digital Economy Blueprint and the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act and the Konza Technopolis project, as examples of government efforts in spurring digital economy.

“The digital transformation agenda is real, feasible and anchored on a robust institutional framework,” he said.

President Ruto spoke last week during the launch of Fingo Africa, a youth banking app, introduced by Ecobank at Sarit Centre in Nairobi.

Kenya’s digital plans have since received backing of the World Bank, which recently approved $390 million in funding to amplify the country’s growing digital economy.

The monies will be used in financing the first phase of Kenya’s Digital Economy Acceleration project, which aims to ‘expand access to high-speed internet, improve the quality and delivery of education and selected government services, and build skills for the regional digital economy’.

The World Bank said the Digital Economy Acceleration Project will use a multi-phase programmatic approach with two phases. Phase one will run from 2023 to 2028, focusing on expanding access to high-speed internet. While, phase two of the project will run from 2026-2030, concentrating on building a data-driven and secure environment for enhanced digital service delivery and innovation for the regional digital economy.

In addition, the project will also mobilise an estimated $100 million in private capital for broadband infrastructure development.

The Kenya Digital Economy Acceleration project is also expected to increase access to broadband through an expansion of the fibre optic backbone and last-mile connectivity to government and learning institutions, as well as along the country’s borders, benefiting the regional digital markets.

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