Kenyan President William Ruto on Monday launched a ten-year plan to spur the growth of the digital economy through investing in a robust innovation ecosystem, training, mentorship, and market linkages.
Launched on the sidelines of the third edition of Kenya Innovation Week, underway in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, the innovation plan roots for supportive infrastructure, training, and access to capital as a means to accelerate the growth of technology start-ups in the country.
“The ten-year national innovation masterplan provides a roadmap for accelerating growth of the knowledge-based economy through tapping into private capital, enacting policy frameworks, and providing training to the youth,” Ruto said.
He reaffirmed Kenya’s commitment to become a regional innovation hub, adding that angel investors and venture capitalists were keen to pump capital into local start-ups that are promoting digitization of the public and private sectors.
In addition, Ruto said the government is keen to leverage youth-led innovations to tackle the climate crisis and transform agriculture, education, manufacturing and health sectors.
The plan will help public and private sectors tap into emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, internet of things, and data analytics, which are crucial for modernizing the economy, Ruto said.
Senior policymakers, young innovators, investors, and scholars are attending the 2023 Kenya Innovation Week which runs until Friday. The five-day event will feature panel discussions, exhibitions, and business networking sessions.
Ababu Namwamba, cabinet secretary for Youth Affairs, Creative Economy and Sports, said besides showcasing innovations that are transforming key economic sectors, the event will also provide young innovators a platform to pitch for funding.
Namwamba said the launch of a ten-year innovation masterplan realigns with the government’s people-centered development strategy to tackle poverty, inequality, and youth unemployment.