Kenya plans to promote the digital economy in order to boost employment opportunities in the country, a government official said on Monday.
Jerome Ochieng, principal secretary in the Ministry of Information, Communication Technology told a virtual meeting that with the rapid adoption of technology, jobs are moving from the physical workspace to the digital frontier.
“We have an opportunity to create more jobs if the country moves to embrace technology,” Ochieng said during the webinar on the role of emerging digital technologies in shaping the future of smart and sustainable cities post COVID-19 that was organized by Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA).
He observed that the East African nation is prioritizing the digital economy because it is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy.
According to Ochieng, in order for citizens to fully reap the benefits of the digital economy, they will need to acquire the necessary skills.
He said that the digital economy will be underpinned by the provision of universal broadband access to both urban and rural residents.
He observed that many private firms are automating their services and this could lead to temporary loss of jobs but overall more jobs will be created through embracing the digital economy.
Ochieng added that ICT is currently the driver of many sectors of the economy including health, agriculture and financial services.
“We don’t want Kenya to be left behind from the current digitalization trend and hence the government will embed ICT in every sphere of learning in the country,” he added.
Ochieng said that the digitalization of government services which will be availed through online platforms will also improve access to basic services.
John Tanui, CEO of KoTDA, said that through leveraging the digital economy, Kenya will be able to leapfrog its economic development.
Tanui observed that a key pillar of Kenya’s digital economy is the Konza Techno city which will host a smart city and data center.
He noted that currently governments around the world have been deploying smart city solutions in the fight against COVID-19.
Tanui said that technology has also been used to track the spread of the pandemic and support the implementation and identifying mitigation strategies.