Ruto At One: Fundamental Milestones in the ICT Ministry

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The Digital Superhighway, one of the five pillars of Kenya Kwanza’s BETA’s five pillars, was intended both as a prime mover for the other four pillars and a critical success factor for the country moving forward.

The other four pillars are agriculture, affordable housing, small and medium sector enterprises, and universal health care.

In its first year in office, the Kenya Kwanza administration’s target of laying out an extra 100,000 km of fiber optic is on course, with close to 5,000 km done this year, translating to an average of 25,000 km annually, over the period of the first term of this government.

Installation and operationalization of Public Wi-Fi hotspots are one of President Ruto’s administration’s most visible tasks. The government is providing free public Wi-Fi, with a target of 25,000 hotspots across the country by the year 2027.

Some 14,690 spots have been identified across the country, for installation of Wi-Fi.

Based on the Ministry’s collaboration with county governments, 194 Wi-Fi hotspots have been installed in marketplaces and county headquarters.

As part of community innovation hubs, some 172 public Wi-Fi hotspots have been installed while ICTA has installed another 55 hotspots; thereby giving a total of 421.

Parallel to this are village digital hubs with the objective to provide the youth with digital skills for digitally-enabled jobs, and digital entrepreneurship. Over the five years, the Kenya Kwanza administration is targeting 1,450 digital hubs.

In this regard, the government, through the ministry, aims to establish one hub in each of the 1,450 County Assembly electoral wards in the country. This works out to 290 hubs annually. So far 174 have been installed.

Digitization of government records and over 5,000 services is ongoing.

The objective is to give Kenyans the comfort of accessing services virtually from wherever they may be.

The strategy is to place all government services on the e-Citizen digital platform, something that the government proposes to realize by the close of this year.

The target for the end of June 2023 was 5,000 services. The Ministry of ICT surpassed this to reach 5,084 services. Meanwhile, another 2,555 services have been partially onboarded. When Ruto took over office, only 350 services were on the platform.

Digitalization of the Cabinet is yet another exciting achievement.

The Cabinet Secretariat established the Joint Implementation Team, constituting of the MIC-DE, Konza Technopolis Development Authority, the ICT Authority (ICTA), the Communications Authority of Kenya, and the Cabinet Secretariat Office to digitalize and automate the business of the Cabinet.

The joint secretariat has delivered, installed, and operationalized 92 video conferencing facilities in all government ministries and State departments, the Presidency, and the office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary as of June 2023.

Digital skilling through Ajira and Jitume programs, equipping citizens with digital skills.

In collaboration with technical and vocational training institutes under the Ministry of Education, ICT ministry plans to equip one million learners with ICT skills for digital entrepreneurship.

As of July 31, 2023, some 77 vocational entities had received 6,700 desktops. A total of 8,159 virtual desktops have been handed to institutions across the country for digital skilling.

The National Addressing System is another critical component of the digital economy.

A draft Policy and Bill on the National Addressing System has been developed. Stakeholder engagement was undertaken, and comments were incorporated.

Validation by stakeholders is pending before submission to Cabinet for consideration and approval.

As part of this agenda, the Nairobi cadastral (mapping) is complete. We have mapped out 241 blocks.

To serve Kenyans better, the Ministry of ICT is in the process of setting up the National Contact Centre. This is being developed as a central point from which citizens will interact with their Government across various channels.

The contact center will use digital methods of communication, such as social media messaging, email, and online chats, to connect with customers.

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