Deputy President William Ruto has affirmed the government’s commitment to technological innovation and development in Kenya, saying they have intensified focus on higher education specifically on science, technology and mathematics. Speaking at Techno Brain Kenya during the launch of their partnership with Microsoft to become the first Microsoft software testing centre in Africa, Deputy President Ruto said it’s vital that Kenya becomes a leading producer of technological innovations.
He said technology will enable the country to ensure the future doesn’t find us unprepared, adding that the government will use the sector to drive the Big Four Agenda. “The Big Four is a technology agenda, it’s about innovation,” he said, adding that building houses and efficiently driving the NHIF registration process will require adequate technology. The DP said technology also provides solutions and if improved further and integrated well, will provide solutions for farmers, traders and even teachers. “It will have a social impact, by helping farmers get access to markets and students to access online libraries. This will change lives, communities and entire societies,” he said.
He reiterated that the government has set its sights on making Kenya a producer and exporter of innovation and not just a consumer of technology, saying a large pool of talent is needed as a result. He noted that services in the government have also been impacted massively, “From guaranteeing the sharing of information to facilitating public service to effective citizen participation and government accountability, e-government is becoming the new normal,” he said.
On his part, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said Kenya is becoming an attractive investment centre because of the policies the government is putting in place and the presence of an enabling environment. He said the technological transformation in the country has been rapid but its vital milestones have gone almost unnoticeable, “The transformation isn’t visible to everybody. You can’t specifically pinpoint when you first saw the camera phone and it shows Kenya is transforming and things are changing slowly but at the same time, very fast,” he said.