Kenya’s commitment to digital transformation has been highlighted at the ongoing Connected Summit 2023. To hasten the transformation, the government is planning to launch Silicon Savannah clubs across the country. The Silicon Savannah clubs will be similar to the agricultural 4K clubs, which have helped to improve farming practices and increase crop yields. This was announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Investments, Trade and Industry, Hon. Moses Kuria. The launch of Silicon Savannah clubs is a positive step towards nurturing Kenya’s tech talent and positioning the country as a hub for tech innovation in East Africa.
Moses Kuria made the announcement even as he reiterated the government’s commitment to exploring digital trade and e-commerce with various bodies and countries, including COMESA, East African countries, Dubai, and the US. This demonstrates Kenya’s commitment to leveraging technology to drive economic growth and development.
Kenya has been a leader in digital transformation in Africa, with its digital economy contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 7.7% followed by Morocco and South Africa at 6.82%2. The World Bank has also noted that Kenya is eager to position itself as a hub for information and communication technologies, e-commerce, and digital services.
It is important for Kenya to nurture its tech talent as it has a wealth of tech talent that it can harness to come up with innovative solutions that will drive digital transformation in the country. CS Moses Kuria highlighted the importance of reducing post-harvest losses in the education system, especially when it comes to technology. He compared the loss of technology talent to the loss of mangoes in farming, where only 2 out of every 8 mangoes make it to the market. This analogy drives home the point that Kenya needs to do more to support and nurture its tech talent.
Hon. Moses Kuria also emphasized the need to pay more attention to technology in Kenya, as if technology is the country’s Gold and Oil, then it appears the country is not doing enough to harness the power of technology for its own progress. The CS however noted that the government is already working with KIPI to ensure all University students trademark their innovations so that they’re not taken advantage of by local tech and multinationals. He also reminded the delegates at the conference to empower the innovators by structuring the country’s innovation ecosystem.
The Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry in Kenya has also prioritized digital trade, e-commerce, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution in its policies and plans. Digital trade and e-commerce offer significant economic benefits to businesses and countries, providing opportunities for economic growth, job creation, and export revenues.
By making digital trade and e-commerce easier, countries can become more competitive in the world market and attract investment from other countries. Kenya has made impressive strides in digital transformation, and the government has prioritized the development of the digital economy, launching various initiatives aimed at fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the sector. The 12th edition of the Connected Summit in 2023 is set to explore the theme of “Digital Economy: Endless Opportunities Shaping Our Future.” The Kenya National Multi Commodities Exchange (KOMEX) is a strategic intervention that will address market inefficiencies and market information asymmetry by facilitating safe, simplified, secure, and structured trade in agricultural and non-agricultural commodities.
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