The Connected Summit 2023 kicked off on Monday with ICT stakeholders from Kenya and worldwide converging in Kwale to discuss the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in the digital economy.
The first day of the Summit was graced by Musalia Mudavadi, Prime Cabinet Secretary who led a delegation of high-ranking government officials. Also present were Eliud Owalo, ICT Cabinet Secretary, Ezra Chiloba, Director General of the Communications Authority of Kenya, Stanley Kamanguya, CEO ICT Authority, and other distinguished guests.
Mudavadi highlighted the need for African countries to embrace digital transformation to improve service delivery.
“We are ready for an inclusive and comprehensive digital transformation strategy to guide a common connected response to reap the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution. Kenya has set goals to be a leader in the region in terms of digitization,” he said.
CS Owalo highlighted Kenya’s government plan to digitize services, establish 25,000 Wi-Fi hotspots and lay 100,000 km of fibre in the next five years and roll out cheap smartphones for Kenyans costing $40.
“The Kenya Government has embarked on the implementation of the Digital Superhighway Agenda, as a part of our Broadband Programme. It is anticipated that in the next five (5) years, and through collaborative efforts with the private sector, an additional 100,000Km of national fibre optic will have been deployed, in line with our National Optic Fiber Bone Infrastructure (NOFBI). Together with this initiative, the government is already embarked on setting up 25,000 public WI-FI hotspots, 1,450 village digital hubs and at least two (2) data centres in every ward in the country,” he said.
Government officials called for strategically adopting emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) to avoid negative consequences such as job losses.
Professor Edward Kisiang’ani, Principal Secretary State Department for Broadcast and Telecommunications highlighted that AI could be the next frontier of government operations. However, he called for its careful usage so that it doesn’t threaten human existence.
The Connected Summit is organized by The ICT Authority. This year’s theme is “Digital Economy: Endless Opportunities Shaping Our Future”.