As the Smart Gov Summit 2023 comes into focus, so do the partnerships aligning dx⁵’s most comprehensive government platform and gathering. Set to take place on 28-29 September at the Edge Convention Centre, College of Insurance, the Summit is designed to bring together senior technology and business leaders in government, public administration, government agencies and technology leaders in Africa.
As it stands, the government technology industry is a rapidly growing one. According to The National Treasury, “The Government continues to invest in critical ICT infrastructure in order to facilitate internet connectivity and access to information. As such, $ 107.7 million has been allocated in FY 2022/23 to improve access to digitised services across the country.”
One of the government agencies that have partnered with dx⁵ for this highly anticipated Summit is Konza. Their agenda, it just so happens, fits perfectly across the tech ecosystem not just locally, but it also has tendrils expanding into the continent with their impact. Tech strategy specialist Josephine Ndambuki, the Chief Manager, Business Development & Innovation at Konza indicates as much.
What inspired Konza to board as dx⁵’s partners for the upcoming Smart Gov Summit?
dx⁵ (formerly CIO Africa) has built a name in the tech space and working with business leaders mainly in the private sector. Our current approach is that Konza has 2 faces to it. We are building a smart city, and we are also looking at innovation ecosystem contribution which chugs along on partnerships across sectors. We call it the quadruple-helix approach. With the new administration, our focus has shifted to transforming Kenya into a digitally enabled economy with digitally empowered citizens.
Talent also plays a considerable role, transforming Kenyans into borderless workers who need to embrace the economy in whichever career they are in. We are also supporting the digital transformation agenda of the government. Yes, we have the infrastructure, but beyond that, we also offer solutions developed in partnership with the private sector. We see the CIO as providing us an avenue to tell the world what you do, and how they can work with us to accelerate digital transformation. That is the bigger agenda.
I suppose that comprehensively answers what you hope to get out of the partnership.
Yes. Our focus is really on working with the private sector. We play in a very interesting space because we are a government agency in the ministries of ICT and Digital Economy facilitating trade and investment. We hope to go to market, and ICT is currently not devolved.
So, we are looking at big platforms in the superhighway’s infrastructure, and then connecting platforms, and allowing Kenyans to experience the digital network in the convenience of their homes. But also make them educated. You can develop the best systems but if you don’t know how to use them, you are not achieving it.
How can the private and public sectors plug into each other and work together for an accelerated digital transformation strategy and implementation?
The government is a facilitator of the development of relevant policies allowing the sector to engage. The private sector on the other hand is keen on identifying gaps and creating solutions in a very efficient manner. This collaboration allows us to identify things, come up with solutions and scale them fast. At Konza, we are very keen on developing the next big technology players. For the longest time, we have talked about what’s the next big thing post-M-Pesa. I think if the government creates the right environment to create solutions that can be scaled. As government, we can create enormous platforms for start-ups and the private sector allowing them to scale.
How do you view the current era of digital transformation, considering its comprehensive impact across sectors?
I like the digital transformation aspect that we are in for because it touches on all segments in a coherent fashion. Just having a conversation that pushes everything forward because to deal with the itinerant factors, you need everyone on board.