The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has entered into a partnership with the Ministry of Information, Communication, and Digital Economy in Kenya to drive inclusive digital transformation in the country. The UNDP signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry to affirm the partnership. The aim of this collaboration is to accelerate Kenya’s digital landscape, ultimately bridging the digital divide not only in the country but also across Africa.
The partnership between UNDP and the Kenyan government focuses on an array of objectives. First, it aims to equip workers with digital skills and upskilling, data governance that ensure responsible data practices, automation of government services, and promotion of digital jobs and businesses to ensure sustainability and create a more citizen-centric digital ecosystem.
Anthony Ngororano, the Resident Representative of UNDP Kenya expressed enthusiasm about the partnership saying that the partnership demonstrates UNDP’s commitment to accelerating inclusive digital transformation in Kenya.
“By addressing the challenges related to digital skills, data management, and access to digital jobs, we can unlock the full potential of Kenya’s digital economy and bridge the existing digital divide,” he said.
Kenya is at the frontline in the digital economy, making up 7.7 percent of GDP, followed by South Africa and Morocco at 6.51 percent and 6.82 percent respectively. Accenture’s Africa GDP Forecast predicts that by 2025, the digital sector in Kenya will add $12 billion (KES 1.4 trillion) on 9.24 percent to the country’s GDP. However, despite what Kenya has achieved, it still faces the challenge of widening the digital divide.
Emphasizing the significance of the partnership, Eliud O. Owalo, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy, stated, “Kenya has emerged as a frontrunner in digital transformation in Africa, but we recognize the need for inclusive development. Through collaboration with UNDP and other stakeholders, we can address the challenges of digital skills, data governance, e-governance, and digital job creation. This partnership will enable us to build an ecosystem that effectively supports our National Digital Master Plan (2022-2032) and accelerates Kenya’s inclusive digital transformation.”
There is great potential in Africa’s digital public infrastructure that has the ability to transform economies, empower communities and bridge the digital divide. The e-conomy Africa Findings 2020 report predicts a rise in the African digital sector to $712 billion by 2050 catalyzing economic growth, diversification, and sustainable development across the continent.
The success of this partnership relies on a unified effort from governments, private sector entities, and civil society organizations. Collaboration at regional and continental levels can enhance knowledge sharing, resource pooling, and the development of scalable solutions to address challenges. Through this collaborative approach, infinite possibilities can be unlocked for the future, promoting investment, research and development, and nurturing local talent in the digital sector.