Ms. Juliana Yiapan, Ministry of ICT Administration Secretary

Government Affirms Commitment to Enhance Digital Connectivity

The Government has affirmed its commitment to ensuring effective digital connectivity and access across the country.

State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary Esther Koimett says this is in a bid to enhance service delivery to Kenyans.

In remarks made on her behalf by Juliana Yiapan, Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology Administration Secretary during the Digital Access Programme (DAP) partners Day organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in collaboration with Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) at the Strathmore University, the PS noted that the Government through policies such as the National ICT Policy, the Broadband Strategy and the Digital Economy Blueprint; among others, has continued to enhance digital inclusion.

Ms. Juliana Yiapan, Ministry of ICT Administration Secretary

In these policy documents, digital inclusion is aimed at facilitating ICT accessibility, connectivity, affordability, and usability for all people and particularly facilitate the participation of women, youth, PWDs, the elderly, people from lower social economic groups, vulnerable people, and the minority and marginalized populations of Kenya,” PS Koimett stated.

She pointed out that digital connectivity is at the core of Kenya’s national priorities from healthcare, education, and government services.

The PS further said that the Government, in collaboration with its agencies and other partners, has undertaken several projects to enhance digital inclusion across the country.

She noted that the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) and African Centre for Women in ICT (ACWICT) are jointly implementing a project known as the COVID-19 and Digital Employability-III which aims at empowering 2,832 young women with digital skills.

Some of those who attended the Digital Access Programme (DAP) partners’ Day

The Broadcasting and Telecommunications PS further said that the ICT Authority and KICTANeT are implementing a project aimed at promoting cyber hygiene awareness among 30,000 excluded and marginalized populations in Kenya.

We have seen enhanced digital inclusion, cybersecurity, and cyber hygiene awareness and privacy through key multiple stakeholder engagement and knowledge,” she said.

The PS reiterated the Government’s commitment to collaborating with the private sector agencies to enhance digital connectivity.

It is only by working together that we can be able to address the identified access gaps that still exist,” she noted, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the urgent need to prioritize the digital inclusion agenda in Kenya.

COVID-19 presented an unprecedented opportunity for cross-sector collaboration to bridge the digital divide and enable unforeseen growth opportunities for the economy and society,” the PS added.

At the same function, Nicole Gregory, the British High Commission Head of People and Partnerships, said the UK Government is committed to working with Kenya on digital access programs.

Nicole Gregory, the British High Commission Head of People and Partnerships

Grace Gitonga, Convener KICtANet, said they are committed to working with the Government and other stakeholders to bridge the gap in digital access and connectivity in Kenya.

Other speakers at the event were Charles Juma, Digital Access Program Manager, and Christopher Kemei, Director, Universal Service Fund at the Communications Authority of Kenya, among others, joining the event virtually.

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