Information and Communication Technology (ICT) could grow and sustain the Kenyan economy. The diversification of the Kenyan economy would not be enough to take the country out of recession except the process was done by leveraging on ICT in an effective and efficient manner. The country is presently in a recession, but it is not because we are in it that we are concerned. We are concerned because each time there is a sharp drop in prices, we enter into a recession and we want to make sure that this cycle does not continue. And the only way we can do so is to diversify the economy by leveraging on ICT and moving the economy from being resource-based which it has been since independence.
The role of ICT and telecommunications is very significant and critical in any society, particularly in Kenya, which was striving to be a new nation by leveraging on ICT. The telecom sector alone contributed millions of dollars to the nation’s economy in the years of its existence. Given its immense contribution to economic growth, the government should work assiduously with the National Assembly to declare all telecom infrastructure across Kenya‘s critical National Assets. There was compelling need for policy intervention in the form of a digital service strategy.
The high cost of governance in comparison with digital service delivery, low level transparency, accountability and considerable resource leakages must not continue. The policy concept rests on a vision which envisaged the development of a sound digital infrastructure. This is pivotal to effective, efficient, transparent and accountable service delivery for improved quality of the social and economic life for the citizenry. The industry currently provides more employment than the agricultural and tourism sector, adding that the industry contributed about 10 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. The time has come to fully embrace ICT to enhance transparency and good governance if we really are to fulfill the ‘change’ mandate Kenyans voted President Uhuru Kenyatta to bring about. It is arguably one of the fastest growing sectors of the Kenyan economy and is one of largest ICT market in Africa. Industry analysts have extrapolated that ICT tools and devices, software solution, IT outsourcing and e-commerce sectors alone could employ over 10 million Kenyans and contribute billions of dollars to our economy. The mission was to deploy ICT in all the sectors in a very effective and efficient manner so as to diversify the economy in a sustainable manner.
It is important to maximize the potentials and remained competitive for the economy to be strong to withstand shocks. Otherwise, after sometime, we will relapse to what the situation used to be and the problems would start again. There was still hope for the nation, considering the contribution of ICT to GDP and the millions of job it created. The establishment was not only for regional development but for the productive integration of the African continent into the global economy. I call on government to embrace outsourcing and industrialization of the country to ensure the transfer of technology. The monarch enjoined government to engage more in land leasing rather than outright sale of land in the country.
The writer, Jared Oundo holds a honors degree in Economics. He is a published author and a consultant