Kenya Is On The Road To Digital Transformation

Huawei Kenya CEO Will Meng
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Leveraging the Power of the Digital Economy to Achieve Kenya Vision 2030

UN Secretary-General Guterres has stated: “The COVID-19 pandemic is the worst global crisis since the Second World War”.

In 2020, the fight against the pandemic and economic recovery was the top priorities of every country, and Kenya set an example for Africa in both the fight against the pandemic and economic recovery: Kenya was one of the first African countries to adopt and implement a string of rigorous policies, and one of the few countries to have positive economic growth in 2020.

Crisis often stimulates change and brings new momentum for economic growth. These new business models and practices have accelerated digital transformation among traditional industries. Globally, the digital economy has become the growth engine for the entire economy. It has become a key tool for countries to drive economic recovery and growth.

Kenya Is On The Road To Digital Transformation

Kenya is also on the road to digital transformation. In 2017, the third medium-term plan for Kenya Vision 2030 regarded ICT as a fast-growing industry. Two years later, President Kenyatta released the Digital Economy Blueprint at the 2019 Transform Africa Summit, making Kenya the first country in Africa to do so.

Towards the end of 2020, the government released the draft Digital Economy Strategy, which further clarified the strategic direction Kenya’s digital economy development would take, and updated it based on what has happened during the pandemic. Online work, online education, and e-commerce have expanded faster than could have been imagined, mitigating the economic and social impacts of the pandemic and laying a strong foundation for the future.

The construction of digital infrastructure is a top priority when developing the digital economy and ecosystem. Huawei has been operating in Kenya for over two decades. During this period, the company has worked with the telecommunication companies, and helped with the growth in mobile network coverage. Huawei has also worked with the Ministry of ICT to build the National Optical Fiber Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI), providing links to local government offices across the 47 counties nationwide.

Huawei Kenya CEO Will Meng

With regards to cybersecurity, Huawei has always held both cybersecurity and privacy protection to be of paramount importance.

In addition, since the pandemic began in Kenya, Huawei has pro-actively fulfilled our corporate social responsibility with various donations including videoconferencing equipment and thermal imaging thermometers to various organizations, including the Ministry of Health who has used them to co-ordinate the pandemic response, and share experiences with international partners in China and beyond.

Huawei is well aware that talent plays a crucial role in national development. From the beginning of the pandemic, we have provided training to more than 5,000 people through online learning. Through the “Learn ON” project, Huawei collaborated with more than 30 universities to support over 2,000 students in distance learning receiving recognition from lecturers, university students, and UNESCO.

Huawei also worked with the Ministry of ICT to provide more extensive online training on Cloud and AI for students in the Presidential Digital Talent Programme and provide online training to about 800 civil servants. Our UniTech Talk series lectures are bringing the latest technology insights and trends to students from over 40 Kenyan universities. In addition, we sponsored and supported the “Fursa vs Virus Challenge” nationwide innovation competition, receiving accolades from President Kenyatta.

We recently closed the curtains on 2020 and are currently embarking on a new journey, 2021, which we hope will be a promising year.

Kenya Is On The Road To Digital Transformation

Huawei will also work with the Ministry of ICT on the construction of the Konza Technopolis data center aimed at further digitizing Kenya’s government operations.

Second, we will focus on growing digital business in the tourism, health, education, finance, and energy sectors amongst other things. We will collaborate with the Ministry of Tourism and Safaricom on a digital tourism project to attract more tourists from around the world, thus accelerating the recovery of Kenya’s tourism sector. We will also work with the Ministries of ICT, Health, and Education on a series of projects to help connect hospitals and schools to high-speed internet to bring better services to users.

Third, we will use Huawei public cloud services to help small and medium-sized enterprises with digital innovation. Huawei will also work with telecommunications companies and universities to build innovation labs.

Finally, as the digital economy becomes more important, so does enhancing digital skills and values. In 2021, Huawei will continue to cooperate with universities to provide ICT Academy training and provide more professionals with practical opportunities through our Eastern Africa training center.

Felicity Gitonga
Felicity Gitonga is the founder of Africa Business News. abn, freelance writer, journalist, and author with a passion for telling stories.

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