The Government of Kenya has plans to announce a multi-stakeholder National Broadband Council to coordinate implementation of its new National Broadband Strategy (NBS) 2023 that takes into account the recent technological, industry trends and market realities.
With support from National Communication Secretariat tasked to monitor and evaluate deployment of NBS 2023, the council is expected to facilitate connection that will create opportunities for smart solutions that will help in transforming Kenyans' everyday life, their common creativity, the development of business ideas, regardless of their location and thus enable societal and economic benefits of digital transformation.
In an executive summary in the NBS Interim Report, Joseph Mucheru, Kenya's ICT Cabinet Secretary notes that in collaboration with the private sector and development partners, the Government intends to leverage broadband to deliver its Vision 2030 flagship projects as well as the Big Four Agenda, encompassing delivery of food security, universal healthcare, affordable housing and manufacturing.
"By implementing NBS 2023, the government aims to increase access to broadband coverage of 3G to 94 percent of the population by 2020, increase digital literacy in schools to 85 percent, and expand broadband to the 47 counties and purposely to have 50 percent digital literacy amongst the workforce," said Mucheru.
"By implementing NBS 2023, the government aims to increase access to broadband coverage of 3G to 94 percent of the population by 2020, increase digital literacy in schools to 85 percent, and expand broadband to the 47 counties and purposely to have 50 percent digital literacy amongst the workforce."
Joe Mucheru, ICT Cabinet Secretary, Kenya
To implement the strategy, the proposed multi-stakeholder National Broadband Council shall have the responsibility of coordinating and implementing the NBS 2023 with the support of a monitoring and evaluation that will be done by the National Communication Secretariat.
The robust monitoring and evaluation framework with timelines for deliverables will be prepared and publicized to guide in the tracking of the implementation stated the cabinet secretary.
Confident that NBS 2023 will usher in an era of coordinated investments in national ICT infrastructure, the Ministry of ICT has made the deliberate move to eliminate unnecessary duplication of investments and thus ensure optimal use of resources in the sector.
An important leap towards avoiding any duplication was the involved of various industry players in putting together the NBS interim report.
The process of formulating this Strategy has according to the Mucheru given the ICT Ministry the opportunity to take stock of past successes and failures. Through the process, the Ministry has also envisioned the strategic objectives for the future while at the same time appreciating the rapidly evolving ICT landscape, said the Cabinet Secretary.
"The strategic themes adopted in this Strategy reinforce our broadband vision, namely, to be a globally competitive knowledge-based society enabled by broadband," said Mucheru adding: "It complements, among others, the African Union Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as we embark on the next phase of the Vision 2030 journey - the Medium Term Plan III (MTP) (2018-2022) and the implementation of Kenya's Big Four Agenda."
While appealing, to all industry players to embrace broadband as the key to a true knowledge-based economy, Mucheru said the implementation of the Strategy, will ensure that various agencies identified in the respective action areas of NBS 2023 will benefit the societal and economic benefits owing to digital transformation.
In a bid to harness the synergies and inter-linkages prominent in digital landscapes towards digital transformation, Mucheru appealed to various industry players identified in the proposed action areas to execute the strategy.
Mucheru expressed optimism asserting that with that with the envisaged partnerships and collaboration of all stakeholders, the objectives the government aspires to accomplish will ultimately translate into milestones that will in fullness of time be attributed to collective efforts.