Businesses & Financial News

Kenya to host ICT summit in April

By Monica Muema

The 11th edition Connected Kenya Summit, the only platform that brings over 1000 ICT thought leaders and experts under one roof will take place from 11th-14th April 2022 in Diani, Kwale with both local and international delegates expected to attend.

This year’s Summit will host ICT minds ever in the East African region who will take part in three days of intensive engagements on how ICT will support the different sectors of the economy and society through digital skills, digital infrastructure as well as ICT innovations.

There will also be conversations around emerging technologies such as Blockchain, Internet of Things, big data, and Artificial Intelligence, among others.

Under the theme “Accelerating Digital Transformation”, a great deal of earnest discussion that will go on under Connected Kenya Summit, 2022, will shape how industry will provide viable ICT solutions to challenges facing the country especially after the Covid pandemic negatively impacted the different sectors of the economy.

It is noteworthy that Connected Kenya Summit that is hosted by the ICT Authority has grown from humble beginnings in 2009 to a now sprawling annual gathering to a current high-level forum of renowned ICT thought leaders and experts from overseas and the region.

The event has continued to provide a platform where the ICT industry players, government, innovators, and other stakeholders mingle freely, share and exchange ideas on how ICT can continue to be a catalyst of service delivery to citizens and attain a knowledge economy. It has also created a golden networking opportunity for government, students and investors through its famous fireside chats.

The conversations that have happened during past Connected Kenya Summit benefitted the sector and clarified its role in the delivery of the country’s economic growth as well as driving business agenda for many organizations.

The inaugural theme in 2009, for example, were “Great minds come together”. In 2010 the theme was “Shared services to drive down cost to citizen; 2011 innovating for the citizen; 2012 Knowledge & beyond; 2013, county citizen served; 2014 breaking the barriers and in 2015 “Strength in our networks; in 2016 the theme was “Bridging the service gap” while the theme for Connected Kenya Summit 2017 was “Shaping the future”. In 2018 the theme was “Using technology to preserve our heritage”.

In addition, the objectives of Connected Kenya, 2022 Summit are clearly spelt out: To review progress and achievements in the sector in the last decade; share knowledge, case studies, best practice and lessons learnt based on experiences; develop and recommend policy, regulatory and operational interventions where necessary; Charter a future Kenya of economic prosperity using ICTs based on review of achievements and lessons learnt in both public and private sector; and provide a platform for meaningful networking that will result in fruitful relationships that contribute to economic development.

It is also noteworthy that Kenya is already a regional ICT hub and developing into a globally competitive digital economy.

This can be confirmed by the mobile telephony penetration and innovations, growth and investment in broadband infrastructure and the uptake of new concepts such as blockchain.

These developments provide additional economic interactions, raise new frontiers, invite questions and seek to invite novel responses from the leaders, legislators, policy makers, regulators and industry players.

Further, the past Connected Summits have seen the birth of key public service innovations namely:  the Huduma Initiative, the e- citizen portal, Digital Literacy Program as well as the National ICT Master Plan.

It is therefore anticipated that this year’s forum will add to this bucket of innovations. The Authority is supporting Innovation through the Whitebox Programme and during this Connected, women who have come up with exemplary innovations will be awarded.

Specifically, under the big Four Agenda, the following  has been  realized:(a) increased number of locally assembled devices at the JKUAT & Moi university assembly plants, which have both assembled  the over one million digital learning devices that have been  distributed to learners in all corners of the country under the Digital Literacy Program;(b) utilization of the digital infrastructure to enable health institutions, countrywide, to share data and create healthcare management systems and so improve efficient institutions (c) Using ICTs to enable farmers get value for their produce.

The ICT Authority is therefore encouraging all ICT sector players to be present at the summit and contribute to the sharing of knowledge and so arrive at solutions on how best we can complete Kenya’s journey to being a knowledge economy and regional ICT Hub.

The journey of Connected Kenya Summit to where it is now has been one of collaboration and partnerships. This year’s sponsors are Safaricom, Telcom – Dimension Data, Dell/Intel/Redditon, Oracle, Huawei, AWS, Konvergence and Extreme.

 

 

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