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State in race against time to digitize 5,000 services as June deadline looms large

The EIPP projects between the two countries will see the development of an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) and Integrated Control Centre, the Establishment of a Startup Ecosystem at Konza Technopolis, the Development of Smart Logistics in Konza, and the development of the Konza-Nairobi Corridor Transport Network. - Kenya has seen its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector grow an average of 10.8 percent every year since 2016, becoming a significant source of economic development and job creation with spillover effects in almost every sector of the economy.

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By Steve Umidha

At least 3,000 government services have been digitized, with thousands more lined up for automation ahead of the June deadline.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo yesterday expressed confidence that his Ministry will meet the tight cutoff date in its ambitious plan to migrate 5,000 government services to the digital platform by the end of this fiscal year.

“We are on course to meet that target by June,” said Owalo, while reacting to the level of readiness by the State following last November’s promise by President William Ruto to move all government services through the e-citizen portal.

Owalo was speaking during the launch of four Economic Innovation Partnership Program (EIPP) projects between Kenya and the Korean government – a grant model which seeks to fast-track the development of the Konza Technopolis project ((KoTDA). The Parastatal is creating a smart city and what is expected to be a vibrant innovation ecosystem as the country edges closer to meeting its digital economy status.

Last year, Kenya set out a new digital and data strategy, outlining plans to transform its digital services, upskill civil servants, and streamline online processes as it seeks to increase revenue collection and minimize the cost of collection, as well as enhance service delivery to Mwananchi.

In December 2022, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndun’gu gazetted the portal to be the official government digital payment platform. As a result, more transactions will be migrated to the online payment portal through a new universal pay bill number 222222.

“All payments for government services shall progressively be made through The official Government of Kenya Pay Bill Number is 222222,” confirmed Mr. Ndung’u.

Through its Digital economy blueprint titled, Powering Kenya’s Transformation, the government also expects the adoption of new technologies into the public-run entities and services, will give Kenya leg-up opportunities to leapfrog and join nations in the “First World and actively contribute to the global economy.”

“By adopting and implementing this Digital Economy Blueprint, Kenya can generate more revenue, reduce waste, improve services and efficiency, and increase citizen participation in a transparent and trusted environment,” reads in part the blueprint.

Digital government services include any processes available by the government online. Such services can be anything from filling out forms to researching public records regarding the inner workings of a specific State agency or parastatal.

Ideally, the digital payments platform is integrated with all available electronic payment platforms in Kenya, including mobile money payment services.

A raft of government services has been bundled under the e-citizen, generating hundreds of thousands of transactions every month. The portal generates an invoice for the various services and the user proceeds to pay the amount using mobile money platforms through the government’s pay bill number.

Once payment is made, the system reflects the transaction and generates a printable receipt for the user or customer. Services provided under the portal include motor vehicle ownership, land searches, birth, and death registrations.

Global figures show that the Digital Economy will be worth US$23 Trillion by 2025 and that returns on ICT Investment will be 6.7 times higher than other sectors.

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