The government of Kenya has taken notable steps in facilitating an enabling environment for emergent technologies in line with Vision 2030, the Minister for Information and Communications, Mr Samuel Poghisio has said.
Mr Poghisio said they have so far improved access to information and communication technology (ICT) resources through a number of measures. Globally linked data transmission cables have been installed across the country. Consistent supplies of ICT infrastructure have been created through schemes such as Digital Villages in rural areas. The ICT needs of targeted groups are being serviced with a special emphasis on the school population through initiatives such as the Wazesh laptop scheme. In addition, appropriate policy measures have been implemented to create an environment that encourages competition, trust and security.
The Minister, who was speaking during the opening session of the 1st International Conference on Emerging and Future Information Communication Technologies (ICEFICT 2011) noted that the government and his “ministry in particular take great interest in this proactive industry event which will with no doubt generate knowledge on superior ways of harnessing technology to our advantage.”
“I am confident that the high level of expertise and diversity converged here will help us come up with quality, implementable and time-bound plans,” he said.
The conference was organized by the ICT Association of Kenya and Kenya Methodist University. The conference theme was “Convergence, Connectivity and Collaboration: The next wave of Innovation” aimed at exploring better and more scientifically grounded approaches to exploiting ICTs in the country.
Mr Poghisio was present to show government support for innovation and enterprise:
“Information and Communication Technology continues to acquire prominence in our national development agenda mainly because of its proven capacity to create tremendous opportunities for improved livelihoods. I am encouraged by the realization among the industry professionals and member of academia on the need to reflect on the status of the ICT landscape in view of emerging technology which will ensure that the pace of technology evolution does not outstrip the rate at which vital research is accumulated.”
He further explained that “being a versatile tool it is prudent that all individuals, departments and institutions align themselves accordingly to seize the benefits conferred by ICTs.”
However, the minister said much more remains to be done towards the realization of full information empowerment, citing an example of “the rapid globalization and increased reliance on technology, information security has emerged as a transnational issue of concern.”
As a matter of fact, he said that the majority of serious crimes including terrorism, human trafficking and financial fraud are largely facilitated through evolving technologies.
“The international character of online security challenges requires deep reflection and properly reasoned solutions,” he articulated, adding that these and other matters offers plenty food for thought to ICT experts across the world.
“The ministry will eagerly watch how this intellectually privileged forum proceeds to unravel the challenges that keep emanating from the emerging technology applications,” he challenged the congregation, “indeed we look forward to greater collaboration and capacity building towards securing a vibrant information environment.”