The Ministry of Information has handed in the conceptualisation and operationalisation of Enterprise Kenya to the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).
Enterprise Kenya was mooted more than a year ago to connect the innovation and investment ecosystem in the country. The initiative which was being spear-headed by the ICT Authority hit a snag when the ministry could not secure funding for its operationalisation.
Mr. Michael Macharia – Chair, ICT – KEPSA said that : “We have just had our industry meeting with CS Mucheru and it has been agreed Enterprise Kenya is critical and that private sector should take charge and revert to the Government in 14 days with what policy interventions will be required to operationalise the same.”
During the meeting, Mucheru said the private sector should go ahead and drive Enterprise Kenya.
“Enterprise Kenya should be run by Private sector,” Mucheru said before agreeing with the KEPSA members that they would return to him in two weeks with a report and a team. KEPSA members said that if Enterprise Kenya is sorted and local content laws are put in place, then there is hope for good.
The meeting with the CS Ministry of ICT Joe Mucheru was based on a Ministerial progress report that included among other things, the National ICT Policy, Low ICT penetration in rural areas, Implementation of ICT projects under the Northern Corridor Integration Project, implementation and expansion of the Presidential Digital Talent Programme (PDTP), Enterprise Kenya, the Digital Learning Programme, Vulnerability to Vandalism that exposes Service providers to Ksh5B losses annually, increasing rate of Cyber insecurity, Inadequate legislative framework to govern the ICT sector and the Universal Service fund.
On the issues raised by KEPSA members over the ICT policy, Mucheru said, “There is a policy, only that it needed to be upgraded.”
He said that in the last meeting between the Parliamentarians and Industry to discuss the ICT Practitioners Bill, he presented the challenge that the country is facing.
“Today over 41000 Kenyans are doing online work on Upwork and of those only 7000 have ICT Jobs. The rest are non-ICT, they are either financial, accounting administration, so there are many areas where they could stop anyone using ICT. The Bill as it stands does not support the country’s good”, said Mucheru who agreed with KEPSA that there be formed an Industry driven body to look into what is best to be done and report to the Minister in two weeks.
It was also mentioned that the exit of Orange Telecom from Kenya had not affected the NOFBI and in fact the Ministry was working on amending its management model. KEPSA members present at the meeting were also reminded that NOFBI is a backbone and not a lastmile issue.
The Minister and KEPSA members were also appraised on the developments around the PDTP in which the number of applications rose from last year’s 4000 to 6500 this year from all 47 counties of Kenya. The program is one of the key initiatives and projects spelt out in the ICT Master plan and a key deliverable for the Jubilee government and the Vision 2030 Social and Economic strategic pillars.
During the meeting, a PDTP official raised a plea to companies to take on the products of the PDTP saying those who take on the interns do not have to worry about their remuneration.
At the same meeting, PS Sammy Itemere revealed that by the end of this year (2016) the Ministry will publish all government ICT projects. “We will disclose everything,”he said and noted that unfortunately this development will cause a lot of complaints. This development comes in the wake of complaints by the private sector where they demanded for visibility of projects from the Ministry. Itemere however observed that the Private sector was also a mess.