ICT sector to contribute upto 8% of Kenya’s GDP by 2017

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Kenya’s ICT sector is set to contribute up to 8 per cent to the country’s GDP through IT-enabled services (ITES) and create 180,000 jobs by 2017.

This was said by Victor Kyallo, CEO, ICT Authority, in his opening remarks at the Innovation Forum,

“ICT Authority is keenly observing the ICT Masterplan into developing Kenya within which this forum lies. Among the key things that IT innovations can do is the contribution up to 8 per cent to the country’s GDP by ITEs as well as create 180,000 jobs in 2017 and we are working towards achieving this,” he said.

The ICT sector is also projected to create up to 55 Kenya-based global companies, US $500 million in Venture Capital funds as well as up to US $1 billion in ICT exports.

Speaking on how to use innovation to solve Kenya’s problems, Kenya ICT Outsourcing Society chair and CEO, Seven Seas Technologies, Mike Macharia said young entrepreneurs should look at how they can commercialize their companies and also look at how the companies can acquire Intellectual property so that they can sell across the continent and globally. “We need to connect the dots, break down the silos in the ecosystem and collaborate to create value,” he said.

Macharia also added that in order to achieve the above set commitments there is need for the ICT Sector to work with the private sector and centre of excellence in universities as this will help in ideas that we implement are integrated at a national university level.

Macharia also proposed on efforts to create a presidential innovation task force, a government and private owned venture capital fund as well as enactment of favourable procurement and local content laws. “If we are able to do all this Kenya will be Africa’s home of innovation,” he concluded.

Touching on the same, the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Dr Fred Matiang’i said that the challenge the sector faces is the skills gap, “Our key challenge as the Government however is the inadequate skills we want to move our 9 projects we want to implement and move most of our services to the digital platform but human capacity still lingers but through the Presidential Digital Training Programme (PDTP) we are beginning to work with the private sector to equip the public sector with the right skills so that we can gradually transition the public sector to an environment where we have an effective participant of the digital economy. We have a total of 9 key ICT projects in Government therefore we look forward to working with the private sectors through the nine projects as centres of excellence.”

Through the PDTP, the cabinet Secretary pointed out that they plan to create up to 1000 jobs in five years’ time thus contributing to creation of jobs and GDP growth.

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