Authority advised to tap private sector talent

Information, Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary (CS), Joe Mucheru has advised the ICT Authority (ICTA) to tap the skills and knowledge of talented ICT professionals in the private sector to solve challenges in the government.

Mucheru said it is wrong for those in government to ignore the input of the experienced private sector players in finding solutions to problems in public sector.

Addressing the Board of Directors and senior ICTA officials when he visited their offices, the CS said it is a trend worldwide for the public sector to seek the services of experienced professionals in diverse fields to assist in problem solving.

Mucheru gave the example of the US where government officials when necessary seek the support of the best in private sector in short-term basis to sort out problems.

He said the ICT Authority also need to work in partnership with the private sector to provide required ICT infrastructure and human capital necessary for attaining digital economy and knowledge-based society.

The CS said the government has bestowed the Authority with the responsibility of running flagship projects whose successful implementation will ensure Kenya is not left behind as the rest of the world embrace digital economies.

“In the 21st Century, technology is the driver of industries. For Kenya to compete in the global economy, we need to move with speed in deploying and adopting technology. I personally will ensure the implementation of the key projects as listed in the National ICT Master plan,” said Mucheru.

The ICT Authority Board of Directors Chairman, Edwin Yinda praised the activities of the Authority’s Secretariat and said the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan is tailored to transform Kenya into a regional ICT hub globally competitive digital economy.

Among other projects, the Authority is implementing the school laptops project, Presidential Digital Talent Programme (PDTP), laying fibre optic cable, digitizing government records, and promoting ICT innovation and enterprise.

Acting ICTA CEO, Robert Mugo assured the Cabinet Secretary that the Authority has made commendable progress in realising most of its functions including the National Optic Fibre Broadband Infrastructure (NOFBI) which has been able to cover all the 47 counties in the country.

“We are committed to achieving the 16 flagship projects in the plan that will cover e-government services, data sets, ICT infrastructure, capacity and skills, developing ICT businesses and ensuring that ICT becomes the driver of businesses,” said Mugo.

In digitization of government records, Mugo said the Authority has digitized records in lands registry and at the high court.

The CS was accompanied by Principal Secretaries, Victor Kyalo (ICT and Innovation) and Sammy Itemere (Broadcasting and Telecommunications). Kyalo is the immediate former CEO of the Authority.

The authority, which is a state corporation under ICT ministry, came into force in August 2014, after the State consolidated the Kenya ICT Board, Directorate of E-Government and the Government Information and Technology Services (GITS) under a new body in a bid to enhance efficiency.

By Boniface Muoka

Source: Kenya News Agency