The Government has set aside KES1bn to support innovation and is calling on innovators to take up this opportunity to invent applications that can solve local problems. This was disclosed today, April 9th, 2015, by Dennis Itumbi, during the opening of the 2nd edition of the East Africa Digital Marketing Summit and Exhibition at Kenyatta International Convention Center. The annual event brings together key industry players in the field of communication, marketing and suppliers of digital space across East Africa to give talks on selected topics in a series of 8 sessions.
The fair themed ‘Digital for effective marketing communication’ showcases the latest digital marketing, media and communication solutions and engages marketers from different organizations. Mobile phone and tablets remain the internet access point for majority of Kenyans, standing at 13.9 million subscriptions as at the end of 2014, a 5 percent rise from the previous year.Speaking at the opening, Martin Muli, Founder, East Africa Digital Fair said “The biggest challenge companies’ face is how to tap into digital space as an emerging business area. Some have been able to crack it and are doing very well, others are learning, while some of us are struggling to catch up.” “Digital Fair brings together key stakeholders in the digital marketing industry to share ideas, understand the market dynamics, approach the market from a common front while showcasing products and services, Muli added.
Government has made strides to move into digital space. The Office of the President has developed free Wi-Fi in Nakuru and intends to spread to Embu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kakamega and Laikipia counties. Sauti Yetu is a mobile application that allows citizens to air their suggestions, concerns and complaints directly to responsible government authority. The project is a partnership with the Government of Kenya, through the Office of the President and allows automatic escalation of non responsive providers for action. The government has also set aside communication centers, innovation hubs and innovation festivals at the county level.
“Public and private sector are now challenged to develop dynamic solutions that deliver highly personalized experiences to the right audience at the right time. At the same time there are many opportunities to improve our digital platforms, we already have a lot of suggestions from the public but we will adapt those that are feasible and possible,” stated Dennis Itumbi, Director of Digital Communications, Office of the President.
Last year’s event had 25 exhibitors from East Africa with more than 1000 visitors. Some of the exhibitors at the Summit include Standard Media (Media sponsors), Uber, SokoPoa International, BAKE and CIO East Africa.