MINISTRY OF INFORMATION, COMMUNICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY
REPUBLIC OF KENYA
SPEECH BY DR. FRED MATIANG’I, CABINET SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY DURING THE SIGNING OF A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN ICT AUTHORITY AND HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES KENYA AT THE INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL ON 5TH JUNE 2014 AT 7.30AM.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, Mr Liu Xianfa
Huawei CEO, Mr Dran Yu
PS, Ministry of ICT, Mr Tiampati
ICT Authority, Acting CEO, Mr Victor Kyalo,
Members of the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to join you this morning as we witness the signing of a partnership between ICT Authority and Huawei Technologies Kenya. I congratulate the two parties for coming together for a common purpose that will immensely benefit the ICT Industry.
As you may be aware, Vision 2030, recognises ICT as a Key driver for the country development for its ability to facilitate provision of equitable and affordable quality information and communication services to even the remotest of places in the country.
For us to reach there, certain steps need to be put in to perspective. As the government we are drafting necessary policies and strategies to precipitate our growth in the industry. To start with we have now launched the revised ICT Masterplan 2017 which will act as our bible for implementation of ICT projects in the next five years.
Our pre-occupation in the Masterplan lies in three pillars; that of increasing e-government services; making ICT a driver of industry and developing ICT businesses. At the heart of these projections is the need to grow the ICT workforce, more so in high end skills. And as enshrined in the Masterplan Public-Private partnerships are the key to achieving our goals as an industry.
That’s why this partnership with Huawei, in which at least 100 engineering graduates will benefit from internship opportunities at the company is commendable. I urge all qualified graduates to take advantage of this chance by putting in their application. I am informed that the 3-month experience is unparalleled and will be able to give our graduates a global perceptive to ICT.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Research shows that over 200, 000 young Kenyans enroll in university each year, with at least 50,000 graduating annually, 9,600 in ICT related courses, but the reality is that most struggle to find a job after collecting their certificates.
Yet, as the National ICT research showed, many technology companies in Kenya are forced to hire expatriates to bridge the gap of specialized
skills. This shows that in addition to strengthening courses at the University level, companies should offer practical on-the-job training which will up-the skills of our graduates.
I strongly hold that these jobs can be done by our intelligent young Kenyans, if only they were given the specific training. This is quite important now as the government embarks on major ICT infrastructure projects. Local talent, is at the heart of the success of all these projects. We need our local graduates to be able to not only maintain but embark on the infrastructure projects that we will partake as industry.
As the Ministry we remain committed to working with all stakeholders to achieve not only the industry goals but national ones as well.
We started off, by laying 4,300KM Fibre cable in 2009 in phase 1 of NOFBI. We are now currently embarking on the 2nd phase and we will be building new 1,600KM of fiber linking all the 47 county headquarters. We have also been working to connect the counties through offering last mile connections to government offices at county and sub-county levels. We are also funding all 47 counties to prepare their ICT roadmaps to better serve citizens at the grassroots.
As I conclude,
We will continue to invest as the government and we encourage the private sector and academia to join us as we deliver to Kenyans.
I call upon universities to up their game in matching industry skills needs; I also wish to request for Telecommunication industry to give internship opportunities and job to as many young people as they could assimilate. I also request the government to do the same by offering job openings for those graduating from colleges. We owe this to us, to Kenyans.
We project that in the next five years ICT will be able to positively impact positively on the livelihood of every Kenyan. We have vowed that by 2017, we will create at least 180, 000 direct jobs, 10 successful marketable applications, 55 ICT companies and that we will be contributing at least 1.5 per cent to the national income.
Once again, I commend ICT Authority, and Huawei for leading the way into Kenya ICT transformation. I urge more private companies to come over and engage with us on how best we can take this industry forward.
Only with such partnership can we reach our vision of not only being globally competitive but being recognized as a regional ICT hub.