INNOVATION FORUM :



By Lucy Mbuvi.

In March 2015, the ICT Authority held a very successful Kenya ICT Innovation Forum which was officiated by His Excellency Hon.Uhuru Kenyatta, C.G.H., President and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces of The Republic of Kenya.

The event was attended by almost 2,000 delegates from top ICT investors, academia, government officials, industry captains, financial sector and other relevant stakeholders. The event saw 300 ICT start-ups exhibit their products. The objective of this forum was to bring together the ICT community to review the innovation ecosystem and identify issues hindering the growth of this industry.

The outcomes of the forum was the establishment of Enterprise Kenya which will be a national accelerator that will catalyze innovations and provide entrepreneurs with needed support in their innovation journey - and the establishment of a Presidential Innovation Task Force which will be the country's face of innovation.

This initiative will lead to the creation of 180,000 jobs, which will contribute to 8 per cent of the GDP, creation of at least 55 globally competitive companies by 2017, generation of an upsurge of US$ 500 million, creation of one billion shillings in IT exports and provide internships to more than 15,000 interns in ICT.

The Cabinet secretary of ICT, Dr. Fred Matiang'i, set aside some targets for this initiative which include; reviewing the procurement law to tilt it towards supporting Kenyan businesses in both current and future government ICT projects; establishing an Equity Fund to support ICT innovations which could be Quasi Government/Private and the creation of ICT Centers of Excellence tied to government ICT spending.