The ICT Authority today welcomed the new Cabinet Secretary, Joe Mucheru to its offices for a tour meant to familiarize him with the organization and its mandate, and to interact with the staff.
This follows the recent reshuffle of the cabinet by HE the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta that saw the Ministry of ICT change its leadership. Mr Mucheru replaced Dr. Fred Matiangi who moved to head the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
“In the 21st Century, technology is the driver of industries. We need to speed up deployment and adoption of technology to avoid being left behind. I personally will ensure we are aligned to this vision,” said the CS at the meeting.
Accompanying Mr Mucheru were the Principal Secretary, ICT & Innovation, Eng. Victor Kyalo and Principal Secretary, Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Sammy Itemere. Victor Kyalo is the former CEO of the ICT Authority. The Board Chairman, Hon Edwin Yinda received the guests at the offices along with board members and the acting CEO, Mr Robert Mugo. Also represented was the Management team.
With the help of the new Cabinet Secretary, the Authority hopes to achieve its vision of delivering ICT services as guided by the National ICT Masterplan 2017.
“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 Robert Mugo, Ag CEO, ICT Authority.
The Authority got a big boost in October when the government directed all Ministries, departments and agencies to procure ICT services and equipment in consultation with the organisation.
There is however a need to increase funding for ICT projects, from the current paltry 0.3 per cent to 5 percent of the total annual national budget. “We need to promote economies of scale by consolidating ICT budgets across government and also ensuring proper project governance,” said Hon Yinda, the Board Chair. Currently the Authority has a deficit of around eight billion shillings, which would be needed for it to effectively manage countrywide ICT projects.
Among the key projects that the Authority is managing includes the County Connectivity project, National Optic Fibre Backbone (NOFBI), Transport Integrated Management System (TIMs), Capacity building projects and digitization of government records.
At the same time the organisation is overseeing three critical projects for the national government namely the Presidential Digital Talent Programme, Digital Literacy Programme and Enterprise Kenya.
The Authority is currently looking to fill in the CEO position which fell vacant when Eng. Victor Kyalo was promoted to PS.