President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the Government will no longer entertain companies using the courts to hold back the country. He warned that such firms will be blacklisted.
“We must move away from a vendor-driven society. Kenyans are interested in affordable and efficient services,” said the President.
He pointed out that the many law suits between service providers themselves and regulators were not in the best interest of the country but only served the companies interests.
The President spoke when he received a World Development Report – Digital Dividends Report 2016, a World Bank flagship project, at State House, Nairobi.
The President told interested suppliers that they will not be allowed to delay the roll out the digital learning project.
“Unnecessary completion by vendors has to stop if the country is to move forward and achieve its development targets,” he said.
The President cited the digital migration in the country, whose implementation dragged for long because of vested interests, as an example of private sector interference that was undermining service delivery.
He said many more Government programmes including e-procurement, extension of the police command and control center outside Nairobi and Mombasa and privatization of terminal two at the port of Mombasa have been slowed down by vendors battling in courts for the control.
President Kenyatta said the delay in digital migration, occasioned by traditional media houses to protect their monopolistic interests, only delayed benefits of digital technologies for Kenyans.
“Vendors fighting one another or with the regulators only tend to protect business monopolies but have no interest of the country at heart. It is clear that the digital migration has paid dividends by opening up space for more radio and TV stations,” the President said, according to statement posted on his Facebook page by the PSCU.
President Kenyatta told technical training institutions in the country to open up training opportunities that will enable young people to become ICT experts.
“One does not have to go to university to be an expert in ICT. Technical training institutions tailor their courses to ensure that world class ICT course are offered for the youth at that level,” President Kenyatta said.
The President, however, said as Kenya embraces the ICT agenda, care must be taken to ensure criminals do not take advantage of improved technology to perpetuate criminal activities.
The report was presented to the President by the World Bank Country Director for Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Eritrea Ms. Diarietou Gaye.
The digital dividends report analyses the transformational impact of the Internet, mobile phones and other related gadgets that gather, store and share information digitally.
The report defines digital dividends as benefits of technology in promoting development through reduced costs.
ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said a new policy was being developed to ensure e-services are embraced to improve transparency in all government agencies.
The President’s remarks coincide with the ICT Authority’s announcement – made today – that Moi University / JP SA Couto and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT) and Positivo BGH consortia have been selected to pilot the Digital Literacy Programme in 150 schools.