Kenya’s top tech students, innovations feted at PDTP forum in Nairobi

The Permanent Secretary for ICT, Jerome Ochieng, and the Acting CEO of the ICT Authority, John Sergon, this week presided over the Presidential Digital Talent Program (PDTP) Cohort III forum, that saw various categories of participants receive awards for their innovations and participation at the Kenya School of Government, Lower Kabete.

The two-day event provides 400 of the top Kenyan tech students with a platform to engage with private sector and different officials from the government to discuss the role of ICT towards the realization of the Big 4 Agenda.

Speaking at the forum, the ICT PS Jerome Ochieng’ emphasized on the government’s commitment to deliver quality services to Kenyans through ICT.

(TOP: Lydia Wayanga is awarded a certificate of recognition by Bitange Ndemo, an associate professor at University of Nairobi during the award ceremony of the 2nd Cohort of the PDTP held at Kenya School of Government). 

 “The government’s aim is to Improve the livelihoods of Kenyans by ensuring the availability of accessible, efficient, reliable and affordable ICT services by; Improving Public Service Delivery using ICT, upgrading National ICT Infrastructure and Developing further the ICT Industry”, said Ochieng.

The winners of the PDTP Innovation Award for Cohort II were announced at the event, with the winners being presented with their certificates, trophies and prizes by PS Mr Jerome Ochieng, and Mr Stone He, CEO of Huawei, who were the primary sponsor of the award.

All students in the Presidential Digital Talent Program develop innovations that are providing solutions for enabling better delivery of public service. The winning innovations are:

–       PDTP Management Portal: to track, monitor and manage training programs in government that requires tracking of government projects, mentors, students and partners;

–       Certificate of Good Conduct: to support skilled people with entrepreneurial skills but no resources to run their own business;

–       Workers on Tap: to aggregate and provide common and shared working tools for entrepreneurs to use to set-up businesses.

While handing out the awards, ICT PS Jerome Ochieng encouraged the students to utilise technology to drive innovation, which would go a long way in assisting the government to achieve the big four agenda faster.

The winners will be provided with incubation at the ICT Authority with funding support from the primary sponsor Huawei, and mentors from IBM and Technobrain. Due to the commitment and support from the private sector, the government has been able to expand its own contribution.

During the event, awards were also provided to:

–       Best mentor: Lydia Wanyaga, Nairobi Technical Institute

–       Business Supervisor: Yvonne Mbae – Judiciary

–       Best private sector partner: IBM East Africa

–       Best private sector supporting PDTP On Innovation: Huawei Limited

–       Best Public Sector: Ministry of Education

–       Best Innovator: Good Conduct generation

–       Best PDTP Individual Support: Tonya Nyakeya, IBM

During the event, Huawei announced it will continue to sponsor the innovation awards, and also announced the provision of Huawei Certified Network Associate Training in Routing and Switching for more than 500 PDTP students (encompassing this cohort and previous cohorts). This training is provided in partnership with Zetech University, a Huawei Authorised Information Network Academy, and demonstrates the cross-sector collaboration at the heart of PDTP.

Speaking during the ceremony, Stone He, the CEO of Huawei Kenya stated that: “ICT is transforming Kenya and it is important that the country has the talent to drive the industry forward and develop innovations that can transform the delivery of public service. PDTP is a best-in-class initiative globally, and Huawei is delighted to support such a critical program, building on our strategic partnership with the ICT Authority and our work providing ICT infrastructure and solutions for government, businesses and citizens across Kenya”.

The PDTP is now on its third cycle. It is producing the critical mass of high end ICT human capital as envisioned in the Kenya National ICT Master Plan which stipulates that the development of quality ICT human resource is critical for Kenya to realize the development of a viable ICT sector. HE President Uhuru Kenyatta conceived PDTP to ensure that ICT development, implementation and exploitation are an integral and sustainable component of development.

The National ICT Master Plan seeks to improve the ICT human capacity in Kenya by availing sustainable local high-end skills to meet the needs of the industry and providing adequate workforce to transform and innovate business using ICT. 400 students each year receiving internships in private and public sector, trainings and certifications from public and private sector, mentorship and additional support.

The PDTP trained interns have made immense contribution towards the digitization of records at the Ministry of Lands, the roll out of DLP at the ICT Authority plus the ICT support provided to the examination council. They have also contributed in providing e- government services and increased efficiency in the provision of services to the Kenyan citizen.


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