Statement By Mr. Kamotho Njenga, Secretary General Of The Ict Association Of Kenya

I am glad to connect with you today in what goes down in history as an assembly to celebrate outstanding achievements that have brought pride to the Kenyan ICT. Never before has there been such a demonstrated interest and commitment to celebrate ICT Champions in such a focused and systematic manner. Evidently, the rapid wave of technology continues to exert a mighty influence both at the local and international scale. Labor-intensive systems are steadily being discarded; paving way for efficient ICT based solutions. Fortunately for our country, the wave of technology revolution has seen a rapid uptake of ICT in major societal and economic sectors including business, education, health, banking, trade among others.

The Kenya government on its part has recognized the vital role of ICT in its strategic roadmap towards the creation of a middle income country as outlined through vision 2030 blueprint. Doubtlessly, ICT will continue to offer great prospects and promises given its huge versatility. Nevertheless, the value we derive from the emergent technologies will largely depend on the mechanisms we engage to harness and appropriate these resources. Consequently, there is need to strategically map our exploitation methodology so that maximum benefits are reaped from available technology tools.

Nations that have made great strides in this dimension can easily be linked with systematic approaches of exploitation, anchored on a strong research foundation. The Eastern nations that we like to refer to in modern terms as the Asian Tigers are sufficient proof of how effective harnessing of technology can leapfrog a nation's economy. Currently, the approach and efforts of the government are highly laudable. The zeal and consistency of the digital jubilee team is truly inspiring. In particular the receptiveness to new ideas and enhanced models of public service delivery are worth appreciating.

Our Association is heavily encouraged by the great efforts and strides we continue to make in the ICT sector. The foresight and dedication of various players, a few of whom we are able to acknowledge today has brought about remarkable gains. This we acknowledge with profound gratitude and pride. We are also aware that the government through various strategies continues to act decisively and to make appropriate interventions towards a better information society. A case in point is the Laptop for class one pupils which is currently at the tendering phase. Working collaboratively and with support from all quarters we will continue to build a strong ICT culture and ultimately make Kenya a regional technology hub.

Recognizing that the technological landscape evolves at a very rapid pace, it is imperative to put in place mechanisms to ensure that the technological pace of evolution does not outstrip the rate at which corresponding knowledge and best practice repositories are accumulated. As a professional Association we are ready to offer specialized input and support to institutions from our large expert pool whenever called upon. It is worth noting that despite the great efforts and initiatives by government, close to 70% of our population continues to remain outside the bracket of connectivity. This is partly attributable to affordability issues, capacity aspects or mere geographical disadvantage. For us to achieve the full scale benefits of emerging technologies, all the known impediments to access will need concerted attention.

With regard to policy, there is need to continuously review existing policy frameworks in order to incorporate dynamics and realities that go hand in hand with technology evolution. We have expectations that an amicable path of progress will be found with regard to the digital migration question which is currently awaiting determination at the High Court.

In line with the jubilee anniversary spirit of recognizing our heroes, our Association deems it befitting to celebrate organizations and individuals who have inspired excellence in the broad field of ICT. The aim is to recognize outstanding efforts and output that continue to define our lifestyle even as we explore better strategies for exploiting emergent technologies to improve livelihoods. It is this business that brings us here tonight and as much as possible we would rather stick to the knitting.

Allow me to thank all those who have partnered with us to make this event a reality. A special mention goes to the panel of judges who burned the midnight oil as they scrutinized the nominees' credentials to ultimately give us the list of Champions who we shall decorate today.

May I also take this early opportunity to wish you a fabulous Christmas season and afterwards a blessed and prosperous 2014.

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