STATEMENT by Dr. Salesio M. Kiura, Chairman of the ICT Association of Kenya (ICTAK)

All protocols observed,

My colleague members of ICTAK

Ladies and Gentlemen, Good evening.

It gives me great pleasure to host you here at the award presentation ceremony of the ICT Value Awards. On behalf of ICTAK, I would like to express my warmest gratitude/ welcome to you all. I am honored to stand before this gathering of professionals as we inaugurate this premier Annual ICT Value Awards ceremony.

Nowhere on earth today is the word ICT not mentioned in manifestos, development blue prints, sermons in places of worship, on the Floors of parliaments and all form of representation – I bet that if the bible was to be re-written today, it would have more appearances of word ICT than the mention of "Earth"

Technological changes and exploitation (especially for the good) are a reality and no longer a preserve of some region, state, government, societal class, race or gender. We are as a human race – no longer labor intensive – in fact technology has permeated the society to the farthest ends and to great depths of our lifestyles. E.g the youngsters are likely to be using ICT related buzz words more than words from other genres!) – Think of: Tweet me, FB me (a.k.a FaceBook me), poke me, just text!, Buzz me, etc

On a more serious note: which sector/sphere of live does not have ICT enabling? Health, Agriculture, Entertainment, business, education, health, banking, trade among others – All are to a very great extent ICT enabled to very great gains in terms of efficiency and productivity.

Against this background of escalating importance and reliance on ICT, it is natural that the profession needs a professionals' body. ICTAK primarily seeks to improve lives through ICT. It is all about Application of ICT and related technologies for better lives. ICTAK members work in all areas of business and industry, government and academia, and are qualified and experienced ICT professionals committed to the Association's Code of Ethics. ICTAK membership denotes a commitment to professionalism and dedication to a Code of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct and Practice, continuing knowledge and skills development. This designates a level of excellence, rigor, integrity and honesty to present key competitive advantages for those working in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as well as the ideal form of risk mitigation for individuals and organizations that employ ICT professionals.

As the country is celebrating the Jubilee Anniversary, it is befitting that our profession is recognized and given the applause it deserves. These ICT Value Awards pay tribute to outstanding local ICT products and solutions. We have had an outstanding number of nominations, and so the competition was rather intense. However this has demonstrated strong support among members of the industry and the community.

The past decade has witnessed wave after wave of technology transformation that has changed both production and consumption trends, and opened up new horizons in the development of innovative ICT solutions and applications. It is vivid that Innovation and technology is a driver for our social and economic development. The timely establishment of ICT Value Awards provides useful networking and product benchmarking opportunities to stimulate ingenuity and creativity for ICT innovators and entrepreneurs in Kenya. Thanks to the close collaboration and active participation of members and affiliates, ICTAK has evolved to organize this ICT mega-event.

Over the years, Kenya has made great strides in ICT and has become a major ICT hub in the region, with international rankings consistently putting Kenya at the forefront of IT development in East Africa. Our achievements are testimony to the concerted efforts of the Government, industry, academia and our whole community. These awards seek to honor outstanding individuals and organizations for their contribution to the country's ICT sector.

With our robust ICT infrastructure and tech-savvy culture, Kenya is well positioned to pilot new innovations and technologies. Added to these is of course the rapid and ubiquitous adoption of ICT in the local community, which provides the environment conducive to ICT development in Kenya. The great inventor Thomas Edison once said, "The value of an idea lies in the using of it." Indeed, it is crucial that innovative ideas be put to beneficial use. The possibilities brought by ICT are endless.

The dynamic and rapid changes in ICT are transforming the way we live, enhancing our quality of life and connecting us to new opportunities. New ICT innovations and technologies are propelling economic development and sharpening our competitiveness.

This event is a highlight in Kenya's ICT calendar because it demonstrates the fertile ground here for further ICT development.

We have a tech-savvy population; our household Internet penetration rate is at its highest and we have a robust market with an insatiable appetite for state-of-the-art ICT applications. Our sights are firmly fixed on the huge opportunities in regional and global markets.

Through recognizing and showcasing the Awards winners, the talent behind Kenya's blossoming ICT industry can be appreciated.

These Awards are bound to become a springboard for our dedicated professionals to achieve success and gain exposure further afield. The awards will help to promote healthy competition and raise the bar for the industry here in Kenya.

I would like to congratulate all awards winners, indeed all nominees, who have worked hard and long to develop ingenious ICT applications and solutions. Your outstanding achievements have brought significant benefits to businesses and the community, propelling the development of the region. In addition to applauding the winners, I would also like to thank the Steering Committee, the Organizing Committee, the supporting organizations, the judges and the ICTAK fraternity for their sterling efforts in organizing tonight's award ceremony. Your hard work has helped to ensure this successful ICT Awards gala night.

May I wish you all a fruitful evening, enjoy your upcoming holidays and God abundantly bless you all with a blessed and prosperous 2014.

Thank you

Dr. Salesio M. Kiura

BSc (Hons), MSc, MSc, PhD.

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