President Uhuru Kenyatta Tuesday presided over the launch of the Presidential Digital Talent Programme, a Jubilee Government initiative geared towards empowering university graduates to master the digital environment.
President Kenyatta said the programme that brings together leading lights in the ICT landscape is expected to mentor, inspire and lead a new wave of digital trailblazers.
The programme – which aims at building the government’s capacity in ICT and digital innovations to enhance efficient and effective service delivery to Kenyans – will provide graduates with an opportunity for a full year of on-the-job training both in public and private institutions.
Speaking during the occasion at the University of Nairobi’s Main Campus, the President said: “Today, we begin the next chapter of our story. Today, we inaugurate the next phase of ICT transforming opportunity for all people.”
He said the first 100 talented ICT professionals will lead the way in Kenya’s digital tradition to enhance transparency and accountability in the public sector.
President Kenyatta challenged the beneficiaries of the programme to inject into the public service a new sense of integrity and accountability.
“This programme is not just about technology and efficiency. We expect you to bring in a new sense of integrity, professionalism, accountability and commitment to public service delivery,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State stressed the government’s commitment to delivering superior public services to citizens, visitors and investors.
He emphasised that Kenya’s determination to position itself as the regional and continental hub for education, research and innovation, banking and insurance, manufacturing, healthcare and ICT is already a reality.
The President said key challenges facing the nation can be resolved through digital solutions that will enhance productivity, efficiency, innovation and accountability in all sectors of the economy.
“My government, therefore, has committed itself to expanding and intensifying the development and application of digital technology. We expect this to accelerate our determined drive towards productivity, efficiency, innovation and accountability,” the President said.
The Head of State noted that the Digital Talent Programme will boost the country’s hope for a sustainable economic growth beyond the projected 7 percent to more than 10pc.
Information, Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said his Ministry – which has developed the Digital Talent Programme – is set to lay down an additional 1600 km of national fibre optic cable that will connect all the 47 counties by the end of the year.
Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru said the programme is in line with various public service reforms aimed at ensuring transparency, accountability and prudent management of resources to spur economic growth.
Other speakers were University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor Prof. Peter Mbithi and the Presidential Digital Talent Program Advisory Council Chairman Muchemi Wambugu among others.