NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 7 – The Ministry of Education is among Kenyan institutions shortlisted for this year’s CIO100 Leadership Awards which recognizes best innovations in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Industry.
Insight Wells research firm CEO Sam Kisharu told a media conference on Monday that the digitalization of most processes in the ministry was among key factors that caught their attention while short listing institutions.
He cited the implementation of the Digital Literacy Programme in schools which was one of the Jubilee Government’s flagship project.
“From the public sector we had quite a number of submissions – talking of programmes that were migrating from analogue to digital,” Kisharu noted, adding that “ Programmes being rolled out in schools on a digital platform like having the entire academic system on a digital platform were key among submissions made by the ministry.”
He said most submissions by companies in the region involved automation of services with the end goal being elimination of paperwork in business transactions.
CIO East Africa’s Chief Executive Officer, Harry Hare, said 100 companies and their Chief Information Officers will be awarded the CIO100 honour which is a much sought accolade in the region’s ICT sector in the recent times.
“We were looking at the process of the project – how the project has been implemented in an organization and the results achieved,” Kisharu explained. “ We also looked at innovation and we wanted to see that a project demonstrated an out of the box thinking.”
Hare said that the award—which promises to be a pace setter in technology innovations—provides a platform for startups to build their businesses.
“We reward CIO’s who’ve made a mark in the industry,” said Hare. “ We’ve provided a platform where anyone who is serious about building a business in Africa inclined to anything technology can look to us as the launch pad.”
The CIO100 Symposium Event Director Andrew Karanja noted that the award had received support from leading technology firms saying that this year’s event would be the best since the introduction of the award.
“We have received very good support from our partners and sponsors and we have the best line-up of speakers we’ve ever assembled,” he said.
According to Hare, this year’s CIO will also feature a start-up pitch session in collaboration with DEMO Africa dubbed DEMO African Traction which will provide an opportunity for enterprise-focused start-ups to interact with technology buyers and consumers.
Erick Themba, CEO of Mookh – a start-up which deals with e-commerce expressed his confidence in the local regulatory framework saying it has encouraged start-ups to grow.
“From a regulatory perspective, there’s still a lot that needs to be done but we are heading in the right direction,” Themba told Capital FM News. “We started in September last year and we’ve managed to see a lot of traction on our business.”
Microsoft for Africa’s Startup Engagement Lead, Djiba Diallo acknowledged the strides made in Africa’s innovation industry saying the African market has grown exponentially. Diallo also noted that technology firms have invested in Africa’s innovation through partnerships with institutions of learning in order to tap the potential that exists in the technology sector.
“We have a programme called Imagine Academy which is about providing free access to our technology, free content for training and also the ability of universities to satisfy their students,” said Diallo.
According to Diallo, the launch of Microsoft 10 in July last year in Kenya by the Microsoft Corporation was a clear expression of confidence in the gains the country had made in ICT.
Kenyan companies shortlisted in this year’s CIO100 Awards include Stima Sacco, Pwani Oil, Madison Insurance, East Africa Breweries, National Law Reporting and Nakummat Holdings.
Others shortlisted are HassConsult, National Women Council, Mabati Rollings, Kyambogo University and Apollo Investment Corporation.