Kenya will never be the same again. Soon, the country would be assuming a middle-economy status. This is upon the successful implementation of the revolutionary development blueprint, Vision 2030. Going by this plan, Kenya would have achieved great milestones economically, socially and politically by 2030. Amongst the enablers of Vision 2030 is information communication technology, ICT.
ICT would play a major role in enabling development in Kenya. Particularly, the usefulness of ICT in this mandate comes clear from its role in attaining Vision 2030. Vision 2030 is the national blueprint that promises to transform the country to middle-economy status. By 2030, the Vision proposes to enhance the quality of life of Kenyans. The constituent elements of Vision 2030 are economic, social and political pillars. Under the economic pillar, the vision advocates for the maintenance of a 10% economic growth rate in the country. The rationale of the social pillar is promoting a just and cohesive society characterized by equitable social development. On the political pillar, Vision 2030 advocates for an issue-based, people centered democratic political system whose characteristics are results orientation and accountability. For the realization of the various pillars in this blueprint, ICT would play an important role.
Development of ICT in Kenya is associated with an increase in employment opportunities. Internet connectivity in the country would ensure that Kenya becomes a business process outsourcing destination. This would mean increased incomes to a Kenyans in diverse fields such as engineering, accounting and even medicine. Kenya churns more than “30,000 university graduates annually.” Coupled with the neutrality of the English accent of its citizens and its strategic location, the country has what it takes to harness the power of business process outsourcing. Adoption of ICT in manufacturing industries would enhance efficiency and boost production. These applications of ICT are quintessential to the growth in sustainability of Kenya’s gross domestic product. Knowledge on ICT would make the youth innovative. Innovativeness would contribute to self-employment and thriving of the private sector. The private sector is a significant contributor to the gross domestic product growth. ICT, as shown by innovations like MPESA, a novel mobile phone money transfer service, would facilitate local and global commerce. Through electronic money transfers, citizens from all echelons in the society would enjoy the privilege of trading with people in remote areas including the diaspora at reduced costs. Improvement of the economy facilitated by adoption of ICT would translate to enhanced living standards of Kenyans. In this capacity, Kenyans would be able to educate their children and provide other essential social services such as healthcare.
Adoption of ICT by the government is a good gesture towards enabling the political pillar of Vision 2030. By being ICT compliant, government services would be easily accessible to the citizens. ICT compliance in relevant government departments would make essential processes such as registration of new businesses easy. ICT would enable the access of valuable information in such areas as agriculture. Coupled with the ease of access to information on markets, this would promote commercial agriculture. Besides enhanced efficiency in access to government information, is appropriate to realize the synergy between ICT compliance in the government and the decimation of unpopular economic retarding behaviors such as corruption. Enhanced access to information would go a long way towards enabling democracy. Kenyans would have the opportunity to present their views on various issues. At the same time, Kenyans would be able to see the profiles of their policy makers and make informed choices most certainly based on issues rather than personalities. To some extent, ICT would facilitate a more inclusive electronic voting system. With electronic voting systems, the voices of many Kenyans even those in diaspora are reflected in the electioneering outcomes. This would be a great milestone in the country’s democracy. With the country’s democracy in place, it is appropriate to imagine the pride of Kenyans in their country. Consequently, this could easily translate to enhanced public relations and marketing of the country to foreign tourists. This turn of events would have great implications on the country’s economic growth.
Clearly, ICT would play a major role in enabling the development of Kenya. Through enabling the attainment of the three pillars of Vision 2030, ICT holds center stage in Kenya’s development trajectory. In this light, it is imperative that individuals and stakeholders develop ways of ensuring that the country is ready to harness the power of ICT to develop. This could entail promoting training in ICT, enabling the access of ICT infrastructure and devising policies that could address emerging issues in the uptake of ICT in Vision 2030. Proposed projects such as the digital villages and the Konza City are great strides in this direction. With Vision 2030 and its major enabler ICT, one can only imagine where Kenya would be in terms of development in the near future.