This was the 4th time that the Kenya ICT board was organizing the Connected Kenya summit, arguably Kenya’s biggest conference involving local players. All stake holders in the ICT industry were represented, from government agencies & parastatals to NGOs, to the private sector companies like Safaricom, Orange Kenya, IBM, Microsoft, Google among others.
I must thank the Kenya ICT Board & Safaricom for sponsoring me with the whole shebang- flight to and from Diani, accomodation & meals, cost of conference. I went in my capacity as a blogger, though some people are yet to understand exactly what a blogger is/does!
The conference took place at Leisure Lodge Resort in Diani, South Coast, from Monday 2nd April to Thursday, 5th April.
A lot of discussions took place, mostly centered along the theme: “Knowledge. and Beyond” As I explained to someone who commented on this theme:
A knowledge based economy is what Kenya needs to be if it is to achieve vision 2030. So knowledge and beyond now.. we need to think of the future. We have data but this in itself is not useful. It must be transformed into information and from that we get KNOWLEDGE and then hopefully wisdom. ~ Catherine Ngahu, Chair of the ICT Board of Kenya.
Since its formation about 5 years ago, the ICT Board was mandated to create an environment for the growth of ICT in Kenya. ICT is one of the major pillars of Vision 2030, and the Konza City project falls under here. The discussion on Konza City can be a never-ending one, but in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with planned cities. This project will not be a while elephant, we all need to work hard to see it succeed. Who wouldn’t love a technology city?
The one thing that came up during the discussions is the way in which we talk a lot, but do little. The papers have been written, and written well. Implementation is the problem, with a lot of blame being shifted around. Task forces should be created and charged with implementation of sound proposals/policies. The government in Kenya is no longer the ‘hindrance’ it seemed, but nowadays it works and collaborates with the private sector on many projects.
To read more about the discussions at the Connected Kenya 2012 Summit, please check out
- Techweez: Day One and Day Two
The conference ended with Vision 2030 awards, where Kenyans who have developed ICT solutions that drive economic growth and social development as outlined in Kenya’s Vision 2030 were recognized.
Read about the awards here. The overall winner of the awards was a startup by 3 Kenyan professionals called Medisoft East Africa Limited. Other winners were Green Dreams Tech Ltd for their product iCow in the Agriculture category; Digital Divide Data Kenya Ltd, in the Business Process Outsourcing sector; Kuza Biashara Ltd who bagged the award in Education and Training; and Tusqee Systems Ltd a runner up in the same grouping.
The conference ended with a dinner/beach party sponsored by Safaricom and ICT Board. You have to love the fine and white sands at Diani!
P.S. Coming Soon: My Personal Experiences Post on Connected Kenya 2012.