Details of the newly launched National Digital Master Plan expected to accelerate socio-economic growth

  • 14 Apr 2022
  • 4 Mins Read
  • 〜 by Amrit Labhuram

Information Communication Technologies are developing so quickly that there is a need to design a way to allow constant growth in the economic system and community. This is why the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Mr Joe Mucheru,  launched the Kenya National Digital Master Plan 2022-2032 during the annual ‘Connected Kenya summit 2022’ currently underway in Kwale County.

Aptly themed “Accelerating Digital Transformation”, the Connected Kenya Summit provided the perfect backdrop for the Kenyan government to launch the 10 year strategic plan, which serves as a sequential progression of the Kenya National ICT Master Plan 2014 – 2017. 

The 2022-2032 Master Plan has been conceptualised with the goal to streamline ICT projects across both the national and county government and provides a resource mobilization strategy that can guide ICT investors. 

The successful implementation of the Master Plan shall be guided by the following principles:

  • Partnerships: Conscious efforts to engage and collaborate with the private sector, academic institutions, County Governments and local and international partners in implementing the National Digital Master Plan.
  • Equity and non-discrimination: Equitable and non-discriminatory availability of and access to ICTs.
  • Technology neutrality: Use of common, interoperable standards and protocols must be encouraged.
  • Environmental Protection and conservation: The implementation of the Digital Master Plan will adhere to environmental agreements in which Kenya is a signatory.
  • Good governance: The implementation of this master plan to adhere to the highest standards of good governance, sound policies and ethical behaviour.

The 2022-2032 Master Plan is anchored in five key pillars that are responsible for the provision of digital services to citizens, businesses, and other stakeholders:-

  1. Digital Infrastructure: ICTs connectivity to all the unserved and underserved corners of the country is a key prerequisite for transformation towards the realisation of the Vision 2030 and the medium-term plans (MTPs). 

Total budget requirement – Kshs 333.6 billion

Key projects/programmes include:

  • Installation of 100,000km of high speed fiber optic infrastructure to provide internet to all schools, government institutions/offices, metro-cities, health facilities, rural businesses, homes and public spaces;
  • Establishment of 25,000 internet-hotspots across the country to provide internet services to innovators, youth and entrepreneurs;
  • Establishment of Cloud Services for government and private sector ;
  • Establishment of 1450 Village digital hubs for citizen digital literacy training, film production and public access to government services;
  • National Physical Addressing System to accelerate e-commerce initiative;
  • National Spatial Data Infrastructure to provide trusted geospatial data for businesses and government;
  • Regional Submarine Cable Maintenance Depot to ensure effective maintenance support for submarine cables serving the Africa Region; and 
  • Regional Smart ICT Hub- to provide faster IP exchange and data storage for the Africa Region.
  1. Digital Government Service, Product, and Data Management: Provision of eGovernment information and services for improved productivity, efficiency, effectiveness, and governance in all sectors. It also considers technology-related products and services.

Total Budget requirement: Kshs 33.8 billion

Key project/ programmes include:

  • Digitization of 5 billion government manual Records to accelerate automation of government services and reduce on physical storage space occupied by manual records;
  • Automation of government core Services to ease service delivery to public [government paperless office strategy];
  • Government Online Portal for all common services;
  • Government interoperability platforms and Government unify communication to enable seamless integration of all government systems and enhance communication within government offices; and 
  • Digital Content Cloud infrastructure for learning materials for all learners. 
  1. Digital Skills: Development of a digitally skilled workforce and citizenry that is grounded on ethical practices and social-cultural values to implement and operationalize this master plan; 

Total Budget requirement: Kshs 85.6 billion

Key projects/ programmes: 

  • Digital Literacy Capacity Building for 20 million citizens to be able to utilize technology in their businesses and access to government e-services
  • Capacity Building for 10,000 ICT professionals on high-end skills, 300,000 public servants and 350,000 teachers to given them necessary IT proficiency to be able to deliver services effectively to the citizen.
  • Smart ID card to provide citizens with unique identifier.
  • To sensitize 10 Million data subjects to promote public awareness of fundamental rights to personal data privacy and protection 
  • Digital Literacy Programme to accelerate integration of technology in teaching and learning in all learning institutions
  1. Digital Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Digital Business: Enhancing the innovation value chain in order to turn innovative ideas into sustainable businesses and operating models. The pillar also aims to migrate businesses onto the digital platform.

Total Budget requirement: Kshs 3.3 billion

Key projects/ programmes include: 

  • Kenya Software and Electronic Industry – establishment of 2 software manufacturing industries and two electronic manufacturing plants with 1000 software engineers and production of over 1.2 million electronic devices;
  • Kenya Software and Electronic Industry – establishment of 2 software manufacturing industries and two electronic manufacturing plants with 1000 software engineers and production of over 1.2 million electronic devices; and 
  • County Innovation Hubs in all 47 counties- Establishment of innovation hubs for innovators and business entrepreneurs to spur innovation and growth of SME businesses.
  1. Policy, Legal & Regulatory Framework: Harmonization/enactment of policies, legislations to enable ease of doing ICT businesses in the country. 

Total Budget requirement: Kshs 6.836 billion

Key projects/ programmes include : 

  • Review all laws that relate to ICT and establish gaps;
  • Enactment of e-government legislation to support resource mobilization to fund the Masterplan Programmes; and
  • Implement the open data policy. 

The total financial resource requirement to fund the 2022-2032 Master Plan is Ksh 484.241 billion. The Kenyan government does not possess the resource capacity to fund the master plan’s projects. In cognition of the substantial resources required to implement the Master Plan, the following sources of funding have been deemed viable: 

  • Resources generated from commercialization of the infrastructure already in place. There are currently 7,300km of fibre under commercialization under NOFBI I, NOFBI II and IIE. 
  • Allocation from the National Treasury. The ministry will continue to lobby for additional funding from the National Government through the Exchequer and other sources. 
  • Support from Development Partners. Strategies to attract technical and financial support from development partners will be executed.
  • The Ministry will also diversify the resource base through identification of development partners/donor policy priorities areas.
  • Public Private Partnerships. The diversification of resources will also be achieved through Public-Private Partnership (PPP). Development of suitable incentives and tax breaks to the private sector to fund the Master Plan projects will be explored
  • Universal fund. This will be useful in the funding of broadband roll-out in unserved and under-served areas, in order to increase service coverage and access. 
  • ICT Government Policy Funding Proposal: Government policy to allocate 5% of the national budget to fund the master plan. This is per international best practices.
  • ICT Fund Proposal: Introduce a levy on ICT services to form an ICT Fund for the master plan.

The successful implementation of the 2022- 2032 Master Plan will propel Kenya towards attaining the status of Silicon Savannah and at the forefront of ICT and economic development on the African continent.