The Communications Authority of Kenya is collaborating with the International Telecommunications Union in conducting a comprehensive review of ICT National Innovation Ecosystem. The review is meant to create a blue print on how ICT can use to enhance jobs creation and drive social-economic inclusion.
The two organisations held a public workshop aimed at getting views on how the country can create a framework to enhance the digital innovation. Dubbed the National Workshop on Digital Innovation framework, it seeks to find a functional innovation ecosystem. The workshop has attracted players from the public and private sectors ranging from entrepreneurs to innovators. Others included support institutions for the innovators such as incubators and accelerators.
The need for the review of the national digital ecosystem is driven by factors such as the fast growth of the space locally. At the same time, the number of stakeholders in the space has continued to grow at a fast pace hence the need to represent them all. In addition, the adoption of technology in different vertical sectors as diverse as education, health and agriculture, has brought on board experts, professionals and partners from many separate industries.
Finally, the rise of disruptive technologies ushering in competition against large companies by innovative, nimble SMEs and from new Internet players with different business cultures and approaches has led to the need for regulators to take up a different approach. Also, the borderless world of the Internet is opening up new markets in developed and emerging worlds alike hence the need for preparedness.
In Kenya, there exists an innovation policy but there is no strategic plan that has been put in place. The existing policy also is not specifically on ICT but in science and National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) is overseeing technology in general. This means the needs do not properly align with the current market trends.
According to Global Innovation Index 2016, Kenya is ranked number 80 out of 128 countries. In Sub-Saharan however, Kenya is ranked as the top achiever meaning there is a need for an all-inclusive innovation policy.