The Nation digital summit kicked off in Mombasa on Friday morning where the government promised increased internet connectivity across the country to enable easier use of technology in doing business.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said Covid-19 disruptions have shown that the world can leverage on technology to transform lives.
Speaking during the official opening of the summit at Sarova Whitesands and Resort, the CS said the government will play its part in ensuring connections and a secure environment to protect online users.
"In Kenya, we have made strides in ensuring there is internet coverage even in areas which are not even economic viable to end internet connectivity disparity. At the moment, we are at 98 per cent 2G signal coverage where Kenyans can do basic internet support services while 88 per cent is already on 3G," he said.
To increase fibre optic coverage, the CS said the government is working with Kenya Power and Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) to reach populations covered by the grid.
"As we grow our connectivity, we are also investing in research and development in our institutions where we are making modern devices to lower the cost of importing them and make them easily available in the country."
On protecting intellectual rights, which has been earmarked as a major threat to the youth, the government is already working to train and incubate young people to grow their ideas.
"We have laws to protect intellectual rights but there's need to educate the public on how to patent ideas. We are also working with different companies to support at least 200 youth every six months in training them on how to develop their ideas," said Mr Mucheru.
"As we move to the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), Kenya should ensure we move with speed to capture the market through the use of technology...we have advantage of a large number of youth who are tech savvy," he added.
Council of Governors ICT Committee chairperson, Paul Chepkwony, said county governments have provided support in enhancing economic development through technology which has improved revenue collection in devolved units.
"We still have connectivity challenges thus we are asking the government to fast-track fibre connectivity in the remaining three counties. We have seen advantages of using technology in the 36 counties which have automated revenue collection systems," said Mr Chepkwony.
The digital summit organised by the Nation Media Group (NMG) brings together experts from Kenya and across the continent.
The forum presents an unparalleled opportunity to gain insights from some of Africa's most on-demand technocrats and leaders in the digital space.
NMG chief executive officer Stephen Gitagama and other delegates across the region are attending the summit.