State to hold ICT themed Jamhuri, youth to get tech scholarships

President William Ruto attends the Innovation Week at the Sarit Center

President William Ruto attends the Innovation Week at the Sarit Center in Nairobi on December 6, 2022 ahead of the Jamhuri Day celebrations tomorrow. 

Photo credit: Courtesy | PCS

President William Ruto will today host tech experts from across the globe as part of celebrations for this year’s Jamhuri Day.

Dr Ruto’s administration has themed the December 12 holiday around innovation and has since rolled out programmes targeting tech-savvy youth.

As an incentive for youth to attend tomorrow’s celebrations at Nyayo Stadium, the government says those in attendance will get tech scholarships.

In the last couple of days, the focus has been on exhibitions, including the presidential launch of the Innovation Outlook for Kenya at the Sarit Centre Expo Centre in Nairobi.

A two-day high level discussion on technology and innovation kicked off yesterday at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).

“On Sunday, global tech leaders from various companies will be in the country and, together with President William Ruto, will discuss various partnerships and opportunities for Kenyans and thereafter meet innovators at the KICC for further engagement,” State House Press Secretary Emmanuel Talam said in a dispatch.

Several cabinet secretaries and senior government officials will headline the events. The officials will discuss various challenges and plans for the sector.

In his speech at the launch of the high-level tech discussions yesterday at KICC, ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo announced that the government is rolling out programmes to support tech-savvy youth.

Mr Owalo said the government is working with both local and international partners to expand the national fibre optic network by 100,000 kilometres.

The new administration, he said, has also begun to provide government-funded internet to the public through state-funded hotspots.

“We expect to provide up to 25,000 of these over the next five years. These hotspots are going to convert villages and marketplaces into digital hubs,” said Mr Owalo.

He said the government plans for Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) in the ICT and innovation spaces to address all issues within the tech and innovation ecosystem, including training, talent development, placement and creation of digital jobs.

“Even as Konza comes up, the government is, meanwhile, in the process of deploying 23,000 computer devices to all technical and vocational training institutions in the country and also connecting them to high-speed quality internet to ensure that young Kenyans, wherever they are, are equipped – and fit for purpose – to service the digital market demand,” he added.

Meanwhile, the newly refurbished Uhuru Park is set to open tomorrow for the annual Nairobi festival that will run until Saturday.