Kenya’s Ministry of ICT and ICT Authority have launched a new initiative, Enterprise Kenya, to support and build the technology entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country, with President Uhuru Kenyatta urging that Kenyan innovation be encouraged.
The launch of the Enterprise Kenya initiative was announced at the ICT Innovation Forum held in Nairobi this week, with the project to target a number of key action areas to support the innovation ecosystem; calling on government, policy makers, and industry players to work together to ensure the country promotes local ICT .
“ICT has transformed both the public and private sector. It has made government more efficient, transparent and productive. There is need for our sectors to consume local innovations. This will not only help build the businesses, it will save the economy from spending a lot of money on foreign systems and licences, and we can in turn channel the money to innovators,” said President Kenyatta.
Among the action points set out for Enterprise Kenya, the project will support the development of a sustainable talent-pool and workforce, in a bid to encourage innovation by creating “a space teeming with knowledge and skills from diverse background”.
Acknowledging the difficulties many startups and entrepreneurs face in unlocking Capital, the project will work to address issues of access to capital, by improving awareness and knowledge of sources of capital, forms of financing and financing processes.
Enterprise Kenya also promises to promote co-innovation, research and development, aimed at reaping the benefit of incremental and separate areas of research and progress; as well as implementing initiatives to support the IT export sector to expand internationally.
Of note, Enterprise Kenya will focus on the development of national incubation hubs and accelerators.
“There are a number of incubators in the country. The results from these are mixed and (to some others) their role in the sector is not well-understood. There is a need to demystify the role of hubs and accelerators, understand their true role and provide the requisite supportive environment so that they can have the impact expected of them,” a spokesperson for the ICT Authority said.