Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has set the country’s Ministry of ICT a target of investing in at least 50 startups in the next year through the Enterprise Kenya initiative.
This is according to cabinet secretary at the Ministry of ICT Fred Matiangi, who told the Connected East Africa conference in Diani of Kenyatta’s target.
“The government is putting resources together to help innovation in the country,” he said.
Kenyatta has emerged as a vocal supporter of Kenyan startups over the last few weeks, using his State of the Nation address to Parliament to praise the innovations of tech hubs such as iHub and Nailab and say the country was becoming a “startup nation”.
He also previously made an unannounced visit to iHub, m:lab East Africa and Nailab to hear about and meet innovative startups based at the incubators.
The Enterprise Kenya initiative was announced at the ICT Innovation Forum held in Nairobi at the start of March, to support and build the technology entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country. Kenyatta attended the summit and specifically urged that the Kenyan innovation be encouraged.
The project is targeting 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 Kenyatta.