I am going to narrate to you the story of Kenya the story of digital innovations in Kenya.

Kenya is a noble player on the world stage and stands as an example of how innovation, technology, and data can be harnessed to overcome barriers to achieving ICPD and SDG goals.

Kenya is a digital leader on the African Continent. Significant investments have been made in internet infrastructure and connectivity over the past decade. This has provided for innovative digital and in particular mobile applications to revolutionize people’s lives.

The lack of formal infrastructure in Africa has acted as a catalyst for the explosion of technologies in the country. Kenya has come a long way to become Africa’s silicon savannah, spanning revolutionary APPS. Kenya’s dynamic tech scene is home to some of the most cutting-edge startups on the continent.

A story of local inventions such as M-Pesa that have triggered digital participation and given Kenya a reputation for developing digital solutions. The phenomenal success of M-PESA offers example of how the government can orchestrate partnerships to deliver dynamic start-up ecosystems.

In 2022, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen the Network Readiness Index, ranked Kenya the 3rd in Africa, outperforming in terms of digital literacy, technology and governance. The country regularly performs above average in terms of access, content, future technologies, regulation, inclusion, economy, and digital opportunities for individuals, businesses and government.

Kenya indeed is emerging as the digital hub for the Africa region, with an increasingly vibrant and innovative ICT sector.

Kenya has embraced a holistic strategy that goes beyond digitization, and creates a digital transformation based on the Open Internet. Unlike other African countries, Kenya is unlikely to resort to internet shutdowns during times of political unrest and protests. This is because Kenya is committed to Open Internet and the internet governance model as a proof conviction that the country can influence internet policy dialogues, bringing the perspective of a country from the Global South. The government has put in place legislation including Data Protection Act, Digital Identity, Digital Health Act and Cybersecurity laws. Kenya is committed to participate in the development and implementation of these laws, agreements, treaties, policies and standards.

Kenya’s outstanding internet governance model provides an array of lessons learned and good practices to other countries, on the condition that practices and priorities are refined and scoped in response to their own context, demand, existing initiatives and cooperation partnerships.

Chapter two of my story we are going to look at how Kenya promotes Youth Potential through Digital Skills and Entrepreneurship

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Kenya has made significant strides in empowering youth with digital skills and promoting entrepreneurship. The Ajira Digital Program, supported by various international partners, is designed to equip young Kenyans with the skills needed to take advantage of online work opportunities. By providing training in digital skills and entrepreneurship, this program helps young people access the global digital economy, reducing unemployment and fostering economic growth, which aligns with ICPD goals on youth empowerment and economic development.

The government of Kenya through the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) has been actively leveraging social media platforms and digital spaces such as Twitter (including X Spaces), Facebook, and Instagram to engage youth in discussions on AYSRH issues. These platforms provide a space for young people to voice their opinions, share experiences, and participate in advocacy campaigns. These initiatives not only enhance the visibility of AYSRH issues but also empower young people to be active contributors to sustainable development and the achievement of ICPD and SDG goals.

NCPD also organizes online policy dialogue X-Spaces on critical topics such as the demographic dividend, triple threat of teenage pregnancy, HIV and GBV, Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) integrated approaches. These sessions bring together experts, policymakers, and youth to discuss and develop strategies for addressing these issues.

With support from UNESCO, we have developed Short Animated Videos to raise awareness and educate youth on AYSRH issues. These videos are designed to be engaging and informative, making complex topics more accessible to a younger audience.

For Enhanced Tracking and Monitoring of ICPD Commitments:

Kenya has incorporated ICPD indicators into the Electronic National Monitoring and Information System (eNMIS) to allow for better tracking of progress towards ICPD and SDG goals. By integrating these indicators into eNMIS, policymakers and stakeholders can make data-driven decisions to improve program implementation and resource allocation.

The government also created the ICPD25 Hub; an online platform that Kenya regularly updates with information on ICPD and SDG commitments related to AYSRH. This hub serves as a central repository for resources, news, and updates, ensuring stakeholders are well-informed about progress and ongoing initiatives.

Chapter two of my story looks at Innovations in Healthcare Services Delivery

Kenya has made significant strides in improving health service delivery through innovative approaches. One notable example is the recently launched Mobilizing Maternal Health (M-Mama) a digital, innovative, real-time referral system to address emergency transport challenges faced by pregnant women. The initiative aimed at reducing maternal and neonatal mortality in Kenya, particularly in remote and underserved areas leverages on mobile technology to provide emergency transportation for pregnant women experiencing complications.

  • It provides a charge-free number and a 24/7 call centre that connects women with fast and safe transportation to high-quality healthcare facilities.
  • The call centre sends an ambulance, or a community or taxi driver trained to handle the transportation of obstetric emergencies. They have the equipment they need to get patients safely to the hospital.
  • The community or taxi driver is identified through the m-mama mobile app and then paid immediately once safely at the hospital, at no cost to the woman.

 Kenya has recently launched the Use of eCHIS to Report Community Level Data

The electronic Community Health Information System (eCHIS) is a mobile community health initiative used to assess and screen communicable and noncommunicable diseases at household levels and offer referral linkages. Community health volunteers use mobile devices to collect and record health data at the household level. It provides real-time community health data and Improved data accuracy due to reduced transcription errors from previous paperwork. e-CHIS data is integrated with the Kenya Health Information System (KHIS), ensuring comprehensive and accessible health information.

Chapter three of my story we look at Leveraging Technology for Data Collection and Analysis

Kenya has also embraced technology and has been at the forefront of leveraging digital devices for data collection to improve the accuracy, efficiency, and timeliness of its surveys and censuses. Digital data collection is a significant step in harnessing technology to support the achievement of ICPD and SDG goals.

One of the most notable examples of utilizing digital devices is the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census. This was the first fully digital census in Kenya, marking a major milestone in the use of technology for large-scale data collection. The use of GIS technology ensured comprehensive coverage; minimizing the risk of missing out on households. Real-time data transmission and automated data processing tools allows for faster analysis and dissemination of preliminary results.

This serves as a model for other countries looking to modernize their data collection processes, highlighting the importance of innovation, technology, and data in achieving ICPD and SDG goals.

Under the framework of South-South Cooperation Kenya has established an MoU with China Population and Development Research Centre (CPDRC) to build capacity of Kenya to use the Population Administration and Decision Information System (PADIS) software. This population projection software is used to estimate population projections both at the national and county levels. The results of the projection using this software are quite accurate and reliable.

Centre of Excellence on Population and Development

Kenya is in the process of establishing a Centre of Excellence on Population and Development that is envisaged to deliver excellence in training and capacity-building, conduct cutting-edge research, exchange expert knowledge, data and information, innovation and serve as a resource hub for all matters related to Population and development.

The proposed Centre of Excellence aims to leverage technology, innovation, and data as powerful tools to advance ICPD and SDGs within the framework of SSC.

Meanwhile, Kenya is developing a smart city, Konza City which has seen the arrival of several tech giants: Microsoft has established a research and development center there, Google announced last April that it would do the same, and Amazon has set up a remote server center in Nairobi.

In conclusion, Kenya is however slow on e-Health. E-Health is at its infancy and faced with social, economic and technical challenges, high cost high cost of eHealth systems and innovations; low ICT literacy amongst users; lack of interoperability of eHealth systems; market fragmentation; weak regulatory framework; and possible violation of patients’ privacy and confidentiality.


                                                                            THANK YOU VERY MUCH

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