In an international collaborative effort, Germany, the European Union, and Estonia have partnered with the Kenyan government to inaugurate the Digital Transformation Centre (DTC), a crucial cog in the Team Europe Initiative on Human-Centred Digitalisation. The ambitious project, enacted with the aid of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GiZ), aims to expedite the digital transformation of Kenya and, by extension, bolster socio-economic development in the region.
Kenya, famously referred to as Africa’s Silicon Savannah, stands on the brink of an extensive digital metamorphosis that could usher in significant socio-economic advancements. However, realising this potential necessitates the cultivation of an inclusive digital landscape, the fostering of an equitable and competitive tech start-up ecosystem, and engendering trust in digital services among the populace.
The DTC, operating under the principle of “Human-Centred Digitalisation”, is primed to facilitate a digital transition that will cater to public needs and uphold their rights. The centre plans to collaborate with partners on pivotal elements of the Kenya Digital Master Plan 2022-2023. Key themes include establishing an open and inclusive digital government, data protection, building a fair digital economy, promoting the ethical use of emerging technologies, increasing youth employment via digital skills, addressing the gender digital divide, and instigating a green digital transition.
DURING THE INAUGURATION, the EU Ambassador to Kenya, Henriette Geiger, emphasised that their goal is to foster a digital future in Kenya predicated on values of openness, trust, and safety. The German Ambassador Sebastian Groth reiterated this sentiment, stressing on the collective effort to tackle biases and enhance women’s participation in the tech sector whilst creating a safer internet environment.
A joint venture between the GiZ and the Estonian Centre for International Development (EstDev), the DTC will operate with a 4 billion Kenyan Shillings budget over the next three years. The project seeks to bolster Kenya’s digital economy while promoting transparent and inclusive digital governance. As part of its services, DTC experts will provide training, workshops, and advisory services to numerous partners, including Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communication, and the Digital Economy, the ICT Authority, and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner. Furthermore, the DTC is set to create a green-digital innovation hub for Kenya’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs.