In a recent statement, Eng. John Tanui, the Permanent Secretary (PS) for ICT and the Digital Economy, has reaffirmed the government’s unwavering commitment to expanding the country’s digital economy. This dedication is rooted in the establishment of a safe and secure cyberspace, critical for the nation’s progression in the digital era.
Speaking from his office during the release of a Cyber Security Observance Brief, PS Tanui highlighted the vast potential that the digital space offers. He emphasized the government’s ambitious plans, outlining the rollout of over 100,000 kilometers of digital infrastructure, the digitization of services, and the significant investment in digital training and upskilling for the public workforce.
Tanui stressed the importance of bringing more citizens onto this global digital platform while simultaneously ensuring the security of the digital network. “One of the issues is, of course, data privacy and data protection. October, being the month of Cyber Security Awareness, presents a perfect opportunity for us,” he stated.
The PS underscored the necessity of having robust digital infrastructure, proper ICT policies, legislative frameworks, and clear guidelines in place. He pointed out that the government has taken significant strides in this direction with the enactment of the Data Protection and Privacy Act, 2019, the Kenya National ICT Policy, 2019, and the Digital Master Plan 2022 -2032. Additionally, the establishment of the National Computer and Cyber Crimes Coordination Committee (NC4) serves as a testament to the government’s efforts in securing its digital space.
PS Tanui also highlighted the building of linkages and partnerships with local and global centers of expertise in cyber security. This is aimed at aligning with international strategies, enhancing capacities, and fostering knowledge sharing in the emerging digital realm.
Calling for adherence to ICT standards and ongoing capacity building for government cyber security experts, Tanui urged citizens to exercise caution in their digital interactions. He highlighted the parallel between vigilance in the physical and digital worlds, emphasizing the importance of discernment in clicking and sharing information online.
Wrapping up his address, the PS encouraged the exploration of the digital space, highlighting its potential for job creation and wealth generation. He cited the impressive earnings of young people engaged in digital platforms and the establishment of Business Process Outsourcing centers in Kenya as examples of the digital economy’s positive impact.
As cyber security continues to be a global issue, Tanui’s words serve as a timely reminder of the need for secure, vigilant, and proactive engagement in the digital world, underlining the government’s commitment to fostering a secure and prosperous digital economy in Kenya.