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State implementing laws and policies aimed at developing IT services, says Ruto

KIAMBU, Kenya, May 10 – The government is implementing new laws and policies that will facilitate the development of IT services in the country, President William Ruto has said.

The goal, as announced by the President, is to help the government unlock opportunities in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services sector.

Therefore, the government is increasing the country’s competitiveness and bringing it in line with global standards to accelerate the development of the BPO and other IT services market.

He noted that the aim is to increase government investment in appropriate infrastructure, including national broadband nodes and digital hubs, to create jobs for at least one million digital workers over the next five years.

“We are determined to demand our rightful share of the BPO pie for the benefit of our young men and women who want to contribute to the growth of our economy,” he said.

He noted that Kenya’s strength lies in its large, skilled young workforce, government policies prioritizing the digital economy as a strategic pillar of a grassroots economic transformation agenda, an education system emphasizing digital skills, a strategic geographic location in line with global time zones and proficiency in English, a language commonly used in the largest economies.

President Ruto made these remarks at the launch of the Global Call Center International (CCI) in Tatu town in Ruiru, Kiambu County, where over 5,000 jobs have already been created.

Those in attendance included Cabinet Secretaries Rebecca Miano and Eliud Owalo, Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi and United States Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman.

The president said that the government is strengthening existing regulations to create a favorable environment for the development of the ICT-BPO industry.

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“Our goal is to develop sector-specific regulations that are consistent with international standards in the short, medium and long term,” he said.

The government’s efforts to strengthen the sector, President Ruto explained, include enforcing BPO standards in line with international best practices, updating fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to keep pace with technological advancements, and investing in green energy.

He said the government is also working with the private sector to improve skills training for Kenyan youth to ensure they are prepared for the jobs of the future.

“These efforts demonstrate our commitment to supporting a thriving, sustainable and globally competitive BPO sector in Kenya,” he said.

The president appealed to investors to cooperate with the government under the digital centers program, which will enable the success and development of BPO activities.

“Join us in shaping digital Kenya,” he said.

Ms. Whitman said the United States was committed to strengthening economic ties with Kenya for the mutual benefit of citizens of both nations.

She noted that Kenya’s efforts to improve the business environment are bearing fruit, stating that the international community is taking note and responding positively.

“I remain very optimistic about Kenya’s economic prospects. But I’m not the only one. You may have seen a Bloomberg article touting Kenya as the Singapore of Africa,” she said.

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The ambassador added that the Economist Intelligence Unit has recognized Kenya as the best place to do business in 2024 and it is one of only two African countries to make the list.

Ms Miano said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry would redouble its efforts to attract high-quality investments to the country.

Owalo said the government is working closely with the private sector to enhance the development of the digital economy in the country.

He promised that the Ministry of ICT will continuously review policies, laws and regulations to create an environment for private sector development.

Wamatangi said most leaders, including himself, are skeptical of the president’s directive to build ICT hubs, including in markets.

The governor, however, said that after visiting the CCI center in Tatu City and seeing its potential, he appreciated the president’s digital agenda.

“After seeing the work that CCI has done here, we acknowledge that we see now what you saw then,” he said.