Information & Communication Technology (ICT) may be defined as computer hardware and software and telecommunications technology. ICT is the World’s fastest growing economic activity; the sector has turned the globe into an increasingly interconnected network of individuals, firms, schools and governments communicating and interacting with each other through a variety of channels and providing economic opportunities transcending borders, languages and cultures. ICT has opened new channels for service delivery in areas such as e-government, education, e-health and information dissemination.
Rapid development of ICT accompanied by the convergence of telecommunications, broadcasting and computer technologies is creating new products and services, as well as new ways of learning, entertainment and doing business. At the same time, more commercial, social and professional opportunities are being created through the unique opportunity provided by ICT. As a result, the world is undergoing a fundamental transformation as the industrial society that marked the 20th century rapidly gives way to the information society of the 21st century. The new society promises a fundamental change in all aspects of our lives, including knowledge dissemination, social interaction, economic and business practices and political engagement.
Kenya's telecommunications policy statement was issued in 1997 that set out the government vision on telecommunications development to the year 2015. The challenge at that time was to transform the existing policy structure from one designed for a monopoly to a policy managing a liberalised telecommunication market. There have been significant changes in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in Kenya over the last ten years, despite the lack of a legislative framework to guide it. While it is difficult to capture all the developments in detail, the formation of the multi-stakeholder Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) was a remarkable achievement. Through the network, an inclusive policy process has been catalyzed, resulting in the country’s first draft ICT policy document, approved by cabinet in February 2006.
Realizing that ICT is a primary instrument for realizing economic growth, Kenya offers attractive incentives and presents various investment opportunities for potential investors as it prepares to leverage ICT in its national priorities of growth and poverty reduction. As an entry point to the regional market and a communications and financial hub for the region Kenya also offers potential investors a wide market for their products and services in the utilization of ICT.
The Government of Kenya has embarked on a series of initiatives to revitalise and transform the economy into a modern market-oriented one. The aim is to improve the economic well being of Kenyans by establishing Kenya, in the medium term, as the centre of industrial and financial activities in the region. The sector policies aim to define the framework within which telecommunications and postal services will be provided.
The overall Government objective for the sector is to optimise its contribution to the development of the Kenyan economy as a whole by ensuring the availability of efficient, reliable and affordable communication services throughout the country.
70.71 Group intends to make inroads into the country’s embryonic business process outsourcing (BPO) sector. The industry currently faces infrastructure challenges to their operations, but the new marine fibre optic links to the international fibre system that came into stream in late 2009 will facilitate the provision cheaper internet access is vital to economic development and job creation, particularly in the call centre sector.