President Uhuru Kenyatta wants African countries to take full advantage of Digital technology which he termed as critical towards her quest to actualize the objective of boosting intra Africa trade.
He said embracing Digital technology will greatly contribute to the advancement of the continent’s economy and trade agenda besides facilitating and accelerating cross border payments.
President Kenyatta made these remarks when he officially opened United Nation Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) e-Commerce conference in Nairobi.
The forum which is being held for the first time in Africa is set to examine ways to enhance the ability of African countries to engage in and benefit from e-Commerce and the evolving digital economy.
He concurred with this year’s theme “Empowering African economies in the digital era”, and, which he said resonated well with the Africa’s economic integration.
He hailed the conference for providing African countries and other stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss the global development implications of e-Commerce and the evolving digital economy.
President Kenyatta urged African countries to seize every opportunity to secure their rightful place in digital economy. He cautioned the continent to jealously guard against being marginalized in the designing and setting up of global rules for e-Commerce.
“Africa should build her digital knowledge base and engage on this basis to ensure that any development of disciplines in e – commerce must have a development content that advances the future of Africa’s Integration and Industrialization Agenda in the digital economy in line with the Africa Union vision 2063”, said the President.
He said Kenya Government was in the frontline in promoting the use of digital technology to enhance service delivery to our Citizens as testified in massive investment of resources in the development of Information Communication Technology infrastructure such as Fibre Opting Network connection between Kenya and the rest of the world as well as the development of the National Digital infrastructure that connects all Counties in Kenya.
The President gave Government assurance that it will continue to promote use of technology innovations by ensuring conducive policy environment which balance between innovation and regulation to ensure that Kenya continues to remain innovative and competitive.
“As my Government advances its Big4 Agenda for which manufacturing is one of the core pillars, elements of Digital Economy will be instrumental in planning for the industries of the future”, said President Kenyatta.
He looked forward to getting more ideas that could enhance a manufacturing sector which is competitive and one which will remain sustainable in the digital economy.
The e-Commerce conference which was sponsored by European Union, Africa Union, UNCTAD was also attended and addressed by Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi Secretary General of UNCTAD, Representative of European Union, Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Hon. Peter Munya.