By David Mukara

18th December, 2018

Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mr. Joe Mucheru has urged tech companies to take advantage of the Smart Africa Initiative, a single digital market with a population of 600 million created by 24 Africa states.

The Cabinet Secretary noted that, the digital market projected to serve over 1 billion people in African by the end of 2019 would also provide One Area Network (OAN) across the continent that will eliminate the expensive mobile roaming. This will provide immense opportunities especially in mobile phone money transfer business.

The CS observed that the one area Network will eliminate the need for the population in Africa to make international calls among themselves pointing out that the 24 countries who have already signed up for the Smart Africa Initiative will save an estimated 3.5 billion dollars annually.

He was speaking at a Nairobi Hotel when he officially re-launched the new KCB/Mpesa product which has been improved to provide for, among other things, Zero interest rate if loan is repaid within 24 hours after borrowing.

“The continental free trade area that our president and the rest of African leaders have been building cannot happen without using the infrastructure that we have put in place, and we need to take our successes and products such as KCB-Mpesa to the rest of Africa,” he said.

The CS said the regional governments are working together to put the right infrastructure such as power and also the single digital Identity Card for all Kenyans and registered foreigners in the country. The single identity will ensure that an individual’s personal documents such as birth certificates, driving license, Kenya Revenue Authority PIN are easily accessible at the touch of a button.

At the same time, he said the government is committed to put in place the right legal and regulatory framework for ICT driven businesses to thrive in the country. Such laws include the computer misuse and Cyber Crimes Act and Data protection Bill currently before the National Assembly.

Others present included Safaricom and KCB CEOs Mr. Bob Collymore and Mr. Joshua Oigara respectively.

The new KCB-Mpesa platform offers increased speed, more borrowing and saving options to the customers. This is part of KCB digital banking proposition that will deliver sustainable growth for the business into the future.