Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • I am delighted to join you this morning at the third edition of the Global Conference Social Media Week, Nairobi. It is an important day in the digital and technology space in Kenya as Nairobi joins other cities including Los Angeles, Mexico, Milan, Rome and Warsaw in hosting this event.
  • As a Ministry, we applaud Go Gaga Experiential for ensuring that Nairobi is once again on the map as the second African city to host this conference, deliberating on matters related to the digital and technology and charting the way forward.
  • I am informed that the conference has attracted both local and global brands such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Telkom, Blue Robot, Oath, Safaricom, Google Kenya, Meltwater among others.
  • In line with its mandate, SMW Nairobi is expected to give professionals the insights, ideas and opportunities they need to advance themselves and their organizations in a globally connected world.
  • ICT is one of the pillars for economic development in Kenya’s Vision 2030. My Ministry is tasked with steering the country towards a knowledge-based economy, which champions for the creation, adoption and adaptation of current and emerging technologies and digital innovations.
  • I am happy to note that the SMW Nairobi is aligned with this vision as it strives to integrate and share knowledge of the new trends and highlight impact of technology and digital in all sectors of the market through the interactive discussions that will be held during the four days of the conference.
  • Emerging technologies go hand in hand with the need for capacity building and upscaling the skills set for our vibrant youth, so that they too can actively contribute towards the growth of our economy.
  • At a policy level, we are committed to creating enabling laws and regulations that will guide the sector. Most recently, the Computer and Cyber Crimes Law was enacted, and although some aspects of the Act have been challenged in court, this law will protect social media users, particularly those that have been exposed to many vulnerabilities in absence of a clear guiding law on how cybercrime should be handled.
  • We also expect the Data Protection Bill to be approved within the next 60-90 days.
  • I believe that the conversations that will happen at the SMW Nairobi will provide further insights into the digital and technology sphere.
  • Partnerships between governments, regulators, private sector and development partners is a key ingredient if we are to nurture an environment that fosters long-term policies for the creation of capacity building programmes in ICT.
  • As I conclude Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to urge everyone of us to act responsibly and be prudent with the information they share through social media. It is imperative to note that technology was originally designed to bring people closer together.
  • However, the perceived anonymity that some social media platforms provide has in some instances provoked hurtful, mean and unwarranted attacks on others.
  • Even as the Government provides policy and regulatory direction on how perpetrators should be dealt with, let us all purpose to engage responsibly through social media.
  • It is now my pleasure to declare the 3rd Edition of Social Media Week Nairobi meeting officially open.

Thank you and God bless you all.