The government has invested heavily in infrastructure as a key enabler for technology and innovation in the country, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has said.
The CS termed the investments together with their expected short and long impacts as a hallmark in Kenya’s developments that places it as a model in ICT development more so during the covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking during Mount Kenya University’s 18th graduation ceremony that was held virtually and which saw a total of 4232 graduands conferred with PHDs, Masters Degrees, Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates in diverse areas of discipline, Mucheru told Kenyan youth to seize opportunities availed to them by the government and the private sector to advance their soft skills.
Mucheru noted that already through the government interventions, the number of internet users in the country rose with 3.2 million to 22.86 million as estimated in January 2020 from the preceding years.
“We continue to urge Kenyans to take full advantage of the unlimited internet connectivity especially in the uncovered areas. The government will continue to seek inclusivity in access to internet and connectivity around the country,” he said.
Mucheru stated that innovations in teaching and learning are the way to go as a solution to future pandemics.
His sentiments were echoed by MKU’s Founder and Chairman Prof Gicharu who expressed the need to urgently heavily invest in research, innovations and technology as a preparation to tackle pandemics that might strike in future, has said.
Prof Gicharu called for collective efforts between the public and private sectors to enhance technological advancements and promote innovation and research so as to prevent seismic disruptions of social-economic activities as witnessed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have learnt and it is now our time to seize the moment to prepare for future plagues. Universal challenges such as Covid-19 have over time created unnecessary disruptions to our social-economic being but having science-driven information and community engagements will greatly help us survive these challenges,” he said.
He challenged institutions of higher learning in the country to focus on research and innovations saying that they play a vital role in providing solutions to problems facing the country and the communities.
Gicharu said that after the onset of the killer virus that saw indefinite closure of schools, the university migrated its classes to online and joined the global fight against the virus through science, innovation, and community outreach and community education.
“We have been committed to promote access to education while aiding in providing a solution for our community,” he said.
The ceremony was also attended by The University Council Chairman Prof David Serem, Vice Chancellor Prof Stanley Waudo among others. University Chancellor Prof John Struthers attended the ceremony virtually.