The Kenya Government Invites Consultations to Grow the Digital and Gig Economy with a Blockchain Mention

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The Kenya Government has extended consultations on the draft digital economy blueprint strategy paper which aims to develop a formula that seeks to tap into the global digital economy and realize its full potential.

The draft comments deadline have been extended until September 30, 2020.

Currently, the Kenya ‘gig economy’ is growing fast, currently estimated at close to 700, 000 digital and online workers in Kenya, not counting digital-enabled work like digital eCommerce platforms and ride-hailing apps.

SEE ALSOAfrica Accounts for Less Than 1% of the Digital Economy – UN Digital Economy Report 2019

The ultimate goal, is to ensure the digital economy contributes atleast 10% of the Kenya GDP. Currently, the digital economy accounts for only 2% of the country’s GDP.

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By extension, the Kenya government hopes the Blueprint will be adopted by other African member countries to grow their own digital ecosystems and realize its full potential.

Part of the document’s pillars include:

  • Proposed regulatory framework for investments and innovations
  • Encouraging smart society and networks
  • Strengthening privacy and data protection
  • Enabling new business models for MSMEs
  • Strenghthening digital economy research and innovative ecoystems

With over 70% of global mobile subscriptions located in the developing worlds like Africa, and with mobile money platforms and infrastructure continuing to drive financial inclusion in these economies, there is huge value to be gained with further acceleration of the digital economy.

Interestingly, the Blueprint highlights six disruptive technologies as having great potential for impact on economic development in Kenya. These include:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Robotics
  • Blockchain
  • Drones
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Big Data
  • Software-enabled industrial platorms

“It is evident from the financial sector that Kenya needs to seek out appropriate innovations that will help disrupt entire industries, increase economic growth and reduce poverty.” ~ The Kenya Digital Economy Blueprint 2019

The paper highlights the importance of innovation-driven entrepreneurship including six Kenyan case studies that exemplify the direction of the digital economy the government seeks. These case studies include:

  • Africa’s Talking – A unified API platform for African software developers
  • BitPesa – A digital and crypto foreign exchange and payment platform
  • Little Cabs – A taxi-hailing service with a shuttle bus solution for Kenya
  • Cellulant Corporation – Digital payment ecosystem for African banks
  • SokoWatch – A startup digitizing informal retail in Africa
  • Wezatele – A mobility payment solution for commerce, distribution, and supply chains

The draft proposes a consideration of the work and recommendations of the Kenya Blockchain and AI Taskforce.

The draft also acknowledges the need for updated regulations that promote permissionless innovation that reduce barriers to entry and exit.

It will be interesting to see if technology, blockchain and crypto stakeholders as the primary drivers in Kenya and Africa offer their recommendations before the September 30, 2020 proposed deadline.

 

NB: You can access the Kenya Digital Economy Blueprint here

 

Interested members of the public and private organisations are invited to submit substantive comments with specific proposals for amendments to the draft
strategy via email: [email protected]

 

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