The Kenya Association of Manufacturers today participated in the National Forum on Harnessing the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development held in Nairobi. The meeting followed the recently concluded conference on UN Financing for Development (FFD) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference aimed to address and reduce poverty, foster development and speed up realization of vision 2030. Kenya is the first country in the world to hold such a forum. It was hoped that the forum would yield a multi stakeholder resolution for supporting, fostering and funding data revolution in the country.
“Kenya, being the cradle of mankind, takes a lead in being the first to hold a National Data forum”, said the Deputy President Mr. William Ruto who spoke at the event. The Deputy President further said that the Gvt is working on enhancing internet security to manage the risks by strengthening Kenya’s cybercrime law & institutional response. Mr Ruto said that lawmakers must also think about how legislation can enhance data reciprocity, enabling individuals to own & monetize their own information.
The deputy president said that operators should work with the government to bring down the cost of data to enable more Kenyans to interact. “A key concern of the government is the cost of data. While the cost of mobile handset has gone down over the years, the cost of data has increased” said Ruto.
Kenya has recognized the need to address the gaps in data production, openness & has fully embraced the opportunities of the data revolution. Unfortunately, basic data i.e births & deaths, the size of the labour force and the number of pupils in school are still not readily available. Accurate, timely, disaggregated and accessible data are essential for governments to deliver services efficiently, equitably and transparently. The Deputy President said that citizens, businesses, public & private institutions are the engine of this process, providing data on just about anything imaginable.
Ruto further said “The government will support this process beyond this forum and champion the Global Partnership to harness data revolution. The need to use data for better decision making, resource use & coherence will be the defining aspect of sustainable dev goals agenda. An inclusive data ecosystem involving the government, private sector, academia, civil society & development partners should be created.”