Technology

Kenya urged to play active role in digital economy

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CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge said the government ought to make heavy investments in digital infrastructure as well as the provision of reliable electricity supply nationwide.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) governor wants the government to play a bigger role in enhancing internet connectivity and usage to spur a robust digital economy.

Governor Patrick Njoroge said the government ought to make heavy investments in digital infrastructure as well as the provision of reliable electricity supply nationwide.

And with Covid-19 pandemic disrupting lives and pushing millions deeper into poverty, the CBK boss said countries must enable their citizens to acquire individual digital identities adding that this creates an avenue for financial inclusion of the masses.

“Investment in digital identity to connect citizens is imperative lest we leave them behind. Substantial public and private investment will be required towards this end,” he said when addressing the 2020 virtual annual conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB).

The government is on course to establish a nationwide financial digital transactions card, Huduma Namba that has biometric data on individual households and number of family members.

And with Kenya’s rush into e-payments and e-commerce as well as e-government, Dr Njoroge said Kenyans should be equipped with the requisite skills to effectively use digital platforms while protecting their data and funds.

While digitisation has redefined Kenya’s business activities now riding on a cashless platform across all societal segments, Dr Njoroge warned that virtual operations present serious risks related to cybersecurity and data privacy that expose first-time users to imminent dangers of losing their hard-earned cash to cyber criminals.

“We must therefore equip them with the requisite skills to effectively use digital platforms while protecting their data and funds,” he said.