By Wanjala Danson/ Contributor
Nairobi- Kenya recently hosted over 300 tech companies and 2 000 conference participants for the Indo-Africa ICT Expo which took place September 1 and 3. The Expo aimed at deepening cooperation between African countries and India in the area of technology.
Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of ICT, Joe Mucheru, who opened the Expo, called on Kenyan businesses to tap into knowledge from their Indian counterparts and develop technology based solutions for the Kenyan, African and the global market.
He said there are abundant opportunities for partnerships between both public and private sectors of Kenya and India.
“India and Africa continue to witness exponential growth in the telecommunication and information technology segments. It is thus essential to evaluate the areas where the two regions can cooperate so as to further enhance the lives of our people through technology,” said Mucheru.
This is the second time that Nairobi is hosting the Indo-Africa ICT Expo which includes exhibition and conference where representatives from Kenyan and Indian companies will hold business talks in the area of technology.
India’s Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha said it was paramount for India and Africa to forge mutually beneficial ties.
He noted that India has capabilities in the ICT sector and is acknowledged as a preferred destination for ICT services including outsourced Research & Development, adding that Africa is emerging as an innovation hotspot with many local innovations.
“Given the large domestic demand for telecom equipment in India, Indian companies are now using innovation and R&D to create world class products for India as well as for other emerging markets having similar needs like Africa,” said Sinha.
Kenya and India partnerships include a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2015 for cooperation in ICT where the two countries intend to create initiatives that will enable Kenya leverage on ICT to achieve intelligent processes for efficient services.
Africa countries and India are also in a joint venture initiative dubbed Pan African e-Network Project (PAENP). The Project is aimed at supporting tele-education, tele-medicine, e-commerce, e-governance, resource mapping and meteorological services.
Other senior guests at the conference include Uganda’s Principal Secretary, ICT, Dr Jimmy Pat Saamanya, South Sudan’s Deputy Minister of ICT & Postal Services, Hon Akol Paul Kordit and Malawi’s Secretary of ICT and Civic Education, Mr Justion AK Saidi.