- According to Microsoft’s AI in the Middle East and Africa report, Kenya has invested $130 million (Sh16.4 billion) in the last 10 years in AI.
- Government services will now be accessed online from July to save on time and costs as well as the cost of doing business.
Kenya has been ranked fifth in Africa for its readiness to adopt Artificial Intelligence in delivery of public services.
This is according to the Oxford Insights Government AI readiness 2022 index report.
It ranked behind Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia, and Morocco.
Globally, Kenya was ranked 90th with a total score of 40.36 per cent.
The report aims to score governments on their readiness to implement AI in the delivery of public services.
AI is being used by governments with the goal of improving efficiency in the delivery of services, ensuring fairer access to services and enhancing citizens’ experience of services.
The analysis was based on 39 indicators across 10 dimensions, which are made up of three pillars: the governmental, technology sector and data and infrastructure pillars.
Under the governmental pillar ranking, Kenya had a score of 40.36 per cent, a score of 51.95 per cent in the data and infrastructure pillar and a score of 28.76 per cent in the technology sector pillar.
In the data and infrastructure pillar, Kenya was among the highest-ranking countries in Africa.
The pillar assesses the state of telecommunications infrastructure, the quality of broadband internet access and the cost of accessing the internet.
It also assesses the number of cloud computing service providers and the availability of open government data.
On the technology sector pillar, Kenya’s 28.76 per cent was below the world’s average of 35.17 per cent.
According to the report, the pillar assesses the government’s spending on software, the number of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), graduates and the governmental spending on research and development.
It also assesses the quality of higher education in engineering and technology.
However, no African country scored 50 per cent or more in this pillar.
According to Oxford Insights CEO Richard Sterling, public services can and should be delivered to a high standard with the human experience in mind.
“We need governments to rapidly roll out responsive regulatory regimes and build their own technological capability so that AI can be used to improve services used by all,” Sterling said.
Despite the world falling into a possible recession, AI continues to break new ground every new week.
According to Microsoft’s AI in the Middle East and Africa report, Kenya has invested $130 million (Sh16.4 billion) in the last 10 years in AI.
Government services will now be accessed online from July to save on time and costs as well as the cost of doing business.
In a recent gathering, ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo said that the government has already taken over all the services offered on the e-citizen platform and plans to add extra 1,200 services every month.
The government is also set to introduce a digital identity card, which will help Kenyans access all key services.
Owalo said that the digital identity card is totally different from the Huduma card.
He also said that the number of government online services had risen from 350 to 680 since the Kenya Kwanza administration came into power.
“We are projecting that the over 5,000 government services will be online by the end of July as we digitise all our services,” he said.
The CS expressed concern over the high internet charges, adding that they were engaging telecommunications companies on the issue.
He said that plans are underway to roll out 25,000 free WiFi hotspots and 1,450 digital hubs mainly in areas with low or poor internet coverage.
“Through the provision of free internet, it will be easier for the hustlers to conduct businesses from all corners of the country while accessing all government services,” Owalo said.
The CS also said that Kenya will be hosting a digital summit from April 2 to 5 in Kwale.
Dubbed the Digital Economy: Endless Opportunities Shaping the Future, the forum will bring together more than 1,000 local and international delegates.
It will seek to bank on private-public partnerships toward the realisation of digital solution outcomes that will contribute to the country's economic development.
The forum will also seek to mirror the previous summits which have seen the birth of key public service innovations.
They include the huduma, e-citizen, presidential digital talent programme and the National ICT master plan of 2017.