#CIO100 Awards and Symposium- How it happened and what was said on the First Day

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It has been a great year for ICT in Kenya and it is even getting better and better towards the end of the  year.  So it is time to recognize and celebrate some of the organizations and people who have made noticeable impact this year using technology. CIO Magazine is doing exactly that at the event currently going on at Safari Park Hotel–“CIO100 Awards and Symposium” . According to cio.co.ke site:

CIO100 Awards celebrate 100 organizations (and the people within them) that are using information technology in innovative ways to deliver business value, whether by creating competitive advantage, optimizing business processes, enabling growth or improving relationships with customers.

Now that you know let me go straight to what happened and what was said on the first day of the symposium:

  • Whenever we  have such events the Government take the lion share of time on the first day or first few hours of the event.  And they use such forum to show case what they have being doing and what they want you to be believe they have done or about to do. CIO100 Awards and Symposium was no different. But you will never get bored when you have the likes of  PS. Bitange Ndemo in the house. Many people have said it and i tend to agree with them that Ndemo understands his work . For that it is refreshing to see one Government official who is actually working for the better good of the country.  Ok, so sit back and relax there is some interesting info from the Kenyan government about the ICT sector.
  • Did you know that the  Kenyan government has had computers since 1967 and the first department which had it was the statistics department. I did not know that and it is surprising considering how backward ITwise some of  Kenyan Government offices look in the year of our Lord 2011. May be they got the computer through donation and did not know what to do with it until the last decade when things started changing…..But again you should understand them owing to the fact that today out of 42 ministries, only 6 have a substantial ICT budget… May be things will get better after next General Elections when the  ministries will be reduced to 14..God bless the New Constitution and people of Kenya.
  •  And there was big announcement from the government…Yes, it is ready and in the next coming days Government will  launch a data centre based somewhere in Ruaraka. The work at the data centre is  complete with 450 trained ICT officers ready to go . The Government is also working on building two more data centres in the coming years.
  •  Through the data centres the Government will be able to deliver on their e-Government programs. E-Government is the use of ICTs to promote more efficient and effective Government and allow public assess to information. By the way there is already eGovernment portal called Hudumakenya.go.ke. On that portal there are  services from immigration, KRA, state office, includes passport tracking. I still rank it as a bit shallow and  among the ugly sites you will find around but that is a story for another day
  • Still on the eGovernment..Some of the things being work on is to move Government service delivery to mobile phones, plus how to have  Citizen Service centres for physical delivery. And they are not forgetting M-PESA.  eGovrenment is working on developing electronic payment gateways for payments such as M-PESA. Good stuff if it comes to pass.
  • Ooooh i bet you did not know that land Ministry is very innovative…despite the fact that people can not tell who owns what in Kenya in terms of land. Lands Registry has moved from scanning records in 2000 to the Land Management Information System in 2008.. and by the end of this year Lands Registry aims to digitise 75% of land records in the country. I tell you, with that they are making real money,  Lands Ministry has moved revenue collections from Kes 5 billion to Kes 8 billion due to automation…
  •  Ndemo announced that the Government is at advanced stage with the plan to deploy Fibre in every corner of the country. That will be wonderful.  Such events can not pass without someone talking about local content..Apparently the local content producers are not doing enough..and  Ndemo is a disappointed man. “We can’t be building infraX for other people’s contents”. I agree with him.  The man is  planning to go to iHub, mLab to talk to developers to generate more apps for farmers. Never say you were not told that there is opportunity to make money with m-somethingfarming.
  • Well well well, there were others preachers too .. According to Harry Harre people are looking at IT as a strategic input into their business. Alot of effort is now being put into making it work. Long gone are the days when IT was just after thought for many companies.
  • Back to the basics. what is the role of CIOs and how is it different form that of the CEOs. By the way CIO is simply Chief Information Officer and i came to learn that the term “scientist” was coined in 1834 and in 1981 the term “Chief Information Officer” was coined by Bill Synnott.  Many agree that CEO’s task is to develop and dominate new markets, the classic example is what Safaricom did with  Mobile money transfer solution  M-pesa. While the work
    of CIO is to look for what technology will change the organization and bring the needed success. Unfortunately according  @Andrew_yt2 , many people cannot differentiate what CIOs do from witchcraft – mmmmh…
  • Every year there is buzz word which dominate the IT conversations, it seems the word now  is Cloud computing and i bet you are going to hear more of it next year. As i have said somewhere else here people have been using cloud service like forever, without knowing they are doing so. Yeah things like emails… Now the IT experts seems to think that they should demystify what cloud is all about. So the basic cloud should provide rapid innovation,  be available, secure and accessible from any device…great

Stay tune for the second day…

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Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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