The Government of Kenya and Nokia have announced a partnership aimed at growing the Kenyan Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, using mobile solutions.
Through the agreement, Nokia intends to build technical and business skills of Kenyan mobile startups through collaboration with local universities and innovation hubs. The objective is to train more than 200 students per year and to support dozens of companies during the program. Nokia will also support the Kenyan Government in developing new innovations to deliver services to the population, through platforms such as Nokia Data Gathering or through development of new applications and content.
In addition, Nokia and the Government of Kenya intend to introduce mobile enabled value adding services for Kenyans to improve agricultural productivity and health of rural populations. The agreement also includes support in various critical policy areas such as management of eWaste, and fighting the counterfeit challenge to protect Kenyan consumers from the dangers of sub-standard and fake handsets.
Vice President for Corporate Relations for Nokia Middle East and Africa, Jussi Hinkkanen, said ICT’s are not just the luxury of the urban population, but critical tools for fighting poverty and marginalization.
“Our objective is to support local talent in developing their skills, and to open up a channel for their innovations to reach both regional and global markets. As East Africa’s leading mobile company, it is our responsibility to identify areas where our technical skills can facilitate the development of society. We hope this collaboration will motivate thousands of Kenyan’s to further the ICT agenda in the country.”
The duration of the initial agreement is two years, with an option for renewal. Both the Government of Kenya and Nokia have agreed to include additional components under the collaboration as new themes and programs are identified, and that all activity will be coordinated by the Kenya ICT Board. The Board’s mandate is to stimulate the development of the Kenyan ICT sector and the building of an information society where all citizens have equal access to information and digital services.