Since the launch of Kenya’s widely celebrated mobile payment system M-Pesa in 2007, Kenya has been labelled East-Africa’s ‘Silicon Savannah’ and ‘ICT hub’, outshining other African countries. Hence, the country is very committed to expanding its share of the USD180 billion global IT and ITES outsourcing market.
In line with enhancing the export competitiveness of Kenyan IT and ITEs companies, The Information Communication Technology Authority (ICTA) has signed a 3-year funding project extended by Government of Netherlands. Besides enhancing the ICT sector, the funding worth US$ 1.2 million will also go towards the implementation of the ICT Masterplan 2017.
Through the programme, 33 Kenyan ICT start-ups and SME’s will be supported in expanding and launching their businesses in foreign markets. The 33 emerged successful after they applied for the support in November 2014. The Kenyan companies will benefit from the promotion of high-value IT&ITES exports and the establishment of long-term business relationships.
This initiative is supported by the Netherlands Trust Fund phase III (NTF III), which is a programme funded by the Dutch government. The three-year partnership agreement is between the Kenya, Ministry of Information Communications and Technology, International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI).
Key benefits from the support include;
- Training and advisory services e.g. on export marketing and access to finance.
- Market linkages through facilitating B2B matchmaking events in Europe and Africa as well as participation in trade fairs organized in Kenya and/or target IT&ITES markets
- Promotion activities through online and offline media
It will be implemented by the ICT Authority. Other beneficiary of the programme is Kenyan IT and Outsourcing Society (KITOS). ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transitioning economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the Millennium Development Goals.