The Kenyan government and telecommunications companies are in talks to produce phones for less than Sh 5,000. Lots of topics were covered at the 57th KNCCI AGM last week, which was attended by President William Rutto. One of these topics was the rising percentage of youth unemployment in Kenya.
To shift more economic activity into the digital economy, the President particularly focused on the requirement of transaction automation and digitization. He added that he had received numerous requests for reductions in tariffs on digital products, not only to lower costs but also to increase incentives for developers as well as traders and consumers. “Towards this end, export documents will be digitized to reduce transaction costs and business information will also be digitized and consolidated in an integrated portal,” he said.
The President also emphasized the need for stakeholders to engage more actively in sustainable incremental and mutually beneficial interactions to produce solutions that would strengthen the nation’s business community.
The government will soon launch a robust program to create innovation hubs for the growth of talents, skills, and companies for incubation to increase employability opportunities.
The government is working with the nation’s telecoms to develop a strategy that will enable Kenyan youngsters to produce and own cell phones within the next 8 to 12 months. The aforementioned phones will cost as little as Sh 5000, he said, adding that they will be the most affordable in Africa and allow all SMEs to conduct business digitally.
On his part, Pravin Eazhawa, National Director of Technical and Vocational Skills, expressed his excitement that the president had listened to the SMEs’ concerns and that the government was committed to making sure the business environment was conducive and that financing was readily available, even though the hustler fund’s interest rate would be in the single digit range.
“As TVET, we will collaborate with the government and other stakeholders to strengthen the sector through education, skills development, and training, and we will have a robust program to support the establishment of innovation hubs,” he reaffirmed, adding that this will also promote the growth of talents, skills, and the incubation of startups.