Different strokes for different folks, and the race to raise the percentage of populations technologically inclined continues. We have seen an increase in the number of connected devices and infrastructure laid in Kenya with many businesses trying to understand the new mediums birthed in a bid to leverage them, angling for a larger piece of the consumer pie. Traditional businesses aside, government is also struggling to pin down its road map, often times looking confused based, not on the blueprints and roadmaps consultatively arrived on with private sector but on the decisions made.
Technology must be transparent and choices on the flavor of technology to be deployed must be informed by the S.I. unit that is increased utility. Certain sectors lend themselves well to experimentation and research, and the government would benefit from an effort to distill these outcomes, to not only ensure a more informed execution of strategy but to also avoid costly actions that would follow a blind and popular route with more politically inclined payload.
Today I choose to frame the questions rather than provide hard and fast answers.
Was the choice of laptops for class one pupils the best way to get started on the path towards a digital knowledge based economy or was it the most visible? Is there a better way to meet the need and increase the utility of the technology and infrastructure that would be deployed?
How can we increase revenue and quality of output for small holdings? How do we overcome the challenges of financing and information dissemination – in light of cultural barriers and the non-scalable extension officer? Markets, do we understand how they operate and how to seed and sustain them?
Is there the possibility of a linkage in the quality of life and therefore health stemming from our agricultural practices, to mean if we sort agriculture we address a component of health? What is the logical start point in an obviously gargantuan ecosystem? Is it facilities, information or training – human resource?
As one size doesn’t fit all, the expression of utility will be different for various publics with a variety of social economic factors coming into play. The service and technology propositions must fit well within this fragmentation to deliver full coverage as will be expected by the citizen for any government initiative.
As we celebrate Kenya at 50, let us take time to ask the right questions that will allow us to frame solutions that will make the next fifty worth the wait and hope.