There has been a lot of movement and agitation in the Silicon Savannah over the past few weeks around how opportunities are captured and value realized in ecosystem that is now really coming to terms with the pains of maturity. A tectonic shift was felt this past Tuesday as His Excellency the President announced a cabinet reshuffle that brought with it some hope and optimism to many invested in technology enabled service businesses.
While a reshuffle is not a panacea for myriad of problems both real and imagined that affect the technology driven sector, here is why the Joe Mucheru – Cabinet Secretary ICT and Victor Kyalo – Principal Secretary ICT tag team makes sense right now.
Joe has quite the experience on four fronts; starting, growing and exiting an indigenous technology business – Wananchi, agitating for industry rights under TESPOK in the early days, a more comprehensive world view from his Google employ and as an active investor with a local tech portfolio.
Victor cut his teeth during a time of rapid growth and expectation of ITES at the helm of the ICT Authority and as Deputy CEO/Programmes Manager at the then Kenya ICT Board. Combined with many years in the public sector and also a founding member of key initiatives stands him in good stead. Across many conversations with him, it became apparent that hockey stick progress was stifled at the ministry under which the board fell.
Joe will bring in fresh proactive thinking and action, and I am confident that he can fill and outgrow the shoes of one Bitange Ndemo who even as a Permanent Secretary was the most visible true catalyst and champion for ITES in Kenya. Victor knows how to navigate the public sector and has done the dance on both policy and lobbying. If in sync, then this is the yin and yang that will “transform Kenya into a regional ICT hub and a globally competitive digital economy”
My RRI (rapid results initiative) expectations from the duo are simple. The first is to ensure that Enterprise Kenya, whose go live we all highly anticipate will not be deviated from its original design as crafted by a consortium of invested publics over many sleepless nights. The second is to ensure policy clarity and adherence on matters citizen contracting in respect to government business. The third is to protect and amplify the use of locally domiciled intellectual property whose value we continue to bleed out through ill-conceived public private partnerships.
We just got an operating system upgrade and the expectation is that of an immediate and marked performance improvement.