CS Owalo To Serve In Global Role Alongside Japan, Nigeria, Pakistan Ministers
Owalo will serve alongside 18 individuals also selected to the Board and derived from different countries.
ICT and Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo has been nominated to serve as a Member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Global Digital Innovation Board.
The Ministry of ICT in a statement on Thursday, February 8 revealed that Owalo will serve alongside 18 individuals also selected to the Board and derived from different countries.
"We are delighted to announce that the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy, Mr. Eliud Owalo, EGH, FIHRM, has been selected to serve as a Member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Global Digital Innovation Board," the statement announced in part.
The Digital Innovation Board is one of the vehicles of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Alliance for Digital Development under the ITU, aimed at accelerating the bridging of the digital innovation divide. It also provides support to ITU members on their journey towards an equitable digital future for all.
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. /ITU
The 18 distinguished individuals were selected to serve as members of the Digital Innovation Board, based on their solid track record of leadership in innovation, competence and experience.
Alongside Owalo, other board appointees include Mohamed bin Thamir, Minister of the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications, Bahrain; Hiroshi Yoshida, Vice Minister, of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan and Bosun Tijani, Minister of the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, Nigeria.
Other appointees include Dr Umar Saif, Minister, Ministry of Information, Technology and Telecommunication, Pakistan, Mondli Gungubele, Minister, Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies and Bernardo Mariano Jr, Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology, UN, among other distinguished members.
The Digital Innovation Board is expected to provide strategic guidance, expertise and advocacy regarding the initiative's mission of building critical local enablers and fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in digital development, aimed at creating a more inclusive and equitable digital future for all.
As the Alliance is accelerating innovation capacity and creating linkages at the national, regional and global levels, the Board will advance the efforts of the Alliance at the global stage, leading the dialogue on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in digital development with relevant stakeholders and prospective partners, including UN agencies, governments and private sector.
"I am confident that, with the guidance of the Board, we will accelerate the implementation of the Kigali Action Plan under the mandate of the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D)," said Dr. Cosmas Luckyson Zavazava, Director, of Telecommunication Development Bureau.
Speaking when he launched the 2nd ATU Preparatory meeting for WTSA-24 on Monday, this week, CS Owalo said, "Kenya recognizes ICTs as the driver of the digital transformation of our economy. On this front, the government has identified its key ICT priorities in various documents, including the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda.
"As a matter of fact, the Government of Kenya is counting on ICTs to address various societal challenges, such as unemployment, poverty, and public delivery constraints," he addressed.
He added, "Our Digital Transformation Agenda also includes building a resilient infrastructure through the expansion of our broadband infrastructure, enhancing digital skills for digital jobs, connecting our people through public Wi-Fi, and creating an enabling legal, policy, and regulatory environment for entrepreneurship while promoting innovation and securing cyberspace."
The Ministry appreciated ITU for this appointment, which coincides with the ongoing 2nd African Telecommunications Union (ATU) Preparatory Meeting for the upcoming World Telecommunications Standardization Assembly 2024 (WTSA-24), scheduled for October 2024 in New Delhi, India, and 1st Preparatory Meeting for WTDC-25 happening here in Nairobi.
The Government of Kenya lauded the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) for convening the workshop to ensure that Africa is not only prepared to effectively participate in WTSA-24 but also speaks with one voice.
"We are equally grateful to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for allowing regional co-ordination of common proposals in readiness for the standard-setting and treaty-making conference and for supporting this meeting with experts.
"We congratulate CS Owalo for this distinguished nomination and wish him all the best in his endeavours in this new capacity," praised the ICT ministry.