Speaking during the high-level 3rd Belt and Road Forum for Cooperation (BRI) in Beijing, China, President Ruto noted that such investments would help increase the contribution of the digital economy to Africa’s GDP which currently stands at 4.5%.
Ruto outlined steps the Kenyan government had already taken to enhance the digital space including the establishment of Africa’s Silicon Savannah, Kenya’s Digital Superhighway, 25,000 WI-FI access centres and 1,450 ICT hubs countrywide among others.
“The transformational impact of the digital economy is tremendous. By facilitating innovation, research and development, it has sustained the acceleration of technological transformation to such an extent that absolute paradigm shifts have become normalised punctuations to the global rhythm of change and growth,” he said.
“In only a few decades, we have seen the hopeful beginnings of basic computer programming as well as the latest advances in artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies.”
The head of state in his call for more investment in the digital economy also highlighted Africa, specifically Kenya as a thriving hub for technological innovation.
“I stand before you to make a strong call that this Forum resolve to commit greater investment to Africa’s infrastructure development,” he said.
“I invite you to bring your investments through Kenya, the ultimate gateway to Africa’s 1.4 billion people, mostly young men and women.”
The president is on a three-day State visit to the People’s Republic of China attending the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing which focuses on cooperation and partnership between nations in matters of infrastructural development.