Establishment of the Kenyan-German Digital Dialogue

Kenya

On 22 November 2023, Kenyan and German government officials formally commenced the Kenyan-German Digital Dialogue. Kenya is Germany’s first African partner within the framework of the International Digital Dialogues. The government exchange solidified the commitment of both countries to regularly exchange on digital policy matters.

Eliud Owalo (MICDE) and Dr Volker Wissing (BMDV) signed the Joint Declaration of Intent. © Jakob Tillmann

The kick-off meeting of the Kenyan-German Digital Dialogue took place in a hybrid format at the premises of the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) in Berlin, Germany. During the meeting, German Minister for Digital and Transport, Dr Volker Wissing, and Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication and The Digital Economy, Eliud Owalo, signed a declaration of intent between both countries. This laid the cornerstone for the bilateral cooperation in digital policy and digital transformation.

Planned cooperation on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and digital strategies

Minister Wissing and Cabinet Secretary Owalo jointly opened the meeting. They welcomed the participants, including Kenyan Ambassador Thomas Amolo, who accompanied a Kenyan delegation of government officials and experts on digital policy.

State Secretary Stefan Schnorr of BMDV and Jackson Makewa, Director ICT of the Kenyan Ministry of Information, Communication and The Digital Economy (MICDE) then co-chaired the first Annual Meeting of the Kenyan-German Digital Dialogue. Representatives of further ministries and authorities, such as the German Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building (BMWSB) and the Kenyan ICT Authority also attended.

Government officials from Kenya and Germany discussed their cooperation on digital policy matters. © Jakob Tillmann

The participants discussed digital topics of relevance to both nations such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and data strategies, the future of work, digital public services and more. Both sides underlined their enthusiasm to commence a deeper cooperation on the outlined topics.

Kenya’s delegation visit

The commencement of the Kenyan-German Digital Dialogue marked the highlight of Cabinet Secretary Owalo’s recent trip to Germany. A delegation of four government officials and digital policy experts joined him. The delegation met with key institutions such as the Bundesdruckerei and the German Federal Foreign Office as well as with private corporations such as Deutsche Telekom’s T-Labs, SAP and Siemens.

The meetings offered them insights into German approaches to digital identity, cybersecurity, start-up promotion and more. They also marked an important step to activate German stakeholders with a potential interest in participating in the Kenyan-German Digital Dialogue.

Outlook: Stakeholder consultations and Data-Driven Cities Conference

Following the Kenyan-German Digital Dialogue’s first Annual-Meeting, MICDE will host a stakeholder consultation for Kenya’s private sector, academia and civil society in January 2024. This engagement comes after a previous consultation of German stakeholders hosted by BMDV in August 2023. After consulting stakeholders in Kenya and Germany, both sides will reconvene in February 2024 in a multi-stakeholder exchange meeting that will also include the formal adoption of the dialogue’s first annual Work Plan.

Both governments are already preparing an initial agreed activity: The conference “Data-Driven Cities: Conference for the Urban Common Good” will take place on 12-13 February 2024 in Nairobi. Find out more about the event here!

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