Kenyan-German Digital Dialogue: Signing of the work plan and stakeholder meeting

Kenya

The first work plan of the Kenyan-German Digital Dialogue was signed on 13 February 2024. State Secretary Stefan Schnorr of the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) and Jackson Makewa, Director ICT of the Kenyan Ministry of Information, Communications and The Digital Economy (MICDE), chaired the high-level meeting in Nairobi. Afterwards, around 110 representatives from business, civil society, academia and the public sector from Kenya and Germany exchanged views on the focus topics of the new work plan.

The signed work plan of the Kenyan-German Digital Dialogue. © German Embassy Nairobi

The event focused on the signing of the first work plan for the Kenyan-German Digital Dialogue by State Secretary Stefan Schnorr (BMDV) and Director ICT Jackson Makewa (MICDE). Following the official start of the dialogue in November 2023, the work plan will serve as the basis for cooperation this year. The following priority topics have been defined: (1) Internet Governance, Data Policy and Cybersecurity, (2) Digital Innovation and Sustainable Growth and (3) Digital Public Infrastructure and Services.

The topics were selected based on the German and Kenyan stakeholder consultations that have taken place in recent months. In the course of 2024, the topics will be addressed in joint multi-stakeholder events. A review of the priorities for 2025 is planned for the last quarter of 2024.

Stakeholder dialogue on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and the digital economy

The subsequent stakeholder meeting took place online. In three working groups, the stakeholders exchanged their views on topics from the work plan: cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and the digital economy. Each working group started with a brief input from experts from Kenya and Germany. This was followed by a discussion round in which the stakeholders were able to contribute their comments and suggestions for further cooperation in the respective area.

Kivuva Mwendwa from KICTANet, a Kenyan think tank focusing on ICT policy, and Dr Sven Herpig from the Stiftung Neue Verantwortung spoke on the topic of cybersecurity. Among other things, they discussed the possibilities for mutual capacity building through cooperation and the exchange of best practices in order to strengthen resilience in the digital space. Another focus was on the particular threat posed by deepfakes and the associated risk of sexual violence online, especially against women.

Results of the working groups will be used to plan future events

In a second group, the participants discussed the topic of artificial intelligence (AI). Dr Theresa Züger from the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society explained how smaller AI projects often have a charitable focus, and how the support of those projects could also be beneficial for Kenya. Brian Omwenga from the Tech Innovators Network (THiNK) emphasised Kenya's pioneering position in the field of AI in Africa and the need to create a legal framework.

In the third working group on the digital economy, Julia Kloiber from Superrr Lab spoke about the working conditions of content moderators in Germany and their demands for better psychological support and appropriate pay. Roselyn Maundu then introduced the Business Processes Outsourcing Association of Kenya (BPOAK) and emphasised Kenya's great interest in promoting the digital economy and creating jobs through business process outsourcing (BPO). The participants then exchanged views on BPO’s potential and risks.

The content of the discussions in the three working groups will now be processed and serve as a guideline for planning future events of the Kenyan-German Digital Dialogue.

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