Kenya follows regional peers in introducing UN technologies and adoption polls

economy

Kenya follows regional peers in introducing UN technologies and adoption polls

Monday, March 1st, 2021

Nairobi skyline. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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BY CONSTANT MUNDA
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Summary

  • The country follows South Africa, Mauritius, Namibia, Gabon, Cape Verde and Ghana as part of the 2021 Technology and Innovation Report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
  • The survey of 158 countries around the world assessed the progress made by countries in introducing, using and adapting to frontier technologies in a rapidly digitizing global economy.

The United Nations has ranked Kenya seventh in the use and adoption of the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and drones in sub-Saharan Africa.

The country follows South Africa, Mauritius, Namibia, Gabon, Cape Verde and Ghana as part of the 2021 Technology and Innovation Report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The survey of 158 countries around the world assessed the progress made by countries in introducing, using and adapting to frontier technologies in a rapidly digitizing global economy.

Frontier technologies include artificial intelligence (AI), super-fast internet connection (5G), internet of things, big data, blockchain, 3D printing, robotics, drones, gene editing, nanotechnology and solar photovoltaics.

The UN body estimates that these technologies control a global market of 350 billion US dollars (38.15 trillion Shillings) and are forecasting a jump to 3.2 trillion US dollars (348.8 trillion Shillings) in 2025.

“Frontier technologies are redefining our world, especially our post-pandemic future,” Shamika Sirimanne, head of technology and logistics at UNCTAD, said in a statement.

“It is important that developing countries do not miss the wave of frontier technologies, otherwise they will further deepen inequalities. Therefore, societies and productive sectors need to be well prepared and develop the necessary skills. “

The ICT ministry has set itself the goal of positioning Kenya as a technology center for Africa in a rapidly developing global gig economy that is supported by higher Internet penetration than the African average.

Worldwide, Kenya ranks 105th out of 158 countries that were surveyed in the “Country Readiness Index” of the Geneva-based UN organization. ICT use, skills, research and development (R&D), industry activities and access to finance were used to assess readiness levels.

However, UNCTAD has recognized Kenya as one of the top countries in the world, ranking higher in the use and adoption of frontier technologies than its position in per capita gross domestic product (GDP) – a measure of the average economic performance of its citizens.

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