Nominated MP Karen Nyamu has introduced a bill called the Digital Literacy Bill, 2023, which aims to enforce compulsory digital training for all government employees.
This proposed legislation seeks to integrate digital education into Kenya’s curriculum and mandate that new recruits in the public sector possess basic digital certification as a prerequisite for employment.
“There exists a strong digital divide in Kenya with 44 percent of the urban population having access to the internet as compared to only 17 percent of the rural population,” Nyamu said.
“The huge number of citizens lack basic digital skills yet they should be main consumers of digital government services and thus risk missing the benefits of efficiency that come with digitization.”
Furthermore, the Bill outlines a framework for training and equipping all public servants with fundamental digital skills. It also seeks to furnish them with a globally recognized certification.
Additionally, the Digital Literacy Bill, 2023 proposes the establishment of Community Digital Hubs in each county to facilitate digital training within local communities.
Within the Bill, Nyamu advocates for county governments to develop programs aimed at enlisting young individuals as Digital Literacy Cohorts. These cohorts would be responsible for delivering training to grassroots communities.
“Currently, every government ministry is spending huge amounts of money in offering Digital training to their workforce in order to equip them with digital skills,” Nyamu said.
According to the Senator, providing government services digitally will be a significant challenge if civil servants lack digital proficiency.
To enhance the effectiveness of devolution, Nyamu suggests establishing a Digital Literacy Committee that would include Chief Executive Committee Members (CECs) responsible for ICT. This committee would provide advice to the Cabinet Secretary (CS) and the National government regarding ICT policy matters.