EU’s Digital Economy Package Promises Connectivity and Skills

EU's Digital Economy Package Promises Connectivity and Skills

EU's Digital Economy Package Promises Connectivity and Skills

The European Union (EU) o Thursday introduced a Digital Economy package for Kenya, with the primary goal of enhancing school connectivity and establishing a green digital innovation hub.

This comprehensive package , unveiled during the official visit of European Union Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, underscores the EU’s dedication to Kenya’s technological transformation.

Commissioner Urpilainen announced that the EU would allocate €9.8 million (Sh15 billion) in Team Europe support for the digitalization of Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) centers across Kenya.

This financial commitment will be complemented by contributions from German and French Development Finance Institutions, as well as the Kenyan government, with the aim of reinforcing digital reforms within the TVET sector.

EU Launches Digital Economy Package in Kenya to Transform Education and
EU Launches Digital Economy Package in Kenya to Transform Education and

The Digital Economy package is a pivotal component of the Global Gateway investment strategy, which represents the EU’s affirmative approach to advancing digital and green transitions and fostering sustainable connections with partner countries.

Commissioner Urpilainen emphasized the package’s significance, stating, “Expanding digital connectivity, upskilling jobs, and driving digital governance and services is at the heart of what our investment strategy is about: creating sustainable connections and local added value, while cutting unsustainable dependencies.”

Furthermore, she highlighted the importance of digital inclusion in connecting people to public services and enhancing the accountability of public institutions, expressing her enthusiasm for the opportunities it presents to learners.

“As part of the Global Gateway investment strategy – the EU’s positive offer to advance the twin digital and green transition and to deliver trusted and sustainable connections to partner countries – the package reflects the EU’s strong commitment to Kenya’s technological transition by expanding the connectivity of schools, providing skills training for students and establishing a green digital innovation hub,” the commissioner said .

A notable feature of the Digital Package is the Last Mile Digital Connections to Underserved Areas program. In Kenya, this initiative will address the digital divide by providing internet access to approximately 1,300 schools in marginalized regions, including arid and semi-arid lands (ASALS).

The EU’s grant of €9.8 million will fund infrastructure development and the expansion of skills and digital educational services in schools across 47 counties, benefiting over 219,000 children.

EU Launches Digital Economy Package in Kenya to Transform Education and
EU Launches Digital Economy Package in Kenya to Transform Education and

This initiative is being implemented through the GIGA Programme, a global endeavor initiated by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) with the ambitious goal of connecting every school to the Internet by 2030.

Commissioner Urpilainen unveiled the Digital Package during her visit to Kilimani Primary School in Nairobi, where she had the opportunity to tour the Computer Lab.

Joining her at the school were Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Education Ezekiel Machogu, Principal Secretary for Information, Communications, and The Digital Economy John Tanui, as well as UNICEF Kenya Country Representative Shaheen Nilofer, EU Ambassadors from Team Europe, and various program partners.

Team Europe’s Digital Economy Package for Kenya is designed to expand digital connectivity, provide essential digital skills support, and promote open and inclusive digital governance.

Collaborative efforts include the establishment of a green digital innovation hub supported by the EU and Germany, e-government initiatives in partnership with Estonia and Germany, and participation in Govstack—an innovative community-driven project formed in a multi-lateral partnership between Germany, Estonia, ITU, and the Digital Impact Alliance.

The package also encompasses initiatives related to data protection, digitalization of land governance, customs processes, procurement, e-justice, and cybersecurity.

The implementation of the Digital Package will be overseen by the Team Europe Initiative (TEI) on Human-Centered Digitalization in Kenya. Team Europe comprises the European Union and EU Member States, along with their implementing agencies and public development banks.

The total expected contributions to the TEI amount to €430 million, with partners including Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Slovakia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Austria, the European Investment Bank, AFD, FMO, FinFund, and KfW. This collaborative endeavor is set to drive Kenya’s digital transformation, promote sustainable development, and create new opportunities for its citizens.

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