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Why ICT can save Kenya from pandemic damages

Internet and apps will bring employment and services

06-02-2021 by redazione

Not all the side effects of the pandemic in Kenya have proved deleterious.
As far as the economy is concerned, for example, there are sectors that have consolidated their importance for the country's growth over the last year and its progressive entry among those with the best development rate in the world.
It is above all the field of technology, with internet, apps and ICT companies that have gained not only the interest of the market, but also the ability to attract investment in a country that is trying to align itself with the more developed nations in the so-called "B bracket" of the world.
In a Kenya where social inequalities are a cause for concern, where efforts are being made to tackle youth unemployment and the impatience of workers in the service sector and small and medium-sized enterprises is growing, technology can also represent an important social factor, if we think for example of telemedicine (increasingly important in times of health emergencies).
As we have already pointed out in recent weeks, because of Covid-19, Africa has seen a fall in gross domestic product of 1.4%. In Kenya, the drop could be as high as 2.5%, but there is still plenty of room for the 'Silicon Savannah', the technology hub that is increasingly developing.
The 2020 statistics show that 87.2% of the population use the Internet, the highest rate among African countries and the envy of many countries on other continents. Thanks to mobile money services such as Mpesa and the digitalisation of many public services online, including the introduction of online visa requirements, as well as driving licences and work permits, the country appears to have the right foundations for even more advanced technological development.
The pandemic has also pushed this development even further for both large and small companies, particularly in the health and ICT sectors.
Online platforms can now also regulate access to many parastatal 'utilities', as well as to health facilities, as demonstrated by the Kenya National Hospital's app for booking examinations and
or those that track pharmacies and dispensaries or offer remote consultations such as "Access Afya" and "MyDawa".
In Africa, digitisation has already employed almost 2 million people, creating a turnover of about $15.6 billion, given the fact that due to restrictions, many companies and businesses have had to implement and organise their services online.
While the African Union has predicted the loss of some 20 million jobs due to the pandemic, due to the depreciation of oil prices and the reduction of tourism, the increased use of digital services is creating new jobs.
If the general scenario is not positive, with millions of people at risk of falling below the threshold of daily sustenance, technology, like it or not, seems to be the main resource to save what can be saved, and to help get back to taking care of what is worth preserving for the good of the Continent. Provided that there is still the interest to look inwards and backwards to enhance those values that countries like Kenya should always keep in the foreground: the conservation of Nature and wildlife, tourism and agriculture in the first place.

 

TAGS: tecnologia kenyaapp kenyainternet kenya

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