ICT and Youth Affairs Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng speaking during an event on Wednesday. The government is firming up plans to protect Kenyan children from harmful online content.

The Ministry of ICT and Youth Affairs is working together with the Communications Authority (CA) to build capacity, awareness, and publicity around the country’s Online Child Protection Policy.

Speaking during a visit to Konza Technopolis on Wednesday, ICT Principal Secretary, Jerome Ochieng said online child protection has become of great importance.

He noted that the Ministry is working together with CA and its main objective is to ensure that the government continues to build capacity, awareness creation, and publicity.

PS Ochieng pointed out that as the country continues to have more applications online, increase its ICT infrastructure, and improve on the digital space, the biggest emerging threat is cybersecurity.

“We need to do a number of things, one of them is to actually see how prepared our people are in terms of managing this situation especially in the learning sector. That is where our young people are. We need to ensure that we are able to protect them,” he observed.

He stressed the importance of raising awareness among individuals, especially the young ones on some of the do’s and don’ts when in the learning space and when on the internet.

This includes awareness of the risks that are associated with internet usage so that as they get onto this new space, they are cognizant of the threats that exist therein.

At the same function, the PS also emphasized the need for reliable and resilient ICT infrastructure in the country, saying it is instrumental in enabling the sector to thrive.

The government, he added, has been working on digital skills and innovation to support service delivery. “This ensures that as we have our services, and as the government is digitizing, we have the requisite human capital to be able to support activities being undertaken.”

Also in place to ensure the digital economy succeeds is innovation leveraging on advantages presented by the digital space while encouraging innovation and creativity among the young people.

The PS noted that this has borne fruit as evidenced by the increased number of innovations.

“There has been very close collaboration with the private sector in the digital space and development of e-commerce to ensure the infrastructure is in place. We also have regulations and rules that help the digital economy thrive,” the PS added.

The PS added the task force established by ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru to look at ICT solutions in helping the country deal with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic has received numerous submissions which have since been reviewed.

“We have innovations in the health sector, the agriculture sector, and how agriculture can be improved, the housing sector, the education sector, and some focusing specifically on the Big 4 Agenda. Some are at very mature levels, and some are at the beginning but we do not discourage them. We have a strategy to try and see how we bring them up through more training and awareness creation.”

“Some of them are undergoing challenges of intellectual property and we have taken them through the process of registering. I can actually confirm a lot of them are almost getting to the level of maturity and implementation,” he said.

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