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ICT to facilitate regional integration, says minister

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DIANI – ICT Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i says technology will play a critical role in regional integration.

Speaking at the ongoing Connected East Africa conference, Dr Matiang’i who officially opened the conference, said ICT will be critical in facilitating a number of integration pillars such as single customs union, single tourism visas, automated border crossing and e-passports, among others.

He said this would be achieved through harmonisation of ICT infrastructure, which would collapse regional boundaries to make Easter Africa one region. “The future is in networks,” said Dr Matiang’i, echoing this year’s conference theme.

Also present at the conference were ICT ministers from South Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda, who called for adoption of ICT in government strategies to spur economic growth and regional integration.

He said the conference participants what can be done to enhance ICT in the region. He said Kenya had made strides in legislating for ICT and called on regional governments to follow suit. He added Kenya was working on a law to protect critical ICT infrastructure.

“The Critical Infrastructure Act will protect our infrastructure and deal with cable cuts and vandalism and any interruptions from deliberate or accidental acts.”

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