Nairobi — Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honoured to have been asked to be the Guest of Honour as Technobrain embarks on a new chapter, as they launch their new headquarters. This fresh start is of significance milestone, not only to the ICT Industry but to our country.
Techno Brain, is among the ICT institutions in Kenya and region today, not only in the area of ICT development, but contributing positively in employment creation, engaging with the community and developing leaders. These are qualities that positively impact our communities, our country and the world at large.
The development of ICT continues to have phenomenal impact in virtually every aspect of the human life, affecting organizations as well as nations. In fact, just last month ICT was noted as one of the sectors that is a major contributor to Kenya's GDP and which has pushed the country into a lower middle income status.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics report recorded ICT as now contributing Sh280 billion to the economy. These are indeed great strides. As the National ICT Masterplan 2017 projects, we would like to be contributing to at least 10 percent of the GDP in a few years.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We all know that Technobrain already has strong presence here in the training, software and outsourcing industries. It is great to see the company consolidating its presence in Kenya by setting up a Global Headquarters here. The atmosphere and energy around this place seems to be infectious. I can see that a lot of thought, effort and time have gone into building it.
I'm proud to hear that Techno Brain operates now in 23 countries across the globe. We need to grow more of such companies. As our vision in the next few years attests, our plan is to have 55 ICT companies established, 2 of which will have a customer base of over 5 million.
It is home grown companies such as Techno Brain, finding local solutions to local problems, which will add to our goal of creating at least 180,000 jobs in the next five years.
The rise of Techno Brain is a story of inspiration for all aspiring businesses in Kenya. It is a story of a company with humble beginnings: a company with remarkable people with grand ideas, and the passion for change, a company with its heart always in the right place, the journey of this company from a small office in Tanzania, to becoming a multinational company with global clients across different continents.
The very mention of Techno Brain always brings to my mind words such as 'Africa First' and 'Empowering Lives.' I'm well aware of their agenda on capacity building. Not only do they generate employment in the graduate class, they are always willing to bring youth without formal education from economically-challenged backgrounds and train them. I've always believed, "If you want to help a youngster earn money, give him a job. If you want to give him a sustainable career, teach him a skill." And, that is exactly what Techno Brain is doing.
Indeed, we support these initiatives.
Our government through the inspired leadership of our Honourable President, Uhuru Kenyatta is working hard to ensure that ICT investments continue to flow into Kenya. Be it trade clearances, connectivity, building infrastructure, cyber-security; we're doing everything we can to fulfil the country's aspirations.
In fact, as you may already know, the government has deliberately set aside 30 percent of all government procurements to local businesses, youth, women and persons with disability. The value of tenders reserved for local companies were extended to a maximum of Sh1 billion from Sh500 million -- giving them a bigger slice of the procurement cake.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The growth in the ICT sector in itself is not an end. ICT is an enabler. The ICT and Telecom boom can act as a facilitator to many other industries and their development. One glaringly obvious sector is the outsourcing sector. The BPO/ITES space is growing admirably and Kenya is quickly becoming the outsourcing capital in Africa. The BPO sector will play an important part in generating employment, and alleviating poverty. "By responsibly and ethically employing hundreds of thousands of people, BPOs have a role to play in shifting the social landscape in emerging economies across Africa." I'm told Techno Brain already leads the way with its various impact sourcing projects, making a difference at ground level.
In this next phase of our growth story, home-grown companies such as Techno Brain will play a major role in powering the economy forward with their innovation and enterprise. I hope this new global headquarters is a perfect start, and a sign of greater things to come.
As I said on the onset, "This is just the beginning. We are on the right course. Let's keep our focus. Let's work hard. The place we're going is indeed special."
To the Leadership of Techno Brain, I wish you the best in your future endeavours.
Thank you and enjoy the rest of the day.