Jutta Urpilainen, European Union Commissioner for International Partnerships, announced the EU’s Digital Economy Package for Kenya during her official visit to Kenya. The package reflects the EU’s strong commitment to Kenya’s technological transition by expanding school connectivity, providing skills training for students, and establishing a green digital innovation hub as part of the Global Gateway investment strategy, which is the EU’s positive offer to advance the twin digital and green transitions and to deliver trusted and sustainable connections to partner countries.
Commissioner Urpilainen said: “I am proud that Team Europe is investing in Kenya’s digital transition under Global Gateway. 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. Digital inclusion is key for connecting people to public services and making public institutions more accountable. As a former teacher, I am particularly happy about the digital opportunities we can offer to learners.
One of the key deliverables of the Digital Package features the Last Mile Digital Connections to Underserved Areas programme. In Kenya, this programme will reduce the digital gap by providing internet for up to 1,300 schools in underserved areas such as arid and semi-arid lands (ASALS). The EU grant of €9.8 million will finance infrastructure and the development of skills and digital educational services to schools across 47 counties benefitting more than 219,000 children. It is being implemented through the GIGA Programme, a global initiative to connect every school to the Internet by 2030 set up by the United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
As part of the Package, the Commissioner also announced €9.9 million Team Europe support to the digitalisation of Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Centres around the country, which will leverage funds from the German and French Development Finance Institutions and the Government of Kenya to reinforce digital reform in the TVET sector. Team Europe’s Digital Economy Package for Kenya aims to increase digital connectivity, provide digital skills support and ensure open and inclusive digital governance. The EU and Germany are jointly supporting the creation of a green digital innovation hub while the EU works on e-government in partnership with Estonia and Germany and Govstack (a community-driven initiative formed from a multi-lateral partnership between Germany, Estonia, ITU and the Digital Impact Alliance) as well as on data protection, digitalisation of land governance, customs processes, procurement and e-justice and cyber security.
The Package will be implemented through the Team Europe Initiative (TEI) on Human Centred Digitalisation in Kenya. Team Europe consists of the European Union and EU Member States including their implementing agencies and public development banks. The expected contributions to the TEI amounts to €430 million and partners include Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Slovakia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Austria, the European Investment Bank, AFD, FMO, FinnFund and KfW.
The Global Gateway is a European investment strategy to boost smart, clean and secure links in digital and other sectors for a strong, inclusive, green and digital recovery and transformation. Through Global Gateway, the EU is strengthening connections between Europe and the world and helping partner countries address the digital divide and further integrate into the global digital ecosystem, while advancing sustainable development. The EU supports Kenya to address the digital divide and further integrate into the global digital ecosystem.