Kenya establishes itsself as the world's 'big data on environment' capital

Through the establishment of the Konza National Data Centre, a state-of-the-art Tier III Data Centre, the Kenyan government has established institutions to ensure that Kenyans have access to high-end cloud services for government and private organizations.

Speaking at the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) World Environment Situation Room, ICT Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng emphasized the government's work in ensuring that the data centre is developed in accordance with international standards and best practices.

“The Data Centre is supported by AI-based iManager data centre infrastructure management system that manages resources such as power, cooling, and space to optimize utilization, relying on AI to intelligently manage the allocation, deallocation, and operations of assets for improved operational efficiency and reliability,” said PS Ochieng.

The PS also stated that the government through the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology has also put in place The Data Protection Act 2019 in order to inform the development of Privacy and Data Protection laws and facilitate statutory and regulatory compliance. This will enhance the effective application of the proposed laws in Kenya.

“The Act will assist in compliance with international good practice and ensure consistency in practices and procedures in developing and administering the Privacy and Data Protection laws. It will also ensure effective protection and management of Personal Data by identifying, assessing, monitoring and mitigating privacy risks in programs and activities involving the collection, retention, use, disclosure and disposal of Personal Data,” said the PS.

PS Ochieng said that the ICT Ministry had partnered with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to implement the National E-waste Management Strategy that has five thematic areas aimed at resource mobilization for proper E-waste management.

The collaboration also seeks to identify the best and most suitable Environmental Information System to be deployed in the country.

“This ministerial collaboration will help us improve ICT Infrastructure, accessibility and capacity building which will provide opportunities to disseminate environmental information hence help in reducing environmental degradation. It will also help us in exchanging ICT valuable contribution to sustainable environmental management,”

The PS encouraged governments present to strengthen ICT infrastructure in their countries and work on ensuring data privacy is key as it helps build the public’s confidence in having their data collected.

The PS expressed confidence in what Data can do to support the country in promoting inclusive, digitally enabled and effective action by providing credible and independent information and knowledge on the environment.

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