Kenya has selected Microsoft as its cloud partner as part of a broader initiative to migrate government services to the Azure cloud platform, beating out players like Amazon and Google. The government hopes that a partnership with Microsoft will give Kenya’s digital transformation plans a boost.
“Microsoft will assist the government with the responsibility of adopting a cloud-first strategy, transforming public service delivery through the adoption of technology and improving efficiencies in provision of e-government services for citizens,” said a statement from the ICT Authority (ICTA), which witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft, alongside the ICT ministry.
The Kenyan government started digitising most of its services such as immigration applications as soon as President Ruto began his tenure in August 2022. Over 14,000 services, such as those offered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been onboarded to the e-Citizen platform. The e-Citizen portal allows Kenyans to access the services available through various agencies. With Microsoft’s help, taking the services to the cloud will improve efficiencies in providing the services to citizens.
Microsoft is one of the oldest technology companies in Kenya. It set up an ADC office in Nairobi in 2019 and has been forming partnerships with other local organisations such as universities. The American tech corporation has also been instrumental in revising the computer science curriculum in Kenyan colleges.
Other cloud providers, such as Huawei, have also been working with the government, but in different capacities. For instance, Huawei is one of the companies helping the country expand fibre coverage under the National Optic Fibre Network Backhaul Initiative (NOFBI).
AWS launched a development centre in Nairobi, a second in Africa after opening one in Cape Town, South Africa. President Ruto said that the centre would be key to “bolstering its corporate citizenship credentials through its support for a robust framework to anchor optimal interactions between government, clients, start-ups, and other partners.”