The United States and Kenya Strengthen Partnership on Cyber and Digital Economy Policy
On June 22 and 23, the United States and Kenya affirmed their joint commitment to an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure cyberspace during the inaugural U.S.-Kenya Cyber and Digital Economy Dialogue.
Hosted in Nairobi by the Kenyan Government, the meeting focused on the future of the digital economy and protecting the opportunities it presents by combatting cybercrime and promoting cybersecurity. Officials discussed policy coordination, information sharing, and capacity building, with an emphasis on public-private co-operation. Representatives from both delegations applauded the progress made and agreed to build on the exchange through annual Dialogues going forward.
The Department of State’s Coordinator for Cyber Issues Christopher Painter and Acting Coordinator for International Communication and Information Policy Julie Zoller co-led the U.S. delegation. The interagency delegation included representatives from the Departments of Commerce and Justice, the Federal Communications Commission, as well as from the Agency for International Development.
Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications and Technology (ICT), led the Kenyan delegation. He was also joined by Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo, Ministry of Defense. Other government agencies present at the dialogue session included the Office of the Attorney General, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ministry of Interior, Communications Authority of Kenya, ICT Authority and National Communications Secretariat.
The bilateral consultations were followed by discussions between the private sector and civil society to exchange and offer insights into policies to spur innovation, develop the digital workforce, and increase public awareness of cyber-related issues. Key non-government partners in attendance included the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), the American Chamber of Commerce, Microsoft, Symantec, mobile network operators, Kenya Technopolis Development Agency (KOTDA), Technology Service Providers of Kenya (TESPOK), innovation hubs, and others.
The U.S.-Kenya Cyber and Digital Economy Dialogue formalizes a close relationship that developed over the past five years through consultations, capacity building efforts, and discussions during multilateral forums. Subsequent iterations of the Dialogue will serve as a policy-level channel for identifying cyber and digital economy issues of mutual concern and developing joint initiatives, in turn strengthening and helping protect the economic interests of both countries.
To learn more about this trip or other cyber policy efforts at the Department of State, please follow us on Twitter @State_Cyber, @StateCIP and @CA_Kenya.
To learn more about the Department of State’s efforts in economic matters, including communications and information policy issues, follow us on Twitter @EconatState or at the EconAtState Facebook page.