Two Kenyans have been named among world’s 100 most influential people in digital government, a list that also features Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, founder of the World Wide Web Tim Berners Lee and e-commerce pioneer and digital advocate Martha Lane Fox.
Philip Thigo, the Lead on Data and Innovation at the Office of the Deputy President and Linet Kwamboka, the founder and CEO of DataScience Ltd, a company that uses data to yield intelligent insights about people and products, were part of the inaugural list of people recognised for their role in digital transformation of governments.
Mr Thigo, who currently serves as the Point of contact for the Open Government Partnership (OGP), leads philanthropic engagement on Sustainable Development Goals with private sector foundations and also acts as national focal point for the global partnership on Sustainable Development Data.
Ms Kwamboka is credited for helping co-ordinate the Open Kenya initiative, a project designed to open government data to the public in reusable formats.
The two were among six Africans, including Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, who has launched a number of initiatives including a new national digital ID scheme, an electronic payment platform and a digital property addressing system.
These digital systems, which are considered among the most innovative in the region have seen Ghana significantly improve its digital services and gain a reputation as one of the most advanced digital societies in Africa.
Others are Mauritus Minister for Technology, communication and Innovation Yogida Sawmynaden; Nigeria’s Hamzat Lawal an open data activist and the co-founder of Connected Development, a non-government organisation that uses digital technologies to increase government accountability; and Nnenna Nwakanma, the interim policy director at World Wide Web Foundation.
The top 100 list was constructed from more than 500 nominations submitted by 130 experts in digital government from national governments, international organisations, academia and business.
“People working in digital government often go unrecognised by the wider public, yet the work they do is vital as both the opportunities and risks of digital technologies increase,” said Robyn Scott, CEO of Apolitical.