Hon. Mutahi Kagwe delivers his inaugural public lecture on ICT, Healthcare and Business Revolution

By Maina Muchara
On March 14, USIU-Africa hosted the former Minister for ICT in Mwai Kibaki government and Cabinet Secretary for Health in Uhuru Kenyatta government, Hon Mutahi Kagwe, EGH in the first public lecture under Chandaria School of Business. The tittle of the lecture was ICT, Healthcare, and Business Revolution in the new World. For two hours, the Minister lectured, engaged, and entertained the audience with his insightful and witty knowledge of the subject matter. He seamlessly weaved between ICT, Healthcare and Business to show interconnectedness of the issues at hand.

His commitment to see communication infrastructure as a tool for development brought new understanding in the audience as to the explosion of e-commerce in Kenya and East Africa in general after investment in the fiber optic cable TEAMS. Further, Kenya leadership world in mobile money transfer fitted perfectly with his next major engagement he believes Kenyans should be preoccupied with, Artificial Intelligence. This is a subject he delved in for long and showed with graphic examples the connection to healthcare and business.

His investment in ICT came in handy as a Cabinet Secretary for Health during the COVID-19 pandemic as he was able to hold Zoom/Teams/Online meetings with various health officers, governors and other players to quickly tackle the menace. Indeed, the same investment made it possible for players in the education sector to hold classes online as costs of calling dropped by 99% after the fiber optic. While he was clear that public healthcare should be driven first by hygiene and second by government investing facilities and modern equipment/machinery across the country, ICT will play a crucial role in making universal healthcare affordable and all doctors should be exposed to computers during their trainings.

As for business, ICT is an indispensable tool and should be incorporated in every day transactions. Finally, he advised that AI is an inevitability. We either embrace it as an opportunity, or it will destroy us as a threat. We should therefore be hearing discussions in parliament on how to harness AI and become leaders in Africa. Fortunately for those engaging with USIU-Africa, the Deputy Vice Chancellor-Academics, Transformational Teaching, Learning and Research, Professor Amos Njuguna confirmed that the university will launch BSc Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Fall 2024 offering concentrations and minors to all those interested.

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