Uasin Gishu – Residents of Uasin Gishu County have expressed their endorsement for the overhaul of the Government Printing Press (GP), calling for the decentralization of its services to the county level. This move, they believe, will facilitate easier access to government services, which are currently centralized in Nairobi.
According to Kenya News Agency, led by Dr. Patrick Omutia, the current state of the GP requires an update to incorporate advanced publishing technologies. This transformation, they argue, will improve the distribution and efficiency of government information services. Philip Barno, representing Civil Society Organizations in the region, stated that modern equipment would ensure timely delivery of information to the public.
Barno also advocated for the presence of GP offices in each county to foster better access to government information for all citizens. Another resident, David Maritim, suggested that decentralizing GP services would enhance the public’s ease of access to information while emphasizing the need for integrity and accountability in the press’s operations.
The presidential task force is formulating a strategy for evolving the GP into a more dynamic, financially independent entity. Dr. Omutia outlined the vision of a rebranded government press capable of serving as a hub for government information and commercial printing ventures. The proposed reformation includes the implementation of high-security printing features, such as scan codes, and the transition of GP from a department to a state corporation, which he believes will increase efficiency and adhere to strict timelines.
The head of Government Press, Abdi Hassan, lamented the use of outdated equipment by the GP, which he noted has left it unable to compete with modern technology. Hassan revealed that the GP, established in 1895, has not successfully modernized despite previous efforts. He linked the modernization drive to the Kenya Kwanza Administration’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda, aiming to improve service delivery.
Hassan described the GP as a key instrument for the government to communicate its development objectives and detailed its role in producing and preserving official documents. He projected that updating the GP’s machinery would not only boost its domestic market potential but also allow it to enter a global printing market worth billions.
In conclusion, Hassan highlighted the economic benefits of modernizing the GP, including the potential to produce secure printing materials like examination papers, passports, and ballot papers, which would generate revenue and expand Kenya’s reach in the high-end printing and publishing industry.