Kenya Sports Tech View from Africa

The View From Africa: Kenya’s Talenta Initiative goes digital: changing talent scouting and monetisation

July 12, 2023

In this week’s View From Africa piece Cynthia Mumbo, CEO of SportsConnect Africa, shines a light on how Kenya’s government is moving forward in its embracing of technology.

Kenya’s government has taken a significant step forward by embracing digital technology with the launch of a mobile application for its flagship talent development programme, Talanta Hela, which literally translates to Monetise Talent in Swahili. The Kenyan government’s unique platform promises to streamline the process of identifying and fostering exceptional individuals while also giving chances for them to monetise their abilities. The Talanta Hela app is poised to revolutionise talent management in sports and creative sectors because of its user-friendly layout and simple registration process.

Government of Kenya’s Goals and Objectives

The Kenyan government, through its Talanta Hela initiative, has set forth ambitious goals in the realm of talent development. By digitising the process and utilizing a mobile application, the government aims to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Identify Hidden Talents: Kenya’s government is dedicated to identifying and cultivating talent from all throughout the country. The Talanta Hela app enables talented individuals to demonstrate their talents by offering a user-friendly and accessible platform, guaranteeing that no potential ability goes undetected or unexplored.
  2. Nurturing and Skill Enhancement: Once identified, the chosen talents are given thorough advice and support to help them improve their skills. Through training programmes, workshops, and exposure to professional contexts, the government hopes to assist these persons in developing their abilities and reaching their full potential. They will be trained at the Kenya Academy of Sports which is also a government institution.
  3. Monetisation and Economic Empowerment: Recognising the significance of economic empowerment, the Talanta Hela app allows athletes and creatives to monetise their abilities. The government hopes to establish sustainable careers in sports and the creative sectors by exposing these persons to numerous options such as endorsements, sponsorships, and professional contracts. 

Challenges that may be faced

While the digitalisation of Kenya’s Talanta Hela plan has various benefits, it is critical to recognise and solve the possible issues that may develop throughout its implementation. Some of the difficulties that this initiative may confront are as follows:

  1. Barriers to Technology: Despite attempts to assure accessibility, not everyone has access to cell phones or dependable internet connections. This may limit the involvement of brilliant persons who lack the technological tools required to interact with the Talanta Hela app.
  2. Digital Divide: In certain regions or communities, there may be a significant digital divide, resulting in unequal access to technology and digital literacy. This divide could hinder the initiative’s ability to reach and identify talented individuals from underprivileged areas, potentially perpetuating existing disparities.
  3. Connectivity and Infrastructure: Adequate network connectivity and infrastructure are critical for a digital platform’s successful operation. Talent submission, assessment, and communication procedures may be hampered in places with low or unpredictable network access, resulting in delays or challenges in the talent management process.
  4. User Adoption and Awareness: It is critical for the Talanta Hela app’s success to ensure widespread adoption among skilled individuals. The effort may confront difficulties in raising knowledge about the app and its benefits, as well as persuading talent to engage actively and submit their profiles. To solve this obstacle, education and awareness activities will be critical.
  5. Data Privacy and Security: Concerns concerning data privacy and security arise from the digitalization of talent profiles and personal information. Protecting sensitive personal data and maintaining safe information transit and storage will be critical. To earn the trust of talent and stakeholders, the government must enact strong data protection safeguards. Kenya is now one of the top African countries in this field.
  6. Talent Evaluation and Bias: While digitalisation can assist decrease some biases, the possibility of subjective judgement or biases in the talent scouting and selection process remains. It is critical to have clear and objective evaluation standards in place, as well as to guarantee that talent selection is based on merit and potential rather than personal preferences or external influences.
  7. Resource Allocation and Sustainability: The Talanta Hela plan requires adequate resources, including financing, technical infrastructure, and qualified staff, to be implemented successfully. Long-term sustainability and procuring required resources can be difficult, especially in resource-constrained regions. To address this, the government is carrying out the initiative through the Kenya Academy of Sports, a government body tasked with developing sports talent.

Positive Effects of the Kenyan Initiative

The digitalisation of Kenya’s Talanta Hela programme has various positive consequences for both athletes and the sports business scene in general:

  1. Increased Accessibility: The availability of the Talanta Hela app on both Android’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store ensures that talents from diverse backgrounds can participate in the scouting process. This inclusivity allows for a more comprehensive talent pool, ensuring equal opportunities for aspiring talents regardless of their technological preferences.
  2. Efficient Talent Identification: The availability of the Talanta Hela app on both the Android Play Store and the Apple App Store means that talents from varied backgrounds may participate in the scouting process. This inclusion provides for a more diverse talent pool, guaranteeing equal opportunity for budding talents regardless of their technological inclinations.
  3. Enhanced Transparency: Throughout the talent scouting and selection process, the Talanta Hela app provides transparency. A scout is allocated to each talent profile, and selections are made based on objective evaluation criteria. This digital platform offers a fair and transparent approach that eliminates bias and creates equal opportunity for all participants.
  4. Real-time Updates and Notifications: The digital portal provides talent with real-time information on the status of their profiles. The app keeps talents informed every step of the journey, from submission to review and invitation to physical testing, decreasing ambiguity and fear while encouraging a sense of connection and involvement.

The Case for a Digital Platform in Kenya

The decision by the Kenyan government to adopt a digital platform for the Talanta Hela initiative holds several advantages over a purely manual system:

  1. Efficiency and Scalability: The Kenyan government assures a more effective and scalable talent scouting process by using digital technologies. The automation of numerous procedures, such as profile submission, review, and notification, enables the initiative to efficiently manage a higher volume of talent, therefore increasing its reach and impact.
  2. Standardisation and Quality Control: The Talanta Hela app guarantees that talent evaluation is standardised and consistent. It lays out clear standards for submitting talent, and the digital format allows for the addition of important material such as videos and skill descriptions. This standardised technique encourages fair evaluation and quality control, ensuring that skills are evaluated using objective criteria.
  3. Data Analytics and Continuous Improvement: The use of a digital platform makes data collecting and analysis easier, offering significant insights into talent trends, preferences, and scouting habits. This data may be used by the Kenyan government to make data-driven choices, improve the talent management process, identify areas for development, and adjust offers to match the changing demands of people and industry stakeholders.


The government-led digitalisation of Kenya’s Talanta Hela programme represents a key milestone in the field of talent scouting and management and is a first for an African nation. The effort intends to find hidden talents, cultivate their abilities, and facilitate economic empowerment by utilising a smartphone application. The programme was recently established, so it will be fascinating to observe how the sports world, both local and worldwide, responds to this new effort, as well as the long-term influence the initiative has on sports talent and the sports business sector. 

Kenya Sports Tech View from Africa