The Computer Society of Kenya

Since 1986

Online firms seek review of digital tax citing low user transition



Online shopping firms are lobbying for revision on the digital service tax, saying it will throttle the nascent e-commerce industry.

Firms including Sky Garden, Kilimall, Africa Sokoni, Jumia and Jambo shopping want the government to review the implemented tax and if not, give them a grace period before implementation.

The digital service tax), which came into effect at the start of this month, will be charged at a rate of 1.5 percent of the gross transaction value to both residents and non-residents firms and individuals who earn income from the online space.

In introducing the tax, the Treasury pointed to the steady increase in online consumer retail purchases on both local and international platforms.


SRC taps IT to unearth civil servants secret perks

lynThe salaries agency is automating vetting of civil servants to capture overpayment of salaries and hidden allowances in the latest bid to curb fraud and weed out ghost workers.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) is seeking a single automated system that will capture all public servants, their pay and perks to nab those earning above the rates set by the agency.

The commission, which sets public sector wages, relies on spot-checks and face-to-face interviews in a manual system that creates a loophole for overpayment, especially allowances.

The SRC is concerned that allowances are a major component of the compensation package in the public sector, yet they are not fully disclosed and have the effect of more than doubling workers’ pay.

The system will capture names of all government institutions, their categories such as county or State corporation and the number of employees who are permanent, contractual, casual, interns or on secondment.

Each entity will then feed its wage bill into the system and cite the Kenya Gazette notice on public workers pay issued by the SRC to justify the salaries and allowances being paid.


Kenya joins South Africa and Zambia in digitising seed certification and plant variety protection

kephis-3-onlineDAILY NATION By a Reporter 

Thursday December 10, 2020

Kenya has officially launched the automated Seed Certification and Plant Variety Protection (SCPVP) System. With this, the country becomes the third in Africa, after South Africa and Zambia, to digitise its seed certification and plant variety protection processes.

The seed sub-sector contributes significantly to Kenya’s economic growth and development. Agriculture is a major employer and providing the farming community with certified seed for production is critical. In the last four years, the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) has certified more than 213,000 tonnes of seeds.

However, while the certification process is very well defined, both in practice and the law, the activities have largely been coordinated manually. This has brought about a number of challenges, including long and costly business processes, duplication of records and inefficient traceability and monitoring of certified seed.


City commuters to use digital platform at new matatu terminuses

stageDAILY NATION By Collins Omulo

Tuesday December 01, 2020

Commuters in Nairobi will soon start using a digital platform for rides to and from terminuses which will be introduced by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) outside the central business district (CBD).

NMS will integrate an electronic system in the terminuses outside the city centre that will keep matatu users informed on the time last mile buses will be at the different pick up stages.

NMS Director of Transport and Public Works Michael Ochieng said the system will also keep matatu operators informed.

“This system keeps you informed and, when you have information, you make correct decisions on what time you are planning to do your business, what time to leave your office, when to you go home and so on. That is what we want to integrate,” said Mr Ochieng.


Kenya becoming a playground for cyberspies


Tuesday October 20 2020

The weekend arrest in Taita-Taveta of a computer science expert Kenyan police claim is a spy for a western nation rekindled an espionage ring smashed six years ago in Nairobi.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti on Sunday said Archibald Mwandawiro, 52, who was arrested in Milondo in Wundanyi, “sends espionage materials to a country in the West”.

Mr Kinoti did not name the country. He said investigations had established that the widely travelled suspect is a computer science expert from a local university.



Digital portal to offer jobless youth one million vacancies


Monday, September 21, 2020

Youth in the country have been pressed to tap into the government’s employment portal for job opportunities.

ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said the ministry will continue engaging educational institutions and local companies to help bridge the gap between skills demand and lack of jobs through the government’s Ajira Digital platform. 

This will result in at least one million Kenyan youths earning a decent wage from digital and digitally-enabled jobs annually. 


Freshers scramble for laptops in Covid-19 era


Monday, September 14, 2020

Laptops are now a basic requirement for students joining universities and colleges in Kenya as institutions continue to rollout online classes amid the Covid 19 pandemic.

Nearly all universities, both private and public, have directed first year students to purchase the gadgets as one of the compulsory requirements for admission during the September-December semester virtual admission which is currently ongoing. 

Let us focus on developing ICTs at the county level


Wednesday August 12, 2020

Last week, the Kenya ICT Action Network, (KICTAnet) and the ICT authority, held a consultative meeting with the ICT directors from the counties to discuss the outcome of the soon to be released report on the state of ICTs in the counties.

The study carried out by the KICTAnet research team sought to find out the extent to which the counties are adopting and leveraging ICTs in order to deliver on their county development plans.

Motivated by the slogan – Kenya is not Nairobi – KICTAnet believes that a meaningful ICT transformation at a national scale can only be achieved through enhancing the performance of ICTs at the county levels.

Put differently, if all the counties improved or made proper use of their ICT investments in delivering on their county development goals, then we can confidently claim that Kenya – rather than Nairobi – is the hotbed of innovation.

The county development plans outline the vision, objectives and the priorities of each county and includes the implementation matrix of key projects and activities that would be undertaken during the period under review.


Is Trump’s TikTok threat a good move?


Tuesday August 04,2020

I must start with some disclosure from the outset. I did not have a TikTok account until recently when US President Donald Trump announced his intention to ban it.

Obviously, I had heard of TikTok, the video sharing mobile app that is driving teens and young adults below the age of 25 crazy, but had no intention of signing up since I was born way before Google (bG).

The ‘bG’ group rarely finds pleasure in taking one or two minute videos of themselves dancing, cooking, laughing or showering and sharing it with millions of others.

But Trump's anticipated ban of this little mobile app from China piqued my curiosity. My mind was blown away and its not just about the numbers, which are by themselves fairly impressive.


How safe is Google's Covid-19 app?



Google has introduced a Covid-19 mobile app that has appeared on all mobile handsets.  This has caused panic to many subscribers who are wondering whether they are being monitored as they go about their daily lives.

The application has a very noble purpose of trying to alert mobile phone subscribers if they have been in close proximity to some one who is Covid-19 positive.

It uses bluetooth technology - the short range, wireless technology in your TV remote control that helps flip through channels.

If two subscribers have registered and enabled both their Covid-19 mobile apps and their bluetooth, their phones would be able to exchange messages in near proximity whenever they bypass each other.


Where are the Google Internet balloons?


TUESDAY JUNE 30, 2020 

It is three months since President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the coming of the Google Internet balloons. He was instantly met with quite some backlash on social media.

Many thought the timing was quite misplaced since Kenyans were in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown had began to affect the health and livelihoods of Kenyans.

So to most Kenyans, providing Google balloons was quite far removed from the realities of the pandemic.

But I gave the president the benefit of doubt. Perhaps the Google balloons would come in handy to assist in providing affordable Internet to power the rapidly emerging remote way of doing things.


Blue Whale and Wannacry expose the internet’s dark side


Last week, two things happened that exposed the dark side of the internet in a way we have never experienced it before.

The first was ‘Blue Whale,’ an online game that has allegedly claimed the life of one Kenyan and many others across the globe.

The second was a ransomware attack dubbed ‘WannaCry’ that is still spreading globally across Windows-related servers and other computers that had not previously been patched up or protected.

Let’s start off with the Blue Whale online game. It’s an addictive game that offers teenagers a 50-day series of challenges with the ultimate and final one being to commit suicide.

Whereas teenage suicides are happening while the game is online, debate continues as to whether the game is actually the cause of the suicides. Either way, the orientation of the game is quite chilling.


Is Kenya's blockchain and AI dream dead?


Tuesday June 09, 2020

It is one year since the government launched the Kenyan blockchain  and Artificial Intelligence report in a well-publicised event at the ministry of ICT.  It is perhaps a good time to look back and reflect on what has been achieved or not over that period.

When one talks about blockchain, what comes to the mind of many is the money aspects made popular by the bitcoin crypto currency craze.

Whereas crypto currencies are the first demonstrated use case of the blockchain experiment, they represent a very small part of what is the full scope of possibilities within the blockchain space.


IEBC 2017 election report blunders display commission’s IT challenges


Tuesday May 19, 2020

Last weekend, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), out of its own volition, decide to upload what it called a data report on the outcome the 2017 election.

The report was immediately pulled down from their website after many Kenyans started spotting basic errors like winning candidates being labelled as belonging to a different party, or even losing candidates being reported as having won the particular constituency or county seat.

With Kenyan election results over the last fifteen years having been contested fiercely with blood and tears, both in and outside court, the mistakes spotted in that report ignited the debate about how credible Kenyan elections are.


Is your Internet service provider making working from home a great experience?


Wednesday May 06, 2020

Covid-19 has forced thousands of corporate workers to work from home by remotely logging into their offices.

Many have suddenly realised that their internet infrastructure maybe sufficient for mundane tasks like reading and responding to emails but hardly adequate to sustain live, interactive video sessions.

If you are hosting a one-hour face-to-face meeting with thirty or more of your office mates, half of them will keep getting thrown out of the virtual meeting room every now and then.

Even for those with a steadier link, their voice signal may keep fading in and out every so often.


Demand for faster, cheaper internet rises to tackle crisis


Thursday April 30, 2020

Dealing with the health and economic challenges of Covid-19 has exposed the need for faster and cheaper mobile internet that can be expanded to the last mile of African populations.

During a policy webinar on 'leveraging technology in assisting African countries in the fight against Covid-19' United Nations Under Secretary-General and executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Ms Vera Songwe said the continent needs mass internet access that penetrates to rural villages.

Organised in collaboration with Ant Financial Services of the Alibaba Group, the livestreamed event brought together leaders of the Asian tech giant, some African ministers of technology and telecommunications, private sector actors across the continent and digital economy activists who agreed that technology is a common denominator in mitigating the impact of the pandemic, restoring livelihoods and tackling similar challenges in the future.


Private schools go online in search of fees for survival



Private schools are turning to online classes to generate income from fees as they fight for survival in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has led to the closure of learning institutions.

As the economic impact from the pandemic begins to bite, there are fears that some private schools could be driven out of business due to loss of their main source of income: Fees.

Elite schools such as Braeburn Schools, the Aga Khan Academy, Banda School, Cavina School, Premier Academy, Kenton School, Rusinga School and Sabis have reached an agreement with parents to charge fees for teaching students online.

This will boost their cash flow and facilitate paying salaries for teachers and non-teaching staff, maintenance of facilities and repayment of loans for investors who have tapped bank credit to build or expand their schools.


We can use technology to distribute Covid-19 relief food


Thursday April 16, 2020

The recent food stampede at Kibra makes one wonder how a very tech-savvy country like Kenya could not make basic use of its financial infrastructure to deliver food relief to the vulnerable groups.

There are already existing banking platforms that the government uses to disburse funds to vulnerable groups like the pensioners and other senior members of the Kenyan population.

Additionally, there is also the world-famous M-Pesa and other mobile money platform that can practically reach 90 per cent of Kenyans, wherever they are across the country.

Why couldn’t the politicians use any of these digital platforms to send relief to the vulnerable groups?


Did 5G cause coronavirus?

walubengoDAILY NATION By John Walubengo 

Wednesday April 08, 2020

By Did 5G cause coronavirus?

There have been several clips shared on social media showing some pundits, celebrities, scientist and other commentators discussing how the new 5G technologies triggered the coronavirus.

Commonly known as conspiracy theories, the most absurd one claims that the Chinese manufactured the coronavirus in a lab in Wuhan and are spreading it through their 5G networks.

We shall ignore that one with the contempt it deserves and instead focus on the others that sound abit more convincing.


Google's internet balloons now in Kenyan airspace

googleGoogle's Loon internet balloons have finally gone airborne in the Kenyan space ten days after the government authorised the tech-giant and Telkom to deploy the balloons.

Data from Flight Radar shows that the two balloons (HBAL092 and HBAL125) are currently airborne in Migori and Homabay area over 60,000 feet.

The balloons were launched in Nakuru and have since travelled though Nairobi, Machakos, Kiambu, Kajiado, Garissa and Tana River counties.

But it is not clear whether the balloons were on a test flight or are already connecting Kenyans with high speed 4G internet services.

Last week, President Kenyatta announced that the government is working with Google Loon to help Kenyans in remote areas access internet services in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.


Share this page
Computer Society of Kenya is proud to be affiliate member of: