The Computer Society of Kenya

Since 1986

Kenya mobile taxes too high, says GSMA

M-PesapxThe Treasury has been advised to cut duties on cellular services and mobile phones to boost the country’s telecommunication sector.

A new study by the GSM Association (GSMA) says Kenya’s mobile industry and consumers, despite being billed as a front runner in Africa, is one the region’s most heavily taxed inhibiting its potential to grow further and support other economic sectors.

The study conducted by professional services firm EY on behalf of GSMA notes that the Kenyan mobile sector makes a large contribution in taxes and fees relative to its economic footprint.

It says that while mobile market revenue accounts for three percent of Kenya’s GDP, the sector’s tax and fee payments accounts for around 6.5 percent of government total tax revenue.

“The tax contribution of the mobile sector is therefore 2.2 times its size in the economy,” says the study released recently.

“Mobile consumers bear 57 percent of the total sector tax burden. This is mainly due to the accumulation of excise duties on mobile services and mobile money, which together represent almost a third of the total tax payments (at 32 percent).”


Coronavirus: Technology now the only way out


Thursday March, 19, 2020

With most nations under full or partial lockdown to check the spread of Covid-19, it’s time to embrace technology to keep things running.

“Now is the time to turn to the digital economy for solutions that keep life moving during times like this. We are lucky to have started our digital transformation journey earlier,” says Timothy Oriedo, founder of the data firm Predictive Analytics Lab.

Meanwhile, Absa Bank Kenya’s chief data officer, Mr Hartnell Ndungi, says many sectors did not foresee the current situation, so it won’t be passible for all companies to let their employees work from home.

“It’s a challenge to provide every employee with a laptop and unlimited internet, especially for SMEs. The probable solution is to classify tasks as critical and non-critical. The latter can work remotely. Most companies will have to scale down production,” he offers.


Safaricom waives M-Pesa fees


Monday March 16, 2020

Safaricom has become the first player in the mobile money business to cut prices following a request from President Uhuru Kenyatta.

On Sunday, Mr Kenyatta asked banks and mobile money providers to consider reducing the cost of transactions to allow customers use cashless modes of payment as part of measures to stop transmission of Covid-19, widely known as new coronavirus.

Safaricom said on Monday that it would like to thank Central Bank Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge for hosting a meeting with the telecommunications industry players to discuss the evolving situation around the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The meeting follows the directive by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta to explore ways of deepening mobile money usage to reduce the risk of spreading the virus through the physical handling of cash,” the firm’s chief executive Michael Joseph said in a statement.


Revoke Safaricom airports WiFi deal, firm says in suit


Thursday March 05, 2020

An internet service provider has sued the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) for contracting Safaricom  to provide WiFi connections at airports.

Internet Solutions Limited, with a presence in African countries, has filed the suit at the High Court demanding that the Public Procurement and Administrative Review Board be ordered to revoke the tender.

It claims Safaricom was offered the deal and bid for the contract when its licence as an ICT service provider had expired.

The company has listed KAA, Safaricom as well as other firms that participated in the tender — Encapsulated limited and Simbanet Ltd — as interested parties.


Is Kenya ready for 5G Internet?


Wednesday February 02, 2020

The 3G mobile network specifications were done in early 2000 but the commercial implementations hit Kenya around 2007. The 4G specifications were completed in 2010 and the commercial deployment introduced in Kenya around 2014.

The 5G technical specification was completed last year and its commercial deployment around the world is expected this year in 2020.

Kenya is likely to be one of the early adopters of the 5G technologies – but is Kenya ready for this new technology?

And when we talk about readiness, we don’t mean in terms of deployment since mobile operators can deploy 5G overnight and switch it on the next day.

5G readiness goes beyond availing the 5G signal and looks deeper into the issue of whether the economy is harnessing the 5G capabilities.


Is Kenya tapping its vast Big Data opportunities?


Thursday February 13, 2020

The term “Big Data” today attracts huge attention, mainly because of its power to help humans make informed decisions, turning it into an industry competition tool as new waves of business development sweep across Kenya’s corporate world.

It is helping startups, SMEs, corporates, government agencies, non-profits and individuals work more efficiently through the analysis of huge chunks of both structured and unstructured data to achieve higher operational mileage and predict future market demands.

In a period of Industry 4.0 automation and business intelligence, Kenya’s quest to utilise Big Data and machine learning has never been as relevant, but huge hurdles lie ahead.

Its adoption has been slow, with a few data science solution firms in existence and only listed companies being their clients, yet it is increasingly phasing out human decision- makers from boardrooms.


Moi wasn't a darling of the Internet and ICTs


Wednesday February 12, 2020

The second President of the Republic of Kenya, Daniel arap Moi is no more. May his Soul Rest in Peace.

I received the news of his passing with some flashbacks to ICT-related events of the early to late 1990s when he was President and the ICTs in general and Internet in particular was treated with a lot of suspicion.

The early 1990s were tough times for Kenya – politically, socially and economically.

There was no Internet service available for the public in the country until around 1992/1993, when the then youthful lecturer from the University of Nairobi, Dr Shem Ochuodho introduced it through an NGO, African Regional Center for Computing (ARCC).


Is CBK warming up to crypto currency?


Wednesday January 29, 2020

While at the World Economic Forum at Davos last week, the CBK Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge sent out a flurry of tweets that caught the crypto enthusiasts in Kenya by surprise and sent them talking.

Essentially, the governor seemed to warm up to the digital currency or crypto conversation, in stark contrast to his 2015 circular to financial institutions.

In one of his tweets, the governor seemed to indicate support for digital currencies or cryptos, as long as there is a solid regulatory or a governance framework.

It is difficult to tell what governance framework he has in mind, when he has not yet outlined the role and depth the he foresees the digital currencies playing within the Kenyan economy.


Digital security is as strong as weakest link


Tuesday January 14, 2020

The World Economic Forum’s 2019 Global Risk Report identifies cybersecurity as one of the biggest threats facing businesses and economies today.

Cyber-attacks have exponentially grown in scale and sophistication. Just one, simple attack can lead to significant loss of data or financial fraud that impacts a company’s reputation and credit rating, shaking investor confidence and consumer trust. And it goes without saying that the cost of a breach can amount to millions of dollars, leading to catastrophic consequences.

Experts predict economic loss due to cybercrime to reach $3 trillion by 2020, and 74 percent of the world’s businesses are expected to be hacked in the coming year. Statistics have further shown that the more connected a country is, the more prone it is to cyberattacks. This means that making cybersecurity a part of the national agenda has never been more important.


Corporate boards should have ICT talent


Tuesday January 07,2020

ICT departments have over the last two decades moved from the obscure sections within the finance department into full blown corporate divisions with strategic impetus that can make or break organizations 

Should Corporate Boards and CEOs trust their ICT Departments?

Unfortunately many have.  And this has led to scandals upon scandals.

Most fraudulent activities are nowadays executed through ICTs and with the generous help of what is known as the ‘insiders’ within the ICT departments.


Two decades of ICT progress – What next?


Tuesday December 31, 2019

The 2010-2019 decade is over. 

But before we cover the ICTs highlights of this decade, we should perhaps review the previous 2000-2009 decade and then end with some predictions for the coming decade of 2020-2029.


Having liberalised the telecom sector in the late 1990s, Safaricom and Airtel, then called Zain, changed the face of communication by spreading mobile voice communication across the country.

Beyond voice, Zain introduced mobile money in 2005 but it seems Safaricom ran away with it when they launched their M-Pesa version two years later in 2007.


How tech is set to transform airports in the next decade


Wednesday December 18, 2019

Airport operations technology provider, Sita, is predicting a momentous evolution in airport operations in ten years, thanks to digital technologies for passenger and cargo-handling.

SITA business development director Benoit Verbaere said clearance of incoming and outgoing passengers will be fast-tracked via use of non-human contact digital technologies that enhance efficiency and security.

Speaking when Sita unveiled 10 bold predictions on how the technologies will transform airports into giant flying “park and ride” centres, Mr Verbaere said passengers’ experiences will be based on unique insights, driving industry forces and emerging technologies.

While introduction of biometric security, mobile check-in, and baggage tracking have helped fast-track operations in airports, Sita hinted that technology advances would precipitate a digital explosion of devices where data captured via Software Defined Networks will be collated and analysed for better airport operations.


Regulator says Telkom, Airtel merger on course


Tuesday DECEMBER 9, 2019

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) says it is reviewing the Airtel, Telkom Kenya merger, distancing itself from suggestions by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission that the deal has been put on hold once again.

The EACC initially waded into the proposed transaction, saying it would not continue until allegations of corruption are investigated.

The agency later wrote to the CAK and other regulators on October 15, saying it did not object to the merger.

EACC Director of Legal Services David Too, however, last month walked back the agency’s letter and told Parliament that the transaction is still being investigated.


New jobs in telcos sector increase by 23.8pc

techBusiness Daily By JOHN MUTUA


New jobs in the mobile telecommunications sector increased at the fastest rate in five years, a rare bright spot in a corporate Kenya that has been shedding jobs and freezing new hirings.

Data from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) shows that telecommunication firms, including Safaricom , Airtel and Telkom Kenya, added 1,673 new jobs to their payroll in the year to June, reflecting a 23.8 percent jump.

The regulator linked the increase in new jobs to growth and new investments in the sector that saw five firms pump Sh57.5 billion into expanding their businesses including network upgrades, up from Sh41.8 billion.


Is an Internet blackout possible?


Wednesday November 27, 2019

Last weekend Kenya experienced a fault in one of its four submarine cables that carry the bulk of the Eastern Africa’s Internet traffic to Europe and Asia.

Many decades ago, the satellite links used to carry internet traffic between continents but today, Internet traffic has moved onto the higher capacity, faster speeds, better quality service offered by the undersea fibre cables.

So Mombasa is basically a huge and strategic internet hub for traffic originating from upstream capitals of Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali and Bujumbura. If one of the submarine links in Mombasa sneezes, the rest of the region will definitely catch a cold.


Cyber crime a major hurdle to confidential data storage, IoT

cybercrime2BUSINESS DAILY By A Reporter 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2019 14:52

As the world prepares for a hyperconnected Internet of Things (IoT) landscape where billions of devices will be interconnected and zillions of confidential data stored in servers, only one snag scares many IT professionals — cybercrime.

You need technology to improve the quality of life but your efforts can be rendered useless when malevolent people use it to cause harm.

This was the case with Georgia when on October 28 more than 2,000 websites including those of the president, courts and the media were hacked in a massive cyber-attack.

On the front page, the malicious key punchers displayed a photo of the country’s exiled former president Mikheil Saakashvili with an inscription "I'll be back!"


Lawyer sues Safaricom, Airtel over data bundle expiry


Tuesday October 22, 2019

Lawyer and ICT practitioner Adrian Kamotho has sued telecommunication operators for irregularly depriving consumers of their unused data bundles.

In a complaint filed before the Communications and Multimedia Appeals Tribunal, Mr Kamotho said he was aggrieved by the high cost of data and frustrated by the arbitrary expiry of hard-earned bundles.

He wants the tribunal to order Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya to furnish him with their current data tariffs, or prominently display the current data tariffs on their websites.

He also wants the companies to stop depriving consumers their unused data based on the data expiry model.

Mr Kamotho said the firms discriminate against consumers by charging “out of bundle” rates, which are different from normal bundle rates.


DCI: Buying electronics from dubious dealers may land you in jail


Monday October 07, 2019

Kenyans have been cautioned against buying electronic gadgets from individuals and dealers without fixed physical addresses and unidentifiable premises to avoid buying stolen items.

In a statement on Sunday evening, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) warned Kenyans against purchasing laptops, mobile phones and TV sets from traders who lack requisite trade documents, including licenses, permits and other local and national approvals.

Theft of electronic gadgets has become rampant in Kenya in recent years. Criminals steal, rebrand and repackage the gadgets using polythene bags before reselling them as new devices.


Time for board to rethink ICT governance


Tuesday October 25, 2019

In general, governance is about having structures, processes and procedures in place to ensure that an enterprise achieves its objectives and is accountable to the shareholders.

Many corporates have established structures to oversight typical business functions like finance, accounts and human resources.

National laws have gone further and internalised the importance of governance in these domains, given the enactment of several acts of parliament governing, for example, the conduct and operation of the accounting and human resource professionals.

As such, board members are fairly clear on the expectations from management when it comes to providing oversight to financial, human resource, procurement and other more established organisational functions.


UN: Kenyans the most care-free users of internet globally


Thursday September 05, 2019

Kenyans are less troubled about the security of personal data posted on internet, a global survey shows, implying they could be an easy target for cyber criminals.

Only four in every 10 internet users in Kenya are concerned about their privacy online, a new report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Wednesday shows.

This is the lowest level in the world according to the report and ranks poorly against the global average of eight in every 10 users.

“While there appears to be increasing concerns about data privacy and online security around the world, there is somewhat a ‘data privacy paradox’, as users continue to give away personal data and thus their privacy in exchange for different services,” says UNCTAD Digital Economy report published last (Wednesday) evening.


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