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iHub buyout raises Nairobi status as Africa tech capital

ihubBusiness Daily By A Reporter

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2017

iHub Limited, a company that runs an innovations incubation laboratory for techies, has been acquired by venture capital firm BSP Fund LLC for an undisclosed sum.

BSP Fund LLC, associated with controversial investor Miguel Granier, is also acquiring majority stake in Gearbox, a company that provides equipment and space for developers of hardware and electronics.

Mr Erik Hersman, one of the former shareholders of I-Hub, in an interview Wednesday said the transaction has been completed.

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Why IEBC boss Chebukati wants three ICT officers out

IEBCdatapicDAILY NATION By IBRAHIM ORUKO

Tuesday September 19, 2017

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati wants three officers in the ICT directorate suspended in what he described as necessary action to restore waning public confidence in the commission’s ability to prepare and deliver a credible repeat presidential poll.

In a leaked internal memo on Tuesday, Mr Chebukati directed the chief executive Ezra Chiloba to suspend ICT director James Muhati, ICT coordinator Paul Mugo and ICT officer Boniface Wamae as the turf wars between the commission and secretariat arising from the nullification of the August 8 presidential election went a notch higher.

INTERFERENCE
The trio managed the commission’s Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) platform in the General Election and the chairman says they fell short in assisting the commission to successfully discharge its collegial and constitutional mandate.

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Declaring the IEBC technology committee unconstitutional was clearly a mistake

CHILOBADAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Wednesday September 13, 2017

The recent, widely circulated 12-point memo from the Chair of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Mr Wafula Chebukati to his CEO, Mr Ezra Chiloba got me wondering about some critical committee that was provided for by the Elections Amendment Act No 36 of 2016. It amends the Elections Act , 2011 Section 44, paragraph (5) to read in part:

‘The Commission shall, for purposes of this section and in consultation with relevant agencies, institutions and stakeholders, including political parties, make regulations for the implementation of this section and in particular, regulations providing for

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E-passport to replace current one by 2019

kIHALANGWADAILY NATION By STELLA CHERONO

Friday September 01, 2017

The current Kenyan passports will be rendered obsolete in two years.

Kenyans have therefore been asked to apply for an e-passport that was launched by the immigration department on Thursday.

The Immigration Department will start processing and issuing the new passport, which also serves as the East African Community passport, starting September 1.

“The Immigration Department will no longer process and issue the current ordinary, diplomatic and East African passports,” Director of Immigration Gordon Kihalangwa said during the launch.

The passport will have electronic chip with the owner's details.

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Report: IEBC delayed in giving court experts access to its servers

iebcpicDAILY NATION By JOHN NGIRACHU 

THURSDAY AUGUST 31 2017

The electoral agency delayed to give access to its servers to court appointed information technology experts for nearly two days, a report says.

The Supreme Court ordered that IEBC provide access on Monday morning but it was not until 5.30pm on Tuesday that the read-only live access was provided.

The report was signed by ICT experts Prof Elijah Omwenga, Prof Joseph Sevilla who were appointed by the court and Janet Kadenyi, who works for the Judiciary.

It says IEBC attributed the delays to a number of reasons, including the setting up of the Virtual Private Network tunnel to the server, connectivity with the cloud and protection measures that had to be upheld as the election period was still on.

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Edward Mwasi is the new Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board CEO

mwasiDAILY NATION By LEOPOLD OBI

FRIDAY AUGUST 18 2017

Publishing expert Edward Mwasi has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru appointed Mr Mwasi for a three-year term through a gazette notice dated July 26.

YEARBOOK

Mr Mwasi, a former Nation Media Group Chief Graphic Designer, will also be in charge of producing the Kenya Yearbook and other publications as mandated by the government.

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Telco infrastructure sharing not feasible, says association

DNNYERICOMMUNICATION1205pxDAILY NATION By BRIAN NGUGI

Tuesday August 15, 2017

A global association of mobile operators has cast doubt on the benefits of sharing infrastructure among telecoms players.

Kenya’s telecoms regulator has been pushing for shared infrastructure among the local players arguing this would heighten competition by reducing costs of deploying new network and see more frontier areas covered.

But the GSM Association — a global lobby for mobile operators — says in a new report that compelling telecom players inhibits effective competition.

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IEBC: There was attempt to hack system, it failed

chepDAILY NATION By SAMWEL OWINO

Thursday August 10 2017

The electoral commission last night confirmed that there were attempts by some people to hack into their result transmission system but the attempt did not go through.

IEBC Commissioner Yakub Guliye, who chairs the commission’s ICT committee, told the press that the system is intact and nobody had gained access despite the attempts.

ACCESS

“We have seen attempts by some people to hack into our system but they did not succeed because we have invested heavily in surveillance system,” Prof Guliye said.

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Internet shutdown: Just beat it

socialmediaDAILY NATION By AUGUSTINE SANG

Monday August 7 2017

On February 18, 2016, our neighbours to the west went to cast their ballots in a hotly contested election.

Shortly after voting started, the Ugandan government shut down access to major social media sites in the East African country.

TURKEY

Five months later, on July 15, a similar case of censorship hit Turkey after attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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Experts call for more skills in ICT

delegetesDAILY NATION By JAMES NGUNJIRI

Thursday August 03, 2017

As unemployment rates continue to rise, many companies have cited a local skills gap as one of the major bottlenecks to growth particularly in Information Technology (IT).

This has led to a new push to build the next generation of skills needed to plug the widening gap.

Experts concur that the nature of work is evolving, and that is why so many technology-related jobs remain hard to fill.

This, is as industries from manufacturing to agriculture are reshaped by data science and cloud computing.

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IEBC servers, networks totally secure, Chebukati says

BVRDAILY NATION By COLLINS OMULO

Wednesday August 2 2017

Electoral commission chairman Wafula Chebukati has assured Kenyans that the agency's poll systems and servers are safe and secure and that the team will deliver results as expected.

Addressing the media at the agency's offices at Anniversary Towers on Tuesday, Mr Chebukati said service providers are handling technical work at the agency and the death of ICT Manager Chris Msando will not affect the agency in delivering its mandate.

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Release poll results at your own peril: CS warns media

Joe Mucheru2DAILY NATION By NICHOLAS KOMU

Monday July 31, 2017

Media houses that will release election results before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission risk losing their licences, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has warned.

The CS was speaking at Ngangarithi AIPCA church in Nyeri County on Sunday when he said that the media houses will face prosecution for releasing results that have not been officially announced by an IEBC official.

“The law is very clear that only the IEBC can release election results, if anyone releases results before that, they will be shut down,” Mr Mucheru said.

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IEBC drafts technology firms to help secure August 8 vote

biometricDAILY NATION By PATRICK LANG'AT
Tuesday July 25, 2017

Three technology giants have been drafted to help protect the Kenyan vote.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission said it had contracted IBM, Oracle and Dell to help it protect its systems during the election.

IEBC commissioner Roselyne Akombe, who refused to name the firms, expressed confidence that the deal would ensure the highest forms of digital security for the election.

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Africans need to grow technology, but on their own terms

Bd-ICT internetDAILY NATION By NANJIRA SAMBULI

Friday July 21, 2017

Technology, together with all the disruptions it causes, has secured a big part in narratives, norms and visions for Africa’s future.

The past half-decade alone has been an interesting showcase of the proven and the possible, and with it has come a set of narratives about the future of African technology that merit further discussion, and in some cases, debunking.

Here, I will discuss a few that, for me, range from the problematic to the outrageous, as well as those we need to build upon.

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Modern data centre, disaster recovery site set up for polls

IEBCdatapicDAILY NATION By PATRICK LANG'AT

Thursday July 13 2017

The electoral agency has set up a state-of-the-art data centre and a disaster recovery site for the August 8 elections.

This followed recommendations by the audit firm KPMG and the agency’s own mechanisms from 2015 to ensure integrity of election data.

“The findings of the audit were not a surprise, given that in 2015 the commission had already identified some of the shortcomings that required strategic interventions to ensure security, integrity and availability of critical data held by the commission,” Mr Wafula Chebukati, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman, said in a statement Thursday.

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William Ruto said you can access 31 government services on your phone. He's mostly right

Huduma2107aDAILY NATION By A Reporter

Monday July 10, 2017

In an interview on Citizen TV Deputy President William Ruto accused the National Super Alliance of pledging to digitise government, yet the Jubilee government had already done that.

The Nasa Coalition in its manifesto pledges to “modernise all registries and administrative services, streamline processes, cut bureaucracy and instill a customer service culture.”

In its manifesto implementation document it also pledges to “avail a unified integrated digital system that captures every citizen’s information from birth and transits the data for national identification, passport issuance and voter registration.”

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State targets smartphones assembly after school laptops

MucheruCEODAILY NATION By STANLEY KIMUGE

Monday June 26, 2017

The government is exploring the possibility of manufacturing smartphones and other electronic gadgets at Moi University’s Rivatex assembling plant once the primary schools tablet contract comes to an end.

Information Communication Technology authority acting chief executive Robert Mugo on Wednesday said they are keen to position the country as the major regional ICT hub.

The ICT boss, who was touring the assembly plant in Eldoret, said the production plan could be in place within the next two years.

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Kenya's uneasy dance with Bitcoin

mucheru-picDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Frida June 23, 2017

Last week, KICTAnet organised a policy brief for the ICT community about Bitcoin and the Blockchain revolution, which is steadily gaining ground locally and breaking records globally.

So what exactly is Bitcoin and how does it differ from Blockchain? What are the risks and benefits of adopting these technologies at the individual, enterprise and national level?

The audience included ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru and thought leaders from academia, the private sector, civil society and the media.

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Forget the dead voters. The complementary system is a bigger risk to election

biometricDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Thursday June 15, 2017

Last week the electoral agency made two major moves that require review and analysis. 

The first was, of course, the widely published audit report of the voter register, followed by the equally important, but less glamorised, public testing of the electronic election systems.

Contrary to the public shock expressed about the number of dead voters still in the voter register, I would want to state that there is nothing shocking about dead voters being in the voter register.

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Digital training for Kenyan youth kicks off

joeDAILY NATION By WINNIE ATIENO

Tuesday June 6,2017

The government aims at training over one million youths to find and earn a decent wage from online employment, Information Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has said.

Speaking during the official opening of the five days training at the Kenyatta University, Mombasa campus, Mr Mucheru said the training is part of the Ajira Digital Programme, whose goal is to provide practical solutions to the unemployment challenge that the country faces.

He congratulated the 202 youths from the region selected for the training.

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