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Major boost for school laptop project as Unesco promises training support

LAPTOPSDAILY NATION By OUMA WANZALA

Friday April 08, 2016

The laptop project has received a boost after Unesco agreed to support teacher and education officers’ training.

On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and Unesco Director-General Irina Bokova signed a cooperation deal at the agency’s headquarters in Paris.

The Jubilee flagship project has faced hurdles since 2013, but President Uhuru Kenyatta last week assured Kenyans that it would be realised this year.

Ms Mohamed said the integration of ICT into the education system was one of the key priorities of the government. Areas of cooperation would include scaling up teacher-training in ICT in two phases.

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Voice and broadband hold key to ICT gap closure

Joe Mucheru ICTDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG'

Wednesday April 06, 2016

Voice and broadband have been marked as priority areas in the closure of the country’s ICT access gap, according to a study released on Tuesday.

Canadian firm Intelecon Research and Consultancy, hired by the Communications Authority of Kenya to do the research, noted that covering the two areas will largely seal the remaining hole, ensuring penetration in institutions such as schools.

“This will reduce the population coverage gap from 5.6 per cent to around half 2.8 per cent by 2018, combining proposed Universal Service Fund investments with the licence obligations already accepted in 2015 by the two leading operators, Safaricom and Airtel,” says the report.

“Broadband will establish a first step towards addressing the critical national gap, which exists in connectivity of schools and tertiary college institutions below university level.”

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IEBC will buy new kits ahead of polls

voterigDAILY NATION By ISAAC ONGIRI

Tuesday April 05, 2016

The electoral commission is set to buy new electronic equipment to identify voters because the current ones will be obsolete days to next year’s elections.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chief executive Ezra Chiloba said his team would dispose of the 34,600 controversial gadgets used in the 2013 General Election.

The equipment would be replaced with a new version of electronic voter identification devices (Evids). Mr Chiloba said batteries of the old devices, whose procurement is the subject of investigations following claims of corruption, have a fixed life-span of five years and will expire just before the 2017 polls.

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CA rolls out address system to boost e-commerce

Wangusi3BUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Monday April 04, 2016

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has started a process to have a nation-wide numbering and addressing system to boost the uptake of e-commerce and improve service delivery.

Most homes and small businesses lack proper addresses, slowing down the growth of e-commerce that relies on timely and efficient delivery of goods to customers making orders online of through telephone calls.

Players in the delivery and e-commerce space, including Jumia and OLX, have concentrated their operations in major towns with more detailed street and building addresses.

“Many countries that have successfully deployed national addressing systems posit a strong correlation between physical addressing and growth of e-commerce,” Francis Wangusi, the CA director- general said.

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ICT graduates set for county jobs in digital talent drive

victorBusiness Daily By OKUTTAH MARK,

Monday March 28, 2016

County governments are set to benefit from 400 graduates of ICT-related courses under the second phase of the Presidential Digital-Talent Programme to boost their ICT human capacity.

Victor Kyalo, the ICT Principal Secretary, said his ministry was in talks with county governments which will see a number of the graduate trainees posted to the devolved units.

The Presidential Digital Talent initiative is a public–private sector partnership run by the ICT Authority. The programme targets recent university IT graduates who have attained first or upper second class honours degree and have been out of school for less than two years.

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Ministry to start pilot distribution of laptops

ictpicDAILY NATION By NATION REPORTER

Tuesday March 22, 2016

The Ministry of ICT is expected to start delivering free laptops on a pilot basis in 150 selected primary schools across the country in the next two weeks.

This follows the unveiling of the Digital Literacy Programme Devices targeting more than 22, 000 public primary schools by Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru.

Speaking during the official opening of Connected Summit 2016 conference on Sunday, Mr Mucheru said the ministry is expecting 10,000 devices in the next four weeks.

He added that the ministry is in the process of undergoing proof of concept before officially rolling out the devices to all counties in the whole country.

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Kenya plans ICT sector reforms to regulate Internet firms

mucherupxDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG'

Friday March 18, 2016

Kenya’s Information minister is reviewing sector guidelines to bring over the top services such as Whatsapp and Facebook under regulation amidst complains by telecom operators over unfair competition.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said the new National ICT Sector Policy Guidelines will also dictate the practices within which Mobile Virtual Network Service Operators (MVNO) such as Equitel will operate.

Locally, telecom firms have complained of Facebook, WhatsApp and Viber eating into their revenues despite not being subjected to local taxes. The telcos also say that over the top companies do not have infrastructure locally yet they compete unfairly by offering same voice and text services.

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Zero-rated internet services are much needed in developing economies

internetpicsDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Tuesday March 15,2016

Many readers of this column may not know it, but there is free Internet access in Kenya. 

You did not know that because you belong to a class of privileged users who can afford to pay for Internet service, however expensive it may be.

There is another category of Kenyans who do not enjoy the privilege of being able to pay for their monthly Internet access.  

All the Telco operators in Kenya target this group by offering free Internet service to them in one form or another – with the hope that they will eventually migrate onto the fully paid-up Internet.

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Absence of CA board stalls 4G Internet rollout

caboardpxDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG'

Thursday March 10, 2016

Telecom operators will have to wait longer before commercialising fourth-generation (4G) Internet, as the Communications Authority awaits a board to approve the radio spectrum surrendered by broadcasters.

The regulator had planned to issue frequency licenses to operators this month, but the absence of a board has stalled the process. A fresh recruitment process for a new board has been quashed by the Industrial Court, acting on an application by members of the disbanded board.

“We need to have a board in place to approve digital dividends [frequencies]. As soon as the board is in place we will do that,” said CA Director-General Francis Wangusi.

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Mucheru urges special training for police to fight cybercrime

cybercrimeDAILY NATION By STELLA CHERONO

Wednesday March 09,2016

The police need specialised training in the use of technology and social media to effectively fight cybercrime in Kenya.

Information and Communications Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said law enforcement agencies need to have the international standard guidelines to effectively deal with the emerging gender-based violence on the internet.

“Training on digital forensics may be appropriate in order to acquire adequate analytical and technical capabilities,” Mr Mucheru said.

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Agency seeks universities to set up Konza campuses

konzaDAILY NATION BY Nation Reporter

Tuesday March 08,2016

Kenya’s Sh595.8 billion Silicon Valley Konza, is seeking local and international universities to set up campuses on its vast land.
In an advert on the local dailies, Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) states that interested investors should present “viable proposals for centres of excellence”.
The universities are asked to showcase their innovations that support economic growth. They must also state the ability to adhere to set green technology standards as per the Konza masterplan.

KoTDA says universities are knowledge hubs connecting research and industry demands.

“The universities will be required to develop high-end skills, and innovative business solutions for critical sectors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM),” states the advert.

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CA buys Sh1bn system to end frequency overlapping

Wangusi3DAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG'

Friday March 04, 2016

Communications Authority has launched Sh1 billion worth spectrum field analyser to monitor illegal activities on local networks.

They systems will monitor all transmissions, track illegal frequencies and allow operators to see all broadcast signals countrywide.

Going forward, CA service delivery to the radio spectrum users will improve, the systems will ensure effective planning, licensing and faster resolution of radio interference complaints.

“Radio spectrum is a scarce natural resource which should be managed prudently for the benefit of citizens,’ said ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, adding that it supports a wide range of telecom, broadcasting, emergency services, transport, scientific research as well as consumer devices.

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Government seeks 400 ICT graduates

Bd-ICT internetDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG'

Tuesday March 01, 2016

The government has kicked off the recruitment of 400 fresh ICT graduates, who will go through intense training to manage ICT systems in state agencies and ministries.

The graduates will be absorbed by the annual Presidential Digital Talent Programme, which began last year as the government consolidated its ICT systems under the ICT Authority of Kenya (ICTA).

An internal audit on government systems last year showed massive cybersecurity issues as well as lack of skilled labour to adopt to the fast growing ICT sector.

“The Presidential Digital Talent Programme is in line with the country’s Vision 2030, the Jubilee Manifesto and the National ICT Master Plan developed by the ICT Authority,” said a statement by ICTA acting CEO Robert Mugo.

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Digital literacy team visits schools to test e-readiness

MucheruDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG'

Wednesday February 24, 2016

An assessment of whether schools have power connections and are secure for the rollout of the national laptops project started Monday.

Top officials from the inter-ministerial Digital Literacy Project team visited Roysambu Primary School in Nairobi on a mission to ensure teachers are trained, the institution is secure, and desks are adequate for the computers.

Acting ICT Authority Chief Executive Officer Robert Mugo said visits would be conducted in each of the 150 schools within two weeks.

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Letter that led to withdrawal of CA board’s court petition

DigitalMigration1302doDAILY NATION By WANJOHI GITHAE

Monday February 22, 2016

A letter written to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga on the legality of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) board could have been instrumental in the withdrawal of an appeal that sought to overturn a high court judgment that had found seven members of the board were appointed unprocedurally.

The withdrawal set the stage for recruitment of new directors and the CA duly advertised for positions in the Kenya Gazette on February 5.

The seven are Mr Wilbert Choge, Mr Kennedy Nyaundi, Ms Grace Munjuri, Ms Hellen Kinoti, Ms Beatrice Opee, Mr Peter Mutie and Mr Levi Obonyo.

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Police prevent disbanded CA board from holding meeting

CAKDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG'

Friday February 19,2016

Embattled Communications Authority of Kenya board members were Thursday stopped from holding meetings at the regulator’s headquarters on Waiyaki Way, Nairobi.

Five of the board members, led by Mr Kipsang Choge were locked out of the premises as two administration police kept vigil.

Missing at the scene was director-general Francis Wangusi, who flew to Geneva. Board chairman Ben Ngene Gituku was out of office.

Mr Kipsang had summoned his colleagues to a meeting to discuss ‘disruption of board programme and activities and resultant litigations’.

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Class One pupils to receive laptops on Monday

joemucherupxDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG'

Tuesday February 16, 2016

Class One pupils in 150 selected schools countrywide will have their first laptops delivered on Monday next week, as the Sh17 billion project begins to be rolled out.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and Moi University will provide laptops, routers and servers in this pilot phase.

They will then move on to deliver 600,000 laptops to some schools by June in the first phase .

While the Portuguese firm JP SA Couto, in partnership with Moi University, will supply the laptops to 26 counties.

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Govt commissions study to assess usage of ICT

CAKDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG'

Friday February 12,2016

The Communications Authority (CA) and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) have begun a study that will assess the usage of ICT services among businesses and in the public sector.

At a press briefing Friday, the two signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate in collecting data for the study to be published in June.

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CA gives two-day window for board position applicants

BDCAK2406c.JPGBUSINESS DAILY By KIARIE NJOROGE,

Thursday February 11, 2016

Candidates for the vacant Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) board positions have up to Friday to submit their papers after the Information ministry allowed for only two days to receive the applications.

The ministry’s principal secretary, Sammy Itemere, made the call for applicants in newspaper adverts Wednesday, even as the process to recruit the new seven board members is being challenged through two different court cases.

Mr Itemere directed interested applicants to visit the ministry’s website for details on how to apply for the jobs.

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Jubilee Laptops pledge takes shape with award of tender

DNNakuruEducation1702c.JPGDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG'

Wednesday February 10,2016

The race to deliver one of Jubilee’s flagship 2013 election pledges started Tuesday with the award of a contract to supply free laptops for school children to two consortiums led by public universities.

The bids for the Sh17 billion project were jointly won by Moi University and its partner, JP SA Couto, and by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and its partner, Positivo BGH.

Positivo is a joint venture between Positivo Informática Brazil and Argentina BGH while JP SA Couto is a South African research and investing firm.

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