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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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Disbanded CA board sues Mucheru, Githu

mucheru-picDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG'

Tuesday February 09, 2016

The disbanded Communications Authority of Kenya board members have filed a suit against ICT Cabinet secretary Joe Mucheru and the Attorney-General Githu Muigai even as a gazette notice sealed their fate.

The seven members, led by Mr Wilbert Choge, said they were compiling documents to defend their stay at the board.

“We are suing the minister and the AG for contempt. CA is an independent body and any decision regarding the institution can only be done under the board’s instructions,” said Mr Choge on phone Monday.

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Fate of Sh13 billion ICT project hangs in balance

Bd-FibreOptic1.JPGDAILY NATION By ABIUD OCHIENG

Monday February 08, 2016

The fate of a Sh13 billion Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) project intended to improve service delivery in all the 47 counties hangs in the balance after a contract dispute arose between the ICT Authority and a firm supposed to implement the project.

The World Bank-funded project has a strict deadline on implementation and is supposed to be concluded by December this year, or else the funding will be withdrawn.

The project is one of the key developments initiated by the government to improve service delivery in the devolved government using information technology.

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Govt earns Sh2.3bn through e-payments

e-paymentDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG'

Wednesday February 03, 2016

The government last year collected Sh2.3 billion through its e-Citizen portal, cutting out middle men who thrive on corrupt deals in government services.

Statistics by the ICT Authority stated that already 41 services are live on the portal among them; the land rent payments, immigration services, the National Hospital Insurance Fund, National Social Security Fund and Higher Education Loans Board remittances.

The site launched in 2014 is a gateway to all government services, enabling locals and foreigners to apply for government to citizen (G2C) services and pay via mobile money, debit cards and e-Citizen agents.

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Electoral body to make changes in ICT unit ahead of 2017 elections

CHILOBADAILY NATION By ISAAC ONGIRI

Tuesday February 2, 2016

The electoral agency has initiated a major internal restructuring targeting its crucial information, technology and communications department.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has begun recruiting top ICT managers and assessing its equipment in readiness for the 2017 General Election.

The commission’s new ICT Director James Muhati on Monday said the hiring of top managers is meant to strengthen the capacity of the department and enhance preparations for the elections.

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Communications Authority sets new guidelines for courier firms

BDCAK2406c.JPGDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG'

Monday February 01,2016

Postal and courier services must adhere to new standards under a new regulatory regime to ensure quality service, failure to which their licences will be revoked.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has published new guidelines that compel the Postal Corporation of Kenya and other operators to acquire standardised ICT equipment that will monitor delivery of consignments.

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Govt to spend Sh13bn in war against hackers

hackingDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG'

Friday January 29, 2016

Technology firms and insurers are among those set to benefit as government bolsters its 2016 cyber defence budget by 15 per cent to Sh13 billion underlining the rising threat posed by hackers, a new report shows.

A report from the International Data Corporation states that government will spend Sh13 billion in its ICT systems, especially trying to fight the rising cases of cybercrime.

“The communications sector will lead the way in 2016 with the year to year increase in IT spending for this sector of 15 per cent followed by the financial services sector,” states the IDC Future Scape 2016 Predictions report for East Africa.

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Tech community takes opportunity to vent at CS Mucheru

mucheru-picDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Tuesday January 26,2016

Last week, the new Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Mr Joe Mucheru, was kind enough to bring his two Principal Secretaries, Mr Victor Kyalo and Mr. Sammy Itemere, along to a meeting hosted by the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet.)

KICTANet is a multi-stakeholder platform for individuals and institutions interested and involved in ICT policy and regulation in Kenya.

It aims to act as a catalyst for reform in the ICT sector, in support of national aims of ICT-enabled growth and development.

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IFC proposes new ways to share spectrum in telephone industry

DNMOBILEBANKING1301SDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG'

Monday January 25, 2016

The World Bank’s investment arm the International Finance Corporation has proposed a Public Private Partnership (PPP) approach towards the allocation of spectrum in the telecom industry.

Through the report, unlocking growth potential in Kenya, the IFC states that the country’s lack of a market-oriented process for assignment could become a challenge in the distribution of available free spectrum. 

Safaricom, for instance, signed a Sh15 billion security deal with the government in exchange for the fourth generation radio spectrum in the 800MHz band as part of the agreement.

This has, however, sparked protests from rivals Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya which say the deal was unfair.

ICT Authority seeks Sh8bn for countrywide projects

mucheru-picDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Thursday January 21, 2016

The ICT Authority (ICTA) has fallen short of an estimated Sh8 billion to effectively run government’s ICT functions, Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has been told.

The Authority’s board chairman Edwin Yinda told the CS that they needed the funds urgently when Mr Mucheru toured the ICTA’s offices for the first time on Wednesday.

“There is however a need to increase funding for ICT projects, from the current paltry 0.3 per cent to 5 per cent of the total annual national budget,” said Mr Yinda.

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Communication Authority consulted media owners on broadcasting rules

wangusiDAILY NATION By Francis Wangusi

Wednesday January 20,2016

Our attention has been drawn to an article in the Daily Nation of January 18 under the headline ‘State should consult with stakeholders to make rules that support media industry’, which had inaccuracies regarding the recent publication of the Programme Code for Free to Air radio and TV broadcasting services by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).

In his opinion piece, Dr Hannington Gaya — the Chairman of the Media Owners Association (MOA) — alleges that CA issued the programme code without first consulting stakeholders.

This allegation has no grain of truth as the authority subjected the code to public and stakeholders’ consultation from April 8 to May 7 last year.

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Telkom Kenya offers retrenchees Sh1.8bn to end court dispute

telkom2BUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK

Tuesday January 19, 2016

Telkom Kenya has agreed to settle retrenchment dues at the centre of legal disputes with former employees that have been in court for nearly 10 years.

France Telecoms, the majority owner of the company, has agreed to pay the nearly 2,000 former employees Sh1.8 billion ahead of the planned sale of its 70 per cent stake to Helios Investment Partners.

Telkom Kenya management told the Business Daily that the amount was agreed in an out-of-court settlement and captures all the three cases in court.

The settlement brings to an end the legal battles between Telkom Kenya — 70 per cent owned by France Telecoms and 30 per cent owned by the Government of Kenya — and the former employees.

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Call centre services set up earns Kenya a place in top 50

Fibre-opticDAILY NATION By JAMES KARIUKI

Monday January 18, 2016

Kenya is the latest entrant in the top 50 countries recognised for call centre services driven by reliable Internet connection and a 7,000-strong labour force.

Global Services Location Index (GSLI) placed the country at position 39, with Tunisia at 38, Senegal (45) and South Africa (48).

The report said Kenya, a first time entrant in the ranking, had shown remarkable progress in Information, Communication and Technology development via establishment of reliable optic fibre cables to businesses within its cities as well as sponsored several innovation hubs where software applications are being invented.

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CA targets mobile phone fraudsters with cap on SIM card ownership

Wangusi3BUSSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Wednesday, January 13  2016

Ownership of mobile phone SIM cards will soon be restricted to not more than 10 if new regulations governing possession of wireless telecoms lines come into force.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) yesterday said it was working on fresh rules that will limit individual subscribers to owning a maximum of 10 active SIM cards as part of the drive to curb mobile phone crimes.

“We are working on regulations that will outlaw the sale of more than 10 SIM cards to an individual because it is not possible for one person to efficiently use those many lines,” the CA director-general, Francis Wangusi, said, adding that the new regulations will not affect businesses or companies.

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Regulators clash over plan to censor Netflix online movies

DUOBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK and STELLAR MURUMBA

Tuesday, January 12  2016

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has differed with the Kenya Films and Classification Board (KFCB) over the handling of American online movie streaming service Netflix, which launched operations in Kenya last week.

The CA Monday said Netflix will not be asked to apply for a local broadcasting licence, meaning the US firm is exempt from local broadcasting regulations that are part of the licensing conditions.

The CA’s decision stood in stark contrast with KFCB’s position that Netflix must be regulated and subjected to Kenya film classifications before it is allowed to sell content locally.

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CS Joe Mucheru asked to appoint ICT Authority CEO

mucheru-picDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Friday January 08,2016

Information Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has been urged to appoint a chief executive to head the ICT Authority.

Stakeholders in the ICT sector said the appointment should be done to avoid stalling of projects managed by the authority.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Cabinet reshuffle last year created the vacancy after the then CEO Victor Kyalo was appointed principal secretary in the ICT ministry.

The authority handles the school laptops project, which is to be implemented beginning this year. It is also responsible for all government ICT functions.

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Sh17bn laptops tender bid to start on Friday

DNJKUATUhuru2703fDAILY NATION By ISAAC ONGIRI

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Authority will on Friday open tenders to kick-start the process of acquiring 983,271 laptops for Standard One learners under the Digital Literacy Program.

An elaborate plan, being worked on by the authority under the Ministry of ICT and seen by the Nation, reveals that the first batch of the devices is expected to be delivered to schools in July.

A total of Sh17 billion will be spent on the program that has stalled since 2013 due to a hitch in the procurement process then conducted by the Ministry of Education and won by Indian firm Olive Pvt that ended up in court, leading to a government decision to rework the plan.

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CA loses power to regulate dominant telcos

CAKBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Tuesday, January 5   2016

Telecommunications sector regulator, the CA, has lost powers to independently monitor dominance and act against its abuse – leaving it with a narrow mandate of licensing new players and allocating frequencies.

Parliament stripped the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) of the mandate through the controversial Statute Miscellaneous Amendments Bill, 2015 that President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law before Christmas.

Under the new legal regime, the CA will have to consult the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) before making a declaration of dominance and when assessing critical industry factors such as Significant Market Power before making a declaration of dominance.

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Bill Gates hails Kenya’s mobile banking in annual letter

BILLBUSINESS DAILY By DOREEN WAINAINAH

Monday January 4, 2015

American billionaire Bill Gates has picked out Kenya’s pioneering mobile banking industry as one of his top stories for 2015, shining international spotlight on the industry.

In his blog, GateNotes, the billionaire said the Kenyan mobile cash story was one of his favourite six for last year.

“As Melinda and I highlighted in this year’s annual letter, we believe that mobile banking is one of the best tools we’ve ever seen for helping people lift themselves out of poverty,” said Mr Gates.

The 2015 Gates Annual Letter has a chapter on how mobile banking can help poor people transform their lives.

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