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Insurance fraud to end as new motor vehicle data system is launched

SUNDAY NATION By JAMES KARIUKI

Sunday January 03, 2016

A planned “clearing house” for insurance companies could fast track settlement of claims and drastically reduce the cost of premiums.

Association of Kenya Insurance (AKI) believes this will also help in positively changing the attitude among Kenyans towards insurance products. The uptake of these products stands at a lowly 3 per cent.

The Integrated Motor Insurance Data System (IMIDS) fronted by AKI is expected to revolutionalise insurance business since the current “analogue” setup has been found to have encourage fraud through which non-existent vehicles get insurance cover which is used to lodge claims for feigned accidents.

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New Information CS promises quality services for citizens

Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Joseph Mucheru before the Parliamentary Committee on Appointment for vetting. FILE PHOTO | JAMES EKWAM | NATION MEDIA GROUPBusiness Daily By OKUTTAH MARK

Monday December 28, 2015

Joseph Mucheru, the techpreneur and former head of Google’s Kenya operations, is among the few people who clinched Cabinet positions during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s first reshuffle of the Cabinet last month.

He takes charge of the critical Information and Technology docket, which puts him directly in charge of the media, telecoms and technology industries.

Kenya continues to express the ambition of becoming East Africa’s technology hub. Kenya has also placed technology at the centre of its advancement and positioned it as the foundation on which it will anchor its economy.

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Education CS Matiang'i unveils digital content for pupils

DnLAPTOPs1204rdpxDAILY NATION By OUMA WANZALA

Wednesday December 16, 2015

Digital content development for standard one and two pupils has been launched by the education ministry.

It includes interactive animations, videos and audio, cartoons, puppets exercises and quizzes aimed at helping pupils learn.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i launched the content of mathematics, science, social studies, English and Kiswahili at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi on Tuesday. 

The content will improve learning and teaching, according to the institute.

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Thanks to ICT, government secrets get ever fewer

walubengoDAILY NATION  By JOHN WALUBENGO

Tuesday December 15, 2015

Have ICTs enhanced political participation, social accountability, public service delivery and citizen engagement in East Africa in the recent past?

These were the research questions behind a study commission by CIPESA, a regional think-tank focusing on ICTs in East and Central Africa.

In Kenya's case, the answers are found in its recently published ICTs in Governance report. Some, which make for interesting reading, are highlighted below.

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Airtel, Telkom win in 4G frequency spat with Safaricom

WangusiCAKBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Monday December 14, 2015

Airtel and Telkom’s Kenya Orange are set to be allocated equal share of the preferred 800MHz frequencies for rolling out high speed Internet, a move expected to end claims that the regulator was favouring Safaricom in spectrum allocation.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) director general Francis Wangusi says the regulator will put a proposal to its board for equal allocation of the 800MHz frequency spectrum to the three mobile operators.

This, he said, follows a resolution arrived at the Geneva Radio World Conference that ended last week, where African countries agreed to allocate to mobile telecommunication firms additional frequencies freed-up after migration from analogue to digital TV broadcast. 

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TV broadcasters set to pay up to 62 per cent less for signals

CAKBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK

Tuesday December 08,2015

Television broadcasters will pay lower monthly fees if a UK consultant’s proposed new charges are adopted by the industry regulator.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) in May contracted UK firm Analysys Mason to review the signal distributor fees introduced in 2013 in the run-up to the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting.

On Monday, the UK firm said the proposed rates will apply up to 2018. Under the rates, broadcasters will pay Sh79,323 per megabit per month for signal distribution within Nairobi and its environs — down from the current Sh125,990 translating into a 37 per cent reduction.

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Six local varsities, four IT firms picked for school devices tender

DIGITDAILY NATION By OKUTTAH MARK,

Friday December 04,2015

Six leading local universities and four information technology firms have been shortlisted for the supply, installation and commissioning of the digital learning solution for the 22,000 public primary schools.

University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenyatta, Moi, Strathmore and Dedan Kimathi universities are in the short-list alongside IT firms Symphony Technologies, Smoothtel and Data Solutions Ltd, Hewlett Packard and Lenovo.

Multimedia and Masinde Muliro universities, were the only higher learning institutions that failed to make the short-list, that also saw big names such as Oracle and Huawei fail to secure their place in the lucrative bid. The four were among 25 companies that had expressed their interest in the tender.

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Telkom seeks arbitration in Sh639m debt owed to Safaricom

OrangeTelcomDAILY NATION By ABIUD OCHIENG

Thursday December 03, 2015

Troubled Telkom Kenya wants the court to refer a dispute it has with Safaricom, over a Sh639 million debt, to an arbitrator.

“In as much as Safaricom is seeking to protect itself through interim orders, the contracts have arbitration clause and we seek to refer this dispute to an arbitrator or any other alternative dispute resolution mechanism,” said Telkom lawyer Gitonga Murugara.

Safaricom is seeking to restrain Telkom from finalising the sale and takeover of its shares held by the Orange Group until it is paid Sh639,790,163 arising from various agreements executed between the two parties.

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CA seeks system to weed out fake mobile phones

CAKBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Monday November 30, 2015

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has started the process of switching off fake mobile phones by inviting suppliers of automated systems that can authenticate serial numbers of handsets.

A lack of equipment to identify fake mobile phones forced the CA to put on hold plans to switch off the devices whose number is estimated at more than 3.5 million.

Upon production, all genuine mobile phones are assigned a unique 15 digit International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI) code which can be used to tell them apart from fakes.

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I hope new Cabinet secretary will try to repair damaged State-media relations

PresidentDAILY NATION By MUTUMA MATHIU

Friday November 27, 2015

I am looking forward to the appointment of Mr Joe Mucheru to the ICT Ministry in the hope that he will restore the broken relations between the Jubilee government and the press.

I have been fighting a solitary and perhaps losing battle against what I consider damaging policies pursued by this administration, which ultimately serve neither the country nor the government.

I am hoping that Mr Mucheru will delete those policies.

Top among those bad policies is the government’s decision to go into the advertising business.

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Kenya acts to double Internet reach by 2017

fred3DAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Wednesday November 25, 2015

Investors planning to set up broadband infrastructure will receive financial support from the National Treasury as the government looks to double Internet penetration by 2017.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on Tuesday said he was working with the National Treasury on a legislation that will support broadband investments through public-private partnerships.

The law will enable ease of site acquisitions and reduction of way leave fees by county governments. It will also result in a huge reduction in the cost of Internet.

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CA to fine phone firms millions for poor service in new rules

CAKDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Tuesday November 24, 2015

Telecom operators will part with 0.2 per cent of their gross turnover for offering poor service in stringent regulations meant to give customers value for their money.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is recruiting four consultants to verify the extent of countrywide service provision by telecom services providers. The regulations will apply by January.

“We have improved sector laws. Apart from rating the quality of service in voice, SMS and data will also be rated,” said CA director-general Francis Wangusi.

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Cash crisis may delay launch of laptop project

DnLAPTOPs1204rdpxDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Monday November 23, 2015

The Sh17 billion school laptop project is strained by lack of sufficient funds, which could further delay the renewed proposal to launch it in January.

Two months on, winners of the “digital literacy” bids have not been shortlisted from the 25 companies that contested in September. The winners were to be announced in October.

Market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) noted that the project is among those strained by depreciation of the shilling against the dollar in the third quarter of 2015.

Mr James Mutua, a senior research analyst at IDC East Africa, said “financial, technical, and political obstacles” were delaying the digital laptop project, as well as other ICT projects in eastern Africa. Notably, ICT projects in Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia are equally affected.

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IBM extends its ICT driven learning push countrywide

IBMPXBUSINESS DAILY By STELLAR MURUMBA,

Friday November 20, 2015

About 3,700 teachers across the country will benefit from training in ICT integration in teaching and learning to boost students' passion in science subjects, starting January.

The design-based learning is aimed at changing the traditional classroom culture for learners (of using textbooks) by incorporating the use of computers and practical work outside class.

The programme dubbed Teachers TryScience (TTS) steered by the Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) in collaboration with the International Business Machines (IBM) company targets science and mathematics in primary and secondary schools.

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Equity eyes Telkom-K sale with huge interest

equityDAILY NATION By BRIAN NGUGI

Tuesday November 17,2015

Equity Bank has said it expects to reap bigger from the entry of the Helios Investment Partners into the country’s telecoms sector.

The London-based private equity firm, once the single-largest shareholder in Equity Bank, announced that it had agreed to buy the entire 70 per cent holding of France Telecom in Telkom Kenya at an undisclosed fee.

On Monday, Equity Group CEO James Mwangi said the bank was following closely the development in anticipation of a “deeper business partnership with Telkom Kenya”.

“We hope as soon as they complete the signing of the agreement we could explore a partnership,” said Mr Mwangi in Nairobi.

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How mobile apps can increase customer loyalty

mobileappsDAILY NATION By SAM WAMBUGU

Monday November 16, 2015

With the rapid development of the mobile industry, devices and applications, mobile solutions have turned out to be a technology panacea.

Large companies are today recognising the strategic importance of mobile technology and allowing employees to use mobile devices for both personal and professional use.

More and more small and midsize businesses are following the trend, understanding that an effective mobile strategy involves more than just a mobile-friendly website.

These days, mobile apps at the small business level are still rare, and this is where you can take a big leap ahead of your competitors.

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Firm sues CA seeking to partner with telcos

CAKDAILY NATION By PAUL OGEMBA

Thursday November 12, 2015

A telecommunications firm owned by Kenyans living in the diaspora has sued the Communications Authority of Kenya for denying it a chance to partner with local telcos.

Geonet Communications Ltd’s suit brings a fresh dispute into the lucrative mobile money transfer and international voice calls, by sucking in local operators.

“The authority’s decision to deny the company a chance to operate in the local market was unfair and infringed on its rights to do business in a free and fairly regulated industry devoid of anti-competitive and restrictive trade practices,” said lawyer Kithinji Marete.

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Helios buys entire Orange stake in Telkom Kenya

telkom2BUSINESS DAILY By DAVID HERBLING,

Wednesday November 11, 2015

Private equity firm Helios Investment Partners is set to acquire the entire 70 per cent stake in Telkom Kenya held by France Telecom, a deal which gives the struggling telco the financial muscle to take on its rivals Safaricom and Airtel.

The transaction, whose value was undisclosed, will see the Treasury remain in Telkom Kenya with its minority stake of 30 per cent.

“The finalisation of the transaction remains subject to approval from the relevant authorities,” France Telecom, which trades as Orange, said in a statement.

The buyout brings to an end Orange’s long search for an investor to take over its interests in the company which has lost billions of shillings despite several capital injections and debt write-offs by its shareholders.

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Government pledges media freedom at UNESCO forum

kipsangDAILY NATION By CHARLOTTE DYETT AND FRED MUDHAI

Tuesday,November  10, 2015

A government official has told hundreds of delegates at a United Nations gathering that Kenya is committed to freedom of expression.

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said the country “promotes freedom of expression and free media and will continue to create (an) enabling environment for growth of broadcasting and media freedom”.

His sentiments on media freedom come in the wake of an uproar over the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Bill, one of whose provisions is aimed at restricting media coverage of Parliament.

Dr Kipsang was addressing delegates at a general policy debate of the 38th General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

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Fresh hurdles in Sh3bn ICT roadmap worry World Bank

fred2SUNDAY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Sunday November 07,2015

The World Bank has identified lack of political goodwill and low ICT budgets as glaring setbacks in the implementation of a Sh3 billion ICT roadmap to strengthen county services.

In a statement this Tuesday, the World Bank said that as counties look to converge their processes digitally, lack of co-operation from top management and inadequate financing pose huge threats.

“There should be elaborate ICT organisational structures at county levels. The ICT Authority should come up with a plan for implementation and finance,” said the statement.

The World Bank funds county ICT projects through the Kenya Transparency and Communications Infrastructure Project (KTCIP), while the ICT Authority follows up on implementation.

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