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EALA to debate Bill on regional electronic transactions next week

e-commerce-picBUSINESS DAILY By ALLAN ODHIAMBO,

Friday August 14, 2015

A Bill seeking to allow for seamless electronic transactions among EAC partner states enters a crucial phase next week when the regional Assembly resumes its sessions in Kampala.

The East African Community Electronic Transaction Bill 2014 will go through a second reading even as partner States target to deepen their economic ties through faster and safer ICT-based platforms.

“Top on the agenda during the two-week period are two key Bills which are expected to sail through the 2nd and 3rd readings respectively.

These are the EAC Electronic Transaction Bill 2014, and the EAC Creative Industries Bill 2015,” the bloc’s secretariat said ahead of next week’s session of the East Africa Legislative Assembly (Eala).

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Over 60,000 teachers trained in readiness for digital learning in primary schools

DNLaptop1806cDAILY NATION By REBECCA OKWANY

Monday August 10, 2015

Over 60,000 teachers have so far been trained in the government’s ambitious plan to roll out digital learning in primary schools.

At the same time, 19,000 schools have been connected to electricity by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) and 605 others, connected to solar power, head of ICT in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology John Temba said.

“As of May, 2015, 62,500 teachers have been trained in ICT integration in schools,” said Mr Temba.

He was speaking during a headteachers’ conference that ended at Sheikh Zayed Children’s Centre in Mombasa on Friday.

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Dominance rules split authority and the AG

MatpixDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Thursday August 06, 2015

The Communications Authority of Kenya says it will stand its ground and push through with dominance regulations even after the Attorney General called for the rules to be withdrawn from Parliament for consultation.

Speaking to the Nation, CA director general Francis Wangusi said the authority will now broaden its reach to capture broadcasting and courier sectors.
In a letter to the ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i dated July 9, 2015, Attorney General Githu Muigai advised the ministry to withdraw the regulations from the National Assembly and “subject them to discussions in all aspects as contemplated by the MoU (between CA and Competitions Authority of Kenya).”

Admitting that no consultations were done with the competition body, Mr Wangusi said that was not necessary at this stage given that CAK role will come in at a point where there is an overlap between the jurisdiction and CA regulations.

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Board members should beware leaving IT projects to professionals

walubengoDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Wednesday August 06, 2015

The recent fiasco surrounding allegations of compromised Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) passwords and attempts to embezzle funds from government coffers should serve as a wake-up call. The integrity of our information systems is an urgent priority.

To be fair, Kenya is not the first country to experience IFMIS challenges. In fact, in Malawi, Joyce Banda’s recent failure to win a second term as president has been attributed to IFMIS-related corruption scandals.

The objective of IFMIS is in line with most automation projects – to increase efficiency, transparency and accountability. What most people forget, though, is that automation by itself is not a magic bullet against corruption.

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Inaugural Innovation Week will showcase the best in ideas and talent

icttrainingDAILY NATION By BITANGE NDEMO

Monday August 3, 2015

This week, the University of Nairobi opens its doors to the world as it showcases local innovation at its main campus. 

The Innovation Week starts with a two-day pre-expo presentation of academic papers from across the world, followed by workshops on innovation management and ecosystem development by teams from the United States and Israel. 

The main purpose of the event is to celebrate local innovation and demonstrate how research feeds into innovation through technology transfer, commercialisation, strengthening of IP frameworks, innovatively delivering education, and energising relationships between private sector, academia and government.

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Time to encourage the good hackers

Cyber-securityDAILY NATION By TRYRUS KAMAU

Friday July 31, 2015

In 2003, Richard Thieme, a priest-turned-technology-and-culture-commentator, defined a hacker as one who sees windows and doors where others see walls. His definition attempted to provide a mental picture of a hacker, where others simply described these people as “clever programmers”.

I describe hackers as people who have the power to build and break the everyday infrastructure you and I rely upon to communicate and store information. Certain elements of hacking have been around longer than the computer has been, but hacking remains a play on human weaknesses.

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Microsoft launches Windows 10 in Kenya

microsoftDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Thursday July 30, 2015

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Wednesday celebrated the launch of Windows 10 in Kenya.

The version of Windows is touted to offer the best platform for business because of its ability to constantly update software and run security checks, protecting against modern cyber-attacks.

Microsoft's earlier version, Windows 8, did not do well in the market, forcing the company to follow it up quickly with Windows 10.

Businesses will also be able to control the frequency of their updates and select the features and functionality that are right for each group of their employees.

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Facebook brings Internet.org to Kenya, hurdles abound

fbpixDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Thursday July 30, 2015

Facebook wants to partner with local telcos to bridge the digital divide in remote places even as the world raises fears over its Internet.org platform.

The application allows users to access the web for a limited amount of time free of charge. Complaints are, however, rife that the application does not reach its target audience and goes against set policies.

“Facebook has made it easier for any mobile operator to sign up for and turn on Internet.org in developing countries through a partner portal that includes technical tools and best practices, improving the process to offer free basic services to the unconnected,” said Chris Daniels, vice-president of Internet.org, at a media briefing in Nairobi on Monday.

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Kenya has still a long innovation journey ahead

GESDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Tuesday July 28, 2015

As the Obama effect begins to wear out, and before the billions he promised us begin to trickle in, we need, as a country, to interrogate where within the ICT sector our innovative and entrepreneurial capabilities lie.

A while back we were so excited about the BPO/ITES (Business Process Outsourcing/IT enabled Services) sector and spent quite some time, money and effort trying to replicate locally what has worked so well for India and China.

In BPO/ITES, back-office jobs from developed economies are outsourced to foreign destinations through the mediation of the internet. These jobs range from simple jobs such as call centre services to highly skilled jobs such as software engineering or electronic engineering.

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Home Kenya seeks to attract investors through vibrant innovation regime

GESBUSINESS DAILY By CATHY MPUTHIA

Monday July 27, 2015

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi has just concluded after attracting many participants from all over the world.

Many participants would be curious to know what Kenya’s innovation and intellectual property (IP) regime is like. While it is not as advanced as in other countries, the intellectual property regime is supportive to innovators.

The legal regime is governed by a series of policies, statutes and case law. IP in Kenya is mainly governed by the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (Kipi), the Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo) and the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis).

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Kenya endorsed as a 'hotbed' of innovation

mpesaSATURDAY NATION By EDWIN OKOTH

Saturday July 25, 2015

US President Barack Obama has endorsed Kenya’s innovation powerhouse status and regional economic might during the opening of the 6th Global Entrepreneurship summit.

The US leader said Kenya has made significant mileage in innovation that has been applied in various parts of the world.

“Kenya is leading the way. Today, Kenya is the largest economy in East Africa. High speed broadband and mobile connectivity are on the rise, unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit of even more Kenyans. Every year around the world, millions of people save money with M-Pesa and it is a great idea that started here in Kenya,” President Obama said.

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Kenya at the heart of African innovation

fredDAILY NATION BY FRED MATIANG'I

Friday July 24,2015

This week marks a first for Kenya: Equity Bank launched its ultra-thin SIM card, Equitel, a direct interface between a customer’s bank account and the mobile phone.

Safaricom set up Jiji Smart, an initiative that will see the launch of smart and Internet-ready addresses in Kenya. And one of the world’s most powerful people will visit Nairobi for the first time as a head of State to discuss entrepreneurship in Africa.

Kenya is used to world firsts. Innovation is a long-standing phenomenon. That is why financial inclusion expert Carol Realini proclaimed that “the future of banking is being defined here”.

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Communication policy takes shape as State eyes news outlet

billboardDAILY NATION By EDWIN OKOTH

Wednesday July 22, 2015

A new policy is set to change public communication in Kenya. The plan seeks to cut costs by centralising the government advertising at the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology.

The move also spells out how the government will disseminate information and undertake media buying.

Under the new rules, Government Advertising Agency (GAA), will authorise all public advertising and implement standards.
A circular on the policy from the National Treasury to all Cabinet secretaries is expected to be released this week.

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The CA should regulate mobile services, not companies

CAKDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Tuesday July 21, 2015

Today we conclude last week’s discussion about the communications regulations proposed by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) and explore their potential impact – positive or otherwise – on the current, internet-driven industry environment.

The regulations appear, at first glance, to be aimed at operators who may abuse their significant market power to the extent that they can distort market fundamentals without losing customers to competitors.

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Yes, break up Safaricom and it will grow bigger and better

mpesaDAILY NATION By WAGA ODONGO

Monday July 20, 2015

Last year, ICT Cabinet Secretary  Fred Matiang’i wrote to the Communication Authority (CA) asking it to curtail dominance in the communication sector. This was  seen as a dig at Safaricom, the country’s leading telecommunications company.

The first question is whether there is dominance in the mobile sector. According to the last CA count, Safaricom had two thirds of the total number of subscribers, more than 72 per cent of the mobile money transfer market, 72 per cent of the mobile data subscription, 84 per cent of the voice segment and 96.4 per cent of the text message market. It has gained ground in all these sectors in the past quarter, according to the CA. In addition,  is also the only mobile phone company making profits.

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Court rejects bid to keep CA board in office

TiampatipxDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Friday July 17,2015

The Court of Appeal on Wednesday rejected a government attempt to keep the disbanded Communications Authority of Kenya board in office pending an appeal.

Justices Sankale ole Kantai, E. M. Githinji and J. Mohammed on Wednesday declined to grant the board a stay. They, however, issued orders that would allow the ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i more time to begin recruiting new board members pending a final ruling this month.

The move leaves the appointment of the CA Director-General Francis Wangusi in balance, as he was hired when the board had been disbanded, making their decision void. 

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Top US cloud computing firm enters Kenya

SalesforceDAILY NATION By MWANIKI WAHOME

Thursday July 16, 2015

Salesforce, the Customer Relationship Management company listed at the New York Stock Exchange has entered Kenya through a partnership with a local company Blue Consulting to offer financial solutions using cloud computing platform for transactions.

It is targeting banks, insurance companies and even the government in sale of the software as institutions seek more advanced systems for transacting business.

“Kenya is going to be the financial hub in East Africa and the biggest banks and insurance companies are here and we want to transform how these do their business and their interactions,” said Regional VP-Emerging Markets, Mr Richard McGuiness.

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Why Kenya is Africa’s most digitised nation

bdcomputerFotosearchBUSINESS DAILY By JAMLECK KAMAU

Wednesday July 15, 2015

When the delegates to the Sixth Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) gather in Nairobi on July 25 and 26, with co-hosts Presidents Barack Obama and Uhuru Kenyatta, they will be pleased to note that they will meeting in one of Africa’s top digital nations.

In the modern Information Communication Technology (ICT) field, Kenya is certainly among Africa’s trailblazers and among the fastest-growing in the world.

Apart from the advanced plans to build a techno-city at Konza, Kenya has a wide range of ICT initiatives and ongoing projects. 

More than 50 per cent of Kenyans now have access to the internet. A majority of users access the internet through their mobile phones.

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The CA's new regulations have Safaricom in their sights

CAKDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Tuesday July 14,2015

Recently, Kenya’s telecommunications regulator, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), proposed, and could soon gazette, three regulations that are likely to claim Safaricom as their first victim.

We have previously argued that Safaricom has grown so big as to become a de facto monopoly, and that therefore there was a case for regulatory intervention.

It controls over 70 per cent of all the communications market segments, including voice, data and mobile money. 

The three proposed regulations are clearly designed to deal with Safaricom, which has been the elephant in the regulator’s boardroom over the last decade.

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Media owners face two-month deadline on local content rule

CAKDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Friday July 10, 2015

Media owners who have been in operation for more than a year have two months to meet the 40pc local content rule, the Communication Authority of Kenya has said.

Within four years of operations, broadcasters must achieve 60 per cent local content.

CA had set June 2015 as deadline for local content delivery. Early this month, ICT Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i urged CA Director General Francis Wangusi to work on local content threshold gradually with media owners.

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