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Reduce cost of Internet service, William Ruto tells mobile firms

DnJapanRuto0508jhDAILY NATION By NATION REPORTER

Friday August 28, 2015

Deputy President William Ruto has asked mobile phone service providers to reduce the cost of data bundles.

He said the government is concerned about the high cost of accessing the Internet on mobile phones.

“A key concern of government is the cost of data. While the cost of mobile handset(s) has gone down over the years, the cost of data has increased.

“Operators should work with government to bring down the cost of data to enable more Kenyans (to) interact,” he said on Friday.

Mr Ruto was speaking at the National Forum on Sustainable Data for Development held at the Laico Regency hotel in Nairobi.

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Airtel Kenya permit expired, operating under Essar licence

WangusiCAKBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Tuesday, August 25   2015

Airtel Kenya is operating under the licence previously held by Essar, which it bought out last year, as it’s permit which expired in February is yet to be renewed.

The telecommunications firm had until this February to pay Sh2.3 billion for a 10 year-licence following the expiry of its initial permit that was issued in 2000. Airtel had paid a $55 million (Sh4.7 billion) fee for its first 15-year licence.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) yesterday said it was still considering “a number of issues” before renewing Airtel’s licence.

“The licence renewal by Airtel has been submitted to the authority and is under consideration. Indeed, the Airtel licence expired in February 2015 and the entity is now operating under the Essar Telecom Kenya Limited licence,” said the CA director general Francis Wangusi in response to the Business Daily’s queries.

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Facebook seeks ties with telcos in Kenya

BDTELKOM2603CpxDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Monday August 24, 2015

Facebook's plan to bring Internet access to the remote parts of the world is taking shape. This follows the completion of Aquila, a drone that beams the Internet from the sky to remote communities.

Facebook CEO Marck Zuckerberg said in a statement that the unmanned aircraft will supplement internet.org, Facebook’s connectivity initiative that is in 13 countries including Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and Ghana.

And with Aquila, Facebook last month called on Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya to partner with it so that they can benefit from Internet.org.

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Laptop project for primary schools to be realised by 2017, says Matiang’i

MatpixDAILY NATION By OLIVER MUSEMBI

Thursday August 20, 2015

Information, Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has assured Kenyans that the laptop project for primary school learners will be realised by 2017.

The CS said the government will launch the digital learning programme in April next year and subsequently have it rolled out countrywide.

Speaking in Gatundu on Thursday, the CS said the government cannot afford to delay the scheme any further or have it derailed.

“This is a commitment which the Jubilee government must ensure it succeeds.

“All the schools will be enabled to embrace the digital learning process in due course,” he said.

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State agencies hold firmly to their data

FredMatiang27ipxDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Government departments have frustrated efforts to release State information to the public in an initiative, which would have put Kenya among the first countries in the world to voluntarily share data online.

The Kenya Open Data portal launched four years ago, has only received details from 26 departments out of about 83. “While we still face some resistance in data publishing by the various government institutions, we have put in place measures to mitigate this which is why we have devised the new strategies that will allow us to engage other government institutions better,” Kenya Open Data Co-ordinator, Ms Linet Kwamboka, said.

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Proposed laws will shape the future of Kenya's e-commerce

internetpicsDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Tuesday August 18, 2015

In concluding last week’s discussions on the Internet Governance Forum, we shall today look at how critical internet infrastructure and e-commerce are managed currently and in future.

The government has been developing a National Optical Fibre Backbone (NOFBI) project over the last ten years, which involves inter-connecting all 47 counties through fibre cables, ensuring that the foundation for digital economies is well spread out across the country.

 The NOFBI links are currently available in all the counties but have had numerous challenges, one being that the links do not go beyond county headquarters in most counties. Uptake is quite limited, therefore.

In addition, most private operators have ignored the infrastructure, preferring to lay their own fibre, which has led to duplicated infrastructure the cost of which will ultimately be borne by citizens.

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Tv broadcasters asked to apply for new licences

WangusiCAKDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Friday August 14, 2015

Television broadcasters have been asked to apply for new licences to operate in line with the new law following the expiry of the permit regime in June or risk shut down.

Communication Authority (CA) Director-General Francis Wangusi yesterday said the regulator had received about 100 applications for various licences as companies jostle for the freed frequencies created after the digital migration.

“Applicants who are already providing different categories of television broadcasting services under temporary authorisation are reminded to apply for licences to avoid any disruptions. I also wish to remind all TV broadcasters that have not applied for licences to do so urgently to avoid running afoul (of) the law,” Mr Wangusi said.

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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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