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Kenya lost Sh15bn through cybercrime last year, report says

cyber-crimeDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Wednesday October 29, 2015

Kenyan firms lost Sh15 billion through cybercrime last year, with the public sector being the most affected, a new report says.

The amount lost has tripled since the previous year, raising questions about the country’s readiness to fight the menace.

The 2015 Cyber Security Report released on Wednesday noted that the public sector lost more than Sh5 billion from the attacks, followed by the financial services sector at Sh4 billion.

“At least 5,000 internet routers and CCTV cameras belonging to companies are accessible over the Internet, they are exposed to hackers because of the default factory settings,” the report revealed.

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Outdated university technology is harming learning and research

px3DAILY NATION By Jonh Walubengo

Tuesday October 27, 2015

As the government focuses all its attention on providing laptops to primary schools, similar attention and effort should be spared to address ICT gaps in our public universities.

Every five years, the Kenya Education Network (KENET) undertakes regular e-Readiness surveys of Kenyan public and private universities. Their most recent 2013 e-Readiness report shows that our universities have a long way to go in terms of embracing ICTs in their administration, teaching, learning and research.

It is unacceptable that in this day and age, lecturers are still using the ‘chalk and talk’ approach in their teaching.

It is also unbelievable that they are still submitting their student marks on foolscaps and therefore increasing, rather than reducing, incidents of lost or missing marks.

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Planned amendments bode ill for Communications Authority

CAKDAILY NATION By Jonh Walubengo

Wednesday October 21, 2015

There is a proposed bill, the Miscellaneous Amendment Bill 164 of 2015 that proposes to move most of the communications regulatory powers to the Cabinet secretary. 

It is not clear why the Executive suddenly wants to become the regulator in a day and age when global practice seems to be to keep the two as separate as possible.

In seeking to understand the rationale, one needs to look at the 'Memorandum of Objects and Reason’ section, which states as follows:

‘The Bill seeks to amend the Kenya Information And Communications Act, 1998  section 2 of 1998) so as firstly to align it with the Competitions Act, 2014 in respect of the criteria for being a dominant market

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GeoNet to sue CA over interconnection fee row with mobile network operators

wangusiBUSINESS DAILY By  OKUTTAH MARK,

Thursday October 15, 2015

A US-based Kenyan telecommunication firm is preparing a legal action against the telecoms sector regulator for failing to resolve an interconnection fee dispute with the three local mobile network operators.

GeoNet, which was initially registered in Delaware USA in 2000, says through its local subsidiary that it is losing business because it is unable to use the licence it was granted by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) due to the three-year interconnection fee dispute with Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya.

The firm, which operates several licences, including an international gateway service (IGS) provider, says it has paid the CA more than Sh32 million in IGS fees alone but has not been able to use the licence because of the stalemate.

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Laptops for schools revived

DnLAPTOPs1204rdpxDAILY NATION By ISAAC ONGIRI

Wednesday October 14, 2015

Sh 17 billion will be spent to buy to 1.2 million laptops for Class One pupils after the salvaged procurement was launched by the Information Communication Technology Authority.

The laptops will reach all schools around the country in two years after the procurement was split into two.

Some 25 companies including several local learning institutions are competing to win the multi-billion tender that has been delayed following a dispute over a tender won by an Indian Company, Olive Telecom, in 2014.

The Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology through the ICT board reduced stringent requirements, previously placed by the Ministry of Education that required that the winner of the bid to be an original equipment manufacturer. This allowed secondary suppliers to compete for the bid.

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Regulator to block unregistered phone lines in 90 days

SIMCardpxBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Monday, October 12  2015

Thousands of mobile phone subscribers with unregistered SIM cards will be blocked from the telecoms’ networks in the next 90 days as the regulator moves to enforce new rules meant to clear the system of criminals.

The planned switch-off comes in the wake of the Communications Authority of Kenya’s (CA) publication of new regulations that are intended to complement the SIM card registration laws that were passed two years ago.

The Kenya Information and Communication Act, 2013 requires telecommunication operators to register their subscribers within a specified period and keep their details.

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Ministry to help local investors raise funds for Konza projects

KonzapxDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Friday October 09 2015

Investors interested in setting up at the Konza City have been asked to submit bids for development of 24 parcels of land, as government pledges support for locals.

Speaking at the Konza investor briefing, ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said interested local investors who face financial shortfalls would get government support.

“Together with the National Treasury, I am working on a Public Private Partnership framework that will see government source for funds to support local investors,” said Dr Matiang’i.

The Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) will rely on Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) to attract investors who will construct commercial, residential, educational and public amenities within the demarcated land.

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CA orders fresh allowances audit as Matiang'i declines to intervene

Wangusi3DAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Wednesday October 07,2015

ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i will not meddle in internal troubles of Communications Authority, ruling out government’s interventions amid a deepening crisis at the authority’s board.

Dr Matiang’i said at a media briefing that the CA is an independent body: “I want to let the institution deal with their issues as an independent body. When my role will be required, I will play my role.”

CA board has recently faced serious criticism after an internal report revealed that senior executives spent Sh307 million on travel allowances last year.

The report came at a time when the board members are facing several court cases questioning their legality. The office of the ombudsman is also investigating irregular issuance of allowances at the board.

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United Nations report lauds Kenya's broadband plan

uhuru-picDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Tuesday October 06, 2015

A United Nations global report has heaped praise on Kenya's broadband plan for being up to date with current developments in the ICT industry.

The UN Global Commission’s report, ‘The State Of Broadband 2015,’ states that Kenya has consistently signalled national commitment to the broadband plan across policy makers and stakeholders.

EFFECTIVE ICT PLAN

The report points out that a good plan includes consideration of infrastructure deployment and telecommunications key performance indicators.

The Kenya National ICT Master Plan which has set targets to be realised by 2017 has the mentioned considerations.

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India to train 150 Kenyan ICT officers

Bd-ICT internetDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Thursday October 01, 2015

Over 150 government ICT officers will be trained in India in a move intended to improve Kenya’s capacity in the information technology sector.

The deal was announced during the India-Kenya ICT forum on Monday that was attended by 50 Indian ICT companies.

The firms are looking to partner with local technology firms.

“Indian companies are now using innovation, development research to create world class products. Kenya is looking to copy this trend and imprint it in its government operations,” said Mining Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala on behalf of his counterpart Dr Fred Matiang'i, who is in New York for the 70th Session of United Nations General Assembly.

Kenya is looking to deepen its ties with India especially by increasing its knowledge on spectrum auctions, net neutrality, e-citizen services and training in the sector.

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US-based SMEs to acquire space at Konza City

KonzapxDAILY NATION By WINFRED KURIA

Wednesday September 30, 2015

Konza Tech City has opened business to international markets in a partnership with National Business League, an American business lobby.

Through the agreement, US-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) stand to acquire operational space at Konza City.

Further, the US SMEs will enable local ones to acquire development opportunities through export promotion, joint ventures, strategy alliance and direct investment.

Konza City is expected to be Africa’s Silicon Savannah, contributing $1 billion annually (approximately two per cent) to Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) once phase one is operational.

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CA moves to hire market dominance consultant

WangusiCAKBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Monday September 28, 2015

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has begun the process of hiring an international firm that will examine Kenya’s telecommunication and broadcasting sectors for market dominance and anti-competitive behaviour.

The CA says in Expression of Interest tender documents seen by the Business Daily that the consultant will, among other things, identify the relevant markets (sub-markets) within the telecommunication sub-sector, the number of players and their respective market shares.

The tender documents are set for publication on the Treasury’s Integrated Financial Management Information System supplier portal and the CA’s website.

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Publishers under pressure to deliver e-learning content for pupils

contentpxSATURDAY NATION By MOSES OMUSOLO

Saturday September 26, 2015

Kenya’s digital content providers are under pressure to deliver as the government plans to launch the Sh17bn Digital Literacy Programme for schools in January next year.

ICT Authority chief executive Victor Kyalo said time was long overdue for the Kenya’s education sector to go digital, adding that opportunities presented by the shift outweigh the costs.

“The next phase of the knowledge economy will require a smart society where people can exploit their talents, identify opportunities and be able to grow with those opportunities,” he said.

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BRCK launches locally produced tablets for pupils

DNLaptop1806cDAILY NATION By WINFRED KURIA

Wednesday September 23,2015

A local tech firm BRCK has launched its first batch of locally engineered tablets known as 'Kio' as it positions itself for the government literacy programme.

The 'Kio' tablets are designed for low infrastructure environments boasting features such as dust and water resistance, wireless charging and lockable case for added security according to the tech firm.

Speaking to the Nation, BRCK education division presidentNivi Mukherjee emphasised on the time saving nature of the devices compared to the competitors'.

"The pupil will only need to plug a single wire and press one button that will give access to the desired function between learn, play and grow," added Nivi.

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Government opens bids for the supply of school laptops again

DNLaptop1806cDAILY NATION By BRIAN NGUGI

Tuesday September 22, 2015

The government on Tuesday is set to open bids for the supply of school laptops after previous attempts were rocked by procurement scandals.

The project, which has since been revived as the Digital Literacy Programme after several false starts, will see 11,000 public primary schools receive laptops in the first phase of the programme.

A work plan from the Information Ministry shows a total of 150 public primary schools will be part of the pilot programme. And of the 150 schools selected, nine will be drawn from those offering special education.

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Internet users to pay flat rate when roaming in East Africa states

DATABUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK

Monday September 21, 2015

Internet charges for mobile phone users roaming across East Africa are set to come down, with the Kenyan regulator pushing for a harmonised rate within the region in a meeting set for this week.

Telecommunications regulators from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan are expected to meet this week in Nairobi to deliberate on the harmonisation process.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) director general Francis Wangusi said in an interview last week that harmonisation of the charges was part of a wider strategy by the four regional regulators that will also see a common tariff adopted for mobile money transfers and SMS.

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Study puts a damper on laptops-for-schools plan

DNLaptop1806cDAILY NATION By NATION REPORTER

Thursday September 17, 2015

A new study has raised questions over whether technology results in better education.

The study, which comes at a time when Kenya plans to equip schools with laptops and tablets, says ensuring children have strong reading and numerical skills will do more to improve education than high-tech devices.

The report, produced by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), suggests that some countries invested heavily in technology without improvements in pupil performance.

Results from 31 countries “show no appreciable improvements in reading, mathematics or science in the countries that invested heavily in ICT,” says the study.

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Telkom Kenya sale talks head for home stretch

telkom2DAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Wednesday September 16,2015

Negotiations on the sale of Telkom Kenya will be concluded by the end of this month as the government comes aboard to ascertain its position in the firm.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich Tuesday told the Nation that the authorities would then determine whether it will retain its 30 per cent stake in the telco or sell part of it.

“We will begin to come on board before end of this month, discussions on the shares will be concluded as per the direction the talks are taking,” said Mr Rotich. “We will meet the investors. As our new partners, they will have to lay bare what they bring to the table.”

The winning bidder will share its business proposal, complete with the strategy, with the government. One must also have the technical and financial muscle to run a mobile service firm.

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How businesses will gain from e-learning taking off next year

pupilsBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Thursday September 10,2015

Digital content producers and animators are set to be among the biggest beneficiaries as the government starts implementing the Digital Literacy Programme.

The initiative to start next year will offer an opportunity for most public school students to access education materials through computing devices such as laptops, personal computers among others for the first time.

The government plans to hold a digital content stakeholders conference in October to create awareness about the opportunities available and the process to be followed in approving education content.

ICT secretary Fred Matiang’i said digital content will be regulated by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to ensure standards are met as per curriculum objectives.

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Rejigged laptop program faces same old hurdles

DNJKUATUhuru2703fDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Wednesday September 09,2015

Last Friday, the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Dr Fred Matian’gi, called a press conference where he briefed the nation about the progress made so far on the elusive journey towards providing laptops to Standard One pupils.

This time, there was relatively little public interest in the announcement that the project is on track and the Standard One pupil will be able to smile with their laptops in 2016.

The general public seems to be resigned to the fact that the laptop promise was made in the fever of an election campaign and was bound to be contained and subsequently extinguished by the realities of governing.

But the Jubilee administration has soldiered on, despite the procurement challenges that keep bogging down the project.

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