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Kepsa eyes piece of Konza techno city in new deal

keppicDAILY NATION By OTIATO GUGUYU

Tuesday July 05, 2016

A Kenyan club of private businesses have penned a deal with Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) hoping to tap into openings that the proposed project can provide, ahead of the launch of the techno city.

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) says the agreement will open up opportunities for its members to plug into the country’s growing economy.

The two will set up a team that will hold quarterly meetings to discuss chances available for Kepsa members at the tech hub.

According to the agreement signed on Monday, the pair will jointly put in place a framework that will ensure adherence to safety, health and commercially sound construction standards at the Konza Techno City.

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Safaricom to pay customers minute airtime for dropped calls

BobJoeWangusiBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Thursday June 30, 2016

Telecoms operator Safaricom on Wednesday moved to tighten its grip on the voice calls market with the promise to pay subscribers for any disconnection that occurs while they are making local calls.

The promise effectively means Safaricom has strengthened its network enough to use quality as a differentiating factor in the marketplace where it is embroiled in a bare-knuckle fight for customers with resurgent rivals.

On Wednesday, Safaricom unveiled a suite of products, key among them –Safaricom guarantee - that commits to refund customers up to one minute talk time if their calls get prematurely disconnected while speaking to other Safaricom subscribers.  

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You can help shape Kenya’s ICT policy, if you speak now

ictnewsDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Wednesday June 29, 2016

Recently, the Ministry of ICT published its 2016 National ICT Draft Policy for public comment. 

For a public that is arguably the most digitally active in Africa, the relatively few comments coming in are surprising.

The draft policy is hosted at the ICT Ministry website, the Strathmore University Jadili platform and on the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTAnet) forum, where online moderation on the ICT issues is currently under way.

Feedback from the public is flowing on these platforms, but dismally, considering our larger-than-life reputation as one of the most digitised nations in Africa.

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KBC plans commercial wing under proposed ICT rules

waithakaBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Monday June 27, 2016

The government has moved to split State broadcaster Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) into two companies —public and commercial — in line with a draft ICT policy. The National ICT policy is undergoing public review.

KBC managing director Waithaka Waihenya said the move is aimed at making the corporation more competitive while at the same time protecting its mandate of informing the public without the headache of pursuing profit.

“The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) will be restructured to ensure its relevance and viability as the public broadcaster,” says the ICT policy.

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10 airlines strike online payment deal

M-PesapxDAILY NATION By OTIATO GUGUYU

Thursday June 23,2016

An online and mobile payments provider has partnered with cloud reservation system AeroCRS to allow passengers make payments to 10 airlines in the region through mobile money.

The service by 3G Direct Pay Group (3GDP) will cover M-Pesa and Airtel Money in Kenya. Others are M-Pesa, Tigo-Pesa and Airtel Money in Tanzania as well as MTN Money in Zambia, Rwanda and Uganda. 

Managing director of 3GDP Eran Feinstein said the platform can be used for multi-currency payments which allows cross-network payments.

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Universities must work with industry to boost innovation

mobileappsDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Tuesday June 21, 2016

Perhaps through the success of the M-Pesa phenomenon, Kenya has been dubbed the hotbed of innovation. This has also been reinforced by the ever-expanding list of innovation and incubation centres that keep churning new mobile applications (apps).

Kenya does seem to be quite a leader on the innovation lane.

Unfortunately, the annual global innovation publication that ranks countries according to their innovative capacities does not seem to think so. In its recent publication (2015), it placed Kenya at position 92 out of the 141 economies surveyed.

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Posta woos clients with platform linking address boxes to phone numbers

mpostBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK

Friday June 17,2016

The Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) is seeking to reach out to more customers through an electronic platform that links postal address boxes to their mobile phone numbers.

The platform dubbed Posta Mkononi will see new PCK customers use their phone numbers as their postal address as opposed to opening the traditional postal boxes.

PCK will charge the Posta Mkononi customers Sh300 annually compared to Sh2,300 it currently charges users of the traditional postal boxes.

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Rogue drivers to lose licences in NTSA’s online monitoring

NTSABUSINESS DAILY By KIARIE NJOROGE

Thursday June 16, 2016

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) is set to launch an online system that will monitor drivers and net reckless ones who will lose points and eventually licences in repeat offences.

The demerit system is contained in the Traffic Act but has never been active due to the difficulty of implementing it on a paper system.

Fernando Wangila, the ICT director at the authority, said that the Transport Integrated Management Systems (TIMS) will be linked to wireless mobile policing gadgets that traffic officers use.

“The mobile policing devices will have input for the various offences and once an offence is logged in, a specific number of points will be docked by the system and the information logged on TIMS,” Mr Wangila said.

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IEBC systems set for Sh250m upgrade

iebpicDAILY NATION By ISAAC ONGIRI

Monday June 13, 2016

The electoral commission is set to upgrade its system of transmitting results to ensure efficiency during the 2017 polls.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba on Saturday said the polls body wants to put in place a system that ensures fast transmission of results.

Last week, the commission invited bids for the upgrade of its results management system and the data centre.

“We have not changed the system we used in 2013. We are looking at a version that features an improvement, which will guarantee speed, reliability and continuity,” he said.

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ICT Authority yet to present short-list for hiring of chief

victorBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Friday June 10,2016

The ICT Authority (ICTA) Board is yet to forward the names of the three candidates shortlisted for the position of chief executive to the ICT secretary five months after it began the process to fill the position.

The ICTA Board in January appointed consultancy KPMG to recruit a person to fill the position of CEO that fell vacant following the appointment of Victor Kyalo as Information and Communications PS.

The board is expected to submit three names to the ICT secretary who will then pick one to fill in the position.

This will be the first time the recruitment of ICTA chief executive is being done competitively as required by the Constitution.

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Jubilee's laptops: The analogue drag that stymies e-learning

DnLAPTOPs1204rdpxDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Wednesday June 08, 2016

The Jubiliee administration has managed to deliver on one of its key 2013 election pledges – laptops for each standard one pupil

For the politician, the project is a done deal, but for the learner and the teachers, it may have just begun.

Integrating ICTs in education has never been a walk in the park, even at the tertiary level. At most of our universities, getting professors to teach using the latest technologies is easier said than done. They suffer from what is known as the "comfort-zone" syndrome. 

Many a professor has been teaching for more than twenty-plus years using his old but reliable yellow notes, scribbled ages ago on foolscaps and now you want him to transit to the digital environment?

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South Korea to help Kenya set up technology institute

DNKOREAUHURU3105kfDAILY NATION By AGGREY MUTAMBO

Thursday June 02, 2016

Kenya has signed a deal with South Korea for the establishment of a key science and technology centre in the country.

It is among several agreements entered into by the government and South Korea on Tuesday during bilateral talks with the Asian country’s President Park Geun-hye.
During the event, Kenya called for more investments in the country to balance trade between the two nations.

The memorandum of understanding on the centre was signed by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Konza Technopolis Development Authority chief executive John Tanui for Kenya, and officials of the Export-Import Bank of Korea.

The Asian country will support the full establishment of the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

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Central Bank puts firms on high alert over cyber attacks

cbk governorDAILY NATION By OTIATO GUGUYU

Wednesday, May 25,2016

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has received credible information that the bank and other government facilities could be the target of an imminent cyber-attack.

CBK is warning its employees to be ready and vigilant to stop such an event that has seen three central banks infiltrated by hackers this year.

“In light of this risk, we advise all staff to be cautious when opening e-mails and accessing the Internet. Do not open e-mails from unknown sources,” reads a notice at the CBK offices.

A cyber-attack saw Sh8.1 billion ($81 million) stolen from Bangladesh’s central bank and BBC News reported that an unnamed commercial bank also came under attack targeting its money.

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New Konza Techno City directors appointed

KonzapxBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Tuesday May 24, 2016

New Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) board members have been appointed following expiry of the contracts of the former executive team.

Information and Technology secretary Joseph Mucheru named five new directors — Haron Nyakundi (building economist), Victoria Jepkemoi Chepseba, Mbithe Muema, Caroline Wangui Kariuki and Kaburu Mwirichia. The board is chaired by Reuben Mutiso, an architect.

The new board’s tenure is for three years, effective from 6th May. The team will be in charge of regulating, monitoring and evaluating the development of the multi-billion shilling ICT Park that is hinged on a private-public partnership financing model.

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Digital has already changed how we judge, think and act

DigitalMigration1302doDAILY NATION By BITANGE NDEMO

Tuesday May 17, 2016

The new world economy has gone digital, heralding the age of disruption. 

This became clear at a futurist conference I attended this past week. Technology is making a new onslaught on economic, social and political spheres. 

Already the landscape in media, education, health, agricultural production, advanced manufacturing and biotechnology is experiencing unimaginable transformation, and the customer is embracing the change, willingly or unwillingly. 

Change in some sectors may lead to devastating outcomes but the net impact of these disruptions will most likely be good for humankind. 

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Northern corridor picked to test cheap internet for all

corrpicDAILY NATION By Nation Reporter

Friday May 13, 2016

The World Economic Forum has chosen the northern corridor as the first region to test affordable internet in what is expected to speed up connecting landlocked markets to Mombasa port.

Public and private sectors will work together to build internet infrastructure linking the trade corridor that runs from Kenya’s seaport through Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia and South Sudan, it was announced in Kigali on Thursday.

It is estimated that up to 67 per cent or 75 million people living along the northern corridor do not have access to the internet.

“For us in East Africa, we expect the project to bring 25 million more citizens online by 2020,” said Rwanda’s Youth and ICT Minister Jean-Philbert Nsengimana.

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End of wrangles as government names new Communications Authority board

BDCAK2406c.JPGBUSINESS DAILY By Lilian Ochieng,

Thursday, May 5   2016

The government has gazetted a new board to serve at the Communications Authority of Kenya, ending prolonged wrangles over the positions posed by ousted members.

Levi Obonyo Owino, who was part of the expelled directors, will be in the new seven-member CA board that also includes Paul Kukubo, Mugambi Nandi, Kentice L Tikolo, Davis Cheruiyot Kitur, Christopher Guyo Huka and Patricia W Kimama.

The ICT Secretary Joe Mucheru said in a gazette notice that the board will serve “for a period of 3 years with effect from April 29, 2016.”

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Class one pupils to get laptops tomorrow

DNLaptop1806cDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG,

Monday May 02, 2016

Class one pupils in 150 selected schools will have digital devices delivered and installed in their schools starting Tuesday, marking the actualization of the Sh17 billion Digital Literacy Programme.

Mombasa and Kwale counties are marked as first beneficiaries with Garissa, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Kisii, Uasin Gishu, Kakamega, Bungoma and Kajiado following closely this week.

The exercise is expected to close on May 13, already, four schools already received their laptops in March, marking a sample of the entire Proof of Concept stage of the project’s delivery.

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Govt admits hackers stole data from Foreign Affairs ministry

Joe Mucheru2DAILY NATION By AGGREY MUTAMBO

Friday April 29, 2016

Hackers stole the passwords of staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with which they used to steal data from the ministry’s communication system, the government revealed on Thursday.

Information, Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru told Nation.co.ke that some junior staff at the ministry received a random email from hackers asking them to change their passwords.

“The said hackers were able to send the email to the ministry, and some of the people in the ministry actually responded. They clicked and changed their credentials. And some of the ones who were affected then sent emails to everybody else as spam,” Mr Mucheru said in an interview in Nairobi.

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CBK has no IT staff to monitor banks amid crisis

lagatBUSINESS DAILY By LYNET IGADWAH,

Thursday April 28, 2016

The Central Bank of Kenya’s (CBK) unit charged with supervising lenders lacks a tech savvy team to watch over transactions amid a confidence crisis after the collapse of three banks, Parliament was told Tuesday.

Gerald Nyaoma, head of bank supervision department, told MPs that his unit lacks the expertise to audit banks’ Information Technology (IT) systems—which rogue and greedy directors have exploited to lend themselves billions of shillings of depositors’ funds, breaching banking regulations.

“I acknowledge the key role that ICT experts would play at the department and this is the advice I personally gave the governor (CBK head Patrick Njoroge),” said Mr Nyaoma.

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