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Defence CS warns Kenya at risk of cyber attacks

Cyber-securityDAILY NATION By FRED MUKINDA

Thursday August 04,2016

Kenyans are increasingly becoming vulnerable to cyber attacks because of lack of up-to-date safeguards, the Defence ministry warned yesterday.

Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo said the country faces greater risks if counter-measures are not developed faster.

“Cyber attacks are continuously evolving, to a great extent faster than cyber defences. Cyber attacks are diverse, coming from elements seeking to publicise political views, criminal organisations seeking financial gain, terrorist groups seeking to inflict economic or political damage, to state-sponsored intelligence and security organisations,” she said.

Ms Omamo was speaking to senior military, police and Intelligence officers in Nairobi.

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Innovation hubs planned for constituencies

victorBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK

Wednesday July 27, 2016

The Ministry of ICT in partnership with the Constituency Development Fund Committee intends to roll out innovation hubs in the 290 constituencies across the country offering free Internet.

Information and Communications Principal Secretary  Victor Kyalo says the national rollout follows a successful pilot in Limuru constituency.

Under the partnership, Mr Kyalo said the ICT Ministry will cater for the cost of bandwidth as well as provide technical skills while the CDF committee will undertake the cost of equipment installed at the hubs.

The project is also geared towards augmenting youth empowerment, innovation and creativity, access to online opportunities and research.

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Only technology can make our roads safe - the law has failed

Bitange-NdemoDAILY NATION By BITANGE NDEMO

Tuesday July 26, 2016

The infamous Salgaa black spot is in the headlines once again, after a family of seven perished there. 

In total, this spot on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway has taken several hundred Kenyans and maimed many others. 

It would not be an exaggeration to claim that the number of Kenyans who have died at Salgaa this year equals the number killed by terrorism inside Kenya.

How long will it take for us to live by the idiom “once bitten, twice shy”? This black spot has taken many Kenyan lives, yet we do not take the necessary steps to curb this carnage.

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Counties low budgetary allocation delays automation

DNNakuruLaptops2003dBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK

Friday July 22, 2016

Lack of skilled ICT personnel and low budgetary allocation is hampering the automation of county governments and as a result hitting service delivery, a new report by the Ministry of Information and Communications says.

The report, County ICT roadmaps 2015-2020, unveiled Tuesday said most county governments only allocate one per cent of their budget money on ICT- related projects compared to five per cent that is the global best practice.

The report also noted that in most of the counties, the ICT personnel lacked skills and recommended investment in continuous staff training.

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ICTAK can’t speak for Kenya’s entire ICT sector

DNCAKBOARD3007gDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Tuesday July 12, 2016

It is not clear who coined the phrase "Be careful what you wish for; you might just get it". That, however, may be what has just happened.

Two years ago, I blogged about the need to have the ICT sector organised under one legally recognised umbrella body.

I argued that with one strong, representative voice the sector would be able to guide the nation in both prosperous and difficult moments.

Further, I argued that an Act of Parliament would go a long way in ensuring that such a voice was grounded in legislation and therefore may not be easily wished away by current or future governments.

Then out of the blue, Parliament puts out a public announcement that a bill to regulate ICT professionals was out, has undergone the first reading and requires public input before progressing through the subsequent second and third readings.

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Igembe North MP to set up three ICT centres

IgembeSUNDAY NATION By DICKSON MWITI

Sunday July 10, 2016

Three Information Communications Technology (ICT) centres are to be established in Igembe North in Meru County to promote innovation.

Igembe North MP Joseph M’Eruaki said the centers would be established at Mutuati, Laare and Antubetwe towns.

Mr M’Eruaki said the centres would help youth and other learners to adapt to a changing world and promote the sharing of ideas.

“It will enable our people to get information at the right time resulting to high productivity, quality research as well as efficiency in pursuing information from different corners of the world,” he said.

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Bloggers raise storm over draft ICT Bill

blogpicDAILY NATION By JOHN NGIRACHU

Friday July 08, 2016

A proposed law to regulate the Information, Communication and Technology industry has caused outrage, with bloggers and professionals describing it as a severe and suspicious move.

Published on June 7 and sponsored by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, debate is yet to start on the Bill because the Energy, Information and Communication committee has not yet collected views on it.

Mr Duale usually sponsors Bills on behalf of the Executive but the ICT ministry has said that the draft law did not originate from them and it “does not represent the policy position of the government".

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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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